So, I haven't blogged in ummm...almost 2 years. I've been to China and back, had a second little one and probably a million other things worth noting. I've thought about blogging. I've written posts in my head. But what really made me want to start up again? Pinterest. It's a virtual pinboard. It's like my granny tearing out magazine articles out and mailing them to me, but ON THE INTERNET. I'm in heaven. It's given me so many ideas I want to try out.
I've been wanting to create a better art gallery for my boys. My littlest just turned one and I know the artwork from him will begin rolling in soon. The three frames I had previously hung, was not going to cut it. I was really tempted to put up the an IKEA Diginet System. I've seen one in a neighbor's house and it looks pretty nice. But my sister had me worried about the wires and kids so I just hadn't gone for it yet. Then I saw this via Pinterest from Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss: Very cool! I searched Pinterest and found more and more cool ideas, but collecting various vintage frames really stuck with me. And thus the journey began.
First up - vintage frame shopping. LOTS of it. I discovered that here in Chicago, Village Discount Outlet had the best selection for the price. Most of their frames were between $.80 and $3.80. Though I love Brown Elephant, I quickly discovered their prices ($15 for a random print or painting?!) were not conducive to this project. I did buy a couple there that had more ornate frames that I really wanted. I also braved Unique Thrift Store on a Monday for everything is 50% off day to get another unique frame I really wanted. I had forgotten how much I enjoy thrifting, though I really have little to no time for it these days. I started with about 10 frames, pliers, scissors, a flat-head screwdriver, the remote, lots of trashy tv and a glass of wine! I tore into all the frames, removed staples, pulled out the previous 'art' and then using some crappy holiday wrap (drove me nuts to wrap with it - it tore too easily!) my husband bought last year I made a paper template of each frame. I numbered each template and then numbered the back of each frame as well. Then I started hanging the templates in my space. I quickly realized that 10 frames was no where near enough. More shopping, chopping and labeling ensued. Twenty two frames! Finally my templates filled the space. I also laid the unpainted frames in the configuration I had taped up, just to double check myself, but it was hard to envision without them painted. There was lots of re-arranging. My trusty sidekick Annie watched all of this...
Once I was relatively satisfied with the frames and layout, it was time to move outside. I started with one can of primer, and three cans of universal glossy white spray paint. Naturally, Annie came along:
She ran away fast once she realize what was coming! Smart choice on her part. I made several
lazy rookie mistakes.
1) Using newspaper. The wind kept blowing it up despite my careful arrangement and it stuck to a few of the frames. Also the grass. Ugh. Cardboard would have been a better choice.
2) Not buying enough spray paint. When you live in a city that doesn't sell spray paint, this is a major PITA. I had to paint the interiors of the frames as well since they are visible as you walk up and down my staircase. I started the project with 1 can of primer and 3 cans of paint. In the end I needed SIX cans of spray paint - yikes!
3) Not enough prepping. I should have sanded several of the frames as I didn't realize the nicks would be so visible with the white paint. In the grand scheme of the gallery it's not a big deal, but if you look closely you can see my mistakes.
4) Not wearing shoes or socks and ruining a brand new pedicure!
My first pass with the 3 cans of paint covered all the frames, but on a more superficial level. I had to return the next day, pick each frame up, get the sides and the interior sides.
One day to dry and I was itching to hang my new beauties! I tried to keep the bottom edge lined up and the far right edge, along the straight walls. I worked from the bottom corner and just kept measuring the spacing to be even between the frames as best as I could. Here's the work in progress - slowly hanging frames and removing templates...
My last step - add the art! I decided against adding clips and just used poster putty to hang the creations. I feared all the crumpled creations my son comes home with would curl up in spots and one clip wasn't enough. I wish I had better pictures, but despite reading tutorials, attempting to figure out my own camera, etc. I just couldn't find a great way to capture a stairwell with no natural light! But anywho...