Squared

  You may remember that I helped a friend hang a grid of mirrors last month. I had also been meaning to try it in my own house but I was struggling on where I’d want to hang a grid of mirrors. I bought 10 of the same mirrors we used at Erika’s house and they sat in a pile on the buffet in the kitchen. For some reason I couldn’t commit to a grid of mirrors. Then I realized that the square mirror frames would make the perfect frame for Instagram photos. I started by thing to pry the mirrors out of the frames. Let me tell you- those things are cemented in and I almost lost a few fingers. So trust me when I day that I recommend Modge Podge. You like having fingers, don’t you? Thought so.

What I used:

Ikea MALMA mirrors ($1.99 each!)

-Printed Instagram photos (I use the Walgreens app. They stay in 4″x4″ format, are super affordable and they are usually ready in an hour!)

-Modge Podge

-Paint brush, ruler, sharpie, scissors

-Hammer, nails, level

 First, I laid out all of the photos I had printed. I had chosen to print photos I had Instagrammed of food. I thought it would be a fun addition to the kitchen. I recommend that gallery walls have some so of theme, whether it is a color theme or subject matter. It should make sense to any guest that enters your home. I had about 20 to choose from and had to narrow them to 10. I asked Hubby to help me weed through them. It was easy to toss out photos that were lower quality or had bad lighting. In the end he convinced me that 8 was a better number and wouldn’t clutter the wall we had chosen. He even used one of my favorite design principles on me, “Less is sometimes more.” Sold! Eight it was. We opted for 2 rows of 4. Also considered: 3 rows of 3 to make a square gallery of nine images. These are the 8 we landed on. Hubby pointed out another theme: circles. All of the photos had circular subjects and it wasn’t even on purpose.    Next I measured the mirror space to see if I needed to cut down the pictures. The mirror was just under 3 and 3/4″ so I marked my ruler and got to trimming. I noticed that the photos I had used the instagram filter frame/borders on fit perfectly after removing the borders. Had I known this I would have printed all of my images with borders to save a little effort. After trimming, I was ready to glue the photos directly on the mirrors. I applied a thin layer of Modge Podge to mirror and pressed my photos in place. Some of the photos were snug and needed convincing to fit the corners in but I was patient and gentle. Trimming and gluing took less than 15 minutes! I let it all dry overnight (mostly because of my schedule… you could definitely move directly on to hanging from the point).  Next I gridded out my gallery all on paper with my wall measurements in hand. I moved the buffet and climbed up on a chair. I’m always surprised at how much I enjoy putting nail holes all over my walls… especially since I’ve painted each room in my house at least once since we’ve moved in. Just pounding holes into my hard work but I think you will agree that it was so worth it. Take a peek:

                  All in all I’m really happy with the way it looks and glad I chose to go with photos over mirrors. I even like how it looks as I enter from the family room.

I don’t hate the price tag either! 8 frames x $1.99 each = 15.92! I already had the other supplies. Can you believe this is a $16 gallery wall?!?!

PSST… you can follow me on Instagram by clicking on the Instagram link to the right (in the sidebar) or by finding @hildagotrocks on Instagram. I’m also on Bloglovin’ + Facebook + Twitter which are linked in the side bar as well.

Things I’m Loving

Every month I post about things I’m loving… sometimes it is real life stuff, style, decor, fellow blogs and so on. So here is a grab-bag of things I’m loving lately.

In Life:

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My amazing “Aunt Kathy” of York’s Corks (actually my dad’s cousin but we are close so she earns the “Aunt” title) was going through a box of family stuff and sent me this incredibly detailed frame embroidery by my Great Grandmother “Gram Corc.” I love it for its obvious sentimental value and history. Not to mention the craftsmanship and time this must have taken! I’m not yet sure where to hang it… It could be a cool piece to add to the gallery wall in our foyer espcially with that black background! Or perhaps it could add an interesting pop elsewhere (half bath? or guest room?). Decisions, decisions!

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Speaking of the foyer gallery wall… it happens to be the background against my next “love”… fresh hydrangeas! I promise I didn’t do that on purpose. Anyway, when we go grocery shopping everyone gets a “spurge”… sometimes it is something unhealthy (poptarts!) or indulgent (wine for me) or just a total perk like flowers. In the midst of our gloomy, frigid winter I have been so excited to “splurge” on flowers. Then I break them into several small vases and scatter them throughout the house, literally bringing life into each room!

