Inspirational Word Art

I am just going to come right out and say it: I can’t stand the meaningless word art that is mass produced. Keep calm &… Home is where the heart is. Or, even worse, the meaningless & self-centered drivel that pops up constantly on my Pinterest feed. I almost made a board that was called ‘dumb words’, but then I didn’t – because I try to move away from my cynical self and this didn’t seem like a move in the right direction. My all-time favorites include (but are not limited to):

“stay true to you & you will end up happy” -unknown *WRONG*,

“a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life” -Coco Chanel. Coco, I respectfully disagree with you. Unless you mean that her life will be changed by looking in the mirror 25 times a day and muttering “this is the worst haircut on planet earth, i should have saved $115 dollars and let my 6 year old try her hand at it”

“I got my own back” -Maya Angelou. I have two things to say about this, A.) that’s a shame and B.) this thinking is what’s wrong with the world.

Years ago when I made my first word art canvas I thought I had come up with the idea (it was before pinterest days). Clearly I wasn’t the only one with a good idea. There are so many mediums and styles, you are sure to find something that suits you AND puts beautiful truth into your way every day.

Here’s a little round-up of some of my favorites:

doxology press

{this lovely excerpt from a favorite hymn is by doxology press. I have it up in my family room, and it gets me humming the tune pretty much every day}

 word printable

{This is up in my oldest daughter’s bedroom. I think it is a great perspective at any age. You can purchase it from Katygirl Designs}

In Christ Alone

{how pretty is this embroidered art from Elizabeth Street?! It’s one of my families favorite hymns!}

love never fails

{three little – VERY TRUE – words! printable available for the teeny-tiny amount of $6.50 from BW prints. Think of how much encouragement those words could give you, as opposed to having your own back like Ms. Angelou…just sayin. As an aside, this one reminds me of the beautiful Ellie Holcolm song with this title – I will put it below for your listening pleasure because good words should be seen AND heard}

{if you need some good tunes feel free to listen to the Ellie Holcolm pandora station all day long like I do}

they broke bread

{I have been thinking of making something similar to this on a wood slab with the quote “enough is as good as a feast” for my kithen. I think this one found here by would be a great addition to a dining room or kitchen}

be still and know art

{the worship project produced a bunch of modern posters and canvases using words from worship and sacred music. So many good options over at society6}

cease endlessly striving

{this is from the beautiful Ruth Simons at Gracelaced. What parent doesn’t need to read this 500 million times a day. Such wisdom!}

great minds eleanor roosevelt

{My wise sister-in-law Beth quoted this years ago in a conversation and it has really stuck with me as a way towards meaningful conversations. You can find this print at Whisker Prints}

love is patient

{If you ever watch the HGTV show fixer upper with the adorable husband wife hosts Chip & Joanna Gaines, you might know that they also have a great online shop. For those of us not close enough to shop at their brick & mortar store you can explore their goodies – including this beauty – at the online Magnolia Market shop}

i carry your heart ee cummings

{My sister just sent me this lovely wood tablet with these e.e. cummings words inscribed. You can buy them from Wildwood Graphics}

love begins mother teresa

{love this ceramic plaque and these true words. find them here}


I’m not sure this falls into the category of “inspirational”, but if you are related to me (or you have ever been around me when I was really hungry) you will know that this would be a good fit for my kitchen:

I'm sorry for what I said

{you can buy it here, if I don’t buy it first}


I have just scratched the surface on this, and since I have worked on it on and off for  year and I am going to call it done and put it out there. Put good words in your home! For more good words follow my words pinterest page.

to see my older post about DIY word art click here.

State Pride Swag *Go Oregon!*

Has anyone else noticed the amount of goods being produced in the shape of the US States? Now, I realize how silly this is going to sound…But, I have always been super proud of myself for being an Oregonian {it makes no sense, I know, since I had absolutely no choice in the matter}. In fact, during my first week of college in Chicago, I was in the elevator with another girl and she just turned to me and said, “you’re from Oregon aren’t you?” WELL! She might as well have said, you are the most beautiful person in the world, so high was the compliment in my mind (turns out she was from Canby, a neighboring city to Oregon City, where I grew up). Needless to say, I think my home state is pretty swell. But – I’ll just be honest – I never imagined everyone felt the same way. I mean a pillow in the shape of Florida? Really?!? Now that you’ve seen my true colors let me show you my favorite Oregon swag . And if you are partial to – oh, I don’t know – Oklahoma, I’m sure you can follow the links and find your state swag too.

