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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free Printable Art Round-Up

While looking for fun, free art for my new gallery wall, I discovered a few great places to print beautiful art, typography and even maps! And I just couldn't keep all the goods from you, so get your pen and paper ready (oh, wait, does anybody do that anymore? Get your Pinterest pinner ready, then!), for some awesome, free stuff!

I mentioned that I printed off these two adorable prints from Sprik Space for my gallery wall, but these aren't the only ones Aimee has! Be sure to go on over and take a look at her super cute printables- and tell her we sent you.

Ok, admittedly, you have to do some digging on this site to find the hidden gems like this vintage french label, or this gorgeous peacock print.  But luckily, all the printables are categorized, so if you know what you're looking for, you're in luck!

I think this site is my favorite yet for free printable art. Don't ask me why I put it third on my list- it's late and I'm tired, so leave me alone. ;) The art is quirky and clever and definitely a touch modern. They have a few prints that would be perfect for a nursery or children's room, but I would put a whole bunch of them up in my house. Listen to what Jen says her reason for starting this site is:
"I love art and I know you do too. I also know that when people start to tighten up the purse strings they tend not spend money on things that aren’t necessary for survival, things like books, magazines and art. But, art is important for your soul. It helps rejuvenate, it’s thought-provoking, offers inspiration and can generally brighten an otherwise dreary day among other things." 
Well said, Jen, and we thank you from the bottom of our art-loving hearts.


Did you know that the New York Public Library has a digital gallery of over 700,000 images taken from their vast collections? I found this old print of Pennsylvania from 1830 with just a simple search.Browse to your heart's content and I'm sure you'll find a inspiration for art.

This is not a site that regularly features free printables (at least not to my knowledge), but in this post there are several simple designs that would make great cards (for Valentine's Day, maybe?), art prints, or anything else you can think of.

Where's your favorite place to get free printables? I shared mine with you- now it's your turn!

I can't stop  looking at the Hymn & Folk Song collection by Red Letter Words! Today I'm smitten with this:

I sing this regularly to my kids and so it these prints make me happy. I love the set of three prints- something a bit different than the norm!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome {to my New & Improved Entryway!}

I am on a mission. A mission to make my house feel somewhat normal, organized and beautiful in the midst of our kitchen renovation. I am failing miserably, by the way, if you were curious about the state of my mission. But still, I'm plugging away. While my hubs has been working diligently on our kitchen in his very rare spare time, I have been busy trying to impart a bit of character into our entryway.. Last time you saw it, it looked like this:

I love the giant letter "J" that I found at Home Goods, but the whole vibe of the space was just feeling off and, I hate to say it, boring. As you know, I love neutrals and think they can be warm and welcoming and interesting all at the same time, but if they're not used well, they can be plain, old boring. I decided to add some interest to that wall with the "J", since it's the one staring you in the face when you walk in the front door. I tossed around a bunch of ideas like adding our names around the letter, making it a gallery wall, stenciling and so on, but I just kept coming back over and over again to stripes. So, stripes it is. Plus, last week I shared that I was starting a gallery wall of white frames on the wall leading into the kitchen. Obviously, I have lost my mind, and can't find my way out of the million projects that keep accumulating in my head. But that's another story for another time.

I started by gathering all the frames I had laying around the house (and ok, confession: there are several walls in my house that are naked now that I took the frames from them), and decided on a layout. There is no real trick to this, but if you need help getting started, check out these gallery wall layout templates.

Then grab the cutest guy you know, and get to work. I wanted to see my frames on the wall before I spray-painted them white. I actually lived with the arrangement for a few days before I did anything to make sure that it was exactly how I wanted it. Fixing a nail hole is super-easy, so I wasn't too concerned about the possibility of me not liking it and having to repair a bunch of holes. To each, his own, I always say.

And just so you know: it's never too early to teach your kids how to DIY.

Time to spray-paint! (Between this gallery wall and our Nate Show projects, I think my nickname should now be Captain Spraypaints-Alot or Wonder-Painter, or Super-Sprayer. You get the idea.)

