Create a Gallery Wall With Vintage Prints

Bird prints, vintage Audubon prints & botanical prints are some of my favorite things!

How to Create a Gallery Wall With Vintage Bird Prints (or your favorite prints) - With Little or No Extra Money!

The sad thing is, vintage prints, especially bird & botanical prints, are sometimes very difficult to find.

I’ve been keeping my eyes open while treasure hunting through the different shops in our area hoping to find something … anything! On a recent trip to one of my favorite little shops not far from our village, I was going through a pile of linens, when all of the sudden, my eye caught what looked like a pile of vintage prints. Could it be? I quickly put down the linens, and made my way passed the baskets, plates & other goodies, so I could take a closer look.

To my surprise & utter joy, it was a beautiful pile of vintage prints taken from a Birds of America book. The book is a collection of prints by naturalist and painter John James Audubon. It was first published as a series in sections between 1827 and 1838, and has been in publication since. I recently saw the book brand new in the bargain section of Barnes & Noble for $18, but it’s so much more fun to find some vintage versions with a bit of character.

I thumbed through the pile, picking the birds that I love most & those that I might see at our own feeders in the cottage garden. I also picked birds that had some blue in them, since I would be using them to decorate the dining room, & it is currently dressed in blue & white for the new season.

Having my prints in hand, I was excited to come home & begin the gallery wall project.

The first thing I did, was to lay them all out on the harvest table, to see how I wanted them to look on the wall.

vintage bird prints

I had a piece of reclaimed barn wood in the basement, & my husband cut it into three pieces for me.

On both ends of each piece of wood, we screwed a black screw to make it less noticeable.

I took a piece of garden twin, & tied it to each screw. I made sure to get it as tight as possible, and to leave a piece hanging for some extra character.

Bird Print Wall Gallery Project

After we had each of the three pieces strung, we measured how far apart we wanted them, and used screws to hang each of them on the wall.

Then I hung each vintage bird print on the twin with a black mini clothes pin, being careful to space them evenly.

Here are some close ups of the individual bird prints.

Indigo Bunting

Vintage Indigo Bunting Bird Print

Blue Bird

Vintage Blue Bird Print

Florida Jay

Vintage Florida Jay Print

White Throated Sparrow

Vintage White Throated Sparrow Print

House Wren (I liked the blue berries in this one 😉 )

Vintage House Wren Print

Warbler & Blue Birds

Vintage Warbler and Blue Bird Print

Western Corvids

Vintage Western Corvid Print

Blue Jay

Vintage Blue Jay Print

You could make a gallery wall out of anything that you would like!

You could use:
Pictures of Family
Pages of a Vintage Book
Print Pictures From Online
Love Letters
Sheet Music
Artwork From The Kids
Christmas Cards
Vintage Postcards
You could also add little bits of nature – like bird feathers, pine cones, dried flowers, or leaves

The possibilities are endless … but they are all sure to be beautiful!!!

Here it is all finished!

Bird Print Gallery Wall Project

Creatively Yours,
Pearl

Dining Room Decorated For Autumn

Autumn Dining Room Mantel

I absolutely love the beautiful surroundings that God has blessed us with, and as each season
unfolds, I try to bring as much of that beauty inside as possible for our family to enjoy. With
the rich bounty that Autumn brings to the woodland, finding little treasures to feather our nest
for the long winter ahead, is both an easy, and a favorite thing of mine (I have many ;)!

Every year different things catch my eye, and this year, one of those things was our hydrangeas!
They did amazingly well over the summer, and bringing them inside allows us to enjoy them for the
rest of the year as well!

I’m also in love with the fact, that our oak trees seemed to produce an overabundance of acorns
this year! I’ve tucked them here and there all over the place, & I think our squirrels would
definitely approve. Next week, I’ll turn them into Christmas decorations, so we can continue
to enjoy them.

I like to hang a hops wreath each year, and this year, a local farmer friend made me a larger
one to hang hang over the mantel. I love the delicateness and soft shades of green in the
beautiful hops flowers … hops wreaths are one of my favorite things.

