gallery craving

My lack of a headboard may earn the badge of “Most Unnecessary Source of Minor Anxiety” but it’s still wreaking some serious inner turmoil. Every morning, I grab my cup o’ joe, settle in with some steaming oats, and open up Pinterest. This is where my eyes turn a subtle shade of green and my student-sized bank account starts to really grind my gears. (Do I hear an “amen”?) Every other gal in the world seems to be wearing crisp white boyfriend shirts and red lipstick, leaving their elegant stains on espresso cups at their local coffee shop, and curling into a bed with an elegantly distressed headboard behind them after a day of work. That last bit, that gets me. Because as a student, there are no funds left to squander on a headboard, no matter how dreamy it may be, and as a renter, I face limited options in putting up a fancy-shmancy art installation behind me. I am, however, on my way to curating a gallery in place of a headboard (even though I might be terrified of getting knocked out in the middle of the night thanks to only having “extra-strength” adhesive strips doing the job).

So, I’ve purchased some IKEA frames of various sizes, obviously intent on recreating some of Pinterest’s Scandi-cool scapes with framed minimalist quotes and red lipstick stains. But I also recently found a sweet assortment of vintage frames, each with knicks and scratches on the ornate wooden designs, and I’m now tempted to leave my IKEA frames under my bed permanently. (Shh.)

But here’s my biggest problem. I don’t have any flippin’ art to put in any of the flippin’ frames. Yeah, it’s a flippin’ problem. (Almost as big of a problem as my desire to say “flippin'”).

In the meantime, I’ve found a collection of galleries that I’m aspiring to. Maybe if I stare at them long enough, this will be the time when dreams come true. When all my wishes on so many stars, even an airplane or two, will just break through into a blissful reality.

Okay, getting some more coffee. Need a caffeine-induced reality check.

capture3
This is what the collection of vintage frames I found look like. Swoon, baby, swoon!

3e9bd2192a29cd54d64416d51850f194

8f00dbbaecd0b4c4546db5913fb8dd56
Look, ma! These are all my friends I made in university! Framed! They’re more fun when they have a drink in them.

528cd49cfa3798ebb439f96c42f6d8b8

supermarketsarah2
EGGS! Breaking out of the rigid frames is an excellent idea, actually.

9cba4e0beb00ebb6b7fc2ec91c8a2828

68cbf3dbbb82a38b56031b77d6fa05cf

 

*m

Advertisements

Working Bees Like Collages

Oh, the ambitious vision I had for my college work space. Sleek white shelves against a DIY wallpaper background, inspirational posters and family photos interspersed below them, and maybe a fox in a velvet green suit with a monocle framing a curious eye (a figurine, of course, otherwise that’s just unrealistic). But what am I left with? An incomplete wall of corkboard circles, and a makeshift collage I had recruited myself to take on for the school newspaper’s LifeStyle section (where I happen to work, otherwise I wouldn’t force the editors to feature my little DIY project).

All I can do now is pick up from where I started. Complete a collage that is both buzzing with motivation (I do aspire to be a working bee) and free from the chaos that comes with collages fit for a fan-girling teenager.

8020901654_159e158519_o

Christmas gifts this year will be opened meticulously carefully so that I can essentially use them as itty bitty scraps of art. I’m sorry, family. It will take me anywhere from three – five minutes to open gifts this year.

70b40a16b95d7c492225bfef925b7c3eLiteral inspiration board. To be precise, a wood board. If I had the luxury of having an office that was all glamour and all white, a rustic wooden board would be so welcomed.

tumblr_kvbe8c0IcA1qzb2hmo1_500

Organized inspiration. Plus, the peachy-pink colour palette of this scene is too soothing. (I even have a little set of rainbow clothes pins… intriguing).

adoremag-4

Three perfectly framed words of motivation, forcing you to be picky about what you put up in front of you, and to choose only those that are more personalized to what you need to hear. For example, I don’t particularly like hearing the “rough and burly coach” type of motivation screaming at me, “That’s all you got?! Hah! Come on!” Instead I welcome an Australian yoga teacher anyday saying, “Breathe, and take one day at a time.” (Accents can vary.) Also that pink skull is very necessary.

