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Isn’t this photo from Green Wedding Shoes adorable?

Seriously, I can’t get tired of silhouettes right now. Maybe it’s because I actually love Valentine’s Day and there is something so romantic about the way we remember the Victorian era or maybe it’s that I just really like cameos. Since we’re getting a little close to Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share some great silhouette DIY crafts that you can make cheaply for your Valentine!

ApartmentTherapy, together with ReadyMade magazine, has a great tutorial on how to make a silhouette. I think it works pretty well if you’re going to blow it up or make it super small so you can use it as a guide if you need help executing any of the crafts.

They also point out that you don’t have to do silhouettes of people. You can also make them of your pets!

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Curbly also has a little bit of a new spin on a silhoutte, painting the negative space on a sheet of plywood to make a natural wood silhouette without doing any cutting! The final product looks great.

You can also make silhouettes small and make custom cameos, necklaces, or bracelets. Less than Perfect Life of Bliss has a tutorial for tiny silhouettes. I love how they turn out!

I couldn’t resist pinning this necklace! The different finishes around the silhouettes makes it look so classy! The necklaces are available for purchase on Etsy if you’re not feeling adding another tutorial to your list.

If you just want a straight-forward lovey valentine silhouette project, the custom couple map silhouette is my favorite!

Silhouettes are a great way to add some personalized details to your home.

I’m not a big monogram fan when it comes to personalizing your decor, but I do like having personalized touches and a silhouette is a great way to upcycle a cheap pillow!

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I’m really impressed by the number of quality desktop (and iPhone and Android and iPad, etc. etc.) wallpaper I’ve discovered this holiday season. So much fun and elegance that really fits anyone’s style.

I usually check SmashingMagazine.com at the first of every month and find something great there. This month, I really couldn’t choose!

I used this landscape for my Facebook timeline cover photo.

And I love these, too. I have one on my phone and one on my work computer and one at home.

It’s nice to have some wintery backgrounds that aren’t necessarily holiday.

I found these via poppytalk earlier this month. The top one is from Geninne Zlatkis and the bottom is from Desert Friends!

My favorite of this month might actually be this one from The Fox is Black.

At least to me, the colors and the aesthetic are very Christmas without being all that religious. It’s very festive and really draws from a design era that I think fits perfectly with the holiday mood! In fact, I might just switch to it today.

What are you using as your desktop? Maybe you’re not as excited to change yours monthly like I am, but if you are using something holiday-inspired, I’d love for you to share in the comments!

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When I saw these prints from Cozamia described as “affordable”, I thought yeah right. Honestly, because lots of things in the design world are talked about being affordable and to me they just aren’t. I know it’s such a relative term, but we really try to highlight the more affordable side of design for those of us who can’t spend hundreds on artwork (spending thousands on art isn’t even something that crosses my mind). I know that art is expensive and I would love to pay the price of beautiful pieces, but that’s just not our reality right now.

That’s why I’m loving this artwork from Cozamia. It’s striking, colorful, and graphic. I love the design and patterns represented in each of the art pieces. Also, it’s affordable!!!

It is so well priced you can get them in huge sizes! Awesome! This lovely herringbone print in a massive 58.7″ x 44″ will only set you back $77!  That’s amazing! That’s the largest size, which most of us might not want, so then they only get cheaper from there.

I love the colors in this one. Isn’t it beautiful?!

Have you come across any affordable artwork lately?

(via decor8)

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I still don’t have anything hardly hanging on my walls. We moved in to our house at Halloween of last year, so we’ve been there about eleven months, and at first it was acceptable to not have things hanging on our walls because we weren’t done banging on the walls and creating a ruckus in other rooms. Now, it’s just embarassing to basically live in the house equivalent of a furniture show room. We really need to finish the touch up painting and fill our walls with something a little interesting. We have a pile of frames for a collage wall, and I have an idea where the various pieces in our art collection will hang, but I have a lot leftover.

Good thing Pinterest exists, am I right?

I think you decorate an entire house with just easy wallhanging DIYs from Pinterest. And maybe that’s what I’m planning!

I really love the simplicity of this puff-paint wallhanging from Virginia and Charlie.

She took this pattern from Gelakins

and turned it into a beautiful wallhanging with just a spare canvas, some wax paper, and puff paint.

I don’t know that the white on white is exactly what I’m looking for but it’s such a clever idea! It would be really easy to recreate with a different color scheme or a different pattern.

