Instagram

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Good Morning Everyone! I’ve finally joined the 21st century and staked my claim on Instagram! And yes, I’m still part of cellphone-free society, I’m using our iPod Touch to chronicle my life in pictures. Which are mostly of food.

What’s your favourite social platform?

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April 2014 Calendar

April 2014 calendar blog April 2014 Calendar

How was your winter in your part of the world? Here everyone is pretty much done with it, us included. Though it doesn’t make me stop thinking am I really done with winter? Have I really done everything I’d planned to do? Have I worked on all the things that I wanted to? For me winter is a great excuse to stay home, huddle under a blanket on the couch, think about who I am, and take some time to re-align myself. And as far as that goes, I’m not ready for winter to be over yet.

I’d still like to work through who I am, what I want my life to be about, what my priorities are, and how I can keep them at the forefront of everything I do. I’d like to spend more time on my health through exercising that I’ll actually continue with and won’t just be a passing fancy, and reserve time for meditation every day.

Now all that said, are you really, truly done with winter? I’ll leave you with this wintery calendar for your desktop to remind you all month that now it’s more important than ever to take time for yourself, before the warm weather fun time begins!

April 2014 Calendar - iPad (1024 x 768 pixels) (58)

April 2014 Calendar - Regular Screen (works well with screen resolutions of 1280 x 800, 1440 x 900, and 1920 x 1200 pixels) (96)

April 2014 Calendar - Wide Screen (works well with screen resolutions of 1366 x 768, 1920 x 1080, and 2560 x 1440 pixels) (76)

Facebook Cover (27)

You can see our whole archive of calendars here: Downloadable Desktop Calendars.

So what are your plans for April? Are you going to tie up some loose winter ends indoors, maybe some paint and decor? Are there some things you want to sort out internally, like your own happiness? Or are you planning to skip town and head south to flee this last bit of cool weather?

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How to Frame a Picture

how to frame a picture 270 intro How to Frame a Picture

Last month I walked you through how to mat a picture and now it’s time to frame that baby! I chose to put mine in a store-bought frame I got from Black’s for $19.99, which I often do for 5x7s, because I like the style and it’s well made with good corners.

Ingredients:

  • matted art
  • appropriately sized frame with glass
  • glass cleaner
  • micro fibre cloth or newspaper
  • foam core
  • brad nailer or point driver
  • kraft paper
  • scissors
  • paper trimming knife or utility knife
  • ruler
  • drill
  • screwdriver
  • two D-rings with screws
  • picture hanging wire
  • wire cutters

Step 1 – The first thing I always do is un-package the frame and make sure the corners look good. The box they come in usually covers them to protect from getting dinged at the store but it can also make it hard to see that they’re not chipped and that the top and sides of the frame line up nicely with a good clean seam. With these frames it’s rarely a problem but I always make it a habit to check anyways.

Step 2 – I got rid of all the extras that came with the frame including backing materials and cardboard so all I was left with was the frame and the glass. I don’t use the stuff that comes in the package because it’s rare to know if it’s archival plus I find my method keeps things nice and tight so there’s significantly less chance of moisture getting in which can ruin the art and lead to mould.

how to frame a picture 268 How to Frame a Picture

Step 3 – Cleaning the glass - the bane of my framing existence. And one of the big reasons I’d much rather pay a framer to do this for me. I mixed up a spray bottle of half white vinegar and half water (* cue Darren to walk in saying it smells like french fries in here *) and wiped down both sides of the glass with a micro fibre cloth. Newspaper works even better but we didn’t have any hanging around the studio.

Step 4 – Next I checked to see how good of a cleaning job I did. I put my matted photograph in the frame and held it tight while I flipped it over to see if there were any dust specks or fibres on the inside of the glass. And of course there were. There always is. This is the big downfall of framing my minimalist photographs – they show off every speck of dust.

how to frame a picture 270 How to Frame a Picture

So I cleaned the glass again. When I was down to only a few specks I got out my lenspen and used the brush to remove them. By now I was feeling pretty good about the whole process but as I laid the photograph back into the frame the air moved around in there and pulled in more dust. Argh!

I took a nice sip of herbal tea, put on some music, and keep dusting the glass until I was happy.

