Fall Pinterest Challenge: Dancing on Canvas

I know. Everyone else posted their Fall Pinterest Challenge projects on Tuesday!

So why I am just linking up now? Well, you see, I had a plan to wait until Halloween was over so my Grunge One & Two pumpkins could stay in the spotlight for the occasion. But since this Challenge has become a little mini tradition for me, being late to the party was better than not partying at all!

Here’s a look back a my projects from the other Challenges:

Summer Challenge 2012: Mini Dipping!

Winter Challenge 2012: Light Please, Capiz

Fall Challenge, 2011: Serving It Up In Style

Summer Challenge 2011: My Rocking Chair

It was tough to pick a project this time around with the ton of inspiration I’ve pinned, but in the end a magazine ad decided for me. DIY canvas art has been on my radar, and this is where I jumped off…

This project was created by Char from Crap I’ve Made blog and shared in a guest post over at Tatertots & Jello blog.

Here’s the magazine image that caught my eye.

You can see the edge where the page has been torn from the magazine. And it’s because of this edge that my project took on a life of its own.

I liked the softness of the torn edge, and decided to tear around the rest of the edges.

I didn’t want the insert at the top, so tried to tear it out by following the curve of the ceiling.

And even though I’m a big fan of Freixenet, I wanted to remove all of that from the bottom, too.

I think the ‘Wonderfully Unexpected’ adds to the feeling of this piece, so I decided to leave it in. I mean, it’s not every day you see table dancing like this!

Next, I used Elmer’s Spray Adhesive to glue the image onto the canvas.

And Krylon’s Matte Finish to protect it.

The canvas was just one I’ve had kicking around, and you can see it’s not a top-of-the line canvas. Notice the staples?

They’re not ideal, but I was planning to paint the canvas edge black.

See how most of the staples become invisible at a glance?

I used a small foam roller to paint the edges, and leftover black paint from our TV easel project.

At first I tried to keep the edges crisp where the black was painted, but I didn’t like how it looked. So I randomly rolled the paint just over the edges.

That seemed to work better with the jagged edges of the image.

Next came the big leap of faith in this project. To cover the image and canvas with Modge Podge.

One last look before the point of no return…

And then the leap!

I used a foam brush to apply the Modge Podge, and worked horizontally. I started at the bottom and gradually covered the surface with long, even strokes.

And… not only can you see these long, even strokes, but look at the ripples in the image.

Yah, apparently magazines and Modge Podge tend to do that 🙁 Did you know that?

So while my project was ‘curing’…

My fingers were crossed that these ripples would magically smooth themselves out.

And while I waited for it to ‘cure’ I did a little reading up on this whole process…

Here’s what I learned:

  1. When you cover magazine pages with Modge Podge, you need to expect ripples and wrinkles. That’s because when magazine pages get wet they will crinkle like you see here.
  2. But… if you must seal the deal with Modge Podge, then you are advised to use a foam brush (whew, at least I got that right)
  3. And brush a ‘very’ thin layer over the surface in short strokes, working out the wrinkles as you go.
  4. The caution is to not over-wet the surface. (Um… I guess I got that part all wrong!)

So, after all that are you dying to see the outcome? I know I was, but I bet you’re not holding your breath like I was!

We went from this…

To this…

To this!

You can definitely still see ripples and wrinkles, but they did flatten out a lot. Still, this was not the outcome I had envisioned.

I’m not loving the perma-ripples, so I might give this project one more go. But wouldn’t you know it, I couldn’t find this ad in any of my other magazines. So my hubby, being the kind of guy that he is, went out and bought me another copy! And I didn’t ask him to do that. Think I’m committed now 😉

Freixenet is a Spanish sparkling wine that is hugely popular world-wide, and is a pride of Spain. I was first introduced to it by my cousin when I was about 20, and it’s been one of my go-to’s ever since! Thanks for the introduction, Wayne! Aside from my own affection for this sparkling wine, one of the things I loved about the ad image was its intensity and heat. It reminded me of Goya’s La maja, which I wrote about here!

And that’s a wrap for me in this Pinterest Challenge… when I give this project another try, I’ll be sure to post the outcome!

Thank you to these lovely hosts for another fun challenge!

