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Krypton’s Krafting History: Part 2

October 18, 2011

Long before Miss Pascal got me into sewing and embroidery, I spent my crafting time on scrapbooking (as I discussed at length before) and interior decorating. My parents were always open to hearing about my ideas for new paint colors, furniture arrangement and even large scale remodeling projects. In high school I redesigned my bedroom to be Vincent Van Gogh themed, complete with orange walls (that I still love to this day) and a mural painted by my dad on my closet doors (his version of Cafe Terrace at Night, 1888).  This room is classic Krypton style and I do miss it sometimes. I am planning on using those closet doors again one day in the future. Check them (& the bright orange walls) out:

While in college, I worked together with my parents (and a designer) on a major renovation of my parents kitchen. The plan gutted the kitchen, relocated appliances, called for new cabinets, floors, granite counter tops, back splash, lighting – the works. It was an awesome experience helping them see the project through from idea to design to final project (and even better because I was away at college while the kitchen was nonfunctional during construction mode! hehehe). Here is the beautiful final product (it isn’t the best picture, but you get the idea):

Last summer I moved into my own apartment and had a (very) blank canvas. Beige walls (that I can’t paint) and beige carpet. Although it was a bit overwhelming at first (there were SO many blank walls awaiting artwork and such), I tackled things bit by bit. Now, over a year later there is basically no space left undecorated! I am proud of all the art, because I made nearly all of it myself (or with some help from dad). For each piece I’ll show you a picture then give you a brief summary of how it was made. I am going to go room to room for you to check it out.

The Living Room/Dining Room: 

Near the door when you come into my place there is a long wall, on which I have a plant, wine cooler and bar. Above the bar, I wanted a spot to display pictures easily. I went to Ikea and picked out a curtain “rod” that came with small clamps for display. I took a series of pictures of bar ware then messed with them on my iPhone, using the app Percolator. Once got them how I liked, I printed them out at Costco and mounted them on some card stock. Pretty, quick and versatile art work! I have swapped things around at times, like during the holidays I put up cards we got from people.

This is one of my favorites. At first people don’t quite realize what it is – a clock!! This was hand made by my dad after I was inspired by one I saw at Target. They had something similar and I thought it would be perfect on this narrow wall. Then I saw the price – $75!! I knew that I could put it together for cheaper. I bought the panel of wood pretty cheap, got a clock kit with large hands at Michael’s and the numbers are black, metal house numbers. About $20 and some stain later, I had a clock!

Above the couch in my living room area I had a really large wall to cover. After realizing something the size I would want would be way too pricey to buy, I decided to make something myself.  I browsed through pictures I had, things online and stores for inspiration. I wanted something that had interesting colors, but would still go with a neutral color palette of beige and chocolate brown. I got inspired when I found pictures from my a trip I took to MoMA and a picture I took of Picasso’s Three Musicians from 1921. It had some bright blues, yellows, and oranges, but plenty of black, white, and browns. It was just what I wanted for the wall. I went to Michael’s to buy canvases (I bought 4 smaller ones and attached them together to save money) and then bought paint samples from Home Depot for all my colors (again, a price saver!). Working with my dad (the mural expert), we sketched out the painting and spent about an afternoon completing it.

For the side tables next to the couch, I again wanted something with interest, but that fit in with the neutrals already around. My parents had a pretty large cork collection at home and we had done a few projects with them in the past (mainly trivets). I had always joked that filling a lamp with them would look cool….so I hand to make that a project for the apartment. I again went to Ikea (I spent a lot of time there the first few month in my apartment) and bough these lamps. They were just empty glass with an open bottom and the beige shade. I filled the base with all the wine corks my parents had accumulated (after years of drinking) and sealed off the bottom with a cork trivet.

