Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pictures Perfect

I love to save pages from magazines, and have a whole huge file drawer, wait, make that two drawers, full of them, not to mention scrapbooks of favorites.  Yes, I know about Pinterest, and I have started using it, but it's a different experience from curling up on the sofa with a stack of magazines and a pair of scissors, when I'm in need of a break from useful pursuits.  A huge mug of sweet, milky, strong coffee is the perfect accompaniment, along with whatever music suits my mood at the moment. 

Living Well photo wall.
Flipping through clippings last week, I noticed I had saved several versions of the "wall of photos" idea , and decided to start one of my own.  I had a few pictures I wanted to hang in my office, and since this is one of the few rooms with solid color paint, it's perfect for this.  Not that you need solid paint to make the photos look good, but that if you build it as you go, which I am doing, you will eventually decide to move some of the pictures around, and will need to be able to patch and paint nail holes every now and again.  Way easier to do on solid painted walls.

The centerpiece of my first photo wall is a shot of my parents, featured on the cover of "Living Well", a section of their local paper.  This set the theme for the whole display, and helped to narrow the selection process.  Not noticeably narrowed to anyone else perhaps, as it may be hard to tell the connection between two dogs tussling over a stick, my Aunt Rose's barn painted with giant sunflowers, a childhood friend caught in the bliss of eating Mystic Mint cookies, and a polymer clay fish sculpture.  It doesn't really need to make sense to anyone else, though.  It's my personal wall of fame/ bliss list/ hall of champions, all reminding me why I do what I do, in an office I don't share with the public.  (I do meet with clients here at the house, but I use the work tables in the studio, or the adjacent "dining" room, to spread out portfolio and samples.)

This newspaper feature photo of my parents makes the perfect anchor for the rest of the montage.
Some people tie this look together by using only black and white photos, or all one style of frame.  I chose to be less matching, and decided to unify them all with black frames, many with little bits of moss green, gold and red, colors found in the rest of the room, to accent.  I also mixed in a few prints and postcards, as well as a display bracket for the fish.  It isn't as uniform as most of the magazine pictures I've seen, but it pleases my eye.

A changeable photo display board in the foyer is a great way to share current snapshots and cards with visitors.
Now, unless I cover the walls of several rooms (yikes!), not every photo gets to have a frame, but I wanted to have someplace to display those that come in Christmas cards, and the snaps from weekend outings with my friends.  You know, the kind of photos you want to enjoy for awhile, before tucking them into albums or memory boxes.  For this, I created a chicken wire photo frame, to hang in my foyer.

One old picture frame,  leftover chicken wire from another project,  recycled grosgrain ribbon from a trade show display, salvaged and clearance trims, all hung from a length of old ball chain and a drywall screw onto which has been hotglued a perfume bottle top.
If you make one of these yourself, here's a few things you may want to know
  • Before assembling, I painted the chicken wire black with spray paint, as I didn't want bright silver.
  • On this one, the wire is stapled to the front of the frame, to help keep it spaced far enough from the wall to get the clips on, and to avoid marking the wall with scuffs and scratches from the wire.
  • If you staple your wire to the back of the frame, glue halved wine corks to the corners, as spacers.
  • Grosgrain ribbon and scrapbooking paper flowers cover all kinds of staples, nails, and scuffs.
  • Plan a hanging apparatus that looks good, because it's pretty hard to hide it.
  • Clip on the cards and photos with binder clips from the office supply store.
  • My favorite heavy duty stapler for these kinds of projects is the cheapest one made by Arrow.  It's the easiest one to aim, gets into tighter corners than the pricier ones, and I haven't found any of the fancy features of the others made them any easier to get the staples in deep, unless you upgrade to an air powered one.

Detail:  grosgrain ribbon covers staples, and scrapbook paper flowers, with old jeans snaps for centers, embellish the corners.  The metal tassle is very old, and was found hanging from a nail in the attic, here at Belle Ami.  Binder clips hold the photos, and yes, this adorably picture perfect couple (Joe and Pamela) is known to me, and not the display photo from a department store frame.
On the subject of photos, this week I get to follow in my parents footsteps, as the cover story for a section of the local paper.  Those who get the Minneapolis Star Tribune might want to check the cover of the Variety section this Wednesday, the 29th of February, where you may see some of Belle Ami in a whole new light...or at least clearer photos.  Photographer Courtney Perry apparently took so many great shots of my dear old house that she got us bumped from a small story inside a Sunday section, to this feature spot, with additional photos inside.  If I may speak for the house, we're pretty excited!

You can view my reasonably decent photos of some of my work at theartofthehome.com, where you will also find all the information on how to hire me.

If you need clarification of the directions for this, or any other crafty project, feel free to ask in the comments below, or email me at dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.  Don't hesitate to ask,  I truly don't mind, and in fact, I love to hear about your creative projects.

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