Sherry from Young House Love (Click here to see Sherry’s project)
Katie from Bower Power (Click here to see Katie’s project)
Sarah from Ugly Duckling House (Click here to see Sarah’s project)
Carmel from Our Fifth House (Click here to see Carmel’s project)

If you haven’t already, you might want to pop over to their blogs to see their projects, and all the others that entered this challenge!

I’m curious… do you have any tips for me before I take the plunge and give this project another go? What are your tricks of the Modge Podge trade?

 Thanks for stopping by!

Photographs: Sheila Zeller

Old 2×4 Reclaimed, Repurposed & Brought to Life

Reclaimed Wood Tea Light Valet

So I came across this weathered, rust stained scrap piece of 2×4, thoughtlessly discarded and left for… well, scrap.

Weathered 2x4 Wood Scrap

See, it even comes complete with the dust and grime from where it was left to decay! But I saw beyond all this. To me there was a natural beauty here that was just being wasted away.

DIY inspired, I came to its rescue and cleaned up the 2×4, then gave it a quick coat of Annie Sloan’s Light Wax.

Rust Stained Reclaimed 2x4

It’s hard to see the shine, but if you look back at the rescue photo, you can see a little more spit and polish here. Don’t you think it looks posh with black?

I was pretty proud of my rescued 2×4.

And then my brother popped over, and nearly laughed me right out of my own home! He was not on board (pun intended!) with my affection for this rusted, aged chunk of wood. He did not see it as a thing of beauty. Not. At. All!

So the challenge was on!

I went back and forth with ideas… like making a small shelf mounted on tiny corbels, or a base for a collection of bud vases, or cutting it down and creating book ends… and finally I decided on a tealight valet… sounds pretty uptown, right?

To do this all you need is a 1-1/2″ spade bit to make the holes.

This is the one we bought.

Spade Drill Bit

Looks kind of intimidating, especially with the ‘Dare Devil’ graphic. Evil almost!

I got my Mr. to do the heavy lifting on this part. Here he’s doing a test run on an actual scrap piece of 2×4… notice, it’s white?

Testing Spade Bit

Totally recommend that you try a few test holes first, because evil it nearly was.

This bit is bossy and tries to take over the show, grabbing and pulling where it wants to go!

Spade Bit in Use

Check out the chunks of wood it chews up! If you’re not careful, it will spin the drill right out of your hand!

But I have to say, Dare Devil does make a fairly clean hole.

1-1/2" Spade Bit Drilled Holes

I lightly sanded the inside and top edges of these holes to remove the rough wood the spade bit left behind.

And then gave each hole a clear coat of Varathane…

Satin Varathane

Just to give them a finishing touch… even though you won’t see them.

Reclaimed 2x4 with Spade Bit Holes

Looks pretty rough here, but do you see where I’m going?

This tea light candle holder is not a new idea, not an original of mine at all. In fact Pinterest has lots and lots of variations if you’re interested in a little inspiration for your own!

Once the Varathane was dry I did another coat of Annie Sloan Light Wax, and this one I actually applied a little heavier.

See how smooth and shiny it looks?

Repurposed Rusty 2x4 Tea Light Holder

I wanted the rusty marks and the grain to really come alive, and the light from the candles to bounce off the surface…

Reclaimed Wood Tea Light Valet

From one end…

Reclaimed 2x4 Tea Light Holder

To the other.

Reclaimed 2x4 Tea Light Holder

I really like the way the rust marks stand out against the weathered wood.

Reclaimed 2x4 Tea Light Holder

Isn’t the grain pretty?

I originally planned to use tea lights set in clear cases instead of the metal ones. But, I discovered that the clear cases are slightly larger than the 1-1/2″ spade bit, and they’re a lot deeper than the metal cases. So if you’re planning to try this DIY, I thought you should know this before hand.

So what do you think? Is this an old scrap piece of wood to you, or do you see a thing of reclaimed beauty, too?

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

The Reach of Pinterest: Highschool Project Inspired by Mom’s Pin!

Art Supplies for Cherry Blossom Painting

If you’re a Pinterest fan, then you know all about the pinning craze. And I bet you’ve been inspired to try an idea or two that you’ve pinned. But would you believe me if I told you Pinterest inspired my daughter’s History 12 project?

Here’s the pin that started it all.

Pinterest Inspiration - Cherry Blossom Art

Source: Pinterest

What dots would you connect between this and History 12? The dots of the cherry blossoms might be a clue 😉

Here’s a little photo journey of the work in progress.