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Oh yes, dessert. Hubby and I went on our Valentine’s date during a blizzard. That’s how good our favorite place is. Everything on the menu is fantastic so saving room for dessert is difficult. But we look forward to dessert as much as we do the rest of the meal so on our way in, we pass the dessert bar and choose two pieces to be held for us… you know, in case everyone else knows how amazing the homemade confections are. Here we have an Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake and a Classic Red Velvet cake. Both were divine… I may or may not have reenacted the famous cafe scene from When Harry Met Sally.

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On a separate outing, we went bowling for a friend’s surprise 30th birthday party. I feel like just yesterday we were still celebrating 21st birthdays. So, we’re not so young anymore I guess. What a fun time! Hubby and I realized 4 things: 1- We had never been bowling together before. 2- Hubby is a really good bowler. 3- I am an embarrassingly bad bowler. 4- The style of bowling shoes haven’t changed in 50+ years.

With O:

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O got new play shoes. Not just any play shoes: Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers. I grabbed them at Target for less that $20!

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The good news: she loves them. The bad news: she loves them too much.

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When I first turned the corner into the shoe section she gasped “SHOOOOOOES!” And I gleamed with pride that my girl loves shoes. And then I realized this might be a really bad (expensive) habit if we don’t keep it in check. Haha! Anyway, she wouldn’t let me take off her other shoes. I had to pry her other shoes off while she screamed “No! My Toms! Mommy! MY. TOMS.” I had to explain that she would get to keep her shoes and buy new ones. She’s been wearing her Chucks since. Like every minute. She even wants to sleep in them (um, no.) and calls them her “Chuckies.” Oy, I’ve created a monster.

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We had a freak spurt of nice Spring weather. O and her friend H graffiti-ed our entire porch and sidewalk with their chalk art. We had tons of fun and lots of laughs. Too bad their masterpieces are now covered in snow and ice. What a tease… We are all looking forward to more sun and warmth.

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O asked me to tuck her bear in and give her some books. Then I sat in the hall and listened to her read to him and sing “Happy Birthday.” Just too much cuteness.

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And I can’t forget O’s new favorite hiding spot: behind the couch and the curtain. 

On Pinterest:

Winter seems eternal this year. But I’ve been eyeing tons of pink fashion, home decor and jewelry to brighten my days and pull me through these gray winter days. Pink pinterest boards gives me hope.

PINK

Source

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Source: Pinterest

Visit my Pinterest board inspired completely by my love for my daily grind.

On other blogs:

Brunch with KT of Nerdy Girl Writes. I’ve had the pleasure of an actual real life brunch date with this nerdy girl, but for those of you who aren’t so lucky her “Sunday Brunch” posts will have to suffice. Poke around! She has tons of post on decor, fashion and suggestions for good reads.

Nutella Brownies on Cup Of Jo. This woman speaks my language in so many ways. Nutella is my favorite!

PSSSsssssttt: Get 20% off any purchase over $10 at my etsy shop by entering SPRING20 at check out. Good thru 4/1/14

Gallery Wall Breakdown

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As promised, a gallery wall breakdown. What we chose, how we chose, how we (mostly I) made it. I love love love gallery walls. In fact, this isn’t our first gallery wall. Its at least the third. And third time is a charm my friends. But it IS the first gallery wall (and probably only one for a while) in our own grown-up house. I’ll do my best to go left to right with some up and down in between… don’t get dizzy now!

First up:

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The top left item is a small canvas I painted ages ago when I was dreaming of filling O’s wall with the alphabet. The idea for her room evolved (I guess I should post about her adorable room one day?) so I was left with a bunch of canvases of letters. I painted over most of them but I saved the A (for our last name) and waited for the right spot to hang it.

Below that is a Chinese paper art cut-out of an ox. I received a book full of paper art and cut outs from one of my father’s Chinese business associates. I framed this one because it had a great composition and the most bold colors of them all. It once lived on our hallway wall in our first apartment but it fits right in here.

The largest piece is a large print of our wedding announcement. We eloped in secret to Jamaica and had my mom send these out from “Loveland, Ohio” on the day we wed. Our good friend Erica made it. The entire thing is a water color treasure map depicting our engagement at the Cincinnati Zoo and our surprise Jamaican wedding. There is even a pirate ship and a treasure chest with our wedding rings. I think Erica and I came up with the rhyme together and she did all of that calligraphy by hand. Gorgeous work and one of my most prized possessions. Here is a closer look at it.

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Seriously one of my favorite things in the world.

