Archive for May, 2011
Woo to the hoo. Our master bedroom horse art arrived, so we’re back to share the whole how-to-affix-them-to-canvas adventure. The title might have already given it away, but even though they arrived on Monday afternoon (spoiler alert) it took two attempts to get ‘er done in this instance.
First I went with the ol’ spray adhesive route (for $4 from JoAnn with a coupon), since I used this for anything and everything back in my art school days (it was like the duct tape of our world). It’s usually a great candidate since it’s acid free (which means it’s good for not ruining prints) and it’s listed as “all purpose” and “permanent” right on the label.
It was as simple as spraying the back of the poster (while it was upside down) along with the front of the canvas and then starting at one side of the canvas and lining up the corners and sort of rolling the print down to adhere it as I went. I was able to do it all myself (without any John help) and even snapped this pic midway through. Girl power.
Oh and I did this in the sunroom since I could seal off the fumes from the rest of the house while wearing my mask and opening the doors and windows to the outside world and running the fan (it’s stinky stuff). So if you ever dabble in spray mounting it’s great to do it outside or in a highly ventilatable space like a sunroom or screened in porch.
But back to my method. After laying my poster in place, I gently used
a credit card my Kroger card to smooth things out (gentle is the key word, you don’t want to end up with scratches or dents):
Then I did the same thing with the other guy:
Wham, bam thank you ma’am. Or so I thought. I hung them with pride and marveled that it only took about twenty minutes to attach my prints to my canvases. I may have even done that thing where you clasp your hands together and shake them on either side of your head in a victory dance of sorts. Can’t confirm or deny that.
And then tragedy struck. Ok that’s a little dramatic. More like things slowly became un-stuck. Boo hiss (my dad always says that and I crack up). I noticed that they were looking a little wiggly and less taut before bed, and within about 12 hours (by early Tuesday morning) there were actually big speed bump looking separations between the print and the canvas. I should have taken a picture but I was too worried/annoyed/bummed to remember to document it. It was the
butt crack of dawn and I kinda thought all was lost. Oh well, I did mention at the end of my horse art post on Monday that I could royally mess this project up. Do I know thyself or what? Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. But I gave a little tug at the corner of one print and happily learned that it was actually really easy to peel the prints right off of the canvas so I could essentially start all over again. The horse photography gods must have been smiling down on me.
So next it was on to method numero dos. This time I googled around for a more “heavy duty” technique that was a bit more reliable and commonly recommended. I found this and this, which both suggested using acrylic medium as glue. The kind that I grabbed was Liquitex Matte Varnish from Michael’s (for $3 with a coupon):
I brushed a thin and even coat onto the surface of the canvas…
… along with the back of the poster…
… and then stuck them together using the same method as I did with my spray mount, although for some reason I needed John’s help this time. So maybe have an extra person on hand to help you line up corners and keep your print from folding or getting crinkled as you go. Specifically I had two corners and John had two corners and we placed my two corners down first and sort of rolled the rest of the print down (like the second pic of this post while using the spray adhesive) and that seemed to be a great way to avoid bubbles or crinkles. Some small air pockets did occur, but I was able to work them out from the middle of the canvas towards the edges (gently with the palm of my hand). Oh and some folks can have a reaction to acrylic medium (we didn’t, but noticed it said that on the container) so wearing thin latex gloves while touching the corners and placing the print might be a good idea.
Sorry we didn’t snap any photos of this step (all of our hands were in use) but here’s the finished – and very secure – result after we adhered both prints with the Liquitex varnish and then laid them flat for a full 24 hours to cure (I didn’t want them to buckle or slide off the wall while they were drying). We’ve both taken a few steamy showers in the adjoined bathroom over the last few days and they really appear to be stuck for the long haul this time (after spray mounting I could tell they might be a bit wiggly, but they felt a lot more cured and hardened about 12 hours after I used the acrylic medium). Sweet. Of course I’ll keep you posted if it all comes crumbling down. But so far, so good.
As for the sides of the canvases, I debated painting them charcoal or deep brown or even using some metallic paint, but opted to just leave them white for now. The clean look works for us (it ties into the white trim and the mirror hanging above the sink between them). And as for covering the front with something (like acrylic medium or Mod Podge) we decided that we liked the smooth print-like finish for now too. But if anyone at home is planning to use something like acrylic medium over your print or poster I’d recommend testing it out on a tiny area first, just to make sure it doesn’t make anything cloudy or runny (although I’ve heard it’s usually great – just call me Captain Careful).
We did switch the sides that we hung them on (from my original photoshop rendering), since J liked the one on my side more and I liked the one on his side more. Now we can each wake up and see our favorite prints from our side of the bed (J’s is the beach one and mine is the wild horses one). Sidenote: We realized that we switched “sides” when we moved, and finally figured out why. No matter where we live, I subconsciously prefer to be on the side furthest from the door. I guess I feel more cozy and nestled that way. Weird, huh?