vintage inspired Oregon map

{via Paper Parasol Press}

Oregon pillow

{via love, California}

Oregon necklaces

{Oregon necklaces in silver, wood & leather via tru.che}

Oregon wood block art

{via LuciusArt}

Oregon keychain

{key chain by Duo Studio}

Oregon coffee table

{coffee table via Fontana Studios}


Here are a few goodies for the kids:

Oregon Rattle

{State rattle by Bannor Toys}

teether crop

{teether from Little Sapling Toyswe just bought their guitar teether for Kitch’s stocking}

Oregon Onesie

{‘made’ onesie by Seven Miles Per Second}

Nursery Love, Part 2: Guest Blogger Katie Delgado

In honor of the arrival of our son last Monday {see the bottom of the post for a picture} my sister is contributing her baby/nursery favorites. You may remember her lovely contribution to art for kids rooms. When you are done reading, you should head on over to her blog The Red Thread Quartet and get inspired, and then you might as well buy her book too!


I am watching the aptly named “Tree of Life,” a Terry Malick film devoted poetically to none other than the origins of the universe, in parallel to a loose biography of his own childhood.  The central character is a boy, the first of three.  In one scene, a group of boys tie a frog onto a firework, and after lighting it, another asks “did he go to the moon?” Ah, boys.  In another scene, one of the boys asks his mother “tell me a story about before I remember.”  This is frequently a request from my own kidlink, and one of the sweetest. And now, a boy has joined our very own tribe; a new cousin.  Bundled into his own dna there will no doubt be inexplicable impulses to tie frogs to rocket ships, and other such gaity.  Soon, he will give us stories we can all remember.  But before there was K, there was the idea of him.  And with a new breed of baby (the first one born with a Y chromosone after three double X’s:)  we have been daydreaming about all things blue and orange and grey that are distinctly boy.  The binding for the stories we will tell, about before he remembers.  And while I am far away and lean in the pockets, I can share a day dream registry about the things I would give him *if only*. Call it window shopping for a shower.  For K, before he remembers.

The first stop-toys.  I know K is too little to know, but this is the story of “before” he remembers.  And some of the sweetest toys are the gifts that have been around so long, we don’t know who gifted them, until our mother reminds us:)

wooden forest animals

{When sister had her first baby, she mentioned to me one day that her baby, around a year old, seemed bored.  “Where are her toys?” I asked, and she sheepishly showed me a lovely raffia basket with a pitiful assortment.  Sometimes, its easy to prefer form over function, but these little beauties deliver both! Hand carved in Germany by Michael Engelberger, they’re available at Nova Naturals.}


The Animal Print Shop

{For some elegant, charming art that would be at home in mom and dad’s room if sharing with baby, any of Sharon Montrose’s prints, from The Animal Print Shop, will do.}

wild rumpus print

{For some more cheery loveliness, check out British based Ruka Ruka.}

elephant boat print

{For some original artwork, pop over to JAustenRyan.  Let me just say, anything that has elephants, giraffes, monkeys and bunting flags has me at hello!}

modern rocker

{And for true form meets function, join me in salivating over Land of Nod’s gorgeous Joya rocker.  My baby outgrew rockers about 8 years ago, but I’d take one of these today if I could!}

Petite collage mobile

{You can never go wrong with Petit Collage, or their beautiful bamboo mobiles!}

see-through crib

{And how is this crib for divine, not to mention genius!  Little’s K’s big sisters could watch every delicious expression as he slept, with no help from mom and dad! Crib from Ubabub.}

And how about some sweet softies to tuck inside…

Stuffies fox & bear

{Rag bear from Zazomini, plush logs from hitree, and debonaire fox from The Walnut Animal Society. }


{This fellow is customizable.  If you don’t have the time or inclination to knit baby a teddy bear, let Yarnigans do it for you!}

sisters guild bunting

{I’m crazy for all things Maileg, but it’s rare any of it would be suitable in a boy’s room.  Except for this charmer! Available at Sisters Guild.}