I hope you had all the shades of white & green at the farm stand this year like we did! They
were amazing! Just look at that chunky green beauty on the mantel! When I saw it, I knew it had
to have a place of honor among the hydrangeas.

Autumn Dining Room Mantel
 

I started with a green and white table runner, then a piece of burlap, topped with some dried
gourds that I’ve had for a few years now, assorted pumpkins and gourds, acorns here & there,
and some beautiful strands of bittersweet. Did I mention that bittersweet is one of my favorite
things? 🙂

Autumn Dining Room Table
 

I found this darling little french bakers rack in a little antique shop not far from the
village. The shop keeper hated to part with it, and told me how it was one of their favorite
things in the shop… now it’s one of my favorites as well. It’s fun to go through my
cupboards, and pull out different things to display on it. Vintage yellow ware bowls,
hand carved butter bowls, quilts, linens, and dried flowers all speak of the season with
their beautiful deep shades of autumn colors.

French bakers rack
 

The use of deep blue & orange is new for me this year ~ and I love it! I was surprised at
how the dried hydrangea blossoms kept their deep blue color. And those orange Chinese
lanterns give the arrangement such an unexpected pop of color!

Hydrangeas and Chinese lanterns
 

This year, I decided to use a lot of green & copper on the open shelves & buffet table that
my husband made for our dining room. See my cuckoo clocks? The one on the far right is the
first clock that I took completely apart & fixed. Here’s another recent cuckoo clock I repaired.
I’ve repaired 3 so far, and have 3 more in various stages of repair.
I love cuckoo clocks… they’re a favorite!

Autumn Dining Room Decor
 

The light green of this beautiful gourd, next to the deep green of the vintage yellow ware
bowl is a beautiful combination. I’m hoping this little gourd dries nicely, so I can use
it again next year 🙂

Vintage yellow ware
 

And… oh those greens in the hydrangeas! They look so pretty against the matte black finish
of the vintage bread bucket we found at the antique show this year. They add such life to our home!

Hydrangeas in The Dining Room
 

While it’s true that I love all of the things our home is made up of, my favorite
things are not “things” at all! My favorites are the people that fill our home, the
family & friends that God has so graciously blessed us with.
 

Pearl

Chalkboard Art And All Things New

Even with several feet of snow still on the ground, you can feel spring in the air!

After you live in a place for a number of years, you become familiar with the ebb & flow of the seasons. The way that one season pushes while the next season pulls is undeniable, even though temperatures may try to convince us of a different story all together.

Our resident pair of crows have begun breaking twigs in the tree tops to build their nests, as they do every year. The birds are not only growing in number, but beginning to break into a joint chorus of song. Those sneaky little skunks have been spotted wobbling around the grounds at night (as if we wouldn’t notice). Numerous owls have been spotted hunting for food, a new surprise for us all this year. The sun has been giving us more than our normal share of warming rays. And the river has finally broken through it’s top layer of snow & ice. Why, I can even see a blade or two of grass in the front yard near the cottage garden.

Winter comes every year, and every year spring follows winter ~ spring is on her way!

This has all made me want to bring some “newness” into our little nest. As I looked around our home and thought about what I needed to do, I decided to bring some fresh designs to our chalkboards, put away the deep mustards found in the yellow ware collection (for now), and replace it with the antique whites found in the new & growing ironware collection. We also have several sweet little animals that join us for spring.
 
Here is our $2 vintage cabinet find, filled with everything white & spring!
Vintage Cabinet Decorated For Spring
 

“It’s A New Season” ~ I love the little vintage chalkboard that I found in an auction box last year! The galvanized metal buckets with their sweet little porcelain tags were another amazing deal! As a matter of fact, everything on this side of the cabinet was either a gift (like the beautiful white pitcher from my friend Diane) or only cost $1 or less!
Vintage Cabinet Decorated For Spring
 

I recently decided to keep my eyes open for vintage ironstone pieces to use in my decor. This lovely little platter was .79 at a thrift store nearby. Black wax is a weakness of mine, as you can see with these little spring lambs wearing their rusty little bells 😉
Ironstone Mini Platter
 

One of the fun things about decorating “you own” nest is, you can use whatever makes you happy…and moss from our forest make me happy!
Ironstone Bowl
 

