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Friday, March 11, 2011

DIY Wall Art: Retro Illustrations From Thrift Store Books

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My friend, Aubrey, had never been to The Caring Place.  Today when she came over for a visit, I insisted we stop by one of the best thrift stores in Georgetown.  Okay, THE best thrift store in Georgetown.  Hands down.

Ever since redecorating Waverley's room and transforming it from cowboys to vintage/retro chic with those fun curtains and cut out letters, I've been on a mission to tackle the remaining blank walls -of which there are MANY.  Okay, ALL of the walls.

We went to Hobby Lobby yesterday (digressing) and I brought 12 of my large prints used for photo display at bridal shows to have mounted and framed, taking advantage of their 50% off deal.  Woohoo!  In a matter of days I shall have some of my ultimate favorite prints on my walls, creating a gallery downstairs so clients can view and I can enjoy.

Though these prints will fill up a lot of the remaining wall space, there are still plenty of other areas that need filling in, which brings us right back to The Caring Place a few hours ago...

I purchased several books and magazines with the intention of (not burning) pillaging them for pictures to frame.  To my delight we had all sorts of medium/small frames and mattes that I pulled from a storage closet and set to work selecting my favorite illustrations to fit my found frames.

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This beauty cost a buck.  The normal pages are great as a "backdrop" for featuring smaller illustrations as layers on top and the pictures, though either blue or red, are fun and full of adventure.

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I thought these two paired nicely.

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Waiting to acquire more frames and mattes before I hang these puppies.  Will probably do the dinner scene and boy skiing and hang all four together in a square/rectangle.

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Ahhhh, reminds me of Alaska.  Home, sweet home.

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I felt rather sacrilegious tearing up a perfectly good Dr. Seuss, but Wilder is really into his ABC's and you have to admit, having Dr. Seuss on your wall is pretty darn cool.

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And now, let us take a moment to (nearly) completely go off topic.  I bought these two crafty magazines for $0.50 each because some of the pictures were just TOO much.  Thought I was going to frame some, but once I held up mattes to them I realized they were even too corny for my house.  I have to share some of my favorites -with commentary.

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"Honey, this sweater you made me is, well, I'm speechless.  All I can do is attempt to set fire to both of ours with this cigarette."

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This photo is noted as being taken aboard a Holland America cruise ship.  That the spread was titled "All Aboard" and boasted where it was shot was enough for me.

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"Come on, Helga, there's a cute diplomat over there getting a hotdog.  Let's not stay with the general."
"But Henrietta, I enjoy his immensely boring stories about wars he never fought in.  It's the only thing that has cured my insomnia."
"Fine.  But I have to tell you, that dress makes you look fat."
"Old crow.  You look like you're wearing icing."

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Oh, we've come a long way...

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Probably my favorite, for SOooooo many terrible reasons.

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"Phew!  Knitting this top really took it out of me.  I think I better sit and rest awhile.  Chin a little to the left?  What?  Wait, my left or your left.  I... well, why don't you just move around me.  I'll hold still."

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Svetlana, the day walking vampire, off to seek out her next victim.

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And now for the crochet magazine.  The whole reason I dropped a whopping fifty cents -this spread.

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Too much, too much!
I'm getting Brian this get up.

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And this may be the only picture out of these two silly magazines that I frame.  I feel soooo  relaaaaxed just looking at it.  I hope she didn't fall asleep and drop her cup...

Okay, where were we...  Yes!  Wall art!

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Resuming business.  This was a science textbook for grade schoolers in up-state New York.  It was full of brilliant illustrations related to nature, science and surprisingly - some physics.

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Reminding me of Wilder, watching the train in the valley below, I selected this from a full page spread.

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A half page lake scene.  It had good balance of activity, color and aesthetics.

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This book was...OH LOOK, A SQUIRREL!

Uh. Sorry -totally forgot what I was saying.

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The sun went down, the pictures went up.  Here's a close up of a 4x6 collage I made from 2 books and lovely stamps from someone's letter.   (Confession:  In college I would go through the top several layers of garbage at the mail station to grab all the stamps I could find off discarded envelopes.  I got some really neat ones from foreign countries.  And I no longer dumpster dive.)

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Gracing a wall in the kitchen.

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Kumbaya, anyone?

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Oh, looking at these makes me so happy!

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I know you were wondering when Dr. Seuss was coming into play.  He's hanging out in the kids' bathroom and lookin' goooood.  I kept the shot of the sunflowers from my mother's garden in Washington to make a happy trio.

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Appropriate because A) our kids have "W" names, B) it IS a bathroom, after all.

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Just a little too cute.

So, for pennies on the dollar, you can create your own unique, book-centric decor.  Grab some frames from the thrift store or garage sales or recycle some you own to give a fresh look to any room!

Other good framable ideas and thrift store wall decor

-Hang plates!  Thrift stores are always stocked with mismatched china, souvenir plates and ceramics that make great art when grouped together or added as an accent to angular decor.

-Frame sheet music!  Enough said.

-Postcards and vintage photographs!  These are typically best found at estate sales or antique stores ($1-$10.)  My favorite I have framed in a collage format was $3 and it's always a joy looking at.

-Comics!  This is how my friend, Cherie, decorated her little boy's room and it turned out uber cool.

-Cookbooks!  Great illustrations and photos from vintage cookbooks are great to decorate your kitchen.  Also a useful and cute idea to frame a few favorite recipes -you won't have to dig through your collection, just look at your wall.  No more forgotten ingredients!


Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me.
Nice job - Jo! love you, mama

The Maxell's said...

OMG... now I know what Bill and I have been missing! Knit sweaters! All happy couples should have them!!

Great job on the wall art! I'm inspired! Fabulous idea!!


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