Photo Finish, Part 2

Last weekend, I started planning the addition to our foyer photo collage. As you saw in our last post, Photo Finish, we added a few new photos to our stairway wall leaving our two collages looking a little disconnected…

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To connect our two collages, I chose three different frames from our “stock pile.” I chose one 11 x 17, one 8 x 10 and one 5 x 7 frame. Next, I made patterns of the frames using white printer paper and painter’s tape.

After I finished making the frame patterns, I started the process of arranging the photos on the wall. Of course, this proved to be more challenging than I planned because it felt a bit like I was playing Plinko on The Price is Right. (I love that game!)

Okay, I’m kidding, but that would be fun!! (Well… Until all the frames crashed to the floor, right?)

To place the patterns on the wall, I leaned over the upstairs half wall and taped the patterns down using more painter’s tape. Once I taped the pattern to the wall, I ran around the upstairs hallway to the other side where I could see the entire collage. I did this several times before I was happy with the patterns’ positions.

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As you can see, I went through several arrangements before I was satisfied. After staring at the collage for awhile, I realized that I needed something at the bottom. To balance the overall collage, I took the 8 x 10 pattern and added it to the bottom right corner of the foyer wall. Perfect! IMG_3775Now that I’ve decided on the locations for the frames, I need to choose new photos and decide if I want to change any of the existing photos. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Do you like to hang photo collages in your home? If so, what is your favorite type of photos to hang… portraits, scenery, flowers, etc?

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Photo Finish

A little over a week ago, we added three new frames to our stairway wall. The top right frame was based on a pin I found on Pinterest. I made the printed quote using Pages on my computer and then I printed my design on to plain white paper or you can also use card stock.
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On the other side of our stairway, we already have several small frames lining the wall. Eventually, we will add to these small photos and make this collection more of a collage of photos.

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Speaking of collages… Our collage on the foyer wall looks like it needs a few more photos to continue on to our stairway wall. Right now it looks like something is missing from the top left corner of the foyer wall.

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I bought a few frames during our last trip to Ikea that I was planning to use in our bedroom, but now a few of those frames may find a different home in the foyer. It’s time to get out the paper and painter’s tape and start planning the blending of our two collages!

Do you have any projects planned for this weekend?

Chalkboard Fun

Pinterest boards seem to be covered with DIY chalkboard projects these days. While I have a plan for a DIY chalkboard, in the meantime, BJ and I found a wall mounted chalkboard photo frame on sale at Crate and Barrel.

The chalkboard came with four 4×4 photo frames. Because printed photos come in standard sizes like 4×6, this required photo cutting to achieve the 4×4 size. You could also use photo editing software to crop the photos on your computer and then print them to a desired size. I chose to cut a few 4×6 photos left over from another project.

To cut the 4×6 photos to 4×4, I removed the filler paper inside the frames. Then I placed the paper on the photo as a template. I used a piece of scotch tape to hold the paper in place while I cut the photo. Don’t worry about putting the tape on the photo because the part of the photo with the tape won’t be needed.

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After I finished cutting, I arranged the photos in the frames.

And, if you’re wondering, the third photo from the left is a squirrel hanging from a tree eating a nut. I snapped that photo a few years ago while visiting a park in Maryland. The squirrel was more interested in his or her lunch than me standing there taking pictures. The swans are in the same park but the photos were taken around six years apart. The heart is from our Christmas tree this year and the red flowers were taken at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

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I digress… back to the chalkboard. Next, BJ got out a few tools for hanging frames. We chose the open wall by our downstairs powder room to hang the chalkboard. It is easily visible from our kitchen and adds more character to our once boring back hallway.

The frame came with hardware for hanging, but we also added anchors to make sure the drywall could hold the weight of the frame. Our drywall is pretty soft, so adding anchors for extra support really helps.

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Now that our chalkboard is up, BJ and I can write fun messages to each other.

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We also use the chalkboard to write our dinner menu and wine pairing each evening.

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Do you have a chalkboard in your home? How do you use your chalkboard?

Playing Hallway Dress-Up

Before the appraisal last weekend, we decided to dress up our downstairs hallway. It was looking a little lackluster and needed some love.
Last year, we hung the coat rack/shelf on the left side of the hallway, but the right side remained plain, bare walls.