Step 5 – Because I was using a store-bought frame that came with it’s own backing board that clips into a groove on the inside of the frame, I needed to build up the back to hide that groove so I could tack everything in place. So I put in an 8×10 piece of foam core. You could use mat board too but foam core is thicker so I find it works better.

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But as you can see from the photo it wasn’t thick enough to hide the groove so I added a second one. I used to skip this step but I found when I put my brad nails into the groove things didn’t really sit as tight as they should and this is the easiest way I’ve found to take care of it.

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Step 6 – I got out my brad nailer and put one nail in each side just to tack everything down.

how to frame a picture 282 How to Frame a Picture how to frame a picture 286 How to Frame a Picture

I flipped it over to make sure everything looked the way it should then added another nail to each side. If I were doing a larger piece, with say an 11×14 frame I’d probably do three nails per side, I just kinda judge how tight the nails are holding it and if they could benefit from more then I add more.

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Step 7 – Now that my photograph was mounted in place I needed to add a dust cover to the back so everything will stay nice and clean and dust-free. So I cut out a piece of kraft paper slightly larger than my frame and stuck it to the back using my double sided tape gun.

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Step 8 – I tidied up the dust paper backing by trimming it down to the size of the frame. I’ve found it works best to put a bit of a crease along each edge by folding it down along the frame before trimming it off, it just keeps it out of the way when I start cutting, you can see my crease marks in the last image above. I know most people just trim using an xacto knife but I can’t get a nice straight line that way so I used a paper trimming knife that I got from my local framing shop.

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It has a piece of plastic that sits next to the blade that I use as a guide, running it along the outside edge of the frame as I cut.

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Step 9 – Lastly I added a wire hanger for fast and easy hanging. I find I get the best results if I put it about a quarter of the way down from the top edge of my frame. So I used a ruler, marked my spots on both sides, and pre-drilled into the frame with a tiny drill bit that was smaller than the screw that I’d planned on using. You don’t need to pre-drill, but I find the screws go in a lot easier and I’m a lot less likely to split the wood frame if I start with a pilot hole first.

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I attached my D-rings using a screwdriver and the tiny screws that came with them.

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For wire I used SoftStrand’s uncoated stranded stainless steel picture hanging wire because it’s really nice to work with. There are plastic coated wires available but I prefer not to use plastic anything if I don’t need to so a chose this stuff. It has instructions on the spool showing exactly how to loop it through and wind it around so be sure to take a close look at the photo.

When I did the second D-ring I made sure to pull the wire as tight as I could to keep it from showing above the picture frame while it’s hanging and to get the whole piece to sit flush to the wall for a nice clean look.

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I trimmed the wire down using wire cutters, but they always to leave sharp edges so I wrapped the whole thing up with masking tape to keep everyone’s fingers scratch free.

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I’m sure there’s a lot of different ways to frame a photograph but this is just what I’ve found works best for me. Have you framed anything lately? How did it go? Do you spend more time getting rid of dust than anything else?

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Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Good Morning Everyone! And Happy St Patrick’s Day! I know many of you will be ending your day sipping a green beer and toasting to the Irish, so I thought in the spirit of the festivities you may want to start your day with a green drink, which is probably a good idea before the debauchery of the latter half the day begins.

We typically drink green smoothies for breakfast 2-3 times a week but I thought you might be interested in testing out the green juice recipe used in one of my latest photographs. And if you don’t have a juicer watch this video to find out how you can use your blender.

How do you plan to celebrate St Patrick’s Day?

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Wistful

Beach Photography Pelee Rhythm 20130824 peleeisland 063 blog Wistful

Dreaming of warm weather, the sun on my face, long evenings on the beach, and a sky that goes on for miles and miles…

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Make Juice with your Blender

We’re smoothie people. I know. It shocks me too. Before we became smoothie people I always thought that meant one of two things:

  1. Take some unknown powder from a giant tub and mix with water. Possibly add a banana. Or -
  2. Yogurt and fruit. Essentially a healthy blizzard.

Though the second option does sound quite tasty it wasn’t something I would find myself doing regularly, and besides, aren’t there booths at the mall that can serve that stuff up way better than I can?

Last January {2013} we did our first 16 day food detox which had us making smoothies pretty much every day for breakfast. Green ones. Ew. Don’t judge. They’re actually surprisingly tasty when done right. Some of our favourite ingredients are romaine, cucumber, frozen berries (because they’re so easy), hemp seeds, and ginger. Look at all those vitamins in our breakfast! We have them every other day for breakfast, alternating with granola, and are loving it! Plus it’s easy enough to sip away at a green smoothie while I’m working in the studio. The only real downside is that they definitely don’t keep you warm on a cold winter day.

