Our First Gallery Wall! {Or a Winter Pinterest Challenge}

Gallery walls are nothing new. I loved this recent wrap-up Centsational Girl did on the varying types on gallery walls are out there, and I’m sure by now you’ve seen at least one pin on Pinterest showing you how to use painter’s tape to help decide on the placement of your frames before hanging them up. You know, like this one from ItsOverflowing.com:

I’m slowly trying to work in a few updates to my living room, and I thought it was high time I changed up our biggest wall (sorry for the crappy pictures- some of these are old – don’t mind the string hanging down from the ceiling fan either):

Yup – for over four years this wall has housed an off center sepia colored rock on top of a rock.  Thrilling stuff, folks.

Honestly, for the price of this Ikea print, this worked well in the room when I first moved in.  It’s a really large wall and was pretty daunting to decorate.  The couch was originally tucked against this wall and it was centered over the couch at that time.  But the couch has had several migrations since, and we have been accumulating some art and photos over the years that didn’t really have a place to shine in the rest of the apartment.
And in honor of the Winter Pinterest Challenge, I thought it was time to get on it already.
I’m linking up on these lovely ladies’ blogs today – go over and check out their projects plus all of the projects from blogland!
Right – that big a$$ ugly wall.  First – let’s look at the wallpaper border that used to run across the entire room at waist height:
I scrapped it off and lived with this ring around the room for over a year. I’m honestly not sure if this was an improvement or not.
Then my landlord finally painted it white for me (but honestly they did a crappy job and I need to bite the bullet and repaint it again).
We are Amazon Prime addicts. (I’m going somewhere with this, trust me.) You know that brown paper that they usually stuff into the box inside of a box? I started saving it.  You know, for wrapping paper, drop cloth paper, and in this case, template paper.
I started with the handful of pictures and art work I knew I wanted to hang up.  I cut out my shapes, and used some painters tape to tape off my nail holes. I hung up the kraft paper on the wall for almost a week, moving them around until I found a layout I thought I liked. What is nice about using the painter’s tape and template paper is that I I could easily use my level to make sure everything was straight before I started making nail holes.  I just nailed right into my marks on the tape and ripped the paper away – easy peasy.
I settled on this:
Then I decided it needed more. So I ran out to our local thrift shops and dollar stores, and picked up a bunch of smaller frames. 

I’ve decided I’m on a gold kick, and I like the texture these brassy gold brick frames bring to the wall.  

The photos on the left are from our wedding – Tom’s sister paid an aerial photographer to fly over after the ceremony, and all of our guests formed a huge heart in the yard, what????

The twin towers photo and yellow flower photo were gifts from another talented family member – she took both pictures herself. The trippy painting is actually something my grandmother painted when my mother was a child (explains a lot – haha just kidding mom!!), the portrait is from a cruise we took back in 2009 (yes, I am wearing elbow length gloves with a ring on top, when else can you pull that off but on formal night on a cruise ship), and the black and white drawing is from another amazingly talented family member.  
The canvas of carved miniature elephants is a photo I took on our honeymoon, and the butterflies Tom purchased after we both read a book we loved called Special Topics in Calamity Physics (really great who-done-it). 
The right side are photos from our engagement photo shoot, we bounced around the city back in May and this is the first time we’ve displayed any of them around the house.

The top is actually the leftover glitter wrapping paper, rhinestone ribbon, and fun gold bow from another very special gift we received at our wedding – a handmade quilt with many, many participants from both sides of our family.  It’s a little quirky, a little Liberace, but I think it’s small enough and far enough up on the wall that it’s not all IN YO FACE.  I like it.

I have another idea for a hand made project for the top left corner, but it might have to wait until after tax season. I’m definitely happy where the wall is now, but wouldn’t be opposed to it growing organically with a few more pieces on either side, or even possibly swapping out some of the photos from time to time. It’s definitely a little couplethatjustgotmarriedandhaswaytoomanyphotosofthemselvesfromthepastyear-feeling right now, but I’m sure we will accumulate more art as time goes by to even things out.

Have you jumped on the gallery wall bandwagon?  I think this is just one of those classic looks that will always be popular, be it on a statement wall or in a long hallway.  

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Pinterest Challenge projects – I’m looking forward to finding more pinspiration for the spring challenge! 
Megan — Katie — Sherry — Michelle
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Let’s set the table for…some festive trolls!

(Back from our honeymoon and feeling refreshed! Can’t wait to share some photos from our amazing adventures on safari!)

