Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Finally on the Wall February 4, 2015

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 12:21 am
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Last year’s aspiration list had an item about creating a new work space at home.  I did buy a new desk and chair, but I never hung all the art I planned to hang.  I have a lot of art accumulated from many a Renagade Craft Fair and a few Etsy shops along the way as well.  It’s all been sitting around waiting for me to display.  I have been slowly purchasing 3M products so that I won’t make any marks on my landlord’s walls (dang those hooks are expensive!)  One day I just laid all the pieces out on my bed along with the frames I have unused around the house.  I measured the length of the desk and placed the measuring tape across the bed and then used that as my starting point for placing everything.  Then I forced myself to create something I liked.  I kept trying to give myself excuses, like I don’t have enough frames, or that the items didn’t go well together.  But I pushed through and made myself hang things up.  I knew I wanted the marquee arrow to point to the print that says, ‘This Little Light of Mine I’m going to Let it Shine.’  I used that as a bit of an anchor and arranged everything else around it.


I used hooks and velcro to hang the heavy frames and the lighter things have a binder clip attached to them and are hung on a clear plastic 3M hooks.  Perhaps I’ll add some more frames after a while, but I actually like the casualness of the binder clips.  Now I actually get to look at the art I’ve worked so hard to choose and collect instead of it gathering dust under my bed.


Cheat Sheet

  1. Light Bulbs by TwoTonePress (I purchased at a Renegade Craft Fair (RCF))
  2. La Petit Prince- by Nacnic (Sorry no longer available in this shop)
  3. Get Your Sh*t Together by Orange Beautiful Design Studio (My sister gifted this to me for a housewarming gift)
  4. This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna let it Shine by littlethingsstudio (I purchased at a RCF)
  5. Marque Arrow from Target (Sorry no longer for sale, I bought it a few months back)
  6. It’s Not What the World Holds for You by littlethingsstudio (Sorry no longer available. I purchased at a RCF)
  7. House Key by Ace Hardware (One of a kind!)
  8. A Ship at Sea is Safe, but that’s not what Ships are Built for by Unknown (I can’t for the life of me remember the artist)
  9. 4127 Grove Watercolor- by BlueHousePaperie (Custom watercolor of childhood home, my sister commissioned)
  10. Be Kind Even to Mean People- by TheDetroitCardCo (purchased at a small pop up craft fair)

Words on Glass: DIY Artwork November 12, 2013

My sister, friend, Lei , and I all attended the Renagade Craft Fair this year at the beginning of September.  We saw some really lovely things there and I purchased a few for myself (which I’m sure you’ll see at some point posted here).  I hate to admit this, but sometimes instead of buying something, a vendor will give me an idea for something I can make on my own.  In fact I have a little story for you…We were perusing the craft fair, walking along the long line of booths and we saw a booth selling framed art.  Instead of art behind the frame, they had painted words onto glass.  I exclaimed that ‘I should do that!’ and pointed at the booth.  My sister quickly informed me how rude I was being.  Of course she was right and I was just excited over the thought of a new project in my life.  No vendor wants to hear people say that they could do the same thing instead of buying their product.  So from then on, I kept quiet and mentally kept a list of items I thought I might make into my own projects someday.

Fast forward to now.  I have been trying to decorate my apartment since I’ve moved in a month ago and I am almost complete with the smallest room in my apartment…the bathroom!  I think it was the easiest to do because it’s so small and therefore less daunting for me.  The wall next to my sink had an empty hook and I decided I needed to have some art hanging in there.  But what to put up?  Right away I remembered the painted words on glass from the craft fair.  The phrase ‘So Fresh & So Clean’ seemed appropriate for a bathroom.  I Googled where the phrase came from because I really wasn’t sure why I knew it and its from an Outkast song.  Check out the video here.  I’m pretty sure Sarah did a post on a very similar phrase for her bathroom earlier this year too…yep check that out here.

From there it was pretty easy, I went out and grabbed some supplies: an 8×10 black floating frame (I recommend using a floating frame for this project, especially if you are placing the frame in a bathroom.  That way you can paint one side of the glass, cover it with the other pane of glass and it’s now protected from the steam in the bathroom), paint brush, and paint to match my shower curtain.  I also found a font on www.dafont.com, downloaded it, and printed out the phrase in the size I wanted for my artwork.  The name of the font I used was Motion Picture (since I was using for personal use only it is free).

materials 1

Phrase taped on

I taped the printed words to the back of the glass and used it as a guide to paint the front of the glass.

