“My work here is mostly linoleum prints & letterpress prints. I love working with linoleum because of its versatility. My goal is to make awesome original art accessible and affordable. And funny, on occasion. I enjoy simplicity in design. You’ll notice that a lot of my work is inspired by silhouettes, quotes, and simple ink drawings. I like clean lines.”
Not only are these great pieces for you home (thinks kids rooms, laundry rooms, anywhere you need a spunky piece of art) or office but they can also serve as great gifts for a friend or coworker. I purchased one for Liam’s room and I love it. Amazing quality and completely homemade. The shops slogan is “so handmade it hurts.” How cute is that?!
What a wonderful week this has been. A time for me and Jill to be thankful and soak up our families. Jill welcomed a new baby boy to her crew – Jonah (from his pictures, he looks so precious!!). And our fam has spent the most perfect week on the beach. Each year on vacation, I feel overwhelmingly grateful for what I have – a healthy family, great job, and amazing friends. This year, I have added our fun little blog to that list. This space that I share with a dear friend and fabulous readers. We are so grateful for those of you who join us on Middle Redefined. It’s definitely allowed Jill and me the opportunity to explore our creative sides, and we’re excited to see what’s in store for the future.
So for today, I’ll leave you with a quote that touched me. I saw this on Pinterest and thought it would make a great wall hanging for an office. And cheers to the ending of a perfect week!
One of our friends, Brianne, also has an addiction to the West Bottoms Flea Market. So for today’s guest post, we asked her to share her favorite finds and how she’s used them in her home. As you can see, she’s so creative and has a knack for accessorizing. Jill and I are thrilled to be able to share her post with you because we know you’ll be inspired. Hope you enjoy today’s post, written by Brianne herself – thanks Brianne!
About two and a half years ago I was watching The Nate Berkus Show (RIP, unless you count the reruns on Oprah’s network, which I don’t.) There was a lady on that was showing how she repurposed furniture and she mentioned having a store in Kansas City called Good JuJu. She mentioned it being in the West Bottoms, which I only knew as the location of the haunted houses and a cool backdrop for urban style family photos. A quick Google search showed me that her store was amongst others in the Bottoms, all of which were only open the first weekend of every month which was called Warehouse Weekend. I hit the next sale to check it out for myself and have missed very few weekends over the years. Just to show you all that the West Bottoms have to offer, I thought I’d share some of my favorite scores! All store’s vendors replenish stock throughout the weekend. Many of my earlier purchases came from Good JuJu. I purchased this buffet from a vendor there. She then painted it for me the color I needed. I love the clean lines and all of the storage it provides.
Refinished Grey Hutch
This turquoise mirror is also one of my Good JuJu finds.
Little Girl’s Room
I custom ordered this bookshelf from a store called Bottoms Up Antique Market. Bottoms Up has over 60 vendors and four floors. The vendor had one bookshelf on the floor but could also make them the dimensions you need and with the metal finish you’d like.
Metal Shelf Accessorized
The tar-stained wood was from a chicken barn and was unfinished, but after living with it for a while I decided to stain it. The darker look just felt more like me and now I love it even more!
This milk crate came from a shop called Nook and Cranny. I love the milk company’s name on the front. I cleaned it up and filled it with some of my husband’s favorite adult bottles since we don’t have space in our home for an actual bar. Father’s Day gift success!
My most recent purchase was this amazing gold ornate mirror at this month’s sale. I literally walked/ran to it when I saw it from the doorway of the second floor at Bella Patina because I was so worried that someone else was seeing it at the same time I was. It was seriously large Marge and although I had no idea where I was going to put it, I knew I had to have it and would figure it out.
My favorite store by far for antique & vintage shopping in the West Bottoms is Restoration Emporium. Much of my smaller decorative items have come from here. From mason jar soap dispensers to décor for every season and holiday, it has everything and is always our first stop. I came across these vintage bug prints and knew they’d be perfect for my son Rowan’s camp-themed room. I purchased the wood-grained finish frames from Ikea and hung them above his art table. If you only have time to visit one store in the West Bottoms, Restoration Emporium is a can’t miss.
