Pinterest Challenge: Robert Frost is in ‘da House!

August 2, 2011

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

Ah, it is the day of the great Pinterest challenge reveal.  The Pinterest challenge was issued by a few ladies that are not affiliated with our latest obsession, but just wanted to actually create something they have been drooling over.  And they invited everyone else to do so, as well.  Hear all about it here.
And now, my “pinspiration”:

I should probably be more clear because this picture is dripping with inspiration.  Everything from those candles, to the peacock pillow to Alisa Burke herself is pretty to-die-for.  But what made me pin this picture was that artwork on the wall.  She did it herself with the famous E.E. Cumming’s poem and some shoe polish.  Yep, shoe polish.  I think she calls is “graffiti chic.” And she gives a full run down of it on her blog.

Now, I love E.E. Cummings and that poem as much as the next person.  But I really wanted to make this project my own.  With my own handwriting and my own favorite poem:  Robert Frost’s The Path Not Taken.  And here’s mine:

I actually did this painting twice.  The first time I used just my favorite line, “two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” And I hung it and I liked it, but with such a large canvas (3’x8′!!)–I realized I could easily fit the whole poem and it would be so much more powerful.  Turns out–it is.  I achieved her same drippy effect by dipping my brush in a little water before dunking it in the paint and painting on an upright canvas. Chris made the frame for me out of some cheap wood we found at Home Depot totaling less than $2 and we stretched the canvas (I got for Mother’s day) before I went to town painting.

I really wanted the writing to be loose and organic feeling, so I just trusted my hand to move as it would. I wasn’t strict with myself on trying to copy a font or being super neat.  I wanted the brushstrokes to shine.  So, I didn’t dwell on the perfection of each letter and I painted the actual words in about 10 minutes.  I did do a few washes beforehand on the background so it wouldn’t feel so stark. 
Something I did do to ensure I would be able to fit the whole poem on the canvas spaced evenly, was mock-up my canvas in Illustrator and fit the lines into that space.  It turned out to be 10 lines, on a 36″ height–making each line about 3.6 inches away from each other. 

 Since I am a total sucker for typography and this poem–seriously it is my fav–of course I love it.  It is a wonderful feeling to be inspired by something and make it your own.

Next for the family room? We are anxious to flank lamps on either side of the new art and add more appropriate pillows to the couch (some like Alisa’s would rock my world) and eventually cut a big window in the wall next to the right of the above picture.  
Did anyone else participate in the challenge?  I’d love to see what you have done!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Leo says:

    I absolutely love this! definitely going to make one for myself.

  2. catherine says:

    Would you be willing to sell this piece?

  3. Stephanie B. says:

    Someone pinned this and I am so glad. This is my all-time favorite poem as well. I think I just might have to try this!!

  4. Amanda says:

    Hi there – I was just wondering if you knew of any other programs or websites besides Adobe Illustrator to put in your canvas dimensions to make sure everything will fit onto the canvas? I tried downloading the free trial for Adobe Illustrator, but Adobe no longer supports my computer system. I would really love to make sure the words fit as well, so wanted to check with you to see if you knew of any other place I could do this? If not, no big deal – thank you!

  5. It’s very easy to find out any matter on net as compared to books, as I found
    this piece of writing at this web site.

  6. What in the what?! This is so awesome. I’m years behind, but this popped up on your sidebar, and it was too lovely not to comment.

    And then of course I saw you sold it, too. Eeek!

    So good. SO good. Pinned it for future inspiration.

  7. Oh Thanks! The wheels are already turning for the next Pinterest Challenge. Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

  8. Kmccord513 says:

    ChrislovesJulia – This is amazing! I’ve pinned it, too and can’t wait to get started on my version. @Aymie, thanks for asking questions. Everything you asked was what I needed to know. Hope your project went well. :-)

  9. SoulandGrace says:

    This is great! Love the poem choice too.

  10. This is just incredible. I’m pinning your version, because I like it even better than the original!

  11. What a great piece of whole wall art! Excellent work.

  12. That looks absolutely amazing! I love the way it looks on the wall.

  13. Lindsay says:

    very impressive! and so inspirational!

