Category Archives: Art

You Can Do It: Make a Rockin’ Playlist

Today’s guest post is from my friend, Rachel, who recounts the ups and downs (and those moments of life when you just need a theme song to play on repeat) over at her new blog–For the Record. You know how you always have that one friend who always knows the best songs to listen to for any given circumstance or emotion in time? That’s Rachel. She helped to compile THE wedding playlist for me two years ago. Seriously. It was amazing, and I still listen to it today whenever I’m feeling nostalgic or in the mood for a good love song. (Although they tried to sneak in Gold Digger. The unedited version.  Ahem. Somebody–I don’t know who–accidentally deleted that little gem before it went live at the reception.)
  {Image: Michael Le Roi}
I’m so excited that Andrea asked me to be a guest blogger and more specifically I’m excited that I get to write about music. I’m incredibly flattered that Andrea thinks I’m an “expert” in the area of music- I just think I’m obsessed! In addition to being obsessed, I also think that there should be a playlist for every possible mood or life situation- which is seemingly impossible but I’m trying. So now to the task at hand- choosing a rockin’ playlist!

1. Defining “rockin.” Since I try to be the eternal optimist, I’m going to hope that you are having an epically awesome day and that you need a playlist to match it. Don’t get me wrong- sometimes you need an angry playlist, but I’m thinking more along the lines of fun, lighthearted songs for this post.

2. You’re going to need to pick between 18-35 songs. 35 is just a number. If you have an iPod and any other MP3 player, a playlist can be infinitely long, but if you are putting this on a CD, you may need to limit it. Got to love that 80 minute max on CD’s.

Here are some of my suggestions for a rockin’ playlist:

The Classics

  1. Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody” – because every playlist needs at least one Queen song!
  2. Led Zeppelin – “Rock and Roll” – get the led out!
  3. The Beatles – “Obladi Oblada”
  4. The Beatles – “With a little Help from my Friends”
  5. The Who – “Join together with the band”
  6. Ray Charles – “Hit the Road, Jack”
  7. Ray Charles – “Hallelujah I love her so”
  8. Billy Joel – “Only the Good die Young” – not as depressing as the titles makes it seem.
  9. Tom Petty – “Running down a Dream”
  10. Eagles – “Take It Easy”
  11. Bob Dylan – “Don’t think twice, It’s alright”
  12. Booker T & The MG’s – “Green Onions”
  13. Cheap Trick – “Surrender”
  14. Steve Miller Band – “The Joker”
  15. Aerosmith – “Dream On”

The Standards/Newbies

  1. RHCP – “Danny California”
  2. John Mayer – “Why Georgia”
  3. Coldplay – “Viva la Vida”
  4. Foo Fighters – “Learn to Fly”
  5. Fruit Bats – “When U love somebody”
  6. Gin Blossoms – “Follow you down”
  7. Green Day – “I Fought the Law”
  8. Mumford and Sons – “The Cave”
  9. Train – “Save Me, San Francisco”
  10. White Stripes – “Hotel Yorba”
  11. Paolo Nutini – “New Shoes”
  12. Ryan Adams – “English Girls Approximately”
  13. Regina Spektor – “Fidelity”
  14. OkGo – “Here It Goes Again”
  15. The Killers – “All these things that I’ve done”

These are just my suggestions on what I think is required to make a rockin’ playlist. I am sure I have missed some that you would have put on here.  But that is the great thing about choosing your rocking playlist- its yours! Pick out songs that make you want to dance, smile, go for a drive, or whatever! I will leave you with this epic song, may want to considering adding to your playlist!  Enjoy the fabulously 80′s video!

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Filed under Art, Balance, Life, Media

Room Inspiration: Green Mailbox

Room Inspiration: Green Mailbox


{Green Mailbox Image: Esparta Palma; Room Inspiration Image: Polyvore}
 
 
And now … an introduction, as promised, to next week’s guest blogger series!
 
