Today is also another special little girl's birthday. One of my best friends in the whole world had her little girl on my mom's birthday. I think it's a sign! Last weekend she asked for some ideas of what to get her for her birthday. A vanity, I suggested. A picture wall was another idea. She jumped on the picture wall idea saying how much her daughter would love it. But then panicked about how to pull it off. Then I got a smirk on my face and typed, "Want to commission me to make it for her?" Of course I wasn't really thinking about the fact that this was a busy week with Pumpkin Walk coming up, or that I didn't have another weekend between when I typed that and her birthday, or that I had no idea how much I would hem and haw over someone else's decorations. For my own kids I spent months grabbing things that reminded me of them, collected frames and sayings and then just put it all together. I didn't worry much about measuring. I just layed it out on the rug in their room, moved things around a few times till I liked how it looked and then started hanging it. Rod would hammer the hangars and I would adjust and readjust as things went up on the wall. I am very visual so don't need measurements but can eyeball things and be pretty near on every time. As long as things are level and feel visually pleasing to your eye, I'm good. So to make a wall for a friend's daughter was different and fun. Although it also made me stressed. I wanted to make it perfect. I wanted other people's opinions. I wanted feedback. Was it ok? Was it enough? Although in the end I loved the process. It made me realize that when I figure out what I want to do when I grow up, being creative has to be a part of it! It makes me giddy and excited and happy to be creating again. Could I do this as a side job? I don't know. But while I figure out what I want to be when I grow up I can't say I mind doing it for friends!
I started with what I know she loves: the beach, her sister, her black lab Cooper, her family, soccer. And then asked her mom what else she wanted to include: snowboarding, the fact that she is always smiling, polka dots, blue and white and hot pink. Then I started searching the web and pinterest for inspiring quotes. I literally jumped out of bed last Sunday and couldn't wait to get started. With a cup of coffee steaming next to me I pinned and saved and was feeling inspired to create something special just for this little girl that I have known since she was a baby. Fun quotes, thoughts and inspirations for this sweet girl! Of course they had to include all her favorites and be blue or pink or white!
In order to make it all happen you need frames, and letters and ways to hang it all up. I wanted it to be bright and fun but cohesive. I couldn't wait to go shopping on Monday. But first I had to run around like a chicken with my head cut off getting ready for our Pumpkin Walk. Stopping at town hall, hanging signs, meeting with the park's superintendent, making calls. It only left me with an hour and a half to shop and get back home for my kids after school activities. I had 6 stores on my list of places to visit but only made it to 3: Home Goods, Joanne's and Kohls. I'm a sucker for a sale and often times I paint, modge podge or mess with the original item so don't need to buy everything perfect or full price. Of course I also use coupons and shop at places like home goods and tj maxx so things are already heavily discounted. I actually got the majority of what I needed and then had to rush home. While the kids did homework I couldn't wait to get started. I printed quotes, not even concerning myself with sizes, and started laying things out so what I would know what I still needed.
|Not a bad start for one afternoon.|
|I had to get my craft on so made this|
canvas Monday afternoon with this
print for inspiration, a white small
canvas and two painty pens, one black
and one gold. So fun to make! And this
quote suits her so well!
That night I couldn't relax knowing that I hadn't hit three of my other stores and might be missing the key item to make it perfect. Remember I normally do this over the course of at least a month but with a shorter deadline I was chomping at the bit to get 'er done! I ran out to Michael's (but spent so long there that I couldn't hit the other two stores) and found a few more things that would work and fit in with the ideas I had. I knew I needed some different shapes. It becomes too linear when everything is square and rectangular. The letter helped with that but I needed some other items too. I was stressing about the button A and when I found this metal one I snagged it up, just in case. I also found a cool black canvas. What? They sell black canvases now?! I couldn't wait to get home and get crafty. Tuesday when the kids were doing homework I was getting my craft on again with a white paint pen and the black canvas. I love how it looks like a chalkboard print but it's not. And of course I love the sentiment.
|My friend wondered if I had painted the A. Turns out she loved|
the buttons because they looked like polka dots! Back to the first one.
On Wednesday I got my glue gun out and worked on a few designs. I'd originally scattered them on there just to give her the gist of what it would look like. Then I tried the full on buttons everywhere look which I hated and made me decide I needed something else, thus the metal A. I thought about painting the dots with an eraser but wasn't sure how it would turn out and didn't want to wreck it. I liked the brown color peaking through as it coordinated with the burlap on the family frame.
|This looked too busy and some were coming off the|
sides but not filling up the A. I hated it. More spread out
was a better look and showed off the polka dots.
Thursday I also ran out to A.C. Moore for one final search for the non-square item I'd been looking for and for last minute items for our Pumpkin Walk. I found a sweet mirror that of course goes perfectly next to the "Be You Tiful" quote. After a few more turns at moving everything around and asking "this one or this one?" of my friend (and probably driving her crazy with all the texts and pictures!) I settled on the final design. (Thanks to KT, Kathy, and Rod and my kids for their input as well!)
Then came the hard part. I layed it out on paper. She had given me the measurements for the wall she wanted on. I cut the paper to size. Then measured and used a square edge to make sure things were level. Of course I usually eyeball these things so part of me thinks it might be easier in the future to just hang it myself (or truth be told with Rod wielding the hammer). But since they live so darn far away I wasn't sure when that would happen and I wanted her to have it hung soon. So I made a hanging template for them. I marked the pictures, measured, centered, and measured again for hanging holes. I hope it makes things easier and not more difficult for them!
|The hanging map...It's a little easier to read in person.|
|And yes, Anna, everyone was in on it. I hear your dad and grandma are good hangers. |
They gave your picture wall the thumbs up!
Happy Birthday sweet Annie! I hope you like your present. It was made for you with love and as a collaboration between your mom and myself. She wanted to "give you something that was special just for you!" Thanks sweet girl for being our muse!
|She loved it!|
|Already hanging on her walls!|
|Said the template made it so easy!|
|Enjoying her new wall! Her sister is jealous and already|
planning her own!