How Many Whales Can One Cottage Hold?

It all started with this sweet little pillow…

Whale PillowWay back when Coach and first made the decision to purchase our cottage, I started looking around our own home and our shop for inspiration…thinking that we could bring a lot of our present décor to Maine-save some $$$, decorate with the things we love. We tend towards the nautical, as you can see by the photos. But, what else did I see? WHALES. Pods of them scattered throughout the house.

Nantucket Brand Whale PaintingOn our porch, in the family room, in the bathroom, in the shop.

Tin Whales Country Design HomeSome hand-crafted by me, some by local artisans, different styles, shapes and colors.

Hail to the Whale Wall Grouping Logo 1Whale, its a full-on WHALE invasion!

Whale Table Tail CloseupNow, anyone that follows my blog knows that Coach and I love those majestic denizens of the deep blue sea. In taking a quick inventory in our home, I came across this beautiful hand-crafted whale cutting board

Granite Whale Cutting Boardwe recently purchased at the Vintage Bazaar…and this whale rocking toy…

Whale Rocking Toy…and these little guys in our kitchen…

Whale Vignette…and of course, we cannot forget about our patriotic whale coffee table on the porch!

Whale Porch TableOK, so maybe we whale-y have a problem…and this is only in a few rooms in our house!  I recently read an article about the 30 worst decorating trends that hopefully will never return: Over-Done Coastal was listed as decorating no-no…too much of a good thing will drown out your style, apparently. So, how many whales can a little Maine cottage hold? Whale, we’ll have to wait and see : ) So, for now, I am scaling back on the whales and looking to simplify some of the spaces I have designed (all in my head and on Pinterest Country Design Homefor now, thankfully : ). But this guy, hand-crafted by the very talented Jess Wrobel

Whale Pillowwhale, he’s coming with us because he makes me whale-y happy : ) Have a whale of a Wednesday, everyone! xoxoxo Susan

Gone Fishing…

Where have I been, you ask? Long time no hear, you say. Whelp, no excuses! I’ve been trying to relax and have some fun this summer, but basically that means I’ve been incredible busy with furniture sanding and staining and painting and stenciling and lifting and hauling and hammering and oh, yeah, selling it all at the Barn at Todd Farm! The only fishing I have actually done is for some cute whale patterns for my hand-crafted Tin Whale Signs. So much for a summer of R & R…which for me means Re-Cycle & Re-Love.

Today’s DIY post features some super cute whales I’ve created from tin, copper, wood and some paints. Typically, this is what happens: Coach says “I have these boards, can you do something with them?” He paints or stains them a background color while I search for some inspiration- nothing a pile of tin can’t provide! Where this stuff comes from, I do not know or care to ask- it just magically appears in the workshop…or on the porch…or in the yard…or under the work tent. But, somehow it all comes together and we go from this:

Tin Whale Outdoor Panelsto this: Tin Whales Country Design HomeHere’s the how-I-did-it:

Get a piece of wood (we have tons in the barn if you need some…) Have Coach paint or stain the wood with whatever back ground color you’d like to showcase your designs. Get some old tin sheets (good luck with that one) I needed enough tin to create a whale pattern the length of the wood-it did not have to be one large piece because I was planning on slicing it anyway.

Tin Whale SheetsLay down your whale pattern (hey, if you don’t like whales, you can pretty much take your pick of fish or animals or anything else. Then again, who doesn’t like whales?? Trace the pattern onto the tin panels.

Tin Whale Tracing PatternCut the pattern out with scissors. Now, I am not sure where to actually find aged tin this thin-once my stash is gone, I am not sure what I will do! But I am sure Coach will figure it out. Evenly slice the pieces into as many as you would like to create your design.

Tin Whale Pattern StencilI chose two different paint colors to create the stripes. So many colors, so many choices…

Tin Whale Paint ColorsI painted it on…

Tin Whale Painted Tail Before…then sanded it off to expose the tin texture.

Tin Whale Sanded PaintSometimes I don’t paint it at all- just leaving the aged tin…which has the appearance of an old whale (well, at least from what I can see in old photographs…)

Tin Whale Natural SurfaceOnce all the pieces were painted, I laid them back down, evenly spacing them with a ruler. (I used to just eyeball stuff, but I guess these old eyes don’t quite measure like they used to…)

Tin Whale SpacingI glued the pieces to the wood…I’ve tried all sorts of glues, but this one works really well and its clear and doesn’t smell too bad. Painted it on the back of the pieces, then laid it down on the wood panel-once I had them positioned correctly- thenI weighted them down with paint cans until they dried.

Tin Whale Tacky GlueNow, here’s the fun part. Well, I guess you could call it fun if you enjoy individually punching dozens of teeny, tiny copper tacks into tin and wood using jewelry pliers and a small hammer…

Tin Whale Copper Tacks with PliersThese tiny copper tacks are from a company in Ohio- they are specifically made for shaker boxes…but I think they are perfect for my whales!

Tin Whale Copper TacksEach whale is unique in both the finishes and the finishing decorations. Depending on the color choices, sometimes I will use black carpet tacks instead of the copper tacks…those are available at your local hardware store.

Tin Whales 2 by 2As for the whales, well, sometimes I paint them, sometimes I leave them natural (after all, whales are not typically blue striped) Sometimes I use vintage hooks, sometimes I glue jute rope around the edges to finish them off…whatever strikes my artistic fancy while I am in my create mode. So, here are the whales hanging on the wall at the barn, along with many other pieces that I have created.

Tin Whales Barn Vignette Country Design Home.jpgDon’t they look totally at home there?? If I ever have coastal cottage (working on it!) they will be making waves there : ) Have a whale of a Monday, everyone! xoxo Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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