Starting with the supplies.

Art Supplies for Cherry Blossom Painting

Drawing the branches in free-hand.

Branches drawn free-hand

And then painting over them with dark brown.

Freehand Cherry Blossom Branches


Painting Cherry Blossom Branches

You can see the pink paint ready to go in the background.

But first, a little test-run in making the blossoms. We printed the Pinterest pic for some visual help.

Just to check the colour and technique.

A little more white was added to lighten the pink…

Creating Cherry Blossoms with Paint

And Kaleigh discovered that blotting the blossoms first was the way to go.

Then she set to work.

Creating Cherry Blossoms in Paint

Have you figured out the History connection yet?

Creating Painted Cherry Blossoms

If I mentioned a timeline, would that help?

Can you picture a timeline here?

This is how Kaleigh incorporated the cherry blossom tree into her History 12 final project.

Chinese Timeline 1911 to 1976

Photo by Kaleigh Duralia

Notice the blossoms have been finished with paint dabbed in the centres. And thankfully Kaleigh thought to take a final photograph, or I wouldn’t have the project reveal! I’m not sure what happened, but by the time the project was put together, I completely overlooked the last shot. Where was my head at?

Anyway, what do you think? From Pinterest inspiration to highschool project implementation! The reach of Pinterest just never ends!

Kaleigh has really enjoyed her History 12 class, in fact, has truly loved it. But she’s not a big fan of creative projects like this. Hard to tell from her focus in the photos, isn’t it? If you know Kaleigh, then you know that she’s actually very creative and has a great eye and attention for detail, but she’s just not into it. She likes to write, and if given a choice, would rather write an essay than create a visual with the content, so I’m pretty proud of what she’s done here!

Update: Kaleigh earned 23/25 on her project, with 5/5 for presentation! What do we think of Pinterest now? 😉

Have you caught the Pinterest bug? Where have you put your Pinterest inspiration into action?



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All Photos by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise indicated

The Romantic Gesture In An Equestrian Gift

Valentine’s Day has already come and gone, but I promised you this post for today.

See, even tweeted that it was coming!

So you know all about the current equestrian trend in decor, right?

I bet you’re familiar with this well discussed dining room by Sarah Richardson.

Source: HGTV

 Or maybe this lamp from West Elm.

Source: West Elm

You might have even seen these bookends on Pinterest along the way.

Source: Pinterest

Been inspired by a feature wall like the one in this room designed by Thom Filicia.

Source: House Beautiful

Or planned to invest in a smaller piece for big impact.

Source: Pinterest

So how does all this tie into a romantic gesture?

Bet you can’t guess!

Equestrian is the clue 😉

Well… have you ever wished for a set of these?

Yup, this is it. The first equestrian addition to our home decor… shiny new saw horses to adorn our garage!

A surprise Valentine’s gift to me from hubby! Told you it was a romantic gesture!

Valentine’s Day isn’t a big thing for us… cards, chocolate, a nice meal in and a little wine… So for me, a DIY-er at heart, to be given a set of saw horses when gifts aren’t part of the plan… well it feels like I’ve been pretty spoiled!

Want to see how I was doing things before?

We have two of these Asian stools. And they’re not really meant to be work horses, not in a saw horse kind of way!

But you do what you gotta do when it comes to a DIY fix.

And now thanks to my hubby extraordinaire, I have  a set of good things that come in a well designed package!

Saw horses people, saw horses! 😉

They’re compact and portable.

Yet sturdy and strong… they will hold up to 1200 lbs! I’m not kidding!

Adjustable in height.

See the extra holes on the legs?

A wider span to work on compared to the Asian stools.

With an anti-slip strip on the top.

And they even bounce a bit of light 😉

Isn’t my hubby the best?

If I told you he bought me a light-weight drill for Mother’s Day one year, I bet you’d wish for that too!

Seriously, for me these are the kind of gifts that fit the saying, ‘good things come in small packages’… you saw how compact they are when folded down! And I’m feel’n the love, because I’ve been wanting a set of saw horses for a long time now. The romance is in the thought behind the gift 🙂

How about you? Would you find this equestrian pair a romantic gesture, too?

It’s about coming home… and home is a remarkable space that tells your story. Contact me if you need a little help!



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LOVE Around the World: Robert Indiana

Happy Valentine’s Day!

