Tres Belle.

In my online quest to find my Dope Jonathan Adler version of a Unicorn, I found something very cool on ebay;

A European magazine cover, featuring my fave designer with a title whose name is very close to my heart.

And so, after an accepted bid, a trip to Michael’s for a frame and specialty matting,

I now have a new wall-hanging in my living room that is super cool and pretty, I think…

photo 1-7or, as they say in France, tres Belle.

photo 2-8And the whole project is one of a kind and cost me less than $30.00 in total.

photo 3-5I adore it. But I’m sorry; I don’t know how to say that in French.




Do you remember those letters I bought at Michael’s the other day? For a grand total of $7.20? Well they’ve found their home.

When you walk up the stairs to our second floor, they now hang above the windowsill in our long hallway.

photo 1I have to tell you, I’m a little obsessed.

photo 2It is most definitely quirky. But it adds personality. And we are quirky. So I love it.

It’s us, both literally and figuratively.

RAKA 4eva.

Custom Framing

The purpose of this site (and also my new-found favorite activity) is to show how to decorate using creativity and a limited budget. Custom framing is costly, and though it makes photos or paintings or cherished pieces of art very special, it can be exorbitant.

In doing custom jobs for my house, I have had great success with the framing department at Michael’s. I have had them custom frame, I have had them assemble, I have had them cut mountings, all in an effort to save costs while adding special pieces to my home collection. I’ve written about this before, but really put on my big girl framing pants today when I went for two projects that are both sentimental and could have been extremely pricey.

First, I wanted to have my Ketubah framed. FINALLY. I got married six years ago.

My plan is to hang it as the new focal point on the gallery wall opposite my bed in my master bedroom. I worked with a framing specialist today and decided to have it double mounted and chose a metal frame that is sturdy enough to handle the large piece and also modern enough to transition to my future master bedroom (and to go with my leopard rugs).

The framing specialist worked with me to pick a bold navy border with a gold matting underneath. When she first quoted me the price of $1,100 my heart sank. That was way above my budget. I asked her to trim the fat. So by selecting a different kind of glass and with an exceptional 60% + another 20% coupon I got my framing project down to $180. Pretty incredible, I do say.

photo 1  photo 2   The next project is also quite dear to me; a t-shirt my daughter painted in her fantastic art class this summer; I say class, but it was really private lessons and it was really amazing.

In her class, she made this phenomenal t-shirt, and I wanted to see if we could have it framed. Again, the initial sticker price was $400 but I asked her how we could “trim the fat” and got it down to $109. It is still not cheap for a piece for a child’s bedroom, but this is something important, and will be framed in a shadow box and matted with fabric silver matting in a decorative white frame.

photo 3My last great Michael’s find came in the clearance bin, where I stumbled upon leather letters, all in different neon colors, all 40% off and each one the initial of on of our names: A, K, R and A. They came out to be $1.80 each. I kid you not. And I’m not sure where I’ll put them (I’m thinking about hanging them somewhere?) they were too good to pass up.

photo 4I do love letters.

photo 5

So, there you have it. Custom framing on a budget. This is the before and I cannot wait to see the after. Just give me (and Michael’s framing department) about two weeks.

My fine, feathered DIY.

So do you happen to remember the peacock feathers that I ordered from One Kings Lane?

I asked for you to stay tuned, and my DIY feather project is finally complete.

And I have to say, I’m pretty darn happy with the final result, as it combines several things that are important to me: It is unique (one of a kind, in fact), I was able to do this project on a budget (will tally the total in a bit) and it is feathered.

So here’s how it all went down:

I bought “grass green” paint and posterboard from Michael’s.

photo (35)

And gave it several coats. There I also purchased gold frames that would fit an 11X14 picture (on clearance). photo (34)

When the peacock feathers arrived I mounted them on the posterboard. photo (54)

And matted and framed them. photo (55)

And then hung them as a series in my masterphoto 2_3 photo 3_3So now I get feathers, my strength symbol, next to my bed, which means a lot to me. And I did it on a budget. So here’s how it all breaks down:

Peacock Feathers from One Kings Lane: $22

Paint from Michael’s: $0.69

Posterboard from Michael’s: $1.99

3 Frames from Michael’s at $8.00 each

So the grand total of my original art piece is now $48.68. So for under Fifty Bucks I was able to create something very special, that pleases my eyes and my soul. Not bad, I say. Not bad at all.