A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

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Posted by Rebecca, August 1st, 2011

It has been another week of ups and downs here at the lil household. We learned that Darwin’s kidneys are physically healthy after just one week of chemo- an absolute miracle in itself. Then about 20 minutes after that we learned that while cancer free, his kidneys are still only functioning at less than 20%. This meant that we now had to give him 100ml of fluids TWICE a day in hopes that it would somehow kick start his kidneys. While I hate having to poke him with a needle twice a day and make him stay still, it is done out of an insane amount of love between all of us. Our family would be incomplete without D, so we’ve turned fluid time into Powerade (because the fluids give him electrolytes and magic powers :)) and snuggle time. The past few days, D has caught on and has taken advantage of the one on one time to snuggle into my chest and put his head below my chin. I have taken advantage of this time to be thankful that I have another day with my family intact. None of us are going down without a vicious fight, and fight we’ve had to. 

After finally settling into a routine, D caught a cold this week. Poor guy started sneezing on Wednesday, which was followed by watery eyes, a warm head and a stuffy nose. The vet called in some anti-viral treats for him, which seem to be working. My fear is that this little cold will prevent his kidneys from improving and he won’t be able to receive the chemo drug on his treatment plan this week. Fingers crossed as we go back to the vet tomorrow!

In the middle of all of this, I finally finished my summer classes and I was faced with my first free Saturday in… months? years? Not sure. I had purchased 4 canvases a few weeks back at Michael’s and decided to put them in our dining room (as mapped out in this post), with some sort of abstract landscapes painted on them. With the Pinterest Challenge from Sherry (YoungHouseLove.com), Katie (BowerPowerBlog.com), Emily (StyleByEmilyHenderson.com) and Lana (JoeyandLana.com) looming, I knew I could use some more therapeutic painting time!

I haven’t painted anything in at least 4 years. I have always been interested in art and even took some courses in college, but after I graduated I painted some canvases that other people requested and I just never felt that sense of pride from them. I think I needed to make my own little creation, on my own time, since well, I am my own worst critic and hate feeling like I gave someone a painting that wasn’t my best work. To get past my previous lack of pride, I bought these pre-gessoed, solid wood squares to paint on. I’ve never preferred canvas, but since that’s what the common painting surface is, I always just went with it. I hate the bumpiness of a canvas, so while more expensive, (about $14 at Michael’s) I thought these would work better for me!

I used all craft paint that I have accumulated from various other projects throughout the years. I used a paper plate for my paint and some random styrofoam bowl I found in the pantry for my water. My Russian Intro to Painting teacher would die.

I was also armed with my (p)inspiration!

I pinned several landscape type of paintings for inspiration…

While this one was my favorite, I really just planned to wing the whole process.

I started to casually add some paint to the first board, and this is the first and only in-progress picture since I was kinda busy figuring out what to make after this 🙂

I wanted to make four clearly related, but different paintings. I really just started painting and trying things, then repainting the ones I didn’t like/didn’t mesh with the others. Finally, after painting probably six of these (since I completely re-did 2 of them), I had my finished products drying on the island 🙂

Some of the craft paints I used were metallic, which made a nice sparkly finish on some of the paintings (yes that is a cat food can cover in the background, we’ve been feeding Darwin on demand so he must have been awake and looking for food in the midst of my photo shoot :))

These things dried pretty quickly and I was anxious to hang them, but we had no nails! So we made a trip to Lowe’s and on Saturday night, paintings were hung!

I likes, but there was one obvious problem.

Meh lamps. Square paintings + square mirror + square lamps = Meh. Plus the height of the lamps has been irking me since they fall right at the line of the mirror, making the whole scene very uninteresting. Knowing the lamps wouldn’t work with the paintings, we found some new ones while at Lowe’s (after checking HomeGoods with no luck)

I found exactly what I wanted: blue base, round shape, crisp white lampshade. Now my paintings fit in 🙂

I think the top painting below is my favorite. It’s my oopsy painting that used to be a mountain with clouds, but got painted over. Somehow I ended up loving it 🙂 I love the bottom one for the tint of yellow I added as a little opportunity to add some yellow to the dining/living room down the line. I also used a smaller brush and stripey method on this one.