{And if you can figure out how to order from Europe, this wall mural from Cosas Minimas is as sweet as they come!}

And last but not least, a few fabulous rooms for inspiration!

modern crib

{The gray diamonds and blue cabinet make a gorgeous backdrop for splashes of red.}

orange eames rocker

{A varation on the same palette from BHG.}

gray & orange nursery

{If you like the idea of a “foresty” theme, this room has some great ideas.}

modern nursery

{Another example of gray diamonds as a lovely foil for bright colors.  Just because it’s a boy’s room, it doesn’t have to be boring!}

modern circus nursery

{And the absolute craftiest room of all, from Joy Kelly, my new hero-who actually MADE her son an elephant lamp (and pretty much everything else)-eek!  Do not try this at home;)


If we take anything away from this post, boys and girls, let it be that gray is the new blue!  (Gray and orange, gray and red, gray and blue, etc.)


Here he is:

DIY Word Art

{the original word art give away details are at the bottom of this post}

I’m not going to say I was the first one to have the idea of putting words on canvas and calling it art, I’m just saying I did it before pinterest existed and it was to my knowledge an original idea {except of course those truly fabulous posters in every dentist office in the 90’s that said some power word followed by an ambiguous description…like this, only not funny}…And, it took me days of searching the internet to find the large alphabet stamps I had in my mind for my original piece (this e.e. cummings poem) that spans over 2 large canvases (I’ll show you a pic when we move into our house and it is up on the wall again). Obviously, if you are a pinterest follower, you know I was wrong in thinking it was my idea. Oh well, I guess I can’t patent it.

What I love about taking favorite words and putting them on your wall in a permanent way is that it takes something trivial (home decorating) and adds weight (depending of course on what words you deem valuable enough to look at daily). My second project was putting one of my absolute favorites on canvas for my sister:

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes -The rest sit  round it and pluck blackberries.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Since then I have made a few for friends as house warming gifts. Here is a picture of one:

diy canvas word art{this is taken from The Jesus Storybook Bible}

 It’s obviously not a hard project. You have to have canvas, paint, alphabet stamps, a steady hand and good words. However, since some of you aren’t inclined to projects of any kind I am going to make it easy and give away a couple that I have recently made. All you have to do is spread the word about my blog and you could win one!

Here are some of my favorite applications of word art:

word art{this is by Albee – as a mother of small children I can really, really appreciate this sentiment, after my kids are asleep, of course – they are allowed to speak…& speak & speak}

wood plank wood art{originally found & created by the blogger at a cup of lindsay jo}

emboidered trailer art{this adorable embroidered piece by three red apples doesn’t completely fit my theme – but I LOVE trailers and would like to be ‘off to see the world’ in this cutey & it’s my blog, so…}

diy no solicitation sign{my clever friend Gina made this for the front of her house – if you don’t think these are good words, then you have never had an unwanted doorbell wake up your sleeping baby}


I would have shown you more but the truth is I guess I made my own because most of what is “out there” is too polished looking for my taste or too blah in content (for instance: don’t forget to be awesome, let it be, live what you love, etc. you get the picture).

Here are the 2 pieces you could win:

diy painted canvas word art

diy painted canvas word art

How to win the word art made by me: Like my page on facebook, share this post on fb, tweet this post, make a comment on your favorite post or pin a photo from this post (or do all 5 & get your name entered for each thing). Be sure to use the share buttons at the bottom of the page so I know to put your name in the drawing (if you pin it, you’ll have to let me know in a comment, or on my fb page). 2 winners will be chosen (first one will get first pick) & you must have a continental US shipping address for me to mail to (unless you are my sister in Chile). Winners will be chosen on 6/28.

p.s. the reason I don’t give credit to an author in the second one is because it is an unknown author (it’s from a vintage book of children’s poems!)


