Watercolours and Acrylics

Yup, more artwork - I think I'm possessed!!!  :D  I do think I'm improving with every attempt.

I wanted to try and paint a landscape in watercolours.  I worked from a photograph
for this painting.  

I'm particularly proud of this one.  I painted an image from a photograph.  I didn't think I could pull
it off, but I did and I LOVE the result.

This one has several layers of paint cause my initial idea failed
miserably. The final result turned out well though, if at
first you don't succeed...

This is another version of the first poppy painting I did.
I liked the painting so much I wanted to try a more
abstract version as well.

When I first decided to try my hand at creating my own paintings I had no idea how addicting it would become.  It's also wonderful to be able to take an image that I love and make it my own through paint.  I can choose what images I like or make it up as I go.  I decide what colours to use and what size I want. The painting can be as precise or as abstract as I like, all that matters is that I like the final product.

It's fabulous that society is now embracing all forms of art - no matter how wild or tame it is.  We have evolved to the point where the beauty of the piece is recognized rather than thinking only one way is the right way to paint or sculpt or photograph or whatever.  No matter how simplistic or complicated it is or whether anyone else agrees with you that it is beautiful or not, if you love it - that's all that matters.

I love old crates!

Two weekends ago I bought an old shipping crate at a garage sale for $10.

Last weekend I got busy and whitewashed it inside and out.  I wanted to use it as a bench at my back door but since it's a bit smelly inside still, I wasn't sure what to store inside it.  With a sudden inspired thought, I bought a new rubber mat to put inside the crate and added some chalkboard paint to the side of it.  Here is the final product:

While I was at it, I pulled out some other crates that I've picked up along the way and stacked them into my little laundry/recycle zone.

My mud room is tidied up and dirty boots are tucked neatly away.  Now I smile every time I come through my back door :).  (for a mini tour of my mudroom/laundry room click HERE)

Linked to:
Funky Junk Interiors  SNS
Southern Hospitality Thrifty Treasures
Coastal Charm Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Garage Sale Saturday!

Today I picked up a door mirror for $1.50.

and did this with it.
It's not an expensive mirror, just a cheap one in a plastic frame.  I've been toying with the idea of mirrored backsplashes in my kitchen to create the illusion of more space and to help reflect light.  For a buck & a half, I figured I'd go for it.

B e f o r e

With my cider coloured maple cabinets, dark countertops and stainless & black appliances, I didn't want the white detail of the existing frame but I did want a finished edge.  Last fall, I had bought Contact Paper (shelf paper) in a stainless-steel look, but I never used it.

Instead of painting the frame or removing it, I decided to try covering it with the shelf paper (self-adhesive).

Not too bad!
So I went ahead and hung it over the counter.  Since I still need to have some electrical outlets installed in the section of the kitchen where I plan to hang the mirror, I didn't want to make this a permanent backsplash.  Enter 3-Ms magic picture hangers!  
I love these things. I use them whenever I'm not sure if I'll like whatever I'm hanging up.

Taaaa Dahhhh!
A f t e r
Yay - it worked & looks pretty good!  I've left room for the outlets to be installed horizontally below the frame and room above for some under-cabinet lights.  Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't do the same thing to the mirror over the stove.   Hmmm, but it is just temporary until the range hood can be wired and installed and it is a much more expensive mirror...  decisions, decisions.

More garage sale finds from today later on the blog.  

For now, have a great day!

Linked to Finding Fabulous 4 Less Frugalicious Fridays 
See also Pagoda Road for more ConTact paper ideas!

Living Room Perk Up

When I moved into this house, I thought the best design option would be to keep the room to a limited colour palate due to the small size of the space.  Over the last few months I've been so uninspired by my living room and the neutral tones I had chosen, I had to do something to brighten things up.  The last thing I want is to feel depressed in a room where I spend so much of my time!!

I loved the bright greens in the Ikea Summer Catalogue, but since Ikea is a 9 hour round trip for me, I decided to shuffle some things around in my house instead.  I dug up some of my crocuses to bring indoors and bought a pot of orange freesia for $8.  I had some light blue cushions stashed away (they are a little worn).  I bought a blue egg-shaped dish from Winners for $3 and from Superstore I picked up a blue glass candle holder & candle and a round basket for $20 total.  I already had the Undecorate book - LOVE! and I bought a 3'x3' canvas for $36 to use with the paint set that I had bought for $8.   So total tally for this new look is $75 plus taxes.

Here goes the room tour:

Before - so sad...


