Andrea Steed's Blog
Feast your eyes upon my new gallery wall:
Remember this wall in our kitchen? About a year after we moved into this house, I added these four frames and "temporarily" filled them to look like this:
I liked it. It worked. And it stayed. Until one of those frames fell down and broke. Then it didn't work anymore, for obvious reasons.
A couple of weeks ago, I was beyond inspired by this post at a really cool home decor blog called YoungHouseLove.com.
"I can DO that!!!" (and it didn't hurt that there are about 100 frames floating around my house, so I didn't have to buy a single thing!
So, for the past several weeks, I've been semi-obsessed with getting this project done. Here's the process I took step-by-step:
First, I collected a ton of frames from around the house. Some were displayed, some were in the garage, but no frame was safe!
Next, I arranged them into a design on the floor in our kitchen, to get a general idea of how I wanted them to be layed out:
Since I couldn't pick up this whole grouping and eye-ball it against the wall, I decided to make a to-scale digital mockup of the whole collage so I could see how it would fit on the wall. I ended up with this:
And decided it needed SO much more!!! So I scooted this grouping up to the top right corner and went searching for even more frames around the house, until I came up with this design, which I was much happier with:
Next, I cut newspapers to size to match up with each frame and taped it to the wall where I wanted the frame to hang. I even numbered them (and the frames themselves) to be sure I didn't confuse myself. Once those were up, I did a little more tweaking (especially in that lower left corner, which you can see is quite different than my digital mockup) until I was left with this:
I left that up a few days to try and decide whether I was going to like this new design in actuality or not. Until Ben said "Oh,just hang them up already. Commit." So I did.
HUGE tip -- With a paper template for each frame, I pulled each template down (one at a time), layed it across the back of the frame, marked where the hole in the wall should go, taped the paper back to the wall, and hammered in the nail. WORKS PERFECTLY every time! Then we had this lovely mis-match of frames on the wall:
The night we left this up, it caught me off-guard every time I rounded the corner into the kitchen. I think maybe I was having some gallery-wall remorse. It reminded me a little more of a crowded old lady's house than the sleek and modern gallery wall I had envisioned.
During this whole process I flip-flopped back and forth trying to decide whether to paint all the frames black, keep them their natural color, or do a combination of silver, wood, black and white. After seeing them on the wall...we quickly decided all-black was a must! Good thing I have lots of black spray paint on hand at all times!
Ahh...much better, eh?
Then it was time to fill the frames with pictures & memorabilia and fill in the gaps with a few handmade projects. I started with these fun projects:
Then searched the house for a few meaningful memorabilia items:
- wedding announcement newspaper article
- decorative wedding certificate
- our wedding invitation (perhaps I should replace some of these with NON-wedding things..hmm)
And finally, I filled in with photos. Some of the kids, some of us, some of family and friends. I tried to pick photos that have special memories attached to them, rather than just picking my favorite portraits or photographs that I love (though a few of those creeped in too). Some of the special pictures included are:
- a picture of Ben & I at our high school graduation
- a photo of our sponsored Compassion International child from Ecuador
- newborn hospital photos of each of our kids
- Ben & I in our "Scrapjazz" shirts on a business trip (pre-children!)
- our home in Rochester, MN which was the first house we owned
I may change a few of these out occasionally, but I tried hard to pick timeless and sentimental pieces to tell the story of our family.
So here's the finished product (for now...I just can't call anything complete...I'm sure I'll find some fun knick-nacks to add to those empty spaces!):
And here you can see some context with the rest of the kitchen/dining room:
Ahh...I love a finished project.
Why, yes! As a matter of fact, a customized printable version is available of the Dated Wall Art I posted yesterday! Thank you for asking.
See all of my Dated Art options.
Congratulations to Pita! Your comment #27 was randomly drawn to win a free 16" x 20" custom photo canvas from My Fine Art.
