Archive for the ‘artwork’ Category

The Nursery Gallery Wall

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Posted by Rebecca, January 10th, 2013

This post has been a long time coming. As in, Easton is now 7.5 months old and I’ve been waiting to do something with this wall in his room since I was pregnant. It has been a thorn in my side– that project that always seems to have some issue that makes you delay it another week… then another… then another. But then finally, it’s done.

Wait, where did I last leave you? Oh yes, with a Corn Flakes box and some tissue paper.

I bought a black shadowbox and planned to paint it white. The Corn Flakes box and spray paint run was a major fail. The spray leaked through the glass and the paint didn’t adhere to the frame. Next I decided to just hand paint the whole thing. I bought some paint and primer in one, gave it a decent sanding then sat on the garage floor one night painting away. Have you ever painted a shadowbox? Yeah, don’t. There are way too many little ledges inside and out. I painted everything I could with the door of the thing open, then left it to dry before doing the next parts. When I saw that one coat of paint wouldn’t be enough to cover the black, I decided to try a new(er) approach.

I returned to spray paint, but this time I went with my usual Rustoleum Universal spray paint and I decided to Frog Tape the entire glass portion of the shadowbox, front and back. Why I didn’t think of this sooner, the world will never know.

First I had to do a lot of cleaning and scraping of the previous overspray.

FYI- the plastic knife worked the best since it didn’t scratch the glass :)

I used the razor to trim the tape perfectly so I didn’t have to scrape anymore paint off the glass.

Then it was back to the yard for the shadowbox and two smaller frames that I had sprayed with the previous spray paint. I could have lived with them, but they were chipping so easily that I figured I’d give them a good coat so I could stop handling them like they were a dozen eggs.

Once everything dried and sat in the garage for a few days, we were FINALLY ready to hang everything!

The gallery wall recipient so proudly watched from his crib.

He loved it before it was even done.

To hang everything, we had the awful tissue paper up, but I knew the real frames were likely to be off from that. So we didn’t nail into the templates or anything, but we just started with the most centered frame. From the tissue paper, I knew I wanted everything about 2 inches higher so we just eyeballed it. Once the first frame was up, we did the one above it– spacing it rather close to the first frame.

This part is personal preference, but I like gallery walls that have a tight arrangement. We then moved to either side, keeping everything spaced tight, until it looked like this.

Hanging everything took no time at all. After all of these months, we finally have a completed nursery.

Scatter brained sidenote:  I forgot to tell you guys that Easton had a little Christmas tree…

I took the tree away for the rest of the finished pictures so that it wouldn’t distract from the gallery wall.

I already mentioned in my planning post how easy it was to actually decide what to put in the frames and where they would go.

On the far left is a photo from our maternity shoot. I wanted to remember what Easton looked like on the inside.

To the right of that, on top, is a print I made that says “You are the world and the world is yours”. It’s from a Jason Mraz song and since we went to two concerts when I was pregnant, plus I listened to his album while in labor and when Easton was a newborn, it will forever remind me of Easton. Thirty years from now I will hear some of those songs and remember walking my newborn around our neighborhood, with my iPhone in the stroller cup holder playing music.

Underneath that is just a spare piece of chevron fabric from the curtains and crib skirt I made.

Next to those, on the top, is a rocket I made out of scrapbook paper. I originally painted a rocket in muted blues and grays, but it was lacking the fun, vibrant color that I wanted to include in the nursery. I felt like there were enough sophisticated parts to this room, let the rocket be fun Rebecca. So I remade it.

Below that is one of Easton’s hospital pictures. It’s inclusion is self-explanatory.

On the end is a photo of Macky that we always refer to as Macky’s mugshot. It’s a few years old but we love it. When I was planning this wall, I wanted it to sort of be a “things we love” lesson to Easton. The cats are a huge part of our family and I wanted them to be included in his room. We used Macky has the ambassador because of this particular picture, but it turns out that Easton adores all of the cats, but especially loves (or is obsessed with), Macky. A dream come true for all of us.

And finally, up top is of course that effing shadowbox that has caused me so much work. But in the end, it was totally worth it. Just look at this little newborn sized onesie.

I originally planned to iron the onesie, but once it was in there I decided I liked the not perfectly pressed and flat look. The 3D appearance looks better to me.

