How to Choose Artwork + Giveaway

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I recently repainted my Master Bedroom. That one paint color choice completely changed everything about the room.  Not only did I paint a wall, but I moved the furniture (some got moved out, others replaced, others repurposed – read all about that here). It also spurred us on to (finally!) add some artwork to our room. Can you hear those angels singing?!!?!?! As an artist and art-lover this is my favorite part of any room.  So even before we painted or moved a thing, I made a mood board to decide what would work best in the room.

Figuring out how to choose art for a room can be very difficult. master bedroom color board

Questions to ask when choosing artwork:

1. What color already exist in the room?

(Or if it is a blank slate: what colors do I want to have in the room?)

2. What is the over all feeling I want in this room?

(Serene, lively, relaxing, energetic, ect.)

3. What wall will this be going on?

(To determine size of piece needed.)

4. What other artwork is in the room?

(So things don’t get too matchy-matchy… or too off course from what you have.)

For my master bedroom, I started with my paint color, since I knew the paint color was going to be a deep teal (read all about it here) I decided to use that as my jumping off point for the room. I knew I wanted the feeling to be a relaxing retreat focused on water, so I choose to go with a more monochromatic color scheme as opposed to finding a complimentary color to the teal. This keeps the room calm and uncluttered. So that meant my artwork would need to be teal. Searching for artwork can be SO difficult. I don’t want to have the same artwork as everyone else, but sometimes it can be difficult to know where to find quality pieces.  Plus, I am super lazy and want my artwork to come framed.  I do not like to decide on a piece of art, wait for it to be shipped, go to the framers, wait for it to be framed, and then get it back after weeks. Plus, framers can be really expensive.  So I get it, art buying can be a pain in the backside.

My favorite  source for beautiful, limited edition pieces:  I use them for my Christmas cards too, because they are amazing!  I have never received so many compliments on a Christmas card as my 2014 minted Christmas card. People are still telling me how much they loved it.  I went to a friend’s the other day and it was on her fridge.  Nobody else’s card, just ours…. and we’re not even THAT good of friends! But that’s how much people love the card. Sorry for the tangent, but I think it serves to illustrate how much people love Minted’s items.  And here’s why: they are made my real artists. has a built a global community of artists – all of the designs and art prints are crowd-sourced.  Artists submit their designs to “challenges” and then the community of artists, customers, and wider Minted community votes on the designs submitted.  Plus, each artists receives a commission from every order of their designs. By shopping Minted, you’re supporting local or global independent artists with the guarantee of high quality products.  Many of you already know that shopping responsibly is one of my main goals: I want to know that my money is going to support people who are old enough to work, are paid a fair wage, and have the freedom to choose their work. (Read: no child labor, no unfair wages, no slavery.)  Companies like minted help artists to earn a fair wage by getting their work in front of consumers who otherwise might not find that diamond in the rough (and lemme tell you, the internet and the art world can definitely be considered “rough”!).

I knew I needed two pieces – one for over our bed, on the teal wall; and another large piece to go on a white wall.

These are the pieces I actually considered for my room and even though I really love all these pieces, I am going to add a note after each to tell you why I decided not to get it so you can see how my design process works.

Minted artwork water color abstract -

watercolor abstract painting by aticnomar

I love this piece because the colors are in-line with what I want and it feel like water, but the husband didn’t love it… so that’s part of the design process.

minted artwork -

Savannah Lands – limited edition print by Emily Jeffords

I keep coming back to this awesome piece. I love the huge open space. But I wanted more of a water feel.

float hackett

Float – limited edition print by Betty Hatchett

This totally hits the water component, but I am not a huge fan of orange in general and I want to keep things monochromatic, so I had to pass. *sniff sniff* giveaway -

The River Runs Through by Gill Eggleston Design Ltd

This is such a rad piece. I love the uniqueness and how it looks like waves, but I need something horizontal over the bed.

Minted Water Color Artowrk Master Bedroom -

Rocky Beach Minted print -

Rocky Beach – limited edition print by Lindsay Megahed

This is what we chose for over the bed.  We loved the teals and that it was an abstract ocean theme.

So now that we had the piece for over the bed we had to choose the other, larger piece which can be seen from our hallway.  We knew this piece would tie the room together, uniting that big teal wall with the rest of the room, so it was important we found something amazing.  Here are the pieces we considered:

Pacific by Lindsey Megahed -

Pacific by Lindsay Megahed

This one was great, but not as bold as we were looking to go.