One of my favorite things about the prints is how luminescent they are. That soft glow is definitely something that our rough little photoshop rendering didn’t account for, which is why some people might have been turned off by how much harsher they looked in that “guestimate.” Or they might just think horse art is weird. Which is valid (I know not everyone is on the Equine Train with me). I’ve always had a strange animal fascination – I just graduated from My Little Ponies and Popples (remember those?) to ceramic and photographic versions.
In money news, each poster (found here and here) would have been $169 to get ‘em printed on canvas to the size that I wanted and I was able to DIY each one for just $64 a pop (including the poster and the large canvas). So I saved over $200 bucks. Here’s hoping it sticks.
And now for a money shot of the sink nook. My least-favorite-to-favorite place in the house. We really like that the light & airy nook is a nice counterpart to the moody horse photos (we thought lighter/softer art might be a little too sweet and matchy-matchy for our tastes, so we went for something a little wild to contrast the big white mirror).
As we mentioned in the original poster post on Monday, we know these prints are a bit of a departure from our first house’s beachy, light, and airy (and sometimes very “safe”) style. And that art is definitely one of those in-the-eye-of-the-beholder things. In general, we’re having a lot more fun taking risks in this house (although every time I think I’m going to shock & repulse my mom she ends up liking it, which is totally throwing me off). Embracing the Just Gotta Do You School Of Decorating (which is taught by Queen Latifah in my mind) has allowed us to be more true to ourselves, and our house already feels more special and more like us.
One brave-for-prudes-like-us choice seems to somehow fit right in with the next one, and it gets easier to trust ourselves as we go. All with minimal nail biting and second guessing, which was a constant occurrence at our first house. I’m not going to say that we’re never nervous (just the idea of saying that makes me nervous), but lately we’ve had some luck doing the whole “what’s the worst that can happen?” exercise and it has always been something not-that-bad (ex: we’ll get new art, we’ll repaint, we’ll return something, etc). Which are all things worthy of ending up with a house that we love – so we get all Thelma & Louise and hold hands and drive off the cliff together. Oh and one more I’m-kinda-freaking-out tip: it’s always nice to look back on other bold-ish choices that we’ve made since moving here when we need a slap of it’ll-hopefully-be-worth-it confidence, like the painted backs of the built-ins in the dining room (which were so much more of a visual payoff than leaving them white)…
… and the still-in-progress contrast-y dark-beamed and dark-sectionaled living room (we were ready to try something beyond the white beams and the white slipcovered sofa in our first house’s den)…
… and the deeply saturated guest room (which is kind of moody but still happy and fun)…
To us, our little ponies in the bedroom just seem to fit right in with the photos above. It feels like home.
And it’s so crazy to think that it looked like this five months ago:
You thought I’d wrap things up with those before shots, right? Nope. Still babbling. Because the other day I had this thought that I wanted to share with you guys: although all of the risky-bid-ness that we’ve been experimenting with is definitely fun, one thing that we never expected was that it would work so well with the softer and more calm “moments” in our house, like the serene white-framed hall art gallery:
We’re learning that it’s not all or nothing. Areas of color and contrast seem to go well with (and balance out) the less bright and saturated spaces. So going bold in one spot doesn’t mean your whole house necessarily needs to be saturated and stimulating. It’s as if those quieter zones seem to temper things (like our white-on-gray frame gallery which leads to our more colorful and contrasty bedroom). A little of Column A, a little of Column B if you will.
In short, we’re definitely still “students” who are just figuring things out as we go. Wax on, wax off. Diving in and having fun and embracing the whole trial-and-error and why-the-heck-not approach seems to work when it comes to inching towards a place that feels like us. Yes, this is another one of those yay-you moments where I encourage you to go for it and play around and be brave and have fun – all in the name of landing on something that you couldn’t love more. After all, it’s only paint/art/bedding etc – so it’s likely something that you can semi-easily undo if you hate it. So quit horsing around (aww yeeeeah, a last-line-of-the-post horse pun) and just go for it. Can I get a yeehaw? No? Alrighty then.
Psst- Here’s an awesome post all about taking risks from The Nesting Place. She says it a lot better than I do, so… what she said.
Psssst- Is anyone else in total denial that Oprah is over? I can’t bring myself to delete her last episode from our DVR, so I guess it’ll sit there a while. Maybe for twenty fiiiiiive years.
This house just makes me smile, so of course I had to House Crash the heck out of it and share it with you guys. Behold- the eye candy that is Kelly Moore’s amazing casa. You might know her from her killer photography blog (all of her DIY-related posts can be found here) or her genius line of camera bags. But you don’t really know a person until you poke around their house, so let’s get to it. We’ll start in the kitchen, where Kelly and her husband whipped up some extra thick homemade concrete counters (and shared a tutorial right here). Everything from the happy painted cabinets to the apron sink and the sleek stainless appliances are so charming together:
The cabinets are painted Sherwin Williams Alchemy on top and Grandiose on bottom (she couldn’t decide on a color so she used both). And the island, sink, and shelves hail from Ikea while the rug is by Dash & Albert (from a shop in Ruston, Louisiana called Chartreuse Pear).
