My Little Ponies

First, let’s appreciate how fun My Little Ponies really were. I think I had around 6 as a child. And it was magical.

But in house-news-that’s-somewhat-related-to-the-throwback-mention-above, after what feels like months (ok, it actually has been months) we’re finally ready to fill the empty wall space on either side of the sink nook in our bedroom with something.

And since I had fun making a little Pinterst inspired painting (but then resolutely decided that I didn’t want it to live in the bedroom)…

It was time for John and I to have a few long chats about what we really wanted to fill the empty space across from the bed (no pressure, we’ll just wake up every morning and see whatever’s hanging there). The unanimous choice: bold and kind of moody photographs. Beautiful photos, but not too soft and pretty- something semi contrasty and interesting and sophisticated. Since our bedroom chandelier is kind of playful and our duvet is pretty bright and fun, we figured we needed some art to balance things out and point the room towards “grown up” (so it doesn’t begin to skew towards “playroom-esque” or “dorm-ish”). So we decided to troll around online to see where we’d end up.

The winning subject? Why horses of course. You all know that I have an uncommon love of almost every type of animal (usually of the white ceramic variety, but I like them all “in real life” too). And ever since I saw a few fancy glossy mag rooms with giant horse art I’ve been itching for some of my own. And this recent house crashing adventure (which includes some giant horse art in the nursery of all places) was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s horse’s back. So I let my fingers do the walking to a few online art print sources (including etsy.com, 20×200.com, art.com, allposters.com, etc) and found everything from racehorses and black beauties relaxing on a farm to some wild gorgeous ponies in motion and even a charming serene horseback rider on a moody beckoning beach. And in case you can’t tell which of those descriptions I was most partial to, it was the last two (found here and here, both by the amazingly talented Jan Lakey).

John definitely has a voice when it comes to art selection, so he felt strongly that the photos shouldn’t be “too energetic” and should be “a little calming and scenic” since it is our bedroom after all (you know, where we sleep). With this in mind, I figured the moody horse-on-the-beach shot would probably go over well, but I did worry that the blurry motion-happy horses might strike the hubby as too high energy. So I pulled out one of the tricks John laid out here (in an old post of yore about getting your hubby on board with a decorating decision that he might not be as thrilled about as you are) and figured the best way to sell him on my two favorite print picks would be to photoshop them into our room. That way he’d have a nice clear idea of what it would look like and I could hopefully soothe any worries that it’ll feel too chaotic or anything but sophisticated-and-a-little-moody-but-restful-and-serene-at-the-same-time. My quick little photoshop mock-up ended up looking a little something like this (ignore the “progress” label on the pic, I just used one from our House Tour page):

Of course that’s not how they’ll look fo’ real, but it made it a bit easier to picture how they might layer into the room. We both agreed that the room needed a nice slap of sophistication and contrast, so it wasn’t like we were looking for something pastel or blown out like a big cloudy sky or a gorgeous sandy beach. As I mentioned, we kind of thought the wacky Ikea fixture and the in-yo-face bedding needed something a little bold and contrasty and sort of chic (not that John would ever use that word). We also thought that something with some subtle gold undertones would relate to the curtains and the gold leaves in the bedding without looking downright matchy-matchy (like oil paintings or abstracts with that color might). And after I mocked everything up I was so so so sold.

Oh but you’re probably wondering what John thought. Just as I suspected, he loved the print on the right immediately. But then he did this pause thing when he looked at the one on the left which definitely freaked me out. But a second later he said “I like them.” Not one mention of the worry that the moving horses would feel too crazy or anything. And he said that he liked how the prints obviously weren’t a matched set but worked really nicely together. Just like that, he was so so so sold too. Oh sweet photoshop, how do I ever thank you for making things that could be five day heated arguments debates into two minute “I’m down” convos? Perhaps with this video of a dog saying I love you? This goes out to you photoshop:

Of course as far as art selection goes, it’s definitely one of those personal things. These horse prints surely won’t be everyone’s jam (and maybe not anyone else’s), but they’re ours and we can’t wait to get ’em. We’re having a lot more fun taking risks in this house. Even if it means doing things that might not have mass appeal – as long as something speaks strongly to us, we’re in. There’s actually freedom in letting go of the notion that your house should please everyone who walks in the door. It allows you be more true to yourself and your place starts to feel more special. Plus it means that your rooms won’t be in danger of looking like everyone else’s, which isn’t a bad thing either.

