Art around the house: Crafty again

The last time I was crafty on a big scale, it was for a big party for me and NPY. Now, I’ve done it again.

Second bedroom: Gallery wall

After years of accumulating “art cards” (post cards, five-card KORT sets from IKEA), Canada Post special edition stamps and other paraphernalia, and the like, I finally could take them out of storage boxes and display my great taste. Further, as we struggle to decide on pieces to furnish our condo, the art instantly added personalized warmth to the space.

And when your collection is so eclectic, a gallery wall is the solution. NPY was quite the skeptic about how my random assortment of art would fit together. Well, against the gray walls we painted two summers ago, white frames, a theme of utter cute and colour would tie it all together… I hoped.

All of the following, in order of creation (mostly), is for the second bedroom’s “gallery wall”

Vulcan Calligraphy

On February 27, 2015, Leonard Nimoy passed away at the age of 83. Meanwhile, the day before, I had this sudden inspiration to frame some of the Vulcan calligraphy images I discovered and had downloaded the year before and keep staring at me from my Downloads folder.

Of course the phrase I most wanted to frame was, “To boldly go where no man has gone before,” but the image was too long and I had to select from my collection two quotes that were the same “shape”. They are not bad quotes:

  • On the left is the quote about deduction, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
  • On the right is one accurate observation, “After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true.”

Traveling Hearts shadow box

This was the most costly crafty piece and my “crowning glory” for this gallery wall. I had seen this idea around Pinterest and it tickled my traveller’s fancy. I love to remind you where I’ve been to. NPY said it was most sappo piece. :P

I got the shadow box from IKEA over a year before, thinking I would frame our wedding guests’ well wishes but that’s just way sappy and doesn’t have the travel element. Then I visited a used bookstore for an atlas. Ideally, I wanted vintage maps but ended up with a regular old (but also dated so has a retro feel) Canadian Oxford World Atlas and I tried to select maps with different magnifications and colouration. I bought a wooden heart template from Michaels and traced around it and affixed the hearts to gray and pink foam. Finding a gray background was tricky because I couldn’t find gray Bristol board and it was often discoloured anyhow. So it occurred to me to wrap something sturdy enough like foamcore with gray fabric. In addition, I thought a fabric background would be interesting and warm up the piece. It was pretty cheap after all – $1.50 for the foamcore and $4 for 1 m2 of fabric – and the cute sticker letters with a travel theme were luckily also on clearance (regular $6.99, on sale for $1.50)!

Pop colour citrus

I saw this colourful print on a curated list at Brit & Co. and when the shapes are so simple, I just cannot fathom paying for it. Further, I get to wrestle with Powerpoint to reproduce the shapes and that is actually my kind of fun…! I recognize there are intellectual property concerns….

Cantonese idioms print

I could order this print from the Facebook page but the order form is all in Chinese or print the 1,000 x 1,200 JPG from the source article. As expressed in my Catch Star Girl blog post, the existence of this poster of Cantonese idioms is important to me and I want to do what I can to keep the colourful language alive.


J ♥ W three-panel

These wood blocks were lovingly put together by Joanne, BIL’s girlfriend ahead of our big party, because we love word games. The value of W is actually 4 but we assumed our Chinese guests wouldn’t want to see that number at the party and changed it to 8!

Yellow-and-Gray three panel canvas

This piece got me back into being “arty” all over again when I was working on it last summer. I hung over the double bed we slept on in the second bedroom for 10 months but now has been relocated to a different corner.

The lamp

I bought this lamp on sale from Canadian Tire a few year ago for $15 but go so tired of the red lampshade which strikes me as so dim. I went to the usuals (Canadian Tire/Home Depot/Homesense) but none of those replacement lampshades fit my lamp and one that looked like it would from IKEA the ring was in fact too big. So I started looking at DIY solutions and, well, it’s just better. You can utterly personalize it. For a fraction of the cost.

Before (sigh, that apartment in Toronto)

After (yes, the desk is in the closet)

E is for …

One of my favourite pieces is the door plaque. I got the idea from combing through Pinterest and Etsy then set out to Michael’s. I bought the wooden E which was smoothly polished and painted the edge deep purple before applying the embossed purple paper on the surface. The wooden lion cutout is a perennial clearance item at Michael’s for $0.89 and you have to inspect it to see if it didn’t get scratched up. Glued it altogether and E will know he has his very own space (which I’m currently invading).

Disney Tsum Tsum Perler clock

Full details of the clock blogged about separately.

Disney birth announcement

I love birth announcements. So much so I was drafting one using the name of a friend’s baby before E was even born. So much so my welcome gift to that friend was a birth announcement on a pillow. Meanwhile, I wanted a print for E and was stumbling on reproducing the little graphic of elephants or giraffes that jazz up the otherwise all text. Then I saw the one with Mickey Mouse, and I knew which way to go. I post the sample below because there’s not need to parade E’s stats, right?

I used Google’s presentation web app to create the file because I love the fonts available to me – Delius Unicase channels such innocence and happiness and is more modern than the one used in the sample. I swapped some boring stamps out of a medium size Ikea Ribba frame and coordinated with the spots of red ink a red foam mat. For our Disney-loving friends TB, I editted the file for their recent arrival, Little T.


On this day..