Thursday, June 16, 2011

Artsy Fartsy

Kelly and I have decided that we're going to stay in our apartment for at least another year. We have been looking at other places to move, especially places closer to my job, but alas, we have decided to renew our lease for year three in B'more. Since we're staying here, and since I've had more free time since the school year is wrapping up (seriously, I haven't seen a student at school for the last two and a half weeks. Tomorrow is the last day, though!) I have had some free time for making our apartment feel even more like our home, especially in the case of remedying some huge white blank walls. I am pretty proud of some artwork I was able to DIY so I thought I'd brag on my blog. Woohoo!

First, I saw this picture on Sherry Petersik's Pinterest Page (heh heh, alliteration):
For those of you who are not my husband or mom you probably have not heard me say "On that blog I love..." but I say it all the time, because I love the blog which is written by John and Sherry Petersik. Anyway, so I saw this and Sherry's suggestion to run pages through a printer. So I did. AND ENDED UP WITH THIS! (Unfortunately I am not a professional photographer like whoever took my inspiration picture. It looks better in person, I promise.)

book art, page art, print on book page art
Cool, right? I just used pages from an old old book from the Baltimore Book Thing (where you go on Saturday and Sunday and get any books you want for FREE!) that we had lying around waiting to go back, and Googled for pictures I liked or that represented us in some way. Then I used my amazing computer skills to combine some together, erase parts I didn't want, make things darker/lighter, and so on. So I ended up with a butterfly because Kelly likes bugs, a teapot because I collect them (ok, I want to collect them), a calla lily because that's what my bridal bouquet was made of, the Delicate Arch as a representation of our Utah roots, and the hot air balloon one has the Baltimore skyline below it because, well, we live here. As for the birds on the telephone wire, I don't know what possessed me to use it (it's a cool picture) but I definitely wasn't thinking of it as an artistic representation of my morbid fear of birds. Well, I guess that's what it is now. Also, it's all printed on pages from a history book, so that's appropriate for history major/teacher people like Kelly and me. Anyway, if you are thinking of doing something similar this website has a lot of basic pen-and-ink-drawn-looking clip art on it. Also Google images is amazing because you can narrow you search by color, size, etc. Also, can I just say that since I had that frame lying around from my college days, this project was $0. Sah-ah-weet!

But hold on, that's not all. I also fell in love with these from Crate and Barrel (also introduced to me by my Young House Love BFFs--I mean, by the fine authors of Young House Love who I have never actually met).

But what sucks is they cost $70. EACH. way is a cheapo like me spending $210 for half of them. I want three for above our bed because our picture frame that lived there was cute, but way too small for the space. So I had an idea.

First, I got three 12x12" frames then I got a bunch of 12x12 paper in red, black, grey, and white (all from Michael's, where Kelly works so we got a discount).

My plan was to trace a design based on one of the C&B pieces onto one piece and then use an Exact-O knife to make it into a stencil. Then I was going to sponge on white paint on red, black, or grey paper to make it look like the C&B version, but better matched to our bedroom's color scheme. However, once I got them all Exact-O'ed they looked awesome by themselves, so instead of using them as stencils, I just laid them over the top of different colored paper and popped 'em in the frames. I thought a stencil would be easier, because then if I messed up, since they are all repeating patterns, I could just just move the stencil around and get 'er done. But I got my Exact-O on and I rocked at it! See?

Anyway, thanks for letting me blog brag. I was just so proud. I'm actually a little sad the Crate & Barrel-inspired ones are in our bedroom because no one gets to see them except me and Kelly...and now all you guys. I feel better now.

P.S. I will post a wide-shot of the bedroom later--the bed wasn't made and it was also covered in stuff like the level, hammer, measuring tape, etc, and I was standing on it when I took this picture. I must say it looks pretty cool, but now it's obvious that we hung the headboard before we bought a level, so that will have to be fixed someday. Also, I will regale you with adventure stories of attempting to hang a shelf which then nearly killed me when I was putting books on it, a vicious attack from a nail in our apartment and subsequent trip to the doctor for a tetanus shot, followed by Kelly guilt-purchases for me for making me go to said doctor. Be excited.

P.P.S. Since this is about art, I thought I'd share some watercolors Kelly and I did of each other awhile back. I can tell Kelly really thinks I'm beautiful.
amateur watercolor portraits

I also did one of Libby, and when I hung it up she kept looking at it. Coincidence? I think probably.


Georgia said...

Once again, you knock my socks off, Dani Girl! Cool art!!! If this history thing doesn't work out for you, you could probably go another direction with your teaching. I mean, you've painted such a convincing cat, that Libby wants to get to know your art. But maybe Kelly could be your first student. He could use a little Artsy Fartsy lessons so he can paint his beautiful wife.

I can't wait to see you next week!!! Love you so much!


N Ziae said...

Haha, your cat is such a nerd. And you chose that bird picture because you were thinking about that Regina Spector song you love so much :D

Georgia said...

I want to see your apartment again. You've done SO MUCH to it since we were there more than a year ago.

I just love these cool projects. I'm planning on your Artsy talents being put to good use while you are here to pull off this reception in the back yard thing.