development – artsy decor

My mom was telling me the other day how she couldn’t afford to buy “art” and so she would frame prints. The part that makes me smile is that she would go to a very expensive framer and spare no cost of framing the print.

Now, I’m not saying that hanging prints is a bad thing at all. We all have our style, choice, whatever…but I was trying to think of other ways that we can have art in our house without having to feel guilty about spending ridiculous amounts of money on framing or original works of established artists

1. Trade with your artistic friendsOne great thing my mom did when we were small was to use the talents of her friend Lynn to put art in our home. Lynn painted a Noah’s Ark mural on all four walls of the nursery, and in my room she painted gorgeous carrosel horses on my closet doors. (I’d insert a photo here, but they were both ruined later when we had a fire in our home). I don’t remember how the whole trade thing worked out, but i remember my part was to teach piano lessons to her eldest son. Lynn would be up painting, Justin and i would work at the piano for a half hour, and then join the rest of our siblings outside playing in the yard. They were fun summer days.

2. Find easy craft projects that are hang-able – Sometimes, the fact that something is handmade makes it worthy enough to hang next to just about anything and anywhere. Check out ETSY for fabulous ideas. Yes, you could buy them on ETSY, or (shhh) steal the idea and make your own. Get together with some friends and get inspired by each other. Some projects are even easy enough to do with your kiddos.

Recently I’ve been drawn to silhouette crafts. One project I saw this morning on Martha’s “craft of the day” section was a fabric covered canvas with a bird silhouette painted on the fabric. The process looks fairly easy. They even give you patterns for the silhouettes. The painting part could be done by your kiddo after you attach the fabric. I would suggest getting a canvas that has a thickness to the sides. That way you don’t feel like my mom, and need to have it framed. It will give it a more contemporary feel as well. Since the project requires little fabric, there are always scraps on sale at Joann’s, etc. Find something funky and pay very little for it.


Another silhouette project I’d like to try, I spotted on Design Mom. I love the idea of reusing the plates (makes me giddy to go to the thrift shop). Once again, easy enough parts in the process to involve your kiddos. For Design Mom’s instructions, click here.

3. Find inexpensive, quality framing – My husband will soon be graduating with his MBA, and I thought it would be a nice gift for his birthday next month to have my framing friend make a cool three-in-one frame (bachelor’s, master’s, and professional liscence certificates). I’ve had a few ideas, but ultimately I’ll ask the expert, Dave, what he thinks is best. Dave Brown is my frame man. He is an artist who makes a living framing and creating/refinishing furniture. His stuff is amazing. Here are a few of my paintings that he has framed:

What makes his frames so incredible is that he creates each frame to match/strengthen the piece. He has quite a nack for it. The other great part is that because i go straight to him instead of going to a frame shop, i always pay wholesale prices. His shop, Aspen Ridge, is in Orem, Utah, and his cell phone is 801.368.4475.

If you’re no where near Dave, I’m sure there is someone similar near you. Sometimes you just have to ask around. Ask the artists in your area. You’ll be suprised at how much they are willing to share if you just ask. They might even give you a great deal on a fabulous piece to have framed. But ultimately, why pay twice as much when you can get an artisan to make a really nice frame for you (or two for that same price). Yup, kind-of a no-brainer. 🙂

So get out there and get some art up! And let me know about great finds!

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