DIY Distressed Photo Frames

Jeanette Kakareka

One thing that I've been itching to do, is to transform some mix and matched photo frames of mine. A number of them are really standard (boring) frames, but a lot of them have been collected over time--often giveaways from coworkers trying to declutter. This has made a really fun assortment of shapes and sizes, which is to my taste.

I had to decide exactly how to go about transforming them in a way that they'd all have something in common when I collage them on the walls. I decided to "distress" my photo frames by using layers of spray paint.

You will need:

Photo frames


Paper towels

A hard sponge

White spray paint


Optional: a contrasting colour of spray paint

Firstly, it is always advisable to head outside for spray painting projects. Lay down some old newspapers, broken cardboard boxes, etc. If the frames are dusty, clean them up. But otherwise, texture and imperfections are good here. Place the frames spread apart.

Option one: Apply Vaseline in the areas you will want to expose the original colour. This is what I went for with my wooden frames. Next, apply white spray paint directly and skip the contrasting colour.

As you see, I had used painters tape to cover up the inside of one photo frame. This is because there was a beautiful gold colour there that I decided to keep.

TIP: I suggest not over-applying the Vaseline because otherwise you won't be able to clean it all up (it's hard to see since it's clear), and the frames will always feel "wet". 

Option two: Spray on contrasting colour. This is best for plain frames. Wait for the paint to dry as per instructions (I waited at least an hour between coats).

TIP: At first, I just evenly spray painted the whole frames my contrasting colour (black and brown). I later realised that if I have certain spots in mind to distress, I can choose to only spray paint those spots, making the top layer of white easier and save on paint!

After you have applied the contrasting colour and it has dried, apply Vaseline and spray paint the frame white as in option one.

Once it has all dried: You can go about the fun part, wiping away the Vaseline and thereby "distressing" your frames. I even purposefully scratched the white paint on non-Vaseline areas to make it look more convincing.

Viola, your frames are now faux distressed and so modern farmhouse


MOQI - The British Shorthair Kitten

Jeanette Kakareka

I recently got a little kitten with my boyfriend. We named him Moqi 墨奇, meaning "curious" in Chinese. He is a blue British shorthair and he is just the sweetest.

He is used to being handled so he has been friendly since day one and is settling in nicely.

For fun he likes to wedge himself into small places.

And jump up into the little window above his bed.

He is still on the hunt for the elusive red dot. He will try again tomorrow.

We recently set him up an Instagram @moqi0518

Bath, United Kingdom

Jeanette Kakareka

So, this was a while ago now but I wanted to blog about it anyway because it's a fond memory and I recommend making the trip if you ever can. During the long Easter weekend, my boyfriend and I stayed two nights in Bath.

We booked a hotel right by the train station which was super comfy and easy. We checked in about as early as possible then headed for a walk around, stopping into some antique stores and saw the Pulteney Bridge, the Royal Crescent, and the Assembly Rooms.

Outside of Train Station

Outside of Train Station

I was especially excited about the Assembly Rooms because I could imagine all of the Georgian parties and gatherings. It was also free.

Jin inside of the Assembly rooms

Jin inside of the Assembly rooms

Polaroids on the Bridge and around the Crescent.

Polaroids on the Bridge and around the Crescent.

I had heard recommendations to check out Sally Lunn's, which not only had great food and teas, but is also one of the oldest standing buildings in Bath.

I ordered a mushroom traditional trencher dish, and he ordered a steak with some sort of apple sauce.

I ordered a mushroom traditional trencher dish, and he ordered a steak with some sort of apple sauce.

We then went back to relax at the hotel and that was the end of day one.

Day two began with getting our breakfast from the hotel and then heading to the famous Bath Abbey. A free thing to do, although they do suggest a small donation.

The beautiful fan vaulting of the ceilings inside.

The beautiful fan vaulting of the ceilings inside.

