Tools: My Top 3 And How I Use Them.

Some women will ask for a nice handbag or jewelry for anniversaries, birthdays or other holidays. And I’m all about that, too. But I kid you not. I asked for tools for about 2 straight years in order to build up my workshop! Of course I have more than the 3 you see here, but I’m going to share the ones I use the most and how I use them to create my pieces of artwork.

My Top 3 Tools And How I Use Them!

#1 Compound Miter Saw

Ridgid Miter Saw

The miter saw is by far the machine I spend most of my time with. And all those 45 degree cuts you see on my work? This is the tool for the job! With a quick swivel of the miter table, you can make cuts from 0-50 degrees. I was super intimidated the first time I rented one of these from Home Depot. But after just a few cuts I got the hang of it.

#2 Jigsaw


If you’ve ever seen a photo of my work in progress, then you know I leave the edges of my pieces jagged. I do this because it is difficult (though not impossible!) to get the edges lined up just so. With a steady hand, I use a jigsaw to cut off the edges to get it ready to be framed.

#3 Belt Sander


This tool changed my life you guys. I never even knew what I was missing! After I use the jigsaw to cut off the edges of my pieces, I go over it with a belt sander to get the edges as smooth and as even as possible to get them ready for framing. This tool is also helpful for stripping paint or finish off the surfaces of wood.

And there you have it. These are my top 3 tools and a basic explanation of how I use them to create my pieces of art. Have a more specific question about my process? I’m all ears!


How I Landed My Work on HGTV’s Fixer Upper


“How did you get your artwork on the show??” This is one of the most common questions I get from people who find out my work has been on the show, Fixer Upper. But really, It was very simple. I’ll break it down for you.

Do Some Research

The weekend before I sent that first email to the folks at Fixer Upper, I binge watched the show. I had never seen it before but had watched it at the suggestion of my husband and mother-in-law. Like everyone else, I was hooked. By watching the show (more like obsessing over!), it gave me some context and a sense of whether or not my work would fit in. Obviously, it did and I got to work googling how to get in touch with them.

Just Ask!

Yup. You know you can’t wait for opportunities to land in your lap, right? If there is a show you want your work to be included on or a popular design blog you want to be featured on step one is simply asking. What is the worst that can happen? They say “no” and you move on.

Show Your Stuff

Where can your work be seen now? What other media coverage have you had? Has anything else notable happened with regards to your work? These are all things to include in your outreach attempts. It simply creates credibility and validates your abilities as a creative.

Be Genuine

People who get a lot of pitches can smell BS from a mile away. Keep your tone conversational and friendly but don’t completely over do it. Share a little about your background, your story, why you love what they do, and leave it at that. Short, sweet, and sincere.

Practice Patience

I know sometimes when doing your own PR or trying to market yourself, you send out emails and who KNOWS if anyone is reading them. Right? I feel like this all the time. Odds are though, someone is reading them! But if they don’t respond right away (or at all), don’t take it personal. It may not be the right time or fit for whoever you are reaching out to. When I emailed Chip and Joanna, it was more than a month before I heard a peep back from them. And even then, it took months before I saw my artwork on the show. (Actually, a friend of mine tagged me on social media because Joanna instagramed my piece front and center!! I had *almost* forgotten about it!)

Curious About Specifics?

Want to know word-for-word what I sent to the people at Fixer Upper? Input your email below and I’ll send you the exact email that I sent to them.  Have more questions? Leave a comment here or you can always reach me here.

Behind the Scenes: My Worst Month Ever

It's OK Banner

IT’S OK banner by Secret Holiday & Co

Well, it’s been a while huh? :-) I started to write a post on Instagram about this but I decided it might get a little long and get overlooked. So here we go. My September was ROUGH. And I mean I-only-sold-2-small-pieces-in-one-month kind of ROUGH. After an amazingly busy summer, in September my sales just stopped. I didn’t know what happened (still don’t) but I kinda had a secret meltdown behind the scenes here. I started to completely doubt everything I was doing, applied to a bunch of jobs and even met with a very nice man in a different (but similar) industry to see if that was the direction I should go in. Maybe even go back to school? I’m serious…A MELTDOWN.

Luckily, this nice man talked me down from the ledge. Just like my husband had told me before, he said he thought I was way further along than I think I am. Not to give up. I walked away feeling like a million bucks. (Thanks Joe!) That same day, I received a HUGE order for 7 pieces. Today I was contacted by an art consultancy in Paris. What?! That one definitely left me feeling all kinds of fancy. In the blink of an eye my whole outlook changed.

