August 28, 2019

Simple & Affordable Ideas for Adding More Art to Your Home!

I've always been an art lover. I love making art, I love looking at other people's art, and I love incorporating it into my home. If you know me, you might know I studied art history in college. This might make you think I'm something of an art snob, but that is totally not the case.

I truly believe art is in the eye of the beholder, and the experience we have with art is so personal. It's all about finding what you like, finding what speaks to you and finding what moves you. 

I like to think of myself as an art collector, but because I don't have a huge budget, I can't always be buying art. As much as I love to support local (and non-local) artists, I also have some simple and affordable ideas for adding art to your home! 

Prints from the Past 

When it came time to add some art to my black and white bathroom, I decided to enhance my empty walls with some historic photos. Did you know you can download images for free from the Library of Congress digital collection? There's a special section called "Free to Use" that has everything from historical travel photos, to vintage poster designs, baseball and other sports, historic portraits, holidays and so much more! 

I decided to play off the idea of black and white by choosing two contrasting images (one selected by me - the beauty queens above and one selected by my husband - Armistice Day below). Images like these can be downloaded in a high res file from the site and then printed at a local print shop or even ordered through an online printer. I popped mine into two simple frames and get so many compliments on them! 

This would also be great for a kid's room as they may have tastes or interests that evolve over time. Maybe you don't want to invest a lot in posters or prints because they could want to change them up in a few years. This is a great option and you can even swap out whatever you have in the same frames. 

Think Small

Who says art has to be huge? One of my favorite ways to add a bit of cheer to my home is by using framed greeting cards. Think about it. Cards are kind of like small works of art, right? So why not use them in smaller frames around the house?

I already collect lots of cards that people send me. This way, I can enjoy them on display.

It's even better if the card has been given to me by someone I care about. Then I can think about them each time I see it.

And it's super easy to swap out the cards, showcasing different ones in different frames whenever the  mood strikes me. 

Make (or Buy) Something One-of-a-Kind 

Two of my absolute favorite works of art are very personal. One is a small canvas etched with the date of my wedding. My friend Michelle at Knoxville's Me & Co. created it for me and it's truly one of my favorite things. Plus, it keeps my husband and me from ever having the excuse of forgetting our anniversary! 

The other is a new favorite from a new favorite friend who creates and sells gorgeous custom painted collage portraits. I asked her to create one of my three dogs and it captured their unique personalities to a tee.

She also creates portraits for families, kiddos and other pets. So much talent! Visit her Etsy shop here.

As much as I'd like to stroll into a fancy art gallery and purchase whatever masterpiece caught my eye, that's not exactly part of my financial plan for the moment. But I love the art I have. It makes me happy and it adds joy to my home.

I hope you can incorporate art into your home that does the same! 

August 14, 2019

Three Simple Recipes to Enjoy during Peach Season!

August is a great time to enjoy the bounty of fresh peaches available in the south! And I've got some simple and delicious recipes you might want to try using fresh peaches. Don't have access to fresh peaches or want to make these year-round? Substitute canned or frozen peaches for a similar end result. 

Peachy Onion Salad with Basil

I have been making this salad for years, since I first featured it on the blog in 2011!  

You could probably add a tiny bit of Chevre or Mozzarella if you wanted to, but it’s perfectly delicious just as is.

Here's how to create it.....

You'll Need: 
  • 2-3 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • a few leaves of fresh Basil
  • Oil & Vinegar (to taste)
Place peaches and onions in a bowl. Drizzle with oil (I used olive) and vinegar (I used red wine). Sprinkle with Basil leaves and enjoy!

Peaches and Cream Float

To make this delicious drink, all you'll need is some peach juice (I prefer the Simply Peach not from concentrate), ice cream (peach or vanilla will do) and club soda or seltzer. It's basically an old fashioned ice cream float, but with the addition of the peach juice for more flavor. 

Start with a scoop of ice cream in your glass. Add peach juice and a splash of soda water to give it some bubbles. Drink it up! 

Peach Parfaits

My final peach recipe idea is a yummy parfait. This basic recipe can really be made with any fruit, but peaches are a great one to try it with. 

I like to start with some crumbled cookies (maybe shortbread or gingerbread, depending on what you like). Add those to the bottom of your bowl. Then top with sliced peaches. Add a bit of whipped cream or if you want to go all out, some whipped cream mixed with cream cheese. Repeat each layer a few times until you have a parfait fit for a queen!