Monday, August 8, 2011

State Pride Decor

Hello everyone!  I don't think I mentioned this in my last post but there is a reason for this sudden burst of California pride.  Of course, I feel it all the time.  There isn't a day that goes by that I am here that I don't speak lovingly and admiringly about California.   But, there is another catalyst for last week's post:  my impending trip to California!  That's right, yours truly will be in California in a mere 3 weeks.  Awesome, right?  I absolutely can't wait. 

So along the same lines as the California charm necklaces I drooled over last week, I bring you a post about all things charming and state-related.  This is a HUGE trend in design right now, my friends, and the timing couldn't be any better.  Now that I live here I need a way to showcase my home-state pride.  Pillows, prints and even cutting boards in the shape of California?  What else could a girl want or need?

State cheese board from A Cup of Jo
Minnesota state pillow from Cup of Jo

California State Bird Print from *Etsy as seen on Decor8

But... there's a catch (there's always a catch): these things are EXPENSIVE.  They're often done by artisans, who no doubt deserve your money for the awesome things they have created, but, man, I need to feed myself.  So, how to get the same cool effect without dishing out all the cash? Well, since I highly doubt you can whittle a cutting board into the shape of Maine, I suggest a more simple route.  Although I haven't yet tried these projects myself (although I have a few days off, so who knows what will try my hand at) I have these few ideas:

1) Simple self made State print

Start with a piece of nice, large white or off-white linen paper or any other kind of art paper that you think looks nice.  Using your drawing abilities (or a blown up outline for tracing) and a light hand, outline your state. (Lucky for those of you who live in Colorado!)  Then, using acrylic paint and a hip, pop-y color (I am thinking kelly green, pink, canary yellow or turquoise) paint in the state completely, taking care to blend all of the strokes of the paintbrush together.  Frame it or hang it up frame-less on the wall and have your very own cool state print!  The more creative you can make it or want to make it, the better.  Adding words or details of your choice is highly recommended.  My personal favorite: "(California) I love you!"

Of course you could change this by painting the background gray and the state yellow for example, adding pictures of your own or drawing in cute details like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Sierra Nevadas. 

2)  Map on Canvas

This second idea is perhaps a little less challenging for those of you who shudder at the idea of having to outline your state or draw at all (Massachusetts, realy?!?).  All it requires is a canvas (or large piece of brown packing paper) and a fun map of your state.  You could potentially go for a real road map of the state or you could search and find a more cartoon-ish, fun one at a visitor's center or online.  Using a road map, however, automatically gives you the perfect large scale and somewhat muted, pastel colors.  Cut the map out so all you have is the outline of your state.  (And yes, Bay Staters--you people from Massachusetts--this will be tough, too.  Your state is simply too wiggly around the water!) 

Once you have the outline of your state complete, carefully glue the image to a pre-painted canvas (decoupaging would work well here) or to brown packing paper.  Frame (or don't) and hang.

3) Map State Animal

This idea also requires a map.  Once you have one you like (a US map or a smaller map of your state would work well here) outline your state animal around the name of the state on the map (wherever it may be).  Cut it out, glue it on to the background of your choice.  Here is a picture from *etsy that gave me the idea.

urban legends, california, fine art print 10 x 10

4)  California Pillow

Buy a cheap plain white pillowcase from Ikea or any other discount store (Home Goods, Ross, a craft store).  Find an image of your state that you like, a map your like or even an image like the one above.  (I think the bear alone would be cool, the California State flag or a cool picture of poppies and a quail, the California state bird.) Print the image on a piece of iron-on transfer paper.  Iron on the transfer and you have your very own state pillow!  Cool, huh?

5) Opposite State print

This is similar to project one, except that you paint the background and leave the state white.  Put a little heart or star on your hometown. 

6) Fabric State Cutout

Take a piece of fabric that you love and cut it in the shape of your state.  Sew it on a plain white pillowcase or glue it on a canvas.  You could even use more than one type of fabric and make a patchwork state if you are really talented.

Of course, anything vintage (found at an antique fair or flea market or at old neighbor Fran's garage sale) is spectacular!  Old postcards, silk scarves, state glasses or plates are fantastic! Keep on searchin'! And, of course, any of these same projects could be done for your country or city, too.  

Those are all my ideas for now.  If I try any of these I will let you know.  So, get on out there, get crafty and show a little state pride.  There is nothing better than appreciating the place that made you!