It’s an Art World

Hi there!

Lately I’ve found myself more and more interested in art.  It’s probably the natural progression of decorating my home, since now that it’s filled (to the brim!) with furniture I’m able to put stuff up on the walls.  But man, oh man, I don’t know shit about buying art.  It’s so intimidating.  And it’s an expensive classroom, if you know what I mean.  Sometimes I’ll see notices about what’s sold at Christie’s… an edition print selling for millions?  Like, what the what?!  How can that even make sense if it’s not the original?!?  And then, there are those pieces that are like 1 color and they’re worth 100k.  Are we looking at the same thing?!  Alls I can say, is that art is a crazy world, but I kinda want in… just a a lot!!

Obviously, what we all want are ORIGINAL works of art.  These are one-of-a-kind pieces made with the artist’s hand.  Since there are only 1 of these in the world, they are more expensive.  (Pamela Bell’s home below)

But that doesn’t mean that art made through a printing method is to be discarded… at least that’s what I used to think!  Recently, I was at a flea market and saw a lithograph done by Picasso.  (That one piece inspired this post!)  It wasn’t cheap.  It wasn’t expensive.  I really loved the colors and the feeling of it, but I hesitated… was it worth the price?  Obviously it was worth something, but I just really knew nothing about what the heck a lithograph was.  Enter some HOMEWORK!!  Now, I’m kicking myself for not buying the darn thing and I’ll share with you why… and some other stuff I just learned about printed art.

What’s a Serigraph?  This is a term I see quite a bit on art listings.  It’s when an artist uses a screen printing method to make prints.  They run a squeegee over a fine mesh (which could be made of a number of materials) and with a stencil (or 100), they imprint one color at a time of an image. It’s also called silkscreen.  Each one is done by hand, but obviously the actual image is the same.  Though slight variations will occur because of the process, there is more than one out in the world.  However, they ARE worth something (sometimes A LOT) since super famous artists have enjoyed making serigraphs and they often mark the number of prints and sign the piece too.

A lithograph is made using a printing method, with a type of plate (usually stone) and ink.  Newspapers are still made this way!  Isn’t that crazy?  (It’s called off-set lithography)  Of course, with art, the materials are higher end, so the result is much nicer, but it’s still pretty interesting to note.  A lithograph was a way to bring the cost of art down and for commercial use in the 19th century.  And many famous artists became taken with the process… why not get their art out into the world?  Here’s a cool video showing how modern lithographs are made – it’s pretty interesting.  I especially like seeing the guy put this huge stone into the printing press.  Lol!  Even though these are made using a template, they are still each made one at a time, have variations and are worth some bucks.  A Picasso lithograph?  Yes, please.  I’ll take a Calder one too.

Have you heard of a Mezzotint?  It’s made in a very similar fashion as a lithograph, but the plate is made with thousands of tiny dots that give the print depth and tonality.  Because of the use of these tiny indentations, it’s good to know, that you can only get about 100-200 good prints out the process.  Usually there is also a “sepia looking tint” which makes it look antique (and cool).

An etching involves making a metal “picture” with wax and acid.  Once the “picture” is etched into the metal, it can make hundreds of prints with ink!  Engraving, also involves making a photo on a plate (a number of different hard materials) and then using that plate to print art.  Some dude named Rembrandt made this one below….

It’s kinda crazy right?!

I was thinking that these printed methods were similar to art you would find on Minted.  But those are printed on a specialty printer, NOT done by hand the way these are.  Now, I can’t tell you how much any of these are actually worth, but I can tell you that I will have my eyes peeled for the next fabulous lithograph I see!!

The more you know, right?!  Of course, you might need more information – Check these out too,  Easy to understand, and MOMA Videos!

Master Bath Makes Progress!

It’s been a long few weeks, but I can finally say that the dust has settled in the master bathroom… I think.  Maybe?  Well, wall dust, at least!!

Changes have happened, that’s for sure.  Am I done?  Nope.  Not even close.

I added in that moulding we talked about here.  That proved to be a fun and fairly straight-forward project.  I bought 250 linear feet of moulding from Superior Moulding, which has an awesome selection of all kinds of goodies!  I tried Lowes and Home Depot first, but they just didn’t have anything I liked in my budget.  I really didn’t want to spend more than $100 and I was thrilled to find this option at $0.43 a foot.  With the 10% off discount the salesperson gave me at Superior, I was right on budget!!  Whoot!

