DIY Art Ikea Hack

As I alluded yesterday that I have picked up painting again, and boy oh boy, my strokes are rustic. I guess it’s unlike riding a bike or swimming, painting is practice-makes-perfect type of skill.

Anyhow, I thought I would start something small and gradually warm up into it. I’ve always wanted to try incorporating painting frame into a minimalist impressionism painting, and what other better option than start with a solid wood wide frame like Ikea Malma Mirror. So I yanked out the mirror glued onto the frame, replaced it with a piece of 4’x4′ primed canvas, and secured it with a piece of cardboard and tape in the back, and I was all set.

It didn’t take me much time to finish the painting (it’s tiny after all), but to my surprise, I actually spent more time painting the “frame” than the canvas itself. 🙂 That’s largely due to that I couldn’t decide on the color shade I wanted the frame to be in contrast to the canvas, and whether I should use whitewashing technique. Anyhow, this is what it looks like, my first painting after hmm…a five-year break.

I haven’t figured out a spot for it yet, so for now it’s sitting on my living room’s sofa table.

So have you rekindled any old hobbies or pick up new ones lately?



My Jewel Collection

Well, not quite, but definitely my type of jewel/gem collection. Before we get into that, I would like to make a note of the gradual migration of my blog to a new template, as well as the Disqus comment tool. I will write more about the designer and company behind it once it’s complete. I’ve noticed some comments haven’t been moved over yet due to some hardware issue at Disqus, but not to worry, I’ve imported a copy of all the comments, especially those to the Giveaway contest, so none of your entries will be missing, I promise. There should be a total of 40 comments so far, and only 33 of them have appeared on my site (I’ve kept a copy of the other 7 in my inbox). I will announce the winner tomorrow around 5pm.

Now back to my type of jewel collection. Last summer I picked up two Clarus glass display boxes from Crate & Barrel, and have since been adding different crystal/mineral display specimens to them. The latest additions to my jewel family are Kyanite, Citrine and Auqa Aura (do you know how awesome it looks in real thing?).

My latest crystal/mineral specimen collection
 And this is “My Precious” now in my living room.
Tell me if this doesn’t remind you of Jurassic Park?! 🙂

That’s it for today, until tomorrow…

Gallery Wall – Need Your Help

As I’ve started our master bedroom refresh, I ran into something difficult to tackle. It almost seems like that wall in the dining room all over again, where I changed my mind on what went on it numerous times (which resulted in countless nail holes and @#%*). To avoid the same mishap, I’ve decided to research to death until I am 100% certain and completely satisfied before I take any action.

The wall in question in our master bedroom is this (pardon the uber ugly picture…it can only get better from here, I promise) — the wall along the entrance facing the bed and adjacent to the ensuite. The area I get to play with is 6′ (L) x 4′ (H) above the two chairs.
So here are the options I came up with so far. Please vote which one you like the most. It’s completely fine to be honest and tell me it’s better to leave it as is and don’t put up anything at all. The wall color I am thinking is Valspar’s Polar Star, the same color as what we used in our basement’s bedroom and bathroom pictured below.

So here are the options (please ignore the pictures/prints inside the frames as I am yet to decide what goes in them):

Option 1: Gallery wall with multiple frames in different sizes

 Option 2: Three frames in identical size, extra wide mat

Option 3: Gallery wall with six square frames of the same size (these are the ones I took off from the dining room wall)

So which one would you prefer, if any at all? Thanks in advance.

Photo Ledge and A Last Glimpse of Summer

After much debate over a gallery wall vs. photo ledge, I’ve decided to go with the latter for the reason of less commitment (only 4 nail holes in the wall), and a more laidback appeal. This is what it looks like still in progress.

I spent the majority of my childhood on an island city in the Pacific ocean. Nostalgically, anything from the sea has a soft spot in my heart. The purple coral branch fossils in the two vintage glass display boxes are every rare. It takes the purple coral 25 years to grow 1.5 inches, and therefore it is now a protected species. This corner has become my emotional escape in my home office.

