Gallery Wall Debut and My Duh Moment of the Week

It’s an ever evolving thing, but it’s time for an update on how the apartment has been coming. The gallery wall is ready for its debut.

This is probably the space I had the clearest vision for when we first toured the apartment, which is funny considering it’s been changing since March.
When Chris and I got married, we realized we had a unique situation. We had very little furniture (mostly from Chris’s bachelor days that had been moved 5 times) but there was SO much art. Chris worked with a vendor at San Diego Comic Con for about eight years and in the course, collected a whole bevy of art. I have artwork I made as well as pieces I’ve collected over the years. A sofa? You’re asking too much. But enough art to hit up every empty wall possible? Easy.

To get oriented…

The decision to do a gallery wall was an easy one; its the only way we’d be able to even remotely display everything (and we actually still have pieces set aside that have no home yet) but figuring out the configuration was trickier. I fell back on a handy Pinterest hack: we traced each piece of artwork and taped it up to the wall. Now, normal people use craft paper or something plain. Impatient people whip out Christmas wrapping paper and start maniacally cutting at 1 o’clock in the morning. Three guesses which person I was…

I rearranged options for a few days, sending photos to friends and family to see if they saw any major holes or unfortunate pairings (This is actually why I turned the wrapping paper around, the first response I got was “Too many snowflakes.” Thanks guys).

 

 

I wish I had a good photo of the snowflakes. Bless it. 

 

Tip: It’s vital to consider your art as a whole, as well as each piece. Lay all your pieces out near each other on a big flat surface and check to make sure your color palate coordinates. Are any of your frames clashing? We had some chunkier frames that had depth to them, so we knew those couldn’t be near the geometric shelves. We also had several frames that were very close in size, so we tried to keep those distant from each other.

Then came time to hang everything. Let me tell you, that is the moment you will be thanking your lucky stars that you made the paper grid, it honestly made this step a breeze. We had one snaffoo: the deer. This painting has traveled with me since I was in 4th grade. It’s actually the first watercolor painting I ever did (Some of you may recognize this piece from Instagram, it’s the one my husband called a goldfish. I will give him props and say the painting was upside down at the time. He now refers to it as the “Not Goldfish”). This painting was framed when I was 11 and has just leaned on top my dresser since then. It never hung on the wall. I honestly never considered checking the back of the frame, but when we went to hang it (last I may add) we realized that particular frame has no spot to add a wire or bracket, it goes straight from cardboard backing to the angle of the back of the frame.

 


I set it aside and spent a few days (weeks, I’ll be honest) admiring the wall and just left my wrapping paper place holder up. I considered buying a new frame but wasn’t sold. I considered putting something else there and just continuing to lean “Not Goldfish” on top of a bookshelf, but I didn’t want to buy something new because the whole issue was having So. Much. Art. So I left it and became obsessed with a different project.

The little abandoned guy

Cut to a few weeks ago, my husband asked why I’d never published about how the wall turned out. I pointed to our stylish snowflake paper and said I was putting it off. He scoffed, told me to hang ‘the thing from the bathroom’ and get to writing. Y’all. It was a face-palm moment for me. It took him two seconds. This illustration of Howard’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry fits perfectly. And who doesn’t need more Harry Potter in their life?

We’re so excited to have one section of our new home “done.” Can’t wait to get started on another project!

Take the Plunge

Have you ever been shopping online or standing in a store, seen a shirt and just had an AHA moment? A moment where you are absolutely certain that this thing was made for you? The angels are singing, the birds are chirping and that shirt is coming home with you?  Have you ever then gone home, put on the shirt and just felt deflated at the total disconnect? Sometimes what looked fantastic on the model just doesn’t translate to your body type. Sometimes that particular color or pattern doesn’t flatter (or in my pale case, makes you look like a walking corpse… shout out to all the white clothes I think are cute but really wash me out). Sometimes you were just feeling boho that day but in reality that’s not your style. It happens. The same is true of design.

Recently I’ve been catching up on blogs galore and a few things have stuck out to me: making decisions is hard. It takes trial and error to find the perfect fit for you. Design is an intensely personal thing. It’s influenced by so many different factors. These can include everything from look to budget to lighting to durability to what’s on sale. And that’s before you even factor in tastes and needs of the other people in your household. It can be tricky. And that’s ok.

Never be scared to make  a change to your space. It’s your home. You spend so much cumulative time there… why shouldn’t you enjoy it? If you can take a chance on that shirt, you can take a chance on your home! Try that paint color; the worst that happens is you have a good laugh and then you repaint. Change up your furniture if you don’t love it… that’s why the internet invented Craigslist. Somewhere out there, someone is going to love that piece. If something doesn’t make you happy, help make your life easier… then bite the bullet. Admit your ‘white shirt’ isn’t for you. You love blue anyways.

Take the risk

Pretty much the only white I’ve ever loved… and it’s ivory!

Winter is Coming

Or, more importantly, the Holidays are coming. I know you must be tired of hearing it, but I need to repeat it anyways, if only for my personal benefit. They’re coming, whether we are ready or not.

I’m not skipping Thanksgiving, I swear, but… it needs to be said, in my world, planning makes everything seem more sane. It also keeps me from utterly blowing my holiday budget. I love gift giving which makes me prone to overspending a smidge lot. As I type this, my beloved is beside me making a chart of all the gifts we’re giving to friends and family. He’s also repeatedly trying to make me swear I will not get more than what’s on the chart. I think he’d ask me to sign a blood oath if he thought it would work. What can I say honey, I’ve already got gifts hidden away that you will never know about learn about on December 25th. Mea culpa. At least I’ve improved since last year.

Setting my secrets aside, how do you plan now to give yourself more family time later?

My top recommendation to give yourself peace this Christmas is to stay organized. Make a list, actually stick to it (do as I say, not as as I do) and start early.

Mark your calendar with everything that’s coming in November and December. Upcoming parties, gift wrapping sessions, holiday cards, decorating, baking, caroling, school plays… all of these events need their own space on your calendar in order to keep you organized.

I keep a running list on my phone of gift ideas for people. Some are generic, some are specifically for a certain person, which I notate. Whenever I come across something in a store or an idea online, I jot it down. It never fails that I feel uninspired when it’s actually gift buying time, so I use this as a backup. My mother keeps a gift book. She has pages for each of us and writes down every gift she gives for each year. She adds to it every season so that she doesn’t double gift a year or two down the road. I have envied/admired this for several years, but this is the first year I’ve made my own.

hot cocoa break

Be sure to put yourself in a festive mood while you plan

Next goal: prioritize. You cannot do everything. My sister made a list a few years ago of holiday traditions she remembers and/or saw somewhere and wanted to try. Each year she picks her top choices and works them into her family’s calendar. One year she may make it through her entire list, but that year is not this year. Alas.

Above all, remember to cherish this season. 2015 has been a hard year for everyone; take time to enjoy your family and your blessings. I know we will be doing the same. Happy Holidays!