I love this one below because a) it was the first one I did, b) then it was the worst one for a while, c) I saved it by re-doing it and d) it has sparkly sand!

And this guy is a little streaky sideways one with some more yellow in it, almost looks like Arizona or something?

The lamps and paintings add some much needed color and interest to the dining room, though they are going to take some getting used to. I worried that it looked beach themed, which was not at all my intention, but Mike assured me it still looked classy.

Lamp height? Way better!

Now we need to change out our dining room light for a round, white, drum pendant. We didn’t expect to find lamps so quickly so we’re not in much of a rush on that one.

And of course, I had to take pictures of the new lamps at night 🙂

I felt good to have a brush (that wasn’t meant for walls) in my hand again. It was a very much needed break from the norm. We had a trip to Florida planned for next week, but we decided to cancel it to be home with Darwin. Now at least I have a little bit of the beachy tropics right at home, even if it was sort of unintentional 🙂
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29 Responses to “A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words”

  1. Catherine says:

    Beautiful paintings and always happy to hear kitty is doing well!!

  2. I’m so glad Darwin is doing better! such a little champ!!!!! <3 roxy is sending extra love his way! =)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your paintings! so relaxing and so perfect for the room!!!!!

    love ya girly!

  3. Cait @ Hernando House says:

    That looks great!

    I’m so glad D is doing better!

  4. Jennifer says:

    At first, I got the “beachy” impression too, until the end of your post where your pictures include the chairs in the shot. I think Mike is right saying they look classy. The colors all tie in so well. And I think the tailored and slightly darker-colored (at least on my computer screen) chairs help it stay classy. Great job! Also, what a fabulous fur-mommy you are!

  5. The paintings look great! And I LOVE those new lamps… just right!

  6. Indiri says:

    I love how they turned out! They’re so pretty and really look great in the room.

    The lamps were a nice find, too. I usually wouldn’t think of Lowes or HDish stores for table lamps but those are lovely.

  7. Keep fighting little kitty!!

    I’m impressed with your artistic skills! The painting look great! And I like the blue lamps…a lot!

  8. I love the way the paintings turned out…very calming. And the new lamps add such a fun pop of color. I think I am seriously in love with the shape of the lamps.

  9. Love the paintings and the new lamps! The room looks awesome.

    PS – Glad to hear that Darwin is doing better 🙂

  10. Kate says:

    The paintings are great. And I love the lamps!

    I’m glad to hear that Darwin is doing well. I went through something similar with one of my pets a couple of years ago, and the extra fluids really can work. I’m glad you’re both getting lots of extra snuggles in 🙂

  11. Julie says:

    Very cool! Great job! Love those lamps too, I have one in my nursery…

  12. Amanda says:

    Love these paintings! Great job!

  13. what a romantic glow from the new lamps! And I LOVE the paintings!!!! You did an awesome job!

  14. […] tape, nails, picture wire: $0 (already had) TOTAL COST: $108.22   Shoutout to Rebecca at The Lil House That Could for her pretty Pinterest Challenge art project, too!  For more people who are participating, […]

  15. The paintings are beautiful but wanted to comment mostly because of the situation with your little one. A little less than three months ago we had to say goodbye to our Brady after a devastating feline leukemia diagnosis just a week earlier. I was a total mess that week and for a while after. Even though he was only 13 months old I think of him every day and thank God for the time that we had with him and I’m sure you’re doing the same with Darwin. For me, blogging was an outlet I had to use for our story and to do everything we could to make people aware of feline leukemia (http://thisdiylife.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/brady/). When I read your post and had to get out the Kleenex, I knew I had to say something. I hope everything goes well.

    • Rebecca says:

      Thank you Amy! I am sorry to hear about your Brady. We suddenly lost a young cat just 3 years ago to another illness, so sadly we know how you feel! Having to face it again is just heartbreaking.

  16. John says:

    What kind of paint did you use for these

  17. Aimee says:

    Beautiful! I’m impressed with your painting talent. (And the lamps are GORgeous!)

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  21. PK says:

    Hi…I love the color of the paint on the walls…Do you have details to share?

  22. Charissa says:

    Want types of brushes did you use?

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