Showing posts with label vintage photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vintage photos. Show all posts

Monday, April 2, 2018

DIY: How to Create a Gallery Wall

 I've been redecorating my art room so much that I've started to feel the itch here at home. Last summer, over on the blog A Beautiful Mess, the author Elsie shared a show stopper of a gallery wall. As soon as I saw that post, I knew I wanted one of my own. We have a very large wall at the top of our stairs between our bedroom and a spare bedroom (that I use as a closet...don't judge). It's been home to these two paintings I created a couple years ago. While I still love those paintings, I wanted something new, big and a gallery wall!
 I actually purchased the frames way back when I first saw Elsie's post. So for those of you that think I do things overnight...don't be fooled! These frames have been stacked in my bonus room collecting dust for MONTHS. I did wait until they went on sale for $ can find the frames I used here
 I then spent a part of my spring break pouring over boxes of photos. I knew I wanted to get photos that meant a lot to me and Mitch so I really took my time. However, I keep telling myself that when I tire of these photos, I can simply print more!
 I took the photos to CVS where I scanned them and printed them in black and white. Not all of my photos were originally black and white but that didn't matter, they could still be printed that way! 
Then I came home, framed em all up in 30 minutes flat. That was on Monday of spring break and I was feeling mighty accomplished. Knowing that hanging them would take math and measuring, I totally procrastinated until SUNDAY, the last day of my spring break. It was then that I decided "It's now or NEVER" and set about hanging this wall.
I have no idea why I put it off. I mean, it was a COMPLETE pain in the butt but once I had a system, it went pretty quickly. In fact, in the video, you'll see I manage to get that last row up without much effort. I did use my favorite Martha Stewart trick of hanging paper the size of the frames first...this really helped with placement. Also, in the video, you'll see me stop and talk to someone...that someone was my husband offering all sorts of measuring advice. Did he actually help to hang anything? HECK NAW! He just talked to me about math and measuring and y'all already know how I feel about that. I can easily say, after 2 hours, I DID IT MY WAAAAAAAY. (YES, 2 hours. And, YES, that would have taken less time had I done it HIS WAAAAAY...but that would be admitting defeat, y'all!)
 I was going to hang another row at the bottom...but in the end, I decided that would be too low. I was going for a museum/gallery vibe and I just didn't think that would look right. ALSO I was so over hanging pictures at that point!
 Some of my faves: my maternal grandparents and my mom and her siblings. My mama is the one with the glasses and the big mouth. Pretty sure you figured that out.
 My paternal grandma and I with fish that were caught on a fishing trip. My grandpa Hobe LOVED to fish and my grandma did all of the cleaning and frying. We ate a lot of deep fried bass growing up!
 Mitch went on an epic Boy Scout adventure when he was 12 and it's one of his favorite memories. 
 Each photo makes me so super happy!
 And now I can say I got at least one of my home decorating To Do's off my spring break list. 
 Stay tuned because tomorrow I'll be sharing my other big project. I'm so happy to scratch these things off my list!
Thanks for letting me share a little piece of my home with you!
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