When I came across this photo on Pinterest, it reminded me of the famous LOVE sculpture we see so much of.

Source: Pinterest / Etsy

Do you know the one I’m talking about?

The original 3-D sculpture below was created by American artist Robert Indiana. It’s displayed at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and has been since 1970.

Source: Flickr

This short YouTube video shows the sculpture being moved into place – it’s pretty interesting to see what was involved. Imagine this sculpture broken down into pieces, letters into parts… I’m amazed at just how large the LOVE sculpture actually is!

Did you know LOVE with the tilted O was originally designed as a Christmas card for MoMA in 1964? But the iconography itself first appeared in a series of poems Indiana wrote in 1958 where he stacked LO and VE on top of one another… the O of course was not tilted then.

Source: MoMA

LOVE was also turned into a postage stamp in 1973. Notice how the colours are used differently?

Source: Superfly Gallery

It sold more than 300 million copies and was, for many years, the best-selling commemorative stamp in history! Lots to love about this stamp, but seriously, 8 cents for a postage stamp – what’s not to LOVE about that?!

And did you know the LOVE sculpture has been recreated in multiple versions that can be found on display all around the world?

Here are a few of them…

LOVE – Love Park, Philadelphia

Source: Istanbul 74

LOVE – Midtown (55th St. and Sixth Ave), NYC

Source: J Stoddard Final Blog

 LOVE – Shinjuku, Tokyo

Source: World Visit Guide

LOVE – Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England

Source: Flickr

LOVE – In the gardens at Chatsworth House

Source: Commons Wikimedia

LOVE – Blanche Levy Gardens, University of Pennsylvania

Source: And Dreams

LOVE – Scottsdale, Arizona

Source: my Tom Foster

LOVE – L’Hotel Montreal, Montreal, QC

Source: Black Cog Bicycle Blog

And this last LOVE I definitely couldn’t leave out…

LOVE – Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Vancouver, BC

Source: Flickr

These are just a sampling of all the LOVE that’s out there!

But do you know what’s really backwards?

Source: Flickr

According to Mental Floss Blog, even thought Indiana’s LOVE spread, his name didn’t, and he had little financial gain. Indiana hadn’t wanted to disrupt his initial design with his signature or a copyright notice, which meant he had no legal protection against imitators. This resulted in his image being replicated (stolen) in countless ways. Indiana eventually copyrighted some variants of his creation, but by that time it was too late to file suit against the flood of false LOVEs on the market.

Robert Indiana has an interesting history, more than I can do justice in a recap here, but it’s worth it to read up on him. I thought Megan Wilde’s article in Mental Floss Blog was very informative. And for more on Robert Indiana you might want to check out Ro Gallery here.

One last little piece of info…

Source: If It’s Hip It’s Here Blog

Did you know that Robert Indiana was actually born Robert Clarke, and he adopted the name of his native state, Indiana, as a pseudonymous surname early in his career?

Interesting history, indeed. And thanks to Robert Indiana, we have a whole lot of LOVE spread around!

I hope you have a great day!




It’s about coming home… and home is a remarkable space that tells your story. Contact me if you need a little help!

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Flower Fashion in February

It seems like everyone is ready for a zap of colour and a hit of cheer.

How about this for a little flower fashion in February!

Saw it on Pinterest

Source: Pinterest / French Essence Blog

And couldn’t resist. Can you say no to tulips and a jug like this?

Gingham and some simple jars. How hard can it be?

Source: Comforts of Home Blog

Instant charm with a vintage feeling of home!

Or maybe paint a little colour on your Mason jars…

Source: Pinterest 

To give them a custom look and feel of their own.

 Even enjoy just having a few fresh cuts ‘hanging around’!

Source: European Chic Design Blog

I think this is fun, and so easy to do.

But I’ve never seen this idea before…

Source: Country Living

Have you?

Repurpose your tin cans into something new.

Source: Tumblr

And treat yourself to a little al fresco, too.

How about a group of vintage milk bottles to keep a bouquet standing tall?

Source: Country Living

I think this one might be my favorite of all!

Isn’t having a little fun a great thing to do? Are you inspired to gather some flowers and try something new?

I hope this adds a little colour to your day, and puts a smile on your face. It’s February, and Spring is coming! 🙂

It’s about coming home… and home is a remarkable space that tells your story. Contact me if you want a little help!



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