Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mantel Makeover

As I mentioned before, our mantel had been untouched since we moved in. I have scoured all of our local home decor stores and the internet for ideas and inspiration. Finally while perusing a local thrift store, something caught my eye! It was a decorative urn type thing and I thought...I could do something with that.

I failed to take a before picture but thanks to the magic of the internet, here are some examples of what they looked like before:

Although I do love the color green, I wasn't sure that this assortment would go with my Green Tea colored walls in the living room. So I decided to spay paint them all a matching color. I chose to use a mix of  RustOleum's universal spray paint in copper and brown, both with a hammered finish.

Here is how they turned out!


The hammered finish didn't really come through. I realized (after the third one I did) that I should have held the  spray can much closer and laid it one much thicker to have a more hammered look. But I was more focused on the color that the hammered effect I so I just went with it as is. The one on the left I sprayed the copper all over and then dusted it with the brown. The one on the right I did just the opposite with brown as the base color and then went over it lightly with the copper.

The next step was to make it fit for fall. I found a bundle of fall flowers and leaves on rollback at Walmart. Using floral foam and some wire cutters, I went to work. Here is the added fall color:

The final look puts these together with the canvas photo, some extra pumpkins from the dollar store and two pictures we found on clearance at Target.

with mood lighting:

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Modern Bird style art on the cheep

did you see what I did there? cheep/cheap. ok good.

[insert long apology/explanation about how I'm a horrible blogger and almost killed my blog but you shouldn't worry because I'm back (with a vengeance).]

Since we moved into our house in April, our mantel has plagued me. Don't get me wrong, having a fireplace/mantel is one of my favorite things about our house - I was just at a loss as to what to put up there. I kept wracking my brain/stalking Gordmans, Garden Ridge, Hobby Lobby and the like. In addition to stalking home stores, I was also stalking Apartment Therapy and happened to see this post about creating your own digital art. This seemed perfect for us since I was having a hard time finding artwork I liked in stores. I have also been wanting to add a picture of our family to the space, but since our family is really just Todd and I - I would feel a little silly with a giant photograph of us up on the mantel.

When reading the article, I fell in love with the style of Modern Bird Studios. But I did not fall in love with the price tag. So, after looking at their work, I thought I'd try my hand at something similar. So here is my take on a Modern Bird style picture.

Here is a picture from their website:

 They offer other styles but the one I liked the best was high contrast - black with a saturated color

So I took one of our photos (the one I have at the top of my blog actually) and using Picassa changed the photo to black and white. Then I adjusted the contrast so that it was clearly only black and white NO GRAY.

Here is what I got:

Then, still in Picassa, I used the tint option under the "effects" tab. When you tint your picture, you can choose any color of the rainbow. Since it was autumn, the brick on our fireplace has sort of a yellow tone and our walls are green, I chose to go with a warm orange color. Normally I would have gone for green, but I have to realize that not everything in my house can be green, brown, or yellow!

Here is what the picture looked like with the color added:

I took a bit of a risk since I wasn't entirely sure what color it would print and went ahead and uploaded it to 

This site will allow you to upload your photos and prints them on canvas for you. I chose the gallery wrapped option, but you could also have them frame it. I know there are many other sites that offer similar services. But after looking a a few this seemed to be the best deal at the time and I am very pleased with the final product!

Here is a picture of the real deal!

This is also a sneak peek at our finished fall mantel! I will post about our fall mantel and fall touches soon!