09c4ec85a0b4d2aebf1012d1bceb7939This is almost more like a showroom than an office. As soon as I slip into my desk chair, I can imagine myself itching to grab a tube of red lipstick and getting down to business in the mode of some high-fashion magazine editor. I might also snap at someone for a tall, non-fat no-sugar latté. And yet the colour in this room is a constant display of optimism to me. Every detail is soaked in vibrancy, and although some may grow tired of this amount of bold detail (myself included), if work is only requiring a couple hours of your time then I can’t imagine a better energy booster.

imok

This room takes that optimism and plays it down a bit. Its presence is still hanging off each frame, each antler horn, each banner, yet it takes on a more subtle form with the more rustic backdrop of a white brick wall. There’s a little more room for mistakes, and a big reminder that that’s most certainly “ok”.

ikea

Oh, IKEA, you Swedish creative masterminds. Taking a circular cork board as bubbles of inspiration boards is the most refreshing twist of tradition. I tried this in my own room, and I’m quite pleased with it, if it weren’t for the lack of symmetry. I wish I had one or two more to complete my equally Swedish, not quite as creative (as I didn’t exactly come up with) office space.  

Chalky Creative Juices (Yummy, eh?)

You can just call the space above my bed a void. Regrettably, it holds the remnants of a DIY project that was unintentionally entirely unpractical. That’s kind of a mouthful, but the project was too. I hung stringed lights so that they made the silhouette of a frame. Boom, that’s magical. Then I tied three strings from each side to the other, and attached photos with paper clips to it. That’s where it went awry. Because every time I settled into bed, my pillows would destroy my masterpiece in one innocent “still-getting-comfortable” move.

0a9d64da65f32bd55d350fbcff46de7c

So remind me why I didn’t move into a classroom again? Well, because that’d be straight up depressing, obviously. But it does hold a very simple answer to not only changing up your bedroom as often as you please, and, if I got that nifty chalkboard “marker”, I get a semi-permanent headboard too.

73cf1668119f387655dbbc40ecd4f3c9

Isn’t this room so alive? It’s practically bursting through my screen. And, unlike my own whimsical dreams of a starrily lit headboard with dangling photos, the whimsical nature of these cupboards is still practical. It also saves you from ever needing to tell a friend or house guest (I guess the house guest isn’t your friend, in this case) from where that dang breakfast spoon is.

Epicerie-Fine

I recognize that this is a menu, but golly jee willickers, it’s art to me. This should just be my headboard instead. And I wouldn’t say no to what they’re serving up either. (In fact, I’d ask for it immediately. Maybe command if I’m direly hungry.)

46d9a51e584951486129531d68e3e811

So what we’re looking at here is but a simple collage, am I right? No! A gallery of inspiration, thanks to the elegant logo floating above. A collage can always be deemed a gallery when given a title.

fb450e35f5bc1aae4e70aaecee6fa495

I never knew this either, but a chalk headboard can make your dreams come true, too. Want a little puppy to greet you in the morning? Draw one into your reality. Let’s just ignore the fact that it may be diagnosed with an unknown doggy disease given its distant eyes and disintegrating legs. Let’s move on from this morbidity. It’s a cute idea.

05874c259ad88c002560d1bfb07d94da

And here, I present to you, a real gallery! Displayed on the walls of a Parisian apartment bedroom, we have a very minimalist gallery – although, I’d fill those frames in a second with some substance. Or at the very least a chalk-drawn doggy. 😉

afterlight

Gord Bond Exhibition at Hamilton’s Mulberry Street Coffee House (aka a coffee shop I can deem perfect in an instant).

afterlight2

I sat down next to a rather colourful young man, with a pair of eyes that seemed to stare into my soul, or at least one side of my face. I was then asked to leave the coffee shop as I was engaging in an animated discussion with a painting.

afterlight3

Gord Bond is the real creator of these fellas. He plays “God” to a whole clan of faces that perpetuate reflection on how we examine those around us – what we decide is perfect and, with that, what we decide is beautiful.

afterlight4

I was entranced by them. And although not for their realism initially, I came to see these portraits as even more realistic as to how we interpret the world… because I don’t go up to the bus driver to pay for my ticket and see nothing but a face in perfect proportions. I see the greying hairs burrowed on top of his eyes, and maybe the lines stemming from his eyes. Or I greet the hostess of a local restaurant and focus on her perfectly arched eyebrows, as though they were painted on her face, and her full lips dramatized with the help of a cranberry hue in lipstick. So if I were to paint a portrait of either of these people, and if I were to paint proportionally as to what I focused on, the works of Gord Bond would mirror my own, in terms of style alone, to a precise degree. Magnified and shrunken characteristics, bold strokes glazing over the areas I didn’t linger over, and more detail given to the areas I did. The beauty of this work, however, is that no two portraits would be the same given our own differing interpretations of our imperfect world around us. What ends up on my canvas could be entirely different than yours’, and that’s why I was so entranced with these paintings… because it was as if I was stepping into the interpretation of the world through the eyes of another.

