On the wall

This isn’t going to be a picture hanging tutorial. There are plenty of those around the internet, and I’m fairly certain that my eyeball method isn’t going to win any awards. I do recommend this handy tool called the Hang and Level (as seen on tv!) that my husband got me after I yelled, “I need one of those!” when I saw it on tv. That thing works great if you use it. This time I didn’t bother to get it out because I was sure this was a 10-minute project. Can’t you hear the universe laughing at me? It took me an hour and a half, but I got some pictures out from under the bed (literally) and onto the wall, so I’m calling it a win.

A few things I actually used and a whole bunch of things I rejected.

I had hoped to have all sorts of details in the master bedroom completed this week: pillow covers, closet door knobs, pictures. Alas, this is real life, and like you, I had a couple of other things to attend to. I did get as far as realizing that I don’t have enough fabric for both sides of two pillows, so I’ll have to go buy something to coordinate for the pillow backs. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m still pondering whether I should attempt zippers on these pillow covers. I’d hate to ruin my nice fabric trying something I don’t really know how to do. (Clearly I’m already talking myself out of it.)

But back to what I did accomplish: the pictures. When we rearranged the furniture a few weeks ago, the original picture placement didn’t work anymore, and there was another big empty spot on the wall. I decided it was finally time to complete a project I intended to do at least a year ago. All three children wore the same Belgian lace bonnet and booties for their baptisms, and I bought a shadow box to display them, but they’ve been moved from a shelf to a bag under the bed and back and forth. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to fix the items in the box, but last time I was at Michael’s, I asked someone behind the framing counter. Turns out, all I needed was 15 minutes, a few straight pins and a little batting. No thanks to the shadow box itself:

“Oh, great! Instructions!”

“Are they written in invisible ink?”

That little velcro strip wasn’t going to help, so I just stuffed the booties loosely with batting, and then fiddled around with the placement until I was satisfied. Now I have a piece of art and not just something to store until I have grandchildren.

I also rehung the two frames I originally had next to the window, but higher to accommodate the dresser. These are just postcards of watercolors of costumes designed by the artist Leon Bakst for the Ballets Russes in the early 1900s. I studied a little Russian in college and fell in love with these paintings while taking a course on Russian culture.

On the other side of the bathroom door I hung a white porcelain Kaiser plate with a relief pattern (I love the matte finish of these Kaiser pieces) and a Van Gogh print (that I’d like to reframe–check out the top piece that’s bowed).

While I was at it, I added a few things to the upstairs hall. I’ve been meaning to hang the kids’ school portraits (seriously, why do I order these if I never put them on display?). I thought a good spot would be over the bulletin board where we display some of their current artwork and awards. I had some unused white Ikea frames that fit perfectly.

I also dragged my framed diplomas and law license that haven’t seen the light of day since they left my office in a cardboard box two days before I delivered my firstborn. I’ve read all the arguments for and against displaying one’s diplomas in the home, but my reason was purely so that my children come to realize that their mother did once go to college and earned a couple of degrees, and has some knowledge beyond laundry and cookie baking. As soon as I hung the diplomas, they were busy examining them, calculating the years between them, and inquiring whether I had met all the state Supreme Court justices whose signatures are on my license.

Next week I fully intend to get those pillow covers made. Really.

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13 responses

  1. Awesome! I love the idea of hanging your diploma’s so that your kids know who you are besides MOM. I liked what you said about your kids school photos as well – so thought provoking! Also, isn’t it interesting how much stuff we actually already HAVE for projects? I mean, I’ve framed and hung various pieces of art in the house, set up my first-ever shadow box, created fun clip board wall art, and sewn two pillows – without having to shell out a dime! Why do we bother buying the supplies for the crafts if we don’t intend to do them?? I finally decided that I was either going to do the crafts or donate the items. If the crafts turned out in a way I didn’t like, I hadn’t lost anything, and if I loved them, all the better for me!

    • “All accomplishments welcome here!” Alana, that’s exactly what I was going for, but didn’t articulate. Preschool artwork, Student of the Month awards, college diplomas–all things we’re proud of!

  2. Love it! You own that knowledge, girl! Mine are in the laundry room…a kind of cynical humor and attempt to remind me that humility is a good thing.
    The shadow box is so very pretty. And the art I love. The dresser btw….gorgeous!

  3. I struggled with some picture placement too this week- absolutely sure it would be quick and easy and it took me the better part of the day, just walking by, and re-arranging, moving, taking down, trading places, putting up. Congratulations on getting it done! It looks great. I love that Van Gogh too!

  4. in our entryway we have begun a hodge-podge mish-mash of pieces that make us smile. photographs, our own art, written notes or even vintage cardboard packaging. nothing is too precocious or precious. it’s organic and growing with our home. but there are so many who come in the door and say “…. but it doesn’t MATCH” to which we reply life doesn’t match. long story short, i love it! the diplomas are a great idea and the school photos are sure to make you smile.

  5. Love that your diplomas are hanging along with all the other precious things that make your family what it is! Such a great idea (mine are hidden away at work, someday they’ll make it onto the wall, will probably happen days before I leave this job! :)) Read somewhere that a mother’s education level is a huge determining factor in the level of education that her children will obtain (more so than a father’s…I have nothing to back this up right here, so it has become anecdotal). So having those out there, ready for your children to see, couldn’t be more important.
    Good luck with the pillowcases. Maybe just a fold-over in the back using the ‘other’ fabric instead of a zipper (so complicated).

    • Good suggestion for the envelope style pillow cover. I could just slip-stitch them closed, but it’s really smarter to make them easily removable (and thus, washable!). Years ago I made some for the family room with a velcro closure on the back, and they’re still in great condition (they take a lot of abuse!). I probably have enough velcro, so I wouldn’t have to buy something extra!

      • If you overlap the fold far enough across, you won’t need a closure…like more than 5″…the pillow is harder to get out, but no need for any velcro/zipper/hand stitching. Did this on a couple of pillow covers and it worked well. Good luck!

  6. YES on displaying your law degree and license. My husband made me put mine up in October, and he’s right–they should have always been up. My boys do need to know that many moons ago I did more than clean their rooms and make their dinners. AWESOME job.

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