And that wall of smoky and sophisticated glass tile? Cue the breathy amorous sigh. She got that from Lincoln Flooring (also in Ruston, Louisiana).
Here’s the large and lovely living room with a come-hither sectional and cushy round ottoman (from Haverty’s and Overstock)…
… that faces a sweetly rustic brick fireplace with airy lofted ceilings.
Everything right down to the little details (like this showstopping mirror from Pier 1) seems to scream come on in and make yourself at home.
I can totally imagine myself curled up on that sofa reading a book. Is that creepy? Sorry.
And I can picture myself sitting here at the dining table scarfing some pita chips and hummus. Too much? Ok. I’ll try to keep it casual. Check out the great paneled ceiling and those sleek bulb lights (from West Elm) over the farmhouse-ish table (from Material Things in Monroe, LA). The chairs and picture ledges are from Ikea and that amazing folk art cow painting is by Erickson T. Wright.
Once again Kelly has managed to mix something rustic with something sleek for a gorgeous result (just like her stainless appliances & her charming apron sink or the clean-lined sectional & the weathered brick fireplace).
And let’s just say that Kelly isn’t afraid of color. Here’s her bold master bedroom which is painted Sherwin Williams Kimono (complete with a perfectly complementary little girl in a yellow dress- that’s her daughter Posey, isn’t she sweet?). The fun industrial-chic chandelier is from West Elm, the bed is from Ashley Furniture, the curtains are from Walmart, and the bedding is from Kohl’s.
And speaking of Po (as Posey’s affectionately known) here’s her playful room full of everything from the alphabet and a world map (thanks to lettered animal decals from Blik and a sweet oversized map from Urban Outfitters draped casually in front of the window). Gotta love working in some “learning” in such a hip way. And let’s just say that I’m in love with the L-O-V-E pillow cases (from Urban Outfitters) with hand shadows that spell out the word.
What a fun and stimulating space for a gorgeous little girl. Oh and the paint is Sherwin William’s Hot. It’s definitely poppy and fun. Kinda like Po.
So there you have Kelly’s astoundingly cool home. Thanks so much to Kelly and her family for letting us virtually snoop around and share the goods! Feel free to head over to her blog to learn more (or to ask any questions here, where she’ll hopefully drop in). And let’s play the what’s-your-favorite-part game. My faves are that rich and glossy glass tile in the kitchen and that insanely inviting jumbo sectional. And Po. Ok, your turn.
Ok, so lots of people (me included) found this original exterior tour of our yard a bit hard to follow. Our first house was nice and simple. We could describe the back and the front and the sides and call it a day with this ol’ post of yore, which even included this little sketch:
But this house is just waaay more complicated. Even though both lots are about the same size (almost an acre) this one is a lot less long and narrow than the last one. It’s more fat and square-ish. And it has a lot more quirks like this little alley between the original part of the house and the addition in the back (more on that here)…
There are also areas that don’t look like our property (like this slice of land on the left, which looks like it’s outside the bounds of our house but is actually ours)…
… and little brick paths that meander around the back and side yards…
So in an attempt to make sense of it all (or confuse everyone more, you decide) I did my best little sketch of our lot for you (and then scanned it and had fun coloring it in with Photoshop). Oh and obviously it’s not to the same scale as the first sketch since this house looks ten times bigger. Oops.
And we thought that the be-all-end-all explanation would be this video that will hopefully help you grasp the whole flow of our lot’s mojo (which is work-friendly if you play it on mute- but also funny not on mute thanks to some very excited birds in the background):
And on the subject of our backyard, dude it has CHANGED (!!!) in the last few months. We’ve loved watching it green up and were so surprised that the back portion of the lot which looked very very brown when we moved in…
… now looks oh so green and lush and a lot more private thanks to lots of trees and grasses filling in. Not all the way, but we’ll take it:
We still have to plant some fast growing evergreens in some strategic spots to add to the privacy-factor (since this house not only has a house on each side of it, but one that can be seen from the back) but it’s already feeling a lot less exposed now that lots and lots (and lots) of trees have greened up and created some pretty great leafy screens between us and the outside world. We definitely have a lot to do out there, but just like our last house, we’re planning to take our time and see where we end up. Should be fun in that dirt-under-the-nails kind of sore-but-satisfied way.
Have you guys been up to any outdoor stuff? Any dream outdoor features that you’d love to add someday? Mine would be a deck for outdoor dining and some sort of elaborate tree house for the bean. Someday…