  I was very unhappy with the look I got and showed it to my sister who had done a similar project for her living room.  Turns out she had used a paint pen and hers looked profesh!  Back to the store for me, I picked up a paint pen in red.  I set the project to the side and ignored it for awhile because it felt hard to me.  This was silly because when I finally picked up the paint pen to try this again, it was so simple!

paint pen start

I kicked myself for putting it off for so long, let it dry and then hung it up right away.  I think it looks pretty good, what do you think?  I have one more project lined up for the bathroom and then I’ll show you the finished product.  Oh and look you found Harlo’s favorite spot to hang out in the apartment.  Just don’t turn the water on while he’s in there!



Jumping out of my comfort zone… September 1, 2011

…in terms of crafting and art, which you all know is hard for me since I have tried just about all types of crafts there are to get ones feet wet in.  But this past weekend I tried my hand at painting.  That’s right, not just painting solid colors or polka dots on all types of surfaces, but REAL painting…on canvas like my dear friend, Lei.

My friend Krista invited me to an event in Denver called Canvas and Cocktails.  You get to drink wine and paint a picture that they guide you through step by step.  I was in once the wine half was mentioned.  When we got there, a wide range of people were in attendance: from young to old, females and males (though I will say, the amount of straight males in the room was probably lacking haha).  Then I saw our picture.  It was a picture of Red Rocks amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado.  Jonathan and I went to a concert there a few weeks ago, and I will tell you from firsthand experience that the place is absolutely breathtaking.  I was thinking to myself that there was absolutely positutely NO way I was going to be able to paint it.

Out instructor got up on this little podium stage and started giving us some direction about where to start.  She put on some dancy music, we enjoyed our wine, and started painting!  I had a few glitches along the way, but usually I found there’s a way to fix them (one thing I enjoyed discovering, since this is why I was always afraid to try real painting, for fear that I’d mess it up, have wasted a nice canvas, a bunch of pricey paint, and hours of valuable time only to have to start over!).  Before I knew it, 2 and a half hours had passed and I had a painting of Red Rocks staring me straight in the face.  And actually for someone who’s never painted before, I think it turned out pretty good (or at least, sort of looks like the original example). 

The moral of the story is: don’t be afraid to push your limits and go outside your comfort zone.  You may end up with a really beautiful product (plus a tipsy spirit and some new friends, in my case).  

Krista and I with our finished products


Lists of Likes July 6, 2011

I constantly find myself going places, discovering new things, and thinking about how I want to add adventures to my lists of ‘to-dos’.  So this first week in Denver, when I’ve been thinking about wanting to revisit something, I decided to write it down.  Before I left Chicago, one of my coworkers gave me a purse-size notebook entitled “Great Ideas.”  I figured what better things to record in the notebook than great ideas of things I want to do or come back to?!

Here’s what my “great ideas” consist of so far…

Page 1: Restaurants…The Market: a converted grocery store turned into a deli and sweet shop, with everything from a full homemade dinner to a chocolate croissant and tea for breakfast.  Osteria Marco: an amazing restaurant that will be loved (I’m sure) by friends and family, with a wide array of menu items and a huge variety of wines, with great locally restored furniture items arranged in a dark and romantic atmosphere.

Page 2: Places to Visit…includes a few randoms that I was afraid I might forget, but thought would be fun, nonetheless…Colorado Railroad Museum: mainly because I love hearing stories about how Jonathan used to love trains (like my own brother, Sam) and think it will bring him a bit back to childhood.  Continental Divide: because it’s just a really cool thing that Mother Nature has created all on her own, and I’d love to see it in person.  Denver Art Museum: somewhere I envision taking my little brother in a few weeks when he visits, especially for the MudArt exhibit!

Page 3: Books to Read/Buy…funny enough, this list includes mostly children’s books right now, after a visit to Tattered Cover Bookstore today and spending some quality time in the children’s section…Otis by Lauren Long: an adorable story about a little construction vehicle that does something wonderful.  Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld: a tale of a small cloud who does great things.  Pigs Over Denver by Kerry MacLean: they were out of this one today, but based on the description of it teaching kids something fun about Denver geography while being a fun souvenir makes me want to read it for sure!  The Help by Katheryn Stockett: need to read this book before I see the movie version that comes out soon…looks like an adventurous yet interestingly historical read.  Murder at the Brown Palace by Dick Kreck: sort of strikes me as a Denver-esque Devil in the White City, which really excites me as a reader!