Little Boy’s Room
Thanks for checking out some of my favorite flea market finds! Hope they’ve inspired you to do some exploring and rethinking for your own home!
And instead of the traditional mobile over the crib, Lora and Stefanie gathered pink poms together, along with ribbon from Halle’s baby shower gifts. I love how fluffy they look! Halle gets to stare up at a bunch of pink clouds each night!
The navy and white chevron curtains make such a statement.
Navy and Pink Nursery
And I love her tiny personalized pillow.
Etsy art with more chevron along with pink animals go perfectly next to her painted family dresser. Look at those knobs!
Painted dresser and Etsy Art
And there’s her precious son adoring his new baby sister framed on her dresser - I mean, doesn’t your heart just melt?
Thank you so much for sharing Lora! Love, love, love Halle’s room, and I’m so glad everyone else gets to see it now. Here’s Lora’s source list:
On my 19th birthday my dad gave me a birthday card. I know that doesn’t sound newsworthy or anything but inside this card was a handwritten letter. My first one from my dad. My mom has always been wonderful about writing thoughtful messages but for some reason my dad decided to buy a card all by himself and write me a personal note.
I framed this letter – and throughout the years I would read it to make my day better or to cheer me up. This letter went with me to college, on my move to California and back and is now still hanging in my first home. I can recite the letter in its entirety.
SO, when we got pregnant with our first son I asked myself, “What would be a great personal gift that we could give to our son?” I was sitting up one night and glanced over at the letter my dad had written me and decided that a letter from each of us would be the perfect solution.
I bought two simple black frames that were square in size (huge fan of square frames), sat down with the mister – in separate rooms (so he couldn’t copy ) and pretty much got emotional. I was pregnant and you can literally cry about anything when you are pregnant! But see this is the perfect time to write such a meaningful letter.
DIY – Letter of Love – Handwritten letters to our boys
This “letter of love” captures my wishes, advice, and promises to my son. The mister wrote a letter separately – since mothers and fathers have different perspectives and wishes for their children. Although I love how there were similarities in both of the letters.
My hope is that Liam will take these letters with him throughout his life – and if he goes through his teenage years and having a letter from mom and dad framed in your room isn’t “cool” that is fine. I guess I will just have to hang them in his closet for a couple years.
The letters go perfectly on his wall of other artwork in his “big boy room”.
Letters among other art work for collage
Now with 4 weeks to go until our newest member of the family arrives it is time to get working on his letter. Time to go get a box of tissues.
Stay tuned for Liam’s “big boy room” later this week – featuring more DIY art and DIY light fixture.
A couple weekends ago, we had professional family photos taken. I decided that I wanted a photo in which we would have not just our immediate family, but also my little man’s grandparents, aunt, and uncle. I was really excited about these photos because I don’t have anything with both sides of the family in it. And I wanted to put these on display in my house, so there were a few things I had to think about when planning them out:
1. Choosing the color scheme. Since the colors in my house are mostly grays, I asked everyone to wear some sort of grey and/or white. People in the photos shouldn’t necessarily have the exact same combination (i.e. – don’t have everyone wear a blue shirt with gray shorts). The photo is more balanced when there are variations among the group. It’s also important for people to wear clothes that they feel comfortable in. Don’t make your dad wear a tie if he NEVER wears a tie. It’s not a true representation of who he is, and he’ll look stiff in the picture.
2. Picking the scene. Since I wanted everything to stay very much in the white/gray family, I chose to take the photos by an old school house. This provided the perfect backdrop. When thinking about where to take your photos, whether it’s in a studio or outside, think about how the colors of the background not only enhance what your family is wearing, but also your interiors. Also, think about what “style” you want the background to be – industrial like buildings downtown, casual and around your own house, or maybe you want rustic like an old barn. Plan it out and talk with your photographer about what look you’re going for. Once you frame these photos and put them on your wall, they can truly become art when they coordinate with the feel of whatever room you put them in.
3. Bringing meaningful ”props.” When you’re having photos of your children taken, they are way more comfortable when they’re “playing” during the photos. For instance, my little man loves to write and draw. So I brought a framed chalkboard that he could write on during photos. I also wanted to capture that side of him because it’s such a big part of who he is. Bringing a toy, balloons, or something very personal to your child can help bring out very genuine laughter and smiles that you want to capture.