 
I’ve rounded up some blogging friends of mine to share their areas of expertise with you. I left it open to them what to share that “You Can Do,” and I’m so happy with what they submitted.
 
Next Monday, Tiffany begins the series by encouraging us to embrace the hard task of choosing to follow a healthy lifestyle. Tuesday, Rachel will share how to create a rockin’ playlist. Wednesday and Thursday, Joy will follow up with some great advice for throwing a dinner party (that you can play your playlist at!). Finally, on Friday, Daniel will veer off into a more organizational topic and share how he conquered his paper tiger.
 
I hope you’ll stop by each day next week to get introduced to the featured bloggers and learn more about their topics!
 
See you then, and have a wonderful weekend in the meantime,
 

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Room Inspirations: Red Car

{Top Image: Zenera via Flickr; Bottom Image: Room design via Polyvore}

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Happy Friday!

I just stumbled across this video and I had to share it. So creative and beautiful. And the music ain’t bad, either.

Hudson – Against The Grain from Dropbear on Vimeo.

New Clip from Hudson – Stop Motion Kaleidoscopic Fun.

The new music video for ‘Against The Grain’ from emerging Melbourne indie-folk artist Hudson sees him collaborate with film maker/animator/VJ Dropbear (aka Jonathan Chong), producing a vibrant and colourful clip based around a mainstay from our humble artistic efforts throughout childhood – coloured pencils.

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The Cheater’s Guide to Hanging a Type Drawer as Decor

During my mad weekend makeover of our dining room, I kept telling Daniel that I needed something with some oomph to put on the wall. Something that would tone down the girly-ness and not cost too much.

I searched high and low in our house, only to discover that 90% of my vintage “stuff” that I like to swap out from room to room was too small, or just plain impossible to hang on a wall.

That’s when I re-discovered my type drawer. It was a gift from my mother and father back several years ago and I was so excited to get that gift, but I never did anything with it! Finally, it went to use, but first it needed a little TLC of the MacGyver variety.

Here’s how it looked before I got to work:

I took a good look at it and realized 1) there was a LOT of grime on those sections of the drawer, and 2) there wasn’t a way to hang it up on the wall.

I grabbed a couple of old rags, wire cutters, a hammer, a can of Kleen Guard spray, and an old frame I had picked up at a Goodwill store a few years back.

First, I stole the hanging wire from the back of the old frame, cutting it on each side as close to the nails as possible.

I took my cue from the old frame and grabbed a couple of nails from our stash. I figured if they could jerry-rig it that way, I could, too.

I set the wire and nails aside for a few minutes and took up the rags and Kleen Guard spray. I had no idea what I had just signed up to do …

I sprayed all over the tray drawer several times and rubbed hard with the rags for each application. If I was being a little more obsessive compulsive about the process, I probably would have grabbed an old toothbrush or cotton swabs or something to get in the crevices. There were A LOT of partitions to clean.

After about a thirty minutes to an hour of elbow grease later, this is what I had to show for it:

Ewwww. GROSS.

Still, I had to wonder if some of that grime was actually from the time when the drawer had been used. While part of me felt a bit alarmed at the idea of lead touching some of the areas (the graphic design layout term “leading” actually comes from actual use of lead to separate lines of text), the other part felt an odd sort of excitement that I was coming in contact with history. I daydreamed a bit about what kinds of printed matter the type was used to create, and where the drawer could have been from. This is why I love vintage things. You touch the stories behind those things.

My drawer “cleaned up good”, as they say. See?

After cleaning, though, I took up my hammer and nails and tried to figure where was the best point on the back of the drawer to hammer the nails into for support.

I tested the length of the wire to make sure at its fully-extended length when hung on the wall would not extend above the top of the drawer. Then I realized I didn’t have quite enough wire to stretch from the sides to that point. I decided to improvise and found two partition pieces wide enough to support the nails and drove them in there. I then hammered the nails down so that they bent sideways and trapped the wire.

