Archives For art

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living roomLittle House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living roomLittle House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living roomLittle House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living roomLittle House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

It’s been 10 months since I installed my DIY Postcard Wall Art so I thought an update was in order. If you haven’t read the post where I installed it, it was a pretty easy process. But since I was doing something new-to-me I had no idea if it would actually have staying power.

The good news is that it still looks great and I really like it! And thankfully there is no real bad news. The only behind the scenes maintenance I’ve done is to stick back up a few that have fallen down. Almost all of them were originally stuck on with 3M stickers but I ran out of the stickers towards the end so the rest just got scotch tape. A few months later I added 3M stickers to those without them. The few that have fallen off since have been the ones that only had scotch tape or ones that are on bumpy or cracked parts of the wall (because my walls are plaster there are more imperfections than on drywall).

But a new phenomena occurred this week:

Wondering what that new little white box in the corner is?
It’s a motion detector because I’m super fancy like that.
Oops, there are a few crooked ones, but oh well, it adds to the DIY charm.

It’s been rainy and humid here the past few days so I’m wondering if that has anything to do with it but several of the postcards are starting to curl away from the wall. Some of that has to do with the fact that on a lot of the post cards I only put one 3M sticker right in the middle (during installation when I realized I was running low on them I started to only put one on as opposed to two). So some of that would be cured by adding a new sticker. But also, I don’t hate it.

Of course, if they all start falling down then it’ll be an issue, but until then I sort of like the added texture. That was the whole reason I added foam core the the back of some of them in the first place. It seemed like it would give the look dimension but it ended up not make much of a difference. The curling postcards definitely do give the look more dimension though so I’m happy for now.

Overall, I highly recommend this project! It was extremely cheap to do ($15 for the postcards and around $20 for other materials) for the impact it has and it was very simple and fast (it only took me about two hours to do, way less if you skip the foam mounting part).

Thrift Shop Find, Updated

September 30, 2013 — Leave a comment

Remember how I am a terrible painter? If you missed my last attempt at painting, here is the link. You should look at it if only to laugh at how bad of a painter I am. The thing that is ridiculous is not that I’m a bad painter because painting is hard, but that I keep trying when I know I’m not good. I’ve just always loved painting, so it’s hard to give up the dream that I could be good too. There is always the hope that next time I’ll be better.

So I tried again and my latest attempt was less of a ‘major fail’ and more of a ‘eh’ (which is how a lot of my DIY/craft projects turn out).

A few months ago I showed you guys this painting I found at a thrift shop (more about it here):

It was only $2.99! And it’s pretty big at about 14″ tall and 18″ wide. I love a good deal and I also like things that are just slightly ugly. This scene, while quaint, isn’t the best painting ever or anything. But when I saw it I really liked the frame and what the scene evoked. I also liked it because I’ve been wanting to do a ‘re-painting’ project. I’ve seen a lot of projects lately that take old thrift shop paintings and update them by painting over or accenting the original (examples here, here, and here).

So I did it!

And it looks… eh. It’s just so… ‘eh’. Why do I keep attempting painting projects??? That is a question that I just can’t answer, but swearing off of painting has done me no good in the past so I highly doubt it will make a difference now.

Not sure what I’ll do with this painting. For the last few months it’s been on my dresser leaning against my Scratch Map so it will probably remain there.

Have you attempted any re-painting projects? I’m a huge fan of them, but apparently they aren’t quite as easy as they look.

A Gift From Japan

September 18, 2013 — 1 Comment

Side note: The home tour went amazingly well! I’ll be back on Friday with a post all about it!

A got a gift from Japan, actually I got several, but today I’m only talking about one, and it’s awesome!

I had two students stay with me from Japan a few weeks ago and they were great. Sweet, kind, and came bearing gifts!

Can you spy what is new below?