Now for the cost. Big a$$ prints (the ones that we ordered were over three feet wide at 40″ x 30″) can easily run you around $100+, but these two happened to be priced at a cool $49 a pop. And thanks to googling around for a coupon code to save me 22% off my entire order (it was “ZOLA” if you’re wondering, hope it still works), I scored both of them for a total of $77.98 (down from $100 for the pair) and paid just $5.98 for shipping, for a grand total of $83.96 spent. Which isn’t bad for over six feet of giant photography (printing our own photos that large with a local printer would probably cost us more).

But giant frames are expensive, so how do we plan to avoid paying another 200 beans for two 40 x 30″ frames? By mounting the prints on 40 x 30″ canvases that I got a while back on super clearance from Michael’s with those two bedroom wall areas in mind (we even taped off the wall first to figure out what size tickled our fancy):

They were only $23 each after 50% off with another 25% off on top of that (we mentioned ’em at the end of this post a while back). In fact it was such a great deal that after we drove these two home I went back for a third for the entryway – which is the one that I painted here.

But back to the two I got for the bedroom – it means that we’ll have spent around $64 for each giant piece of photographic bedroom art when it’s all said and done (including the canvas and the art). Which isn’t bad when you consider that many printed canvases of that size sold by places like Ballard Designs or Pottery Barn are in the $200-300+ range (each).

After I spray mount (or somehow glue) each print onto one of our 40 x 30″ canvases, I might even cover them with matte Mod Podge for a more dimensional printed canvas look. Not sure how it’ll all go down yet – but you know I’ll share the details when I get there. Should be interesting. Hope I don’t blow it. Then I’m out $64 bucks a pop. Haha. More details when they arrive and are (hopefully) hung up nice and purty.

Psst- John and I watched the most incredible documentary last night called Catfish. We’re still talking about it. Definitely a must-see. It’ll make you wonder how well you know anyone online- including us. Hah.

Comments

  1. says

    I used to ride horses when I was younger so I obviously love your choice of art work (I also loved & had My Little Ponies which may be where my interest started!). They’re such beautiful animals. Nice choice!

  2. says

    You could also paint white rectangles on the wall behind the pictures. I did that with one of my art pieces, to make it take up more wall space, and it did the trick amazingly well. Just a thought. :-)

  3. Kristen says

    I LOVE the print on the right! I can’t wait to see how they look. And yes, Catfish is a must-see for ‘internet friends’! Although I prefer to think you guys are not of the crazy-type variety!

  4. Marla says

    Um, well, I love your decorating ideas, but I gotta say this is the first thing I’ve seen that I don’t love. But that’s okay! You love it and that’s great! And you really must love horses to be okay with seeing them first thing in the morning, every morning lol. Enjoy!

  5. Natalie says

    Oh my goodness, thank you for sharing the video of the “I love you” dog. Brought tears to my eyes, as I miss the dog I grew up with SO much. Our Molly was my only sibling, we got her when I was 6 and she passed when I was 24. Now 10 years later, little things like this are a link to her. You guys are amazing… I log in daily, and feel like I know you.. and all the time talking to my friends and family about “my young house love peeps”.. thank you for being a part of my life.
    oh, and the horse pics are very cool, and calming. I likey! :)

    ~natalie in oklahoma

  6. says

    I don’t know if I’m completely sold on the left side painting, but I do like the idea of horse art. The colors are great. If you’re concerned about attaching the prints to the canvas, you could try a smaller version, like an 8 by 10, just to test the process. I’m looking forward to the details. We just spruced up our master bedroom with an art change, too: http://ourhumbleabowed.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/new-bedroom-art/ Knowing your love for maps, these prints might be perfect for your home. Maybe a VA, NY and NJ?

