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Latest project and 7 great online art sources

Hey there. Is the world slowly coming into focus as you emerge from a candy coma? In this house, we have a strict candy taxation policy in which 100% of chocolate candy retrieved from trick-or-treating must be turned in to parents as a tax.

It’s a hard life, but somebody’s gotta eat the Butterfinger minis.

We put our children in costumes, and there’s just now way I can let this post happen without showing them to you. Here’s the best of many terrible photos we got of Tigger and Piglet together:
Tigger and piglet costumes
Piglet had a hood thing with ears and the whole shebang, but it was a Situation. She’s not onboard with the whole beauty-is-pain thing yet.
Piglet costume
I’m excited to tell you we’re finally wrapping up a project that’s been YEARS in the making. (It’s not that it’s that good, it’s that we’re that slow.)

We have this fireplace wall in our living room.
(That’s an old pic but you get the idea.)

As soon as we moved in, I threw up some mirrors on either side of the fireplace as “placeholders” until I could figure out something better. YEARS LATER…

We decided to make some giant picture frames that take up the whole wall and hang them on either side of the fireplace. Kinda like this…
Mockup of living room with large-scale frames
…except hopefully it’ll look less crazy-fun-house than my quick photoshop mockup. Hopefully.

We’re looking at six oversized frames on either side, taking up that whole wall. The idea was conceived because I want to paint my whole downstairs white but the husband thinks that’s “unreasonable” because it’s such a huge job and I change my mind all the time anyway and the blue is not offensive. Obviously, he’s being outrageous. But this will at least make it feel a little more like the room is white. Plus I think this room needs something over-scaled to give it personality.

What’s been taking so long is:
1. The making of the frames
2. The procrastination of not knowing what to put in them.

I’m planning on hanging a combination of pictures of my offspring and artsy things, so I’ve been on the hunt for some inexpensive art. (I plan on changing out the art pretty regularly, so I don’t want to spend a ton on what I frame.)

I found some pretty sweet ways to get inexpensive art to share with you! I’ll probably do a combination of these ideas.

1. Artsy maps of meaningful places

I found this awesome website where you can type in any location in the world and it spits out pretty watercolor maps of that spot.

I’m planning to frame a couple maps of places that mean something to us – where we honeymooned, where we married, that kinda sappy junk. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can play with the file in photoshop or some other editing tool and change the colors.

(To save the image from that site, enter your location, then scroll down under the image and click on “watercolor,” then “image” on the top right of the screen.)

2. Digital sand art

Warning: major time-suck ahead! Go to and play around with the colors to make your own digital sand art, or browse the gallery for other people’s creations.
DIY digital sand art!


I think this is ridiculously awesome and fun, but then I was the kid who geeked out over real-life sand art and spent hours on end weaving potholders on those little looms with the cotton hoops. (OMG. I have not thought about that in YEARS. Do you guys remember those? Major nostalgia moment!)
potholder loom
They still make them! (affiliate link. ha!)

Did other kids do that or was I a super-nerd? You can tell me the truth.

3. Wallpaper samples from Spoonflower

There are some gorgeous wallpapers and fabrics on You can order a sizeable wallpaper swatch (12″ by 24″) for $5 and pop it in a frame. Insta-art! Here are the ones I ordered for the new frame wall:
beautiful wallpaper samples from

From left to right: Arrow Herringbone, Beach house ikat, Beach arrow, Feathers scattered, Multicolor confetti

I think whichever ones I don’t use in the living room will find a spot in my house somewhere. The foyer is callin’ their name!

4. Turn your own photos super-artsy

I love this! Check it out. Alayna at Prairie Hive turned her own vacation photo into this cool stained-glass pixelated effect.
Turn your own photos into cool works of art! Come see how!

Head over to Prairie Hive for the tutorial. (Isn’t that cool? Looks like expensive art!)

