Tuesday, 21 January 2014

photography | wall art thoughts

We have a wall of photographs in our house that is supposed to be changed up every now and then. The thing is, it has been changed once since we moved in. Once. That's since October 2006. Clearly not what we had in mind. Granted, many of the photos on the wall are perfectly lovely. Others went on there temporarily because the frames had to be filled. Then that temporarily turned into forever. What can I say, time flies.

(Sorry for the crappy picture, I took it yesterday with my phone when there was far too little light in the house - damned winter)
 photo ITM_Photo-2014-01-20-14-57-59.jpg

But lately I've been thinking that I want to take them all down and put up one big photo instead. I like the idea of one huge oversized photo with a fat passepartout in a nice simple silvery frame, covering a large part of that wall. Kind of like this.

I have been looking for a while for a suitable photo in our EHDs and surprisingly it seems more difficult than could be expected after years and years of clicking that camera button. But maybe, just maybe this one of a street in Rome could be a contender? Feedback is very much welcome!

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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Photo wall how to - Linda style

disclaimer: this tutorial works for frames that have holes in the back for the nail, if your frames are strung you will need to find another way to group them and hang them straight

So I said a while ago that I would come back and post my way of getting the grouping of the frames on my photo wall the way I wanted it. Here it is. I don't claim to have found the fastest way in the world and I am sure there are lots of great ways out there to hang picture frames in straight lines. I just want to share how I did it.

1. Get a roll of cheap-o wrapping paper that you don't want to use for beautiful gifts. I am a hoarder when it comes to wrapping paper and had lots to choose from.

2. Roll the paper out on the floor so that it's long enough to cover the wall  you want to hang your pictures on and cut it off. If your wall is wider than the paper roll out new lengths and tape together lenghtwise until you have a piece that is wide enough. For me it was enough with two lenghts. You don't have to bother measuring or making sure that the lenghts are taped together straight. You just have to make sure the whole piece is as wide or wider than your wall.

3. Now place your wrapping paper on the floor with the back side facing up.

4. Use a ruler to draw a line across the top of the paper. This will act as a guiding line for your frames, and later also to make sure that you get them straight on the wall. Then take out your frames and start placing them on the wrapping paper, trying out different combinations to find a look that appeals to you. At this stage you don't have to measure for alignment and exact distances. Your main objective right now is to find a grouping that you like. As I used identical frames all I had to do was to decide how many I wanted on each row and how to arrange it so that there was a balance between portrait and landscape photos. Take your time and step back from the floor from time to time so that you can see the whole thing from a distance.

5. When you are happy with the grouping of your frames it's time to whip out the ruler and pencil again. If you are like me - anal - it's important that the distance between each frame is the same. Here's where the ruler comes in handy. If you have problems keeping numbers in your head like I do sometimes write down the measurements that you decide on, both between frames on one row and between two rows. If you have decided to go with a less strict pattern for your grouping you might not feel as compelled to measure and align. That is fine too. It means one less thing to worry about.

6. Once you have your first frame measured and aligned with the top line you drew earlier then trace along the sides of the frame. Repeat with the rest of the frames. If you are going with a free form grouping then trace along the frames after placing them where you want them. This step is important. Do not skip this step!

7. When you have traced all the frames it's time to remove them from the wrapping paper. Pick up one frame and have a look at the back. Measure the distance from the edges to the hole where your nail will go once you hang it. If you are like me you will want to write these down too. If you are using different frames you need to repeat this step for each different frame. Now on each of the the traced frame lines on the wrapping paper use your measurements to mark the center of the hole. This step is also important. Do not skip this step either!

8. OK, by this time you should have lots of traced lines on your wrapping paper with marks for the holes inside each traced line. If you do, you are good to go. If you don't, please go back and review.

9. Now it's time to get the wrapping paper up on the wall. If the wall is very wide you will probably need help from a second set of hands. Either that or you are a stubborn type-A personality who are adamant on doing everythin yourself, and perfectly too. That was me. Tape the wrapping paper to the wall, making sure that the top line is completely level. You can either use a level or use your ruler to measure from the top of the wall (assuming your ceiling isn't round).

10. When the paper is up on the wall step back and look for a while at the lines. This will be how your wall will look. If you aren't happy with the look, take the paper down and start from the beginning. If you like it go get your hammer and nails.

11. Put a nail right where each mark for the holes are. Make sure the nail goes in at the center of the mark. Once you have all the nails in the wall you are ready to take the wrapping paper down. If the paper is thick and sturdy you need to be gentle so that you don't rip the nails off as well. If you used really thin and cheap paper from IKEA, again like me, you can just rip. You will now have perfectly placed nails with no marks on the wall to clean up or paint over.

12. Take your frames and place them on your nails.

13. Step back and admire your work.

And that's it folks. Easy peasy, right? ;)

Monday, 18 January 2010

Photo wall change

Sometimes even I have a stroke of genius. Like when I decide to look through my IKEA catalogues and be inspired. I did that four or five years ago and was really inspired to start a photo wall. We lived at a different place back then but we decided to bring the idea with us to this house when we moved just little over three years ago.

Being the lover of "simple" that I am, and let's face, plain anal about order and "clean", used 19 identical frames, all B/W photos, and arranged them in a grouping that I personally thought was appealing. But, that was three+ years ago, and to be honest both my photography and my editing skills have improved vastly since then. It was time for an update.

We discussed me doing something artsy and creative but in the end we (or I rather) came back to the simple, clean style that I want to define our house. So I simply printed some new photos and changed out the old ones.



What I want to convey with this post is that you don't need to do elaborate stuff to get a good end result. You don't need to do LOs, or books, or hybrid projects with all your photos. You don't need a lot of fuss. Sometimes just printing the photos and putting them in frames can be more than enough and very effective.

I love walking past this wall - it's on the way from the living room to our bedroom so I pass it at least twice a day - and see people we love, or a place we've been to, or a detail of something beautiful in our lives. I love to have guests go over and stand there for a while, striking up conversations whether they were there when the photos were taken or not. I love that they are a part of our daily lives and not stuck in in a box or in a book case.

Now you might not like the straight rows that I have. You might not like the uniform frames. You might not want all of your photos in B/W. Well that is the beauty of it, you can do it any which way you like! If you want inspiration, you can check out Decor8 Flickr group. There are plenty of photo wall pictures. Through this group I found Chez Larsson and fell in love instantly. Wow, what a beautiful home. What beautiful ideas.

Oh, and if you need tips on how to get perfectly straight rows like mine for a photo wall just give me a shout. I thought and thought about this for the longest time and came up with a way that works really well if you have enough photos to finish up the photo wall all at once.