Picture Frame Alternatives

A little while ago, while I was dreaming about my future home which I am just itching to decorate, I shared a DIY from Design*Sponge for super cute paper picture frames. I just love the idea of finding alternatives to real picture frames, because the real things can be so expensive, or it can be really hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.

So since then, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for more interesting alternatives to the traditional picture frame that I can use as I continue to decorate my make-believe home in my head (and that I can hopefully use in real life sometime soon). Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Lindsay from LDC Designs has a very economical twist on the DIY picture frame – using contact paper…not only is it easy to find, but it’s affordable and comes in a variety of colours and patterns. Add to that, there’s no hardware required…just cut out the shapes you like, stick it up, and pull it down when you’re in the mood for a change. See the tutorial here.

If you’ve got a slightly larger budget, you could find high resolution photos of picture frames you like, and then get them printed directly onto vinyl to make your very own vinyl wall decals. This is what Danielle from Thompson Family-Life did for her son’s nursery, and it looks just spectacular. Visit her site to get the full low-down on how she did it.

If you’re lucky enough to own your home, and don’t have to worry about removing anything you put up on your walls, then picture frame wallpaper is another option…this awesome black and white frames wallpaper by Graham & Brown is actually meant to be embellished – with your photos, drawings, illustrations, whatever…what a great idea (and what a fantastic way to foster creativity):

Or…if you’re super duper creative, you can forget the wallpaper and just draw or paint the frames (and whatever you decide to put in them) yourself. That’s what Timothy Goodman did for his artistic contribution to New York City’s Ace Hotel:

Holy moly! He drew 99 picture frames to create a “wall of discovery” about New York, highlighting interesting facts, things or places he loves about the city….I think this is super cool.

I also think, however, that the permanence of it might freak me out (I’d be soo worried that I’d mess it up). A little more error-friendly, would be an erasable wall of hand drawn frames on a chalkboard wall…something like what Anthropologie had in their July catalogue. Chalkboard walls are still super trendy at the moment, and I’ve been just salivating to paint something (anything) in black chalkboard paint:

So that’s what I’ve been able to dig up, so far…I’m particularly partial to the whole idea of chalkboards, but I’m also pretty in love with the wallpaper…though the paper, contact paper, or vinyl frames would be much more practical (and easy….you can have just one, rather than a whole wall of it!).

Have you come across, or made, something else instead of using a traditional picture frame? Please share!

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Friday I’m in Love: Pretty Nails

I love pretty nails. When I was younger, I used to pride myself on how well I maintained mine…always long, always well shaped, and always polished. Unfortunately, I rarely find the time to paint them anymore. What’s more, I tend to keep them short because I can’t stand the way they clickity-clack against my laptop’s keyboard if they’re too long (which is always a threat…my nails grow like weeds).

Last night, however, I actually made an effort to make my (short) nails a pretty lavender:

…which happens to match my watch face perfectly (sweet!):

(Source: I found the rainbow nails photo, above, on Pinterest, which had attributed it to weheartit, which in turn had attributed it to Tumblr…honestly, I have no idea where it’s from)

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My New Specs…

So here’s the thing. I’m practically blind…I’ve tried contacts, but I just don’t care for them. Instead I wear glasses, day in and day out. And truth be told, I like wearing them. I think they reflect my personality, and I look better with them (in fact, I think I look kind of weird without glasses…my eyes seem too small or beady…maybe it’s my imagination).

The problem with wearing the same pair of glasses, though, for…say…seven years? Is that they start to get gross…no matter how beautiful a pair of designer frames may be (and mine were…oh god they were gorgeous) and no matter how well you take care of them, they succumb to wear and tear, just like everything else.

My usual go-to location for frames had seriously disappointed me the last time I went to replace my lenses…so much so, that I didn’t want to go back. Instead I decided to take a friend’s advice (thanks Shannon!), take a huge leap of faith, and order my glasses online through Clearly Contacts.

Here’s what I got:

Nike’s Track frames have a nice shame to ‘em, but I’ll be honest: I picked them exclusively based on the colours: they’re teal on the outside, and transparent lime green on the inside. Love!

I’ve always wanted a pair of really red glasses…I’m not quite there yet with these Chianti frames by Modo…but I’m getting close (notice how big my nose looks in this picture? holy!).

WOW. Talk about a fantastic experience. Not only do they have a ton of fantastic looking frames available for a fraction of the price you’d normally pay, but the cost of lens treatments is included, and lens thinning is just as reasonable as the frames themselves. I couldn’t believe it: I ended up with two pairs of frames (and lenses thinned) for under $300…add to that the friendly service, and super speedy delivery? I’m a believer.

(…I’m a believer that I can actually afford to treat my eye-wear as accessories now…)

So I guess the big question is: Did I make the right move? Do they suit me? (Did photoshopping each pair of frames to my face pay off?)

Please Note: I know this kinda maybe sounds like an advertisement….but really, I just happen to think that good experiences (yes, even good shopping or customer service experiences) should be shared, and credit given where credit’s due. These guys have earned it in my book.

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Type Tuesdays: wordmark.it

Ever find yourself stumped, trying to find the perfect font? The font that’ll provide the overall tone and inspiration for your whole design? Next thing you know, you’re experimenting with a particular word, applying every possible typeface you can think of that might be what you’re looking for, copy and pasting potentials, and generally driving yourself just a little bit crazy, on top of wasting a bunch of your valuable time? (…or is it just me that does that?)

Well, now there’s a tool that may help save some time, and keep you a little more sane. It’s called wordmark.it, and it allows you to preview a word or sentence in all the fonts installed on your computer….

See, now wasn’t that easier?

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Yea or Nay: Shrinky Dink Pendants?

Awhile back I went on a mad, obsessive, hunt for Shrinky Dinks. Not just any Shrinky Dinks, but ones that could be printed on. I found them at Michael’s (bless their hearts), and started some very expensive experimenting…(Shrinky Dinks don’t come cheap).

The general idea was to use Shrinky Dinks to create custom pendants…either from interesting images I’d found or scanned (from magazines, comics, newspapers, maps, whatever), Photoshop brushes, vector graphics, etc. For example:

…and then, incorporate them into jewellery designs, like this one:

I quite like octopuses…I think with all their tentacles, they’re very visually interesting.

So…what’s the verdict? Is this interesting and fun? Or lame and junky? Would you be willing to buy jewellery with Shrinky Dink components?

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