The abbey was originally founded in the 7th century, but rebuilt in the 12th and 16th century. We both really enjoy going into churches for the architecture, and this was apparently a more unusual example of the Gothic style. The gravestones inside of the abbey floor and walls were really interesting to read and we enjoyed getting a close look at the stained glass. We definitely recommend taking a look inside and grabbing one of the free paper pamphlets, which can give you extra information on what you are seeing.

Next, we went to the Roman Baths, which is located right next to the abbey. It costed £15 per adult and everyone is given a free audio guide in a number of languages. There were many recovered artifacts from the Roman period of Bath's history, (when they called the town "aquae sulis"), including the Gorgon's head. The buildings that now surround them were built in the 18th century.

A shot of one of the stunning Roman bath pools.

A shot of one of the stunning Roman bath pools.

Inside the Pump Room, where you exit after the baths

Inside the Pump Room, where you exit after the baths

After lunch and coffee in a cafe, we went to see the Jane Austen Centre, which, as much as I love her work, I didn't love the museum equally. But Jin did enjoy writing with ink and it was nice being inside of the house that she lived in for five years. This was £11 per adult.

After we left, we took a long scenic walk around the town by all the shops and ended up by the river. Bath is a beautiful town to just walk around and enjoy the outside of its many historic buildings. We then got some dinner takeaway and hopped our train back to London.

We had a lovely weekend and definitely suggest it to anyone with the ability to take a small trip over.

English National Ballet Emerging Dancer 2016

Ballet Zaida Affinity Jeanette Kakareka competed in the English National Ballet Emerging Dancer competition this last week.  It is a huge deal to be a finalist, and this is her second year to reach that point!  We are so proud of her!  Below you can see photos from the performance and an interview with her. 

Black Swan pas de deux. Photo by Dave Morgan.  Jeanette Kakareka and Daniele Silingardi of English National Ballet.

Black Swan pas de deux. Photo by Dave Morgan.  Jeanette Kakareka and Daniele Silingardi of English National Ballet.

Black Swan.  Photo by Laurent Liotardo. Jeanette Kakareka of English National Ballet. 

Black Swan.  Photo by Laurent Liotardo. Jeanette Kakareka of English National Ballet. 

Annabelle Ochoa's Frida

Jeanette Kakareka

Today is our last day of shows for "She Said", a triple bill of all new works choreographed by all women. I've been performing the "Female Deer" in Annabelle Ochoa's piece "Broken Wings", which was inspired by Frida Kahlo's life and paintings. My role was based on a painting that she did, as you can see below.

The Wounded Deer, by   Friday   Kahlo (1946)

The Wounded Deer, by Friday Kahlo (1946)

Annabelle is quoted saying: “But Frida often said she didn’t paint dreams, like the surrealists, but her own reality. Her paintings are her life, her emotions are weaved into them, so I am also using them as a way into her mind, as a way to tell the story”. This means that Broken Wings is partially reality, partially Frida's reality. One of my favourite scenes is the "Mexican restaurant" where Diego is cheating on Frida and the skeleton men form a mariachi band to serenade the adulterers.

I think all of the dancers have had a wonderful time working with Annabelle. She's extremely efficient and affectively runs a really smooth rehearsal. She also loves to get inspiration from dancers' jokes and turn it into actual choreography--I've seen her do it!

Of course, it is extra satisfying to have a role created on you, so I was very lucky. My character comes later in the piece when Frida is in much pain after surgeries and taking morphine. "The Wounded Deer" was actually painted after her spinal surgery in New York City. Nancy Meckler, who worked with her previously on A Streetcar Named Desire, was also there in a number of our studio rehearsals. She was very kind and helped explain me through my character.

The 11 male Frida's in the piece have the most fun probably--they had body paint and makeup sponsored by MAC. They also had an excuse to wear these very colourful skirts. Their first entrance is probably the most visually dramatic in the piece.



I also got my fabulously-Frida monobrow and lipstick done by MAC. My wig was styled around antlers by our Amelia Carrington-Lee. They seemed very heavy at first, but after a couple of shows I got used to them. Still had to duck and weave around doors and curtains though!

We were all so fortunate to get to work with a lovely choreographer and team and it was even more rewarding this week to see it premiere and come to life!

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