Measuring and nailing the moulding is pretty simple.  Getting all your pieces level, at least to the eye, is another story.  A few of my walls were NOT straight… Of course.  After putting up a few, I realized the best way to go about it was to place the top securely and put the sides in with one nail in at the top.  Then I could make small tweaks if it was straight and level, but didn’t look level.  It’s always more important that it look right to your eyeballs… most all of my squares required this and the top and bottom pieces usually turned out to be different lengths, which hopefully you wouldn’t even know!

I used a measurement of 2.5 inches in between everything.  I wanted more of a framed look, but once I started painting I wished I had gone with 3.5″.  There are lots of great rollers that are 3″, not so much at 2″, so that one decision probably cost me a few extra hours in painting.

I started with the longest lengths and went from there.  Of course, as is my DIY luck,  I needed a few lengths that I just didn’t have at the end.  When you need to join two pieces, cut them each at a 45 degree angle this way (vs a straight cut) because it really disguises the seem.  Tricks, people!!

I grabbed two samples of Home Depot’s paint and primer in one because the paint is awesome!!  And it’s cheap – double Whoot!!  I wasn’t feeling either of them, so I asked for a sample of the right (Elephant Skin) 1/2 lightened up, which is the top baby sample.  I’ve heard so many experts say not to do that, but hey, I do it all the time and I’ve had great luck getting the perfect color I want!  What can I say, I’m a rebel.

Before painting, fill your nail holes, caulk and generally die of boredom.

You know your room needs paint when the primer looks better than the original paint.  All my trim was painted in oil, so that was a WHOLE other can of worms.  I know, yawn, yawn, yawn… I FINALLY got there tho!

Hallelujah!  5 different painting sessions later…

Oh, and I also changed out the mirrors and the faucet.  I’ve been in love with these Jason Wu for Brizo for so long.  They are my favorites.  And I just remembered that I stained the cabinet black.  That is NOT my favorite – but a fun experiment none the less.  I added in wood panels to the doors to see if I liked it… better, but it’s still not quite there.  Don’t you think?

What in the?  In this picture the tile looks pretty brown, but then see what happens below…  Sigh.  I did not color correct these.  It’s really just that maddening.

I also added a Panasonic whisper-quiet heater/vent and then patched and painted the ceiling.  That was lots. of. fun.

And last, but not least, here is the door painted with the same color to hide it away.  Remember?  We talked about that here… it leads to the pooper.

A vast improvement and yet, MUCH to do.  Should I change out the marble counter?  That wall seems so naked now… hmm??  What the heck to do with the vanity?  I’m contemplating wood doors because that black is killing me!  And the lighting.  There’s that biggie too.

So what’cha think??  Ideas friends!  I need ideas!


Ikea Desk Hack in Tween Room

Hi there!

It’s been awhile since I had checked out Savannah’s room, so last Friday I popped by to drop off a few things for her and surprise her with a quick desk hack!

You guys, these are my favorite projects!  Easy and foolproof!!

Last year I had picked up this Ikea desk for the foot of her bed.  Because of the way the room was laid out, this made the most sense for her.  She could sit on the edge of the bed and study or plop down on one of the cute stools – there was even plenty of room for some of her squad to hang out!

I’m sure you don’t remember, but I had found these stool for $15 at the Pierce College Flea market eons ago…

The chipped paint and shape really spoke to the boho vibe I was going for.

Well, now the space looks like this!!

I had some multi-color thin washi tape, and used it to make a bunch of sprinkles!  Like a yummy donut.  Homer likie.  The stools got a face-lift with 3″ foam and fluffy hot pink fabric (that was cut up from a pillow I bought at HomeGoods)!

I used spray adhesive to mount the foam to the existing seat, then glued and covered it in batting and lastly, I stapled the fluff to the base.  Then the stool got these cute feet added to make sure that they never scratched the new wood floors.

You even get a glimpse of the mural I painted…and why didn’t I take more pictures of it?  I dunno, beats me.  This picture below is waaaay over exposed.  Whoops.

I’m happy to see that she’s still using some of the pieces I created for her and it’s interesting to see how the room has evolved.  Kids just have their own style and seriously, some things that I thought were amazing she hated.  The good thing is that if she’s not a fan of donuts, confetti or washi she can quickly just peel it right off!

A Unique (and easy and cheap) Way to Hang Art!

Got 5 minutes and a bunch of scraps lying around?  Then you can literally do this project right now!

