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Wordy Walls

Have you noticed the increase in wall design with words?

We’ve moved from the era of motivational pictures to walls of motivational verbiage. We think it’s great! There are so many media popping up in design magazines and online where you can incorporate words. You can purchase wordy decals, painted and printed canvases of words, even use the ever popular chalkboard walls to write your own inspirational words. We just love the idea of layering your walls with your own choice of expressions that inspire or set a mood for a particular room.

We jumped into the trend a while back. Our choice of medium was hand-made paper with words. Since we create our own paper by hand, we have complete control over the color and content (in this case the words) on the paper. You have to admit it’s pretty amazing to be able to incorporate your own hand written notes, drawings, or verses from your favorite book onto the very walls that surround you. Your options are limitless.

In the past we have done beautiful bedrooms with scripture about love and marriage (a favorite on Houzz.com), a Chinese influenced powder room, and a corporate bathroom in a science facility that incorporated the formulas they used every day. This year, a client and flying enthusiast commissioned us to create a handmade paper to include sketches of airplanes, text from Orville and Wilbur Wright’s biography, and hand written flight logs for his sons room. He wanted it to look old and very distressed. The end result was great. The client was thrilled because it personalized the room!

Take a look at the photos below to see the diverse projects we’ve created with our handmade paper.

Would you be up for a wall design with words? Leave us a comment to share your favorite wordy wall idea!

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

Happy Labor Day!

Have a Fun Labor Day Weekend!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!
Janie & the Crew

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

Support the Arts at a Local School

School’s Back in Session!

Another summer is over and the school bells are ringing. You’ve probably noticed all the moms and dads zipping from store to store, purchasing all manner of supplies for their school-age kiddos. Sadly, each year we also hear about the kids that don’t get all their supplies in time for school… and the schools that have their budgets cut each year for basic supplies. The first things they cut are art supplies. This is a shame, because it has already been shown that kids that get to experience the arts do better in school. As you might easily guess, art class was always my favorite (surprise, surprise!).

Being artists ourselves, we completely understand the value of exposing young minds to art early on in their education. We have found a great website that helps teachers in a great way! It’s Donorschoose.org.

Their website explains it like this!

Support the Arts at DonorsChoose.org

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.

When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You’ll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you’ll also receive hand-written thank-you’s from the students.

Another really fun fact, you get to leave a note to the teacher and class on why you chose to sponsor their project. We love this charity because you get to see your contribution in action and can even choose schools in your own area. Here’s a little walk thru on how you can donate.

  1. You can choose to filter the projects based on the lowest cost, urgency, highest poverty, most donors or fewest days left. Most of these are self explanatory filters; the only one I’ll explain is the most donors. For example if you have a small amount to donate you could look at the projects with the most donors and possibly find one that your donation could bring to completion.
  2. You can also choose a specific area of study. We chose art because it is near and dear to our heart, but all school subjects are there to choose from. We also chose to support a school in Houston. This part was a little tricky to find on the website. Start with the state. Then narrow down the city, and then choose the area of education. When we did it another way we couldn’t find schools in Houston.
  3. Once you get back the desired search results, you can read each teachers’ request and choose the project you want to sponsor. I loved how creative some of the teachers were with their titles and project information. It made us feel great to help out a local teacher trying to make her classroom a little brighter for her students.

We look forward to hearing from the classroom we sponsored, and will fill all of you in on the details as they arrive this fall. If you reach out to this group, please let us know about your experience!

Do you have a favorite charity that helps education or the arts? We’d love for you to leave a comment and tell us all about it.

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

Summer Vacation Mementos

Summer is coming to a close, and so is our “vacay” time.

Maybe a few of you have made trips to the beach, or have ventured out of the country for a little summer getaway. I noticed that during my travels I tend to collect the odd bits to remind me of my trip. Shells from the beach, pebbles from a hike, a goofy coaster from a cool bar…all kinds of interesting odds and ends. When I get home, I look at them again, think about the fun I had, and then shove them in the nearest drawer. I usually don’t see them again until I get into “cleaning mode” and rediscover my little “finds!” This year, I have decided to do something special with my treasures from my summer beach trips. This way, I can look at them throughout the year instead of once in a blue moon.

Now, I just need some ideas to create a format for showing them off! So I’ve been searching the DIY spots for inspiration. I found a bunch of nice ones. I hope they inspire you, too. Whatever you create, it will probably only have meaning for you and your family or friends. That’s fine! That’s the beauty of creating something so personal, and reflecting on that special time – when seeing it again that gives us joy…

Here are my favorite ideas for summer mementos from a few fabulous DIY blogs.


