Furniture, Home Improvement, Interior Decorating

These are a few of my favorite things

I’ve been working on creating a gallery wall of some sort in my living room for months now. I am not one of those people who is naturally talented at gallery walls. In fact, I almost always hate them when I’m finished with them.

We’d hung a gallery wall in our bedroom that we left up for no time at all because B and I both ended up not liking the way it looked:

20120624-210044.jpg

This one was just so blah and symmetrical…

Even though I’ve been a gallery wall failure, I always admire them. I decided to try again in our living room and boy was it a process.

This is the wall I started with:

Child's Desk shelves

OK, so that’s an awful photo. But basically it had one large canvas piece on it I got from Home Goods. I love the painting, but it doesn’t look nice above our mint couch, which is now on the wall in our living room. Plus, it didn’t fill the space on the wall enough.

new couch

Here’s the first iteration of a gallery wall I did:

Gallery-Wall_photosA few things to note:

  1. Look how far this room has come! Holy smokes, I still can’t believe it. (Better photos at the end of the post, I swear)
  2. I was trying to decide if I wanted to abandon my mint curtains for white curtains, hence why they are the wrong way on the window. I got a lot of questions about that from guests 🙂

I bought all of those frames from Home Goods and really liked the mixture of wood, metals, rustic and glam. But I just never loved it. I think part of me is sick of seeing the same photos over and over again. We’ve been married for 3+ years and engaged for 5+ years, so the fancy engagement and wedding pictures are old news at this point. But they are still the most frame-worthy photos we have and they are always what I resort to.

gallery-wall_photos_close

To get this arrangement, I laid all of the frames out on the floor and put a lot of thought into which frame went where. This ended with a mostly symmetrical arrangement.

Here was my beef with this wall:

  1. Too symmetrical
  2. Too photo-centric
  3. Old photos

Really, it just seemed like I was trying too hard. At least to me it did. I left it like this for months until I could figure out what I wanted to do differently. If you notice the horizontal photo that was displayed vertically — yes, this was left this way for months, too.

I started to think I wanted to redo some of the gallery wall after B’s birthday. I gave him an amazing print of our pup, Remmy. It’s basically the best gift I’ve ever given anyone. 

Birthday Portrait

We hung it immediately in place of one of our real photos, because how could we not?

It wasn’t until after Christmas that I had the idea to completely redo the gallery wall with art only. You see, B gave me two amazing maps of Maryland. The big kahuna was a map from 1880 — holy old! We had the map custom framed and needed a spot to hang it. B wanted to hang it over our console table, but I’ve got my heart set on finding the perfect mirror to reflect all of the natural light from our bay window. The map has mint and pink in the outlines of counties and cities, so I thought it would look marvelous over our couch.

I started messing around with the wall little by little, pulling down artwork from other spots in the house.

Gallery wall_adding in art

Finally, I just decided to go for it. All of the photos came down and the nails came out of the wall.

gallery wall_map is up

I started my placing everything on the floor, but again I made the design so symmetrical. So I hung up the map (my anchor piece) and two other pieces of art and left it alone. It looked like this for a week before I decided to do what I do best and just wing it.

At this point the wall was already riddled with nail holes that needed to be touched up, so I just went for it. Everything was added one by one. The spacing isn’t even, the whole wall isn’t symmetrical… and I LOVE IT. It just fills the large wall so nicely without feeling too huge.

Gallery Wall_Complete

You’ll see a lot of things I’ve shared before on the blog:

  1. Sentimental Map Art
  2. Love Pallet Sign
  3. Do What You Love Print
  4. Remmy Print

Gallery Wall_zoomed in

You’ll also see a bunch of other art I’ve collected over the years:

  1. Golden Pond canvas print (Home Goods)
  2. Shadow box full of roses B has given me
  3. My two new Maryland maps
  4. A graphic print of dogs my coworker gave me
  5. Two bird paintings from one of my favorite artists

Basically, it is a wall of my favorite things: dogs, birds, Maryland and love 🙂 I seriously couldn’t be happier with how this turned out.

Funny enough, I’m sure it isn’t 100 percent complete. As you can see, I left room around the edges for small additions. I’d like to do a more colorful print, replacing the Do What You Love print. And I am always checking out Pratt Creek Art for more bird paintings.

Plus, I really need to patch the holes you can still see and hang everything (in the exact same spot) maybe a tad bit straighter ;p

On the whole, It really does so much for this room. I love my gray walls, but with nothing on them they can be quite dreary. This art wall adds much-needed color and pizzaz to my favorite room in the house — a room that really has come a long way.

It just goes to show you that rushing into designing a room doesn’t always end with the best result. We’ve been in our house for three years now and this room is now just starting to feel like it is almost finished. All it needs is a mirror, and I am one happy home owner!

Gallry Wall_Living Room

Next week I’ll share the redo of our master bedroom. It’s not complete yet, but it looks a lot better than it did a month ago.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

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Craft Projects, Home Improvement, Quick and Easy Crafts

Chip Clip Storage Solution

{A Smith of All Trades} Chip Clip Storage

We’ve had amazingly beautiful weather this weekend and while I wanted to get outside and start on a few projects I’ve been planning, I had to do a little bit of spring cleaning first. I think we are going to have a yard sale this spring, so I spent my weekend going through clothes, shoes and stuff in general to start setting aside some goodies to get rid of.

