Thursday, January 17, 2013

Inspiration Strikes!

I've been slowly trying to decorate my house. Because I've always been a renter (and still am) I have never gotten terribly invested in decorating. Not that I am not interested in it. I could spend hours on Pinterest looking for new ideas and inspiration to make my house a little more "home". I've never done much short of tossing up some framed pictures of the kids.
Lately I've really really been trying to get out of that rut and to copy some of the great ideas that I see online. We always take great family pictures, and for the most part they sit on their disc hidden away from view. A couple of weeks ago I finally got off my butt and tried my hand at making some of those great faux-canvas pictures that are all over Pinterest. I didn't follow any one blog to the letter, but found what I liked from multiple sites. All of the steps seemed basically the same. So, I gathered up my supplies and went to town.  The end result was really great. The canvases are 12x12. The prints I got from Office Depot for about $4 for six 12x18 prints. If you order the architectural prints they're really cheap. Modge Podge the whole thing together and this is what you get:
Cute, right? I just wanted to do more with it. It looks great, takes up most of the large blank wall, but it's just not enough. This was still pretty simple. I knew I wanted to add one of the big initials and something else. I just wasn't sure what that something was. So, I've been just letting it bounce around in my head for a while and figured I'd find the perfect thing eventually.  Well, I did!
I have been engrossed in this blog I found recently called Full of Great Ideas. I think I must've spent 2+ hours the other night going through all the old posts and looking at all of the great ideas that she has on there. I'm honestly just floored by the creativity of others. Thank God for places like Pinterest where these amazingly crafty people can get their ideas seen by more people. Although, I'm sure I'd get much more "real" stuff accomplished without them!
There was a post about a teacher gift that she made and linked to a website called Wordle that makes those great word  "clouds"; a bunch of different words all jumbled together in an aesthetically pleasing way. It's super easy (and kind of addicting). You just enter in the words that you want grouped together and hit GO and ta-da! The more frequently a word is entered the larger it is on the finished product. I decided to use my wedding vows and see what I could come up with. I LOVE our wedding vows. I will be forever thankful for the help that we received from the reverend that performed our ceremony.

From today, I will belong to you for the rest of my life. I promise to love and honor you; to give you my strength, to stand by you in joy and in sorrow, and ask you to stand by me.  I want you to share your hopes, desires, and dreams with me.  I know that our home will be one of love and understanding.  I promise to care for you when you are sick, stand by you when times are difficult, and to share the warmth and joy of life.  I give you all my trust and all of my tomorrows.  I will grow with you as long as I live.
Aren't they awesome?!
I spent about an hour playing with Wordle and trying to get it to look just the way I wanted it to. To keep words together you have to add the ~ symbol between the words. I did this to get all~of~my~tomorrows and stand~by~you in the finished product. I added our anniversary date in a few times to make it the center of the combination. I took out the word sorrow. It came up in weird spots and I just didn't like it. This is how the finished product came out:
Now I did have to make a few adjustments to be able to save it. I printed it to the document writer, saved it to the desktop as a .xps file. Well, here's some news folks, you can't upload an .xps file to anywhere to get it printed. I couldn't figure out how to save it as any other file type (it wasn't giving me the option). So I Googled it. xps to pdf conversion. I have an image converter program that I can use to add water marks and convert files, but the whole thing didn't work. I've only used it a few times and I'm not really familiar with it. Same can be said for my Photoshop. I did it the hard way. You can actually convert directly from .xps to .jpg, but apparently I like to do things the hard way. It worked out fine when I took the file down to Office Depot to get the print (which took a whole 5 minutes). I had it printed in the architectural setting again at 18x24. It was $14. I'm not sure why it was so much this time, but still not too bad.
I headed over to Joann's to get the canvas. I had initially planned on getting a 16x20, but found the 8x24 when I was there and liked that much better. I also picked up a big letter S.
Surprisingly I didn't get straight to the crafting when I got home. I actually got some work done first and then worked on it.  It only took about 20-25 minutes (plus about 30 minutes of drying time).

Everything I used to make the word canvas. 8x24 canvas, word print, Mod Podge, foam brush, acrylic paint for the edges, Command strips to hang the whole deal.

My giant S and some spray paint
Spraying on the grass. Until the sprinklers came on!

The final product! It's a little higher than I would like, but Georgie likes to stand on the back of the couch. This keeps it mostly out of her reach.
So that's the finished product! I'm really happy with it. I think the wall really needs some color but we already have color on two of the other walls so it'll have to stay like this.

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