As long as I’m talking about Gelaskins I should toss out there that they have a whole line of really beautiful skins for smartphones (not just iphones!!) and Kindles and all kinds of gadgets. So if you’re in the mood to get distracted from thinking about your blank walls (I am) you can try to get inspired by thinking about how pretty and personalized your electronics could be.

Also all over pinterest are variations of these melted crayon art projects: 

These turn out really pretty but the line of crayons left at the top isn’t quite my thing. I like the 3D part but I think that this could look a lot classier if you peeled off (or painted over) the crayons at the top.

Be Different, Act Normal has a great roundup of crayon art projects that yield some really cute results.

I also noticed that a museum I used to live near had an artist installation (about wildfire) that used this same technique to generate a 3-d sculptural result. It could be simplified to make a little sculpture for a shelf.

I’ve also seen a lot of embroidery hoop swatch wall hangings. With all of the options for fabric, you could go so many different directions with this. It would be a lot of fun to paint the embroidery hoops, too, so they look more updated. I’m thinking metallic paint!

I think the project is really straightfoward but why don’t you check out the tutorial at Purlbee!

My final pinterest-discovered DIY wallhanging is from Distant Bloggers and it’s a little more sculptural. This vase wall-hanging is pretty easy but with just a few new cut or fake flowers you can change the whole feel of it!

Get the step-by-step Creative Minds Without Borders on Tumblr.

I’m serious about needing to get some things up on my walls so share any ideas you’ve pinned lately in our comments and I’ll be sure to check them out!

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As you know, I took a vacation from work last week. I spent Sunday and Monday in Omaha with my Mom, celebrated my anniversary with Kyle on Tuesday (our actual anniversary) and Friday-Sunday (in St. Louis and Carbondale), and organized my bathroom and kitchen in between. For the next couple weeks, I’m sure I’ll be sharing all of my fun finds vintage shopping over vacation and all of my progress on the organization.

My trip to Omaha was before I had a little more room to spend some money on anything so I did more window shopping — and being treated — than anything else. On Sunday, we went to dinner in the Old Market are with my mom and my friend David. We wandered around for a while and did some vintage shopping at the stores that we walked by that were open despite it being a Sunday evening.

My favorite true window shopping finds, from a store that was not open on Sunday, were these kitschy canisters. In addition to the downers bottle the window also had a Prozac bottle and several others.

The first store we actually made it into was ReServe, an Omaha Goodwill location in Old Market. I really liked ReServe and I’m sure that if I lived in Omaha I’d be there a lot more often. It basically curated Goodwill donations into a store that had a lot of clothing and decor that would appeal to the clientele of the Old Market. It fit in really well with the other stores, was a little higher priced than most Goodwill locations I’ve been to, and had a great selection.

This ship/lamp isn’t really my style, but it seemed like something my friend James would love, and I could see someone really managing to class it up.

Next, we popped in to Fairmont Antiques & Mercantile. They’re combined with Hollywood Candy that has old candy and novelties and my mom really loved shopping around there and reminiscing about the candy she used to eat. I really liked this priest’s chair which was one of a set. Though these aren’t the most comfortable chairs, I really like the lines of them and, to me, they’re so recognizable and familiar that it would be fun to play with them in the design of a home.

Also at Fairmont, I was really delighted by this faux-Sowei mask. I wrote a paper about the actual masks in undergrad and have studied African art as the topic of my thesis and a few classes in graduate school, so I know a thing or two about African art. But, I also am most interested in the way that Americans incorporate Africa into popular culture. The mask this is clearly based on is actually a female mask despite the tag that tells you that it’s of a king. Also, the real deal is worn on your head. You can’t tell in this picture but this is so heavy!

After the shopping we finally decided on dinner at Nicola. I’d downloaded the Design*Sponge City Guide before our trip and the author of the guide had noted that this was a good Italian place and it really was. My ravioli were amazing and I had a good (but inexpensive) glass of wine with dinner. I was really in love with their wine list. I think the burnt letter on cork would be a good DIY for a homemade journal or photo album — or wine list?

After our Sunday adventures, we went to the zoo Monday. I had a really great time at the Henry Doorly Zoo. We used to go every few years when I was younger and it was great to visit as an adult. Since school is back in session in this part of the country, the only children who were at the zoo were all younger than school age. I’m convinced this is the only way to go to the zoo. No crowds. Better weather than most of this summer has been giving us, and still just enough kids to remind you of the magic of going to the zoo.

