Tag Archives: art

Instagram on My Wall

Even though my sister was asking for a food-related post, I thought I would switch things up with a DIY project that has been on my radar for quite some time. In fact, it was one of my first pins on Pinterest over a year ago.

I’m a big fan of Instagram and when I saw this elegant solution for displaying the small, filtered-applied photos, I knew that this was going in my house. The problem is that I never found the right frame. Specifically, a chunky, ornate one that won’t break the bank.

After I moved to St. Louis, I became acquainted with the Goodwill Outlet Store – yes, outlet. Instead of everything already being ridiculously cheap, at this location, you pay by the pound. The POUND! Five minutes after stepping foot in the store, I was walking out with this $1 beauty – it’s big and ornate but streamlined enough to be modern:

photoNow for color! The only place for this project to go right now is in the kitchen, which has a burgundy tile border that circles the room and will be the perfect color inspiration.

For this particular project, you’re going to need:

  • Paint – a sample size of Valspar Cut Ruby did the trick
  • Sand paper
  • A hook – unless your frame is already equipped with one
  • Wood screws – #4×1/2″ were small enough that they wouldn’t keep the frame from lying flat but long enough that they weren’t going to fall out
  • Wire to hang the photos – I liked the mirror wire cord since it’s a little more industrial but jewelry or fishing wire would be just fine
  • Mini wooden clothespins

The first step is sanding. You need to sand to not only get the finish off but also to rough up the frame a little bit so that the paint will stick. I used 80 grit to strip the finish but that was probably a little aggressive – anything between 40 and 60 would work. After about five minutes, you end up with this:

photo 3Step 2 is painting. Lay some newspaper on the floor and brush on some paint. After the first coat, I noticed that the wood grain was still showing through and while I didn’t love it at first, two more coats later and I decided to keep it that way – it adds character and breaks up the bright red color. If you’re looking for solid color, a coat of white primer would help you achieve that effect more successfully than painting color directly on the wood.

photo 2Now, it’s time to prep the back. This involves adding a hook, screws and wiring. To determine spacing, I laid my printed Intagram photos directly on the ground in a grid to see how many I had to work with – in this case, 30 (six across, five down). From there, I figured out the right measurements were 3″ between each wire with an inch from the top and the bottom. Put in the screws, add taut wiring between the two and voila! A clothes line for your mini clothespins and prints:

picstitchThere are plenty of different patterns that you could hang your Instagram photos in. Personally, I went with a layout that was a little more organic, less organized and ultimately easier to make look deliberate – the perfect grid would have been much harder to keep up.

photo 5So there you have it: an easy, afternoon project that gets your digital Instagram pictures onto your wall. From a cost perspective, this is how the budget breaks down:

  • Frame – $1
  • Hook – $1.58
  • Paint sample – $2.98
  • Sand paper – $4.47
  • Mini clothespins – $2.99
  • Wood screws – $2.36
  • Mirror wire – $5.88
  • Total – $21.26

The key to keeping this cheap is the frame. Steer clear of Michael’s and Hobby Lobby where they go from $30-$50 and you’ll be doing just fine.

What projects have you been working on lately? Any Pinterest pins you’ve had your eye on?

PS: If you’re looking for the perfect site to get your Instagram prints from, I recommend Prinstagram – 50 photos for $12.

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Let the Sunshine in!

The sun finally made an appearance in the Windy City this past weekend, which means Chicagoans rushed outside in droves, myself included. While we didn’t have a particularly harsh winter, it was uncharacteristically long making everyone feel a sense of relief at the first glimpse of spring.

Instead of bumming the day away on my couch, I took the opportunity to visit some of my favorite Chicago shops. I don’t go to them very often since they’re in West Town and require a trek from my Lakeview apartment but I figured there was no better way to spend my Saturday afternoon.

The first place I bused to was RR#1, a hole in the wall at Chicago and Ashland where you can find anything from luxurious, scented candles to vintage kids toys. Even though it’s small, you can spend a good 45 minutes treasure hunting through the layered and stacked items. The last time I was there, I spotted a red metal arrow (see image below because that’s the worst description ever) but couldn’t bring myself to spend $26 on it. Fast forward four months and it was still winking at me from the back of a bookshelf so I took it as a sign that it was meant to be mine. It serves no purpose other than the fact that it’s awesome.

photo copy 4The second store was Paperish Mess, another small shop at Chicago and Damen. If you’re on the lookout for prints to put on your wall, this is the place to go.

