Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

I Have A Dream.

Posted on | February 2, 2013 | 4 Comments

And it involves gallery wrapped canvas prints.  Last year when I was decorating the den I ordered 3 canvas prints of my favorite beach photos.  I was very happy with them and they went perfectly with the beach decor.

But they were expensive.  Especially considering how small they were.  We’re not going to discuss how expensive they were because The Other Half subscribes to this blog (Other Half: Please note that I did use a Groupon.).  But ever since I got them I have dreamed of having some very large gallery wrapped canvas prints to hang downstairs on the family room walls.  I want the prints to be pictures of the trees surrounding the house in various seasons.  Most of our property is wooded, hence the name Woodland Pond farm, and the trees form the background of our lives.  So why not the background of our living space?

I even began taking lots of photos of the trees and keeping them in a digital folder for later use.  Photos like the trees in fall….

and winter….

and summer…..

and, somewhere, the dogwoods and redbuds in spring.  Apparently those photos didn’t make it into the “TREES” folder.  Which means at some point I am going to have to search the 8 million photos on my hard drive to find them.  Or probably wait until next spring to take new ones.  The latter will be the faster route, I’m sure.

After all, I’m not in a big hurry.  I want the canvases to be very large—approx 30″X40″—and I won’t be able to afford 4 canvases of that size for a while.  Especially since I save money about as well as I sort photos into digital folders.

So I sighed when I was looking over my New Year’s resolutions.  If I couldn’t mange to check off “Finish Home Decor Projects” then I was forced to move on to “Butcher Extra Roosters,” “Prune Fruit Trees and Wrap in Deer Netting”, and “Pay Electrician to Fix Wiring.”  Which put me dangerously close to “Lose weight” and, really,  I just wasn’t ready to go there yet.

Which is why I refused to let the dream die.  I went into the craft room and perused my supply of half-finished home decor items.  Out came the Laura Poss note cards I bought last December in the hopes of framing and displaying in the hallway.  I love her artwork, particularly her watercolors of the birds that are frequent visitors to our yard, and had been holding them until I stumbled onto a great arrangement idea.  Good thing I received a bunch of ornamental cardstock for Christmas that, combined with cheap photo frames, turned the note cards into this:

And an idea off Pinterest turned some spray paint out of the closet and a couple old plate racks that I purchased for $1 from Goodwill into a whole new look for the downstairs hall.

While I had the card stock out,  I put Pretty and Big to work mounting the signs I made last year reminding the kids to keep on their homework and off the computer and away from the TV.  We even hot glued some ribbon on the the back and then hung them on the entertainment center.  Once they were hung up, Big and Pretty said they were extremely distracting when trying to watch the television.  Um,..exactly.

I suppose it all would have stopped right there.  But then I found Curbly.  Which is kind of like Pinterest on steroids.  Because instead of showing an idea which you have to click on or google a thousand times to track down the original creator and the instructions to make it, Curbly has the link to the creator and the instructions right there.  All the home decor ideas are amazing and inexpensive and organized into categories.  Probably the only thing I don’t like about Curbly is that it doesn’t shut down and kick you off after 2 hours.  No, it just lets you keep looking and looking, bookmarking and bookmarking, until the kids get home from school and you haven’t been to the grocery store, washed and changed the sheets, carried out the bags of feed to the barn, or harvested the spinach.  Because you’ve been Curblying.  And if it wasn’t for the fact that you end up consuming an entire pot of coffee while Curblying, you’d never get all that stuff down before dinner.  So, be warned.  I’m just sayin.’

It was on Curbly that I discovered this project of framed tree branches.

And I thought to myself.  That’s soooo ridiculous.  Who frames fake tree branches from the craft store?  And then calls that art.  I mean, really.  Why would you do that when you could use real tree branches from the back yard OMG ISN’T THAT PERFECT!

Unfortunately, I only had a couple old frames on my shed. Which didn’t suit my idea of 4 framed projects for the family room.   Fortunately, we are very blessed to have an indoor flea market store with 50,000 square feet of bargains that are perfect for crafting and only about 20 minutes away from the farm.  Even better they accept donations as well as sell items for great prices so you can empty crap out of your house at the same time as buying replacement crap.  That maintains the balance of the universe, people.

In this case, that store was perfect for old artwork that I bought just for the frames.  I bought more than I needed because they were only $1 or $2 each and I wanted to give myself a lot of framing options.  Plus, I couldn’t resist the deals.  Plus, if you’re going to spray paint 4 frames black, you should probably spray paint 8 or 10 frames black.  Because spray painting is awesome fun.

While the frames dried, I collected tree branches, cut them to size, and arrayed them.  Then I attached them to the frames using the hot glue gun.  Because I didn’t have a large stapler and cheap frames aren’t going to withstand the pounding of poultry staples.  Also, the hot glue gun is awesome fun.