The detox also had us making green juices on the odd morning. What the what?! I wasn’t about to buy a juicer that I might never use again to make a few breakfast drinks for a detox. Besides, we live in a small house, everything we bring into it has to pull it’s weight. And what does a juicer do? It makes juice. What does a blender do? It makes smoothies, peanut butter, hummus, baba ganoush, pureed soups, and probably a bunch more things that I can’t think of right now. We seriously considered skipping the juice portion of the detox by just turning the juices into smoothies and being done with it. But then we saw Meghan Telpner’s video about how to make juice with a blender:

{If you’re reading by email or RSS or if for some other reason you can’t see this video you can click here to go to her website for all the details.}

Awesome. And that’s how we juice. We still don’t do it too often, just a few times a year when we’re healing our bodies, but we’re much, much happier with this than with owning a juicer. Isn’t it beautiful to live simply?

{And no, I’m not being comped by Meghan, I just think she has some amazing ideas about food that are definitely worth sharing.}

Do you make smoothies? Or juices? What’s your favourite kind? Do you have any tips or short cuts? Or have you found new uses for old kitchen tools?

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Kitchen Art + Hemp Dressing Recipe

For the past couple years my favourite salad dressing has been of the maple mustard form. It’s like mixing the tang of the mustard with the sweetness of maple syrup, and it works great on both plain mixed greens or a salad stuffed with a bunch of chopped veggies. During our 16 day food detox Megan shared with us her Hemp Dressing Recipe which is much like the maple mustard {because instead of using the honey the recipe calls for I use maple syrup} I love but tweaked to incorporate a bunch of healthy goodness. Be sure to give it a try.

What’s your favourite salad? Mixed greens? Chopped veggies? Or something in the middle? What have you been dressing it with lately? A simple oil and vinegar? Or maybe something fancier?

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Introducing Our New Kitchen Art

Blend a smoothie and grab some dark chocolate, I’m finally ready to share with you my newest set of images – Kitchen Art!

You can check them out in detail over here ->

  • Celebrate your health and your love of food in your home
  • Keep on track with your health goals by reminding yourself how beautiful food can be
  • As small as 8×10 to fit below your cupboards and as large as 32×40 to be the focal point of your room with lots of sizes in between to fit your space

Fun Early Bird Special – Save 25% off my new kitchen art until Saturday, March 8, 2014

Add Inspiration and Positive Energy to Your Kitchen with Art

Darren and I are constantly tweaking what we eat to live cleaner and healthier. In January we did a sixteen day food detox as a way to clear out our overindulgence from the holidays and reset ourselves back into our regular routine filled with fresh fruits and veggies. And it reminded me how beautiful and colourful a wholesome meal can be.

Let these photographs inspire you in your kitchen every day and remind you how much good food is important to you.

Who Are These Images For?

  • Interior designers who are looking to add creativity to a new kitchen
  • Nutritionists, naturopaths, dieticians, and homeopathic practitioners who spend their lives spreading the word about how important food is to our health
  • Health conscious folks who are trying to stay on track with better eating
  • Foodies who want to share their love for food with everyone who walks in their door
  • And anyone looking to add creativity and inspiration to their kitchen

Where Do These Photographs Work Best?

  • Large photographs create a focal point over counters with no upper cupboards or on a large wall next to the kitchen table
  • Hang a large piece over a bar cart, butcher block, or sideboard
  • Mid-size images look great on the bulkhead above upper cabinets, above windows, or mixed into open shelving
  • A mid-size photo or collection of smaller pieces can serve as inspiration over the kitchen sink while washing dishes
  • Small prints can be hung below upper cabinets or in a vertical column on a narrow wall
  • And don’t forget your dining room too!
  • Oh, and if you’re looking for inspiration for where to hang art in your kitchen, definitely check out my post from last week.

We’re Super Excited to Inspire Your Kitchen! Will You Pass it On?

