Can’t get enough frame walls….

Before we put our last house on the market, we engaged in full house decluttering.  This process included renting a storage unit and storing every item that we didn’t absolutely need in an effort to make our closets appear more spacious.  Several weeks ago (almost a year and a half later), we finally got around to unloading our storage unit and bidding it adios.

I’ll tell ya, sifting through things that you forgot you had is pretty fun.  And I say that literally.  Its like shopping out of your own stuff for free.   Among the old Lucas baby paraphernalia and random college textbooks we found a few gems worthy of sharing.

First is this neat, hand-carved whistle that Joey’s had since he was young…


It sounds like a train whistle when you blow into it. The picture of the train is burned on.  And check this out…


I wonder if his patent ever went through.   Next, we have this awesome ink drawing of St. John’s Bridge in Oregon….


Then, I found a box of memorabilia from our wedding.   It was only five and a half years ago, but I have to wonder why I boxed some of this stuff up.  For example, our cake topper…


I had searched high and low for a cake topper with a bride and groom on a bicycle, only to find one cartoony (read: ugly) one, so Joeys parents graciously offered to make us one.  It was drawn by my mother-in-law and cut out in wood by my father-in-law.  And it turned out awesome.  Grossly enough, it still had frosting on it when I pulled it out of the box.  I’m wondering why I packed it like that. Ick.

And just for fun, because it’s difficult to describe the travesty that were my bangs as a child….


They seriously went back to the middle of my head.   Heehee!  Ah, memories!  Growing them out was interesting (and not in a fun way).

After tossing these items around in my head for a while, I decided to use most of them (Ie: not my bang pic) in a casual photo collage wall. I know… Another collage wall? Oh yes. You bet. But I wanted this one to feel more organic and natural.  Less uniform and organized than our living room photo collage.

I decided to extend upon this wall in our foyer….


You can see I was already experimenting with placement of the ink drawing. I decided to start by creating some easy art with our cake topper. Here are my materials…


The shadow box is from Ikea and the fabric remnant was 99 cents from Walmart. I simply cut out a small swatch of the fabric and taped it onto the back of the mat with scotch tape…


Then, I used a spare Command strip from a package of utensil hooks to adhere the cake topper within the shadow box. I cut small pieces to fit behind the cake topper like so….


And Command-stuck it to the matting. Ta-Dah!!


Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Then, I took the whistle and tied a piece of twine around it….


And hung it with a finishing nail on the wall between the two existing pictures. I left the twine long so that I could adjust the length if needed once hung.


I hung the shadow box next to the whistle and added a double black frame from Ikea that I also found in storage. I filled it with a piece of striped fabric layered with a scrap of wrapping paper…


Then, I stepped back and observed…


But the arrangement felt a little lost on the wall and slightly off balance. I adjusted the length of the twine on the whistle to lower it some and added a few more frames up top (that were also found in storage. Seriously, shopping in your old stuff rocks.)….



Much better. Ill probably tweak the arrangement a smidge as time goes on, just because that’s what I do, but I’m really satisfied with it for now.

I didn’t use any techniques to plan out frame placement with this one. I just winged it and hung the frames where I felt like it. I’m really liking the different styles of frames and the mix of black, white, silver and wood tones. It might be fun to extend this one from floor to ceiling.  Hmmm…. Oh the possibilities.

Here are a few close-ups….




It feels good to have gotten started on this wall, for sure.   It stared at me for far to long just begging for some pizazz.    So, anyways that’s my story of forgotten treasures and frame walls!  I hope everyone has a happy Wednesday!!    🙂

Try and try again

Trial and error is a HUGE part of making a house a home.  I have no training and or expertise when it comes to DIY home stuff.  What I do have is ‘try it’, ‘live with it’ ‘change it’, and ‘repeat as necessary’.  Just basically jumping in, learning from my mistakes, and determining what I like (and don’t) by living with stuff and changing it if need be.  Our photo wall is a perfect example of this. It’s come about via a LOT of trial and error over many months (and many, many holes in the wall. Heehee! Whoops.) So, in good ole’ Linda Richman fashion, lets “discuss”…

The wall was originally started as an attempt to get as many frames off the floor and onto the wall as possible to clear out some space. I had seen frame collages on Pinterest and various design blogs and thought they were neat, so I figured “Why not? I can always patch the holes if I hate it.”.

I started by laying out the frames on the floor and playing with them until I was happy with the arrangement.

Like this…. (sorry for the picture quality)

Then, I decided that I needed a template to assist in hanging them. I found this tutorial on Young House Love and followed their lead. To start, I unrolled some brown paper onto the floor and laid the frames on it in my preferred arrangement (In hindsight news, if you’re planning a project like this yourself, put the paper under the frames first. Not sure why I didn’t think of that myself.). Anyhoo… Next, I traced the outline of each frame onto the paper with a pen. I measured where the hooks were located on the back of each frame and marked them with “x”s in their corresponding boxes on the brown paper. Then, I hung the brown paper on the wall with painters tape and moved it around until I was satisfied with the placement. It looked a little like this….

(Warning: Low quality miniature reenactment.)

Then, I simply hammered nails (and inserted screws with anchors for the mirror) straight through the “x”s on my paper. Once they were all placed, I tore off the paper and hung my frames.

And this is what I was left with….

Repeat after me… Meh. Although I liked the arrangement, it was too much black once I got it up there between its neighboring mirror, chair, and end table. (Also, feast your eyes on the original living room decor.) So, I decided to remove the frames to spray-paint them white. At this point, I realized that I had accidentally purchased flat finish spray paint. Dang. But being the impatient girl I am, I said, [the less classy version of] “Oh well!” and painted them anyways. Luckily, I ended up liking them better with a flat finish. So, happy accident there.

Here’s an “in progress” shot for ya…. Eventually only the mirror was black.

After living with it for a while, I decided there was too much “square” going on, so I added a few more frames, like this…..

Then, a few months later, a good friend commented that it would look better if the photos were all black and white. I had thought about that previously, but honestly, was just too lazy to get the pics reprinted again. Her tactfully put and appreciated comment got the wheels turning. I printed the B&W pics on plain old computer paper first to make sure I’d like them (I printed some of them in larger sizes as well to do away with some of the matting). ….and I LOVED them, so I got them reprinted in higher quality photos (as in, higher quality than computer paper), and I was left with this….

….Which I liked, but thought was too much black again! Jeepers. I also thought that the photo collage felt unbalanced next to the height of our new Ikea shelves and accessories. So, I decided to spray paint the mirror red and add a few more frames up top to give some much needed height. Which leads us to today….

FINALLY! It took a small journey of change, but seriously, stick a fork in her. She’s done. I’m loving the asymmetrical arrangement and the little pop of red. It feels like bling to me. Like a good pair of red pumps with a neutral outfit. Thus, she will remain in her happy place for a while… at least until Christmas when I plan to jazz her up a bit. Oh. Yeah.