So do you want to see it? Here's my new, not-boring-in-my-humble-opinion entryway!

Ignore the wonky lighting and wierd shadows- I missed good sunlight hours today!

This is the view from the kitchen, and yes, you are getting a peek at my new stencil, which is currently my most favorite thing ever.

I got these cute, little prints for free at Sprik Space. They come in a bunch of great colors!

And I absolutely can't wait to show you what I have planned for that big space above the stairs (you know, the one that still houses my remaining Christmas decor. Just keepin' it real, folks.)

What's your opinion of neutrals? Love them or hate them?


I hope you had the chance to check out Red Letter Word's gorgeous new Hymn Collection. If not, you really should! There's no better way to add meaningful art into your home.

I need this in my house ASAP. What a great reminder of what's really important.

Have an awesome day!

Distressing Granny (How to Distress Frames)

I feel like this post title sorta sounds like Un-dressing Granny.  Ha...well, no worries, this post has nothing to do with grandmothers, and everything to do with making ornate frames insanely awesome.

If you missed my decision to "Go Green" with my frames, you can catch up here.  I loved the green color, but it was a tad St. Patty's Day for me.  We needed to tone it down a bit.  
Distressing frames is a total piece of cake! Here's what you'll need...
Frames, dark glaze, a rag, and a cheapo brush.  I chose Martha's Metallic Glaze in Black Coffee (and yea, Martha and I are still on first name basis... we're tight like that).  I also really recommend using a cheapo brush because you'll be really pressing the glaze down into the cracks and I wouldn't want to do that with my awesome (yet pricey) Purdy brushes.   

If you paint your frames, make sure they're really dry before you try to distress.  I'm the queen of impatience, but even I waited 2 whole days! (Seriously impressive) 

All you need to do is bush the glaze on.  Work in one, semi-small-ish area at a time.  

You really want to jam your brush into all the nooks and crannies (this is where the cheapo brush comes in).  

Let it sit for about a minute or so and then use a rag (or in my case an old baby wash cloth) to wipe the stain off. It's up to you how much you leave on.  

The difference is awesome.  It's like going from Peter Pan to... umm... Robin Hood Men in Tights?? Okay, perhaps that didn't help any, so I'll just show you.  

I love how it tones down the shine and brings out all the rich character of the detailing. 

You know that moment when you couldn't be any happier with how a project is looking?  That's how I felt about these frames.  If you need a super simple project to lift your DIY spirits, distressing frames is for you! 

Later this week I'll be revealing the entire gallery collage.  It's almost finished! 
I actually had a little bit of extra DIY help this weekend.  One of my life long bffs came down for my 30th birthday weekend.  Seth is one of my favorite people in the whole world.  We've been friends since we were 13 years old and I was so happy he made the 5 hour trip to help me hang curtains! Ha! Seriously, I totally love having friends that enjoy a good DIY... He hung my new dining room curtains, helped figure out the layout of my wall collage, and even took a trip to IKEA (The shopping might have gotten a slight protest!).  Don't worry, I didn't torture him all weekend, I included lots of good food, movies, and a night of snowboarding.  All kidding aside, one of the things I'm most aware of as I'm turning 30 this week, is just how blessed I've been by so many friendships in my life.  

So, are you going to distress any frames and
 what do you think of my green ones so far?  

P.S.  Do you have any BFFs that have made your life that much more awesome?  Do tell! 
We interrupt this post to let you in on something AMAZING! 
Red Letter Words just launched a new Hymns Collection and we're loving it! 
I don't know about you, but I grew up in a small church, singing some old school hymns and those words have stuck with me throughout my life.  

This morning, I was kind of a crappy mom and wife (I really was grouchy and not so nice) and I would have benefitted from this reminder. 
I'm so thankful to have a faithful God and one that forgives my crappy attitude... now I just need to say sorry to the hubs and kids as well.  :)  
Dee's products are fabulously cool, but this collection takes it a step further and makes art something that can really change the outlook on your day.  
Go check it out and tell her The (not cranky anymore) Real Housewives of Bucks County sent you!
 and of course LIKE her on Facebook, because we all love a good LIKE!