One of the biggest ways we can keep our photographs so inexpensive is by not paying for advertising. We’re really proud of our new images and really hope they inspire many people to eat healthier. If you know someone with a growing love for food, will you share our kitchen art with them? You can send them this post or the direct link to our whole Kitchen Art gallery here:
http://jennifersquires.photoshelter.com/gallery/Kitchen-Art/G0000QniAfC.mACc

Previously in our Kitchen Art blog series:

8 Essentials for a Healthy Kitchen
Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen
March 2014 Calendar

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March 2014 Calendar

March 2014 calendar blog March 2014 Calendar

Good Morning Everyone!

We’re getting ready for our new image launch on Monday and we thought it would be fun to share a sneak peek with you in the form of a desktop calendar. This month features my photograph Green Juice, which pays homage to all the healthy eating we’ve done so far this year, and gives a nod to green drinks for St Patrick’s Day.

Come on back to our blog on Monday to see the rest of the collection. In the meantime, hook yourself up with a calendar:

March 2014 Calendar - iPad (1024 x 768 pixels) (54)

March 2014 Calendar - Regular Screen (works well with screen resolutions of 1280 x 800, 1440 x 900, and 1920 x 1200 pixels) (68)

March 2014 Calendar - Wide Screen (works well with screen resolutions of 1366 x 768, 1920 x 1080, and 2560 x 1440 pixels) (89)

You can see our whole archive of calendars here: Downloadable Desktop Calendars.

What are your plans for March? Dreaming of spring? Plotting out your veggie garden? Jet-setting away on March break?

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Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

kitchen art add colour to neutral kitchen Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via Design*Sponge}

We get asked this question a lot and we’re long overdue to answer it here on our blog. The kitchen can be a tough place to figure out where to hang art, you want to add some life and inspiration but you’ve got all these cupboards and appliances taking up wall space.

kitchen art above table Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via House Beautiful}

You’ll want to be careful not to damage your pictures so here’s some tips for keeping them out of the splatter zone:

  • be careful hanging art in your “messy” kitchen areas, like above the stove, sink, or favourite prep areas
  • if you do choose to have pictures in the spray zone put them higher on the wall to minimize any mess
  • keep kitchen art under glass so if it does get dirty it can be wiped clean

kitchen art above cupboards Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via A Sorta Fairytale}

Mandy put medium sized pieces above her upper cupboards to keep them nice and safe. This works best for images that don’t have a lot of intricate detail because you’ll be viewing them from farther away. Such a great way to add life to an otherwise dead space, plus it will add height to your room too.

kitchen art above windows Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via Better Homes and Gardens}

See how these pictures add height to this breakfast nook? They draw on the colours from the fabrics down below and lure your eye up.

What really makes this collection work is that all the frames and mats are exactly the same. Square frames make it a lot easier to mix horizontal and vertical images but still have that nice grid look. Plus the frames are white which helps them to blend in with the rest of the kitchen so you can really focus on the art.

kitchen art collection above counter Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via Home & Garden Television}

But it’s still completely ok to mix frames too! Here’s nine frames that are all the same style but four are light wood and the remaining five are white. What ties the whole thing together is that all the pieces are very similar in size, they have matching white mats, and the food photographs are filled with similar tones which helps the whole collection appear as one.

kitchen art on narrow wall Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via 7th House on the Left}

Ashley hung three prints vertically on her narrow wall to break up the subway tile and add colour to her black and white kitchen. She used 3m Command Strips to stick them to the tile for a simple, non-destructive hanging, click through to her blog to get all the details.

kitchen art three photographs above counter Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via SoLeblch}

Or if yo have a stretch of counter with no upper cabinets you can fill the space with medium sized black and white photographs in matching black frames and white mats. And if you’re concerned about them getting wet just hang them a little higher than you normally would.

kitchen art large photograph Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via Elle Decor}

Where does your eye go in this kitchen? Use a large piece of art to create a focal point yo take the focus off your appliances and dirty dishes.

kitchen art collection focal point Hanging Pictures in a Kitchen

{via Country Living}

This is one of my favourites. Don’t all those food pictures look great? They make the kitchen feel so open and happy. All the frames are a similar light wood and it’s that golden brown and the greens in the two larger pieces that bring the whole thing together.

Are you smitten with art in the kitchen? Us too. And we’re always looking for more ideas so check out lots more on our Pinterest Kitchen Decor board. Which kitchen is your favourite? Do you have art in yours at home? Where do you hang it? Do you have a collection of small pieces or a large one that’s the focal point of the room?

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