DIY: Shadow Box Memories

My shadow boxes full of photos of my grandmother Marilyn, her friends and family with the ceramic paper doll dresses I created.
Ya'll might remember these ceramic doll dresses I created while back. Looking at old family photos, I based the design of the dresses on clothing that my maternal grandmother wore in the early 1950's. The dresses were modeled on a vintage paper doll from my kinda-too-big collection, and glazed and fired in colors popular during that era.
The first shadow box I worked on, without the glass top. The reflection of the glass was a pinch too difficult to deal with when snapping photos.
And while I was pretty excited by the result of most of the dresses (I hate that glaze sometimes does the ugly and unexpected), I was then stuck with "okay, now what?" syndrome. I had some thoughts rolling around in my head but each seemed to take away from the idea behind the dresses: my grandmother.
I have a very limited number of photos of my grandma. In family, pictures of her are like gold. She was/is very much loved.
When an art teacher buddy suggested I use shadow boxes, it was like a slap-to-the-forehead-why-didn't-I-think-of-that moment. I rushed out to a craft shop and scooped up these vintage-y looking boxes along with a die cutter that created the labels and a super fine-tipped marker.
Because my grandmother has since past, taking with her many memories, I had to rely on what was written on the back of the photo for my information.
Putting these boxes together proved to be difficult for me as I have just a slight problem with showing restraint (see any outfit post and you'll see what I mean). Working in collage for me is more of a matter of subtraction rather than addition. What didn't make the cut: vintage stamps, buttons and an old letter. With everything competing for attention, my grandmother and her dresses seemed to get a little lost.
I love this buttery yellow glaze. Satin glaze by Duncan is my favorite.
So I decided to use vintage variegated linen for the background which I adhered to the masonite board with 3M Spray Adhesive (the best spray adhesive there is).  I had some of these vintage photo corners and glued the photos to the background with my hot glue gun.
In true can't-leave-well-enough-alone fashion, I immediately added another photo to this box after snapping these picks. I filled that blank area on the bottom left with another photo of my grandma.
To add some three-dimensional quality to the photos, I used 3M double sided sticky tape to lift the photos up a bit. It's hard to tell in these photos but in real life, you can see that some photos pop out.
My grandma was a majorette. Sadly, I don't have many photos of her in her outfit, but plenty of her friends, as seen above.
The last thing added to the frame were the dresses. I used that stinky but very sticky E-6000 glue. You might remember that I've actually got more dresses created than just these, like a prom dress and one that looks suited for a debutante's ball, but I thought these worked the best.
Love that curly hair and strong calf muscle.
And that was it. I'm pretty excited with how they turned out. Right now they are being hung in my school district's central office along with the incredible pieces created by the art teachers that I work with. If I manage to get over there, I'll have to snap a couple photos and share it with you.
My grandmother with her siblings. My grandma is the one in the suit, second from the right.

My mom noticed how my grandmother was standing: no hands on her hips or pose, but arms by her sides and feet planted, looking strong and determined.

My only regret...not having a paper doll that looked a little more like my grandma. I made color copies of the original paper doll so I would have multiples and not damage the original.

My grandma's high school graduation photo.
I really can't wait to get them home. I have yet to decide where I'll hang them...maybe in my very crowded sewing room or my rather bare bonus room. Regardless, I know I want to create more dedicated to my grandma and other wonderful women in my life. Thank you so much for your suggestions and encouragement on the first installment of this project. They motivated and inspired me to complete these pieces!
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

To My Favorite Mothers

Some of my favorite mothers, from the left back row: My Aunt Donna, my grandmother Marilyn, my Great-Mother and Father, my mom Paula. In the foreground, starting from the left, my cousin Angie, my Aunt Judy and me, as Batwoman
Happy Mother's Day to you all! I wanted to take this time to thank all of the moms in my life for all of the gifts that they have given to me. I don't show my sappy-side too often, so thanks for indulging me.
My Grandma Marilyn with her mother and sisters. My grandma is the tall one second from the right.
To my Grandma Maryilyn, who gave to me the gift of gifts. My grandma was forever spoiling her grandchildren with week-long trips to Florida and Myrtle Beach. She loved giving us a vacation-like childhood. I believe she took great pleasure in watching us enjoy ourselves, knowing that her hard work as a nurse practitioner could provide that for us. She and my grandpa Eddy even had the first pool in all of Roann, Indiana put in their backyard so the fun in the sun never had to end. She is missed by all that knew her.
My Grandma Marilyn and my Grandpa John with their children, starting in the middle going clockwise: my Aunt Lottie, my Uncle Keith, my Aunt Donna, my mom
 My Aunt Donna is a mother to four incredible children who all happen to look just like her. There she is on the bottom right. My Aunt Donna give me the gift of gregariousness. She is the most social person I know and people are drawn to her friendliness and humor. Such a sweet gift.
My mom, circa early '60's. After she got this pixie cut, her older sister Lottie was so embarrassed that she told people mom had her hair cut this way because she was joining a nunnery.
 Oh, my mom. She has given me so many gifts they are countless. So I thought I'd share some of my faves. My mom has given me the gift of humor. I think my mom is one of the silliest and funny people I know. I remember as a kid all of my girlfriends loved my mom the best, which drove me nuts! They always wanted to be around her and her goofiness.
Mom and company.
 One of my favorite gifts my mom have given is the gift of encouragement. My mom is my biggest cheerleader. She is always encouraging my choices without question. When I began discovering my own style in high school, she always applauded my uniqueness. I have never felt my mom be anything but beyond proud of me. And what more could a person ask for but a mom that loves ya unconditionally?
My mom in the early 80's graduating with her nursing degree.
My mom has also shown me her gift of perseverance. She had me at an early age but still graduated with a nursing degree. She's had some curve balls thrown her way but has always come out much happier and stronger. She goes on these 30 mile plus bike races at the drop of a hat. She is someone that I admire and love so much.
My mom's older sister, my Aunt Lottie, circa mid-80's
 My Aunt Lottie has given so many the gift of reading. My Aunt Lottie is an English teacher and was mine twice when I was in high school. It's a rare occasion to actually see her face as it is usually behind a book. I remember writing stories as a kid and she would read them to the family with such enthusiasm, always encouraging me to write more. She still encourages young writers today.
My Grandma Rosie, my dad's mom, playing the slide guitar.
My Grandma Rose gave me the gift of craft. More than anyone else, I believe I have her to thank for my desire to create. She showed me how to embroider and cross-stitch. We spent summers days on her porch working on our needlepoint and summer nights in front of the telly doing the same. I even remember us taking our work out on the boat when her husband, my Grandpa Hobe, took us fishing. I think of those times often when I am in my sewing room.
My Grandma Rosie with her mom.
 A silly memory I have of my grandma was when I was a kid and she decided to dye her hair Marilyn Monroe blonde. When we came over to visit, I cried and cried, not recognizing her and wondering where my brown-haired grandma had gone off to.
My hubs Mitch with his mom, circa early 80's
 My mother-in-law has given me countless gifts. Her biggest gift to me is the gift of faith. I also love our shared interests, like our love of all things antique, crafty and artsy. She is so considerate of her family and tries so hard to make us all feel welcome and at home whenever we come to visit. I love spending time with her...she's been one of the many perks of marrying that freckly kid on the right.
Me, my brother Kris and mom
I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day. Don't forget to thank all of your mother's for their gifts to you.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010