I am almost done with the home office except for some finishing touch to yet another Ikea Rast hack, and framing the Caroline Gold’s posters (when they arrive in the mail). Am I too crazy to like industrial chic decor like this or this for the Ikea Rast chest (well that’s the look I am going for)?

Flying Pig

Each year we took a couple of trips down to Niagara wineries to load up our annual wine supply. We also strolled down the streets in the village, and that’s when I first came across these hand-made glass flying pigs. As I was debating how many (colors) to buy (so hard, love them all but not so much the $75 per price tag!), I realized it was almost 4pm and we absolutely had to rush to the highway back home before we sat in traffic again. So I left empty-handed, and regretted that I didn’t even take down who made them.

Yesterday I spent half a day at a Spa that I frequent for the past eight years. Maybe the facial cleared up my sinuses (from ragweed pollen allergy), or maybe it was meant to be, I spotted these flying pigs from a fashion boutique that I must have passed by countless times outside of the spa. I couldn’t let them go again so I picked up two.

That’s when I also found out every single of these glass flying pigs is kiln fired, mouth blown, hand shaped by Christina Mayr of Three Crow Glass from Saint-Michel-des-Saints of Quebec City. Each one is unique and signed by Christina. To live up to the “flying pig” name, each piece comes with a loop on the back, so you can actually hang them and they will “fly” like wind chimes. There are also unlimited color combinations to choose from.

Aren’t they adorable? They are new additions to my newly refreshed home office.

I also scored these vintage glass display boxes from the same store. I used silicone chalking to seal the bottom so they are now ready for my beach-themed displays.

Home Office Progress Part II

Long weekend has finally come, and Anthony and I eventually got around to assemble the new bookcases. We have put away books and things from tens of boxes, and there are still tons of them in the basement waiting to be sorted out. I love the thrill of a grand reveal, but to live (work) in the same room being renovated drives me bunkers I tell ya.

So here is the home office progress part II. The color combination from the “Chungking Express” poster (an Amélie-alike romantic cliché) seems to work in the space, but I could only find one movie poster that looks so nice (and from a movie I actually like). I need a second one on the other side of the window wall. Yes, in addition to being a neat freak, I also a lover of symmetry.

Click on the image to enlarge

So I “returned” the movie poster to hub’s home office (we each gets a room in our house as our office. His is next on my list to refresh.), and picked up these art prints by Caroline Gold titled Noon I and II. I saw Caroline’s work at an art gallery before, and love the serenity she conveys through her use of colors. 

And this is the white Billy Bookcases we put together. I think I am going to add crown moulding and baseboard to dress them up.

This is a not so pretty corner of the office. A wall gallery will go up on this wall. I am yet to find a library/lounge chair that’s small yet comfortable enough to sink in for a long read (or phone call). Any suggestions?

Here is a list of things that still need to be done before this project can be wrapped up:

  • Change the lighting fixture (still searching);
  • Take stuff out of the basement and fill the bookcases;
  • Possibly add moulding to the bookcases for a more integrated look;
  • Put up a gallery wall;
  • Find a comfortable armchair that’s upholstered in white, cream or light grey;
  • Finish a couple of beach-themed display boxes.

As you could see the room still requires several finishing touches, but thankfully the most painful parts (aka painting, assemble furniture) are over.
Have a great long weekend everyone!

Rock Collection in Clarus Glass Display Boxes

A few months ago I picked up these Clarus Glass Display Boxes from Crate and Barrel, and have since been filling them with some of my favorite rocks/crystal geodes. So far the collection is consisted of nine pieces and it’s still growing. I am so glad that now I have a mini Smithsonian in our house, and it makes a great conversation piece.

(click on images to enlarge)
 This is what they look like in the Clarus Display Boxes, still has room to grow.