Wednesday, January 14, 2009

For All To See

Is there something familiar to you about the commercial of the kid suspended in mid air above the swimming pool...stuck forever because his mom has chosen not to transfer her pictures from her camera's memory card to her computer?

I can relate, but on a different level. Digital cameras offer us the endless opportunity to take as many pictures as we wish and guarantees we'll know when we finally get the shot we're hoping for, signaling us to quit snapping. 9 years ago, we could have blown several rolls of film and came up completely empty of the 'money shot'.

What in the world do we DO with the thousands of pictures we take?

I am the first to admit, I am not a scrapbooker. My friend, Jenny, offered me such freedom when she shared her secret with me: she finds clear sleeves with black paper, affixes her photos to the paper and writes commentary in silver pen. Love it! I have sense extended my freedom and simply slide those 4x6s right into those large albums, sans commentary. And let me just say....the covers of most of the albums have separated because my boys look at them so much. How fun is that? And all it took was uploading them to Snapfish, ordering the prints, getting them in some kind of chronological order and sliding them into those sleeves. I have learned to stay caught up...and I think we take a lot less pictures as they get older. Sad, but true.

Most of us also like to display photos around our houses. And I would even be willing to bet most of us have a large wall, somewhere in our house, that is void of any decorations.

You are going to love this!

Introducing...The Gallery Wall.

I had a gal come and help me decorate a large piece of furniture last Fall and she suggested I create a Gallery Wall on the wall leading to my gameroom. The added bonus is I can see this same wall while sitting in my living room. I cannot tell you how much I love it.

Let's break this apart.

First, you'll want to find an anchor piece. This could be a larger frame with a collection of smaller photos or could be plaque or piece of art with a meaningful phrase. Be on the look out for something with enough size to build around. My anchor piece says, "Family....All because two people fell in love!"

Next, sort through your pictures and find photos you absolutely love. These can include you and your husband, extended family or siblings, and your children at all different ages. I tried to find the 'best of' at each age. Be sure to balance the number of horizontal and vertical choices. Also remember, cropping a picture can create an amazing choice. One of my favorites of Weston was in the tub. JT was in the picture as well, but I cropped it really tight where all you see if the tilt of his head and his big toofy grin.

Once you have decided on the pictures, the hunt begins to find frames. Hobby Lobby will run their frams 1/2 off and they have a lot of styles to choose from. Try to find a variety of not only sizes, but shapes as well. An oval frame or two adds a lot to a grouping.

Another fun thing to add is what she termed artifacts. Her artifacts from her gallery wall included a set of rusty keys, an antique coin purse and a large G, for her last name. Some of my artifacts are a grapevine cross, a small red wooden mirror and a set of rusty keys. They add a lot of texture. I like them a lot!

Now lay out all your items, anchor piece in the center, and start playing with arrangements. I wish I could say this is the easiest part, but it will come together after awhile. Don't be afraid to group the pictures close together. Often it helps to work for awhile, walk away and come back to see if you want to keep things the same or make some changes and continue. My friend, Michele, also mentioned it helped to take a picture of it. For some reason, that helped with spacing.

Once you finish arranging all the pieces, grab that hammer and make some noise! You might have to remove the stand on the back of some frames for them to lie flat against the wall.

I'll admit, it was super overwhelming to me to get started, but I absolultey love it now. It will be something I'll add onto for years and I might even start another collection on the wall leading up my stairs. I have a sneaking suspicion those pictures would spend more time on my stairs than on the wall.

I know for a fact two of my fabulous decorator friends read my blog, so please, girls, offer your two cents. You both are SO gifted in this area and I am sure you could add a number of hints.

Go now....get those picture off your memory cards and printed off your computer. Pictures are so much more fun with they are put in a place for all to see.


Anonymous said...

guess that's me, huh?

My suggestion - if finding the perfect placement of the whole "group" of a bunch of different shapes and sizes has you perplexed, make your life easier by going with all the same shape, size and making one giant grid. You will need to be more precise in your nailing abilities, but it can be done!


Kathryn said...

I'm officially if I could only find the time to put that inspiration into action. Thanks for the nudge!