Silver Seashells


Antique Silver Seashells Summer Mementos
I’ll start with the easiest way to put those treasures on display. I’ve noticed metallic seashells in all the home accessory shops. They are just fabulous! This tutorial takes your beach finds to a new level with a little help from a can of spray paint. Take a look at how beautiful these came out. To see these beauties in progress click here.



Seashell Covered Letters


Seashell Covers Letters Summer Mementos
Moving to a little higher degree of difficulty, this project would be perfect for any room or even a gift. With these adorable sea shell letters you can create a monogram, or words that inspire. I could even see this as a replacement for your summer wreath. Click here for step by step video instructions.



Sea Shell Mosaics


Seashell Mosaics Summer Mementos
This next idea would be great for kids and adults alike. It takes all your treasures from the beach like sea shells, sea glass, marbles and anything else you find interesting and puts them on display in a neat way. These little mosaics would make great coasters, hanging art work, or maybe even steps in the garden. This tutorial uses plaster of Paris but I think you could take the same idea and use a concrete mix for steps in the garden. Click Here to see the step by step photo tutorial.



Christmas Ornaments


Christmas Beach Ornaments Summer Mementos
Last, but not least, we loved this Christmas ornament idea. This particular blog showcases a lovely summer tree but how fabulous would it be to have little reminders of the warm summer months to come during the Winter holidays, when it is so chilly. Take a look here on how to make your own.


Have you made something fabulous with your summer mementos? Leave us a comment and let us know, we’d love to hear all about it.

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

Recent Glass Bead Project

Summer is heating things up in Houston. If you are one of the lucky ones, you are sitting out the heat in Colorado or hanging out by the pool. Well, we didn’t get to escape Houston, but we are working in air-conditioning, so that’s pretty good.

A client recently asked up to create an original design to put on the main wall of her master bedroom. She loved the look of glass beads. Was I thinking of shade or escaping the sun? I don’t know, but a tree came immediately to mind.

All the fabrics, drapes, bedding and artwork had already been selected; the client just wanted a little sparkle added to the room. We decided to create a beautiful glass bead cherry blossom tree. The color, radiant orchid, worked well with the bedding colors so that became our base. The flow of the branches and blossoms gave the room a more feminine feel without being gooey. The glass beads gave it that “bling“.

We loved the way it turned out but more importantly so did the client!

Read more…

6 Fun Decorative Painting Nursery Ideas

Inspirational Nursery Ideas

It’s finally summertime, and after a long and very cold winter it seems that many cuddly couples got a visit from the stork! So, whether your bundle of joy was planned or a great surprise, here are a few ideas we loved for fun baby room décor and wall designs.
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DIY for 4th of July

DIY July 4th project: American flag

DIY July 4th Project: American Flag

We love a good DIY, and for July 4th we found this great American flag wooden pallet. This little gem would be a great outdoor or indoor décor accent for the summer. Take a look at the Sassy Deals blog for a step-by-step walk through for this July 4th project.

We hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Independence Day! We will be celebrating the holiday by closing on Friday the 4th and reopening July 14th. Happy Fourth, Everyone!

Sincerely,
Janie's Signature
Janie Ellis, RID, ASID-IP, CF,
Master Artisan
janie@anythingbutplain.com

The Tortoise Finishes on Top!

Recently we met with Designer John Kidd to have him choose some of his favorite finishes to feature in an article in Luxe Magazine. While perusing our plethora of fine finishes he fell in love with a tortoise shell finish and asked us to create this look on a custom mirror for his clients home. We were thrilled to make it happen!
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3 Good Reads for this Summer

This Saturday, June 21st marks the official start of the summer season! It’s time to take a break and sit in the sun with our feet in the sand or maybe just dangle them in the pool. Everyone knows for a good time at the beach or pool you have to have a great read and fabulous drink. We can’t help with the drinks, but we do have 3 recommendations for a great read this summer. Read more…

4 Time Saving Tips for Painting Projects

It’s “DIY” Time

The sun is shining, school is out, and summer is finally here! I’m not sure if it’s just the change of wardrobe to bright, cool clothing, but summer always makes me want to start making changes around the house as well! Maybe you’re thinking of painting the powder room or cabinets… or you found a project on Pinterest that is too fun to pass up? Either way, summer seems to bring out the DIY side of our personalities. With that in mind, our team of artists has compiled their list of tips for painting that will save you time on your next painting project.

These are a few simple tips that our artists use every day to ensure all our projects are completed as neat and clean as possible.


Tips for Painting

1. Get off to a good start.
The surface you want to paint should be free from damage or imperfections, especially if your finish is going to be glossy or shiny. Many people make the mistake thinking the paint will hide the flaws in their sheetrock or wood, instead it just highlights the blemishes. So be sure to smooth out the surface you will paint before beginning. Remember, It’s also important that the surface be clean and primed before any painting begins.
Read more…