After Tom and I got engaged and received a few engagement gifts, I decided that since we had already been living together for a few years, I was going to keep all of our gifts boxed up until after the wedding.  Since we would be missing out on some of that excitement of moving in together after the wedding, or moving into a new house together, I figured this would be my small way of getting to enjoy something new once all the hoop-la of shower! wedding! honeymoon! died down.
So when I saw that some one of my favorite bloggers, Kim from NewlyWoodwards was hosting her annual Dare to DIY! linky parties, I knew I wanted to challenge myself to get involved in a least a few of the tasks!  (I missed the first week since we were away on the ole’ HM.) This week is Dare to…Entertain! Do I really need a better excuse to break out all of the fun stuff I received at my shower?

I started with my new dinnerware – Anthropologie’s Fleur De Lys plates, some old wine glasses from Ikea a few years back, and some gold chargers that were gifted to me.

While setting up this table I came to an overwhelming conclusion.  I need to stock up on some tablecloths, napkins, and table runners.  I had to resort to using bar rags (never been used, but still!) as my napkins.  Now I know what I can ask for this year for Christmas!

Part of the rules are obviously to DIY something for the table setting.  The moss cans were part of the decor at my wedding, which we made ourselves. I pinned this picture from Martha when we first got engaged and we tweaked her tutorial to suite our needs (we simply sprayed tacky glue on cans, affixed our moss, and wrapped chicken wire around the can, making the cans reusable).  The paper rosettes were also handmade and part our wedding theme. I love that I am able to incorporate little pieces of our wedding into other holidays! It’s a nice little reminder of that day even though our minds are on things like Santa and snow.


Part of my ethnic background is Norwegian, and I’ve always loved incorporating some of the traditional holiday decor into our home this time of year.  Lots of straw ornaments, somewhat “ugly” trolls, some blue and gold and lots of red!  I’ve always had a soft spot for certain items that some might call ugly items, and these kids are a perfect example of that.





I’m linking up over on Decor and the Dog, Maybe Matilda, Newly Woodwards and Two Twenty One – go check them out to see what other crafty entertaining ideas other people came up with!


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Fab Fabric Flags – Yippee!! – Pinterest Challenge Fall 2012

Sorry about the crickets around here for the past few months! I figured what better way to jump back on the blogging horse than to play along with these lovely ladies in their seasonal “Pinterest Challenge”.  I’ll be linking this post up on Sarah’s, Katie’s, Sherry’s, and Carmel’s blogs!


So it’s no secret how much I love Pinterest.  It has been an amazing tool in helping me organize my thoughts for our recent wedding.  (I’ve actually joked several times that my wedding was going to look like Pinterest vomit – but in a good way!) So a few months ago when I saw these fabric flags on GreenWeddingShoes.com, I pinned them and knew I had to make them my own! (The koozies were pretty damn cute too, but we decided not to get any made up).

via GWS

I purchased some fabric in white on white bubbles, yellow on yellow bubbles, and some flowery gray, white and yellow from the scrap section at Joann’s months back for another project that I’ll be revealing eventually but realized I had more than enough to make a few flags for people to wave at the ceremony.  I had tons of burlap from this project…and I had yet to try out my Cameo Silhouette that I received at my bridal shower.

I started by cutting my fabric into triangles – 5″ x 8″.  Allen was a big help during this process:

Next I played with some fonts on my Silhouette and printed out some stencils. It took me a few tries before I figured out how to cut the lines to keep the center pieces of the letters intact.

Some acrylic paint, foam brush, and paper towels for some slight bleeding and we went to town on stamping our stencils.

We went with the following phrases: Yipee!! Hoo-Ray!! zOMG!?! Cheers!! Salute!! and Slainte!!


Does everyone’s “craft station” look like this while they work? Yikes!!

Later in the week, I stitch-witched two long strips of burlap together, and then sprayed it with tacky spray to affix the flags.  I added the burlap to make the fabric a bit more sturdy and to use up some of the hundreds of feet of burlap I over-ordered. Then I proceeded to trim out the flags so each had a nice fringe.  I wasn’t too concerned with burlap coming undone because these were meant for one use only anyway and the fraying gave it a nice weathered look in my opinion.

Next, I used my glue gun to attach some wooden chop sticks to the flags. I’ve actually had these chop sticks for years – we found them in my grandmothers house after she passed and I had been holding on to them for a special occasion.  Using them as part of the wedding props just felt like a nice little way to have my grandmother help out with the crafts.

Yes, that says 1983 for the package date! Love you Grandma!

I made about 50 flags.  The last week before the wedding we actually decided to add some little craft bells that we tied to burlap fringe so that our guests could wave and jingle them at the ceremony.  (Our RSVP cards asked people whether or not they would metaphorically come with bells on – so we figured in case anyone forgot to literally bring theirs we would provide them – clearly we are easily amused.) We left them next to the programs and I was so happy when I walked down the aisle and saw people waving them!

If any of our guests have photos of themselves with their flags I would love to see them!!  Leave me a comment or share them on my new facebook page!
And now the fun Pinterest Challenge part – go and check out what Sarah, KatieSherry, and Carmel put together, as well as all of the other linky participants!