Decorating with Portraits with Dana from MADE

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Hello photo-loving friends, I’m Dana from MADE–a site for DIY sewing, design, and photo inspiration. And I’m excited to share my spin on decorating with portraits today.
You see, I have a problem when it comes to photography (and sewing for that matter). I love to sew, I love to photograph, I love capturing candid moments, I love sharing projects on my blog. But….
when it comes to decorating our house, I’m a minimalist. And I clam up at the thought of picking “the right photos” for our walls. So instead of just printing a few and trying them out, the front room stays pretty bare. And you guys thought I was a clean person. I’m really just an indecisive one!
One of these days I’ll tackle my photo-printing fear. Promise.
But for now I may have found a happy medium: artwork inspired by photography.

Peek at the back wall in the photo below (by Rachael Penman Photography) and you’ll see one of my favorite pieces of art in our house.
Here’s a close-up view.
A graphic image painting on wood of our two kids, Lucy and Owen:
It’s a spin on your standard “photo in a frame”, created by Modern Bird Studios. They started with the two photos below which, from a photography perspective, are pretty average. But they remind me of a warm evening outing to see the famous Austin bats. The kids had a ball eating suckers and being silly while we waited for the bats to emerge.
Though the photos above don’t seem “wall worthy” for the front room, the painting composite turned out really cool. It totally captures the kid’s personalities, and fits with my decor aesthetic. I was thrilled to hang it in the front room.
And more importantly the kids look at the painting from time to time and say, “remember when went to see the bats? And we ate suckers?”. I’m glad they associate it with a fun memory too.
(no matter how big Owen gets, that goofy smile remains the same).
Okay, just so you know I’m really making an effort to decorate the house….here’s a 2nd example of photo-inspired art from our house.
It came as a surprise in the mail from a blog reader, Sabrina of Slovly. It’s “art inspired by sewing, inspired by art”.
A while back I created Put Me In the Zoo outfits for the kids, based on the childrens’ book.
I loved the artwork and illustrations and just had to recreate the looks through sewing and photos (see the whole series here).

Sabrina was then inspired by my photos to create a watercolor painting of the kids in their outfits. And then she sent it to me! Is that the sweetest thing ever?
I absolutely love it.
and I immediately found a frame and spot for it in the front room.
It’s such a sweet replica of the kids, and seems more special than having a framed photo of the kids on the wall. Plus there’s something about owning original artwork that makes me feel a little more grownup.

So there you have it.
Art inspired by photography.
Thank you Kristen for having me! Can’t wait to see everyone’s take on photo decorating. It might be the kick I need to just print some photos out.


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