Archive for the ‘artwork’ Category

Staycation All I’ve Ever Wanted

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Posted by Rebecca, August 9th, 2011

Mike and I are officially on staycation! We have the next 3 days off from work, since we planned a trip to Florida but cancelled it to be home with our sick kitty. While my idea of a good time is working on the house, we know it would be best for us to get out and at least pretend we’re on vacation. We have a beach day planned for one day, a Yankee game/NYC trip for another and one day is up in the air.

But, if I were to stay home? I have a running list of small projects I’m itching to tackle in the very near future (most of which originated through Pinterest :)) I think this calls for a rainy day list! ::drumroll::

1. Washer Monogram

(via Decor and the Dog)

Michelle from Decor and the Dog created this from an image I saw floating around Pinterest a while ago. She happens to have the same last initial as me, so I kind of got to see it all personalized!

2. Gallery Wall

(via Decor Chick)

Mike and I have had Ikea frames hanging around forever now, just waiting to do our gallery wall(s) in the entryway. We’re planning on doing downstairs, up the stairs and upstairs and I cannot wait. Emily from Decor Chick recently created one and I’m currently in love with her version.

3. Lyric Wall Art

(via First Time Fancy)

I spotted the original version of this on Pinterest, but Kerry from First Time Fancy’s was the first DIY version I saw. Since I like to paint and a good chunk of Mike’s life revolves around lyrics and their meanings, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate piece of art for us!

4. Patterned Frosted Windows

(via 7th House on the Left)

I’ve wanted to frost our entryway mini-windows since we moved in, but I’ve been afraid of it looking cheap. Ashley from 7th House on the Left posted the perfect solution this week- she made a frosted pattern which makes it look oh so high end! I was so excited about this one that I printed out her template immediately. I love me some quatrefoil.

5. Living By This

(via here found on Pinterest)

I really want to take some time these next few days to breathe and enjoy life. The past month has been an absolute emotional rollercoaster for us. Last week we were told that Darwin most likely would not beat his cancer, which left me devastated for about 2 days until I realized how happy the little man is. I then felt like I had to hold my ish together for him, since he’s way stronger than I am and is acting fairly normal. He did well at the vet tonight and finally gained some weight. His kidneys are back to being physically normal this week, though they are still not functioning. We left him at the vet overnight for some extra treatments, so I am currently feeling like a giant (but actually little) piece of me is missing. There is still little hope that his kidneys will kick in, but all we need is a little hope to keep our heads up. For now, we’re doing everything we can to make sure he stays as happy as he’s been this week. What’s tearing me apart? Cancer. What’s holding me together? Darwin and his miraculous attitude and will to live. I shall focus on the latter. Thank you Pinterest 🙂

Regardless of what I check off this list for the rest of the week, it will be a productive one. If not for the house, for my sanity (only after I pick up my kitten from the vet tomorrow and attack him with kisses!!)

ps- if you see me tweeting anything but pictures of a sandy beach please yell at me…

Knocked Up

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Posted by Michael, August 3rd, 2011

No, mom, this entry title does not mean Rebecca is knocked up.  I wouldn’t tell you via the blog; I’d do on Facebook instead.  Or via an email.  I’m not sure yet, I’ll let you know after our 5-year plan to have kids.

Every time Rebecca and I watch Knocked Up, one of us always brings up how we love the house in this movie.  Then we spend the next 5-10 minutes discussing why we love the house so much.  And then we spend the following 5 minutes laughing about how whenever we watch this movie, we comment on the house.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Anyways, as we watched Knocked Up the other night, I had the idea to highlight the areas of the house we love and post them!  Original, right?  Right!  So for your viewing pleasure, here are all the things we love about the Knocked Up house!  (btw, it was incredibly hard not to label Katherine Heigl in every picture).

Okay, I don’t like this pool and seating area.  I like the idea of this pool and seating area.  Got it?  Good.

Actually, is that house for sale? We want to trade up.

ps- This is our 200th post! So far we’re doing well on our list of goals we set out in our 100th post, which can be found here.

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 🙂

Four Paintings are Better Than One

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Posted by Rebecca, July 27th, 2011

I’m itching to do the next round of the casa tour in the kitchen, but Mike is currently cooking and it’s functioning as a part-time kitty oncology unit…

I hate fluid drips. And we’re now doing them twice a day. Grr.

Anyway, I decided to jump into the dining room next since I have a project lined up for that room this weekend.

Here’s what the place looked like when we moved in…

We painted the dining room days after we moved in and bought a Stornas table and buffet from Ikea shortly after. The chairs were a months long saga of searching, ordering, then reordering, but we’re very happy with our Target Avington Stripe Parson’s chairs 🙂

We’re not fans of those columns and hopefully they’re out of there someday! The builder gave us the chair rail in the dining room and we added the boxes underneath (or rather we had someone do it since we hadn’t yet mastered the nail gun). The wine racks are from Ikea and we had them in our condo.

Mike added speakers in this room and the living room so we have some music when we have large groups of people eating over. The mirror is also from Ikea and the light fixtures are from Home Depot. We fell in love with the lights before we bought the house, but they’re on their way out. They probably inspired this room the most in the beginning, but as it’s grown and evolved (and we have too) I think we need less square and more round elements in the room. So I’m planning on adding large, white, round lamps (with maybe a blue base?) and 1 (or 2!) large white drum pendants over the table.

We’ll either stick the old fixtures on Ebay or Craigslist, or save them for the basement. Either way, we’re not in a rush to get rid of them right now.

