Monday, May 18, 2020

Tack Shed Renovation: Artwork

If you're into horses and on social media, you have probably seen the artwork of Charlie Mackesy. I have been following him since his lovely and simple sketches first started to get popular on FB and Instagram, so when he published a book, I put a copy on my wish list. Last fall, Amazon was running a promotion where you could buy two books, get one free, and his was on the list. So naturally, I picked up a few copies - one for myself, and I figured I would give the other two out as gifts to horse lovers in my life (and I did end up giving one to my mom for Christmas).

When he announced that prints were going to be available, I was super excited, because I thought they would be great to hang in the house or tack shed (the renovation of which was just a pipe dream at that time, haha). And then I checked out his website, and each print was like $90+. Youch. I love his work, but that was out of my price range. But the wheels started turning in the back of my weird little brain... (side note: I did check out his prints again last week and the price has come down a bit, but they're still upwards of $70 each)

While I was impatiently waiting for my panels to come in and buying all the organizational supplies, I was poking around on eBay and found some really nice teal photo mats. Which led me down another rabbit hole on Amazon for packs of pictures frames. I initially thought I could frame some show and riding photos, but then when I went digging for my printed photos in the guest bedroom, I found my extra Charlie Mackesy book, and I had a stroke of inspiration.
COVID-19 disrupted quite a bit of the restocking and shipping, but eventually I gathered all the necessary pieces of my craft project and got to work! Unfortunately the packs of mats and then the boxes of photos all had different numbers, but I did manage to use all the frames and I have mats left over for future projects. I think I managed to get almost all of the quotes I liked cut out and framed, and lucky for me, there were only a few times where two that I liked shared a page and I had to decide which one to pick to face out, haha. I just used a razor blade in a utility knife to cut each page out, and then if the page need to be furthered trimmed I did that on a piece of cardboard. I managed to get through the whole project without giving myself a paper cut or stabbing myself with the razor, which, if you've crafted with me before, is a MIRACLE... lol.
These frames are 8"x10" and the opening for the image inside the mat is like, 6"x8"? It ended up being PERFECT to frame full pages. 
I only got 10 of those mats, but I had 12 frames, so I ended up using some in the next round of framing with the smaller mats. 
The back two rows are the 8"x10" frames (the two on the far right have smaller mats doubled up in them) and the front 3 are 5"x7" frames with the mat opening at 4"x6" - those ones are pretty tight and only work for the smaller images. If I were to buy more, it would be of the bigger ones, for sure.

After laying them all out, I now realize this might have been a bit ambitious, because I'm already struggling with how I'm going to fit all my racks and hooks on the walls, much less like 26 framed prints... lol. So some of these may stay in my house, or go to my office (assuming I ever go back to work normally)... I guess we'll see once I get all my hooks up!
Some of them (like these first two) should probably be hung together since they're kind of a "series". 
The frames on the left and right have doubled up of the 5x7 mats in them and then just a while piece of paper behind to fill in the gap. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing and helped me utilize all the frames, more of the mats, plus 4 of the extra drawings!
This was one of my favorite sequences. 
Also loved this two page spread. 
So, for under $100, I ended up with 26 pieces of artwork to hang in various places. And I did buy the book(s), so he still got royalties from me. That's as close as I get to being crafty! :)


  1. I was wondering how you were going to hang all of those with all of your tack! lol

    1. We can chalk that up to my imagination sometimes getting far past the bounds of reality... LOL. I'll use them somewhere!

  2. They look great! How handy you had an extra book!

    1. It turned out vastly better than the majority of my craft projects 😁