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1  Le Gerbe wall mural in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by contrariwise on: August 12, 2010 10:42:09 PM
When I moved into my first ever unfinished rental house this June with my three housemates, we had no trouble picking out furniture or appliances. Artwork was a different matter, however. We all have different tastes, and I am in particular very picky. Luckily, my housemates let me do this to the big blank wall in our living room:

(outlet in lower left for scale)

It's a copy of Matisse's Le Gerbe:

To make the mural, I drew a grid over a picture of the original, scaled my grid up on colored card stock, cut out each piece with an x-acto knife, and stuck the pieces to the wall with removable poster tape. Hopefully, the poster tape will come off the wall when I move out. You can see that I changed some colors based on the card stock I had available.

Here's the wall before we moved in:

The whole living room (next project: slipcover for the beige sofa):

At an angle:

Close-up to show paper:

I had to cut out a hole for the outlet:

The total cost was less than $20 for the card stock and the poster tape. Now I just have to figure out what to do with our other blank walls.
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2  Matisse Pillow in Needlework: Completed Projects by contrariwise on: February 07, 2009 09:48:57 AM
The pillow:

My mother is an interior decorator and loves embroidered pillows. She especially likes this one company that makes pillows with chain stitch embroidery in designs reminiscent of artists like Miro or Matisse. These pillows can be a bit pricey, so we have only two of them. I decided to make her another one for her birthday and Christmas (same day).

I had never done any of this sort of embroidery before, so I decided to start early. I began planning the design in August. Matisse is her favorite artist, so at first I was going to do a cut-out style design like one of the pillows we already have. Then, I saw this painting:

It's perfect because it's almost square, and it's definitely more interesting to embroider than abstract shapes. I traced the image onto a grid, made a grid on my pillow fabric, and went from there.

I'm glad I started early, because I ended up finishing the project two weeks after Christmas. I made the design into a pillow cover and sewed a pillow for the inside, too. That way, the cover can be ironed if it gets warped.

Here are some details:

When I finally gave the pillow to my mother, she loved it. She has rearranged the pillows on our couch so that mine gets prime placement. She won't even let anyone sit on it.
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