I’ll get a little closer…
I got a fan! Were you as obsessed with these when you were a kid? I always had one that I played with (which is retrospect is sort of strange… what did I do with it?). Anyway, I was really excited when my friend got me this one, mostly because I love the print on it.

It’s little fish. Adorable! I really really like this print, too bad I can’t go buy more of the fabric!

Little known fact, in 2008 when I first heard of Etsy’s existence I opened a shop and sold greeting cards. I know, super random right? It didn’t last long, but I still have like 30 greeting cards that I made and haven’t used. In fact, I have a whole drawer full of greeting cards that I rarely send. So wasteful right? Well, what can you do? The road to wherever is paved with good intentions (or something like that).

I love my little dresser turned nightstand (my semi-failed DIY of it here and here), especially because it has extra storage for the random things I own.

The bottom drawer holds my eclectic stash of greeting cards, a mix of ones I made myself and ones that were purchased.

Do you want to know the most interesting thing about greeting cards? They are completely useless unless sent. Yeah, I know, bummer. But the nice thing is that we live in a world where there are lots of options when you forget your sister’s birthday or your cousin’s graduation.

Take for example The Greeting Card Shop (check out their ad on the top right!), not only can you buy a card, electronically write a message in it, but they will send it directly to the recipient for only the cost of a stamp. Pretty slick right? Obviously, a homemade or hand written card is more personal, but any card is better than no card when your friend three states away has a baby.

Meanwhile, I’m just over here glad I have a little dresser to hold all of my good intentions.

*Full disclosure, this post is sponsored but be cool, I’m my own person. I do and say what I want.

There have been a few times in my life where I find a piece of art that speaks to me so deeply that I can’t stop thinking about it. That happen a few months ago when I saw a series of photographs that look like melted paintings. They were created by Nick Knight a fashion photographer who spent 10 years taking the photographs to create these prints. I’m not sure I can explain why I love these pieces so much, but I don’t think you have to put into words why art speaks to you, so I won’t try. I’ll just let the art speak for itself.

Unfortunately, these pieces are only showing in London and there are no prints available at this time. But maybe some day they will offer prints and I will buy one and my life will be complete. Just kidding. Sort of.

Buy Art: Maps Edition

February 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

I love maps. I love old maps, new maps, weird maps, and interactive maps. And pretty much any time that I see one I want to buy it. Surprisingly, I only have two…

This old map is from my Grandpa. It is on foam core and it’s a map of the ‘Soviet Union’ and I mostly just like it because it is orange.
My scratch map is newer. You can buy one here. I love it so much because you can scratch off where you’ve been, it’s a take on those ‘sticking a pin in the places you’ve been’ maps.
You really can’t go wrong with a map on the wall since they are gender neutral and come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Here is a round up of some awesome map art:
I love the simplicity of this Chicago rail map. Surprisingly, it’s only $19.99 from They also carry a bunch of other rail maps from other major cities.
If you ever see an old roll-up school map for heaven’s sake buy it! Those things are like the gold every thrift store shopper is searching for. Of course, you can buy them online (like this one from Etsy seller RibbonsAndRetro for $89) but they are going to cost more online mostly because of shipping. Your best bet is to go hunting in your city and hope you find one for a good price.
I really like this map by Bianca Green. It would look great in a layered Bohemian room or a little girl’s room. It is a really good price too, the large print is $32.00 and there are smaller ones for a smaller price (sold on Society6).
A literary map of England? Count me in! I studied Jane Austen in England for a month in college and I literally think about it once a week (I’m serious). There is an American version too which is pretty cool. This poster is only $18.73! Buy it from The Literary Gift Company here.
Bold&Noble is this really cool company that makes typographical art. I love their maps section of course. They have everything from the world to individual cities. All prices are in pounds but the conversion makes most of their prints, including this one of Africa, about $67. Not cheap, but they are just so cool.
If you are already laughing that’s a good thing because I did just sneak a huge wall map from Sky Mall into this post about art. I know, I know, Sky Mall… but I love this giant wall map and I think it would look awesome in just about any room (dining room, kid’s room, the hallway). Just think, for $149.95 you can have a major piece of ‘art.’ Buy it here or just wait until the next time you fly.
Michael Tompsett has 169 different versions of map art on It’s kind of insane (there is one that is just a bunch of tiny dinosaurs grouped to make the shapes of countries … ???). I really like the watercolor ones like this map of Ireland in shades of green. Beautiful. It is a large print (20″ x 24″) for $47.99 so not too bad, buy it here.
Maps don’t have to be super traditional, they can be fun too like this sweet vintage map of Paris. I like how it is a combination of famous landmarks and roads. Buy it here for $29.99.
I’m not crazy in love with this map (it’s a little muted for my taste) but I do like the idea of a map being broken up into sections like this. It would be a pretty easy DIY if you were able to find a large map and then cut it and frame the sections. Or if you you’d rather spend money instead of time you can buy this one for $143.99 from World Market.
I think it is really cool to have a map of the city you live in or one you’ve lived in previously. I’ve wanted this neighborhood map of DC since I lived there but for some reason have never sprung for it. It’s even a reasonable $22.00 (here from Ork Posters).

Are you into maps as wall art? Are you drawn to certain cities or countries over others? I love a good world map, but I’m also really drawn to any map of New York City or Paris.

DIY Postcard Wall Art

December 3, 2012 — 22 Comments

Welcome, YHL readers! Thanks for visiting! I love YHL’s new book and I am so happy to share a project that was in part inspired by their Project #28: Collage Your Wall.

This weekend I got on a project that I’ve wanted to do for a while. postcard wall art
If you can’t tell from the image above, I used postcards to create large scale wall art. I love it! It all started nearly a year ago at Christmas when I got a set of postcards with book covers on them. penguin books postcardsThe set of postcards I got are Penguin Book covers that range from The Great Gatsby as shown above to some super obscure books like Common Sense About Smoking. Ironically they sat on my bookshelf for a year. I tried a few small projects with them but nothing really turned out. Then a few weeks ago I decided I was a little tired of my Klimt canvas. gustav klimt wall art
Don’t get me wrong, I still love this piece. I’ve been a fan of Gustav Klimt since high school (in college I even named my beta fish Gustav in homage) and when I saw this large print at IKEA I had a rather visceral reaction to it.  But it was time for it to move to another part of the house (yet to be determined). So that is when I decided that maybe doing a large wall of postcards would be cool.
Here’s how I did the project:
1) In order to give the overall look more texture I mounted several of the postcards on foam core. I used rubber cement to adhere them. I randomly decided that I wanted 25% of the total amount of postcards to be mounted, which for my wall came out to 12 postcards. postcards mounted on foam core with rubber cement
2) After they dried I used a utility knife to cut them apart. using a utility knife to cut foam core
The utility knife left a pretty rough edge so I used scissors to clean them up. before with utility knife after with scissors
3) I measured out the area I wanted on the wall and marked it with FrogTape. For this space I decided on 4’x4′ which is 48 postcards with about 2″ in between each one. using frog tape to mark the area
If the tape looks crooked to you that’s because it is. I was using it more as an idea of where I wanted them to go not an actual starting point. postcard wall art tutorial
As I’ve mentioned before, I am not good at doing tedious measuring so once I had the first row done I eyeballed the rest. The first row I did by using my level to make sure everything was straight and then as luck would have it the level was nearly 2″ wide so I used it mark the distance between the postcards as well. I spread out the twelve that I put on foam core randomly. DIY postcard wall art DIY postcard wall art DIY postcard wall art DIY postcard wall art DIY postcard wall art DIY postcard wall art
When it was all said and done I could have easily skipped the foam core stage and just put them all on the wall flat because the foam core didn’t add enough dimension to make much of a difference, but I’m glad I did it because I would have always wondered if it would look better with some mounted.