Summertime in the Sixties
  Clockwise starting with the blurry laughing lady: Grandma Marilyn, Grandpa John (who appears to be tweaking my grandma), Uncle Keith, Aunt Donna, my mother (guess who I inherited my big mouth from) and my Aunt Lottie in the middle.

I'm down to the hours before my summer vacay begins. I absolutely cannot wait. The first week off from school, I'm always so gung ho: waking up early, scratching items off my to-do list, cooking, cleaning, yard working. By the second week, that's all pretty much ended and I slide into my summertime routine.
 Mom getting her belly rubbed by Grandma while it looks as though someone's about to cool off my Grandpa. I would love see a Part 2 to this photo as my drenched Grandpa chases after who I assume was my Uncle Keith.

My real summer routine involves sleeping in, eating ice cream at least twice daily, reading trashy Brit-chic novels and thrifting. Every school year I day dream of all of the things I am going to accomplish during the summer and every summer I manage to do a whole lotta nuthin. But this summer is gonna be different.
Summertime in the Seventies
Left to right: Me, Cuz Angie, Aunt Judy. My Grandpa Eddy made our dining table and chairs. I love the red wagon and the Sit -n- Spin in the background.

And when I say "different" it's not because I plan to change or improve or actually do something about my lack of accomplishment. I plan to embrace the laziness. Love it. Wrap my arms around it and squeeze it. I mean, it's what summer is all about, right? At the end of every summer, I always beat myself up over not accomplishing this or that. Not any more.
Summertime in the Eighties
My Grandma Marilyn and Grandpa Eddy (her second hubs after G-pa John) took the three of us girls to Florida almost every summer growing up. She sent this postcard to mom.
My Grandma loved Florida...and I love that she signed the postcard "Florida People". I miss those summers with her.

My to-do list is going to involve the following: catching up with friends, watching some old movies (Hitchcock, preferably)  and eating deep fried snack foods with reckless abandon because they are delicious. Oh, and doing silly stuff with cat hair. For this, hubs and I decided to get a jump-start...
Um, yeah. That's all Asha hair. She's been shedding (and hairballing) like madness lately, so Mitch decided to give her a little brushing. We're planning on opening our own Troll Doll factory.

Needless to say, Asha was not impressed with our creative endeavor. I can read her kitty-cat mind: Boy, it's gonna be a long summer.

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