Note: The piece over our bed is by Lindsay Megahed too. And to be honest, this is something I love about  I was looking specifically for a certain color, in this case teal, and I found myself choosing artwork form the same person (Lindsay) over and over again.  I am in the process of designing Ava’s new big girl room and I am again on Minted, looking for artwork … and guess whose artwork keeps speaking to me? Lindsay’s. I didn’t realize it until I kept seeing her name and then searched my favorites on Minted.  I have saved 6 of her pieces already.  Out of like 30 in my favs, 6 are hers! I may have a little art-crush on her.

beach water color -

Beach – limited edition print by Yao Cheng

This is another artist I LOVE! I have 5 of her prints in my favs on right now. I think one is gonna make it into Ava’s room. Just wait… it’s so pretty.  But this one – we loved it, but since we already had a water color beach scene over the bed, we decided to go with a different medium, photography:

Master Bedroom artwork - giveaway -

Marbled Wake artwork -

Marbled Wake by SylvieCeres Designs

How cool is this? It is so bold and beautiful. With that bold accent wall, we knew we would need something to anchor the rest of the room, and this large format photograph really does the trick. I love how it look from the hallway (no more boring white wall!) Not only is it a different artistic medium as the water color over the bed, but the dark teal is the perfect compliment (matching, but not matchy-matchy) with the wall color behind the bed.

Master Bedroom Artwork -

The room feels tied together and way more put together.  There are still curtains and a plant to add (goodbye gross blinds!), but I will say, after all these years, I finally like my bedroom. And I feel like a real grown up to have real “limited edition” prints with certificates of authenticity (yes, Minted is legit guys).  And this was Evan’s favorite part:

Minted artwork comes ready to hang -

Minted artwork comes ready to hang.  I know this is part of the reason we went without artwork so long.  Evan hates to prep art for hanging.  But he opened the boxes and praised God when he saw this gloriousness.

If you want a chance to be amazed by the beauty, quality, and life affirming experience it is to buy from, just enter below for a chance to win a $200 Credit!

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia -

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Inspiration printable

For a few years after I met my husband, we would move around a lot for my husband’s job. Sometimes we went to places where we had to make our own fun and find the hidden jewels in the different areas.  It wasn’t always easy, but we definitely tried to make the best of it! I recently found a really good quote that I think could fit with all of our lives at some point anytime we take on a new adventure.   Sometimes I need this reminder especially with dealing with a toddler haha,as well as a middle of the week inspiration! We just recently went on a mini vacation to Sedona, Arizona.  If you haven’t come check out the posts and all the beautiful pictures of all the red rocks!  We don’t travel anymore for my hubby’s job, but it sure gives me the travel itch again and definitely gave me the inspiration for this printable!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.   The printable is 8.5 x 11 and you can click here to download it.   For questions on licensing contact april {at} inspiration printable-Stephanie

Free 4th of July Printable

Happy Friday! You know what else would go with those super cute DIY firework napkins for your 4th of July tablescape? That’s right, a free 4th of July Printable :)

My country ’tis of thee was always one of my most favorite patriotic songs so I decided to make that the focus of my printable.  I can still remember singing it in school! Since it was considered one of the national anthems until the “The Star Spangled Banner” was adopted as the official anthem in 1931 (a little bit of history for you there), I used the first verse. Hope you enjoy it!

Right now mine is up on my fridge, but I’m definitely going to think of something cute to do with it closer to the holiday.  I love the 4th, family, friends, grilling, fireworks.  I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday as well! Please share how you display and decorate with the printable too!


To download the free, printable PDF simply click on the image below. (This printable is free for personal use, for licencing, please contact april {at}


Summer is almost here! (Summer Printable)


Hi Everyone!  I’m Stephanie and I’m so excited to be on illistyle today. I blog over at Slogan Adventures where I write a little bit about everything-  our gypsy lives of traveling, green living, and a little but of parenting and crafting thrown in.

I don’t know about you but I am soooo ready for summer.  The weather is always crazy in the Springtime here in the Midwest.  Last week I had my heat on and there was frost in the mornings and and now today as I write this, it’s a high of 86 all in a week’s time.

When I think about Summer, I think of beautiful red and pink sunsets, palm trees, and the beach.  I forget how much I miss the ocean from my days working on cruise ships. I live in Middle America so unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of beaches and water.  We are planning our next vacation to the beach for sure!

