Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Future for My Frames

So it appears I've managed to collect several random picture frames over time.

As you can see, most of them are also empty. That's because I can't resist a good cheap frame, even when I don't know what I want to put in it. Most of these were either on sale/clearance somewhere, or found at Goodwill.

Once I had pulled all the frames out of the drawer they were stashed in, I got to thinking... I probably have the beginnings of a photo gallery wall, yes? I'm pretty excited about this idea, because there's a lot of pictures I'd love to display but have never gotten around to it. Also, our house is still in need of some personalization (3+ years later).

There are currently two empty spaces that are dying for some attention -- both of which would lend themselves nicely to a photo gallery. One of them is on the wall leading down our stairway, and the other is the wall above the landing in the stairwell. I think I know which one I prefer; what space would you choose? Who knows, you might sway my decision!

[Please forgive the poor photography and lighting]

More to come on this new project later... I think I need a couple more frames (which I can probably wrangle from elsewhere in the house), and I still have several decisions to make.
- What photos to display?
- How to lay out the frames?
- Paint all the frames the same color?
- Paint the frames in coordinating colors?
- Mix in any other wall decor with the frames? (i.e. mirror, vinyl lettering, ledges)

In the meantime, I decided to share some gallery wall inspiration thanks to good ol' Google. Turns out it's quite the popular topic! (I hope I got all the credits right, sometimes it's hard to tell where they really originated from.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Framed" Canvas Artwork

Awhile back, I received a special offer from EasyCanvasPrints.com for a free 8x10 canvas print. Of course I wasn't going to refuse this, and I even decided to pay a little extra for a slightly larger 11x14 print. It took forever to choose a photo from my own collection, but I decided on one from our honeymoon in northern California. I love this photo because it's such a relaxing scene. The beach was virtually empty that day, and it's just so vast.

Original photo from my camera:

The ordering process was quick and easy, and in a few days I received the print on my doorstep!

Detail of canvas: 

I have to say, I thought the quality of the print was pretty good, considering the resolution of my photo wasn't that big to begin with. Plus, the frame already had a hook attached to the back of it, so hanging it on the wall was a breeze. I decided to put it in our bedroom, which is otherwise devoid of artwork. Here it is above the chest of drawers:

I know what you're thinking: It looks a little puny in this space. I agree. I probably should have gone with a 16x20, but we all know what a cheapskate I am. So a little creativity was in order. My idea was to paint a rectangle behind the canvas to expand the print and act as a "frame."

After some measuring (which my husband probably wouldn't have approved of), leveling, and taping (with leftover ScotchBlue Painter's Tape with Edge-Lock Protector from my bathroom makeover), this was my outline. I allowed for 1.5" of border on each side.

After mulling over tons of paint samples, I decided to go with a very light color called Breakwater White by Behr. I got a sample size for $2.94 at Home Depot, which was more than enough to give my frame a couple coats. And worse case scenario, I could either paint another color over it, or go back to the original wall color.

[FYI: I also had an alternative motive for trying this out. Our walls are pretty textured, so I wanted to see how crisp of a line I could get with the ScotchBlue Edge-Lock tape (since I have another larger painting project up my sleeve). So this was a good way for me to experiment on a small scale first, therefore avoiding potentially catastrophic results later.]

Looking pretty good so far...

Ready for the "framed" artwork?

When the corner light is on, the canvas casts a shadow. (And yes, those are the same $5 temporary paper window shades we've had for three years.)

Okay, so... I don't think I'm in love with the results. In my head, it looked much better. On the wall, it just looks white and flat. Should I have used a different color (darker or lighter than the wall color)? Or made the border bigger? Not painted it at all? Or just let it grow on me? Any suggestions? (Other than going back in time and ordering a larger canvas to begin with.)

P.S. For those who are curious, my paint lines unfortunately did not turn out perfectly. There were a few little spots where the paint leaked under the tape, even though I had tried to press it onto the wall really firmly. I think this can just be chalked up to one of the downfalls of having textured walls. Boo. The good thing is, you don't really notice it unless you get up close. Nonetheless, I may have to alter my future painting plans...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cucumber recipes, anyone?

When I returned from vacation last week, I came back to find my "garden" had become even more jungle-like. These plants are HUGE. Seriously, it's getting a little out of control. Pretty soon, I will have no sidewalk left.

I've pretty much lost all hope for the green beans; I think they're being suffocated by the other plants. I've seen a couple tiny zucchinis, but they haven't grown much.

However. My cucumber plant has not given up yet. Look what was waiting for me!

That's right, four giant, beautiful cucumbers! But even more important than looks was the taste test.... and my "burpless beauties" were delicious! I must say, it was a very proud moment to eat something that I had actually grown myself in my own backyard.

There are several more that will need to be picked soon too, so I foresee a considerable cuke harvest in my future, if nothing else. I already made this yummy cucumber salad... any other recipe recommendations?

P.S.  I promise that my next post will not be about vegetables. So if I haven't bored you to death already with my veggie saga, I hope you'll stay tuned later this week for my next project!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gimme a break....

Not that this really affects my normal once-a-week (at best) blog posting schedule, but I’ll be taking a little vacay and won’t be blogging for a week or two. I know, sad. I’ll wait here while you go grab a Kleenex.

Anyway, my bloggy friends, I do have some exciting projects lined up for later this month and next month. Let’s just say I see some painting in my future… and a fun giveaway for YOU! Hopefully I'll return motivated and ready to get busy.

Until then, have fun with your own projects, vacations, and whatever else is going on!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Live and learn.

Okay.  Y'all were right.

Things are getting a little out of control back here in my "garden."

My plants are ginormous, threatening to overtake the sidewalk. But still no sign of any cucumbers, green beans, or zucchini. I think I planted the seeds either in late May or early June, so it's been about two months. According to the seed packets, they should all be ready to harvest anywhere from 50-60 days after planting. Needless to say, I'm starting to get a little antsy. However, it has been ridiculously hot the past few weeks, and even though I'm trying to water them often, maybe they're protesting the heat wave. If so, I guess I can't really blame them.


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