I couldn’t be happier with how this wall (finally) turned out. Whenever I open Easton’s door, it makes me so happy to see his tiny little onesie and newborn picture up there. I cannot believe he’s almost 8 months old.

And with this wall, the nursery is officially complete! Final room reveal coming right up! I couldn’t snap anymore pictures, my assistant was demanding me.

Wait, he’s my boss.

Making Spirits Bright

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Posted by Rebecca, December 18th, 2012

I think we have all had heavy hearts lately, saddened that the world can be such a cruel place for those who are so innocent. After watching/reading the news all day on Friday, I decided to doodle on something I made the weekend before. Doodles always make me smile, maybe they do the same for you.

I started with an Ikea frame we already had.

I checked to see what the backing to the frame looked like. Turns out, it was a nice smooth board. Perfect for some chalkboard paint :)

As a kid, I always loved playing school and writing on the blue chalkboard I had in my room. I was always the first to volunteer to write on the board at school and I loved trying different types of handwriting (my middle school speciality was that I could write on a chalkboard just as well with my left hand as my right). With the chalkboard trend making the rounds, I have wanted one for over a year. We’re planning on making one wall of the office a chalkboard wall, but I got impatient. Need. Doodles.

While I was taking an initial look at the frame, I broke the glass. It was a total accident that actually worked out for me because I felt bad wasting it. Now the only part I wasn’t using was the mat, which I ended up placing behind the board to keep everything fitting tight. Whew?

I used Valspar’s chalkboard paint in black and rolled it on with a foam roller we had hanging around.

Each coat took me about… 1 minute. I waited maybe 10 minutes between each coat and ended up doing 3 coats.

I let it completely cure overnight, then I rubbed some chalk over the entire surface. The Valspar can said nothing about doing this, but I had seen it all over other blogs. Better safe than sorry.

Once it was all done, I got to writing. In the past, I’ve watched some YouTube videos of professional chalkboard writers and took some hints. One of these days, I’ll try something elaborate with proper spacing and planning but for now, this is what I did in a total of 10 minutes.

Needs work, but not bad for a first attempt at chalkboard art. I then stuck it on the mantel, which is still a work in progress.

We’re waiting for some Christmas prints of Easton to arrive to fill a frame or two, then I might add some wrapping paper to the remaining ones. Once that happens I can take some decent daylight pictures of our Christmas mantel.

I planned this post out in my head and then jumped in the shower. It didn’t feel right to me to not fully address what happened in Connecticut, though I really don’t feel like I have the right words to say. “Making Spirits Bright”, while positive, still felt like I was being cold.

So I just ran downstairs, erased my chalkboard, and changed it to this.

Twenty little hearts, for twenty little hearts.

Because a picture is worth more words than I could string together.

Planning The Nursery Gallery Wall

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Posted by Rebecca, October 25th, 2012

Oh hey, remember when I was working on that nursery? Yeah I still haven’t finished it. Why haven’t I finished it, you ask? Because the gallery wall I’ve planned has been a major pain.

I didn’t plan the gallery wall before Easton was born because I really didn’t know what to do with it. Then I decided to pick up a shadowbox from Michael’s to house one of Easton’s super tiny newborn onesies.

They didn’t have white frames, so I went with black with an awesome gray fabric and decided to paint it white. I used this as a starting point for the rest of the wall and just started playing with frames we already had. Note: this all initially happened back in like, July and all pictures were taken with my iPhone.

This was the first configuration I came up with and I thought it looked good. I then just had to figure out how it would look on the wall. I decided to use tissue paper as a template because a) the sheets were large enough and 2) I literally paid $1 for a whole huge pack of it. It was more flimsy than using say, cardboard, but it was cheap and easy. I just traced over each frame and cut the tissue paper to size.

Once on the wall, I wasn’t all that happy and felt like I needed just one more frame to the left (and some tape on the corners of that tissue paper, which I added after the fact)

So I started to play around once again. First there was this…

Yep, I actually added two more frames to the mix. I swapped out a few of the smaller frames and ended up with this…

Once the tissue templates were on the wall, it passed the test for me.

The only thing that I wanted to change was to hang them all slightly higher, which I figured could be done when they were really hung. No sense in messing around with tissue paper more than necessary.

Now all I had to do was make all of the frames white and plan what I wanted to go in them. Easy, right? RIGHT?!? No.

First, the simple frame spray painting. Instead of using what I’ve used in the past, Rustoleum Universal spray paint, I went with a basic Valspar one that chipped a million times. I sprayed the frames literally about 3 times because I kept chipping them by moving them or placing them in the garage.

Second, that shadowbox. It may be the death of me. I didn’t realize that the glass doesn’t come out. The fabric? Yes, totally removable.

Then I had the genius idea to tape off the glass and spray paint it (with shoddy spray paint mentioned above). I spent way too much time on this Corn Flakes box turned shadowbox drop cloth.

The spray paint not only ended up chipping like the frames above, but the coverage on the black was awful and it oversprayed onto the glass. I decided I wanted to hand paint this bad boy.

The strangely easy part of all of this gallery planning? Deciding what to put in the frames. I made a little sketch of the frame arrangement I went with and then doodled what I wanted to put in each to make sure I liked it.

Included are some photographs, fabric, some word art and a little painting that I made. Those all took no time. But painting frames??

Take several coats of spray paint that failed + returning to work and you have me, 3 months later with tissue paper still on my wall.

There is hope though, I recently picked up a can of the good spray paint and hand painted a coat of paint and primer in one on the shadowbox (plus I did a little sanding). Hopefully this neverending project ends soon or I may lose my mind. I am dyiiiing for a final nursery reveal.

To Da Beach

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Posted by Michael, September 12th, 2012

I seriously always find myself on 20×200 which releases great, but affordable, art each and every week. Being on the site always makes me want to post on here and show off some cool stuff I find like I did here, here and here some time ago.

So it’s no surprise that tonight I’ll be showing off some 20×200 finds.  Act like you love it.

There were two photographs that instantly jumped out at me.  They are essentially the same topic; just different angles.  But the topic in photography is always one that sucks me in.

The topic?  Old pictures of crowded beaches and especially Coney Island.

Rebecca and I have lived close to the Jersey shore our entire lives; we’ve been to our share of beaches here.  And while some get crowded today (think Seaside Heights), they never seem to be as jammed packed as what beaches were like 50-60 years ago.  It always blows my mind looking at beach pictures from the 1960s with what seems like millions lounging on the sand and another million standing in the water.

“Parachute Jump and Beach Scene, Coney Island, ca. 1965″ via 20×200.

“Coney Island Beach, June 10, 1947″ via 20×200.

Seriously, look.  Look at all of those people on the sand, in the water and on the boardwalk.  I’m totally geeking out over here.  Perhaps one day we’ll have a library where I’ll dedicate one area for vintage crowded beach photographs like the one above.  And Easton will stand there, holding his iPad 15 and asking, “what is a library?”

In other art news outside of :gasp: 20×200, a few weeks back I stumbled upon www.wearedorothy.com.

And my jaw dropped to the floor when I discovered a piece of art which was a map.  A map made up of 390 song titles.  Before I even decided to read any of the road and street names, I already had the thing purchased.  Talk about a total impulse buy.  An awesome impulse buy, I might add.

“Song Map” Original Open Edition via wearedorothy.com

The print is still rolled up in it’s tube.  It needs a great frame and then we’ll rock it somewhere in the new office.  I’d love to perhaps center this above my desk and have some of my favorite album art flanking each side of it.  Stay tuned. :)

Decking the Nursery Walls

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Posted by Rebecca, June 26th, 2012

Over the weekend we finally got around to hanging some things on the nursery walls… including the alphabet art I showed you sitting against the wall last week

All of the deets about making the art can be found in last week’s post, which is here. But it’s now safely hung!

Much better, eh?

Since we were on a roll with hanging, we also decided to hang this metal E that I picked up at Anthropologie way back in February…

I love this thing and it’s one of my favorite things in his room. It took us a long time to decide where to hang it. In the gallery wall? Over the crib? In the end, the skinny wall next to the closet won.

Please ignore the disarray in the closet tower since I was doing laundry and digging through bins that day. Whoops.

Now it seems like all we have left to do in here is get a gallery wall going, which I honestly haven’t put much thought into. We were able to hang the alphabet art and the E because we brought Easton upstairs with us for one of his naps. He camped out in his crib :)

No we’re not mean, he literally spit that pacifier out on to his chest. Anyway, now that it took me 4 weeks to realize that I can put him in his crib while I work in his room, maybe I’ll try it again to plan out his gallery wall. I’ll add that to this week’s list of goals :)

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