DIY Love: Canvas Stencil Art

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i lovelies, it’s been several weeks since I posted. I have been busy tweaking little things here and there on the blog and hoping to make more adjustments still. In the interim, I thought I might share a little DIY canvas art project that I did. The cost of everything here to make the project was under $10! Can you believe under $10 for an original piece of artwork? Who am I kidding, it’s no masterpiece, but it was fun to do and I love it. It’s a budget conscious way to decorate the bare walls of a home.

All the supplies came directly from the dollar store:

  • Canvas – $2
  • Two bottles of acrylic paint – $4
  • I already had a set of foam brushes

Step 1: In photoshop, paint or word, type out a quote, lyrics or even random words that you find inspirational, in a font of your choosing. For this piece, I chose “every rose has its thorns” which came from lyrics of a Korean song. (You can watch the music video for it below. It’s a good song and I LOVE the concept of the video.) I played around with two different sets of fonts. Your options are only limited to your concept and creative abilities.

Step 2: Print out the words of your desired size. I printed on a regular 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. (In hindsight it may be better to have printed on a thicker source of paper.) Cut out each of your word groupings, then use a sharp exacto knife on top of a cutting mat (or old magazine like I have – an old copy of “Psychology Today”) and cut out the black letters. Be careful though, when cutting certain letters, such as the small letter ‘e’, the space on the top part of the ‘e’ will no longer be attached to anything. I chose to leave these out for the letters, but if you choose to keep them, don’t cut out that little piece all the way, instead leave a little portion connected to your paper.

Step 3: Lay out some old newspaper or something that you don’t mind painting on top of and make sure you have all supplies close by. There’s nothing worse than having to run somewhere else to grab something, such as a wet cloth or paper towel if there is an accidental mess to clean up. My main colour theme for this piece was white and pink. The pink was a tad bit darker than I wanted, so I mixed a bit of both colours to come up with a shade I liked. Use a foam brush to paint the entire canvas with your main colour, don’t forget the sides/edges!

Step 4: Once the canvas is dry, arrange your words onto the canvas and secure them with painters tape.

Step 5: Now you’re ready to paint the words! Use a smaller sized foam brush and dip it into a really small amount of paint for the letters. Don’t pick up too much paint otherwise it might accidentally transfer too much paint at once onto the canvas/stencil. This leads to messy letters, it happened to me with my ‘e’ in ‘every.’ It’s best to pick some paint up on the brush and then run it across a paper towel or even the newspaper you have laid out to make sure you don’t have too much paint. It’s best to do dabs on the stencil a little bit at a time and then revisit it with another coat.

Step 6: Once you’re happy with the letters, and wait about 5-10 minutes for it to dry a bit, CAREFULLY take off the stencil. At this point, you can pretty much say you’re done if you are happy with the results. With my piece, although it was pretty as it was in step 6, I wanted a more worn/roughed up look to emphasize the meaning behind the ‘imperfections’ of these ‘thorns’ on such a beautiful thing as a rose

Step 7: To give my canvas art a little bit more of a distressed look, I took a stiff brush and ran it through a bit of the darker shade of pink and brushed it onto the empty spaces of the canvas. I also had some metallic paint laying around the house so dabbed a little bit here and there on the letters.

Step 8: Ta-da! Here is the finished piece, sitting on the desk in the office/tech-room where its home will be. It will be hung on the wall directly behind it. It hasn’t been hung yet, as I am trying to come up with a few more pieces to hang it in a more gallery like-style on the wall.

Above is another picture of the finished DIY canvas stencil art.I hope you get a chance to do your own version of this DIY. Please share, if you do! I would love to see them.

Also, here is the video to the song that had inspired this art project, please have a look:

Madame of Elegance


Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries

Life's A Bowl Of Cherries

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Life is just a bowl of cherries
Don’t make it serious; life’s too mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can’t take your dough when you go,
So keep repeating it’s the berries,
The strongest oak must fall,
The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
So live and laugh at it all…

Play the song:

Madame of Elegance
 


A Great Many Other Things

Anniversary Orchids

Orchids the boyfriend surprised me with.

Love can mean so many things…a feeling of omnipotence, of fulfillment, of bliss, which finally dispels the oppressive sensation of solitude that everybody feels in a crowd. But love, when you have lost it, can also be complete and hopeless despair. Some people never experience love; and some confuse it with a great many other things…

GENEVIEVE ANTOINE DARIAUX

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ast week, my boyfriend and I reached a milestone of four years together. I was completely caught off guard when he came in, woke me from an after work nap and surprised me with a beautiful orchid arrangement. We’re not the sort of couple who celebrates anniversaries, let alone birthday’s. We don’t really spoil each other with extravagant gifts – ever! I’m not saying that we’re not romantic or that our relationship doesn’t have any romance, it’s just that everyday we always do or say the things we want to, to each other. We don’t just save them for special moments or occasions.

