Saturday, May 21, 2011

Family Picture Wall

“How do you do that?”  “Did you buy one of those picture hanging kits, the kind with all the frames and a paper layout?”  These are the kinds of questions I get when I hang new frames on the wall.  A picture wall with various frames hung in different arrangements looks intimidating, but it is not!  Here is what I do to create a family picture wall, oh, a cheap inexpensive family picture wall!
First, figure out where you want it in your house and collect any frames you have that you plan on using.  When I started my picture wall I had 4 frames I was going to use ( donated by my mom) and then I bought 5.  Don’t worry about what color they are, remember your frames are not all suppose to match!  You can easily change color at home with an inexpensive bottle of paint from the craft store, they cost a buck.
When looking for frames keep in mind what styles you like, but also pay attention to frames that are somewhat opposite if you are going for an eclectic look or frames that are the same sleek design, but a little different if you are going for a more formal look.
I only bought clearance frames and they all cost under $5 a frame.  So my picture wall only cost $25 dollars!
Second, once you have all your frames lay them out on a surface that is similar in color to your wall color (I used my floor, but you can also use a blanket or sheet).  This will help you to see how your frames will look on your wall and move your frames around until you have an arrangement you like.  When you get an arrangement you like, take a picture!  You may end up with more than one arrangement you like, take a picture each time, so you have something to look back on to decide.  Don’t worry if you don’t have the pictures in the frames yet, that doesn’t matter.
As you can see from my pictures below, I changed my frames after I layed them out.  I painted a white one blue and then sanded it to give it a worn look.  I painted another a light blue.  I also just lightly sanded a wood frame to make it look different than the others.  In design you want to use color and texture, sand paper is great at helping create texture!
Third, choose the picture of the layout you like best, put pictures in your frames, and get your lovely husband to use his laser level to hang your frames!
Oh, another piece of picture advice, when getting your prints to put in your frames, order them in a couple different sizes.  Sometimes an 8x10 print cut down to fit a 5x7 frame looks better than just ordering a 5x7 because that is the size of the frame (a great way to get a close up without taking one in the first place)!

A Good Read

Hello Blog!  I have been crazy busy with end of school year/spring activities the past couple of weeks and have neglected adding some new entries.  I have had many thoughts pop into my head about new blog entries, but they pop out just as quickly as I had them.  That is what happens when you are juggling volunteering, field trips, a "I am going to be six" birthday, and home improvement projects.

I sat down on the couch today, a first in a while, and read this column.  Had to share it with you since I had a good laugh at it!,0,3454988.column

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Favorite Room

Do you have a favorite room?  I love all of our house, well, I would like a bonus room for the kids, or maybe a new kitchen; but all in all I am very comfortable and content here.  The room I love the most is one that only cost $500 to add on and has lots of fresh air.
A year ago I decided that I wanted to get as much use out of our patio as possible and was miserable from the hot summer sun coming into our slider and blinding us in the family room.  I had estimates on a patio cover, but because of our wonky roof line, it was going to cost a fortune.  I researched every possibility.  When my mind is set on doing something it usually doesn’t go away until the project is complete.  I found a gazebo on sale at Target and patio furniture on sale at Wal-Mart.  I was able to purchase both and only use a portion of my saved painting money.
You can imagine the look on my husband’s face when he arrived home from work to see new patio furniture (all assembled with the help of my dad) and a long box with a gazebo for him to assemble!
We (notice I put “we”, my husband also enjoys the new room) love our new room and spend hours out there from May through to November; Southern California weather really lends itself to an outdoor room!  I love our view, the part without the basketball standard, the hills and tall trees are always peaceful to look at…except when they were on fire 3 years ago.  Our neighbors behind us had old ugly enormous TV antennae that the Lord so kindly blew off the roof during a Santa Ana wind day, so now our view is unobstructed!
If you don’t have an outdoor room and would like one they are easy to make, inexpensive, and can yield hours of enjoyment!  Just throw some furniture out there, add some plants, a couple of outdoor pillows and your room is complete!  You can get any look for your outdoor space you want from Sanford and Sons (am I dating myself or what?) to Architectural Digest…it is all about what makes your outdoor space your favorite room.