And who doesn’t love a stack of freshly pressed French linens!
Ironstone Dish and French Linens
 

This ironstone platter was my most recent find at a local thrift shop, and expensive it was at $4.99! I’m kidding of course! My husband can tell you…I spotted it, scooped it up, tucked it under my arm, and smiled like a kid in a candy shop! I thought is was the perfect backdrop for one of my grandfathers vintage Easter postcards from his collection.
Ironstone Platter and Vintage Easter Postcard
 

Galvanized buckets in Vintage Cabinet
 

Here’s another black wax sheep adorned with his smart looking rusty bell. He loves his spot atop this stack of wee little miniature books (another weakness).
Black Wax Sheep and Mini Books
 

Some more moss from our forest tucked into these little aged terracotta pots.
Candles in Mossy Terra Cotta Pots and Wire Basket
 

I love the antique white color & glass glitter sparkles of this sweet little bunny.
Prim Bunny and Black Wax Sheep
 

Depending on the season, I have several wrought iron little animals to use in our decor, including this little dove.
Iron Bird
 

Our magnetic chalkboard needed a spring facelift, so I decided to display a few nest & egg pictures that I kept from a favorite old calendar, and chalk the saying – You Make All Things New.
See the tutorial for creating this chalkboard here
Chalkboard Design - You make all things new
 

Don’t you love all of the different kinds of eggs!
Chalkboard Design Spring
 

I tried to get all fancy with the word “new” LOL!
Chalkboard Design for spring
 

This little black wax lamb just wasn’t happy until he got his favorite spot on the red chalkboard, because it matches his collar.
Black Wax Sheep
 

Thankfully, he didn’t mind the vintage Easter postcard sharing the space with him 😉
Black Wax Sheep on Chalkboard
 

Here’s the new spring design on the big red chalkboard, before lambsie took over. The bee in the laurel wreath is one of my favorite designs!
Chalkboard Design - Bee And Laurel Wreath
 

Winter comes every year, and every year spring follows winter. Spring is on her way, so why not celebrate by brightening up your space with some of the things you love!
 

Little Things – Take joy in the little things, and your joy becomes a big thing

When you can enjoy the little things in life, each day will be so full, that you can lay your head on your pillow knowing you’ve left no joy unturned.

We made It! Here in Upstate NY, we’ve just lived through the coldest February in history. Everyday I hear people complaining about the temperature, the snow, and numerous other thing. All I can think of is… their days must be terribly exhausting! It takes so much energy to continually find fault with the world, when they could be spending their days with a smile on their face, and a heart that is not only thankful, but satisfied with the many blessings in our lives.

Today, even though it was cold outside (we had -24 last week, and that was not windchill!)… the sun was shining & I had eyes to enjoy it. The birds were singing & I was blessed to be able to hear them. Our home was filled with family & laughter, which is one of the greatest joys of all… and so much was right with our world!

Even though I realize that true joy does not come from “things”, I wanted to help inspire you to enjoy the little details of your life. So, I decided to take you for a walk around our home & share some little details that bring a smile to my face.

If we’re not careful, we can spend so much time waiting & looking for the big things, that we miss out on all of the wonderful little details & joys in our day.

Beyond the windows on the back side of our home, we can watch the river as it flows through the forest. It has been so cold this year, that the top of the river has nearly frozen over. Add to that, the several feet of snow that we’ve gotten over the past few weeks, and we can now see what we’ve never seen before… the river totally covered over! But this has also given way to another sweet surprise, we can now see the footprints of all the animals that share our little forest!

River Footprints

Cold snowy weather also brings lots of different kinds of birds to the winter feeders! How precious is this little chickadee!

chickadee

And this gorgeous little Junco.

Junco

A shelf full of great books to read while inside.

