Tag Archives: art

eMiLy cArR- NeW aRt LOvE

The other item I may not have mentioned when I was confessing about my spring shopping spree was the Emily Carr print that we found, beautifully matted and framed, and on sale for an astoundingly low price.

I mean astoundingly low.

The frame itself would have cost as much as they were asking.

The matting would have cost as much as they were asking.

And the print itself would have cost as much as they were asking.

I had to ask if it was right.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.

Once they confirmed that was, indeed, what they were asking for it, I couldn’t leave it behind.

So my wonderful mom bought it for us.  It is our Christmas present for next year.  We were going to wait until next December to put it up.

But it is so beautiful.

We put it up immediately.

We had a pretty big and bare wall in the upstairs landing.  It was the perfect place.  This is the view of the upstairs landing from the stairs.

I like how it picks up the red and orange in my husband’s and son’s dance bustles that we keep above the doorway.  So not planned…

This is the view from the landing looking down the stairway.

Here is a closer view of the print itself.  It is a painting of hers called “Autumn Woods.”

One more look.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

Hunting Vintage

We have a huge blank wall (well, three, actually) in our master bedroom and I’m looking for ways to fill them up without costing a fortune.  Vintage seems to be the logical way to go.

I love this option.  And it is easy for us to do.




Groupings of plates are graphic and interesting if you can find enough you like or decide on a theme.


This headboard art is beautiful too, but that wall in our room isn’t the problem.  I like the idea of grouping together photographs, though.

Headboard Art


A not vintage, yet gorgeous, alternative is one large canvas (if I knew what to put on it).

Bold style

I love this wall paper idea!

strips of wallpaper hung on dowels


Vintage posters are cute, too.

botanical charts on wall


Vintage paintings with a similar feel look lovely together.

wall of framed paintings between two doors


Framing vintage textiles?  Brilliant!

framed red and white embroidery


Basket collections.

Basket Art


So I guess I will need to have my eye out for anything vintage that can be grouped together on those walls, whether that be antlers, baskets, plates, wallpaper strips, bits of vintage cloth to be framed, or vintage art.

Or maybe I’ll just buy one gigantic canvas and get a paintbrush…

Hunting Vintage

We have a lot of bare wall space in our master bedroom and when I spotted these at Southern Hospitality I knew they would make pretty and interesting decorations.  And help to fill up some of that wall!



I already have some old barnwood glued together and painted (I was originally going to use it as the backing to my antler wreath).

Now the boards are just sitting there waiting to be used for something else.  Maybe hearts?

Time to print off some templates and break out the jig saw!

Wish me luck!  I’ll show you how they turn out.

Office/ Mudroom Gallery Wall

When you walk in our front door, there is a long sightline through the dining area to the back hallway mudroom.  At the end of the mudroom is our office desk.  I have always been ok with having my desk out in the open.  I didn’t want a separate room to have to take stuff in and out of to deal with.  And I can’t be trusted with closed doors.  Out in the open keeps me on top of things.  And a little neater.  But it definitely needed some dressing up.

The wall was looking too bare and we needed to work on storage solutions that were attractive and functional.  And we need to get the kid off Facebook…but that’s a different post…

Here are some inspiration shots for mural walls that I love.

Why not have more pictures in bathrooms?


My favourites are the ones that combine pictures with other elements like mirrors or maps.  Perfect for a home office area.



Pottery Barn

Pinned Image


Pinned Image




Hopefully mine looks something like these when I’m finished.

Family Gallery Wall

A long time ago, I saw a gallery wall of black and white photographs in a restaurant.  I decided then and there that I wanted to do the same thing using photographs of my grandparents.  Going through all of their old photographs was a really wonderful way to spend time with my them and it also prompted me to create a photo album of my parents’ childhoods to give to them for Christmas one year.  I bought cheap wooden frames after I had chosen and blown up my photographs and then painted them black.

I guess it really was my first DIY project.  This was a long time ago.  So long ago, in fact, I had to get negatives made of the old photos and then have them blown up.  Like 20 years ago.  God, I’m old.

So my family wall has been in every place that I’ve lived ever since.  I always get so many compliments on it.

Here it is in our new house.