During a recent trip to Target to peruse the clearance racks for great deals on home decor, I came across a few shelving sets that were on sale. From the selection, I found a set of two white Threshold shelves that I decided would be perfect for this hallway.

I also picked up a mail organizer to store coupons and mailers.

Have you seen Target’s new Threshold brand? I love it! Their stuff is sophisticated looking, yet inexpensive.

Here is the after of the hallway with the shelves and mail bin installed. It gives this space a little more character and allows us to decorate for the seasons, if we like.

On each shelf, I placed a frame with a photo taken near our home.

On the shelf pictured below, the framed photo includes a backyard sunset I captured while we were painting our big blue wall. I also added a votive to the shelf that I saved from our Thanksgiving table display last year.

On the shelf at the end of the hall, the photo is of our petunias this year. Despite the drought, we had really great luck with our petunias. They are still hanging on too. They don’t give up easily. It may be December before we see them turn brown and fade away.

I really liked our new mail bin. I didn’t buy it with the intention of using it as a drop off location for mail as it comes in the door. Instead, it is a place to store coupons and mini catalogs that we can easily retrieve before shopping trips.

And instead of using the hooks for keys, I hung two heart ornaments that we found at Ikea as well as a door hanger for our favorite team!

We still have more updates to come on some of the smaller projects we accomplished over the past few weeks, so stay tuned!

Fall Bucket List

I found this on Pinterest… love! I’m not so sure about calling it a “bucket list,” but I love the items on the list.

So far this year, we can cross one of the items off our list. We’ve decorated our mantle with a Fall theme.

It’s still early in the season and we’re going to keep working on the rest of the our Fall list. I’ll keep you posted on our progress, but in the meantime if you love Fall as much as I do, check out some more fun fall inspiration by visiting my Autumn Pinterest board.

Have a great rest of the week!

Making it Rain Up In Here

So this crazy thing happened in August: it started raining again! In the past two weeks, we’ve seen more rain than we saw in the past two months combined. The watering bans starting lifting, the burn bans started lifting, and we finally have green grass again.

We are so blessed to have rain again. It’s been a rough summer for most of the United States.

Our grass might be a little patchy after baking in the sun for two months, but we’ll take it. It’s been a long drought and I’m so glad to see green grass and bright colorful flowers again. I was starting to wonder if we were going to stay brown until Autumn. I finally heard the sound of lawn mowers the other day. It was great. It was also wonderful to smell fresh-cut grass again.

Although I was diligent about watering my plants throughout the drought, I started to tire out in the end and fell a little behind once it started raining. Unfortunately, it didn’t rain enough in the first week to keep our potted plants really moist. I’m afraid they might not last much longer. I think it’s almost time to change the petunias for mums.

Despite our pitiful potted plants, the petunias in our garden are still growing strong. With a little mulch and some rain, they are getting just what they need.

It’s been a very hot and dry summer, but now that things are turning around, I’m looking forward to the start of Autumn and some crisp air and cooler temperatures.

How are your gardens doing this summer? Did you have to contend with drought conditions and  hand water your plants every day or every other day? Or did you let them go in hopes that it would rain again soon?

Giving the gladiolus a little lift

Do you remember the V8 commercials with the people walking around leaning to the side? Then everyone would drink a V8 and stand up straight again. Our gladiolus reminded me of that last night when I saw it leaning in our garden. It looked like it needed a V8. I also discovered that we had two gladiolus growing this year. However, after we came home from running errands this morning, one leaned over so much that it snapped and it is now in a vase in our kitchen.

But the other gladiolus got a little lift after we ran to Home Depot to get a stake to tie it to. We decided to get a shepherd’s crook and hang a plant basket to add something more to that area of the garden.

We couldn’t find any string, so we used a small piece of wire to tie the long stem to the shepherd’s crook.

Meanwhile, the other flower that snapped is hanging out in our kitchen. I love the way it looks in the bright green vase! BJ got me flowers for our two-year anniversary and they came in this vase. It looks perfect with the bright green we have in our kitchen.

While we were at Home Depot today, we also bought two new Adirondack chairs so we could move the teal chairs to the back patio. And we bought some fun contrasting pillows to make the chairs pop.

So no mulching yet, but I better get to it soon! I spotted some weeds trying to take over our garden. Not cool!

Dear weeds, I’m coming for you. Love, Jessica.

Have  a great weekend everyone! Stay cool!