Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Gallery of Inspiration

by Kelly

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer. ~Terri Guillemets

I blame Pinterest.

I swear I am going to have that tattooed on my forehead one day.

A few weeks ago, we finally got around to having the last bit of wood floors refinished in our upstairs. I ended up switching the rooms around too.  I moved my daughter's room to the back bedroom and put my office in her old room.  

Mother of the year... I know.

At any rate, once we finally got everything put back in order, I did some major purging and reorganizing in my office.  (The hacksaw may have been pulled out, but shhhhhh...don't tell my husband).  And after the dust settled (literally and figuratively), I was left with - HEAVEN FORBID! - a completely empty wall.

Hello Pinterest.

I decided that it would be fun to create a gallery wall in the wall space above the file cabinet and so naturally, I went to Pinterest where I have an entire board devoted to gallery walls.  And thanks to a little serendipity, I also saw this blog post by Jamie Pate on Heidi Swapp's website.  I think what I love most is the mix of shapes and textures in combination with typography and other elements.  Which is what I wanted to incorporate into my gallery wall.  

So the first thing I did was start with a little sketch.  

I wish I was one of those people that could just pull a bunch of things together willy-nilly, but I tend to do so much better if I have at least some kind of visual to get me going.  For this project, I knew I wanted to incorporate some marquee letters and I had an old, gold-tone, empty frame that I hoped to repurpose...that's where I stared.  Then I sketched in a few other elements (mostly unused picture frames and word art) to fill in the spaces and keep this project as inexpensive as possible ...knowing that the end result would probably look a little different.  

The one thing I splurged on were the marquee letters.  I decided to give them an aged, gold finish by layering on a combination of gold, cream, and silver acrylic paints (all things I had in my supplies).  I also used a tiny bit of an antique rub in between the layers to give it the aged feel.  

Once I had the letters done, I started experimenting with placement by arranging the pieces on the floor.  And in the spirit of full-disclosure, the layout evolved over the course of a couple of days.  I had the big gold frame, the marquee letters, and a chalkboard pretty much fixed.  Friday afternoon I visited Vintage Market Days and bought an antique fence picket which I thought would be a fun addition.  But everything else was open for interpretation.

So fast forward about 36 hours, and this was the final iteration.  I wrote out one of my favorite bible verses in chalk, added a quote by St. Francis of Assisi (the inspiration behind my word for the year - CONNECT), and printed out a couple of photos.  The next step was to hang it up on the wall.  Once again, someone like my friend Carrie could probably hang all this up with no map and all the pictures would be level and everything would be perfectly spaced.  But not me.  So I started by measuring and marking, then hanging the largest pieces - the frame, marquee letters, and chalkboard - and then added the other elements one at a time.

Here is the end result.

I just love the way it turned out.  Each of the elements speaks to my heart and makes me so happy.

If you are interested in creating a gallery wall for yourself,  I would offer the following pieces of advice.  First, try not to overthink it....this should be fun.  Next, choose a variety of elements in various shapes and sizes - word art, frames, photos.  Also, try incorporating a variety of finishes in gold, painted, and/or wood.  Then, as you put your design together, don't be afraid to move things around - my end result turned out quite a bit different than my original sketch.  Finally, I find that keeping at least one edge of each element aligned is the best way to keep all these different styles, colors, and shapes unified. For instance in my wall, the bottom of the letters line up with the bottom of the gold frame and the framed print of my daughter lines up along the left edge.

I know this type of display isn't for everyone, but I find it to wonderfully inspirational to have all of these things I love in the place where I create. And what a gift to create something beautiful just for yourself.

I'd love to see your creative spaces! You can upload them to our Flickr pool or share them on Instagram using the #focusingonlife.  

Until next time,



AFishGirl said...

Fabulous, Kelly! I am going to sneak a peak at Pintrest. I'm telling Pat it's your fault. Kelly made me do it.

Dotti said...

Dear Mother of the Year - Don't pay any attention to AFishGirl. Although it is a good excuse. Kelly made me do it. In fact, you might just find your name taken in vain in my post tomorrow - just sayin'.

Anyhow, this is brilliant! Really wonderful. I've got the itch to redo the walls in my 'studio/office/work space/my space' space. And you have an open invitation to come help me. We're only a couple of states away. Face the North Pole, turn right and go straight. Well, mostly straight. We're right in the middle of the state, you can't miss us. xo

Lisa Gordon said...

Kelly, I could not be more perfect!
What a beautiful job you did here.

Cheryl McCain said...

Oh my gosh, what a wonderful wall of art and inspiration you came up with! I'll blame you too and will be heading over to Pinterest a bit later today. Right now, I'm cleaning out the front flower bed!! Woot woot!!

Cathy H. said...

Your creative wall is amazing! Pinterest is nice for ideas, but one must have the talent to be able to gather things that look well together and place them. You definitely have that talent!

Carrie Bump said...

I absolutely LOVE IT!!!!

heyjudephotography said...

Kelly, this is just so perfect! And you've really inspired me since my "to do" list includes re doing my office space. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece of your art.

Carol said...

thats pretty funny -you advising us not to overthink ! Just kidding!!!!! ( we are a bunch of over thinkers here
, in case you didn't notice, sweet readers....). Your wall looks terrific and I think you are wonderful! I had to have a friend help me -I was paralzed . You are so original inyour choices and they fit together wonderfully. Congrats on your new outlook as you work!

Anonymous said...

Kelly, your post couldn't have come at a better time! As Im searching "Pinterest" for ideas for our new home I became so overwhelmed with ideas that I couldn't think straight lol! I knew I wanted one big wall with a mix of interesting textures, elements, colors and most of all...things that spoke to me! This is exactly my plan..to lay it all out and then start decorating! Beautiful arrangement! Thanks for sharing!

Deanna said...

I just love this...and I have a wall in my office that is crying for attention. Ok is it Kelly's fault or Pinterest? Who cares, it's terrific. Can you come over and help me??

pjs said...

Your creativity is amazing! I absolutely love your wall. Thanks for sharing the whole process. You have inspired me :-)

kelly said...

thank you all so much for your kind words! it is a fun project and great way to use a lot of random pieces in a beautiful way!!

Beverly said...

Such a beautiful gallery of special pieces! I love everything you've added to it...JUST PERFECT Kelly!

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