But just because you didn't win, doesn't mean you don't get a deal too! My Fine Art has extended a a 10% off discount* through the end of March 2011 - JUST for you guys! So, if you've always wanted a canvas display made from your favorite photos...now is the time! *To redeem the 10% off discount, just contact Julie through her Etsy shop to request a custom discounted listing.
Finding the Perfect Match:
Boy, do I have a fabulous giveaway for you today! But first, let me show you what arrived last week:
That's a 16" x 20" stretched canvas print of a photo I that took of my daughter and her friends playing "rainy day". I'm so excited about how perfect it's going to look hanging next to a 16" x 20" You Are My Sunshine canvas in my mother-in-law's office:
My mother-in-law counsels young mothers with toddlers and babies and works with families that need a lot of "sunshine" and encouragement. When she mentioned one day that she'd like to have this photo to hang in her office, I began thinking about how I could incorporate it to go with her You Are My Sunshine canvas. Then, a couple of weeks later I connected with Julie Ryan at My Fine Art...and well, the match was made. I knew exactly what photo I needed to have made into a canvas print! And I love how it turned out.
Be Inspired by Canvas Display Ideas:
Now of course, I would love to have several more and just need to free up some more wall-space! How cool would a collage of 6 of these 12" x 12" deep profile canvases look? They're only $30 each, which is a super deal. I'm visualizing a set of 6 canvases: four 12" x 12" canvas displaying a favorite photograph of each family member, one with the entire family together, plus a decorative canvas featuring a favorite quote or bible verse:
The 12 x 12 canvases shown above are actual canvases printed at My Fine Art.
Or, here's some more canvas decorating inspiration for you...I just love how clean and simple a stretched canvas looks and how the style really showcases the photographs:
The six display inspiration examples shown here are from a Google image search for
wall canvas display ideas, and are not image examples of canvas prints by My Fine Art.
Having trouble choosing which of your photos to have printed on canvas? Here are some ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
- family portraits for a den or living room, to hang over the mantle
- action shot sports photos to decorate a playroom or kid's bedroom
- favorite travel photographs (beaches, gardens, mountains, cities, buildings, etc) to display in an office, kitchen or living room
- wedding portraits or favorite "couple" candids to hang in your master bedroom
- newborn moments or "birth-day" hospital photos to hang over a crib in a nursery
- favorite baby or toddler candids of each of your grandkids
- a princess castle picture for your little princess's bedroom -- (oh, this picture I took at Disney World would make a GREAT canvas print.)
- ahh...so many ideas...so little wall space. :)
My Fine Art Giveaway & Coupon:
So, now that you're sufficiently inspired and itching to have your favorite photos turned into canvas prints, let me formally introduce you to Julie's custom canvas printing business on Etsy:
The talented Julie Ryan from the fabulous "Less-Than-Perfect-Life-of-Bliss" blog is the mastermind behind the business. She will work with you to take your digital photograph and artistic ideas and turn them into one-of-a-kind stretched canvas pieces of fine art in all different sizes from small to HUGE (30" x 40" big enough for ya?). And believe me...there's nothing cooler than seeing your photographs turned into a canvas print! See?
Julie has generously offered to give away a 16" x 20" custom printed stretched canvas to one of my readers! (shipped anywhere within the US). And...she's offering a 10% off discount* through the end of March 2011 - JUST for you guys! So, if you've always wanted a canvas display made from your favorite photos...now is the time! *To redeem the 10% off discount, just contact Julie through her Etsy shop to request a custom discounted listing.
So, go check out Julie's blog & My Fine Art Etsy shop and come back and comment here to let me know what you'd have put on your 16" x 20" custom canvas if you were to win! What are you waiting for? I'll draw a winner on Friday morning, so enter now!
Day 7. Sunday. Today was another completely abnormal, totally quiet day by myself. I even hid in our bedroom when Ben brought the kids home tonight so he could put them right to bed to avoid riling them up too much. I did however, go back to my to-do list. And did some stuff. What can I say? I like lists.