I tackled my kitchen this morning, scrubbing it from head to toe. I also brought all of our cookbooks out of their home in the highest cabinet of our kitchen and found an easier-to-reach spot for yours truly. My hubby is 6’2″, but I’m only 5’5″ and can’t reach the tops of our cabinets too easily.

While I was tidying up our kitchen, I kept stumbling upon chip clips. Seriously, I think they are reproducing in our cabinets when we go to bed at night. We have a few that are magnets, but they fall off the fridge on a daily basis. We also have two sets of novelty clips — birds and moustaches 🙂 They are adorable, but they are ALWAYS in the way. So I took 10 minutes to create a creative solution to this ongoing problem that I am sure a lot of you have, too.

First of all, measure your cabinets from top to bottom.

{A Smith of All Trades} Cabinet Door

Mine were about 27.5 inches tall. I wanted to make a a strip of fabric to clips the clips to, but I had to be careful to make it the right length — if it was too short, I’d drill through the thin part of the cabinet. That wouldn’t be good.

{A Smith of All Trades} Measurements

After measuring, I popped into my craft room to find a fabric to use. I chose a navy fabric with hints of the green in our kitchen.

{A Smith of All Trades} Fabric

I cut the fabric a few inches longer than I needed, then ironed out all of the creases.

{A Smith of All Trades}  Fabric 2

Next, I folded each side into the middle, creasing the two edges I planned to “hem.”

{A Smith of All Trades}  Hem Tape

Once my creases were good and firmly in the fabric, I used hem tape to secure booth flaps of fabric down.

I ironed the finished strip and headed back upstairs.

{A Smith of All Trades} Hole

Next up — drilling holes! I was a little nervous about this since they are cabinets and would SUCK to mess up… but it worked great. I found four short screws and predrilled four holes in my cabinets.

{A Smith of All Trades} Screw

Then I added the screws. I started at the top and when I got to the bottom I had a few inches of extra fabric.

{A Smith of All Trades}  Bottom

I cut the fabric so it was about a half an inch from the edge of the cabinet. Then I secured it to the cabinet door with two screws.

Time to add our ever-growing stash of clips!

{A Smith of All Trades} Chip Clip Storage 2

{A Smith of All Trades} Chip Clip Storage1

All in all, this took a whole ten minutes to do and will keep our cabinets shelves and drawers clear of clutter!

{A Smith of All Trades} Clean Cabinet Door

Craft Projects, Jewelry, Life

Ravens Win the SUPER BOWL! … and another set of earrings, too.

What a SUPER weekend (pun intended)!

If you follow my blog, you know my husband and I are really big Ravens fans. Now we are Super Bowl champs!!! So exciting. We spent all weekend getting ready to host  a few friends and mentally preparing for what was an awesome game. We are even going to the Super Bowl homecoming parade tomorrow in Baltimore!!!!

Even Remmy had a great time during the game. He scored lots of delicious treats and got to pretend he was a person, which is pretty much his favorite pastime.

Remmy Ravens Jersey

While not in football mode, we also helped my mother-in-law paint her textured ceiling in a room she is redoing. The ceiling was dingy from years of fireplace soot hitting it, and now it is bright and white as snow. I much preferred painting her ceiling than ours — the texture really hides any imperfections.

Textured Ceiling

OK, let’s talk about this room. 1. The ceiling is beautifully white, right? And isn’t the texture awesome?! I really like this kind of ceiling versus the popcorn ceilings. I’m not a fan of those. 2. Look at that fireplace. It is gorgeous. And, my MIL just had a gas fireplace retrofit into her existing fireplace that is absolutely stunning. I have fireplace envy. I wish we could flip ours on with a switch, especially since our family room is so darn chilly.

We’re going to help paint the walls soon, too. This room is going to be so pretty when it is finished! BTW — it used to be covered in dark paneling! You’d never know.

To round out this completely all-over-the-place post, I wanted to update you on the earrings post I did on Friday. I am totally ecstatic about making my own stud earrings now — I should have made them forever ago!

Anyway, I wanted to show you all another fun way to make these button stud earrings. As I was making a bunch of new pairs this weekend, I found that you can take  buttons with the attachment on the back (I swear I used to know the name of these) and use it with a button with holes to make a combo button earring.

Find two sets of buttons you’d like to combine…

Button earrings

… then cut the loop off the back of the button that will go on top.

Button earrings

Put some E6000 onto the button on top, then line up the two prongs of the top button with the holes in the lower button. Then, press them together and let the glue harden.

Button earrings

Attach a stud with the same glue and let it dry overnight.

Button earrings

OHMYGOSH Are these cute or what!? I made them for my friend Amy. Love love love them.

Button earrings

I also made a set of sister earrings 🙂 Mine are on the left, Em’s are in the middle, and Allie’s are on the right. So cute!

Button earrings

I’ll post pictures from the parade tomorrow!!!!