He tells me that I’m beautiful, even when I know I’m a major mess – with day old, greasy hair and no make-up. He will cook breakfast and plate it for us (I can’t cook sunny-side up eggs). He will warm up my car for me in the morning. He has come to my rescue on more than one occasion (like when someone stole my tires). He bought me a new set of tires, even though we weren’t really looking for any replacement ones yet. We’ve been on a lot of adventures together (like driving overnight to Vancouver on a long weekend). We’ve seen bears in the wild together, hiked together, cooked dinner and breakfast out in the back country together. We watched way too many movies and fell asleep with arms and legs tangled up on the couch together.

But our relationship isn’t perfect either, it’s far from perfect. We both speak our minds to each other. I yell at him, he yells at me and five to ten minutes later we get over it. Sometimes it does take an hour or two or just a good sleep on it, but we move on. Are we soulmates? I’m not sure I believe in soulmates, but I do think that we’re stronger together than apart – even though we both won’t ever admit it. From the beginning, I would have never seen this relationship become of what it has. Not many people get to see this side of him and in a way, I feel that much more special because only I see the vulnerable side of this man.

Everyone experiences love differently and outside eyes can never really see the feelings and emotions that only yourself and your lover share, but just as Madame Dariaux said, it can be confused with a great many things. As long as you can tell the difference – you’re perfectly fine. No one else’s opinion should matter, only you would know what is best for you. I don’t need to be amazed and bedazzled all the time with grand gestures, but to me it’s the simple acts of love and kindness that are worth far much more. The orchid arrangement that he bought for me were the exact ones that I had been admiring at the grocery store, when we stopped in on a random run to grab a few things. He didn’t need to buy them from an overpriced florist shop.

Don’t be one to confuse love with a great many other things, instead know of the great many things that mean love to you. I know what it means to me and I’ve found it.

Madame of Elegance


The Sunrise

The view of the sunrise from my bedroom window.

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ne of the things that I love the most about living in my new house is the view of the amazing sunrise. The house is east facing and my bedroom faces the same direction on the upper floor. The feeling I get is completely indescribable when I wake up to the sun slowly creeping in and casting a golden hue on everything it touches. These majestic, golden rays only last about an hour between 8:00am – 9:00am in the winter mornings, before the sun eventually rises higher into the sky, officially marking day from night.

It brings about all sorts of emotion whenever I get the chance to enjoy the sight. It makes me feel appreciative of what I have and what I am surrounded by. It makes me ponder upon what the day will have in store and what the future may hold. It also brings about a little heaviness in my heart, knowing that the moment will pass and that time does not stand still. If only I had the leisure to enjoy the beauty of this on more occasion than just on the weekends. I’m usually out of bed around 4:30 in the morning on weekdays for work and am stuck in a high rise building for the rest of the day. Nevertheless, I do most look forward to the next time that I am able to witness the little bursts of sun flood the room with all it’s colours.

Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.

HELEN KELLER

The sun’s rays coming through the window, casting a golden tint in my bedroom.

A better view of the sunrise, captured from the front veranda of the house.

Madame of Elegance


Staying Inspired and Maintaining The Motivation

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t’s a new year and a new beginning, as many people view it. A fresh start is usually what gets us feeling like we can reach up and higher for things that we only often dream about. Though, it always seems like only after experiencing something that leaves us feeling refreshed, full of life, energy and excitement that keeps us wanting more – wanting to learn more and wanting to do more. This is a good thing, but why do we always have to be inspired by an experience, a feeling or something… ANYTHING, in order to be motivated to get on it? Whatever ‘it’ may be. We should be motivated every second of every day (except for maybe when we are sleeping, because we all need beauty sleep – I definitely put sleep near the top of my important list)!

Time is what limits most of us (or maybe even that is just an excuse). They say balance in the things that make up our lives is the key to combating the mystery of where our time goes. But I think ‘balanced’ is such an abused word. Maybe we should be a little UNBALANCED, after all we can’t apportion out our time equally between everything. I’m not saying that we should completely disregard and not care for things that constitute parts of our lives but are not quite as pleasant, because there are always going to be things that we must do before we can attain and to maintain our contentedness which aren’t convivial in the beginning. I say, at least once a day we should try to do something or rather be a bit more unbalanced or a tiny bit more weighted on the scale of life for taking action on something of which we have a real choice for ourselves, that gets us one step closer to ‘it’. It’s a simple task, but can seem difficult if you don’t know where to start and when to just push through with it. This is one of my tenets that I am truly trying to live by. I hope that you will or are wise enough to already be living this way.

Stay motivated and inspired of ‘it’.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

MARTHA GRAHAM

Madame of Elegance