And I'm spent. Both times I've done this project, by the end of it, I'm exhausted and feeling like my life is extremely boring and mundane. Maybe next time I'll spread it out over two months and do one day a week so it's not quite so intense. Just a thought. Now I get to decide how I'm going to put it all together in an album....
- 29 photos saved to my hard drive. 22 shown here. It got a little ridiculous just taking photos of myself this weekend. Maybe when I'm 60 I'll be glad I did.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - I was by myself all day again. And I didn't go to church, even though it was Sunday.
Ahhh...hear that? No? Me either! It's been a blissfully quiet day in my house (and in my head) for a change.
Day 6. Saturday. But a completely abnormal Saturday since I spent it at home, by myself. The kids and Ben are out of town and it was my goal for the day to enjoy the quiet, do as much of nothing as I could stand, and eat plenty of junk food. I succeeded on all fronts! But it makes for a pretty boring photo collage:
More than what I did do, I enjoyed what I DIDN'T have to do today. It's amazing how easy it is to do only one thing at a time, not have to plan for the next 5 steps in my day, forget about efficiency, and not have to be aware of any people around me (or dressing, feeding and cleaning up after them). Don't get me wrong...I'd get lonely fast, but I'm telling you what...I enjoyed a quiet, mindless, do-nothing day. And I even did a few things...because I wanted to...not because I had to. :)
- 33 photos saved to my hard drive. 20 shown here. How many pictures of me sitting in front of a computer or television screen would you really need?
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - I was by myself all day and did NOT have a to-do list!
Day 5 - Friday. Busy all day long. Working, laundry, packing the kids (for a trip with Daddy - yay!), errands, more work and then freedom (from kids), but not from work. :) That's okay, I think work is fun.
- 160 photos saved to my hard drive. 30 shown here. Many of those were product pictures though...so they don't really count.
- Ben thinks Fridays are haunted around here. The kids and I always seem to be worn out from the week, on each other's nerves, and have no patience with each other, which results in lots of crying, whining and yelling (by all of us). So I usually try to take them someplace fun instead of keeping them cooped up inside.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - Ben took the kids to Auburn for the weekend, and I got to stay home by myself! I think the last time that happened was early last summer. I was due.
- Another notable fact about today - We received our information packet about our sponsored child in Ecuador via Compassion International!
Ahh...Thursday. Day 4 of this project.
Thursdays are usually pretty good days around here. Lots of work to do, Ayla's at school, and usually Paxton goes to his friend's house for the morning. This week, he was home, but he "helped" me work and read stories, so it worked out just fine. My Week-in-the-Life exercise went a little better today (helped that it wasn't raining and I wasn't sleep-deprived from storms). I have found though that I manage to do about 10 noteworthy "tasks" before I even make it downstairs in the mornings to get my camera. Today, that included getting two kids dressed, changing Ayla's sheets, letting the cat outside, and starting a load of laundry. None of which I enjoy doing before I've eaten my bowl of cereal and checked my email...but what can you do?
- 75 photos saved to my hard drive. 30 shown here.
- Paxton *actually* performed on the potty tonight...after three consecutive trips DURING dinner. He also appeared to be scared to death of the entire experience once he realized what was going on. We made a big deal of how great it was, and he was rewarded with chocolate chips.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - Paxton didn't go to Shelby's house this morning and was home instead, which means Ben & I didn't have our regular Thursday lunch-date. But otherwise, today was a pretty normal day!
Day 3. Wednesday.
Rainy. Cranky. Tired. Working. Seems like we had more fun the last time we did this project....hmmm...
- 102 photos saved to my hard drive. 30 shown here.
- Paxton LOVES the self-timer. Thinks it's hilarious.
- Notable differences about today compared to every other normal day - pretty much nothing. Today was pretty basic and normal.