So I’ll be dreaming of summer to come soon with this printable! Using my inspiration, I wanted to create a summer printable that was fun and relaxing all at the same time and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Feel free to print it out and put it up somewhere or even make it your desktop picture. Just right click and save the image :)

Did you know that George Gershwin was the first to use those lyrics before Sublime? Just a fun fact for the day :)
If you like this printable I also made another printable more geared toward mamas, it was my Mother’s Day printable, however everyday should be Mother’s Day, am I right?! It’s a super cute chalkboard printable, click here.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Happy International Artists Day!

Hi friends! October 25th is International Artists Day. As an artist and avid traveler/ former expat, I love me some good international artists.  To celebrate this day I am showing some of my favorite artists from around the globe:

Clare Elsaesser USA -

USA –Clare Elsaesser

Coco de Paris prints on etsy -

France – Coco de Paris

Peled made in Israel -

Israel – peled

Andrada from Canada on Etsy -

Canada – Andrada

Mexcalline artwork Poland -

Poland – Mexcalline

Love Above All - USA -

USA – Love Above All

Characters By Julia UK -

United Kingdom – Characters by Julia

Brittney Bennett Roatan Honduras -

Honduras – Brittney Bennett

(This is the illistyle home office)

Grace McClymont The Art house -

Australia – Grace McClymont

Made By Manos UK -

United Kingdom –  Made by Manos

Karin Grow - USA -

USA – Karin Grow

Tush Tush artwork made in Israel -

Israel – tushtush

Rusty Fish Roatan -

Honduras – Adam @ Rusty Fish

zen drawing the netherlands -

The Netherlands – Zen Drawing

EvArtStudio Poland -

Poland – evartstudio

Do you have any favorite artists? Please share in the comments below so we can see their amazing work!

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia -

DIY Soundwave Artwork Tutorial

August 2nd marks 10 years of marriage to my wonderful hubby. I adore him. He is fun, funny, hardworking, and an amazing daddy. (And since he reads all my posts: Love you babe!) I have had the idea for months to make a very special art piece for him. My husband is super techy. He is can do anything on a computer. I like to say he is the brains behind illi style and I am the beauty. I know, I am witty. So I wanted to get him something sweet and romantic, but since the he is not the kind of guy that appreciates the traditional mushy stuff I decided to geek it out a bit. I created this awesome Sound Wave Artwork for him. It is actually the sound wave of my “I do” and his “I do” from our wedding ceremony (Woot!) It was actually super simple (there are a lot of steps, but they were easy steps) and you can personalize it for who or what ever you want. Favorite song lyrics? Vows? Inside joke? Child’s laugh? Check, check, check, and oh heck yes – check!I knew exactly what I wanted to make, but I had to figure out how to do it… and since I am a little bit of a determined personality type I went ahead and figured it out. Below is the full detailed tutorial on how to create your own DIY Wavelength Artwork from a DVD (like I did), CD, or MP3 recording.

DIY Wavelength Artwork Tutorial -

If you are wanting to create some awesome art for your home or a loved one, here’s how you do it:

*For this project you will need to have some form of the audio. Either a DVD or mp3 file. I had a DVD of our wedding that I stole the audio from. If you have the audio clip in mp3 format, skip to step 4. If you have a CD or DVD of the audio, start at step 1.

1. Download the Audio Record Wizard and Audacity programs. (I do not vouch for these sites but I can say I downloaded them months ago and have had no problems with my laptop, so I feel they are legit… but I could be wrong.)

2. Open your CD or DVD on your computer’s audio/video player. Que the disc to the beginning of your desired clip (i.e. press pause right before the sound you want to record.)

How to create soundwave artwork -

3. Open Audio Record Wizard, press record on ARW and then play on your media player to record your desired audio clip.

How to create a wave image from a DVD -

3. Save audio clip to desktop or desired folder – I kept mine on my desktop to find it easily.

4. Open Audacity software.

5. In Audacity, open the previously saved audio clip.

DIY Soundwave Artwork -

6. Edit clip as desired (compress the visual clip, cut of the unwanted silence at the beginning or end, etc). I just played around until I figured it out… it was pretty easy.

Create Soundwave artwork tutorial -

How to create a wave graphic from a DVD -

7. Once you have the clip you want take a screen shot of your desktop. (Ususally CTRL+PrtSc on PCs)

How to create soundwave artwork from a CD or DVD -

8. Using photo editing software, like Photoshop, paste the screen shot onto a canvas that is the same size ratio as your real canvas (rectangular, square, etc.)

