inexpensive art

Happy Friday!

Last week, I worked on two projects that have been on my to-do list for a while.   I’ve struggled with what to put in the empty space on the shelf above our television, and have searched for the right piece since the entertainment center was installed.  I wanted one large ‘something’ to serve as a focal point, and was coming up empty at my usual haunts (Homegoods, Target, consignment shops…)  My friend Brooke and I went to Luckett’s annual outdoor market a few Sundays ago, and I came home with a few other treasures, but nothing for the shelf.  SO, I finally decided to take matters into my own hands, paint a piece of art, and frame it.

I’ve been loving (and pinning) lots of pastel, fairly muted, “happy” abstract oil paintings and watercolors, and so I tried my hand at creating my own, pulling colors from our living room.  Some of my favorites are by artists Britt Bass Turner and Elise Pescheret, both of whom I discovered on Pinterest (of course).

Here is just a tiny sample of their work, which served as my inspiration:


(Above painting is “Collete” by Elise Pescheret)

 Pinkycopy Summercopy


So off I went to Michaels. They were having a BOGO frame sale, and I came home with this for the project:


I needed a long, rectangular frame for the space and could only find collage frames.  So I just removed the mat and traced it on artist’s paper to get the proper dimensions.

Then with my trusty acrylic paints (all purchased inexpensively for various projects over the past several months), I took a deep breath, said a little prayer, and made my own version….


…then re-framed it. Here it is at home in our entertainment center:




I wanted it to complement the small pops of orange & coral we have throughout the room, as well as the aqua and grey overall color scheme.  I am very pleased with the result and ESPECIALLY thrilled that spot is now filled!  And hey, because it was so inexpensive, if we ever find something we like better, we can always replace it and move the art to somewhere else in the house.  I love when purchases can have a variety of uses and “homes” over the years under one roof. 🙂


What did I use the other frame for?  Had to take advantage of the Buy One, Get One Sale!  For years now I’ve wanted to make some sort of print using the free paint chips available in abundance at Lowe’s/Home Depot/hardware stores.  A few weeks ago, while waiting around for paint samples to be prepared for me at Lowe’s, my eyes landed on the wall of Pantone color samples.  They were the perfect size; larger and more rectangular than ‘classic’ paint chips (think the vertical strips).  With Emmeline’s big girl room in mind, I gathered up all chips from the coral & pink family. Now that I’m typing this out, is there a better term than “paint chip”? Help? None comes to mind…have I been calling them the wrong thing all my life?!

Anyway, I thought they would be cute to create a piece of “modern-looking” art to hang in her new room.

Here are the frame and chips ready to go:


I cut the bottom margin off each rectangle, then tried various arrangements of shades until I landed on this one:



Then using a leftover piece of artist’s paper from my abstract painting, I lined them up, making a grid.  When I got them evenly spaced, I taped them down and put the mat and frame back together!

IMG_7299 IMG_7307 IMG_7308


So easy-peasy.  The hardest part was lining the rectangles up evenly.  And talk about cheap art! I’ve been dreaming about all the cute color “grids” you could make…blue…green…purple…

I will post pictures of the print hanging on her wall next, along with other aspects of her room that we’ve been working on for the past few months!  With three weeks to go til D-Day, it’s coming along!

Hopefully I could give a couple ideas to those of you in need of  inexpensive art solutions for the home.  Have a great weekend 🙂


some artwork…

Abstract Art

ECB’s room has been in need of some art above her crib. Ages ago, I had torn out a page from an Anthropologie catalog featuring some beautiful abstract art:

Priced at $800 and up, it was such a steal, right?! I filed it away under “Interiors and Decorating”, and resolved myself to be ambitious and attempt my own interpretation someday. I didn’t know where in the house I wanted to display my future creation, I just knew I wanted to make it happen eventually.

After racking our brains trying to think of what to put above her crib (a vintage alphabet poster? Something with her name?) a light bulb came on and I decided to do an abstract canvas painting. I thought it would be perfect way to tie in all the greens and blues we’d used to decorate Emmeline’s nursery. I purchased a large canvas at Michaels for about $15 (yay, 40% off coupons), and armed with all the paints (an assortment of latex wall paint and acrylics) and brushes I had, got started. A couple hours later, this is what I had:

I really surprised myself! It was quite intimidating at first, seeing as how I had ZERO experience in this type of art, and really no idea what I was doing! But I just kind of went with it, and it was so. much. fun. And so great re-using all the paints we used in her room!

What a dream to do this as a money-making venture! And I promise to charge a fraction of $800 😉

Other little nursery touches:

My dad gave this to me right after Emmeline was born. He found it at an antique mall before he even knew she was going to be a girl–I guess we were all hopeful! It’s the cover from some sheet music from the 1920’s. It’s just perfect. It came in a not-so-perfect faded blue frame…I had the intention of re-framing it, but instead just painted the wood white to save a few bucks in the meantime.

Sweet little bird hooks…my mom found them on clearance at Jo-Ann’s…they are the perfect complement to the other birdie touches throughout the nursery.

Maryland Print

Because I had so much fun making the bridal shower state prints, I made my brother-in-law a version for his beloved state of Maryland. I printed out a Maryland flag using our new photo printer (it does a pretty great job!) and used that as the paper to cut around the state outline. Instead of a rhinestone heart this time (not very manly), I used a little Natty Boh logo…we both love National Bohemian, and of course, it’s a Baltimore tradition! I was so happy he liked it; it made a great b-day present for his new place in Federal Hill.