DIY – Artwork Turned Bulletin Board

Often times we have great pieces around the house, it just takes a bit creativity, imagination, and some TLC to morph it into a new piece.  A perfect example is a once art piece that I stumbled upon at Hilary’s house while Erica and I were recently there to help her with her dining room and kitchen accessorizing.

Before – the colors just didn’t work with the space anymore and Hilary was thinking of getting rid of the piece altogether.  She then told me she wanted a bulletin board for her kitchen and the wheels starting turning in my head.  Why not turn the once art work piece into a bulletin board?

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Leaving the frame color the same, using the beautiful coral hue that is in the dining room,  adding a couple cork pieces, and would you look at that?  It looks like a brand new piece.

(DISCLAIMER – these AFTER photos were taken at night – the lighting is awful and the colors are much prettier in real life.)

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Total cost – $9 dollars, some good quality time with left over dining room paint, and a steady hand while free hand painting.

Stop and think – what pieces might be laying around the house that just need a little update or perhaps a new purpose?  You might just be amazed and able to save some money reinventing a tired piece.

 

Family Organization Board

I hope the Easter bunny was good to all.  He sure was good to our family.

Liam, adorned with his snake face painting experienced Pop Rocks for the first time.  The look on his face is priceless…woah, what is going on in my mouth right now look of amazement.  His first response, “this is awesome!”.IMG_8168Dax was completely overjoyed when he heard that he got to go first in the family Easter egg hunt as the younger bunch got a head start out of the gates.  Here is the Dax-yeah-that’s-right-I-get-a-head-start look…IMG_8242Jonah “jo jo” Bear, was busy maneuvering his larger than normal body all over the place, and ever so often, captured the ever elusive ball rejoicing in victory!IMG_8185I had the same feeling when I received my new “Focus Board”.  I have been searching for a couple months now for the perfect solution that is stylish yet functional to host all of the weeks events in one place.  Alas, I found Kimbees Creations shop on Etsy.

I messaged Kim and asked if I could place a special order to her “Motivational / Focus Board” she had posted and within no time she created our custom board.  IMG_8175

Kevin and I sat down and picked out custom quotes, categories and layout.  I emailed Kim to see if we could make it a bit larger and we got a custom proof back from Kim.

The print is 24×36 and I got the reclaimed wood frame at Hobby Lobby using my 40% off coupon.  The print was only $45 dollars – what an amazing price for a custom piece!  She even included a chalkboard marker that we write on the glass with and it cleans off easily with water.

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I would HIGHLY recommend this if you are looking for a cleaver way to keep your family organized – especially if your husband is like mine loves lists or if you just have a busy life in general.  You can tell, he was the first one to write on the board – his own illustrations included.

A bit about Kim, the fabulous owner and creator of Kimbees Creations – “I was a stay-at-home Mom for 22 years to my five children. Life changed, and I am now happily married with a large blended family, which includes my five and his two, four of whom are married, and have given us six grandchildren (with two more on the way!). Even though I am now working full time in education, family is my center. All of my creations and designs were originally created for family members, who then encouraged me to start an Etsy site. I continue to add new designs, based upon special requests.”

Huge high five to you Kim and thank you so much – we LOVE our Hall Family Focus Board!

 

 

 

What to Do with Kid Art

Recently I was talking to my neighbor about what to do with kid art. Anyone with kids experiences the same dilemma: What do we do with all the adorable crafts, paintings, drawings, and hand art that our kids bring home from school? We feel awful throwing it away, but then it just seems to lay in a box somewhere for years taking up precious storage space. And frankly, we might look at it one more time in our lives when our kids leave the house and we try and give them all their memorabilia.

So I asked some of my friends how they handle this, and here are a couple ideas:

Display it and learn to purge the rest. Create a gallery wall of the pieces that mean the most to you and your child. You can buy a set of matching frames and use them as art. Or, run a string across a wall and use clothes pins to showcase the latest and greatest. Then, when you replace items, purge some. Think about what a particular piece says about your child at that moment in his or her life. Save a few key items and then recycle the rest. You’ll be OK, I promise.

Gallery wall

Kid Art Wall

My Son, Kingston’s Room

Create a photo book. You could either buy the old photo albums that actually have holders and stick each piece in there. Or, you could scan all the art into your computer and create a photo book through an online site, such as Snapfish or Shutterfly. Doing this would reduce the clutter in your house. And you’d be more apt to pick up a photo book to look through than a box of old art that got shoved under the Christmas decorations boxes.

Photo Book

Hope this helps you showcase your child’s art in a way that reduces clutter around your home but still gives it the props it deserves!