  14. Aymie says:

    THANKS!!! Sorry I need such detailed instruction, I was hoping someone else would ask a few of my questions so I didn’t sound SO needy…didn’t happen, I guess everyone else figured it out ;)

  15. Your Modern Couple says:

    This is such a cool project! Anytime I try to freehand paint my handwriting it never turns out very cool haha I think adding water makes all the difference! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    xo Catharine @ Your Modern Couple

  16. You are so funny and I am happy to help!

    1. I used acrylic paint you can get it at a craft store. However I am no stranger to using house paint. Whichever you choose, just water it down a bit so that your brush glides easier. I usually dipped my brush in water real quick, dabbed it on a towel, and then put it in the paint.

    2. The brush I used was rounded at the end. Something like this would be perfect and very similar to what I used: http://www.amazon.com/Round-Paint-Brushes-Acrylic-Painting/dp/B000RB54SU/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1328066647&sr=8-4

    Congrats on stretching your first canvas! How exciting!!!

  17. Aymie says:

    First of all, thank you SO much for the fastest reply EVER to my first question! Second, I have a couple more questions ;)

    1.What type of paint did you use…like wall paint or some type of artist paint.
    2.What was the shape of your brush…was it squared off and flat, or more rounded and thick? Just wondering what works best when painting letters.

    I stretched my canvas this past weekend (that was a first!) and am hoping to get the supplies needed to finish the project this weekend. I am so excited!!

    Thanks again for your help! It is SO much appreciated!

  18. Bernadette @b3hd says:

    I adore how this turned out. I think I’m going to have to attempt this. I already have my fair share of typographic art at home, but this would be perfect for a space above our stairs. We’ve built frames and stretched canvas before…let’s see if I can get my better half to do it again…

    Great turnout! I love that poem too (my grandmother’s fave as well).

    Bernadette @ b3hd.blogspot.com

  19. amy w says:

    oh my word i LOVE this! i never would have thought of doing something like that. such a powerful piece of art- and GREAT choice of a poem. you may inspire me to do something like this :) though i will have to mock up some lines so i don’t go crooked… because i ALWAYS do with projects like this!

  20. michelle says:

    i participated in the challenge. my choice was really easy and cost only a buck! it was fate that i found the pieces i needed at a yard sale on friday afternoon!



  21. Wow! This is beautiful! I absolutely love the poem choice and the way the whole thing turned out! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Justine says:

    this is gorgeous. love the poem, and your handwriting. i did something similar, though on a smaller scale and used lyrics. loved the pinterest challenge! http://youresomartha.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/pinterest-challenge/

  23. Jamie says:

    Oh this is wonderful. I’ve been paining for years over a large empty wall space in my bathroom just waiting for the right piece. This is it. Thank you! Now I have to find the right poem.
    Please check out my post here http://thetreehousediary.blogspot.com/2011/08/pinterest-challenge.html

  24. TamsynRiley says:

    I adore oversized art and this has to be one of my favorites. It’s gorgeous!

  25. Sarah says:

    This is INCREDIBLE. Plus I love it even more since I love this poem! (it’s the name of my blog…The Road Less Traveled) I am inspired to create something like this above my bed!

  26. Amelia says:

    This turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Really nice work.

  27. Stephanie Narup says:

    My gosh! I found you by googling “how to put tabs on your blog” (THANK you for that btw). But what a find you are! :) I love your site. I love your creativity! Therefore, I am your newest follower. Nice to meet you! :)

  28. JandJHome says:

    I love it. Absolutely beautiful.

  29. Ahh how peaceful looking that is! I’m absolutely terrible at free handing!

  30. Rebecca Pino says:

    This is absolutely fantastic! I love it!!!

    Rebecca @ Dancing in Stilettos

  31. Diapers & Divas says:

    What a great spin off on your Pin-spiration! The dripping is a great effect!
    Stopping by from the YHL Pinterest Challenge Link Up.