So stay tuned for updates on any of the above adventures and explorations, and keep checking up for more additions to the lists 🙂  For those of you back at home, miss you like whoa, but can’t wait to share fun new things with you out here when you come to visit!


Busy Bee April 12, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:18 pm
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I was a Busy Bee this weekend:

Friday night I said goodbye See-Ya-Later to a friend who is moving down south to St. Louis.  It’s sad to see her go, but she is following her heart so I support her in her decision to move.

SaturDay there was some volunteer work to do {if you’re patient I think you’ll hear more about that from Karla later this week!}

Saturday Afternoon/Sunday my friend Katherine from Michigan met up with Karla and I and we drove down to southern Illinois to visit our friend Lei, her guy, her art, and her adorable bunny Dennis {who they found out just a few days ago should really be named Denise}

Dennis Hopper & Me

The trip was set up so that we could see Lei’s artwork in a show she was in.  Over all the years I’ve known Lei I have seen prints, paintings, and pottery that she has created.  But I have seen nothing like the exhibit we saw this weekend.  It was called ‘We Are What We Eat’ and I saw it as a commentary on society’s push to rush nature for a profit.

Lei's Intricate Animal Sculptures

Her work made me think a lot about my own personal choices for my diet and how they contribute to this rush:  How many times do I frequent certain stores in order to save money or time and ignore other options that promote safer food and less impact to animals and the environment?  Do I care or pay attention to how the food arrives at the store?  Her exhibit really made me stop and think and I think I’ll continue to explore these questions for myself.  Who knows what changes it will cause for me!

Checking out the Facts

All in all it was a great weekend to catch up with old friends and there couldn’t have been nicer weather.  I am so proud of my friends who are making big life choices and putting themselves out there.  I just know great things will happen for them!


If Walls Could Talk March 15, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:56 pm
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One of my favorite things to do is get lost on the internet.  I find blogs and pictures and fascinate myself with other people’s seemingly perfect lives.  It is so addicting, but the problem is I get really wrapped up in what could be and hardly ever do something as a result.  However, once and awhile I fall so deeply in love with an idea that it ends up happening!  Remember Joi from Nuestra Vida Dulce?  A long way back she posted about SJP’s bedroom wall collage on the set of Sex in the City.

I immediately fell in love with the idea and showed it to Karla.  She agreed that we should try to do it on our living room wall AND that we should each have 4 items by the end of the next week.  Not gonna lie, this assignment terrified me!  I liked the idea of doing the collage wall, but to actually have items picked and ready to hang so soon was a big commitment for me.

I went to Etsy to look at my favorites and see what would work.  I immediately picked a ‘Home Sweet Home’ print that I had been eying for awhile and ordered it.  I was super proud of myself that I had made progress.  That was until Karla showed me that she already had her 4 items for the collage.  She was serious about this deadline and it was scaring me.  I went back to Etsy and searched around for something else unique.  I found a women who sews initials in buttons onto pillows:

Isn't it Pretty?

I asked her if she could make me a ‘K’ and sew it onto a piece of fabric instead of making it into a pillow.  I then went and bought a sewing hoop, painted it eggshell, and proceeded to use a lot of hot glue.  Now I was up to 2 items…and Karla {that sneaker} was up to 5! <—This was the first lesson to me that if you give Karla an idea, she will make it happen…quickly.

I decided that Etsy worked great for unique items, but it was taking a lot of time and was expensive.   I ran over to good old Hob Lob and found a cross I really liked and a wooden sign with a cute birdy that tied all the colors together.  Wall décor was half off that day so I think I came home with both of them for around a total of $14 (Just as a side note: If you wait long enough it will eventually be 50% off at Hobby Lobby).  I couldn’t let Karla outdo me with 5 items and my problem was solved the weekend after the deadline when I was out shopping with my friends.  We were leaving a store and saw a mirrored Fleur de Lis.  I went back in to inquire about the cost and they told me all the mirrors were half off!  I had finally finished my assignment!

Later that day Karla and I set to work on arranging our items on the floor so we could see what it would look like on the wall.

Upside down bowl represents the Wall Nipple

It took awhile.  We had to work around the ‘nipple’ attached to the wall (we really aren’t sure what this is, but think it was an electrical outlet many years ago) and we rearranged a few times before it was just right.  Even though getting all the items stressed me out, in the end I think the wall collage is one of my favorite design elements in our apartment, what do you think?

It is Complete!

An Up Close Look


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