Feeling artsy around here...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When Shawn and I first got married, I had the vision that one day most (if not all) of the art in our home would be original - either by us or our friends and family. I have no problem supporting other artists (and I do), but I really love filling our home with handmade things - art included. It makes it much more "us."

But here's the problem: even though I paint a new piece every night at work, I find myself being hypercritical of almost every painting I've done. Even in high school, I had stacks and stacks of my own art under my bed. I worry that if I hung it on the wall and passed by every day, there would be something I'd want to fix. Though that's still often the case, I've recently decided not to let it bother me as much.

Today, I looked around and noticed that we're not too far from our goal! Whether it's paintings I've done or photography that Shawn has done, we're getting there.

Maybe you're like me. You look at your work and think it's just not good enough. I hope this inspires you that you really can make some beautiful art!

First up: a very expensive painting from ZGallerie that I saw and decided to recreate. I used masking tape and a putty knife to make the stripes then added the bird and branches and quickly wiped some of the paint off as I went to create a vintage, worn look.


We love photography around here, and especially when it's matted. I don't know why matting something makes such a huge difference but it does! This is one of my favorites of Shawn's - the famous Big Ben in London. Beautiful.

I love roses.
I really love California roses.
I really, really love California roses from Katelyn Rose's yard.
So I framed three of the photos we took when we saw them earlier this year. They really brighten up our guest bathroom.
If you can't travel to California and find flowers like these, you could still use the idea of framing three 12x12" prints of grass, fruit, coffee beans, etc. I found these frames for $4.99 on sale at Hobby Lobby and the prints were made at Costco for under $2 each.


This next piece is one I finished last night and decided it should go in our bedroom. It's still waiting for a frame (probably a thick white one) but I love it leaning on top of one of our dressers. It adds a little color to an otherwise pale, calm room.

Also, I've been wanting to post some DIY projects that I'm doing for Christmas gifts this year, but it's just too risky that the recipient may see them before it's time! So I thought I'd post a few fun ideas I've done around our home in the last several weeks that you could use as Christmas gifts - or just make for your home.

First, a table runner. I saw something like this on Etsy, so I wanted to recreate it. I cut a long piece of burlap, then pulled out some threads on each side to make fringe. That way, I didn't have to hem it. I then took a smaller strip of white muslin fabric and pinned it along the burlap unevenly ruffled. Then I just sewed a straight line down each side.

I've been trying to make a more neutral look for our "dining room" which is really just a few square feet of our kitchen and living room. All I need to do now is recover the chairs!

I also went "shopping" around our house and found some things that might make the shelves a little more neutral.

On to the fireplace. I'm a little sad (embarrassed) to tell you I still haven't figured out what to put underneath! But I've had fun arranging things on top.

This time, I went "shopping" in our back yard and came back with lots of sticks. I cut a strip of fabric and tied it in a bow around the vase, then glued little flowers onto the branches (and glued some of the branches to other branches to make them longer and fuller).

A free, super easy project that makes our living room more wintery. (Cannot wait to redecorate it for Christmas!)

Finally, this pillow. It took me 2 grueling hours way too long without instructions and without Grandma.  I basically just hemmed several long pieces of white muslin, then pleated them in layers and sewed each layer down. I think this one had about 5 or 6 layers total.

It took way longer than it should've, but I love what it adds to our guest room bed!

Ok, so I hope you're inspired. If you have any questions about any of the projects, please feel free to email me!


  1. love that pillow. i've been aspiring to do one similar to it, but haven't gotten around to it yet. tips?? :)

  2. oh man. when i saw the mantle my jaw dropped. serious. i love what you've done. we'll try to brainstorm what to put under it next weekend! eep!!! i.can.not.wait. love you!

  3. aw i love it all, whit!!! your paintings always amaze me. i love how you decorate your home. super inspiring. :)

  4. very inspiring! thank you for posting this - we have lived in our house for over a year, and still haven't completely decorated it. adding our own art is something i also definitely want to do. yours is gorgeous and so personal!

  5. SO nice! :-) I plan to plagiarize! :-) & papa gets to see it in person!

  6. love it ALL whitney!! i'm especially eyeing that brilliant light fixture you've got hanging above your darling white table. (totally looks like a legit dining room, by the way) would you mind telling me how you did it?!

  7. I am SO in love. Everything is gorgeous.
    My husband & I said the exact same thing -- we wanted everything in our home to be an original that we -- or someone else -- created by hand. We're doing O.K. I would love to BUY one of your paintings! You should sell them on etsy.
    I have a close friend who is very similar to you, she's a PHENOMENAL painter and artist & I am in love with everything she touches, but she is critical of herself. That being said, your work is amazing -- what a gift God has given you!!

  8. Your house is so cute! Love it all.

  9. i love how you have the twinkle lights over the table!

  10. What a BEAUTIFUL house you have! This is my first time visiting your blog. Don't ask me how it took me so long to find you. So far I'm in love! :)

  11. I am definitely going shopping in my backyard for some sticks! I've been needing something just like that. Great idea!

  12. My mom found your site last week when she was looking for a gluten free pumpkim bread, and she knew immediately I'd love your blog. I love to create and I love being inspired by others! I'll be coming back for sure. Oh, and my dad really liked the pumpkin bread!

  13. aww yay!! the pictures look beautiful in your house! :)
    miss you guys! xoxo


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