    • says

      Really? Nooooo. Please say it was real. Anyone know? We googled around for trivia after it ended and it was all listed under documentary. I guess either way it was amazingly suspenseful and interesting to us.

      xo,
      s

    • lisa says

      i hate to say, but yes, i heard that it may all be fake…there are some inconsistensies (spelling?) that some people found in it…i won’t say what things, since some people haven’t seen it yet, but, yes, i think it was suppossed to be made up…although, many people may say it was real…guess we won’t truly know….and that has a lot to do with the movie…not knowing what is really real until you know the real truth.

    • chrissielynn says

      as far as i know, it was not a docudrama, but an actual documentary… you can google around for videos with angela, she was featured on a lot of news channels afterward including 20/20

      spoilers for those who haven’t seen it below…

      http://abcnews.go.com/2020/catfish-woman-angela-wesselman-twisted-cyber-romance-abc/story?id=11831583

      as for the art – love! for whatever reason i’m a total commitment-phobe when it comes to adding artwork to the walls (which is silly, given how changeable it all is!)

    • says

      Yeah, we’re deep into googling it now and it definitely seems very very real and almost everything supports that (except for some random nay-sayers without much “proof” to back up their claims).

      xo,
      s

    • Leah says

      I live in the UP of Michigan right near where they filmed. One of my coworkers actually lives down the street from Angela. She now sells her artwork locally and online. So of course everyone around here was very into that movie!

  7. Emily says

    I thought I was losing it when I opened your blog and saw My Little Ponies! My 3 year old is sitting here watching this awful MLP video from the library for the 900th time this week. I had looked up at the video on the TV and then back to the computer and had to blink a couple times to make sure I wasn’t going crazy! :)

  8. greenbean says

    Catfish was soooooooo creepy! Kinda left me feeling icky. And I think it’s totally real. There are interviews with the mom and how it all went down.

  9. says

    Oh I love them!

    I also love that you started the post with My Little Ponies. Even though they weren’t officially scented like Strawberry Shortcake dolls, I still loved the way they smelled.

  10. Andi says

    That was my though – I’m pretty sure Catfish was a Blair-Witchy type of documentary.

    • says

      John’s googling around and all the filmakers claim that it’s 100% real (if that was fake they’re all the best actors ever). So I’m hoping it’s real and even if it’s not I had a lot of fun watching it.

      xo,
      s

    • Jacqueline says

      I remember there being a lot of speculation and discussion surrounding this film when it premiered at Sundance. There was a Q&A with the directors after the screening and when someone brought up the possibility that the film was staged, the directors seemed horrified (and also a little bit flattered) at the suggestion that they were brilliant enough to concoct such a story line.

  11. Rebekah says

    I don’t love it… they look like stock photos you’d find already in a frame! But if you guys like it, then neat! :)

    • says

      We definitely know these prints aren’t going to be everyone’s jam (art is one of those hugely subjective things) but we love them! And wouldn’t the world be a boring place if we all liked the same art anyway? We’re having a lot more fun taking risks in this house. Even if it means doing things that might not have mass appeal – as long as something speaks strongly to us, we’re in. There’s actually freedom in letting go of the notion that your house should please everyone who walks in the door. It allows you be more true to yourself and your place starts to feel more special. Plus it means that your rooms won’t be in danger of looking like everyone else’s, which isn’t a bad thing either.

      xo,
      s

  12. Mandy says

    Can’t wait to see the final product!!! maybe you can buy a mini canvas and print a pic to mock up? I’d hate to see you waste the money if it goes wrong. But of course, hope it all works out!!