Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Arrow Dynamic

Things are looking up around here. At least in my upstairs hallway.
As I was hanging artwork there recently (you can read about it here), I decided I needed one more piece to stretch across the top of the wall. Maybe a sign of some kind, I was thinking. I checked the stash of projects stored in my basement to see if I had anything that was the right size and shape.
What I found was an old barnwood frame. It wasn't exactly the dimensions I was looking for, but I loved the rustic wood and the mitered corners gave me an idea. Why not make an arrow out of it?
 I cut off one of the long sides first, thinking I would use that as the shaft of the arrow.
Then I grabbed a yardstick and marked off six chevron-style stripes, starting at one of the corners that had already been mitered to a 45-degree angle. The stripes would become the feathers on the arrow.
I cut the feathers with a jig saw.
For the point of the arrow, I chopped off one of the frame's intact corners.
 Then I started putting the pieces together.
I liked the look of the arrow, but I wanted it to be a little bit longer...
...  so I scrounged around for another piece of scrap wood to use as the shaft. (The scrap wood is actually part of an old Christmas decoration that was in my "project pile.")
I glued the feather and point pieces to the new, longer shaft with wood glue and let them dry overnight.

The next  next morning, I flipped the arrow over, drilled pilot holes and nailed the pieces together to make sure they were secure.
... except that when I took the finished arrow upstairs to hang it, I realized it didn't really tie in with the rest of the pieces on the wall.

So I took it back down and put a quick, chippy coat of white chalk paint on it.
gallery wall
 Much better. :)

And the best part is I used up two of the projects from the stash in my basement in making the arrow. Unfortunately I keep finding great junk at thrift stores and garage sales, so my Subterranean Cache of Things to Transform will never get used up; but it makes me feel good to know it is getting pared down a little.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Wall, the Art and the Light Switch

It's taken about three weeks, but I finally have art up on the wall in my upstairs hallway.
Here's what the hallway looked like before. It's right at the top of our stairs, and I always felt like it would be perfect for a gallery wall but I just never got around to making a plan and following through with it. (I blogged about my ragtag art collection waiting to be hung -- while I procrastinated -- here.)
The largest piece I wanted to hang was this 30" x 25" oil painting of a church. There was already a hanger screwed into (roughly) the center of the wall from a previous (very pell-mell, unplanned and unbalanced) grouping of art, so that's where the church went. I figured I'd build out from there.
I made newspaper templates out of all of the other pieces I had and taped them up around the church. I just kept moving the templates around and swapping out one for another until I was satisfied with how the wall looked. Eventually I found a grouping I liked. Mostly.

What I didn't like was the light switch. It drove me crazy. I couldn't cover it because we use it all the time, but it felt like it was in the way no matter how I arranged things.
My husband, who is much braver about drilling holes into old plaster walls than I am, helped me hang everything when I finally had the arrangement figured out.

I was hoping once the art was up the light switch would just blend into the background. Unfortunately, I think the switch bothered me even more then. The whole grouping seemed unbalanced because of the switch.

 So I put a frame around it. Up close, it looks a little weird.
 But from a distance, the frame actually camouflages the switch...

... and the wall looks much more balanced. I have couple other ideas for camouflaging the switch that I'm going to play around with, but for now, I'm happy with it the way it is. (And my husband and son are happy not to be tripping over frames and newspapers and tools and hardware anymore.)
gallery wall
In addition to the art, I put an old shadow box (which I blogged about here) in the grouping.
gallery wall
The shadow box had been hanging above my desk in the master bedroom, but it fit perfectly below the capitol painting. And it's one of my favorite things, so why not show it off out here instead of hiding it away in the bedroom, right? art
I have one more piece to add to the wall yet, so stay tuned for a follow-up post.

Linking to:
Brag About It
The Scoop

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saving the Leftovers

Earlier this summer I was picking through the leftovers at a garage sale that was about to close when I found this little jar for a quarter:
I love glass jars with typography on them. And I especially love glass jars with Helvetica Bold on them. There was one little problem with the jar, though.
It was sans lid. I bought it anyway.
Then this weekend, I found this cute but somewhat nondescript jar at a thrift store. The mouth of the jar appeared to be about the same size as my leftovers jar...
... so I thought perhaps I could harvest the lid off of it.
For 95 cents, it was mine.
The lids on these clamp-style jars come off pretty easily. You just have to squeeze the inside metal brackets together until they slide off the other set of brackets.
A pliers helps.

Once the lid is off, you squeeze the metal brackets on the lid together again to slip them inside the metal brackets on the other jar. Easy peasy.
 I'm happy to say the lid fit the leftovers jar perfectly.
So now I have another glass jar with typography on it to use in my kitchen.

Linking to:
Let's Talk Vintage
Vintage Inspiration Party

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Tale of the Tile

One of my favorite parts of traveling is buying souvenirs. 
My husband and I bought this little (6" x 8") tile painting when we were on vacation in Mexico in the spring. (I blogged about our trip here, if you're interested.)

We were walking after dinner one night when we happened upon a small arts and crafts market where there was a man painting these tiles with his fingers. The guy could do a painting start to finish in about 5 minutes. Did I mention he was using just his fingers? It was amazing. 

We watched him work for quite a while and eventually bought this piece. The paint was still wet when we carried the tile off.
When we got back home, I wasn't sure where -- or how -- I was going to hang our new memento. As you can see, there's no hanger on the back. And I was a little leery about using adhesive strips. It is a tile, after all. If the adhesive doesn't hold, the tile would shatter when it hit the ground. 
Last week I finally dug through the pile of half-done (and never-started) projects in my basement on the off chance that I had a shadow box or frame there that would be (close to) the right size for the tile. Here's what I found:
I bought this picture for next to nothing at a garage sale a while ago, intending to paint over it and make it into a sign of some kind. Luckily I never got around to it because, look:
 The frame was the exact right width for my tile. Even the color matched.
All I had to do was mark where the tile ended ...
... pry off the end of the frame ...
  ... and cut along the line I had marked.
(Unfortunately, I don't always cut straight, so I had to sand off the unevenness.)
Then I re-attached the end of the frame ...
... and glued the tile inside with some e6000.
Riviera Maya
The tile fits perfectly inside the frame -- and the frame has a hanger on the back.
 So I am one step closer to getting some art up on my empty wall.

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