Bookshelf

No matter how big or how small, there’s something so satisfying about having a terrarium! I like to imagine what it would be like to live inside…in a tiny little cottage 🙂 This one is filled with miniature sinningias… one of my favorite plants!
terrarium

I have a shelf on my plant stand dedicated to my tiny orchids, and I just love the tiny little buds that they all have right now!
orchid buds

This wee little orchid, with wee little buds, in a wee little fenton glass vase… one of my favorite things.
orchid buds

And the tiny little orchid flowers <3 orchids

Don’t you love the deep blue colors of this piece of stained glass! My dear friend Diane made this piece, and we love the color it gives to the room, as the light spills through it!

stained glass

Soapstone chalk…one of my new favorite things. It was part of a gift given to me by my daughter Casey & her husband Zack for Christmas.
soapstone chalk

My husband made this set of shelves for our dining room, and every season I “shop” through my cabinets & find things to decorate with. In preparation for spring I decided on pear green as this season’s accent color, so my pottery dishes (another Christmas gift from my husband many years ago) are the perfect compliment.
Dining Room Shelves

This was the first piece of McCoy yellow ware that I ever purchased. I spotted it at one of my favorite little shops & fell in love with the “earthiness” of the clay. But because it was a WHOLE $15, I didn’t buy it the first time I saw it. About a week later, since I was still thinking about it, I went back scooped it up 🙂
McCoy Dining Room Shelves

The deep green glazing on the rim of this little McCoy piece is so beautiful. I even love the little chips, where the yellow ware clay peeks through!

McCoy Pottery

I found this sweet little vintage tin & vintage postcards at the same lovely little shop. Since it has beautiful green markings, I had to use it.
vintage tin

Olive Oil – there was something so beautiful & satisfying about this bottle of olive oil, that out of everything in the store, I used my gift card to buy it. I’m not sure if it is the beautiful shape of the bottle, the gorgeous color of the oil, the delicate wax seal, or the ornate metal label that caught my eye. I have a feeling it was all of the above! I just know I love the way it looks on my kitchen windowsill, with the light shining through the oil!
Olive Oil

This little stained glass pear was made by the same friend who made all of my other stained glass pieces. Thank you Diane, for providing so much beauty & enjoyment in our home! And… since it IS a pear, it had to be here.
Stained Glass Pear

This lovely handcrafted platter was another Christmas surprise from my husband. A few years ago, we saw it while wondering around a beautiful kitchen shop. Noticing how much I admired the hand painted woodland scene on it, he went back & bought it for me! He’s such a love!! The scene is filled with animals surrounding a castle in the deep forest. The folkloric design is from the 17th century, & is handcrafted in a small Portuguese pottery. I also love the black matte finish of the wrought iron display rack. Each time I walk by, I admire the hard work of a skilled artist from a little pottery far away, and the love of my husband & joy on his face when he was able to surprise me with something so beautiful.
Provence Platter

Painted furniture is one of my favorite things, and I love the details on this piece.
Painted Cabinet

This handcrafted pitcher was a piece that I won in my early days on the web. Helping others build their business was/is my business, and this was a special gift from those early days. Don’t you love those pops of green! And of course…there is an actual pear sitting on top of a vintage scale that I found while digging through a junk store. The little wooden butter bowl was a surprise discovery in the bottom of a $1 box at auction.
Painted Pottery

These lovely dried berries are some that I used in our Christmas decor, but displayed in this beautiful green glazed pot & enjoyed by these sweet little white birds…I had to let them stay a while longer! They also remind me of the special day my husband & I had while berry hunting together in the snow <3 Dried Berries

Here you can see the new curtains I made for the season. Years ago, I found a great discount fabric shop filled with beautiful bolts of fabric! At those ridiculously cheap prices, I had to pick up a few of my favorites, knowing I’d find a way to use them someday. Well, this pattern has finally had it’s someday as our new spring curtains! The gorgeous chalkboard was a favorite find at an auction last summer, and the picture is me pretending to be a chalk artist 😉 I do love it though, since the “bee in the wreath” graphic is one of my favorite things. The vintage linen with the green stripes was a $1 find last fall, and the table runner with the lovely shades of pear green was a new find.
Chalkboard Corner

And finally… this is a favorite corner in our dinning room. I love having the window to peek into the forest, the french baking rack filled with finds, the new mantel my husband & I made together, and most importantly … the table & chairs which means family & friends gather here <3 Dining Room Corner

Sometimes joy jumps at you with surprise, and sometimes you must go on a joy treasure hunt! While you’re spending these longer cooler days inside, they don’t have to be void of joy! And, it doesn’t have to come in big expensive boxes. Sometimes it can come in a surprise $1 from an auction, something you found on the curb & re-purposed, or even in something you’ve made yourself.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk around our home looking at a few of the “little things” that bring me joy each day, and may you take time to enjoy the little blessings in your home!
 