*m

(no photo mine, unless it says Little Rabbit Ears on it!)

Mother Nature, My Favourite House Guest

When I was still living at home, as in the house where my mum would put out a beautiful bunch of flowers on the kitchen table, and the house where my siblings and I would fight to the death over the last half-piece of bacon, and even the house where my dog would leave us the smelliest of presents in the darkest of corners, I never came to fully appreciate just how much I needed those flowers my mum would so diligently adorn our house with. Although I did very quickly appreciate the lack of bacon debacles and poopy presents. (Warding off my dog’s twisted sense of humour has been a struggle.)

But now it has hit me as to why flowers are a necessity my mum couldn’t go without. Quite simply, flowers are 24/7 spreaders of joy and cheer.

 eb217f22aa5236319df72e364b1433b0

 But now I am forced to accept the weeds along the side of the road on my way to class as  indifferent replacements. Once upon a time, dandelions were sweet, simple gestures, but now they are my only hope for a burst of natural exuberance. Long story short, my life is lacking some natural exuberance.

I just want a chair where I can feel like my bottom’s on vacation.

ryue-nishizawa-house-a-heju-51

Or a room where the walls are purely white because the flowers speak for themselves, breathing into the room with colourful exhales.

 00ea7cf83bb7d046bc7f1525d665b976

 Even if that means just a sliver of life, like a single branch, or, if i’m really and truly desperate, a picture of pressed flowers will do just fine.

34f857e1b5228c0e6917391d5ac7dfdb

Perhaps one day I’ll try to act as though I am Mother Nature herself, deserving of an indulgence so cheerful and so joyous that it’s simply not meant for the mortal race; I would drape a string of bottles with my lovely cheerleaders in each one over top of my desk. Ah, the optimistic sense of motivation I’d be given.

“She has it! She’s got it! She can always do it! Wahoo! Yippee doo dah! Look at her go!”

My cheer of choice. Thanks, ladies.

quartz-No3

As a result of my desire to make my humble abode as welcoming as possible to my future flowery tenants, I came across some damn nifty flower-trappers. Don’t worry. To the flower familia, this contraption is just called, “Palace for Joy.” What a life they lead. Maybe one day my room can just be permanently entitled, “Palace for Joy.” Although of course I’m going to need some flowers for that to even be a possibility. No Joy Palace lacks in Mother Nature’s offspring. Don’t be fooled. She needs an heir or two.

FT3-filtered (1)

Mmmmm. Yes, that is my go-to response for these babies. Simply, “mmmm.” Maybe it’s this dreamy photography, where the flowers look as though they really are captured from  utopia in glass water drops, but something tells me that the way the sunlight would dance through these Orbs of Joy would at the very least warrant an, “Mmmm” or a, “My god, I think I just opened my eyes for the first time” or maybe, “Turn me into a fairy, asap. My homeland is calling me.”

photo-3

Luckily for me, I live with someone who shares this somewhat obsessive appreciation for flowers. Now what does this naturally call for? A wall of pressed cheerleaders. Okay, that was admittedly disturbing, but remember that the cheerleaders of the Earth actually enjoy it. Their presence is intended to be permanent, but for some reason (someone told me because they are technically alive, but it could be a rumour) they need water and whatnot to keep on livin’. So pressed flowers are a beautifully convenient replacement.

Here is a perhaps more fancy-shmancy-DIY-skillz version..

If you want to get really epic:

gorgeous garden wallUntil next time, keep smilin’ (with flowers in your room, I think I’ve made it seem like that’s the only way possible).

*m

first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh is me, eighth, ninth

A Thing or Two About DIY Adventures

I have never been one to jump into DIY ventures. First of all, there has been a fear for hot glue guns festering inside of me since I first tried to attach impossibly delicate hair to a wooden angel doll at the age of six, and, on that same sticky notion, I find bits and pieces of dried glue stuck to my body as though I were slowly transforming into a reptile for what seems like a week after. And so, for the past while, otherwise known as this lifetime, my free time has quite lazily drifted over to my computer, or eating out with lady friends, or perusing down the streets popping in and out of stores. But lately, as I avoid looking at my bank account where the numbers that used to look back at me with such jolliness are now literally sneering and/or laughing at me, I have to say my eyes have strayed every which way into this other world. DIY doesn’t just appear as a little more appealing than before, it looks like something of a necessity to me if I want to have a somewhat visually pleasing room next year.