A couple of days ago, I posted some paintings I created using a simple kit I bought at the dollar store.  It was amazingly easy to create my own paintings by dotting, swirling and circling the  paint covered brush on paper and on canvas.  Not to mention inexpensive since I bought all my supplies at the dollar store - frames included!  I used paper plates to squirt the paints onto, dabbed my brush and off I went.  I limited the colours I used on each painting to make sure I didn't overdo it!  A very important consideration for me since I can't leave well enough alone most of the time.  I love working with the acrylic paints and watercolours.  The oil paint was a pain to mix, clean up and smell, so I don't think I'll be going that route again...

Since I've splashed more paint on paper and canvas over the last few days, I thought I'd share these works with you as well.  Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed creating them!

I also hope I've inspired you to try your own hand at painting pictures.

Have a wonderful day!

Inspired by what was left on my paper plate after mixing the colours for the other paintings.

Repurposing & Reusing - Garage Sale Saturdays!

I had forgotten how much I love garage and yard sales - wandering through piles of discarded and unwanted items - particularly when it's the result of someone moving from their home of many years.  One man's trash is another man's treasure certainly holds true in these cases.

Yesterday I went to a sale of an older couple who had sold their long-time home.  EVERYTHING in the house and garage was for sale.  I was in heaven...  Control yourself, you only have a small house!! was the thought going through my mind the whole time I was there.  Because I live in a small town, I knew a lot of the people who were milling around at the same time I was at the sale.  But in a case like this, when half the town is showing up and prices are incredibly low, you act immediately when you see something - in the first 5 minutes I had bought an old wooden crate with a hinged lid and the kitchen table and chairs.  Oops - what the heck am I going to do with another table???!  All I wanted was the chairs.  Oh well.  Next item on the agenda, how in the world am I going to get this home?  Neighbours step up to the plate and offer to help.  Oh how I love small towns!

Next up is to refinish the chairs and clean and whitewash the old crate so I can use it inside.  The table and chairs were from the 1940s and the lady selling them gave me a photograph from the 40s with her grandmother and grandfather sitting at the table when it was new.  So cool.

When I was little, I had an exact replica of this table and chairs in my playhouse.

Here is one of the chairs, the table is in the shed and unavailable for photographs.
I'm going to paint the chairs satin black.  They're so cute! and a real steal at $50 for the table & chair set.

Take a look at my newest treasure!!

This is going to become a bench in my mudroom - so cool.  It must be pretty old, I think it's been a while since drug stores stopped getting shipments in wooden boxes...

Oh happy day!

Create Your Own Artwork

Last December I found these cute art sets at our local dollar store.  They were $8 apiece and came with a pad of paper, paint for each type of paper and brushes.  I bought three of them - the two you see here and what has become my favourite, Acrylics.

I've always wanted to paint pictures but it was expensive to buy a full set of paints & brushes & the right paper, etc. so when I saw these little sets it was a godsend.  Here was my chance to try this out without spending a fortune and potentially finding out that I had no talent or ability!  

My chalk drawing
My first painting
My first painting was easy.  I had watched Sharon Grech paint something similar during a Cityline episode and I had already done it in chalk, so knew I could manage that one.   And I liked the result, too.  I decided I wanted to try something different for my next painting.

I googled images of abstract art thinking it would be the easiest to achieve without having any real training or knowledge of drawing.  Then I splashed paint around on quite a few pages before I found out that abstract art was NOT EASY.  I came up with the cube idea to cover up one of the messes I had made...  :O but it worked out and gave me confidence to do another painting in the same style.

This was becoming easier.  With my confidence high, I bought a couple of blank canvasses (also found at our dollar store) and decided it would be fairly simple to pull off.  If I hated the result, I could paint over the canvas with latex paint and start all over.

I found some photos of paintings that I really liked and off I went again.  I love cobalt blue and I wanted something in rich colours.  This is what I came up with:  (I feel like one of the Impressionists lol)

Now I was feeling really proud of myself.  Next painting did not go quite as well.  It didn't appeal to me as much and there wasn't much colour to it.  It was just dark shadows on a yellow background.  I hung it up anyway and kept staring at it over the next few days til I got an inspiration of how to add enough colour to make it more to my liking.  This was the final result:

I opted to make the sky into a brilliant sunset using lots of oranges and some really bright yellow.  I really like the end result although it looks much better in person than in this photo...

Painting was so much easier than I thought it would be.  I bought one brush that was a larger size than the ones in the kits.  In some cases, the brush strokes alone created exactly what I wanted to see & I didn't put much of an effort into it at all.  If I can do this, anyone can do this.  It's just a matter of choosing the colours you like and splashing them around.  Or do like I did and pick out some paintings that are fairly simple and copy them.  Your stuff won't look exactly like the paintings you chose anyway and I'll bet you'll like the results.

I had so much fun doing these paintings that I am now well & truly hooked on continuing - though I have no idea where I'm going to put anything else I do!  I think art is anything that makes you feel good when you look at it.  It doesn't matter whether anyone else likes it or not, the only thing that matters is that YOU love it.