Last week we went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to visit the new Art of the Flower exhibit, featuring works by Van Gogh, Matisse, Manet, as well as other 19th century still life artists. This impressive and engrossing collection of floral still life enchants the viewer with a wide array of bloom botanicals that seem to leap off the the canvas at times. With Spring bringing oceans of flowering trees and flowers to Richmond, the exhibit seems to marry this burst of life budding outside into the museum. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "The Earth laughs in flowers." And it seems as though Mother Nature is throwing up her arms, laughing and dancing, and celebrating in a brilliant revelry of color and delight. Everything is so bright and bursting with life right now. If it weren't for my allergies, I may be inclined to roll down a grassy hill! Any given day now, you can find numbers of people lounging, strolling, reading, napping, jogging, or doing yoga, all on the museum grounds amongst the sculptures and fountains. It is so lovely and inviting, that if I lived closer I'd be sure to spend the majority of my free time there, and be less inclined to get any work done. If you haven't paid a visit to the museum or the new exhibit, I highly recommend you take some time and treat yourself to a walk through the galleries and the grounds.
If it isn't apparent already, I found myself deeply inspired by my visit. I went home that evening and spent hours listening to a Pride and Prejudice audio book and painting. It had been the better part of six months since I had picked up a brush, and I couldn't bring myself to put them down until nearly three in the morning. This floral inspiration has awoken the romantic nature of my bohemian spirit, and has me seeking out ways to incorporate it into my home. I've been working on a few projects this week, that are doing just that. The first one is this super easy and pretty decoupaged picture frame. They are great for adding a pop of color and pattern to your home, and would make a great gift for Mother's Day!
-Wooden picture frames
-Floral patterned craft paper
How to make it:
Start with your picture frame (you can find these super cheap at your local craft store), and paint it with a solid base color of your choice. I use the inexpensive acrylic craft paints. When it is dry. Pick a second color, and use a fan brush to lightly brush accenting streaks of color over the base coat, to give it that worn vintage look. For my second frame I used a metallic gold, which is always fun and pretty.
Next, you want to pick out the shapes and patterns of paper that you like. You can buy pages individually in the scrapbooking section of your craft store, or you can buy packs (like I have here) with coordinating prints and patters. These are great to keep on hand for future projects. Cut out the shapes that you like and begin to place them where you like on the frame. Feel free to move them around and try out different combinations. You can also layer and overlap them if you like. Once you have a good idea of where you want them, you'll need to trim off the excess paper hanging over the edge of the frame. I carefully held my pieces in place, flipped the frame over, and use a pencil to outline the frame, and show me where I needed to trim. If this is too difficult, you can always trim them later. I actually left my butterfly image hanging over the inner part of the frame a bit, which you are welcome to do. Just be mindful of these pieces when handling your frame.
Now you're going to want to flip over your images, and apply a thin coat of Mod Podge evenly over the back, before replacing them on the frame in their desired locations. Make sure to press firmly down and smooth your fingers over the surface to get rid of any bubbles under the paper, and to ensure that they adhere securely to the frame. Allow them to dry a few minutes before applying another thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of the frame and images to seal them. Set aside and allow to dry completely, then pop in your favorite picture or inspirational quote, and enjoy your (not-so) hard work!
If you would like the quotes I have framed, you can download the free printables below. These are full letter sized images, so be sure to adjust the printing size to fit your frame.
These are a great way to liven up your home for Spring! Just mix them in with some fun colors, and maybe a few fresh flowers!