For a while, I’ve wanted to feature some more Chicago artwork in my apartment and the only one I have so far is the Lakeview print I found at the Renegade Craft Fair last Christmas. While looking around, I was immediately drawn to the work of Hiroshi Ariyama because of his style that combines traditional photography with screen printing. I decided to purchase an 8″x10″ screen print of his “6 p.m.” piece because of its nod to Chicago with Willis Tower in the background and a scene that I’m very familiar with: the El platform. In all honesty, I view it as MY Chicago – not the touristy one you see on TV or the White City you read about in books. It’s the one that you only  experience as a Chicagoan commuting on the Brown Line every morning, staring out across the Chicago river as you cross Wells Street Bridge with the sun rising. Now, I just need to find where I’m going to hang it.

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What were you up to this past weekend? Any other shops you recommend I explore? What do you suggest I do with the red metal arrow?

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Friday Favs, Kansas City Edition

I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing holiday! I’m still on mine, which means that I haven’t been on a computer much. That’s why I’ve decided to spend this Friday telling you about some of my must-do activities when visiting Kansas City, the home of my parents and extended family. If you ever visit, I think you’ll enjoy your time in this underrated midwestern city. For all you natives, is there anything that I’ve missed? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

BBQ

Oklahoma_Joes0005

Don’t freak out but yes, the flagship location is in a gas station. It just adds to the charm!

You know me – I love to eat! So let’s start with the food. Kansas City BBQ is a staple, right up there with Chicago Pizza and New York City bagels. Pretty much any joint you decide to try will be good, like Famous Dave’s and Arthur Bryant’s. However, the general consensus is that Oklahoma Joe’s is the best. Hands down. Over the years, the restaurant has amassed quite the accolades including a spot on Anthony Bourdain’s list of “13 Restaurants to Eat at Before You Die” and Men’s Health “Manliest Restaurant in America.” The meat falls off the bones, the sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory and the fries can’t be beat with their signature seasoning. What more could you want? I particularly recommend the Z-Man: a decadent sandwich of brisket, provolone cheese and onion rings on a kaiser bun. My mouth is watering just at the thought.

Boulevard Brewery Tour

boulevard-4If you’re a fan of craft beer, you’ll enjoy the local brewery’s flagship offering: Boulevard Wheat, a great example of a mild, light colored beer with depth of flavor. Don’t worry, you’ll get to try the full selection but be sure to get your hands on the classic. Now, I hate to say that I have yet to go on the tour myself – it’s not for a lack of trying! For some reason they get booked up quickly, which means that you need to be on top of your game and plan ahead, something I’m clearly failing at.

The Country Club Plaza

webhome_PlazaLights_stormyThis is the Mag Mile of Kansas City. Or, if you’re unfamiliar with Chicago, the Rodeo Drive. A quaint boulevard near downtown, it houses 150 high-end shops that you’re used to finding in more urban areas. You can take a stroll through the spanish-inspired ornate buildings covered in bricks and mosaics, surrounded by fountains now synonymous with the city. I highly recommend a visit during the holidays as you’re able to feast your eyes on more than 80 miles of light. While you’re at it, be sure to stop at Topsy’s for a taste of their cinnamon popcorn!

Nelson-Atkins Art Museum

One-of-four-large-sculpture-birdies-placed-throughout-The-Nelson-Atkins-Musueum-of-Arts-Green-by-husband-and-wife-team-Claes-Oldenburg-and-Coose-van-Bruggen.-Each-birdie-weighs-5500-pounds-standing-nearly-18-feet-tall.2Sure, you wouldn’t think of Kansas City as a big destination for art enthusiasts but you’d be surprised. Often housing some of the most prestigious exhibits in the world, it boasts more than 33,000 pieces of art that frequently rotate to provide a new experience during each visit. And be sure to take full advantage of the giant shuttlecocks placed randomly throughout the property. They’re the prefect photo opp.

Power and Light District

image.aspxSo you’ve eaten, you’ve toured and you’ve shopped, which means you’re ready for a drink and some relaxing at the bar. Kansas City has done a wonderful job at revamping its Power and Light District over the past couple of years. It now consists of a covered courtyard surrounded by bars and restaurants that allow you to walk around with your beverage of choice, be it alcoholic or non. Frequently, you’ll find live music acts which just add to the ambiance and sets the scene for a good time. Cheers!

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