4. Telling your vision to your photographer. It’s important that he or she understands the look you’re after and what kinds of poses you’d like. Having that conversation ahead of time helps them be successful in the end and gives you the best possible photos of your beautiful family.
Now that I’ve shared my tips, here are my photos! I’m so thrilled with them!! Thank you so much to Casey of Little Things Photography for taking them – check out her blog for more information on her services!
Interacting in Family Photos – Little Things Photography – Middle Redefined
Meet the newest member of our family – a deer head wall mount. My little man named him Antler. We are all inundated with deer head design in magazines and catalogs. And these little guys had been growing on me, so when I decided that I needed something else for my powder room wall, I sought out a fun porcelain deer head to mount.
I think he’s quite fun don’t you? I think it’s funny that he’ll stare men down as they use the bathroom. I wanted to provide you a link to where to find it at Land of Nod, but I don’t think it’s available anymore.
Back wall of powder room
My powder room has the same gray walls as my family room and kitchen, and our vanity is white with white countertops. The wall art under Antler is antique wrapping paper that I found at a flea market. I love the geometrical design.
So, you have seen the bed and my quick tutorial about linens. Now for a cruise around the rest of our master bedroom . As my “almost 4 year old” would say, “blue is my favorite color” after every time he spots or talks about anything blue. I too LOVE blue as it is my “favorite color” but I took this to another level by adding many colors within the blue spectrum into our master bedroom.
Campaign inspired furniture along with turquoise accessories and colorful abstract art
This blue hue spectrum scale was easy to achieve with dynamic abstract paintings on opposite walls that incorporated many of these tones. I have this trio of three on one wall. The three pieces of art in a row work together nicely and the accessories anchor the colors used in the painting.
Turquoise abstract art along with campaign inspired furniture
And you may have seen the post on the other art piece in the room.
Spring Art in Master Bedroom above Vintage Settee
I scored the main furniture pieces in our Master Bedroom off Craigslist of course – which are Bassett (score!) and my magical husband took these pieces to like-new shape. Oh how I wish I had the before and after pics of these puppies but kudos to the mister for making these spectacular. I scored all four pieces for $125 total! I know, crazy right?! But again, you should have seen them before…the couple we bought these from had used the pieces since they were married but since Bassett does make quality items they were in great condition. I had high hopes into making these true campaign pieces but decided to keep with the simple brass hardware pulls.
Greek Key Lamps – Side Table Simplicity
I have always been a sucker for greek key and I scored these two lamps at Pier One on clearance.
Lamp Shade Greek Key Detail
The lighting in the room had to go – again, I won the battle of getting rid of the ceiling fan (yippie!) So I found this pretty lady (yes, I have a love affair for great lighting so I can call it a lady). She came from Wilson Lighting here in KC – and waited it out until it went on clearance. That was torture waiting but it was well worth the wait to get nearly $200 off listed price.
Beautiful simple light fixture – adds warmth and elegance
I will prove my obsession with light fixtures at a later date. Next, with funky-hard-to-figure-out windows that cause havoc in the corner I decided to go with a simple ivory roman shade. These create a great filter for light to come through and I found these at JCPenny Home. If you want simple and basic, JCPenny has some great options for window treatments. I originally searched for a great detail trim to add to the top flap of these to look more custom but I haven’t yet spotted exactly what I am looking for – the hunt continues.
Ivory roman shades – simple and provides great filtered light
And more accessories spotted around the room – which are definitely heirloom type items – Missoni throw pillow and Cross blessed by the Pope from the Vatican. Both items made in Italy – perhaps the latter has much more meaning but I do love me some Missoni. Each member of my immediate family has the same exact cross in their house – it was their Christmas gift years back after my tour around Italy.
Missoni decorative pillow
Cross from the Vatican while visiting and touring Italy.
Side Table accessories – help bring in blue hues in three shades
Bedroom – turquoise, cobalt blue and emerald green accessories
There you have it – you won’t find a television anytime soon in our bedroom – the mister and I don’t believe in it and I won’t fool you, the bedside books rarely see my eyes but that allows for the master bedroom to be a place for sleep and comfort. In our instance, a major case of the blues…but in a good way.