Chandelier Makeover – Shiny Modern to Rusty French Farmhouse

 

Chandelier Makeover

There’s something about old rusty bits from home & farm that warms my heart. Perhaps it’s the stories that a piece could tell, the work that it has seen, or maybe just the fact that it’s still here to tell the tale. In any case, when my husband & I decided to turn our standard builder’s grade family room in our new french farmhouse dining room, I knew we had to include some special rusty bits of our own to tell a story in our space.

As I took time in the room to try to visualize the finished space, every time I looked at the ceiling fan, I knew we had to have something else in it’s place. Something that would speak “french farmhouse” as our family sat around our soon to be harvest table.

But what would I replace it with? First of all, I couldn’t seem to find “the right piece”…not at a price I could currently afford anyway. So what was I to do? I had a chandelier downstairs that the builder left with us for another room, but because we picked something different, it was still in the box. It was not my style at all – shiny, modern, new… but perhaps I could do something with it, to give it more of a french farmhouse feel. It was worth the try. And after all, it had been sitting in a box for years anyway, so what could it hurt?

I wish I had taken a better “full” picture of the chandelier before I started, but you can get somewhat of an idea by this picture. The fixture isn’t terrible, it’s just not my style. Shiny. Modern. New.

Chandelier Makeover

Here was my plan…
– Remove the shades & not use them at all
– Pull off the 3 metal arms that held the shade up
– Remove the stickers from the metal arm covers
– Paint the chandelier some sort of darker color
– Use pretty light bulbs to go for a “candle” looking chandelier

I removed all of the shades, and as I was pulling the metal tubes up, I realize that they were all welded together! How was I going to get all of these little metal arms off of the tubes?

I decided to go for it & just pull it back & forth until it popped off. WHOOPS…
I didn’t expect each arm to leave a hole in it’s place. Now what?

Chandelier candle tube Makeover

I had no idea if this would work, but I decided to get out my hot glue gun, & make what looked like wax, dripping down from each hole. It stuck well enough, and I think it might work! All I need to do now is paint the tubes to look like candle sticks. I found a small bottle of antique white craft paint that I had & tried that.

Chandelier tube painting

They looked nice, but still needed a little something. So after the paint dried, I dry rubbed a little bit of antiquing glaze over each tube, that really did the trick!

Chandelier tube antiquing

Remember my love of rusty bits? Well, I found this amazing rust spray paint at the department store, that adds YEARS to whatever you paint with it! I can see a lot of things becoming rusty in my near future 😉

The can of spray paint is the only thing I had to spend money on, as I already had the other bits of paint & hot glue left over from other projects.

Before you paint a light fixture, be sure to protect the electrical areas with something. I used tinfoil because it was so easy to do. Be sure to protect the area from over spray & paint in a well ventilated area. I did mine outside.

Chandelier Makeover

Here’s a close up of the top. You have to be careful to cover all parts of the fixture when you’re painting. I used a cardboard box to sit mine on while I was painting it, that way I had both hands free to work.

Chandelier Makeover

Here’s a close up of the metal light tubes – glued, painted, antiqued, and put back on the fixture. I love the way they came out!

Chandelier Makeover

Some more rusty details

Chandelier Makeover

Chandelier Makeover

The chandelier is now installed & the bulbs are in!

Chandelier Makeover

What an amazing difference a little creative thinking, paint, and other bits can make… and for very little money I might add!

Chandelier Makeover

What can you think of in your home, that just doesn’t seem to fit with your vision of how you want the space to look?

Can you give it a makeover to make it work? Of course you can!!!

Tell us about it & share this DIY with your friends to help inspire them as well!

Magnetic Chalkboard – How to make a beautiful magnetic chalkboard from old mirrors or pictures

How to turn an old picture or mirror into a magnetic chalkboard.

