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Books and Art

We are readers.
There's nothing more pleasant than sitting in a cozy corner
with a cup of tea and a good book in hand while the fire warms the room.
This is where you'll find me
when there's not a paintbrush in my hand.

A while ago, I began building a gallery wall --
not of family photos, tho' that would be nice, too,
but of paintings and prints that appealed to me.

It's nice to surround yourself with things that make you feel content.
My wall is an assortment of sentiment and inspiration.
Some painted by my husband's mother, others by local artists,
one found at an antique shop and one purchased at Home Goods!
Earlier in the year, I found these two paintings at an estate sale.  
It was the last day when prices were so low
a person would be silly to resist the impulse to buy.

These two paintings caught my eye.
I knew they'd be a perfect addition to my gallery wall
once they were re-framed.



Do you see the difference new matting and the proper frame make?
The original thin silver frame was too contemporary
and the wide double matting overpowered the painting.


 The new matting is narrower and shows more of the ladies,
while the brown frame relates to the colors in the watercolor.

These pieces soon joined other favorites in my reading corner.
And you can see there's still a spot to add one more piece!

Designers will tell you to lay your grouping out on the floor,
or make paper templates to test the layout on the wall before you pick up a hammer,
but I chose a much more casual approach.

The frames touch each other, filling the wall from corner to corner.
Linked together they make a stonger statement
 than if they were placed individually around the room.
Nothing matches - neither frame, matting, nor subject.
If anything unites them, it's color -- muted, muddy color.

But I like it that way, random, and oddly off kilter!




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A Family Tree

I was given AS a Mother's Day gift!
A friend's children, all young adults,  asked if I would paint a tree  on the wall in their game-room as a gift for their Mother on her special day. 
They had collected family photos, both old and new, and wanted to create a wall similar to one she had seen on-line, and admired.
Here's the inspiration shared with me.
Painter's tape helped plan where the main branches would go. And then I began to paint... until the wall was filled.

All the photos were framed in black, which helped unify their various sizes and shapes.
We decided where the frames would go
by holding them up to the wall, moving them a little to the left here
-- or a bit higher there.
Satisfied, the empty frame was nailed to the wall.

One by one the frames were filled with family photos,
and here's the happy result.

The tree spills across the entire wall
and wraps around the corner,
so as the family grows, there's room for more photos.

What a thoughtful gift,
for a very special Mothe…

Birch Tree Nursery

The color Grey is hitting our area -
and while I've never been fond of grey, I'll admit that my opinion is quickly changing.

Today's little project was a grey nursery -
with the new crib soon to be delivered,
and yellow/white linens from Pottery Barn.
...A smart look that's appropriate
for a little boy or girl.

The Mom-to-Be shared a photo of her inspiration with me.
She found it on-line at Off-Beat Mamma.
Notice the grey walls again!

But she wanted only a few trees flanking the crib.
And the design looked too stripe-y (is that a word?) for her.
Could the branches be bigger?

So feeling properly inspired, I set to work.
I made a little sketch
and used tape to lay out the tree design.

Before long there was a little grove of birch trees,
and the crib will nestle underneath them.

Hopeful...A Hope Chest Make-over

A hope chest.
Perhaps your grandmother had one.
There was a time when young ladies would stitch lace trimmed linens, quilts, towels, and gather dishes and silver in anticipation of starting their own home.
They'd save them in their hope chest.  Today brides merely register at Bed Bath and Beyond! .

This is how the chest looked at first. Well almost.  Originally, the chest sat on the ground. But adding new legs gives it a lift.

Then step by step it got a face lift!
It started with an inspiration clipped from a magazine.

And grew from there. First with paint.
And some glazing.
Some sanding.

Followed by gold highlights.

I dabbed the brush here and there, back and forth, and all around.  Finally, I was satisfied.
And the chest was ready to go to its new home.

Yes, this is a sneak peek at my friend Sherry's master bedroom re-design.
I can't show you more, until she's ready!

P.S.  See more inspiring projects at Domestically Speaking. Power of Paint Party!