I thought I’d share a little project with you today that I recently hung up in our kitchen, but that I actually created about six months ago. We lost my Grandma just before our big trip to Europe and it was devestating. She was the local Grandma in my life that I was very close to – the one that taught me to bake, gave me sage advice on finding ‘the one’ (which subsequently confirmed my yes to Kevin) and who picked blackberries with me every summer when we visited Washington together. It was a very heartfelt loss and there were no words to describe it. To add salt to the wound it was in a matter of weeks that we were celebrating the passing of my other special Grandma, whom we had lost the year before.
But, I took what meant most to our relationship and created a piece of art that I thought my family would enjoy.
Grandma and I baked together at every opportunity we had – she was an incredible baker!
We couldn’t attend her funeral because of travel and that was a second blow to my heart. There was nothing to be done regardless of how hard I tried to change flights and so on… so instead of being there in person, I was there in spirit (while in the Ireland countryside, her heritage) and I wanted to leave something for the guests that were present to celebrate her life.
My first thought was to create a memorable piece of Recipe Art for everyone to take home and I was on the hunt to find an Etsy artist to help me out! But because of short notice (as these things often go, funerals that is) no one could fit my short timeline. Sooo, I opened Adobe Illustrator up and created the art myself.
I made about 50 copies for the funeral, packaged them up and sent them to my Dad to leave out for family. And now, finally, one of my prints hangs in our kitchen.
Lemon bars (hence the bright, happy color) is one of the BEST recipes we have from my Grandma, though I’m working on an entire cookie book inspired by Grandma’s delicious creations. She was a baker – a real conossieur of the trade. She taught me everything I know and it runs in my blood because of her. I hope to pass that on to my girls.
About a week prior to her death, I was visiting her home in my hometown of Santa Cruz and I sat down next to her bed with a tablet and began recording. I knew that I didn’t have much time and Grandma was happy to share her secrets (the ones that I had heard before, the ones that I was just learning for the first time) of baking with me. We went through hundreds of recipes together from her shelves and hand written books and boxes of torn out magazine clippings, and picked out about 30 that were her favorites. The legacy she will leave us is the love that she shared, the stories of her inspiring life, and her recipes.
Grandma’s memory lives in the heart of my home now, and she will be with me every time I bake.
Love you, Grandma! I know you are watching over us with the angels now.
PS I shared the actual recipe here when we made lemon bars for Liv’s baptism. Delicious.
PPS If you are an Illustrator wiz, I’d be happy to share the original file with you so that you can edit it with your own favorite recipe. I can’t link it here because it’s not compatible, but feel free to email me at: morgan at pepperdesignblog.com
Tags: Art, Decorating, DIY Art, Kitchen, Paper Crafts, Recipes, Yellow
Posted in DIY, Downloadables, Family & Friends, Our Kitchen Remodel, Recipes, Renovating Adventures | 5 Comments »
I mentioned on Monday that I’m on the hunt for new artwork for the home. Art is such a great way to add a pop of color to a space and to bring a little personality to a room! And our home could use more of it.
It’s fitting that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner because one such style of art that has caught my eye over and over again (from that initial four heart Lonny print below to the modern paper craft versions that were very popular last year) is a solo heart shape.
Shoot, even pillows are all the rage:
Determined that I could create a solo heart painting myself without spending a fortune, I dug up some canvas paper from a giant sketch pad of Kevin’s (left over from one of his architecture classes) and my watercolors.
Instant bookcase update! The pop of pink is a great color addition against a dark espresso bookcase.
One of my favorite bookcase styling tips is to use art as a backdrop to add a ‘tall’ component to shorter decorating elements such as stacks of books, figurines, family photos, bowls and other featured knick knacks. It also detracts from a monochromatic bookcase and helps to add unexpected color.
Wish I had a straight on photo but there was a horrible glare while snapping these quick shots.
The frame is from Aaron Brothers (probably picked up during one of their penny sales) and used to house a remnant piece of brown and white fabric. I love the pink color, but I also really dig how the white helps to ‘brighten’ a pretty dark spot.
Here’s a picture from Christmas that gives a little glimpse of the matted remnant fabric (also an easy and inexpensive art idea).
When it came to painting this guy I began with a simple and soft pink heart and then began to add contrast and brush strokes until it felt right. The finished result is organic with obvious brush strokes and bits of yellow, red, coral and pink.