And there were so many babies! The one I’m most excited about is this baby dama gazelle who was only 15 days old. The sign said that baby gazelles usually just lay/hide in the tall grass until their mother comes around to feed them but the spot this one picked to hide was right next to the fence so we could see it so well.

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We wrote about I Need Nice Things a little while ago because it’s a great way to get prints for decorating your walls. I recently came across a great find for our Thursday Tea Time in their set called “Object Art:”

A “This is a teapot” print would look great and a little cheeky displayed with a teapot collection or alongside the other prints in the series. You have to buy them all as a set, so I think I’d put this one with my teapots and spread the rest out around the house to tie together the decor. You know the grey works great with my walls and I love bright colors.

What about you? Would you want to keep the series together or add a touch of its playfulness to many rooms in your house?

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Chicago

There’s so much that I can write about my trip to Chicago, but I will give you the highlights. The city is beautiful and there’s loveliness all around. My main goal was to hit up a couple of the shops that I saw on Apartment Therapy; Edgewater Antique Mall and Broadway Antique Market. The two stores happened to be right down the road from one another. There were more places we could go, but these were best for the amount of time we had.

Edgewater Antique Mall was really great and they had some many awesome vintage items! A post is coming soon that includes everything I bought from my trip!

How great is this practically mint condition Remington Electric razor? I love the typography and the pale blue and pink together. If I knew how in the world I’d display something like this, I’d have bought it. The advertising “Safe comfortable way to feminine charm” cracks. me. up. I’m guess it’s true that there are a lot of unsafe and uncomfortable ways to feminine charm out there, so if you’re looking for a razor that’s safe AND comfortable – this is it.

These wooden letters and numbers are all over the place and I really need a craft to do with them! I’m trying to dream up something, but I think I need to head to Pinterest for some inspriation.

I looooooved this pink Melmac dinnerware. It was $24 a place setting and I believe there was 8 of them. So sweet and perfect.

Look at this patio set. It’s so awesome with it’s lime green chippy paint, unique curvy wood, and the white faux leather. UPDATE: I believe that these are George Mulhauser Plycraft Chairs. Which would make them a whole lot more than what they were listed for in the store. Awesome. Wish I would have been able to snag these!

After we left Edgewater, we headed down the street to Broadway Antique Market (BAM). Let me tell you something, on the first floor of BAM it is like any other antique mall. Some unique finds, some high prices, and some lovely pieces. But, when you head upstairs it is like a Mid-Century Modern Museum. Everything up there is stunning and I wanted to take it home. If you’re trying to fill a home with MCM pieces and not too concerned about price, this is your place. Just check out their eBay site, and you’ll totally see what I mean.

They didn’t allow photos so this is the only picture I snapped (I know, I’m such a rebel). It’s lovely though, isn’t it? That the perfect green.

My favorite aspect of visiting large cities is public art. The Painted Forest in Lincoln Park is really striking. Depending on where you view it, it’s possible you won’t even notice. Maybe it’s more visible in the winter?

I really want to do these painted 2 x 4s in my back yard. These were outside of the Art Institute and they’re awesome.

Can’t go to Chicago and not have deep dish. Ah…pizza…

Goodbye beautiful Chicago. I hope to see you again very soon!

If you’d like, you can view the other stops of my trip: Bearly Makin’ It Antiques, Marion, KS, Thistle in Kansas City, and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Stay tuned for more!

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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About Our Authors »

Hope Chest

In our hope chest, we share products that complement our home aesthetic or make us excited about the directions of new design.

 

Jess

I live with Kyle, my husband, in Kansas City, Mo. We have a dog, Oats, and a cat, Logan.

I am a development professional who specializes in museums and the performing arts. I write grants, fundraise, and assist with marketing in the form of donor communications. My academic background is in history and museum science, focusing on the presentation and interpretation of Africa in American museums.

As a freelancer, I work with clients in need of websites, Wordpress upgrades, and FileMaker Pro database solutions.

Mary

Hi! I live in a small two bedroom home in Austin, Texas. I believe in vintage, re-purposing, recycling, and making my home comfortable for us and everyone that visits. After grad school, I developed a love for design and giving old furniture a new life. Hope I can take you all along on my journey to rid my house of the "college days" furniture (or at least re-purpose it)! Welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

 
© 2011, Mary Marcum and Jess Rezac at SoEclectic.com