This project would also work well with any other kinds of postcards, like these awesome Pantone ones, your own personal collection of postcards, or vintage ones collected from antiques stores or from pre-collected sets on Ebay.

I love checking things off my mental to-do list!

Creating with the Stars

I love Chicago and one of the benefits of moving back to the midwest is that now I am only a few short hours away. As I mentioned here, I went on an architectural river cruise this past weekend when I was there. The thing I was looking forward to most was getting a good up close view of my absolute favorite two buildings in the US, Marina City. The towers were designed by Bertrand Goldberg and built in 1964.

So beautiful! I’ve been in love with these buildings since Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album came out in 2001.


This is one of my all time favorite album covers.

I was so inspired by these buildings and all I could think while I was looking at them is how trendy the scallop pattern is right now. Here some awesome scallop patterned items:

I love this DIY scallop art work from Playing Grown Up. It seems like a really easy project because she just used a large hole punch on different colored paper and then layered the pieces over top of each other until she got this scalloped look. Love!

This scallop stencil from Royal Design Studio is so bold. I think it would look awesome and trippy in small space like an entry or bathroom.

I shared this scallop rug from Urban Outfitters in this post, but it fits here too. Such a great rug and it comes in several colors like this bold green and a more neutral grey.

I love this colorful print by Steven Womack sold on Society6. If you aren’t crafty enough to DIY the art above you can buy this lovely print for $15 and save yourself the headache!

I love this retro scallop bunting fabric! It would be adorable in a kids room especially since it’s only $6.74 a yard.

If you aren’t ready to make a commitment to the scallops trend you could opt for something less permanent like this sparkly gold scallop garland from StephanieLovesBen. This would be adorable at any party or in a kids room (heck it would look cool in a living room if you styled it right!).

So are you in or out with the scallop pattern?

Also, thanks for your patience while I was away. In the past month I’ve been to Phoenix, Chicago, and DC they were all great trips, but I am happy to report that I am back in Indy for the rest of the calendar year so there shouldn’t be any further interruptions with my posts. Thanks for hanging in there!

Sometimes I just change things.

I love the piece of art I had over the dresser for the past few months. It was the first piece of art I ever bought. I was 22 and it cost $84 (which is a LOT of money to a college student). My friend created the print and I have loved having it in all my different homes for the past four plus years. But now that the walls are such a dark blue it didn’t really look so good. I switched it out for my Scratch Map. I love this map. Well, I love maps in general, but this map is special because you scratch off where you’ve been. Brilliant! It reminds me of a map that my Grandpa had where he put pins in all the places he had visited. Unfortunately, all the countries I’ve been to are small in size so my map looks relatively untouched. Oh well, I still have lots of traveling years before me!

It’s easy to get in a rut with things in our homes. Whenever I move into a place I immediately put pictures on the walls and place furniture in an arrangement. A few months go by and I realize I am comfortable with the way things are because that is how I put them at the start, not because it is the best arrangement. That is how it was with the print in my bedroom. As soon as I got the campaign chest I put the picture over it and it was like ‘end of story’ that is where that picture belongs. But then the other night I’m laying in bed and thinking “That picture would look so much better elsewhere.” And so I got up and changed it. Maybe you don’t have art lying around in spare bedrooms like me, but sometimes it just involves switching pieces out. I had a similar situation in my living room a few months ago.

When I moved in I had the Union Jack dresser and TV on one wall and then a few months ago I realized that that may not be the best place for them. Sometimes I try and imagine the room being empty and then mentally placing furniture where I think it would look good. I was doing this in my living room when I realized that moving the dresser/TV to the next wall would make all the difference. I love it so much more on the wall it is on now. It takes a lot of initiative to rearrange furniture because you might hate it and then have to move it all back which is annoying. BUT if it works out then it is totally worth it! So maybe if you’re not happy with a room a little rearranging could be all it needs… you never know until you try 🙂

Happy rearranging!