5. Print free botanical art

High fives to the Missouri Botanical Garden Library for Botanicus, which is a free online encyclopedia of pretty botanical literature. You can find and print botanical art right from your computer. (I liked this post by Honey and Fitz on how to download them.)
Free botanical art - plus other awesome online resources for free or cheap art

6. Make your own art

Make sure you check out all the cool ideas in this post – 36 easy, beautiful DIY art ideas.

7. The old family photos fall-back

The morning of our Better Homes & Gardens photo shoot back in May, the stylist asked me for a family photo so she could include it in a frame she had brought for one of the shelves. (See it there on the very top left?)
Budget-friendly Laundry room at View Along the Way
Andy and I were all, “Oh sure! One sec!” And then we SCRAMBLED. Yall, we had NOTHING printed out and available for her. I never realized how digital we are with our photos until that moment. I don’t even remember where we came up with the little picture of Weston that’s in that little frame.

My point is — I’m excited to finally bring out the kiddo pics! I already ordered some prints of our favorites throughout the years. (That’s also a map of Anguilla, where we honeymooned, from that maps site.)
Family photos printed

* * *

We have the frames finally finished, the mats and acrylic bought and waiting to be assembled, so I’m hoping I can show it all to you very, very soon… If I can peel myself away from Weston’s Halloween candy first. (It’s not looking good.)

Beautiful ideas you can print right from your computer!

Do you have a family candy tax? Any favorite online art sources to share?

Let's connect


  1. LOVE the idea of the 6 large frames! I’m thinking large statement art pieces for our wall, too … just have no idea what exactly. Details, details!

  2. Love the costumes- my little guy was NOT a fan of wearing anything on his head either for Halloween. He was a lion, so the hood was kind of a necessity, but many tears were shed over it. He looked pretty cute despite the grumpiness! (
    I absolutely remember weaving those little potholders, and my parents actually used them in their kitchen. Loved that thing!!

  3. YAY! i can’t wait to see what you do and love all the examples- that digital sand art is fun! and i loooove the kiddos! too cute!

  4. Can’t wait to see it! I know it will look awesome! xo Kristin

  5. i love you for these sources. I desperately need to start hanging things on the wall. mostly because the husband is annoying me about it, but also because i am READY to take the plunge and stick the nails in..(or 3m strips but…)
    Thanks lady!

    p.s. i think that taxation sounds very fair, considering they get free room and board at your house 😉

  6. Julia @Cuckoo4Design says:

    Such adorable kiddos. And I love the pixelated art!

  7. I LOVE all of these options! I have a huge wall to fill and you just gave me oodles of ideas. Thank you!

  8. Thanks for the ideas and links! Oh, and by the way, when going to, don’t forget to type the “s” at the beginning. You’ll end up staring at a very weird picture, trying to figure out what the heck it is, and when you do figure it out…you’ll realize someone with a Jr. High sense of humor had to come up with that site.

  9. The kiddos are adorable! Great Ideas, I am always looking for new art to hang, I think I have a slight O.C.D. with changing it up on the reg. I think the large scale art wall, like your idea is the way to go! Cant wait to see what you choose, oh and btw how do you convince your hubby to build for you?? As soon as I say “honey can you” he gets THE LOOK, and I say “never mind”..hehe, I need to know your secret!

  10. It may or may not be true I stopped paying attention after I read ‘Butterfinger mini’s’, however if you need extra photos of kids I have six I could part with.

  11. Haha, my mom still uses one of the loom potholders I made for her c.1994! Last summer I told her she needed to throw it away, lol.

    Can’t wait to see the wall reveal!

  12. Such great ideas! Given my art commitment phobia, I totally dig all ideas for inexpensive things to frame that you can change out easily. My other favorite go-to is framing fabric. Looking forward to seeing the frames!

  13. Ooh definitely pinning this. You know, for when I do projects again. 😛 I love so many of these!

    Pooh looks a LOT like you with just his little face showing! Usually I see Andy in him!

