Cuban artwork is stretched, framed and up!

So a few weeks back, I posted about a piece of art that my husband and I picked up in Cuba and whether it should be framed or stretched.  You can click here to read that post.

Well, if you have read that post, you know that I decided to have it stretched and then simply framed.  I had a few reasons for this and when Michaels had a framing sale, I went ahead with it.

Here’s the result, just got it hung up this weekend and I love how it pops against the navy walls in my dining room.

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CUBAN ARTWORK IN NAVY DINING ROOM

CUBAN ARTWORK IN NAVY DINING ROOM

I’m very happy with my decision.  It’s the kind of piece that I can see moving around the house, which always means you made a good art choice.  But I am loving it here, for now.

I had some exciting news on Monday morning, I was included in Point 2 Homes’ list of Ottawa’s top design firms. 🙂 Click here to read the article.

Lisa

Art – do you frame or stretch?

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is being kind to you so far.  It has been wonderful to me. We escaped for a week right after Christmas to Cuba for a little R&R.  It was wonderful to put my feet in the sand instead of heavy winter boots, even if it was just for a short while.

While we were there, we ventured to the Varadero Market to check out some artists. I love to buy pieces of art while we are away to capture the feel and beauty of a country.  And Cuba doesn’t disappoint with their many talented and creative artists.

We bought a typical Cuban scene of a colourful street with a 1950’s vintage automobile, of course.  The colours are so vibrant, we were smitten at first sight!

Cuban artwork

I’m thinking it will be absolutely stunning in my new navy dining room. Here’s a picture my son in law took on Christmas day of my holiday table, below.

Navy Dining room

So now how to finish it? Do I stretch and frame or just simply stretch it? Well, I put the question to my followers on FB and the response was overwhelmingly to have it stretched.

But I guess, I don’t follow advice too well, as I’m having it framed.  

My reasons are because the dining room is more formal so a frame feels right but actually, the artwork made my decision fairly easy. As you will see in the photo below.

Cuban artwork

Do you see how the terra cotta colour is kind of creeping out of the edges of the paint on the sides and bottom? It would look really unfinished if you could see that on the sides of it once it was on the wall. You could paint the sides I suppose as I have other mounted pieces done that way, but I didn’t want to play with the integrity of the painting.  The other option was to still stretch it but to bring the painting over the sides so that there was no unfinished sides but then I’d lose the artist’s signature and shrink the size of the art.  Not what I wanted to do.

And there was another plus to having it framed, Michael’s was having a framing sale and if you choose a sale priced frame the cost of the stretching was also on sale. So even though stretching was cheaper, for only slightly more money, it will be stretched and framed.

So there you have it, it will be stretched and framed. I decided on no matting as I wanted to keep it relatively simple and clean.  I went with the frame in the picture above. It’s a soft black and has a slight texture which gives it a little bit of a rustic feel to it, kind of like the painting itself.  Even though, it’s going in my dining room, I didn’t want it to be too formal and I certainly didn’t want a busy frame as the painting has alot going on. I wanted the piece to shine out of the frame, if that makes any sense.

So sorry, to those of you who voted for stretching only.  I’ll post a picture once it’s done and in place and you can see what you think.

Lisa

How to hang a wall full of plates

It feels so much like spring here, even though it is really still a few weeks away, but that’s okay we will definitely take it.  When spring hits, I always get a little bit of spring decorating fever. Are you like me and want to repaint the entire house and change up all the accessories?

Well, the last few weekends I’ve kept myself busy redoing my dining room plate wall at our cottage.  And I’m absolutely loving the results below.

Blue and green plate wall

When we purchased the cottage, the wall looked like this.

Before - plate wall with plate railsI loved the idea of decorating with plates, but I wanted to modernize it and give it more of a free flowing feel.  So here’s the step by steps on how to achieve your new plate wall.

First off, I removed the plate rails and filled all the holes in the wall. Then after a quick coat of paint on this wall, I got started.

Oh yes, before I forget, I purchased these Plate Hangers from Ebay.  I didn’t want to use regular plate hangers as I wanted a more clean and modern look, but feel free to use whatever hanging method you prefer.

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1.  You want to gather all the plates and lids (I used one casserole lid that was minus a casserole bottom) that you would like to hang. I would suggest keeping a somewhat cohesive theme, like I did with mostly blue, green, and white plates. But don’t be too rigid, a few surprises are always a good thing.

2. Measure out the width and height of the wall area that you are looking to cover. Once you have these dimensions, tape out these measurements on a flat surface, a table or perhaps the floor, and start playing with the plate placement.

3. Tips for plate placement –  I placed the larger plates first and then added the smaller plates. I also tried to disperse similar colours evenly throughout.

Blue and green plate wall

4. Next, I cut out newspaper templates of each plate and labelled it with the plate colour. I then followed the instructions for the plate hangers and left them to glue on the backs of the plates overnight.

5. Mimicing the plate placement on my table, I taped the newspaper templates on the wall (with painter’s tape) and stood back.  I adjusted them to ensure a fairly consistent space between the plates and kept standing back to see how it looked overall.

Blue and green plate wall

6. Once I was happy with the placement on the wall, I measured the back of the plate, from the hook of the plate hanger to the edge of the plate, and marked the corresponding measurement on the newspaper template, so that I knew exactly where to place the screw.

7. Once I had each screw in place, I removed the newspaper and hung the corresponding plate. I worked from the top to the bottom and it went really, really quickly.

So here it is ALL DONE! As you can see, there is lots of room to grow. It is my perfect excuse to hit up the antique/vintage stores and garage sales this spring/summer to fill it all in.

Blue and green plate wall

Blue and green plate wall Blue and green plate wall

Blue and green plate wall

Blue and green plate wall

 

Lisa

Yet another treasure

Okay, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer about the little painting in my previous blog.

Well this little painting was found in the bunkie with a broken frame and glass and I thought it was so lovely that I had it looked at by an antique dealer.

Here’s an up close shot:

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Well, it was deemed an original watercolour in very good condition. The colours are quite vivid with very little damage considering it was kept in an unheated bunkie for at least 10 years. It is dated 1871 and has an original signature of E. Batt or Bait.  The antique expert said it was done by an amateur painter, probably a woman and that it was likely painted on site but that the people in it were probably added in.

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I just thought it was so charming that I had to get it professionally framed with archival glass and matting, and then I brought it home.

I’d love to know where exactly it was painted – the dealer thought maybe eastern Canada.  Does anyone recognize the landscape in the painting?

There are still a couple of other items there that I haven’t gotten too.  One, I pulled out a few weekends ago while my friend and fellow decorator and blogger, Sonya Kinkade was up at the cottage with me.  Well, she was practically ready to arm wrestle me for it, so stay tuned for another post about yet another treasure from the cottage…….

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A little spring hopper

Here’s a cute little tree frog that I snapped a picture of last year at our cottage. I think he is so cute and he makes me think of spring!