Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Never Ending Gallery Wall Project

It's been 7 months since I last published a post. Life is still crazy (understatment! 2017 has been the most challenging year I've ever endured), but now it's because I have an awesome new job and not because I'm commuting for three hours a day. Somehow, even with all the extra time I had once my commute changed, I really didn't work on a whole lot of projects.

I did however finish a two and a half year project finally came to fruition when we moved to our new place. My focus and effort towards this project were severely lacking for entirely too long (like the entire two years in the old place) and then one day all the ideas just clicked into place. I absolutely love the idea of a gallery wall, which I decided was exactly the way to showcase all the cool craft pieces and pictures we've acquired and all of our wonderful pictures. I even received some nice canvas pictures for Christmas (two years ago...) which had yet to find their place on our walls.

Once I decided I was going to work on this project when we first moved into our old place in the summer of 2015, I began collecting picture frames. Out of date metal? Doesn't matter and it is cheap from a resale shop, which sounds great! Cool texture? Wonderful! I started out with only a few frames I picked up randomly... 

I spent around $16.50 for all these frames, which are all solid and functioning wonderfully.

And since nothing matched I decided that spray painting them would be the best option in addition to the fact that I planned to supplement these with plain black frames. I'm not a fan of matte black so I went with a gloss finish. Here was step one of the many rounds of spray paint:

They look so strange from this picture but they will look so pretty when I am done :)

The wooden frames were of course much easier to spray-paint. The paint stuck well and didn't look gloppy or runny, but it did take multiple coats. I decided after that I was going to go the really cheap route and get plastic frames for a nice low price since I didn't really care about the quality of the frames. But once I got the frames (a whole $7 for a lot of frames...) I realized the blacks didn't look the same and that irritated the perfectionist in me. So I decided to spray-paint those frames too. But those frames needed more paint in little, even coats to look nice, and then I found other frames to add to the mix... and on my garage floor they stayed. And stayed... for almost two full years. 

Then I began to collect other things as well. The picture below was stage 2 of like 8 within the brainstorm process. I laid everything I had out on the floor, which gave me great ideas about how they could all fit together and where I was still lacking. The wooden sign was given to us for Christmas last year, the "R & C" I made a while back and kept adding wine corks to, the pictures are honestly a little old now but were printed and ready to go. I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase my partner's flag and picture from when he was in the military since we have absolutely nothing from then up either (pictured at the bottom left).

Getting closer!

After spending time (okay like hours wondering....) at Michael's I knew I found the right details to fill in some of the gaps. Once I figured out the right arrangement I had to figure out how to get everything up on the wall in order with decent spacing. The good thing is that I really don't think a gallery wall is supposed to be perfect. I did measure a lot of these items, to figure out proximity and to make sure my wall didn't end up with everything in the corner and nothing on the other side.

Finally the right fit!

Once I started getting everything up, it was quick moving because everything was around the same height. I moved things in sections, the umbe board column first, then the next column with the red shirt picture. The harder part was the "R & C" section. I had to treat it as just one since the sections overlapped with each other. And then the last section I was about 3 hours into trying to figure all of this out and so I pretty much threw it on the wall as quickly as possible.

Finally up on the wall!

And the finished project! (with our new couch and pillows!!)

The perfect mix of all my favorite things :)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Updates on My Life

I realized, as I just posted the Sunbonnet Sam/Sue post about three months after I completed the project, that I haven't posted ANYTHING in three months! It has been a super crazy few months for me.

In February, my partner accepted a new job in a town 1.5 hours away from where we used live. Since that time, he's commuted for about a month, we moved to a new place, I've job searched, and now I commute since my search hasn't been as fruitful as his.

My new craft space is much bigger than my former space, but it is in the cool basement. I haven't found my motivation to get down there and work, and my desk contents still adorn the floor--where I left them after getting frustrated that I couldn't find something in the box that was still all packed up.

Now that we're all moved in (and actually at a place where I feel organized and like this place is more of my "home"), I'm back on track with my craft goals... though I still commute three hours a day and don't exactly have the kind of time that I used to. This weekend I am determined to start working on some more projects!

We'll see if it works out like I planned or not :)

Updates on Sunbonnet Sue/Sam Quilt

I bought this quilt a year ago from my guild's annual auction....

"I purchased two partial quilts as well.  The first one is really an interesting quilt. The previous owner clearly started hand quilting at the top. They added Sunbonnet Sue/Sam patterns to the middle of the blocks. Also, they had a fun time experimenting with fabric. Some of the blocks are old fashioned-type fabric, others have all one color fabric or metallic-typed fabric. Many of the blocks have fabric that I recognized from my grandmother's stash as well.  There is really nice batting in the middle and a neutral backing. I might add to the sides a bit to make it wide enough for a queen sized bed because right now this is a very square quilt and if I tried to use it on my own queen bed my partner and our dogs would end up with all the blanket!"

I realized after I purchased the quilt that I should've done a better job investigating what was really all there. During the silent auction, the quilt was wrapped up so that only part of the quilt was really showing. Though the quilt still works perfectly fine, my natural OCD tendencies are not a fan of the odd blocks scattered throughout.

I didn't end up adding anything to the sides, and I actually decided that this quilt was going to live just as the person who previously owned this quilt left it. Enough of the quilt is completed with hand quilting to keep the quilt together. No it's not perfect by any means, and one day when I find some energy to hand sew the sunbonnets into the middle of the already quilted sections, I might do it.

Until that point, sunbonnet sue/sam will adorn my couch, floor, car seats, beds, etc.
Here it adorns my legs, keeping me warm

one of the completed sunbonnet sam/sues

the finished product

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bathroom Sign

This project has literally been on my list for months. Maybe even since I started the blog actually. I think this project really came to fruition in September 2015... when I first bought the board that I planned to do something with for my bathroom. I bought it purely on a whim, not on sale *gasp*, with the idea that I'd hopefully do something with it sometime. My style is very reclaimed meets industrial meets old farm house. I love anything that looks distressed or like I saved it from the burn pile. This isn't quite getting there with it's perfect edges and uniform color (hey I bought it at walmart after all....) but I did really like the gray "barn wood" color.

And so it sat. And sat. And then I moved it upstairs, downstairs and upstairs again from closet to closet until I just actually found the motivation to do what I wanted (or what I thought I wanted). Sometime on one of the many adventures I've had on Etsy over the last year and a half, I found this:

I mean it's for a bathroom... how funny and totally weird. LOL. Perfect. Love it. So in the back of my head the project lived, until two weekends ago when I finished my last name sign. I mean I already had wood, drills, tools, etc. out. Why not just finish the dang thing! But not too long ago I actually found inspiration that was SO. MUCH. BETTER. Etsy for the win again!

Sorry to the Etsy person that I stole this picture from. But on another note,
if you're interested in this project you can click on the links and BUY them :)
(see its really me promoting you...... not copy right infringement...) 
Here are so many other examples of what wonderful things you could create with ball jars and reclaimed (or seemingly reclaimed like mine...) wood!! I love everything about these creations. AND I was just recently given a bunch of Ball Jars to use from my cousin who gave them to her mom who gave them to my mom (thanks Amie, Aunt Polly and Mom!!).

I didn't take a single picture while I was creating this (dang it, dang it...ugh!). Once I found the right piece of plumbing pipe connector/adjuster band things at the store, it was really simple and not time consuming at all. Because of the shape of my ball jar, the metal piece was really far away from my background wood. A simple solution was to add a piece of scrap wood to the back for support.

Finally got around to hanging it up!

My shower curtain matches so well!