Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I hope you now have Baby Got Back stuck in your head.  If you don't, allow me to make sure that happens right now before reading the remainder of this post.  Baby Got Back has been out for 21 years, can you believe it??  I feel old now.

Sorry gentlemen (if there are even any men reading this!), but this post isn't about luscious lady lumps.  It's about wall art.  

When trying to decide what to hang on our walls, a lot of us are tempted to buy smaller pieces because they are cheaper than large ones.  They are also easier to buy and hang!!  Pins on Pinterest are plentiful that detail how to group photos or small wall art- you almost can't go wrong these days.  While I do have plenty of small and medium sized pieces on my walls, I also have a few large pieces that dominate a few walls.  If you live in a small house, don't be afraid of big wall hangings- they make a statement and can give that WOW factor to a room that sends your room rating from, "Oh, that's nice", to "Wowza"!

When my husband and I were renting a small house after getting out of college, we needed some wall art to warm up the place, stat.  As a former history teacher, I have an affinity for maps, and found a "classic" edition of a world map for $7 at OfficeMax.  I took it to a local shop and had it framed with a simple wood frame and acrylic (glass would have been way too heavy), and we had a huge wall hanging for much cheaper than anything we could have bought otherwise.  When we moved 6 years ago into our current house, the map kept its place above the couch in the living room.  We're constantly on the lookout for a more permanent piece of art (hopefully done by a local artist), especially since the map is now obsolete with the creation of Kosovo and the South Sudan.  I'm a nerd for knowing this, I know.  Its come in handy while watching Jeopardy and other shows, though, as I can be frequently viewed through the front window of the living room standing backwards on the couch staring at the wall.  (I wonder if my neighbors think I'm crazy sometimes...)  

That amazingly straight edge paint line was done BY HAND.  Big ups to my husband for having the steadiest hand with a paintbrush I have ever seen.  As a side note, I am rarely allowed to paint.  I'm not complaining.

Three summers ago, I went to Alaska with my husband for our "deferred honeymoon".  On our last day there, we browsed through some of the galleries in Anchorage, and found an artist we fell in love with.  The colors she used were eye popping, yet not overbearing, and we wanted to get something that would be a great reminder of our trip.  As a side note, there are some pretty amazing artists and artisans in Alaska.  During the cold and dark winter months, a lot of people turn to crafting- they then sell their item in galleries and on the internet.  You can find a lot of amazing stuff, and with the minimal incomes that many Alaskans make, their art usually helps support their families in a big way.  

Alaska is incredible.  Dave took this shot at about 11:30 at night.  Amazing.

We didn't have the room (or money!) to buy one of the pieces we found that day, but we took the artist's card and kept dreamily staring at her art on the internet.  We weren't able to buy a piece that year, but my Christmas present the following year was a huge giclee print of the artist's moose painting.  It was hand numbered and signed, and it went straight onto the very tall wall in the stairwell of my bedroom.  My husband and I had just finished painting the bedroom, and I had purposely painted this wall in a dark grey, dreaming that this print would end up as the centerpiece.  I am totally in love with it.  Here's a link to the artist's webpage if you'd like to check out her wildlife art- she's a talented lady: vrae's Online Art Gallery  Maybe one day I can have an original piece from her.  One day.

What's up, Mildred?

This is an upstairs bungalow bedroom, so the door here goes into the attic eaves and is smaller than a normal door, but I wanted to give a point of reference for the size that Mildred is.  She's amazing.  Have I told you how much I love her?

This last piece isn't a huge art piece, but I have to include it, as it was too funny not to buy.  This past Thanksgiving, my hubby and I traveled to Napa Valley and San Francisco for a "foodie vacation".  If you're not familiar with the term, just think like this:  Make ZERO plans for your vacation except restaurant reservations.  BAM.  Foodie vacation.  On our last night (there seems to be a trend here of finding art on our last nights of vacation), we had a quick dinner at a taqueria in the Mission district of SF, and wandered into a shop called Therapy.  We had had one too many cervesas, and the shop was closing.  The manager let us in while he was closing up on the promise that we weren't going to buy anything since he had already shut the books down.  Dave and I both happened to look up at the wall at the same time, looked at each other, and then at the manager.  The next thing I knew, we had bought a print of a goat, and it was being shipped to our house.  Huh.  Our bedroom is quickly on its way to becoming  a menagerie.  

Greta says hello. Never fear, I'll talk about my chevron-covered chair reupholster in a later post!

So, there you have it.  Don't just fill your walls with common pieces of "art" you can find anywhere.  If it means your walls are bare for a little bit longer than expected, go with it.  Waiting for a big, cool piece of art can be worth it.  The weirder, the better.  Take it from Greta and Mildred.  They won't steer you wrong.

Yes, I wake up to this staring at me every morning.  

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