Looking back, I was in fight or flight mode. My husband had just changed jobs and started working for a non-profit. Our budget was being squeezed a little bit. Add my slow month and my mind started catastrophizing. Pretty crazy how quickly self-doubt sets in once things aren’t going as planned. Thank goodness I had saved up about 6 months in operating costs and was never in any real danger. But it was a stressful time for sure. And I sure as hell didn’t pay myself much.

My point to this is that I want to be real with all of my friends, family and anyone else that is following my AIMM journey. What I’m doing basically feels like riding a roller coaster ALL THE TIME and that’s not always what is projected on the screen. I think as people we have a natural tendency not to want to be a whiner on social media so we stick to posting the good stuff. But believe me, there are real tears sometimes. Just this past Saturday I spent the entire day at a West Elm pop-up and sold nothing. Yep, not one thing. No tears were shed because I know that happens sometimes but I was disappointed in myself for wasting a Saturday that could have been spent with my family.

October is shaping up to be a great month. So I think (and hope!) September was a fluke. God help my poor husband if it wasn’t. Either way, it feels good to write this down and know that if this happens again I won’t be so shattered knowing that everything is going to be ok in the end.

Inspiration: Summertime Blues

wood indigo navy blue old wood patterns ceramics tree stumps home decor

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It’s almost summer, right? Sure feels like it in Texas. Anyway, I’ve declared today an admin day. We’ve been going pretty hard around here for the last three weeks. Three weekend markets in as many weeks and quite a few custom orders have kept me pretty dang busy (totally not complaining!). But when I woke up this morning to a sick kiddo and a rainy forecast, I decided the universe was trying to tell me something. And part of my admin day includes a quick inspiration post for my poor, neglected blog.

I’ve been bookmarking these images from around the internets for a few weeks now. All shades of blue have been catching my eye lately. Especially when paired with my favorite medium – wood. Stay tuned for this color to show up in my work!

Ready, Set, Launch! The New AIMM Collection Is Live. (Plus a Giveaway!)

I know what you are thinking…it’s about time, right?! I have been working on these pieces for what seems like forever. And I’m finally ready to put them out into the world. When I look at them, I couldn’t be more proud. I hope you enjoy them as well!

modern, reclaimed wood, wall art, black and white, wood, gold, geometric, modern, handmade, etsy, houston, interior design, unique wall art

Hat tip to the amazing photographer and my friend, Alyssa. She just moved back to Houston and lucky for me she was available to do these shots for me. If you are in the area and you need some similar work done, give her a shout. Below are some other pics that I love.

modern wall art, arrow, white and gold, painted arrow, etsy, reclaimed wood floor

modern wall art, wood wall art, wood sculpture, handmade, etsy, unique wall art, geometric art, living room art, bedroom artmodern design, modern art, unique wall art, reclaimed wood, living room art, bedroom art, home decor, geometric artSome other news I have includes my work being sold in a few more shops around the internets – and AHAlife.  And as soon as I can get my stuff listed, I will have a few pieces in a gallery out of NYC called Uprise Art. Pretty cool, huh? And last but not least, AIMM will have a piece in the DIY Network’s Blog Cabin 2015! Yeah, you know…HGTV!!! Can someone please pinch me?

So, in celebration I figured I would do a giveaway of one of my new pieces. Here’s the deal.

1. Head on over to my instagram feed and find the picture below. This arrow piece will be the prize.

arrow, black and gold, wall art, modern art, reclaimed wood, unique wall art

2. Follow my instagram feed and like the photo.

3. Re-post the photo and tag me (@brianna_land) along with the hashtag, #AIMMgiveaway.

And that’s it! I’ll pick a winner at random this Friday, April 17. XO!

Make It: Rope and Wooden Tree Ladder

Rope Ladder From Below Tree - How to make a rope and wooden tree ladder.

We have been blessed with some pretty amazing weather down here in Houston the past few weeks. As a result, there has been quite a bit of tree climbing going on in our front yard. And not just by our children. We have even been finding other family’s children up in our tree on occasion! Which we totally love by the way. And although the big kids had no problem getting up, thanks to our oldest daughter’s climbing gear and ingenuity, the little ones were left on the ground. Or worse yet, parents had to hoist and catch their babes into and out of the tree. No bueno, right?

Instead of going out and buying a ladder I decided to make one. This isn’t my typical “woodworking” project in that I only had to make few small cuts with a chop saw but it was fun nevertheless! And it was as simple as could be.

How to make a rope and wooden tree ladder - Supplies


– Wooden Dowel Rods – 1-1/4″ , cut to 18 in long

Twisted Nylon Rope, measured to the length from the ground to the limb the ladder will be hung from X 2 plus 4 feet.

DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint

– Paint Brush

Rustoleum Painter’s Touch in Matte Clear


Miter Saw


spade drill bit, 1/2 in

Measuring Tape


painting black crosses, polka dots, fun painting

The whole project is super simple and the first thing I tackled was adding fun designs to the ladder rungs. This is totally not necessary but adds a fun detail. Let me just say though, I grossly underestimated the difficulty of painting on a curved surface! I came *this* close to telling you a white lie by saying the kids did this part…

Measuring for Holes - DIY Rope and Wooden Tree Ladder

DIY Rope and Wooden Tree Ladder, Drill Dewalt

Once I painted all of the ladder rungs and coated them with a quick spray of clear spray paint for protection, I set aside one of them to serve as the guide for the rope and the rest of the ladder rungs. Each rung is 18 inches so I went in 3 inches on each side and using the clamp to hold the rung in place I drilled a hole for the rope to go through. A knot would be tied in the rope below the hole to keep it from slipping when it came time to assemble.

how to tie a knot for a Rope and Wooden Tree Ladder

After the holes were drilled, I went to work assembling each step using this easy method of tying knots for rope ladders. Each step was approximately a foot apart. All in all there were a total of 6 steps.

How to make a rope ladder for a tree, kids climbing a tree

See all the monkeys in the tree? I couldn’t keep them out and they are out there playing even as I write this!

/ Hey Look What I Found / 1

Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love.) struck a cord with me with this TED talk on success, failure and the drive to keep creating. My favorite quote? “I’m not going to quit. I’m going home.” via Swissmiss.


– Drooool…gorgeous furniture by Greg Klassen made from my favorite material (old wood) and glass. via Alyssa Renee.

Stained Wood Wall (click through for DIY instructions)

– I’m putting this stained wood wall on my want/to-do list for our next home. via A Beautiful Mess


Emily Jeffords has some excellent advice for new artists. My favorite is from Rachel T Robinson. But really, all 3 parts to her Artist-to-Artist series are good.

– I also loved this post about sticking to your health and fitness plan. It’s a constant struggle for me. Also, add me as a friend on Fitbit! I need all the encouragement I can get! (briannalland[at]


Giving Thanks And A Call For A Creative Mastermind Group

It’s been a while (I know…so cliche), but it’s a super rainy day here in Houston. Like 100%-chance-of-rain kind of rainy day. I have an old stump that’s calling my name but the weather isn’t cooperating so I thought I would write.

The holidays were good to AIMM. I had my 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Etsy sales which was extra exciting! No small thanks to Etsy for featuring me as a Fresh Shop. Imagine my surprise when I opened up my daily email from Esty and saw my face and art staring back at me!


What a stupid quote they found though. Err, is that really written in my shop somewhere? Oh well…ha!

I have a pretty strong hunch that the feature had a lot to do with the amazing photos that Ashley and Jared took as well. Other Etsy sellers take note – it’s worth it to splurge on great photos if you stink at taking your own like I do.

Guys, I am so thankful. Although these couple of sales may not seem like much to others, it totally does to me! This means there are folks out there that value what I am doing and are actually willing to pay me for my work. How cool is that? Which brings me to my next topic…I don’t want to lose momentum.

But first let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I had this amazing group of women – Alicia, Ashley, Christina and Linnea. I had just started Homespun and similarly, these ladies were on their own creative business adventures. Once a month we would meet to talk about our individual goals, struggles and areas where we could help each other. Man were we productive! I think these ladies know, but I absolutely cherish these talks/therapy sessions. Things change though. Babies are born, cross-country moves are made and businesses are shuttered.

But here I am, on another creative adventure with AIMM. As much as I wish I could put that group back together again it just isn’t possible. So I am on a search for a new mastermind group. I am looking for 2-3 ladies with creative businesses who need some accountability and encouragement like I do right now. Interested? Help me keep this momentum going and send me an email – briannalland[at] so we can chat!

AIMM Etsy Shop Gets an Update!

A while back, I emailed my friend Ashley from Sugar and Cloth because I was in desperate need of some photography and styling help for my Etsy shop. The pictures I took were pitiful and it was obvious I needed professional help. It’s kinda…like when you need a haircut. No one in their right mind attempts it on their own. It’s better to leave these types of things to the experts. And I contacted Ashley because she is uh…amazing at this sort of thing?! I mean, just look at her blog and follow her Instagram feed for proof.

Anyway, Kelly and I loaded up all of my wood art and headed over to her super cool studio over in EADO (East Downtown Houston for non-Houstonians). We spent some time catching up and coming up with some ideas. Then her and guy Jared got to work. Below are a few of my faves.





Want to see more? Head on over to the AIMM Etsy shop! Thanks a million Ashley and Jared!

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