Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DIY: Calling Tennessee Home

The Tennessee calendar painting that took me for-evah. Do you think anyone would notice if I just whited out the 2 in 2012 and made it into a 3 come January? Never mind the incorrect dates, no ones pays attention to that sort of thing...right?
Hello Tennessee- and those-that-live-in-other-fabulous-places friends! I'm taking a little break from the thought of cleaning (because the thought alone wears me out, I can never get to the actual doing) and dreaming up my next DIY. I've been itching to create another painting, not having created one since my World War II-inspired love letters and the Soda Jerk painting. This time I'd like to create another Tennessee themed piece.
Vintage postcard found in a local antique shop.
I got the idea to go with a Tennessee theme for the house a year ago. Hubs and I had taken a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the hotel we were staying in had these amazing vintage photos of the Smokey Mountains. I found the source of the photos but they were way beyond my price range. So I 
decided to hunt for vintage Tennessee souvenirs and see what I could create with them.
The little triangle flags (I know those have a name...what are they called?!) have been up since a party we had...and I liked the too much to take down.
I started with this chalkboard piece last summer. I thrifted this frame, complete with tagboard backing. I spray painted the frame with a satin black and painted chalkboard paint onto the surface of the tagboard. Once that was dry, I used acrylic paint to create the image of Tennessee. Super simple DIY!
Vintage photos have got to be my absolute favorite. Never mind that I don't know the people! I just love seeing a snapshot into the lives of the past.
I was super bummed about the high cost of the Tennessee photos. So I started scouring ebay and etsy for such. I lucked out when I won an ebay auction that granted me a family photo album full of a 1940's trip to the Smokey Mountains. I took the photos to our local photography shop and had them enlarged. They are now framed and hung around the house.
Not too long ago, we took a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee which is most famous for it's Incline Railroad to Lookout Mountain. The railroad has actually been left unchanged since the above photo. You can read more about our little trip here.
Other framed vintage Tennessee goodness around the house is an old map and an original large photo of a group of tourists at Lover's Leap. Sorry, they were too difficult to photo what with the reflective glass and all. You get the idea.
In the Smokies, one is bound to see a bear. On one of our trips, we witnessed a crazy woman outside of our hotel trying to get an up close and personal photo of a bear. Thankfully the bear was too distracted by the Taco Bell meal he'd manage to uproot from the trashcan to notice her. Not wanting to witness a crazy-lady-bear-attack, hubs informed the lady, "You know they eat people, right?"
Most of my frames are either thrifted or Target'ed. The above came from Target, complete with the matte. When I find a thrift store frame, I almost always spray paint it black to add some consistency to the look. On two occasions, I've taken my thrifted frames to Joann's for the matting and the glass.
Thrifted frame, tourist map, bits and bobs from the craft room.
This map was modge-podged right over the original image. I then slathered it with some thinned white paint to set it back a little bit. I have a leaf press and went through this crazy faze where I leaf pressed any fall leaf I could find. Everything was hot glued into place and it now hangs in something called The Butler Pantry...aka, the-place-where-hubs-throws-his-stuff.
Just a little close up. The photos were also in the Smokey Mountain photo album.

When hubs goes for his walks in the woods, he always comes home with the most beautiful feathers. I loved this delicate one.

Thrifted candle stick holders, spray painted black, thrifted orange polka dotted bowl, painting by me, TN letters from Joann's spray painted silver.

And here's my latest inspiration! Also picked up at an antique shop. I have a huge 5' X 2' canvas that I plan to paint this image onto. I cannot wait to start on it and I'll be sure to share it with you once complete!


  1. I love these! That calender is so amazing. I may just have to lift that chalkboard idea from you. ;) (I've been hunting for a frame I like that I can repurpose for one, but I haven't found "the one" yet...) hehe. Right now I have a bit of a Florida theme going on in our downstairs powder room, although I need to collect up a few more tchotchkes to make it totally cohesive. But it sure is fun hunting down neat, state-related things!

    1. Thanks, Casey! BTW, I have several vintage Florida postcards...and a vintage Florida tea cup. I need to send them your way, if you are interested! ...Cassie

  2. I love your map art! It's so creative and looks like a fun project!

    1. Thank you, Susan! And thanks for reading ;) ...Cassie

  3. great art and decorating ideas ! Thank you for sharing them.

  4. Anonymous3/20/2015

    What fun it is to go through your postings....I'm an elementary art teacher and get some good ideas from you. Thanks for your inspirational projects!!

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