My Bedroom:

Above my bed I wanted something dramatic and again I choose to make it myself. I enjoy watching HGTV and had frequently seen David Bromstad on Color Splash doing some very interesting works of art. He would lay paint on the canvas and then spray the paint with a water bottle, getting a drip effect. I always loved the randomness of the drips. This was my inspiration for my bedroom triptych. I got my canvases at Michaels (they always have good prices on multi canvas packs), had the brown, black and white paint from my Picasso painting, and then just picked up a sample size of teal paint. I painted the canvases brown, with a subtle ombre. Then I just laid on heavy stripes of paint and took a water bottle to each one.

On a small wall near my bathroom I wanted to make a fun sort of collage wall. I had a bunch of random things that I wanted to hang up, but no specific place that they all fit. So I put together an eclectic grouping of sports plaques (I played golf in college), photos (of friends and family….which you get a tiny glance of because I didn’t do my Photoshop thing!), some smaller art pieces I made (one embroidery piece that I will definitely tell you more about later) and things like postcards and such. Here is close up with the canvas with the words. This was a quick project but one that I had been thinking about for awhile. I wanted to take song lyrics that were favorites of mine and incorporate them into some sort of art. With some brainstorming with my brother, I came up with the idea of writing the lyrics of a bunch of songs out and using a contrasting color to make an image. That’s Amore has always been a favorite song of mine, so I made a heart in read, and ended with that lyric. The project took a few weeks total…about 2 weeks to come up with all the lyrics I wanted to put on the piece and about 2 hours to make it. I wrote out the lyrics in pencil, drew the heart shape then got to tracing with Sharpie paint pen, changing color inside the heart. I love that it is just my natural handwriting and each song has a meaning. This collage wall will definitely see changes in the future. With so many pieces on this wall, I am going to sub things in and out periodically to keep it fresh.

One of projects I completed this summer was a refurbishing my grandmother Lorraine’s sewing table (the grandmother with the awesome red cape!). I stripped the old beige paint, refreshed the wood for the top and the drawer fronts then painted the rest of the desk a fresh white. I took the old brass handles and spray painted them silver. It gave the table a totally new life. After adding the sewing table to my room, I needed some art above it to give it some interest. I took a scroll-like pattern from the back of an old sewing machine, sketched the pattern onto 7 small canvases pushed together. I then painted the pattern in a brown, beige and teal theme to tie in with the piece above my bed. When I hung them, I pulled each canvas apart and had an interesting piece.

My Bathroom:

My bathroom needed a something interesting above the toilet and the towel bar. This past winter during one of our many snow days, I bought supplies to make some art that matched my shower curtain. I painted the canvases each about 3 times before I finally found something that I liked. I used all those paints I had from before and a kitchen sponge cut into a hexagon. They aren’t my favorite pieces, but they work for now.

The Kitchen: 

My kitchen has beige floor, white carpet and a black formica countertop that looks sort of like granite. I love the color orange (see my bedroom from my parents house!) so I wanted to do a black, white, orange theme in the kitchen. I found this fabric at Ikea. It is bold, graphic, is loosely “kitchen” themed with the fruit and has the right color scheme – perfection! My dad made me these curtains (it was before I got into sewing really) and then I made the coordinating placemats with the extra fabric I had.

There is only one small spot for art in the kitchen near the breakfast bar and it visible from lots of the apartment (it has a pretty open living area) so I wanted something simple. I took an art class a few years ago up at Wesleyan University (where I am working on a masters degree). This piece was made for that class. The assignment was to use ink to fill in the negative space around an object. I did a few different kitchen themed objects but the mixer was by far my favorite. I framed that baby and it was perfect for my design theme in the kitchen.


In a small hallway in my apartment there is an electrical panel box. Talk about an eye sore! Clearly I needed to cover it up. I live with my brother and a few years ago for his birthday I made him a collage of musical pictures. He is an avid musc lover and guitar/bass player. I took pictures of his guitars and other musical things, made them in sepia tones and then printed them out. A little picture collage was a perfect gift then and wall covering now.

Well, that is nearly all the walls in my apartment and A LOT of art! I hope you get inspired by the various projects and will try some on your own!

~Love and Stitches,


One Comment leave one →
  1. Dr. E Hazen permalink
    October 18, 2011 10:48 am

    Fabulous! Come decorate my house?

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