When I was looking for pictures, I decided that I wanted pictures of my grandparents when they were young, pictures of my parents when they were little, and pictures of my grandpas’ businesses.  We have a serious work ethic around here, and the fact that my grandpas started a construction (sand and gravel) and logging business really lent shape to the direction our lives took.  My dad and uncle carried on in the construction business, and so did their sons after them (my brother and cousin), and I ended up teaching at the reserve where my grandpa had his sawmill.

Funny old world, isn’t it?

Here is my uncle and dad in the wagon in the mud and a shot of all of my grandpa’s trucks out at a job in Kananaskis.  I love all of the laundry hanging.  Can you imagine how hard they had to work?

Here is my grandpa Jack, holding my dad (after his kids were born there were no pictures of him without them- literally- he was always holding one of them or was surrounded by kids) and the lady responsible for all of that laundry in her skating-on-the-river days, my grandma, Marguerite, who left her home on a northern Alberta farm to work in a factory in Toronto during WWII.  They were so brave.

My mom and her siblings grew up in the Rocky mountains at the sawmill camp where my grandma cooked for 30 men while raising a boy and twin girls only a year apart.  She finally insisted they move to town so the kids could go to school.  Here are the kids on a horse.

You can see the tar paper shacks that they lived in and my great-grandpa is in the bottom picture as well.

I love their style!!  Why can’t we wear hats anymore?  My grandma Ileene is where I get my love of crafts and creativity from.  She was a talented artist and made many beautiful things for her friends and family.  Mom says I remind her of Ileene when I am working on a project.  My grandpa Ingmar was the gentlest, kindest man I ever knew.  When he came to the reserve where I worked to go to a bingo, they gave him a standing ovation because they remembered him from his sawmill days 40-plus years before!

Here is the view from the upstairs landing.

And from the kitchen.  I love that they are always close by.

And one final picture of the wall.  I have now started collecting pictures from my husband’s family and we will start adding those soon.

Do you have a special photograph wall or area in your house?

Found Art

Remember when we found that great treasure trove of old National Geographic books?  Look here to see that post.  Guess what my mom also found at the same time?  Some really beautiful art.

Original pastels given by her great- uncle to my grandparents when they got married in 1946.

These were always displayed at their house.  I remembered them as soon as I saw them.  Isn’t it funny how art can evoke such strong memory?  Mom didn’t have wall room in her house, so they had been stored in the basement for the last 10 years or so.

Here they are up in my living room.

See how I’m trying to cleverly disguise our air filter behind the plant?  No one would ever see that, right?

The art in our house is very eclectic.  We don’t choose art from a particular movement or style- we choose art that has significance to us in some way.  Not totally clashing with the rest of the house is ok, too.  But it certainly doesn’t have to be matchy.  And I would never buy a whole decorator’s set of art or display materials.  I like to build things up slowly over time.

You can see here that in one small area of our house, we have some very different styles of art.

We have a Ted Harrison style done by our son who was 9 at the time.  A Jeff Daychief print entitled For All Children that my mom gave to me (we are both teachers so that is the significance there), and the pastels.  All very different.  All very beautiful.

And I think it works for us.

What kind of art are you drawn to?

Funky Junk Inspired

Here is a special little post for Donna’s Funky Junk Inspired Saturday Nite Special.  Donna is one of my favourites.  I love pretty much everything she does.

First, we have the copper double boiler that also doubles as art.  I bought this double boiler to use for firewood in our living room.

Cool, right?  But it also came with a lid.  Now usually we have this thing heaped with wood and I knew when I bought it that the lid wouldn’t work for what it was going to be used for.  Hmmm.  What to do with it?  What would Donna do?

Of course.  Obviously a rusty double boiler lid is…art!  So I used it for layering on my mantle.  Love the rusty goodness and the colour.

Next up, we have a watering can that was leaking and useless.

Or is it?


I haven’t decided where it is going, yet.  Hopefully it won’t sit on the stairs for too long.  I’m sure I’ll find a home for it.  And something to put in it.

Finally, my mom had these old sock stretchers in our yard sale a while back.  I rescued them immediately and knew exactly what to do with them.  A little painter’s drop cloth and… more art!  This time for the laundry room wall.

Look what I have waiting for me in the backyard, too.  I don’t know what it will be yet, but, thanks to Donna and her funky junk ways, I know that it will be something good.