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Door Letter

So we just got back from vacation in Colorado. My little man learned to ski for the first time, and we all experienced the beautiful mountains. I haven’t skied since I was a teen, and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought. My idea of a vacation is generally laying on a beach reading a book, but this Colorado vacation ended up being so much fun!

Back to reality though. I’m so ready to get back to our routine. After holiday craziness and then a leap right into vacation, I’m happy to be back at work (does anyone else ever feel that way?).

Jill and I have both had a hard time keeping up with the blog the past couple months. However, we’re hoping to get back on track with the start of the new year. Maybe that means our lives will slow down a bit (not likely). Anyways, my neighbor’s adorable daughter is redoing her room. And I was able to go over and snap a few “before” shots so that I can show you those along with the “afters” once they’re done.

While I was there, something caught my eye. And I thought it was such a cute DIY project, that I had to share – before they’re done redecorating. Her name is Demi, and she created this “D” to hang on her bedroom door. Love it!

DIY Door Letter - www.middleredefined.com DIY Door Letter – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

Here’s how you do it:

Materials- cardboard, scissors, decorated paper, modge podge, sharpie

Step 1: draw letter of your choice on cardboard

Step 2: cut out letter

Step 3: cover the letter in modge podge then put decorated paper on the letter (you can add glitter too if so then cover decorated paper in modge podge then apply glitter)

Step 4: let dry

When dry hang on wall or door. My neighbor used Command Velcro Strips and they worked great. Have fun!

Kansas State Song + Paint = Art

A little tribute to the my home state of Kansas of “Home on the Range” – written by Dr. Brewster Higley (1876) was my inspiration for a recent Sunday art project.  This one took a tad longer than expected thanks to my oldest wanting to help and my indecisiveness with the background color.

Progression shots as you can see how I started off with a much lighter, more aqua toned background… IMG_6451

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www.middleredefined.com http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

Did you notice the mister super excited holding the painting in progress above?  He wasn’t super stoked about me changing the background color three different times.  Sorry I didn’t take a photo of me free handing the words – I was in major concentration mode.  All in all it ended up to be a huge success and I was happy with the result.  Don’t be made at me if you are singing “Home, home on the range…” the rest of the day.

Wall of Mirrors

The perfect backdrop to my parents beautiful dining room table and fall tablescape (check it out here if you missed it) is what I like to call “the wall of mirrors.”IMG_6365When you have a wall that serves as the backdrop to a 16 foot long table the key ingredient is understanding scale.  One large piece of art would not suffice, nor would a series of art work.  The perfect solution?  Create a dynamic and interesting collage of mirrors.  The reflection of the mirrors also serve a purpose making the room appear larger with more depth instead of a long narrow shape.

My first response when I brought this idea to my mom was average at best.  She was hesitant taking on the task of creating this collage and risk of not knowing how it would turn out.  Patience is a virtue in this case as her wall of mirrors has evolved over the span of three plus years.  The reason?  Each mirror has a story and a meaning behind it.  You aren’t going to find a mirror from a typical home good store on this wall…

For example – this beauty was our thank you gift to my parents after our wedding and we purchased it while honeymooning in Paris, France.  Talk about a long trip back with a fragile early 1900′s hand carved mirror!  Completely worth it though…it is stunning.IMG_6383Or these two mirrors that mix a more modern gray straight lines mirror (mothers day gift) with that of a two hundred year old frame from Belgium (my moms family).  IMG_6386Or a frame purchased on a family trip to Maui from old sailboat wood.  And the mirror that used to serve as the landing for my dads childhood farm house of his family of nine brothers and sisters.  My dad actually laughs looking back thinking he never actually knew it was a mirror because it was always covered by coats, hats and scarves.  IMG_6384The large round mirror a gift from my dad to my mom for Christmas one year.  The large rectangle mirror a gift from my brothers and sister in laws for Christmas as well.  IMG_6388And the intricate hand carved mirror from my mom’s cousin (practically like a sister) Barb that she found antique shopping.IMG_6381

IMG_6393I think my mom would agree that watching this wall evolve has been enjoyable.  Although patience is key – as character like this wall of mirrors doesn’t develop over night but provides a meaningful display of family history and love.  The perfect solution.

 

Walking in Memphis

I was in Memphis last week for work, and we went out on Beale street the night we were there. Beale street is much smaller than I thought it would be, but we found a place with great blues music, which makes me so happy. So I thought it might be fun to explore art that represents Memphis – the blues, Elvis, the famous street. Some fun options to be had on art.com. Just so happens they’re running a 30% off special right now that lasts until Tuesday (use code WUN96). Hope you find some great stuff!

