Sunday, September 8, 2013

Paint-By-Number Love

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There are so many nail holes in my walls.  There’s more spackle than wall, I think, since I keep rearranging things and patching holes and then adding more things and then moving what’s there to make more room. The house looks like a college dorm room funky art gallery, and anyway, every time I try to pare it all down and try to live with a bare wall to see what it’s like, I discover I don’t like bare walls and out comes the hammer again.  Having my walls smothered in framed art feels cozy, and anyway, I can’t ever pick just one thing. 

Dean and I walked down the road to our neighbor’s yard sale last weekend, and they had a[completely excellent!] set of four framed seasonally-themed paint-by-number paintings leaning against their porch, spattered with bird poo, and, well, I was all over it.  I’m desperately trying not to start a collection of paint-by-number paintings, but if three sets is a collection, it’s already too late. 

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That’s the summer one.  It’s a kid, fishing!  I know, right?  He’s got his Huck Finn hat, and his can of worms.  He’s got all day, with nothing to do but sit there in the sunshine, dunking his feet in the creek.  I just love it.  They looked like they’d been in the neighbor’s barn for quite awhile, so I unframed them, washed them with oil soap, and then steam-ironed them from the back (scary!  Dean said, “What if the paint melts?”) to flatten the warped edges.  It worked, but yikes.  Now they look perfect. 

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I am a child of the 1970s, and I grew up in a world of string art and macrame owls, so these are lovely to me. They are wonderful in the way a granny square blanket is wonderful: they’re colorful, they’re nostalgic, and even though they’re dead easy to do, they make such a great impression. They’re art! They cost a dollar! I don’t have any more bare walls, and that’s the way I want it. The cozy things cottage is packed to the rafters with stuff I love.

42 comments:

  1. Hi Kristen,Love them!!!It's the little things we love that makes a house a warm and cozy home!!!Have a great week!!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  2. Hi, those are lovely!! I love too things from the 1970s, i was born in 1968. Old blankets, granny square blanket and such are retro fot me and i can not be buing if i see it. :)

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  3. lovely! now i think about doing number painting myself :-)

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  4. Yes we are very similar in many ways... I am constantly knocking holes in the walls and then changing my mind about arrangements. I love the paintings and I am always instantly drawn to similar items in junk shops. Your home looks very cosy indeed and thoroughly original! Andrea (memerose)

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  5. They bring back many memories for me. I spent quite a few rainy Sundays painting by numbers! Xx

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  6. I had forgotten painting by numbers my sister and I did lots when we were small - lovely memories I wonder where the pictures are now x

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  7. They are lovely, I am a child of the '70s too and am just coming to appreciate all those nostalgic elements of that time. They remind me of those sweet illustrated ladybird books -did you have those?

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    1. It doesn't ring a bell, but they sound like something I'd love! :)

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  8. Ooh they are lovely - that sitting area of yours is delightful - so inviting! I was born in 1967 - and love the colours and patterns from the 60's and 70's - must be the hippie in me!

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  9. Painting by numbers was such a fab invention! I'd love to try some again. :-)
    Carly
    x

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  10. Koselig stue du har. Jeg har også mange spikerhull i veggene hihi.<3

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  11. They are charming, if I had wall room, I wouldn't have left them behind either! Jo x

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  12. I think I would just love your home. I am a 1965 baby and paint by numbers, string art etc are all great memories for me. I think you bought quite a treasure and I think it looks great on your wall.

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  13. Kristen, your rescued paint by numbers quartet really do have a quiet and sincere beauty. Not every paint by numbers effort turned out as well as your collection. (I know from my own p b n experiences... I think that I've always preferred to paint "outside" the lines, and had trouble obeying the demands of the p b n rules.)

    xo

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  14. I would have bought them too. What great find.

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  15. Love them! Whenever I see any at the thrift store I have to slap my hands so I don't bring them home. I have enough on my walls that I don't have to start collecting another genre. I'll just look at your walls when I'm feeling nostalgic for paint by number!

    Jenn @ JennsCraftyWorld

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  16. Packed to the rafters with things you love sounds like perfection to me :)

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  17. They are such a lovely set and look perfect in your lovely room Kristen. Whoever painted these would be very happy to think they are being loved again.
    Jacquie x

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  18. They are completely fab! They remind me of the pictures you get in the Ladybird 'What to look out for in...' series (of which I'm a huge fan!)All for a dollar - bargain x Jane

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  19. and they are so YOU...and your decorating reflects you and your personality. I always really feel sorry for people who hire 'decorators' to do their houses....you get a decorated house, not ever a home. Love your look!!!!

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  20. I can just picture myself sitting on your couch with all those comfy and pretty pillows. Almost like one of the family. Thanks for letting me visit.

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    1. Any time, Jan. Bring your knitting! :)

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  21. They are just brilliant, fabulous find xox Penny

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  22. I LOVE them. Now I want to paint by number.

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  23. Oh my gosh! I just saw that painting of the little boy and the covered bridge yesterday in an antique store! Now I'm wishing I'd bought it! I love paint by numbers and I love your collection! Twyla

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  24. I like my walls covered with lots of things too :-) What a great find! They're really wonderful. Good job restoring them.
    Blessings :-)

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  25. Those paintings are wonderful....you go girl!

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  26. I just love your cozy living room. Those pictures were meant to go on your wall. They fit right in.

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  27. I'm so glad they found a cozy home with you, Kristen. Thanks for letting us enjoy viewing them, too. Walls were made to be covered in art and photos of family members and friends. I am certain of it :)
    Gracie xx

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  28. I recognize that fishing picture. I definitely cannot live with bare walls. I am always adding more wherever I can find space. Everyone says I'll have to start hanging things from the ceiling/ :) Have a great week. Tammy

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  29. Love, love your passion Kristen and the delight you have in the simple things in life. So nice and refreshing. That coat is going to fly off your needles with the speed that you knit with. Tonight I am picking up a tiny babies jacket that I started some weeks ago, put down and haven't picked up since - it should have only taken a few days at the most! It was good to come for a visit and be re-inspired! Blessings.

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  30. I'm a 1983 baby, but I absolutely love paint-by-numbers! My husband and family think I'm a little crazy because I think they are just wonderful. Great find!

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  31. I so loved painting by numbers as a child. Happy memories. Your posts are always so happy and cheerful.
    Melanie x

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  33. I'm the same vintage as you and wish I had saved my paint by number AND all those rugs we made from those hooked rug kits. I have a friend that collects these paintings and it sounds like you've already started to head down that slippery slope. Love what you did!

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  34. I think this space looks especially warm and cozy... I love it!

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  35. OMG that is the exact series that my grandfather did years ago!

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  36. Oh my gosh ... I am working my way backwards through your blog since I just found it, and I have to keep stopping and letting it all soak in because it is all so precious to me and so wonderful.

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