Art for your kids room

I know, I know, ANOTHER post about art. Well, get used to it. I like art and there is a lot of it. So, here I go again. This one is strictly art for your kids rooms (so all my bachelor readers can sign off now – I know you loved my pouf post, but I think I’ll lose you here). Here is what I am loving:

{ Animal Tutors by mylittlebuffaloeven the name of the print is cute!}


{Lounging Lion by twoems her whale & hippo prints are also fabulous}

{wooden alphabet by book hou at home}

{baby giraffe by Creative Thursdaywe had 3 of her prints in our daughters nursery, you may have seen it here}

{customizable family tree by eva juliet}

{up and away by PrintParty}

{twin calves by Lucy Snoweshe’s the photographer of the beautiful buffalo seen here}

I was watching my friends kids the other night (really just sitting on the couch while they were upstairs asleep); as we were chatting before they headed out, I said “I’m so proud of myself-” and before I could tell her why, she interrupts me with rolled eyes and says, “what, did you make play-dough or something and let your kids get messy.” (btw: she home-schools her 5 children and runs a chapter of classical conversations. Overachiever). OK, I get it friend: embracing the whimsy and imagination of childhood is not my strong suit. I’m pretty sure it never was, even when I was an actual participant of childhood. I admit it, I am NO expert on creating a kids room to draw out imagination, etc. I just know what I think looks good & that’s what you see here. However, what I lacked in that area as a child my sister, Katie, amply made up for and still does to this day. Her daughter, Haley, is the lucky child to have a mom that FULLY embraces all the whimsy (she’s even in the editing stage of writing an epic fairy tale, so if you know a good literary agent…). She has a super aesthetic when it comes to home decorating too, more bohemian/eclectic than my modern rustic/simple style. So, for those of you who tend towards something a little more free and easy in the decor department I think you’ll be glad to know she has agreed to be a regular contributor. Mostly she will be blogging about creating kids rooms and spaces (since, as previously mentioned, she got a hefty dose of those genes) and showing you some of her favorite finds. I thought this would be a great place to start, since she recently started an English Institute in Arica, Chile (where she lives) and I saw her purchasing loads of art for the school during her last visit to the states.


Innocence Mission

Katie: It is true that I am a big fan of kids rooms and spaces.  It is my not so secret fantasy to be a designer purely of children’s spaces.  I need a twelve step program for my Etsy/Pinterest addictions, and 99% of my “favorites” in either are kid related.  When I was a kid, my mom would always go to a now defunct store in Portland called “Lads and Lassies,” and my obsession with lovely childhood confections began.  In the rear of the store was a small area sectioned off by an extra few steps, and sitting magically at the top was a bookshelf sized dollhouse-I swear I heard angels humming when I looked at that thing.  It was my dream come true-along with every other magical thing in that store.  The store specialized in european brand clothing and beautiful vinyl dolls, in the style of American Girl, before they were a brand.

L &L  was my first exposure to a child centric world where things coordinated in macaroon pastels, and nothing was tacky or kitschy.  It was a place of beauty and order, and what is salient to me now that I am a mother is the emphasis on quality and sweetness the store had, and the lack of “branded” products.  In the world of sparkly lame underpants labeled “diva” and “sassy” marketed to the under 12 crowd, and Hannah Montana Beiber mania, I still long for that store.

As my sister has said, I love all things whimsical and sweet.  I love the innocence of mini adult sized items for children, of well made, beautiful toys, and original art work.  I believe a child’s room is a wonderful place for adults to follow their “bliss,” and create a place that is equally pleasing to both the adults and children in a house.  And yes, I  think a child’s room should be whimsical, and could be bohemian;)  Because all children are bohemian by nature!

{An Unexpected journey by Elly MacKayshe makes lovely, atmoshpheric little paper theatres, and photographs them.}

{An Animal Alphabet Poster by MarlaSeaIf you love all things Anthropologie, this would be an excellent addition to your child’s room.}

{Bird’s photo by Magnetised by Life. Would make a lovely addition to a room with a rustic feel.}

{This devine nursery is decorated with Alphabet wall cards, designed by Ida PearlMy daughter has these in her play room, and they go with everything, mod or vintage.}

{This child sized bookshelf by Nurseryworks has an adult sized price tag.  But it serves as a nice reminder that artwork doesn’t have to fit behind a frame}

{These Charlie Harper wallcards are similar to the Ida Pearl cards, in that they can be used with a variety of styles.  They would be equally at home in a vintage or modern styled room, and the colors are gorgeous.}


{If you wish for more personalized artwork, these charming prints can be personalized, by LeoLittleLion studios.}


Nikki: Aren’t you glad I invited her to share with you? I am inspired by all that her treasure hunting has unearthed. Stay posted for more kid related finds from Katie.