How to create soundwave artwork from a CD or DVD -

9. Resize the screenshot as needed to fit the canvas of your photo editing software.

DIY Sound wave art tutorial -

10. Save your work now, k? Because you do not want to have to do steps 3-9 again.

11. Prime or paint a background color onto your canvas.

12. Once dry, hang your canvas on the wall.

13. Pull out a projector and project image on a large canvas. ***If you do not have a projector handy you can always print a large image at a printers or create a rasterbation at home (get your mind outta the gutter, it’s a huge poster you can print from your 8.5″x11″ sheets on a printer… geez.)

enlarge images with a projector -

14. Lightly trace your wave length(s) onto the canvas.

How to create sound wave artowrk -

15. Now using a small flat or filbert brush, paint the upper outline of your wavelength, then the bottom outline. Fill in the middle.

Flat paint brush -

Sound wave artwork tutorial -

16. Stand back and marvel that your voice/child’s laugh/favorite song lyric is staring back at you.

DIY Wavelength Artwork Tutorial -

What sound would you want to see everyday?

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.comGluten Free Snacks that kids love - How to make a blog editorial calendar - Posterized Washi Tape Feather Art -

GF Snacks Kids Love How to Make an Editorial Calendar Washi Tape Posterized Artwork

Shared at: Thrifty Decor Chick, Cherished Bliss
The 36th Avenue, House of Hepworths, Live Laugh Rowe, DIY Showoff, Skip to My Lou


Posterized Native American Washi Tape Art

I love posterized images. Here’s one you might recognize:

Regardless of your political stance, most people agree, it’s a pretty cool poster. Artistically speaking, this is a great piece. So I created some posterized art in honor of Gregg Deal. Gregg is one of my current favorite artists & an American Indian. I follow him on instagram. He is preparing for his upcoming performance piece titled, “The Last American Indian on Earth.” He has graciously included all his IG followers as he creates his clothing, props, and artwork for his show. I feel like I am witness the birth of this show via social media… oh technology, how you have blessed us. So in ode to Gregg’s work I have created these posterized washi art cards which I hope to be able to send him… do you guys think he will be willing to provide me with his address so my stalking of him can be complete?

Washi Posterized Art feather -

Washi Tape Artwork -

Washi Tape Art Native American Headress -

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia -


DIY Giant String Art

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.comHola amigos. Today we are going to talk about BIG artwork. Like huge. Cuz sometimes you need to cover a giant space. At camp we have ginormous walls that needed to be covered, so we took the awesome approach and made some giant string art.

Giant String Art -
These are ginormous. Each is made from two pieces of plywood… so they are 4′ x 16′ each. We also made some smaller 1″ x 12″ x 4′, which would be the perfect size for your home. Check it out:

Giant Woven String Art -

Here’s how you do it:

1. Using a word processing program, choose the wording and font you like. Then print as a rasterbation (like our April Fool’s prank) click here for more information on how to do that. Place your print out on your board. (If you use a 1″ x 12″ board the 11.5″ x 8″ paper fits perfectly.)

Giant Woven String Art -

2. Nail the corners of your letters to hold your print out in place.

Giant Woven String Art -

3. Add nails at equal intervals around the perimeter of your letters.

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com4. Once you have nailed all the letter outlines, remove the paper. This will destroy the paper printout… but it was just a means to an end anyways.

Giant Woven String Art - illistyle.com5. Grab your yarn… it is important to use yarn as opposed to other types of string (say, kite string for example, cuz we tried that, boo.) Yarn stretches and will make your life easy. Other string could be difficult to work with and cause frustration.

Giant Woven String Art -

6. Tie off at one corner and begin wrapping your yarn from one nail to the next in a random pattern, making sure each nail is included. It’s also a good idea to make sure you outline the letters, since it helps to define each character.

Giant Woven String Art -

Giant Woven String Art -

7. Repeat step 6 for each letter. Then look at the awesomeness.

Giant Woven String Art -

Giant Woven String Art -

8. Check it out… so awesome!

Also, as you see in the night shot at the top, our HUGE piece on the right of the photo, we left the letters as negative (empty) space and the background is all yarn. We accomplished this by placing a nail boarder around the perimeter of the board and then using the string in the same manner (tying off, stringing from one nail to the next in a random pattern) but making sure to leave the letters open and free of yarn.

I am not gonna lie. It’s pretty epic.

What would you say in string?

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia -

summer cabin style -   Lemon Ball Drop New Years Eve Cocktail -   How to Pack Carry On only -

Summer Cabin Style    Lemon Drop Cocktail Recipe   How to Pack Carry-On Only