I ended up with this:

But that’s not all.  Wandering around looking for sticks inspired me to collect all sorts of nature.  Which went perfectly in my extra black frames.  Like pampas grass.

And miscanthus grass.

And hydrangea.

And even the stash of wild turkey feathers we’ve been keeping.

So even though I didn’t cover my family room walls in expensive gallery wrapped canvas, I did mange to cover them with reminders of the woodlands all around us.  Which only cost me about $10.  In natural hues which matched quite well with my couch.  And also, matched my dog.  Bonus!

I used the remaining black frames, some scrap material, and some silverware (again, from the flea market) to copy an idea from this website. My version looked like this:

And I hung them next to the kitchen clock.

Inspiring all the males in my house to ask, “Why is there silverware next to the clock?”

To which I replied, “It’s art.”

And Little followed with, “Are you sure?”

Great crafters, like great artists, are so misunderstood.

While I was putting away my craft stuff, I found a frame I forgot to spray paint.  Which was fine.  Because it gave me a chance to experiment with something else I found on Curbly.  Button letters.

The kids loved the idea of button letters.  But they didn’t understand the sign I made.

“Why does it say ‘Wash Me‘?” they asked.

“Because,”  I said proudly.  “I am going to hang it above the mirror in my bathroom.”

“Why?”  they asked.

“Because then you look in the mirror and it says ‘Wash Me’.  You know, ’cause when you’re in the bathroom it’s time to wash.  You’re dirty.  Kind of like when people write that on the windows of dirty cars, you know?  Get it?  Here, it makes more sense when it’s hung up.”

“Get it now?”  I asked.


Which kind of made me want to take back all the times I have raved over 3 legged dog sculptures they brought home from art class.  And the times I read  Mother’s Day cards that said “Your the Best” and refrained from correcting their grammar.  And all the times I had to carefully congratulate them on a beautiful drawing without indicating that I had no idea what it was supposed to be.  Art appreciation is apparently almost as gone as cursive writing.

To end off my home decor projects, I finally put up the photos in the wall hanger that I bought myself for Christmas.

And painted a section of the wall next to the bookshelves with magnetic paint to display the overflow of photos from the fridge.  I was thinking that wall would give me enough room for a couple years worth of pictures.  Too bad I only have about a foot of space left.

And then when The Other Half was getting ready to order an expensive custom made frame for our portrait of Julia (which is not actually Julia but a Nubian that looks exactly like Julia, therefore, it is a portrait of Julia to me) he discovered a black $8 frame at Michael’s that fit perfectly.  So we could finally put it on the mantle.

Which goes to show that men may not be crafty, but they know a good deal when they see one.  And until gallery wrapped canvas prints enter the “good deal” category we’ll just have to make do with what we’ve got now.

So now that I’ve knocked “Finish Home Decor Projects” off my list, we’re spending this afternoon in the barnyard.  I’ve agreed to take the kids to see Here Comes the Boom at the $3 theater.  In exchange they will help butchering the roosters tomorrow after church.  Now we just have to catch those buggers and keep them crated overnight.  Look out, boys, this train’s on a roll and it ain’t stoppin’ for you!

Until we hit the whole “Lose Weight” thing.  Then we might just have to jump the tracks.  After all, there’s no point in being so efficient at this resolution thing that it makes other people feel bad.  I mean, really.


4 Responses to “I Have A Dream.”

  1. Anne Kimball
    February 2nd, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

    Do you hate blog awards? Too stinkin’ bad, b/c I’m nomintaing you for one. The Inspiring Blogger Award. B/c I find you inspiring. There, I said it. You can find the details on my blog tomorrow (Sun).
    Incidentally, I love the artwork you did. And I love how cheaply you did it! Well done, girl…

  2. Amazed
    February 3rd, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    Wow-I’m blown away by your energy and creativity!

    Some questions:

    -Do the written signs evoke any response from your household? E.g., do they actually go brush the dogs, etc. upon reading the signs?

    -Can you come and decorate my house : ) ?

    -Would you consider left-justifying your text instead of center-justifying? Makes it easier to read.

    -Could you please slaughter my neighbors’ noisy pet roosters?!

  3. admin
    February 3rd, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

    The kids often look at the signs to find stuff to do. They have a tendency to choose “Bake a Cake” a lot 🙂

    I alternate between left and center justify. ‘Cause I like to read paragraphs on the left but then I like text centered over/under the pictures. It’s too hard for me to choose so I do some posts one way and some another. Also, ’cause I’m crazy like that.

    Ugh! Pet roosters! Perhaps you could drop off a box of kittens?

  4. Lisa D
    February 3rd, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

    The flea market accepts donations????? Who knew?

    LOVE your creativity :)Who needs Curbly? I just read your blog!

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