More art inspiration

It’s hard to choose art for your home. I understand. Where do you even start? I have helped you out. Here is some more lovely art in a variety of styles and prices (see part 1 here):

Two Chairs, Michele Maule

{I bought a print of this for my husband’s birthday this year & my dad looked at it & said “you have weird taste in art”, don’t let anyone deter you- if you love it, buy it. Unless of course it is a velvet painting of a wolf or something}

Paris, Latin Quarter, Laura Amiss

{she has loads of beautiful, colorful textile art & whimsical prints}

Ice Crusher, Coffee Pot, Waffle Iron and Tea Kettle, Harold Reddicliffe

Spring Tide, Clare Elsaesser

{notice the charming stitching around the print}

US Map, Rachel Austin

{another Portland based artist – I bought a print of this for my girls bedroom}

Come Over, Nik Bresnick

{such a cute letterpress piece for the kitchen – he also has some fun abc cards that would be cute for a kids room}

What art are you loving? I’d love to know.

Choosing art for your home

When I was 19 my sister and I took a trip to Europe {compliments of Mom & Dad} to celebrate her college graduation. It was January & rainy & she is a true art lover (while other girls were doing their nails, she was digging into gigantic ancient art history tomes). So, we spent much of our time looking at art. I was out of shape and in a bad mood about spending hours trecking to and from art museums, and didn’t appreciate my knowledgeable, personal tour guide adequately…But now, 14 years later, the thing that stands out most in my mind from the trip were a few works of art that really moved me (both at the Musée d’Orsay). The first was this gorgeous piece, The Floor Scrapers, by Gustave Caillebotte:

The next was the only piece I actually looked forward to seeing because I had already fallen in love with the beautiful work, The Angelus, by Jean-François Millet (his painting the gleaners is also breath-taking). Seeing it in person did not disappoint. It is a stunning, serene painting:

I think there is a glimmer of the magnificence of God in truly great Art. That is the allure of seeing these gorgeous works in person. However, we can’t all own these, so we must settle for more earth-bound art that pleases us and gives us daily satisfaction to look at.

Art taste is one of the totally unpredictable things about a person. You can’t look at someone and guess what kind of art they would like, you can’t even always look at their home and guess. It is such an individual thing – because art that can “speak” to some people, is something another would walk by without notice. I’m not really sure how tastes are shaped, it’s just so individual. That being said, we are living in a super accessible time for every taste in art, primarily due to the etsy craze. Lots of art is still out of reach, and some people don’t love any art enough to spend real money on it. My sister, on the other hand, has made it her only investment. She has good taste and can spot trends (has since we were tiny, really) but mostly she just buys what she loves. Not Sotheby’s material, sometimes Saturday market finds, lots from etsy. It may never be worth anything, but she will have a lifetime of enjoyment out of it nonetheless.

My art taste is all over the map (as you will see), but I always know it when I see it. The first piece of art we bought was something we saw in a coffee shop exhibition in our neighborhood. It is by the artist Nat Meade. The truth is what we loved was a little painting of cumquats, but it was already sold. So, for my birthday my husband surprised me and bought a different still-life by him, that we have loved ever since. It has some oddly shaped avocado/nose suck bulb item that we have never been able to identify, which makes for a conversation piece:

We bought these sweet prints (over the crib – for a better look click on the link) by marisa at creative thursday for our daughter’s nursery. She has so many adorable & affordable prints:

Here are some more favorite artists and pieces we hope to own someday (if you follow the links you will get to some great sites to browse and discover what speaks to you):

In the depths, by Lisa Golightly

The Road, by Daniel Robinson

{love, love, love his work + he lives and works in Oregon & paints many places my family has lived}

Book of poems, by Anna Magruder

Bison Buffalo, Lucy Snowe Photography

{I have had a mild obsession for years with finding a close-up of a Buffalo in black & white. The one I dream of is so close that it is just a head shot and it’s taken on a cold day so you can see the Buffalo’s breath – this is the closest I’ve come, &  it is stunning. I may give up on the one in my head and buy this one}

I also love her photo entitled Ewe in the Fog:


Blue Door New Orleans Number 1, Lesha