Saturday, July 21, 2012

Not So Organized Chaos

I can't believe that it's been so long since I've posted! I was working on a cubby organizer for AJ's room and I had planned to do a post on it but about 3/4 of the way through it, I had to put it on hold. You see "A" is looking for a new job and he's got a lead on something pretty promising. If he ends up getting this job we could be moving soon. By soon I mean, in two months. Now I realize this isn't immediate or anything but when I think about all that has to be done in those two months I sort of start to have heart palpitations!

"A" bought our current home while we were still dating and he has done a lot of work on it. After we were married and I moved in we continued to update here and there. We have a loooong list of projects we want to do to the house to "make it our own". Since we were very happy here (only 5 minutes or so from both of our families, "A" practically has no commute for work, within 30 minutes of almost anything we could need to get to, etc.) and weren't planning on moving anytime soon we have just been ticking off our little checklist at a nice leisurely pace. Thiiiiings have now changed and our pace is now what you might call...frenzied. 

I have to admit that I loathe home improvement projects. In my experience they never go smoothly. A seemingly simple project, like painting one small accent wall for example, can spiral out of control and turn into a week long project from you know where. Do you see where I'm going with this?

We have a tall wall in our dinning room that my husband, or his mom and aunt, painted a dark red when he bought the house. It's not a bad color but several months ago I found a navy color that I just fell in love. We decided that we'd go ahead and paint the wall since we are going to put up crown molding and it would be easier to paint first. I know the painting wasn't a priority but it's just one wall right and if we don't end up moving then I'll have my navy wall that I've wanted so much! Well we painted the wall and it ended up taking two coats but hey whatever, it was painted and the color looked great!

The only picture I could find with the red wall in it.
Not a bad color but I wasn't crazy about it.

Later that night as I was admiring my new navy wall I noticed some bubbles in the wall. You see, when the wall was painted red, it was painted over existing wallpaper. Dun, dun, duuuuun. So yes, the two layers of red and the added two layers of navy were just too much for the wallpaper and it began bubbling up. So I ended up pulling down all the wallpaper which ended up ripping some of the paper backing off the drywall which then had to be sealed and then retexutred. So several days later we finished the retexturing, or so we thought. As we were cleaning up we noticed that the texture was bubbling up!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  We had to excise the bubbled spots, then seal those areas for the billionth time, wait for it to dry 24 hours, the spackle, let that dry, then texture over the spackle and pray you couldn't tell they were patch jobs! Now I just need to prime and paint and hopefully that will be the end of this "simple little painting project".

Ready to prime and paint. (Hopefully!)

All of this post is really just to say that I'm sorry for not posting anything in such a long time. My house and my life , to some extent, have been thrown into a bit of chaos here lately. I hope to have another post in a few days but if it takes a little while I'm sorry and I hope you will understand why. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. (Think of me while you're doing fun things. I'll be painting. Sigh.)

Dinning room contents shoved into living room.
(Yes, that's laundry on the couch waiting to be ironed and folded.)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"Family" Photo Gallery

So, like many people out there I am completely and hopelessly addicted to Pinterest. (That's one of the reasons I started this blog, to document my attempts at creativity.) Some of my most frequent pins are of various versions of the family photo groupings. I love,love, love having pictures of my loved ones around me. For me it really is a memory captured forever and if I could I would probably just wallpaper my house in pictures! (Can you say creepy? Maybe, but I love my peeps!) Aaaaanyway, I have been wanting to make one of these awesome photo gallery groupings of my own for quite some time so I decided that now was that time!

My first step was to collect all the photos that I wanted to use. I asked my mom and MIL for old family photos and picked out some current ones that I had of the three of us too. I scanned almost all of them into the computer so I could get different sizes plus the matriarchs wanted some of the originals back. I got two 8x10s and the rest were either 5x7 or 4x6.

I knew I didn't want to spend a ton of money on this little project so I decided to see if I could pick up picture frames at the dollar store and spray paint them.  I really liked the idea of mismatched frames and the dollar store had a large enough selection that I think I only ended up with two matching pairs.

Dollar store frames!

I had seen several galleries on pinterest that had either some kind of meaningful quote or the word "family" incorporated into the design and I really liked that. I played around with several different quotes, printing them out in different fonts and layouts and decided that I didn't want to go that route. I ended up going to a craft store and buying wooden letters that spelled family and picked out  three scrapbooking paper that I liked. I cut lots of 1", 2" and 2 1/2" squares (3 inches was too big for my letters) and decoupaged them onto the letters. Since the scrapbooking papers were all in black and white I spray painted half the frames black and the other half white. (Some of the frames ended up looking terrible once they were painted so I ran to Ikea and bought a couple of their $1.99 frames to replace those. It meant that I now have more matching frames than I did before but oh well.)

"I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Demille."

I have a small wall in my kitchen that faces my pantry and for the last three years I have had to look at one of the few remaining remnants of my husband's bachelor days, a giant framed poster of an African Lion. ("Why a lion poster?", you ask. "I have no friggin' clue!", I answer.)  I knew that this wall was the perfect spot for my gallery!!

I had my awesome sister Julie, from My Southern Soapbox, come over to help me hang it all. After quite a lot of back and forth about the best way to hang all this we ended up just eyeballing where to put the letters.

We did use a level to keep it, well level. We're not completely reckless, people!!

I'm sure that many would  have found it hilarious if they could have seen video of us trying to figure out the picture placement but after spending about 15 minutes holding pictures on the wall with everything but our noses I remembered a pin I had seen about using wax paper to hang pictures. We didn't do it exactly like she did and I'm about to tell ya why. I didn't want to put a bunch of holes in my wall so I decided to use some 3M Damage-Free velcro picture hangers.

Yup! That's them!
Ya for no holes in my wall!!
Since I couldn't just nail through the wax paper we just outlined the top or bottom of the frame so we would know where to place it. Then after attaching the hangers to the frames I used to wax paper to put the frames on the wall in their proper places!

As you can see by the Xs we changed our minds a time or two.
Aaww, wasn't I a cute lil chubbers? ;)

That sweet blonde boy is my hubby!

The great thing about using these velcro hangers is that I've been able to switch around a few of the photos. after changing my mind yet again, and it was no big deal. Gotta love that!! 

Ok, so here's the final product and I've gotta say, I'm pretty happy with it! I love being able to walk by and see all these happy memories!! :)

Not a great picture but I had to stand in my pantry to take it so cut a girl some slack! ;)

Hope this inspires some of you out there to get crafty! Don't be skeered! If I can do it and it looks half decent then I know you'll knock it out of the park!