Thursday, February 7, 2013

Free Art! Plants vs. Birds


I've had a link to the Botanicus Digital Library bookmarked for quite awhile now. It's a project from the  Missouri Botanical Garden Library to digitize scientific literature and make it available on the internet. Some of the texts they've digitized have really pretty pictures in them. Probably they had loftier goals than beautifying people's walls in mind when they started the project, but, well....when you put free pretty things on the internet, that's what happens, right?

I can't remember where I first came across it, but there are lots of examples out there of people using prints from the site, mostly from this book of plants. I like the plants but, when I decided I wanted some bird prints for my bedroom, I went back to the site to see if they had any to offer. And they do!

There is, for example, The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands: containing the figures of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, insects, and plants: particularly the forest-trees, shrubs, and other plants, not hitherto described, or very incorrectly figured by authors. Together with their descriptions in English and French. To which are added, observations on the air, soil, and waters: with remarks upon agriculture, grain, pulse, roots, & c. 

Catchy title, isn't it?

That one has some lovely birds in it, but this is the one I used. I have no idea how I found it, actually. It doesn't come up when you search "bird" because it's in Dutch (I think). But I have it saved on my hard drive, so I found it somehow. Lucky you, if you're looking for bird pictures and don't know Dutch! A surprising number of the pictures feature birds devouring insects. Eww....maybe educational, but not pretty! But there are plenty of birds untainted by references to their unappealing diets, too.

I can't figure out any way to download individual pictures from the site (nor can I figure out any way to print directly from the site). So, as far as I can tell, what you need to do is download the entire title that you need, then you can open it as a pdf and print your pretty pictures.

I did print out some plates from the plant book for Milo and August's room. I used brown cardstock....not entirely sure how I feel about that choice, but I can always change it out later. These projects, by the way, are what part of our mountain of Ribba frames were for.






 They got dandelions, raspberries, and some kind of conifer thing.

And then we moved on to birds. Had I had a girl (ha! right! like that would ever happen!) I was thinking of a vintage-y nursery with birds. But since I'm still the only girl around here, I get the birds (and Dave gets to share them).

I wanted to hang them all in a row above the bed. Dave pointed out that this would be more or less impossible (or at least beyond our humble picture hanging abilities) with the wire hangers that come with the Ribba frames, because getting all the wire exactly the same on each frame would be....tricky at best. So we attached little picture hangers like this to each frame instead (first drilling pilot holes, then nailing them). We talked our moody printer into printing five bird prints out for us (we used white cardstock this time) and put them in the frames.


We used a level and hung up a line of frog tape to help get everything nice and straight. Then figured out the spacing and made marks on the tape for the nails:



Then the tape came down and the pictures went up!

Here's the realism version of how our bedroom looks now:


Can you spot the baby?

And here's after I made the bed and moved a bunch of crap out of the shot:



I think this purple guy is my favorite:


And I'm not sure about this blue one. But, again, easy to change!


I'm also still (again?) totally conflicted about whether to paint the headboard gray or not. I do not love it with the duvet cover. But I like it fine with everything else, and I'm sort of terrified of screwing it up if I try to paint it. What say my readers?

Sharing with:
Under the Table and Dreaming's Sunday Showcase Party
Or So She Says "Your Great Idea" link party
Classy Clutter's Spotlight Saturday
Tuesday's Treasures At My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
TwelveOEight's Pretty Things Link Party
Home Stories AtoZ Tutorials and Tips
Hookin' Up with House of Hepworths
Somewhat Simple
Stone Gable's Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits
Craftionery's Friday Link Party
Inspiration Gallery at Crafty Scrappy Happy
Chic on a Shoestring's Flaunt It Friday
The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday
Tatertots and Jello's Weekend Wrap Up
Funky Junk Interior's Saturday Night Special

39 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You're fast! And very opinionated about my headboard :)

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    2. Keep the Headboard and then tone down the white of the frames. A little dry brush stain will work. Love the color of the walls.

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  2. I like your headboard the way it is! And I also love the new art!!

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    1. So far this isn't helping ;). I need a tie breaker!

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    2. I vote with Kenz! I love your wall paint color, the color of your headboard, and your super cool art together.

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    3. Tie broken! for now. I love it with the birds and the wall color, too. I'm just feeling torn about the duvet cover that I stalked for so long before buying.

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  3. Love the new art! I like the headboard as is, but painting it would be cool as well!

    Jenna @ http://rainonatinroof.com

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    1. thanks! As-is is the easiest, so it may wind up that way ;)

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  4. Love the prints with the dark walls! Perfect!!!