Linking up to: TT&J

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Out of Office

We're in the Big Apple today filming our last segments on The Nate Show (*Boo hoo. Sniff*.) We're crossing our fingers that all goes well, and that our room comes together like we envisioned. No matter what, we always LOVE being on the show and getting to see all the fun people who work there who have now become friends! Make sure you follow us on facebook for up-to-date info on the day's events!
While we're away, we thought you might be interested in Lindsey's ah-mazing master bedroom makeover:

Go Bold or Go home, right? ;)
Head over to her blog to see this unbelieveable transformation.

After our life settles down, (which it should at approximately 5:30 PM tonight when we finish taping) we will coming back at you with loads of great stuff. Monica will reveal the finished product of her granny frames, and I hope to make some fun progress (read: stencil!) in my kitchen over the weekend. Also, after posting about the oversize letter "J" I hung in my entryway, I was inspired to perk the whole space up with a mini-makeover. The wall leading into the kitchen will now be home to a big ol' gallery wall of white frames!

Plus, I made a little change to wall with the giant letter on it! Can't wait to show you it, so expect good things from us next week. :)

What fun things are you guys working on these days?

P.S. Want to check out our past Nate Show episodes? You're in luck, because we've conveniently compiled them in one spot. :) Just click here to see us in action!

Going Green {Granny Frames Gallery Walls}

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Our readers are seriously amazing! You guys have helped me out with two major design decisions in the past few weeks.  I promise I'll update you about the family room wall stenciling soon, but Mr. Berkus has been keeping me away from that project.  However, even being busy and sick, couldn't keep me away from my Granny Frames Gallery!

You all had so many awesome ideas and gave me great inspiration! I particularly loved this picture that Cori shared with me on Facebook.  The colors of those spools are pretty spot on for the colors in the room now!

Here's the comment that did it for me though...
Tracie, who blogs over at Cleverly Inspired, gave me a total "Ah-ha" moment! About a year and a half ago, when I was initially planning out my dining room, I fell completely IN LOVE with this buffet that I found on Google images (remember life before Pinterest??) I tracked down the source and found an adorable blog called The Way We Are.
I love this more than I can even tell you! But, the hubs was sorta feeling like we'd be having St. Patrick's Day every day, so I went a different direction and began my love affair with yellow.  

Now, thanks to Tracie's comment I realize that I don't have to let go of the green completely.  In fact, the vases I already have in the room marry the two quite nicely! 

I was a little unsure about the color of this spray paint since the lid is a wee bit bright, but gave it a try...

I know some people are all into gold right now (and I'm liking it too), but for this room I'm going green! 

Holy Moly- I'm in love! 
Okay, since I'm slowly but surely learning life lessons, I'm actually not going to rush and hang these while they're still dripping wet! I actually think I might be distressing the green a bit with some stain as well.  I hope to have the whole project completed by Saturday.  So look for a final reveal on Monday!

Now, since we mentioned our shopping excursion last night on Facebook, we thought we'd give you a sneak peek of what we're thinking of wearing.  Of course we both got two options, and we'll make a game-time decision.
Jess' Outfit Choices...
The hangers aren't doing the outfits justice, but they look super cute on! 
Jess is leaning towards the dark blue shirt- it's my fav! 

Monica's Outfit Choices
This one is the one I'm leaning towards, but it's hard to see in pics.  It's like sheer knit-lacy combo... It surprised me that I liked it on.  I'm kinda Plain Jane. 
This is my safe option.  I love the birds and can live with the flowers. 

We'll let you know what we decided and of course we'll take tons of pics to keep you updated on our final NYC taping.  Thanks again for all of your input with the Granny Frames! 

P.S.  If you don't follow us on Facebook, I'm pretty sure you should! :)  We'll update lots of fun Nate "inside info" there tomorrow!  Go HERE to like RHBC!