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Closest to the door is a print of a photo I took of driftwood on one of our trips to the lake ages ago. The frame had a traumatic move but I plan on patching it with wood filler and giving it a fresh coat of paint. You can also see a little more of the Chinese ox in this picture.

20130312-114312.jpgOne of my favorite DIY wall art techniques is to take simple items and display them in an interesting way. Here I have done that with keys. I collect keys. I don’t know why but I have a shoe box full of them. So last time we did a gallery wall at our old place I grabbed our old car keys… Hubby had his beloved Volvo and I had my dream car Wanda the Wrangler. (Yes, I name my cars. My current ride is a 2012 charcoal Honda Pilot. She’s dark and boxy and looks like a Rhino so I named her Rhina). Enough about keys… The point is that all I did was paint a small canvas and hot glued my keys on. Then we each signed out names. The keys above are also on a canvas that I painted a coordinated chevron pattern on and glued some replica skeleton keys to it.

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This is our old apartment key and you guessed it- I painted a canvas and glued on a key. Then I used a sharpie to label it “Our First Apartment” and the address. I like it because it is sentimental and it ties in with a few other items on the wall. I chose orange to add a little color and pick up some of the vibrant colors from the Chinese ox.

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The next picture is of Hubby kissing O when she was just a day old. I especially love it in black and white with the silver frame.  It is a daily reminder for me of why I’m here doing what I’m doing each day.

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Above that is a smaller picture of me with O on the same day. I can’t believe she was ever so small.

And next to that is another driftwood picture that I took at the lake. Hubby and I used to stare at this picture and talk about what we see. I see an old man’s face. What do you see?

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Ah, and then there is a giant print of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. Hubby and I have agreed that she is only a placeholder for something else… should we ever find anything more fantastic than her.

The red frame holds corks. Its another free art piece I made with an everyday item for our old gallery wall. I even left the wire cage on the champagne cork in true Hilda style. Can you tell I like wine and corks? Because I posted about them here, here and here.

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Next is a framed sepia row boat print purchased from The Market in Charleston.

And then there is an adorable little Baby O foot print in plaster and a copy of her Valentine’s Day themed birth announcement. The natural wood frame is nice but the rest of the frames on the wall are black, white or silver so I think it may eventually get painted to give it more cohesion with the rest of the wall.

The last piece is a typography print of an eye exam chart but it says “I love you past forever and longer than always” instead of the alphabet. I bought it on Etsy as a valentines day gift for Hubby years ago. I wish I could remember which shop it came from.

So I that’s the novel version of our gallery wall. It is actually the second time I’ve written it… apparently WordPress ate my last post so I did this all over again. That’s love people. I love you! I didn’t mean for it to be so long but each piece has a story. The stories are what is starting to make our house a home. What makes your home?

Foyer Progress

When we bought our house it was the victim of “neutralization” in order to sell. Obviously a real estate professional advised our previous owners to paint things neutral and de-clutter in order to attract buyers. I’m not against this. I hate clutter too. I believe in neutral. What I don’t believe in is buying 5 gallons of flat tan paint and sloppily painting the entire house (minus the blue room- more on that later). No lie, the entire house was the same flat tan paint. It was a cave. A neutral cave.

I first attacked our family room and painted it gray with stripes. The family room is open to our bi-level foyer over the half wall. The gray was begging me to continue into the foyer. That’s the thing about open-concept homes: you never know where to start and stop painting. But I felt the gray was a natural progression into the foyer. I knew it would have enough light and add a little balance. So we did it…. with a really awesome ladder.

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{View from the family room}

IMG_2312 {View from top of the steps}

 

 

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{From the half wall}

IMG_2313{From the landing}

So tan, Right?!?!? I somehow lost the paint-in-progress pictures when I switched around some computer stuff. But trust me- I painted the foyer gray twice. On a really tall ladder. Really.

Next came hanging pictures. I have always wanted an asymmetrical gallery wall. Now was the chance. I used the tried and true newspaper layout trick and it saved a tone of headache. I also marked each cut-out with the spots to nail holes for each picture. Boom- NO MEASURING whatsoever. My kind of project.

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I spent a few days looking at the newpaper layout and rearranged a few things on it before I settled on the current layout. The best part is that its a work in progress. I can add, move and change things as time goes on. Note the teal door behind me. so cheery! Although I’m seriously considering painting it black to give a more chic/laid back vibe.

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{Work in progress}

I’m still waiting to find the right inspiration for something to go on the big blank wall above the door. And We’d like to add more frames above the current collection. But for now this is just what the foyer needed. Stay tuned for another update and a breakdown of all of the art/photos up on this wall.