WHEEE it’s almost Valentine’s Day/aka almost my birthday/aka almost the best day of the year. I crafted you this magnificently cliché valentine, which I insist you either cherish or print out (here) and give to someone else to cherish. There’s no such thing as too many roses or valentines or mentions of love around Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty sure that’s a universal sentiment.
I have a bad habit of making things and liking them a lot for about 10 seconds, and immediately thereafter deciding that I hate them, forever. Does this happen to anyone else? So I consider it a victory that I have quite a few DIY’ed pieces interspersed in my bedroom’s gallery wall, and I don’t hate any of them! Yayyy. Yet.
My favorite piece is the embroidered X, which is inspired by this amazingness. I was so excited when I saw it, because I had that hexagonal frame for ages and couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Of course, it would’ve been nice to just buy that piece and call it good, but it was a sold out limited edition, and I knew it would be so easy to recreate. Also I wanted a high-contrast situation, so black thread was a must.
As is usual whenever I attempt this kind of thing, I made a massive initial mistake that involved a lot of work to fix: I tried using metallic black thread. NOT GOOD. It’s much more stiff than normal thread and looked very wonky, so I had to pick out all my stitches. Learn from me.
But from then on, this project was so easy. All I did was: wrap the cardboard insert that came with the frame in some leftover linen, stapling it in place on the back. Cut an X shape out of cardboard and center on the piece of linen. Mark little groups of dots all along the edges of the X, to guide me in my stitches. Stitch one row straight across. Stitch the opposite row, weaving through the first row as you go.
I love how it adds a little texture and dimensionality to the wall!
I finally finished my gallery wall! Well, finished as in it no longer looks like this:
Except now I’ve got this far, I’m thinking it’s kind of a cop out. It should be floor to ceiling, wall to wall, right?? Right. I’m pretty sure I’m going to do that. But it’s at a good stopping point right now, and I really don’t want to buy more pieces to fill it just because they happen to be black + white + gold + silver, or some combination thereof (No seriously, I’ve developed a knee-jerk MUST BUY reaction whenever I see anything in this color scheme. It’s an addiction.)
I used Adobe Illustrator (although Photoshop or any image editing software would work) to experiment with different layouts. It’s really helpful if you’re still in the process of buying pieces! Because unless you’re some kind of art-arranging savant, it’s really hard to know how all the pieces are going to relate to each other if you don’t already have them. I grabbed an image file from each piece that I was thinking about buying, and added it, to assess how it would look with the rest of my pieces. With a quick mockup like this, it becomes really obvious when you need a different color of frame in one area, a photo rather than another illustration, etc. You can see here that I stuck pretty closely to this general layout, although there were some changes made in the end:
Shipwreck: Two of three; such a good gift. Neon Indian: Great gig posters never fail. The Moose: This shop has so many gorgeous, isolated images.
Hmmmm so what began as a two week vacation from the country ended up as a four week vacation from EVERYTHING, and by that I mean eating responsibly, exercising, cleaning anything (including myself), and all that other crap that responsible adults are generally supposed to do.
But I hereby publicly declare that for the next few weeks I plan on eating only salads, exercising daily, cleaning all the things, and probably embarking on various charitable projects in my spare time. Also I’m going to actually do some stuff that’s worthwhile to write about on this here site.
The one project I really need to tackle is finishing the gallery wall in my bedroom. Here it is in all its current glory:
You are probably relieved to hear that I don’t intend to to leave this with random blank frames displaying nothing but their Ikea stickers. I need to buy or make a ton more art, shuffle some things around, paint frames, etc. Much work to be done!
It will come as a surprise to no one who’s ever done a gallery wall, but it’s HARD! Mostly (for me, at least) to find the right mix of styles and sizes of artwork. I mean, at first it was easy, because I just bought a bunch of pieces that I loved, and assumed that those considerations would sort themselves out. But then I realized that nearly everything I was buying/wanted to buy was 18×24 and all in a graphic/modern style. Which is cool if that’s what you’re going for (actually that would be so cool, in a grid from ceiling to floor, right?), but I wanted a lot of variety. And I’d already filled all my big frames.
So I’ve been spending my free time all week searching for pieces that can fill out the smaller frames. And in the course of my searches, I found a ton of gorgeous pieces that I can’t use for one reason or another. Mostly because they’ll colorful, and clearly I’m going for a monochromatic look. It’s kind of a minor tragedy to me that I can’t afford to buy all the art I like and store it in a small warehouse, but for now pinning and endlessly blabbing on about them with have to do.