Green Squares

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been splitting time between painting various rooms, adding plants to the exterior, and giving the guest room an update.  None of which are completely finished, and all waiting for other elements before I’m done.  Between the bigger guest room tasks, I decided to rearrange the bookshelves for a less cluttered look.  For a bright spot on the shelves, a simple shadow box art was in order.  I started with a piece of white mat board, glue, and a bag of moss.


Before starting, I lightly marked a square 1 1/2 inches from the edges.  Working in sections, I spread glue and started placing moss along the edges.


After filling in the entire square, I let the glue dry and shook the excess moss off.


Twenty minutes after starting, I had a finished art piece, ready to frame.  Both the color and texture are lovely.


I had an Ikea shadow box that fits perfectly on the shelf.  Boom, instant nature art with depth and character.  Any nature finds you’ve turned into art recently?


Now time for me to get more plants in the ground.

Reclaimed State Art

Recently, a few friends and I have created a few wooden things together.  Cribbage boards and now large state art.  After seeing our bedroom wall, my friend really wanted to use the same wood to make a large Montana piece.


The process was pretty easy, so I thought it’d be fun to share.  To make the template, he propped up a handheld projector loaded up with a Montana silhouette.  We taped Kraft paper to the wall, traced the outline, and cut it out.  After arranging four planks, I used a Sharpie to transfer the shape to the boards.  Using some of our scrap cabinet poplar, we secured the pieces together with screws from the back.


Then, with his jigsaw, he cut along the lines.  Tight turns are impossible to go completely around, so he worked in from the other side.  Cutting took out a few small chunks, but after a round of edge sanding with 220 grit paper, everything looked normal.


Each state is 41 inches wide by 21 tall.  I popped it on the mantel to see what I thought.


I like it there, but I had intended for it to hang over the bench in our bedroom, like this:


Not sure where it’ll land yet.  Originally, my friend wanted to hang his over a sofa.  After discussing other uses, (adding hooks for jewelry for his wife) I tossed out the idea of creating a coat rack.  By adding simple knobs or hooks at staggered heights, it could be art and storage.  Now he’s undecided on where his will go.  At any rate, we had fun and have something to show for it.

Kinda, Sorta Landscape

You know I love about making my art?  I don’t feel bad when I get sick of it and want a change.  Which is exactly what happened with the ampersand I painted for our master bathroom.


It was fine, and filled the wall okay.  But it was elementary and rather boring after a while.  Using the same canvas, I set out to paint a very loose, abstract landscape.  Here’s how it started:


Too bright, and almost as boring as the ampersand.  I waited a day to be sure I didn’t like it (I didn’t) and focus on what would make it look better.  More muted colors, different proportions of the darker ‘mountain’ areas, and more blending.  So, here’s the same landscape, version 2.0.


Not terribly different, but different enough that I like it.  Now to frame it out.  Maybe with pine 1 by 2 lumber, like I’ve done before.  Or just maybe with some of my cedar pile.


It’s a bright, colorful spot against the dark walls.


Having all the supplies and reusing the canvas means it was a free project, too.  Hooray!


I left some texture in the sky and grass, which I really like.


Not too bad for a few hours of painting.

When brainstorming ideas, I thought about getting another engineer print done.  This time, of the hot air balloons we saw last month.


Being in a bathroom, with excess moisture/steam, I’d have to frame it behind glass.  Maybe it’ll still happen, even if in another room.  Engineer prints come in black and white only.  I think it’d be fun to color over the balloons so it’d look something like this:


I do need large art to flank the entertainment center.


With just a little color, and a lot of contrast, cutting the above image in half could make a cool diptych type set.  Not sure yet, but I really like the idea.  Assuming coloring over the print would work well…  What art have you covered over?  Any fun engineer print projects you’ve tackled?

Historic Photograph Art

Ben and I celebrated 8 years of marriage on Tuesday.  Eight years!  That seems crazy.  Several weeks ago, I was wandering through a local consignment shop and spotted an interesting black and white print of old barns and a butte in the background.

Historic-Montana-Print-at-BarI flipped it over and it said it was a historic photo of the town Ben grew up in.  How perfect!  I bought it and saved it until Tuesday.


Adding meaningful art to our home has always been my goal.  This sweet photo is the perfect piece above the bar area.

Historic-Montana-Print-Above-BarThough I gave this as an anniversary gift, an old photo would also make a thoughtful Father’s day gift.  A google search has tons of options.  Like this St. Paul scene:

Or Minneapolis with horse-drawn carriages.

Of course, don’t print a photo with copyright, but there are options.  Or you could photograph a special place and turn it to black and white to look more reminiscent of times past.

Souvenir Shelf

I’m sure you all love simple, small projects just as much as I do.  If you also like personal wall art, this is the easiest, most interactive thing you can do.  A vintage printer’s tray to display little trinkets and nature finds.


This idea is not my own, I fell in love with it in Lauren Liessbreakfast room:

Image via Pure Style Home

Seriously, I’m hard-core in love with her new house after seeing it in Domino.  How stunning is it?!?  She’s a Pure Style Genius.

Our boys are always finding little rocks, sticks, and other small items.  Before this, I had a full bowl on the coffee table.  Sadly, that didn’t show off the mini collection.  Instead, this showcases those treasures and becomes changing art.

After looking at local shops, I came home empty-handed.  I found a few small painted shelves, but I wanted something wooden and natural.  Etsy shop, The V Rose to the rescue.  My drawer is 32 by 16 inches and in great condition.

I completely copied Lauren by hanging Ben’s first deer antlers above, to fill the space a little more.


The tray adds nice texture to the bump out wall in the living room.


Original details, the metal front, numbers, and drawer pull, are just charming, too.  A simple tooth hook holds it up and then the boys helped me fill it up.


We’ve got rocks, sticks, feathers, bark, a fossil, souvenir pennies, shells from vacations.  Basically anything small enough to fit.


With room at the top, we can add to our collection and enjoy our finds.


Though we have jars of sand and other souvenirs from vacations, I think this is my favorite way to display a collection.  Imagine this in a kids room with Legos, doll house items, or small cars.  Endless options and easy to swap out.