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  5. WOW you struck a gold mine here. LOVE!!! I am so going to see if there is something I can print for Bs new room. Awesome. LOVE the ones you linked to!

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    1. Aren't they great? I keep meaning to spend more time on there seeing what else I can find, but the site's a little hard to navigate, so it takes some time. Let me know if you find anything good!

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  6. I like the headboard the way it is. Gray pillow shams?
    The pictures look great with the wall color. I like the brown cardstock in the boys' room also.

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    1. Thanks! Dave will like all the votes for not painting the headboard...he was not looking forward to it at all ;)

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  7. Love the prints! You are crazy crafty with the computer.

    I actually think I would paint and re-distress the headboard. With chalk paint and a sander, you couldn't possibly mess it up. You like my fireplace all right, doncha? That took me like 20 minutes.

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  8. So pretty! I would love for you to share this or any of your great ideas at the link party going on now (and every Saturday through Tuesday) at 'Or so she says ...' Hope to see you there! www.oneshetwoshe.com

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    Replies
    1. thanks! just went by and linked up :)

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  9. I love your framed prints (and was able to spot the baby too, so sweet!!) Thank you so much for sharing at Pretty Things this week!

    xo, Tanya
    twelveOeight

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  10. Just a side note: Yes, the book with the birds is dutch.
    (The title reads: Collection of foreign (outlandish) and curious/strange BIRDS along with some foreign/strange ANIMALS and FLOATING LEAVES)

    But the headlines on each picture are all german. I've read a bit of the introduction but couldn't see, why this is a mixed-languages book… Maybe the dutch version of a german one and they didn't wanted to paint all the birds again?!

    The title of the german book just says "Medicinal Plants". And the german term "Medizinal" is definitely old - no one uses this today! Sounds a bit funny to me :)

    Love, Midsommarflicka

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    1. Interesting! I had thought German from looking at just the captions on the pictures, but then the information with the book said it was published in Amsterdam, which is why I guessed Dutch. The title is funny..."floating leaves" LOL. Thanks for the information :)

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  11. These look great! I'm your newest follower ;)
    Jamie ~ Better With Age

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  12. These look fantastic! Love the baby on the bed ;) I would have missed that if you hadn't pointed it out. I'd be thrilled if you'd link up with this week's Off the Hook!

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  13. Wow, great idea and they look fab. Also, too LOVE the colour of your walls... what paint is that? I think you should go for it with the headboard. Grey would look absolutely stunning with that dark blue and maybe add a contemporary touch (with grey being very on trend). Plus if you hate it, you can always repaint... at least that's my attitude! x

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    1. Thanks! The paint is Benjamin Moore's Newburg Green (even though it is mostly blue....although the more I live with it the more I can see the teal in it)

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  14. Nice bird pictures (and they look great with your wall color)! I had to laugh at the co-sleeper since I spent quite a bit of time with one attached to our bed! Thanks for the links. Although I think the dandelion is my favorite.

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    1. thanks! Yeah, at least the co-sleeper coordinates with the bedroom colors ;)

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  15. I'd like to invite you to link up to Show and Tell Saturday at Sassy Little Lady!

    http://www.sassylittlelady.com/blog/show-and-tell-saturday/show-and-tell-saturday-4-plus-a-giveaway

    Kathie

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  16. Wow! Thanks for the great resource! I downloaded a couple of the books! Sweet baby too!! :)

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  17. You did amazing and this is so perfect for spring. Makes me happy :)
    I would love if you link this to my link party Monday morning!
    XO
    Isabelle
    http://lechateaudesfleurs.blogspot.com/

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  18. Love these...thanks for reminding me about this website. I LOVE the way they look against that color. Beautiful.

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    1. Thanks so much...and thanks for stopping by!

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  19. Thanks for the birds! Love your room and can't wait to see if you paint the headboard!
    Debbie

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    1. Thanks! Still going back and forth about it right now :)

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  20. We love this reuse of images from Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT)! I work at MOBOT on a project called the Biodiversity Heritage Library http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org which has taken content from Botanicus and combined with books from other botanical and nat history museums for over 40 million pages of digitized texts and images. You can find more images by browsing through our books/journals or can view a selection of over 60,000 images via our flickr stream http://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/sets/ All of our images in Flickr are free and reusable for non-commercial uses so feel free to decorate your walls with our images!

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    1. I found the Biodiversity Heritage Library shortly after I wrote this and posted about it, too. Thanks for the great resource!

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