When I was in college, my incredibly creative friend Jamie had this massive photo board that displayed all kinds of fun pictures of all our friends and her family. One day, I asked her to show me how to create my own, and it has traveled with me to every house since then. Recently, I decided to give it a face lift so it would fit a little better with my current style.
My old one was red waverly – not my husband’s favorite material.
Old Photo Board Material
For my new one, I decided to use some of my leftover recycled coffee sacks I had used for another art project. I purchased several of these off ebay for about $10. Most of the time, when you search for coffee sacks, the sellers don’t guarantee what they actually look like when you get them. However, I’ve loved all the ones I’ve received.
Recycled Coffee Sack
If you’re starting from scratch, just buy an artist’s canvas. They make perfect photo boards, and you can usually buy them in multi-packs at Hobby Lobby for $5-$10. Lay your material over the top and wrap the fabric around the back, tucking the extra under the edging. Staple it all around the back.
Recovering Photo Board
Then use whatever kind of ribbon you want. I chose a satin cream colored ribbon because I didn’t want the color to compete with what I put on display. Depending on how large your board is, cut strips of the ribbon so that you have an equal amount of ribbon going each direction. In my case, I chose to do five strips going up and five going down.
I’m not incredibly precise with most of my projects, so you could totally measure and make sure everything is exactly even between each ribbon. In my case, I started in the middle, using the top and bottom points for the first ribbon, then worked my way out by eyeballing it from there. Each time I cut the ribbon, I just left an extra inch so I could wrap it around to the back. I did all one way and then all the other way…no need to mess with weaving anything in and out of each other.
Adding Ribbon to Photo Board
Staple the ribbon on the back.
Back of Photo Board
Find decorative tacks to stick into the canvas at the cross-sections of the ribbon. Once you push them in, however, you have to put something on the back to make them stay put. Jamie came up with the brilliant plan to cut Q-tips and use the sticks as the back. I just ended up reusing those same Q-tips – if it ain’t broke… My mom made some of these recently to donate to a nursing home, and she sewed buttons on instead of using tacks. They looked adorable.
Photo Board Finishing Touch
We use our photo board in the kitchen to display photos of our family and friends. It’s also a perfect place to hold invites instead of on the fridge. Hope this inspires you to create your own display boards!
I am all about simple DIY projects and I cherish meaningful art pieces. Last year Valentine’s Day I wanted to create something unique and meaningful for the mister and to a better job at acknowledging one of his main “love languages”. Words of affirmation is a huge “love language” of his – so, I went to work on a very simple DIY that did the trick.
A simple “I ____ you because…” fill in the blank. This can be filled in with “I appreciate you because…” or “I love you because…” or get a little saucy with “I want you because…” Hopefully not too many “I loathe you because…” or “I am angry at you because…”
This project is SO incredible simple. Buy a frame – I love square frames for this project. Pick up a sheet of scrapbook paper that fits the frame size. I used 12×12 and in total this cost me 12 dollars. I have a set of typewriter inspired stamps that I use on many projects and I chose to emboss these letters individually (I have a secret obsession when it comes to embossing – more on this in later posts). But, if you haven’t tried embossing to make your own thank you notes or stationary you are missing out. So simple!
Once you emboss or stamp “I ___ you because…” you frame the paper and then you write on the outside glass with dry erase markers. SO EASY!
I added the “XO” to the end where we usually sign our names and this hangs in our laundry room next to our mail / key drop off. This is a place where the mister and I walk into every single day and these little notes really make me smile.
DIY Art – Meaningful Art Project
My favorite to date – which I secretly took a picture of…
[caption id="attachment_380" align="alignnone" width="640"] Favorite “I…you because…” DIY Meaningful Art
While I have a hopeless romantic as a husband this little board is easy for me to leave messages to him so I much better at telling him my appreciation / love by a simple note on a more regular basis.
I have actually gifted this to friends of mine who were getting married as a shower / wedding gift. If anyone would like to “order” one comment and let me know I would be happy to put my embossing skills to work and send it your way!
Cheers to spreading the love with this simple DIY project and showing your appreciation to your loved ones!