Magnetic Chalkboard

I just love finding new uses for old things, especially when those “new uses” add a bit of extra beauty to our home decor for very little cost! Recently my husband & I have been doing just that … taking found objects, or items that I have picked up VERY cheaply, and have turned them into our very own little works of art.

And I have to tell you, there is such a satisfaction that comes with seeing the possibility in something that others have discarded, then adding your own creative touches that seem to breath new life into it. Then… there is the added joy of actually using your new creation to feather your nest to add even more warmth and comfort to your home.

My husband & I have enjoyed watching several of our creative projects come to life in one of our home offices recently, and I know you will love today’s project as much as I do! After today, I promise that as you visit those yard sales, auctions, and thrift stores, you will never look at that old mirror or picture the same way again… I know I don’t 🙂

I’ve always had a love for beautiful picture frames, and I just seem drawn to them at every sale I go to. I’m not sure why, but perhaps it’s the fact that they have the ability to beautifully showcase any creative idea that your mind can dream up!

If you’re like me, you’ve looked at a picture in the thrift shop and said… I love the frame, but that picture doesn’t go with my style. Or maybe you’ve seen a nicely framed mirror, but the mirror had already outlived it’s original purpose, and you thought you had to pass on it.

From now on, I want you to try to look at things through a new perspective. Always remember, colors, textures, and contents within the frame can ALWAYS be changed into something that you love & that matches your home decor!

Here’s where our project began…

Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

This was a nice mirror for someone, but it didn’t quite fit into our space.
– The color didn’t match our room
– We really didn’t need another mirror in that space
– It felt more like “eastern world travel”, instead of the “french country” feel that I was looking for

Magnetic Chalkboard Before

I decided to transform this mirror into a magnetic chalkboard that I could both write on as well as hang things on.

#1. Remove The Mirror

To do this, we had to first remove the mirror so we could give the frame a new look & feel.

With the new paints that we have available today, you could simply just paint right over the mirror with chalkboard paint, but since I wanted a magnetic chalkboard, I decided to replace the mirror with a scrap of sheet metal instead.

#2. Change The Look

After we removed the mirror (we will use that for something else), it was time to give the frame a new look with some different painting techniques. And, to be very honest, I had to paint it twice to get the look I wanted.

* It’s ok to just take a step & try something. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen? With me, I just had to paint it again – no big deal.

I started with a fresh coat of flat black paint. I used spray paint because it was easier & I already had some on hand.

Up close
Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

The whole frame painted black
Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

#3. Prepare & Paint Sheet Metal

While my frame was drying, we started painting the metal with chalkboard paint.

You want to be sure that your sheet metal is clean & free from any oils or dirt before you paint, so the paint will be sure to stick to the surface. One of the best ways to do that, is to simply clean it with some regular white vinegar & a soft cloth.

Paint the piece of sheet metal with your chalkboard paint according to the product instructions. We decided to use spray paint to help eliminate any streaks or drips, but you can use whatever type of paint you feel comfortable with. You will most likely need 2 coats, maybe more, depending on the type of surface that you are covering.

#4. Add Crackle Topcoat

Because I wanted a crackle finish, after the black paint dried, I added a layer of crackle medium. Once that dried, I painted on a layer of antique white in a satin finish (I don’t want the finished product to be to shiny).

After the paint was dry, I rubbed on a very thin layer of antiquing glaze to give it that “old world” feel.

#5. Preparing The Chalkboard

Most chalkboard paints recommend that you prepare your new surface by “chalking” the entire surface before using it on a regular basis. You do this by rubbing a piece of chalk lengthwise over the entire surface several times, then wiping it off. Now you’re ready to go!

*Chalkboard paint tends to scratch when a clay based chalk is used, so I purchased mine from the office store instead of using crayola chalk.

#6. Bringing It All Together

Insert your new metal chalkboard & add a sturdy backing (like stiff cardboard or chip board) if needed.

#7. Decorate!

I decided to add one of my favorite family pictures, as well as a favorite scripture that says “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” in French 🙂

Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

You could use decorative magnets, a collection of pictures, lists, menus, or whatever you’d like to dress up your new magnetic chalkboard!

Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

Enjoy,
Pearl