  14. I had one of those pot holder loom things too! Many many hours spent with it!

  15. Oh those kiddos!! I die.

    I’m totally jumping all over this list btw. Esp that watercolor one! I’m already trying to figure out how to do it. (I know you gave directions but my non-tech/prego brain is really having a hard time processing…which ironically is what it keeps telling me).

  16. Love this list – the Spoonflower wallpaper idea is genius! And I love the watercolor maps.
    I’m also a fan of wrapping paper sheets from (Rifle Paper Co. florals, Cavallini maps and birds…). They’re the perfect size for the big Ikea Ribba frames and usually cost $3- $5.

  17. first, I have to say that Tiger and Piglet are gorgeous! I’m sure they got tons of candy just for the cuteness alone so you better step away as soon as you can! lol (even if you are a skinny little thing)
    Second, I can’t wait!!! This is going to be one of your best things yet, Please finish quickly so we don’t have to wait so long! And when you feel you want Less art, you can put mirror in some of the frames until the urge for something new grabs you. This is so exciting!

  18. Love the costume pic! And I’m very excited about the big wall reveal….and about having a great new excuse to spend hours perusing Spoonflower–thanks 🙂

  19. Oh, I am definitely pinning this post. What great ideas all in one spot. Thanks! I feel like the cheesy, handpainted wood Ikea mirrors that are now hanging in my office at work must come down soon – -yeah, those ones that my co-workers told me are nice just to be nice. I’m actually thinking of replacing them with blank canvases wrapped in a cool shower curtain that I got. That’s mainly because I already have the canvases and the cool shower curtain. How sad is it that I still am staring down the cheesy art?

    And, you know, I bet if I looked hard enough I could find some of those loom pot holders in my mom’s collection of “things I never throw away because my kids made them” pile.

  20. Great roundup for super creative art! We are so digital with our photos too. Then the computer crashes, and we lose everything. Sad.

  21. These are all great ideas, but I am particularly stoked about the wallpaper and fabric samples. Such a smart way to get a small piece that’s perfect for artwork. It would also be a great piece to add to a photo mat.

  22. Very nice “watercolor” artsy map of The Bay. A meaningful place? Yeah, for many people. Each person’s (or couple’s) experiences and memories of the Bay Area region are uniquely inspired through their own lens.

    30, solid


  23. Great ideas, thanks for sharing those sources! Your kids look super adorable too 🙂

  24. Oh, man. I’m dead from all that cute!

  25. So much goodness in this post! First, your kid’s halloween costumes are beyond adorable. Piglet is the best costume ever. So many good art ideas. Where do I start? A candy tax? Brilliant. Why didn’t I think of that? Only I would tax the candy and give it all to my husband.

  26. Ha! Annabelle totally made hand-loom pot holder thingies just last year for the beach house. Still cool I tell you, and WAY fun for 7 year olds. 😉 lol

  27. Yes. Yes, you are a supernerd for loving the looming of the pot holders. Still feeling all kinda love for ya though. Least of all for the 7 cheap wall art fillers, but really? I can’t help loving people who pop out offspring as cute as yours!! And parents as brilliant as a 100% chocotax? Got to love you. Jes sayin….

  28. I used to make a zillion of those pot holders as a kiddo! Every woman in my family got a set for Christmas. I remember sitting in my great-grandpa’s living room (where I went after school daily) weaving pot holders while watching MTV because we didn’t have cable at home. You remember MTV? When they actually showed videos??? MTV + pot holders = <3

  29. ohmygosh I LOVE this idea and can’t wait to see what this looks like!!!!

  30. Umm okay. How a-dorable are your little babes?!?! Those costumes are so cute. I love Spoonflower! I actually just ordered up a few samples for the gallery wall in our bedroom.

  31. Hi there! Love these ideas! Question though – how did you order the 12″x24″ swatch? I can’t figure out how to do it haha


  1. […] Throw that theory out the window too. In the last post I told you we had a plan to replace the temporary stand-in mirrors surrounding the fireplace with […]

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