Beale Street Sign Print

Beale Street Sign

Beale Street Sign

Rum Boogie Cafe Print

Rum Boogie Cafe Print

Rum Boogie Cafe Print

 

BB King’s Sign Poster

BB King's Sign

BB King’s Sign

 

Swingville All-Star’s Poster

Swingville All-stars Poster

Swingville All-stars Poster

 

Memphis Guitar Shack Art

Memphis Guitar Shack Art

Memphis Guitar Shack Art

 

Elvis Abstract Art

Elvis Abstract Art

Elvis Abstract Art

 

Heartbreak Hotel Sign Print

Heartbreak Hotel Sign Print

Heartbreak Hotel Sign Print

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Abstract Painting

I channeled my inner Jill and Kathy (my mom) this weekend. Of course I received help from my mom on this project, but we don’t need to dwell on that. What did I do, you say? Well, I created my first real painting! I had a big open space in my master bedroom that I just couldn’t figure out what to do with. My mom had purchased a large, framed painting from Tuesday Morning a while back because it was on clearance for $20 – the frame alone was worth more than that. Several times, she has taken paintings like that and just painted right over them to get what she was looking for. So, I decided that an abstract painting would be perfect for that open space in my room, and she helped me get exactly what I wanted!

Here’s the painting she originally bought.

Original Painting

Original Painting

And here’s our inspiration photo. I wish I could give credit to whatever magazine it came out of, but I simply can’t remember. Sorry about that!

Inspiration Photo

Inspiration Photo

 

We popped out the canvas and painted white acryllic paint all over.

Making a Clean Slate

Making a Clean Slate

Once that dried, we used a coral color, a make-shift mint (I mixed a greenish color with white and a bit of yellow and blue to get the right shade), and a charcoal grey. All I really did was create large, square-ish sections. Then I’d blend each section into each other a bit so that it wasn’t an exact pattern. The original painting already had a great texture to it, so it added to the effect perfectly.

DIY Abstract Painting

DIY Abstract Painting

Back in the frame, it looked absolutely fabulous!

DIY Abstract Painting - www.middleredefined.com DIY Abstract Painting – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

 

DIY Abstract Painting Closeup - www.middleredefined.com DIY Abstract Painting Closeup – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

I’m so excited to get it up on the wall this next weekend! One more project for the master bedroom off the list! And I feel like I’m ready for more painting, don’t you?

Closet Art

If every other room in your house has art filling the walls, why should the closet be left out?  I am not talking coat closet or small walk-in closet here.  I am talking master room, major walk-in, jewelry box style closet.  These type of closets could use some art on the walls and I have found the perfect art for my walk-in closet.  Here is a look at a few details of our master room closet which better explains my top art choices.

Closet Collage

 

Closet Collage 2

Since I chose the high-color, bold color, glam look in my closet these are all great choices that I am having a tough time deciding between.

All of these art piece can be found at the fabulous online shop, Waiting on Martha.  I have a slight obsession with this site right now.  Check it out, you will have to buy something I guarantee it!

Here are my four favorites that are in the running, which will soon be hung in our master closet.  Perhaps I will give the mister two votes since we do “share” the closet.  And I use the word share lightly.  Its more of a 3/4 – 1/4 split.

Which is your favorite.  I know, tough decision. I am thinking the Hermes print since my last name is Hall it is only fitting right?  That is the same excuse I use every time I see something fabulous from Hermes.  Now only if that would work for the coveted Avalon blanket.  For now, I will take the $19 print and hang it in my closet!  Do you have art in your closet?

 

 

 

 

 

Decorating a Long Wall

My friend Katie – the one with the amazing navy and pink wedding – just moved to Dallas from NYC. She and her new hubby are living it up in an apartment until they figure out exactly what part of Dallas in which they want to settle. Katie’s challenge in this space is a long wall that connects her living room with her dining area. Instead of creating two distinct spaces, she decided to do a gallery wall. She did a beautiful job of layering lots of classic neutrals with rustic-looking items.

And even though the gallery wall flows really well from one space to the next, it’s important to ground each area as well. For instance, the mirrow overlooking her dining table helps define the space without closing it off or looking too separated from the living room. After corresponding with Katie about her design challenge and then seeing it completed, I asked Katie if we could her photos with all of you – thankfully, she agreed! These are great inspiration photos for anyone challenged with decorating a long wall that overlooks multiple “rooms.” Enjoy!

Decorating a long wall - www.middleredefined.com

Decorating a long wall – http://www.middleredefined.com/caption

 

[caption id="attachment_1857" align="alignleft" width="600"]K+P Family Room K+P Family Room

 

 

Chicken Wire Shelf

Chicken Wire Shelf

 

K+P Family Room Decor

K+P Family Room Decor

 

K+P Family Room Decor 2

K+P Family Room Decor 2

 

K+P Dining Area

K+P Dining Area

 

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