The world of my free time may be about to turn into… slightly-less-free-but-oh-so-joyously-productive time. Can’t say it’s a decision I want to make at this point. I’m still hoping I win some variation of contest that just violently throws money at me, as though my bank account numbers are yelling, “Yeah, take this! We’re multiplying like crazy! Whatcha gonna do about it, huh?” And I would laugh and say, “Silly money. I want more of you to love.” And then I would take one step into Anthropologie and *poof*, money be gone. It really would work that way. Let’s not even think about ABC House & Home at this point.

But see, I’m not a delusional person. I am painstakingly aware that my part-time job next year will not fuel these wistful ideas of mine. And so, thus marked the opening of Sweet Paul Magazine, no. 10. The edition of last year’s fall, but the edition that threw a pitcher of cold, sweet, inspirational water of DIY goodness in my face and opened my eyes to this hidden world. Instead of recoiling from the boiling weapon otherwise known as a hot glue gun, I think back to some fond memories of my grandma and me in a white-washed painting studio, and of the less aggressive DIY projects we took on – like painting rocks, or making photo albums. The kind of DIY projects I genuinely enjoyed.

So now I find myself walking down the street into a cafe and instead of thinking to myself, “That grid of watercolour portraits has to be the most visually pleasing thing I have seen all day,” to, “Who the heck says I can’t do that?”

photo 1

photo 2

Don’t worry. I will find the artist of this collection next time I swing by, but in the meantime, just bask in this charming set of portraits with faces spanning decades and personalities that are entirely unapologetic in their variety. I feel as though any one of these fellows, or ladies, would have an entirely different answer to, “Why is your portrait up here?”

And so, some projects I am (no word of a lie) stoked to take on before the remainder of my summer becomes lost in the sounds of my keyboard. All brought to you by the sweetest of crafty folks, Sweet Paul. Some of them, admittedly, are still a little frightening to me, but baby steps involve just thinking about it, right?

DIY

Festive Pom Pom Frames!

Especially if one is partial to black & white photos, which are sometimes the classiest of colour hues, these cute little frames will give that much desired pop of colour that some folks (hey, what’s up, that’s me) can’t do without.

DIY2

City Scene Candle Motives!

I dig the traditional architecture (in fact, it looks like the Bay building in Vancouver to me), but most of all, I am swooning over the fact that the lights will be flickering with the candle (or LED flickering light) making the whole scene so whimsically alive.

DIY3

Jar Light!

Yes, this one is daunting as it involves actual electrical work, but the outcome is almost enough for me to maybe possibly consider it? Yes. Got my thinking face on now.

DIY4

Vintage Bookshelf!

If anyone is already lusting after those walls where there is a myriad of book pages pressed to the wall (like this), practically breathing inspiration into your room, then the idea of using a vintage book as a shelf might just be its equally whimsical sister. Imagine placing miniature teacups and delicate vases on top. Lovely.

DIY5

Castle Votive Lantern!

The young lady behind this magical creation, Lova Blavarg, is a Swedish princess. Well, at least the closest thing to, because she is gracing the world with the loveliest of crafts and art projects. She must literally only drink creative juices (bought in some obscure local Swedish farmer’s market) because I don’t know how on earth she comes up with some of these beautiful ideas. Who wouldn’t want a castle fit for faeries atop a desk bogged down with work? NOT I. I need a dose of DIY luxury in my life from time to time.

I also snuck away to my cabin this weekend and, let me tell you, this place is a DIY heaven. Next time I head up there I will take a few snaps of what I mean. photo 2photo 3

The lodge is a place where all of the visitors on the island can go, but most of all, it represents the island as a place where interior design does not conform to the pages of the latest magazines, because the beautiful simplicity of this type of design is its timelessness. In other words, I could return a decade later and still find myself equally charmed by the quaint nature of symmetrical beds and faded floral curtains that have always allowed the most delicious amount of sunlight through.

The lanky figure in the second photo is an overgrown elf I found wandering through the forest, quick to assess the comfort of these beds (let’s just say the lodge doesn’t necessarily conform to the latest mattresses either).

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, you lovely human!

*m