Okay, wait.  Before you run off to forage and gather, this project is best for an art piece that isn’t too heavy.  In my case, I had found this paint-by-numbers sunset at the Rose Bowl for $5.  I loved it, but I didn’t know how to hang it without either framing it (boring) or gluing the back of it with brackets (weird).  Enter my genius solution (if I do say so myself!!) – This wood brace that will allow me to easily hang my art and then CHANGE IT WHENEVER MY LITTLE HEART SO DESIRES.  Ahhhh, I love flexibility.  And no holes in the wall.  Fist pump!

Alright.  Why are you sitting there?  Go gather!!

  • 2 Command velcro hanging strips
  • One thick piece of wood for the base
  • One thin piece of wood slightly longer on the top, to hold the art piece
  • Wood glue
  • A clamp or rubber band

Take the two wood pieces, ugly sides together and glue like so…

Let it dry.  Easy, right?  Once my wood thingie was dried I actually used my saw to cut the ends so they were perfectly straight.  You do not have to do this.  I’m just lettin’ ya know, k.  Then I took a sanding block to it for roughly 12 seconds. Not a lot, cause I’m lazy like that.  Attach your command velcros to themselves, put one side on the wood small piece and then stick it to the wall.  (I eyeballed the levelness, but a small level could be useful for a longer brace.)

You. Are. DONE.

You will place your art right on top so that it leans on the wall slightly.

I hung it as part of a gallery wall in Arrow’s room.  Those seagulls just kill me.  And would you believe there were 4 of these and I only bought 1??  I’m kicking myself right now.

It’s coming along!  I’m not sure I’ll keep it there, but hey, I can simply pull the darn thing right off.  Love it!

I have this vision of a wall of birds sitting on wood pedestals.  Wouldn’t that be amazing?  Or what about 50 polaroids in rows?  Or for party decor?  Gah!  Game changer.

Designer Secret – Hiding Flaws with Paint!

Color is a powerful decorating tool.  The colors you choose and where you use them can have such a dramatic effect on a room.   Like duh, right?!  I know, so obvious Jessica, but hear me out!!  Beyond having the power to elicit emotions,  using color can highlight things you love, AND it can even disguise thing you don’t.  You can help imperfections fade into the background!  It’s a teensy little trick that designers use all the time.

Now, when you scroll through a magazine you will start to see the thought process behind some color decisions.  This will be a new trick that you can use in your own home!  Which is totally what I’m going to do in my master bathroom refresh!!  Okay, let me show you and then we can convo at the end!

Let’s say, that you’ve got a door in a weird spot?  Consider this…

By painting the walls, trim, door all the same color the door completely fades into the background.  Like magic…

Let’s say, that you’ve got an oddly shaped room.  Yup, color can help you there too!

And that trick works for rooms with low ceilings, too!  When there are no “lines” differentiating the walls and ceiling it all becomes one mass of color!  Your eye doesn’t focus on sloping walls or where the ceiling is – the room appears larger!

Don’t see what I’m talking about?  Check out his room above.  Those ceilings a llloooowww, but it still looks open because they have kept most of the room the same color!  Imagine the same room with the moulding or beams painted out.  Yikes!!

Here’s a peek at the reverse… The higher the color contrast, the more the feature is highlighted.  Um, yes I see you high ceiling and gorgeous windows!

This hallway’s all like, Look at all my pretty details!

Whereas this one is saying, Feel my grandeur!  For such a long hallway, it doesn’t feel long or restrictive, and damn, that floor!

I’m totally not saying that one is better than the other. At. All.  These are just ideas to plant in that pretty little head of yours.

Now there is one bit of trickery that we haven’t gotten into, and it’s the 3/4 painted wall, bringing the ceiling color down onto the walls.  This most certainly gives the impression of a higher ceiling and visual interest for just the cost of paint.  It also hides imperfections where the ceiling and wall meet – if you have wonky seams this trick is for you!!

In my master bath I have tile that I don’t love and a door that stands out a bit more than I’d like.  I can totally paint the whole room the same color as the tile (door too) to make those imperfections not so noticeable.  My hope is to trick the eye into seeing beautiful new mirrors, an updated vanity and lighting, vs the yuck stuff!

A plan is forming… I’m getting excited!

White doors, Blue Paneled Door, Grey Loft, Attic Loft, Teal Bedroom, Beamed Living Room, Grey Ceiling, Grey Hallway, White hallway, Bedroom, Double Blue Room, Black Header Bathroom