Plus, you can’t beat free art . Though I’m sure there are Etsy finds out there for anyone who wants to make heart art easy peasy!
Pink! It’s here to stay and it’s my new best decorating friend.
PS All living room makeover posts can be found right here. It’s been a long journey!
Tags: Accessories, Art, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, DIY Art, Home, Living Room, Pink
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 2 Comments »
I have one more quick project to share from building the breakfast nook in the kitchen. See that big ole chalkboard above the new bench and table? Figuring out how to fill that space proved to be one of the hardest puzzle pieces with this entire project.
I love the final solution and it has already been a fun spot to share family messages (like Liv’s 2nd birthday!) but it took me a while to figure out how we would temporarily cover that massively large gap (and old window that’s hiding behind plywood and needing repair – on the list for this summer) that was left in the kitchen when the bench was finished.
We brainstormed ideas ranging from framed fabric wall art (one of my favorites), finding actual wall art, hanging a whiteboard or cork board, creating a faux roman shade (very clever, Mom) to a chalkboard. Nothing too permanent because we may end up opening up that window again this summer or trying something brand new with the space.
I thought a cool piece of fabric (like a remnant, silk scarf or even a chunk of something random like a tablecloth) framed would fit the bill, but then struggled to find a fabric that I wanted to hang as a focal point in the room — and one that also played nicely with the new tufted bench seat, pillows and bar stool cushions. No luck. I love me some mixed patterns but there were just too many in that little space.
My back up plan was an awesomely large frame to house a chalkboard. You can never have too many of those.
I made the frame first because it was such an awkward size. It had to be tall enough to cover the window and wide enough to look like it’s supposed to be there (and is not just covering up a flaw in the wall, which it actually is).
I could have built a frame from scratch, but that felt very, very daunting. I priced out purchasing a custom frame at that crazy size. Waaaaay out of budget. Then I stumbled again upon these giant Ribba frames at Ikea:
This frame is the same poster frame that I used on my semi-DIY fabric canvas artwork in the living room (my local Ikea doesn’t carry the birch version anymore ). It’s SO big at just over 28×40″, and at $25 it’s a killer steal in the framing world.
One would have not looked purposeful, it would have oddly sat above the breakfast nook and would not have tied in in the two Rifle prints to the right of the seating area. The chalkboard needed to go big. After carefully measuring, I purchased two of the Ribba frames with this plan in mind:
First disassemble both frames, next reassemble one giant frame using just the longer 40″ edges.
Disassembling was actually quite tricky! You would think that an Ikea frame would pop easily apart. Oooohhhh no. I assumed I could pull out the staples that held the perfectly mitered corners together (the hardest part of building your own frame) and re nail gun the edges. But after a little sawzall action late at night and about 20 nail gun holes later, I managed to reassemble my giant frame.
I wish I had pics of that night! Me, my red slippers, an air compressor and the power tools (don’t let anyone try to fool you – power tools are just larger versions of the craft tools we ladies know and love).
But it looked something like this when I was done:
Except that if you’re ever over at the house, don’t look so carefully at the corners. They are not so pretty with their wood glue remnants (who knew it wouldn’t dry perfectly clear?) and nail marks. I just keep telling myself it’s a great temporary solution.
For the chalkboard on the inside, I headed down to my local Lowe’s, found a sturdy and flat piece of particle board and gave the nice milling guy my dimensions.
Three coats of chalkboard paint later and we were done! Also don’t look too closely at the black paint either – you might see an accidental footprint. For the record I also added three coats of magnetic paint under the chalkboard paint but the finished product is not quite strong enough to hold anything up. Ah well.
Hanging the frame and board was a bit of a challenge… the Ikea frame was not sturdy enough to hold such a large board (even particle board) so I reinforced the entire frame by driving a few nails directly though the chalkboard and into that plywood window that we were trying to cover up. Very convenient that it was there! An alternative might be to use a much lighter type of board (perhaps even plexiglass?) or to build a much sturdier frame to support so much weight.
And that’s the story behind the giant chalkboard .
These days I love how the black paint looks against the black of the botanical frames and the grey floors, it really is the perfect solution for this spot.
PPS Thank you so much to Calico Corners for including my breakfast nook project in your most recent newsletter! Such a big honor, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Tags: Accessories, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, DIY Art, Home, Kitchen
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Featured In, Home, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 6 Comments »