And that’s it!

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Filed under Art, Budget Decor, Dining Room, DIY

How to Spray Paint Branches

Every room should have a statement piece–something that acts as a focal point and adds a finishing touch. Unfortunately, statement pieces often cost too much to invest in on a tight decorating budget. I was determined to make something work, so I went for impact over dollar signs and walked out to go pick up something for our home. Literally. I put on my trusty flip-flops, grabbed the dog leash, and walked out the door with my mutt, taking her for an impromptu jaunt around the parking lot, through the landscaping, and under the biggest trees.

About ten minutes (and one very confused dog) later, I came back inside carrying an armful of fallen branches, which I deposited in our dining room for safekeeping from potential rain. When Daniel came downstairs later on I heard a “what is THAT” from the general vicinity of my secret stash, so I sweetly explained to my dear hubby that THAT was our new artwork. He looked skeptical.

No really. It’s our new artwork. Ever since I minored in art in college, I’ve been a fan of designs that utilize white space to make interesting angles and dramatic “movement.” So I drew from nature’s designs and added a bit of Krylon spray paint to add height to my living room fireplace mantle. For only $6-10 and 45 minutes or so, you can, too.

*****

Supplies Needed:

  • Small branches
  • Krylon Matte Spray Paint (I used white)
  • Large plastic sheet or tarp
  • Sandpaper (I used whatever I had on hand already)
  • Some kind of hedge clippers or a similar tool

Directions:

1.  Find some loose fallen branches with interesting angles and nubby bits where twigs are or have been. Make sure they aren’t wet. If they’re damp … let them dry before continuing.

2. Trim the branches to the size needed, clipping twigs to streamline the branch into something that could easily be placed in a vase or other container. Leave enough of the branch bare of twigs so that it can be added to the bouquet of branches and not get too thick and scraggly around the bottom. The final effect should be like a flower stem.

3. Sand off the rough spots where you’ve clipped, where twigs have fallen off on their own, and any nubby patches. Gently blow or wipe off the dust from sanding.

4. Lay out your protective plastic sheet. Place the trimmed branches on the sheet, leaving enough room between each so that the spray paint can cover the entire exposed side. (Note: mine never liked to stay flat, so just be aware of this and make sure to maneuver through all the angles!)

5. Shake your spray paint can to prep the contents. I purchased the more expensive Krylon matte white paint for around $4 at Wal-Mart. You may choose something cheaper or a different color or finish, depending on your preference. However, from other spray-painting tutorials I’ve read, they said to use Krylon for its directional flow sprayer, and I can tell you they ain’t lyin’. That sucker is the BEST. I switched mine to a horizontal spray for this project so I could go back and forth over the branches. Worked like a charm.

6. Let this layer dry for about ten minutes, turn over the branches, and repeat. Continue turning and spraying until you have achieved the coat coverage you desire on all angles of the branches.

7. Let dry for one hour.

And that’s it! Seven simple steps. Now you just have to find the perfect vase to put them in, and set out the whole piece in a spot that could use a little dramatic impact. I used one we had received as a wedding present:

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Linked up at:

Centsational Girl’s Paint Projects Link Party

Tip Junkie handmade projects

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Filed under Art, Budget Decor, DIY, Living Room

How to Hang Artwork from Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy is a constant source of inspiration for me. It’s a daily read and a useful tool. I’ve shown other videos from them, but this one I need to re-watch and apply the next time I hang a picture!

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Dining Room Nook Shelves With Wallpaper Ideas

I had a brilliant idea for affordable “wallpaper” in between our shelves in the dining room nook. Paper Source has some gorgeous fine decorative papers. I want to paint the walls greige and the trim a brighter white, so I used some Photoshop and did a rough comp of the new paint colors next to the possible paper choices, and this is what I found. So many pretty options!

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Filed under Art, Budget Decor, Dining Room