Let’s Get Creative!

My wonderful and ever-inspiring cousin is home for spring break. This means the creative juices are SURE to flow from now until Friday.

Yesterday we were brainstorming ideas for a birthday gift for Cheryl. I suddenly remembered a piece of art Cheryl’d been gaga for (likely found on one of her MANY inspirational blogs). I happened to love the piece also, so I archived the photo in our own inspiration book to one day recreate.

See where this is going?

Here was our inspiration:

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At 3pm, I picked up Ashley and Connor to make a quick supplies trip to Lowe’s. After a motivational game-plan session, the idea was fresh in our little brains (from building our own drop clothe canvas, to using the textured ((sand)), mis-tint paints to keep cost low).

On our supplies list:

  • 5, 4′ long trimming pieces
  • 1 6′ x 8′ canvas drop clothe
  • mis-tints matching our inspiration photo

It was beautiful outside (and especially warm on the back deck), so we enjoyed the crisp spring air while we constructed our palette. The motivation behind building our own canvas was purely monetary — we are cheap (and competent!). A frame and a support beam — super simple.

George cut us a couple of right angle corners to throw in for a bit of extra support (we weren’t sure how much tension the angles could support during the stretching process, so we took precautions).

From there it was a matter of drilling, screwing, and aligning. Our wood came pre-sized, so that cut down on construction time.

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The stretching was new to all of us and was not only a workout, but pretty damn fun. We worked from corner to corner, stretching, yanking, pushing, stapling. And repeat for nearly an hour (hello, forearms and triceps). The final product was perfection. We flipped it over to its exposed side and you could almost hear the instant smiles on our faces, they were so loud. Proud we were of our first-time canvas frame and stretch!

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We had zero game plan for the paint. Ashley (with her brilliant artist’s eye) noticed that it was very linear — up and down, left and right. And that was the extent of our planning. We added handfuls of sand to our paint (somehow every mini on the mis-tint shelf was the PERFECT color — what luck!) to give each stroke a lot of texture.

We started with our whites and tans, graduated to golds, moved on to blues, greens, purples, and finished with a mixture of all.

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Even Pierce helped with the neutrals (oops)…

Photo Mar 24, 7 02 38 PM

Eventually, our wonderful sun set and we had to move inside…

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We somehow finished the painting completely by 8:30 or so. I was sure it was going to be a two-day process. But with two of us knocking out the painting (and Connor on the blue!), we seemed to sail smoothly through the finish line.

I can’t WAIT to unveil this birthday gift. A truly wonderful family collaboration and one that will have a proud, and lasting place on our wall.

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