A Year of Change {September Reveal}

Year of Change

By now you guys all know the drill, right? Last Friday of the month = reveal day for the Year of Change Challenge. One year, 12 projects, easy ways to bring style into your house. This month we, along with the constant Life on Virginia Street, Commona My House, and Rosa Beltran Design tackled September’s project which was to DIY art. We were joined by Jen from The Project Girl, who you might remember beat me in the first round of the Cricut Design Space Star challenge with her killer gold cut-out cuff bracelet. But I ain’t mad girl- there was no other project that I would have liked losing to more!

jen-allyson from the project girl

Back to art, more specifically DIY art. If I’m being completely truthful, I actually suggested this theme for September and then spent a good 25 days putting it on the back burner. I had no clue what to do for DIY art because drawing, painting, sketching- whatever you want to call it- I’m pretty bad at all of them. And I just didn’t feel like trying to create something with my own two hands and have it look like a 6th grade art project. So what to do when you’re not an artist but you have to create art- do something you know how to do. And what do I know how to do- read and follow directions. Enter this tutorial for turning ordinary photos into Warhol-style pictures using Photoshop Elements. I thought this was the perfect way to bring one of my favorite subjects (my kids) into our house without putting up another professional picture of them. Because, ahem, sometimes my family comes over and tells me how creepy it is to have three huge pictures of my kids looking at me when I’m in bed.

master bedroom // suburban bitchesFor this month’s art challenge I picked these two pictures of my kids to turn into Warhol-style prints. Neither picture would be that great to hang up as a photograph but both bring some vivid memories of my kids to mind.





Both pictures are pretty silly in nature so they wouldn’t look super odd in the style of Warhol. And both have my kids with their mouths open- not sure what that means. Notice the top picture, my daughter has a frog in her hands. That poor frog was under the death grip of my daughter for a good hour so let’s just hope that it survived the torture. The tutorial for turning these into pop art was super easy to follow and if you have a basic working knowledge of Photoshop Elements then you should be able to do this. Once I had the pictures how I wanted them the next step was to get them printed. I think these type of pictures look best printed on a wrapped canvas without any framing or matting. I needed them printed on canvas asap (because I wasted 25 days figuring out what to make) and I found that our local Walgreens could print them super fast (and for a super hefty price). I went ahead and got these printed on a 12 x 12″ canvas and Walgreens did an alright job with it. I chose to get small canvases of these so that they could sit on a bookshelf and serve as a nice pop of color. Enough words, right- just show the dang things! Here you go:

turn your photos into pop art // suburban bitches turn your photos into pop art // suburban bitches turn your photos into pop art // suburban bitches turn your photos into pop art // suburban bitches


Fun, right? A nice way to take those silly pictures of your kids and make them into art that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Turn your pictures into Pop Art copy


{Tricia’s project}

I went along the same lines as Erin this month  and let the computer do the dirty work. I’m also not an artist at heart and spent the better part of the month trying to figure out what to do for our September Year of Change challenge. This summer when my family was together at the beach my mother wanted a photo of all the grandkids sitting on the dock to use for her Christmas card. Let’s just say the light was not right and none of the pictures were Christmas card-worthy. As I was the assigned photographer (we lost the light) I felt horrible that I missed capturing that moment for her.  This pic was the best of the bunch and it is so not good.


I decided to partially redeem myself with this month’s challenge. I originally pinned this tutorial probably more than a year ago and never did anything with it. The DIY art challenge this month got me to move it from the “pin and forget about it” category to the “pinned and actually did” category. This was how I was going to redeem myself and my substandard portrait taking skills.

Whereas Elise from Grow Creative used the Posterize filter as the basis for her project I went with Pencil Sketch (I created mine in Picasa). I think the Posterize was too much of a challenge with the multiple subjects and the background. After choosing the Pencil Sketch filter and adjusting it to create the best contrast, this is what I ended up with.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 9.33.27 PM

Then following Elise’s tutorial I printed the adjusted picture onto regular copy paper, realized I need new ink cartridges, and trace the image onto a piece of watercolor paper. Elise has a beautiful tutorial of each step in the process.

DSC_5690 photo editor inspired watercolor - suburban bitches

I used a graphite colored watercolor paint to trace over the pencil transfer to create more of a pencil sketch than a watercolor.

DSC_5692 photo editor inspired watercolor - suburban bitches

I thought perhaps I wanted a bolder color so I did the project over again using a cobalt blue.

photo editor inspired watercolor - suburban bitches

I’m still not sure which one I like better.

I hung the graphite for now and managed to stab myself in the palm with a screwdriver while attempting to jab the glazier points into the frame. In case you’re thinking of giving it a go – bad, bad idea. For now it’s gonna be the graphite one hanging in the frame because there’s no way I’m getting near those glazier points again! If I do ever get the nerve up to take the painting out I might only make the lines on this one deeper so that it shows up better.

DSC_5703 photo editor inspired watercolor - suburban bitches

My masterpiece earned a place in the powder bath painting gallery (sounds so highfalutin doesn’t it?) even though it’s tough to see the painting itself in photographs. This teeny tiny window-less bathroom does not lend itself to good photos anyway so please excuse the quality of these images.

DSC_5697 photo editor inspired watercolor - suburban bitches

The Anthropologie dogs are a newer addition to the room (no longer available). Shouldn’t ever bathroom have a few 3D faces staring down at you?

DSC_5701 photo editor inspired watercolor - suburban bitches

The best part of my project? My mother has a picture she can use for her Christmas cards this year.

Be sure to check out the the other Year of Change reveals at The Project Girl, Life on Virginia Street, Rosa Beltran Designs and Commona My House! If you want to try your hand at your own DIY art check out our Pinterest board She’s Crafty for more great ideas.

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