If you make your way through the weeds and quack grass in the back, I’m pretty sure there is also a giant pile of pallets and old wood from our build.  Hmmm.  Wonder what those will be.  I’ll just keep checking with Donna.  She’ll think of something.





Rustic Red

This is my post on colour so that I can join the fabulous Ashley at The Handmade Home for her linky party!  She is one of my must reads on a daily basis.  I love her style and her voice.  So funny.  Her voice.  Not her style.  Her style is gorgeous.

I think that geography can have a lot to do with colour choice- it has for me, at least.  I love, love, love all of the beachy and French styles with the blues, but, well… we live in a forest.  This is the view from one of my living room windows.

Beautiful?  Yes.  Calming?  Yes.  Wild?  Yes.  Beachy?  Not so much.

Colour, in our case, also has cultural significance and meaning to our family as my husband and our son are Aboriginal.  These are my husband’s fancy dance bustles and our son’s little traditional bustle (that he sadly no longer fits…sniff).

I know what you are thinking.  Red?  Really?  I agree!  I am usually a little reserved with my choices for our home (bad painting experiences, man), and sometimes I can’t believe that there is so much of it here.  This is how my love affair with red first started.  I bought this loveseat and the matching couch 15 years ago.  See the line of red throughout?  This is where I was first inspired to use red as an accent colour in our home.  I love these couches.  When the material wears through, I am going to have them recovered.  You can bet I will be asking all kinds of advice on what fabric to choose for that little project!

I think the effect is subtle- considering the pattern on the couch and the strength of the colour.  It is pretty well tempered by the neutral wall colour and the barn board floors.

Some of the living room accents are:  my great-grandmother’s chair (recovered) with a gorgeous Pendleton blanket fragment over it (waiting to be made into a pillow),

a beautiful Jeff Daychief print with red border (sorry about the poor quality pic- is it Christmas yet? is my new camera here, yet?),

and an original painted by our son (he used his Ted Harrison books as his inspiration).

Finally, we have the light over the table- a beautiful Tiffany with lots of orangey -red goodness in it.  Guess what colour that front door sitting behind it is going to be (as soon as I get brave enough….any tips on painting a fiberglass front door)?

The kitchen is open to the living room and is, again, quite neutral in terms of counters, cupboards, backsplash and wall colour.  So the red accents are a nice little pop of colour.  You can see I have a red clock, red pendants over the island, and rugs with a red stripe.

Remember that blanket draped on the back of the chair?  It used to be bigger.  I made a little wall organizer out of some of it for our office area by the back door.  It is adjacent to the kitchen/ living room area, so it needed to be art-like.  And by art-like, I mean covered with tiny scraps of paper that my husband and son like to collect with random numbers on them.  It never, ever, looks like this.  Just saying.

It also goes nicely with the Ikea runner I bought 12 years ago that is like brand new.  Amazing Ikea.

Now for a little hidden red.  You all know Annie Sloan and her amazing paint, right?  Guess which colour of hers I love (well, one of them)?

I decided to take some of this and make a chalkboard on the inside of my pantry door.

And while I was at it, I also painted a dresser.  Here it is in our closet with another Jeff Daychief print.  We are very lucky to live by some really talented artists.

Upstairs is where I got brave and decided to use red as something a little more than an accent.  I have always loved red walls in certain rooms.  Can I introduce you to my library?

This picture is a little dark.  The colour on the walls is called Canuck Red by General Paints.  Here’s a little lighter shot.

Ok.  So now in this one it is a little overexposed (still no camera?) but the colour is fairly true on the right and towards the top of this picture.  Also note my lovely red pendants.  Yes.  I have 4 red pendants in my house.  I love how the red peeks out from behind the books and around the shelves.

I do enjoy my red.  But, I keep thinking about that blue…. you know, I have a lot of blue artwork just waiting to be put up on a wall.  We are in the process of building an art ledge to put these on.  It will line one of our upstairs hallways.

So far, I am pretty happy with the way that colour has been working in our home.  I like a kind of strange combination of calm and neutral with quite warm and rustic.  Still working on it.  We just moved into our new house a year ago, and there are still a lot of blank walls and areas that need filling and working on.

For example, I have a craft room/ spare bedroom that is virtually a blank slate… and I keep thinking about that lovely turquoise/ red colour combo some talented ladies have been using in their home…hmmmm.

And I’ll let you know about that door.


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