We really love how they make the space seem like a swanky restaurant more than a dining room, but as you can see in that last picture, the proportion of the lamps to mirror is off. They’re too short, mirror is too big, mirror is too square, lamps are also square, molding is white, lamps are off-white. You get the idea.

Here’s the table decked out for Thanksgiving…

And for Christmas…

The only year round decoration (and the only picture hanging in the entire house!) resides in this room. I got it at Kohl’s for dirt cheap when we moved in and I figured I could always change out the print and reuse the square and double matted (!) frame for the $15 or so it was.

Since we have a serious lack of art and the scale of the mirror is irking me, I decided to pick up four 12″x12″ canvases in Michael’s a couple of weeks ago. I haven’t painted anything in years and I thought this room could use some abstract landscape art. I think that two on either side of the mirror will make the buffet wall look much more subtantial.

To make sure I wasn’t crazy, I chopped up some pieces of paper to get the size of the canvases and taped them to the wall.

Once we have taller, more substantial lamps, I think it will layer nicely.

I think one of my favorite aspects of this room is that not a single thing in here was expensive. The table and buffet were being discontinued in the stain we bought, so they were $199 each. They are solid wood and the table has two leaves that extend the table to fit 12+ people. The target chairs were about $65 each and they had free shipping. The curtains are from Target, wine racks from Ikea and that’s about it! Classy doesn’t have to be pricey 🙂

ps- What happens when you mix an almost 20lb cat and a curtain rod?

No my camera is not crooked, the rod is. Macky has pulled it partially out of the wall. Someone please tell him that he’s 5 and this type behavior is no longer age appropriate?

Some Different Art

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Posted by Michael, April 28th, 2011

It’s not every day that I look for art — especially when I have the patience of a 2 year old.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate it; I just don’t know how to apply it to our various spaces.  But there has been one site that I continually check for new works.  I have no idea how I stumbled upon it, but I’ve been absolutely hooked.

No, I’m not talking about Etsy.  I’m predictable, but not that predictable.

The site I’m loving (and no, I’m not being paid to write this post) introduces two new editions each week, one photo and one work on paper.  And GASP!  It’s incredibly affordable, too.  Each edition is reprinted 200 times for 20 bucks.  Granted it’s a small reprint, the idea is still incredibly inspiring.  And I’ll quote the founder to prove so:

(limited editions x low prices) + the internet = art for everyone

They do offer larger reprints, but at the same general idea.  For instance, they sell 20 16″x20″ reprints for $200 a pop, 500 reprints of 11″x14″ at $50.

The site? 20×200.

When I first ventured on the site, I immediately fell in love with, and then purchased, a great piece.  Mainly because I’m a huge Apple fanboy.  I can admit it.

What you are looking at is a photograph of the Apple 1 by Mark Richards.  Even now while looking at the photograph, I’m doing that geeky laugh/giggle.  So needless to say, it didn’t take much for me to drop $50 for a 11″x14″ reprint.

These works, by Craig Damrauer, have been continually calling my name as they go with a lyric that Rebecca and I are always saying, Hold your own / know your name/ and everything will be fine.  I’m debating if I should just pick them up, place them in a frame and hang them in the office.  Sadly, I’m not quite sure if they’ll fit with the green rug and accessories.

I’m doing that geeky giggle with this print, too.  It’s a photograph of an old and dissambled flip clock by Todd McLellan.  Lately I’ve been inspired by technology that we take for granted every day.  I mean, look at this thing; look at all the parts that made this time-telling device possible.  We go about our day, every day, just taking devices like this for granted.  We don’t think about why they work or how they work.  We just go about our day taking advantage of the service or information they provide.

Album 1, by Paul Madonna, is another edition I have been eye-ing.  In the description, Paul writes,

“Though I’ve been drawing and writing for as long as I can remember, music is the medium that has influenced me the most. I love the thought of an album being a collection that encapsulates a period of ideas, work and life into a tidy package, allowing the artist to work through a creative goal then move on to the next.”

How true is that though?  How often does music inspire and influence us?  For me, far too often.   I honestly don’t know where I would be without music.  There are certain albums that have guided me through tough times, wonderful events, and so forth.  And ten bucks says this is something that we can all relate with.

I think this might just make its way into the office; though I don’t think Rebecca knows this just yet (oh, hey wife!).  The print is In the Ballpark by Tatsuro Kiuchi.  If you’ve ever seen the movie City Slickers, there is a great quote in there.

“Whenever my father and I couldn’t talk about anything else, we could always talk about baseball.”

My father and I have a great relationship.  Sure, growing up we had our differences — but what father-son relationship doesn’t?  Communication wasn’t our strongest trait when I was young; we were both just too much alike to see eye-to-eye.  And when I was 12 or 13 years old and when my father and I couldn’t talk about anything else, we could always talk about baseball computers.  It was our ice breaker.  It was the one thing that was “ours” and nobody else’s. And while today I can talk to my dad about anything and everything, including how I didn’t lose his precious jig-saw, baseball is becoming “our” thing; our time together.

I was going to end this post with the baseball print above, but then I saw this print.  And then I saw Macky eat a stink bug.  His second stink bug, that I know about, in 48 hours.  Macky is just too funny and when I saw this print, I couldn’t help but laugh.

Though Macky is currently at the top of the stairs crying and screaming at the top of his tiny lungs.  I guess he wants to go to bed and that was my queue to wrap this up.  And suddenly, he’s not very funny anymore….

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