  32. Diapers & Divas says:

    What a great spin off on your Pin-spiration! The dripping is a great effect!
    Stopping by from the YHL Pinterest Challenge Link Up.

  33. Diapers & Divas says:

    What a great spin off on your Pin-spiration! The dripping is a great effect!
    Stopping by from the YHL Pinterest Challenge Link Up.

  34. MandeeFoFandee says:

    holy awesomeness! this is seriously amazing. I need a big statement piece for my dining room, and I’m thinking something like this ( maybe with our wedding vows) would be perfect! great work!

  35. Jamie Shaw says:

    What a brilliant idea and I think I may love yours more than the inspiration

  36. Just stunning, good work!!! I actually have the original e.e. cummings poem (from your pinterest) framed at my bedside. I adore reading and writing poetry and thinking framing it is brilliant.

  37. Mrs. G says:

    This is amazing! I’m a typography nut, too, and I just love it. You (and Alisa) did an awesome job with this. Just awesome.

  38. Kathleen Benitez says:

    I love this more than the inspiration! It’s amazing, really!

  39. Tanya says:

    I LOVE it! It’s like an updated version of the subway sign trend.

  40. Oh Erica. I would be flattered. Thanks!

  41. You can’t go wrong with Shakespeare.

  42. Erica Harless says:

    Very Cool! I actually like yours a lot better! Great job! Can I pin yours on Pinterest? :)

  43. abby says:

    this is incredible – one of my favorite things ever. I feel like it epitomizes my own nerdy/casual style and I should probably have something like this in my house. Maybe with shakespeare’s sonnet 29, mostly because the ending is so beautiful. “For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings/ That then I scorn to change my state with kings.”

  44. Meagan says:

    You know I love love love it. It is Perfect!! Can’t wait to see what you decide for either side of the painting…

  45. LOVE THIS!!!! I will definitely try a version for myself sometime soon!

  46. Elisa says:

    This looks AWESOME! Some word art is really hit or miss but if you get all squinty it doesn’t even look like words and the drips totally add to the piece. And I love that the girl’s (practically) got my name sake.

  47. I love Frost, so much–this is great. Especially clever how you did the mock up first to ensure it would all fit. I would probably have just winged it and ran out of space! Thanks for sharing the wiser path. ;)

  48. Pamela Stephens says:

    That is AWESOME! We did similar projects :) I WISH I had as awesome handwriting as you it turned out beautiful…. well done.

    Pamela @ pbjstories.blospot.com

    My Pinterest Challenge: http://pbjstories.blogspot.com/2011/08/lyrics-board-reveal-pinterest-challenge.html

  49. I used a paint brush normally used for acrylics. For the lettering, I just did a water-downed black paint–I did do a wash for the background. Gray and some stark white. I think the key is definitely plan out your words first, and then try not to think about getting the lettering perfect–it is so much better that way. I am excited for you! Would love to see pics!

  50. Aymie says:

    I’m going to do this for my husband’s Vday gift…I have a couple amateur questions if you don’t mind answering? What type of paint brush did you use? And did you just do a black/white thinned out paint wash for the background? Thank you SO much for your help! I just LOVE how yours turned out!!

  51. Esther Dittmar says:

    I love that soo much. Am a huge fan of Robert Frost and organic artwork. Well done!

  52. Stephanie2882 says:

    Aymie, I have been searching ALL over the internet for the kind of brush to use and stumbled across this. I am grateful that someone else needed as much instruction as I did!

  53. Andrea B says:

    This is amazing. I just stopped by from Young House Love’s Pinterest Challenge and had to comment. I’m running about a million ideas in my head now for my own house. Thank you!

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

Here’s the crazy thing about me and inspiration: If you were to go into my bathroom inspiration board on Pinterest, there are bathrooms for sure, but there are also kitchens, there are closets, there are mudrooms, and there are hallways of houses! I’m not looking to copy and paste an inspirational image. I’m taking notes […]

Entry stairwell at the North Carolina House

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations