Monday, February 18, 2013

Frame Gallery Wall: Reveal

I am super stoked to say that we have FINALLY finished our DIY gallery wall.  Can I get a woop woop? No?....Maybe?  Let's just say I'm jazzed every time I walk by it.  Every. Single. Time.

Our wall didn't always look like this.  Here is the before.  Not bad, but the art definitely did not fit the scale of the wall.  Then through the magic of gathering art and finding and putting up lots and lots and lots of white frames it was transformed into........


THIS!  I love how the blues and yellows pop in the frames and bring out the colors from the living room.  Ahhh so much wonderful art!  And the good thing about the fact that I didn't buy all those pictures (besides not having to take out a loan to pay for them) is that I can update when necessary, and even add more frames if I feel in the mood.  I don't think Ikea is getting rid of their RIBBA frames any time soon?

I get gushy feelings thinking about how much more fun, sentimentality, and color is in the room now.  The white frames and mats make it not so overwhelming to have this much color.  I don't want it to look like a rainbow threw up on my wall...not good. 

I also added in another friend to the room.  I got an e-mail from the hubby's grandmother saying "I know you like old stuff and the church is selling old chairs at $2 a piece - you want in?".  Firstly, I love how I now have the reputation as the girl who likes old stuff....classic.  That allows these fine opportunities to come around - of course I said hells yes.  I snatched up 4 of them and besides one going right here, I'm not sure where I am going to put all of them yet.   Am I going to make a set of 4 with a table?  Am I going to place them individually throughout the house?  Am I going to paint them?  Only time will tell.

What I do know is that I crafted up a small pillow that accentuates and compliments the colors on the gallery wall.  You know how you walk into the fabric store and see a fabric you LOVE but don't know what to do with of course you buy a yard to "just see what you can come up with"?  Ya this was that kind of fabric I had laying around and I happened to have some extra stuffing from this project that I sewed up a pillow in like 15 minutes. 

Here is a close up of the pictures.  The spacing between the pictures isn't even and I didn't want it to be.  I wanted it to look unintentional, haphazard, unsymmetrical yet put together in some way.  On the left is that beautiful thank you card I talked about here.  

Last but not least is the M letter I brought home from our Michigan trip.  It is a nice little simple accent to all the business on the gallery wall. and still adds a pop of color and fun! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Frame Gallery Wall: Lets Get Started!

Like most of my adventures this one started at Ikea.  Well it actually started with gathering a bunch of art and drooling researching over at Pintrest.  You can read more about that here.  But after that it totally started with a shopping trip to Ikea.  We came home with 6 big, 16 medium, and 9 small RIBBA picture frames.  31 picture frames total.....which equals one big cartful.  
There was a flash of frames and wrapping and magically everything fit nicely into its rightful place.  One good trick I learned (after getting callouses!) was that it is much easier to pry the tabs on the back of the frames up and down with a flat blade screwdriver than with your fingers.  Lesson learned RIBBA picture frames, lesson learned.
I planned out the picture frames to be varied with some having mats and some art taking up the whole frame.  I wanted to make the arrangement look eclectic rather than sooo uniform and perfect.

 I then created a boarder of the space I wanted to use with some simple ribbon on the wall.  It was waaaay easier than using painters tape and allowed me to visually see what space I wanted the arrangement to take up on the wall.

I created that same boarder on the floor using the ribbon.  Then I started to arrange, tweak, and arrange some more......

Until I had something I was pretty happy with that looked like this.  The arrangement on the floor helped to visualize what the wall arrangement would look like and left me time to tweak before it went and got all permanent with nails and all that jazz. 

Then I did it Martha Stewart style (like I did in this post).  By Martha Stewart style I mean cutting out rectangles to represent each picture frame and placing them on the wall as a guide for nailing up the actual pictures.  I did some tweaking on this wall as it gave me a better picture of what the arrangement would actually look like. 

Then I started to nail.  I put all the nails in before hanging the pictures so all the frames wouldn't shake against the wall every time I drove that nail in.  I did the nailing all myself without the help of the hubby.  Well he only helped a little.....but most of it was me!  Check back to see the full reveal!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Frame Gallery Wall: Inspiration and Art

As of now, this is what I am workin' with in my entryway.  Some quick and almost free DIY clothes pin frame art and my handy dandy console table.  This was all fine and dandy, but I wanted more.  Ohh soo much more.  And by more I mean a crisp white frame art gallery wall.  Ohhh I had wanted it for so long and the day is finally here where all the pieces come together to make my dream possible.   
Lets start at the beginning.  Almost all my projects start with research drooling over pintrest pictures.  Pictures like this with nice white matching frames with pops of color throughout the wall. 
bathroom gallery.
And pictures like this one with wonderful white frames with simplistic art.  What a big impact a plain R can have.  I am guessing this would be pretty easy to pull off with watercolors or even printed on plain paper.

white frames on white wall
Ohhhh and this one too where the colors of the art are more monochromatic and streamlined. 
And last but not least is this classic inspiration from Young House Love.
What I LOVE about each inspiration photo is that  nothing about the placement is perfect.  Some are more symmetrical than others but each looks haphazard.  I think I am naturally drawn to the gallery walls with the art that is colorful and pops against the neutral frames and walls.  Most of my inspiration pictures have light gray or white walls as to blend in with the frames.  I am sticking with the brown of my regular walls so there will be more contrast between the white frames and my wall.  As for art, of course I have been gathering art for ages and doing a little DIY on the side.  As for art you can read about my stone arch adventures here

My first round of Etsy art prints here:

My second round of Etsy art prints here.  Most of the Etsy vendors sent a thank you with their print which was awesome.  One such thank you (not shown) had a beautiful array of little fish on the back postcard style.  It was so pretty it compelled me to use it as a piece of art too!

I am also using lots of home made DIY art and found art here:
Other things I am going to put in the mix for the gallery wall are photographs and my manly DIY mustache art.  You gotta balance out the girly with some testosterone.  I mean what is more manly than facial hair?
And of course the manly antler graphic I created here:

Photographs included ones taken from our Michigan trip and on Lake Vermillion like this one.
Then of course I had to include our beautiful Michigan art.
And last but not least I included this FREE downloadable print from Eighteen 25.  Let me go off on a quick tangent about how much I LOVE this webpage.  This art is not only adorable but you can download it in many color combinations.  But wait, there is more.  They also have free prints for holidays, summer, dance, etc.  In short I never thought I could get these prints for FREE without having to design them myself.  I am in total awe so a thank you shout out to Eighteen 25!
Some things I learned when gathering art is that to make a wall of the magnitude I wanted, there needed to be a lot of frames.  I had 31 of them to be exact.  If you don't keep your budget low for all your pictures it can add up to hundreds for the art and that is not even including all the frames you need to buy.  I used a mix of purchased art from art festivals and Etsy, photographs I had taken (which only take cents to print), found items such as greeting cards, and free printable art.  Other ideas are that you could frame simple craft paper or left over fabric scraps, other found items such as a bottle cap, button, or simple map.  Check back in because I will have all the steps to putting up my gallery wall! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Easy Simple DIY Winter Wreath

Now it's time for a long overdue post about holiday décor.  Specifically a holiday themed wreath.  I wanted this wreath to be simplistic, classic, and something I could keep up throughout the season.  Maybe it is actually more of a winter wreath?  The great thing about Minnesota is that winter lasts FOREVER (well maybe it's not a great thing) so I can keep this wreath up for many months.  Oh and it was only $6.00 to craft up.  BOOM.

I started with a bunch of supplies from Michaels and some supplies I had laying around the craft closet.  I didn't know what I was going to come up with so I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases.  I mean that's what returning things is for right?  I started out with a plain wicker wreath, some white dangly bling, and some red and silver sparkly balls.  From the craft closet I retrieved some old linen fabric and twine. And of course I had the help of my trusty hot glue gun!
First I cut a strip of the linen fabric and wrapped it around the top.  I tucked the raw cut ends under to make it looked hemmed.  I hot glued that bad boy down and secured it with some twine.  I made a loop in the twine so I could hold the wreath up by the twine rather than the wreath itself. 

After tinkering for quite some time and agonizing over placement and bling goodies to use, I decided on these white pearly balls.  I attached them with string to secure them in place.  I tried hot glue but it just wasn't jiving for me that day.  
Next I used my trusty hot glue gun and this tutorial from My Sparkle.  She had an awesome easy way to roll these cute flowers.  I used hot glue instead of fabric glue and it worked just fine.  I also did not cover the backs like she did because I knew the backs would be covered when I glued them on my wreath.  I made them in varying sizes: two small one big!

Lastly I glued those babies on in a symmetrical pattern.  So there you have it $6 and 1ish hours and I have a wreath I can re-use again and again.  And better yet I get to use it a couple months at a crack!  And the colors of the wreath totally bring out the dark and light browns of the house!

Here is the budge breakdown:
Wreath: $4
White beady things: $2
Fabric: Free
Twine: Free simplistic neutral bliss!

Monday, December 31, 2012

DIY Simple Holiday Decor

A post about holiday décor is better late than never right?  I'm sure you can all empathize with a cray-cray holiday schedule!  So here it is, my 2012 holiday themed mantel.   
The supplies were pretty simple (and cheap - hooray!).  They include some DIY graphic holiday art made here, some various vases and wine bottles from around the house, pine cones (shamefully from Michaels), deer antlers drug out from my hubby's father's shed (regretfully only borrowed while we find a good way to display them at the hunting shack), some candle holders, and wicker balls.  The only thing purchased out of this assortment was the paint for the art project and again regretfully the pine cones.  I mean what kind of northern Minnesota woman can't wrangle up some pine cones *hangs head in shame*.  The cones were around $3.00 and the graphic art came in at $17.00 equaling a $20-ish dollar holiday mantel makeover.    

I spray painted the pine cones red and white, and left some of them raw.  I spray painted a glass vase (originally from the dollar store for my wedding décor and a wine bottle).  Then I took everything off the mantel to start with a clean slate. 

After some fussin' and mussin' here is what I came up with! When the graphic art was on the mantel you could see less of the shine and it looked more matte. 

I started with the graphic art in the middle and made a somewhat symmetrical arrangement with an antler and a cluster of three pieces on each side.  The left side had two of the vases and a cylinder vase (also from the dollar store for my wedding - see you really CAN re-use your wedding stuff.....well maybe not all of it) filled with natural pine cones.

 For the right side I wanted to balance out the whites so I choose to put one white vase with two clear candle holders.  On the holders were dark wicker balls that complimented the darkness of the pine cones on the other side. 

Next I strung up the pine cones alternating in a pattern of raw, white, and red.  I strung up the cones with some twine I had around the house.  Underneath I hung some red stockings we had bought last year during the holiday season.  
To string the cones I simply estimated how much twine I would need and laid out the pine cones with adequate spacing.  I then wrapped the twine around the pine cones several times to secure them and moved onto the next cone.  They took about 3-4 coats of light spray paint to be fully covered. 



 Some other holiday tidbits I wanted to share was some Christmas presents for my girlie-friends and some present wrapping ideas.  I used doilies from Michaels to stamp holiday designs on.  For my girlfriends I did a bottle of olive oil (in garlic, Tuscan herb, and basil) from the Olive Grove in Mendota Heights, MN.  This is an amazing store where you can sample olive oil and balsamic vinegars and they bottle them fresh on site!  I also included a package of fresh made noodles from Cossetta's Italian Market in St. Paul, MN - the place to go for amazing pastas, cheeses, and breads!  What I love about these noodles is they are made the way my grandmother used to make noodles when my mother was a child (because every good Italian has an excellent home made noodle recipe up their sleeve).  You would make them very long and after they dried you would crack them in half to make them the size regular noodles are.

Also for wrapping I used simple brown paper (cost effective AND I can use it all year) with the stamped doilies wrapped around it.  I also used some simple brown raffia ribbon to tie the packages.  It reminds me of The Sound of Music lyric "brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things".  So simple and classic!

Lastly I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas ornaments with you. One of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating the tree.  I like a tree with a lot of funky and eclectic ornaments.  This is because I am very sentimental about my ornaments because of the meanings and stories behind them. This ornament is a bird carved by a very good family friend who has since passed away.  I remember him every time I put up this ornament and smile!

My mother took up world travel as a hobby several months ago.  Not only do I get to look at very, very, veeerrrry long power point presentations upon her arrival back home (love you mom) BUT I usually get an amazing ornament from a different country (yay me!).  This lovely beaded bird came from New Zealand on one of her trips several years ago. 

Since I loved that ornament soo much it inspired her to get me one of my favorite ornaments from this year!  Hope everyone had a happy holiday season filled with joy, laughter, and love!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Graphic Word Holiday Art: Baby It's Cold Outside!

This Christmas was filled with many holiday crafty bid-ness.  The first being some DIY budget friendly graphic word art.  When I was looking at what I wanted to spend for this years holiday décor the amount was ideally zero BUT since that was impossible I tried to keep it as low as I could. I initially was going to do this project on a canvas, but then decided that was too expensive for art that I will have up once a year.  However, I wanted it to be sturdy enough to be able to put up next year if the mood suited.  Therefore I took a shelf from the upstairs built ins knowing I was going to rip them down someday.  I didn't initially tell the hubby, but he did eventually question me when he noticed there was a shelf piece missing and I had some new art.  I painted the board white with my (it seems like) endless supply of paint from my DIY kitchen update.  Then I purchased these little letter stickers from Michael's and a can of red spray paint and was ready to rock and roll!
Next I choose my saying.  I wanted to be wintery but not SOO Christmas-ey that I would feel silly having it up during the rest of the winter.  One of my favorite holiday songs is "Baby It's Cold Outside" and I thought it would be fitting because I do live in Minnesota where things are cold....very very cold. And icy.  And snowy.  It just seemed right to have a tribute to snow in my living room.  After all the most popular Minnesotan topic is the weather. After I choose my saying I drew out the spacing with lines of the letters horizontally and vertically to make things evenly spaced.  And of course I measured it out with my key chain measuring tape.  You have no idea how AWESOME that is to be able to whip out at Home Depot, Target, antique stores, etc. 
Then I stuck those stickers on!  As a side note I painted the board and let it dry several days before putting the stickers on.  I was worried that the stickers would stick to the paint if it wasn't dry enough and rip all the white paint off.  That would be a major Christmas buzz kill. Be sure to make sure your stickers are completely stuck to the board and there are no air holes before you start.  Any air hole or ripple has potential to let paint inside and ruin your nice crisp letters.  
Then I used my new can of red spray paint to paint over the board and all the letters.  Before I peeled the letters off (which I did without a picture because I was so giddy at the thought that my craft would be done) everything was coated with red spray paint.  I let the paint completely dry before I took the letters off as to not risk smudging the red paint.  After I took the letters off there were some smudges, which are to be expected. 

BUT it wasn't anything a small art brush and more white paint couldn't fix.  I was impressed with how good it turned out considering this was a shot in the dark!  The cool thing is that this technique can be used for any type of saying or shape to make some fairly cheap and bold art!  Now that I have some shiny new red spray paint I wonder what else I will be tortured made over by a nice coat of red?  Check back for an update on the mantel and more holiday crafts! 
For the craft budget the words were one dollar for a pair of words roughly coming out to $13 for the words and about $4 for the spray paint putting me in at around $17 for some DIY winter art!  I'm excited I can pull it out next year and considering this type of project for something permanent and year round.  I mean who can argue for under $20 art? Not this girl!