Tag: art

What’s Up This Week

This week we were working on a bunch of projects but didn’t get a chance to finish anything, so I’ll post finished pics next week. I was also struggling with fatigue from 3 nights of insomnia (gah!). But I’ll share a few updates on our progress this week.

diy table

Our DIY dining table is almost done! It’s been basically constructed and now needs to be finished off with stain and poly, and then assembled in the dining room.

baby using tools

This little girl helped put the table together.

staining table

Yesterday we put on a couple coats of stain (Minwax Special Walnut, my favorite) and we’re going to put on a couple coats of polyurethane today.

dining chairs goodwill

I often feel like we never find anything good at Goodwill anymore, but then something like this happens! My latest find — four mid-century-esque dining chairs. Solid oak, cushion stuffing in really good condition. Oh and did I mention the table came with (I’m saving it for the “craft room” in the loft when we get around to it). All for 40 bones?! I have a feeling these chairs are more 80’s than truly mid-century but I think they’ll be great once I recover the seats and refinish the wood (hopefully in a less honey finish, if I can sand off all of the current finish).

And finally:

trader joes cards

I switched in some new “art” in the small 5×7 frames on the left of this gallery wall in the breakfast nook. They are actually cards from Trader Joe’s for 99 cents each!

(Please ignore the disintegrating trim on the right there. It will all be fixed. Someday. Also, paint on the walls. It will happen, I promise.)

trader joes art

Trader Joe’s has the cutest cards, and they are printed on really nice textured matte cardstock that looks just like watercolor paper. I love that they have a lot of non-subject specific cards so they don’t look strange framed. Go get some! For a buck you can get really cute art at Trader Joe’s to switch things up around the house!

Elsewhere on the Internet, a few more of my articles are up at Wisebread.com:

Is Your Apple Dangerous? How to Eat Fewer Pesticides (While Saving Money) – buying organic is one way, but there are several strategies you can use to reduce your pesticide exposure in food.

5 Ways to Say “No” to Friends and Family – We all could use some more balance in our lives…saying “no” once in a while is a good start.

How to Save 10-20% on Online Purchases Every Day – My not-so-secret method for saving every time you buy something online.

Have a great weekend everyone!

How to Stretch An Oil Painting

oil painting

We’ve got a nice splash of color on one side of the couch with this gorgeous oil painting we brought home from our trip to Hong Kong.

Guess how much we paid for it? I won’t give it away (those vendors need to make a profit) but I will say that it was less than $100. Yes, you have to bargain. But if you’re ever in Hong Kong and stop by Ladies’ Market or the Stanley Market you’ll find hundreds of beautiful oil paintings. Often they are copies done by art students so the skill level will vary, but shop around and you might find something awesome.

We brought it home rolled up in a tube and when I got a quote to have the oil painting professionally stretched and framed, it came to a couple hundred buckeroonies. I wasn’t about to plunk down that much cash when the painting didn’t even cost that much to begin with, so I got good ol’ hubby to help me stretch and wrap it ourselves.

You can buy frames but we decided to make our own out of leftover 1x boards.

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The first step is to measure the dimensions of your painting to determine how big your frame will be. Remember to minus the thickness of the wood on each side to account for the edges of the painting that wrap around the frame. Because our painting is quite large, we added braces to the corners.

Professional frames are beveled in on the inner edge of the frame to prevent the shadow of the frame from showing through the painting. We didn’t worry about this.

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Once your frame is done, you’re ready to start stretching.

Lay your canvas painting-side-down on a piece of cardboard or drop cloth, and lay your frame over it.

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Using a staple gun, put a staple in one long side (making sure the painting is aligned) and stretching the canvas gently, put a staple on the opposing side of the frame. Repeat with short sides.

Remember, the canvas was already stretched once before, so don’t pull too hard! Be gentle.

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While stretching the canvas gently (just like upholstering a headboard), add staples to each side, moving outward toward the corners. It’s important that you move from the center of each side toward the outer corners to smooth out any ripples. Keep rotating sides to make sure the tension is even.

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The corners can be a little tricky. Create a little gusset, just like when you’re wrapping a gift.

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Fold over one side and staple down.

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Then fold the other side down as tight as you can and staple. Do that for all 4 corners.

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Check out that gorgeous edge.

oil painting

Voila! You’ve just gallery wrapped your own oil painting!

For now, this baby is sitting on an antique table (story of that later) next to the couch. We’re planning to hang it on the wall above the table with a couple of other pieces of art. When we get around to it. You know how it is =).

Cheap and Stylish Checks

Chris and I have been looking into ordering new checks, something we’ve kept putting off because we just moved and we wanted to get new checks printed with our new address.

Chris, by the way, is the king of deals, and can be found at all hours of the day scouring DealNews for the latest deals.  It amazes me sometimes.  It’s a special talent he has.

Anyway, he found this offer for new customers at ChecksintheMail.com.  It’s just $5 for a box of 125 checks if you use the code BESTOFFER!  Shipped!  The cool thing is, they actually have some cute designs.  Check ’em out. (And I am not being compensated in any way by ChecksintheMail, I just think the checks are cute.)  Click on the check image to go to the site.

Botanical Checks

Sassy Stripes Checks

Island Tropics Checks

Bird Song Checks

Modelli Checks

We went with the Modelli checks because they were a little less girly than the others, and I felt bad making Chris write girly checks.  They’re still stylish though.  For five buckaroonies, it’s a great deal!

Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that even something as mundane as your checks are cute too?

Art for My Little Dragon Girl

My mom says everyone wants their daughter to be born in the year of the dragon — it’s especially lucky.  According to tradition, the dragon is the mightiest zodiac sign, and people born under this sign are passionate, driven, and ambitious.  My mom says my daughter will be a “Little Dragon Girl”, a famous hero in Chinese legends.

All that may be, but I really just want to get this cute dragon print for baby’s nursery:

Via Crowsmack on Etsy

I just think it will look so cute in the nursery, and at $12 for a 9×12 inch silkscreen print is pretty affordable.  And The Hobbit is one of my favorite books.  But Chris doesn’t really like me buying art online because he says I should just make some original art instead.  So I’m torn.  Should I get it?

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