Monday, November 26, 2012

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. . .

I apologize for the lack of posts.  I have some good reasons.

First I got a bad cough/chest cold two weeks ago.

Then I got the stomach flu over Thanksgiving break.  (From what I hear, about half of America had it).

Then I was getting ready for the boutique I'm hosting at my house this Sunday (I'm still busy).

Then Blogger told me I had reached my free photo storage capacity, and I couldn't write any posts with pictures.  I spent most of today researching the migration from Blogger to Wordpress--the complicated migration where I attempt to keep my subscribers and reroute to the new web address.  For now, I have upgraded my photo storage plan, but I have e-mails into friends to get me onto Wordpress soon.  It's time!

Another decision I'm pondering: Should I focus on celebration banners and scale back my scripture signs?  They are beautiful, but they are super time consuming for the price I charge.  I need to constantly pray about keeping a Biblical balance of ministry, family and creative business. 

After my tummy flu settled down a bit, we did a few, fun family outings this weekend.  Here are some pictures of our outings. . . (I can finally add pictures again!  Yay!)

They look like little angels here.  The posing lady made them fold their hands.  This cracks me up!

A family pic

Posing with my boys

Carter and Micah

The Christmas tree at Fashion Island Shopping Center in Newport Beach.  It is REALLY tall.

The fountain in front of Neiman Marcus.  The water changes colors, and the boys were fascinated!

We always end our Christmas at Fashion Island night with hot cocoa or coffee(me) at Roger's Gardens, a posh nursery in Newport Beach where they put up thousands of decorations and millions of lights every year.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Some Design Rules for a Gallery Wall

I am in no way a designer.  I wish I were, but I do know when I look at something if it is right or wrong aesthetically.  I know what is pretty or what looks "off."  Technical terminology, I know, but stay with me.

This gut instinct served me when I was creating my gallery wall for our living room.  Here are some "rules" from a non-designer. 

I knew that when the TV was turned off, we had a huge negative space black rectangle on our wall on a neutral colored paint, so, in order to soften and meld with the large, black TV, I did black and white objects all around.  When we first moved in, I had bought a large colorful painting for the side of the TV, and it was SO busy.  When the TV was off, it wasn't a balanced look--your eye was drawn to the large, black hole of a TV on the wall, and when the TV was on and had colors moving all around, it was a busy, competing, mess of a wall design.  I make mistakes and I learn.  Maybe it was just the colors and pattern I had, but it definitely didn't work.

If you have a large flatscreen on a neutral wall, I personally recommend using black and white pieces around.  The white softens the negative space of the black and the united colors tie it together, almost creating art out of your TV.  If you do splashes or pops of color to tie into your room, that works too--just keep it balanced around other neutral shades.

I am using color (shades of light blue and rust) in the chair pillows that will be on the chairs I will place on each side of the console below the TV (still to be found and bought), in drapes on the other side of the room, and on the couch pillows on the other side of the room.  A canvas artpiece next to my fireplace wall (adjacent to this wall) has oranges and blues in it too.

I also knew that with that large of a wall, I needed weight in the size of my pictures.  When you get too many small pieces, the wall gets busy and cluttered--floating all over with nothing centering and weighing the space down.  So, my frames are mostly large (they don't look huge, which shows you the size of that wall!), with one or two small accents thrown into the grouping. 

(We have a big slider behind me that causes glare, so I apologize that some of the pictures have that glare)

I also wanted a set of "three" (that perfect design number we hear about) look of appearing on my wall since it is long and narrow.  I essentially used the TV as my center and then two clustered groupings on each side--connecting it all with the top photos above the TV.  The color is uniting it all together as well.

Side grouping on one side of the TV

A closeup of the other side grouping on the other side of the TV.

Today, I also learned a rule from Sarah 101 for gallery groupings.  I actually followed this rule unknowingly.  Pick either the bottom or top of the gallery wall to be lined up.  The opposite side can be at different heights.  As you can see from my pictures, I, in essence, unknowingly lined up the top of my gallery wall in a line (with a slight alteration in line above the TV, which works with the long wall and high ceilings we have).  The bottom is all at different heights, which works since the top is structured.

See how the top is in a straight line (with a purposeful rise in the line just above the TV) but the bottom is at all different heights. . .  The line on the top or bottom helps anchor the gallery.

You want to keep any groupings equally weighted but not too matchy matchy.  Each side of the TV is in a different grouping, but they have equal "weight" and substance to them.  You can see in my pictures above that each side is in a different formation, but they each have 6 pieces and have something centering the "circular" arrangement around them.  On one side the "H" is anchoring the group and, on the other side, the canvas topography is centering the grouping.

I've tied all these "pieces" together to avoid a cluttered look.  In my gallery, the colors of black and white, the lined up top, and the two topography canvases tie the sides and groupings altogether. 

I explained how I figured out my design here.  In summary, I cut out pieces of paper the size of my frames and TV and practiced the designs on the floor until it looked right.  Then I taped the papers on the wall to see it there and just attached the frames by removing one paper at a time. 

Happy gallery wall planning!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Christmas Pictures with Letter Props

Last year we took our pictures with letter props.  I highly recommend it if you have kids.  It gave them something to hold and keep them focused, and it keeps the picture fun and fresh, so it still looks in theme if one of your kiddos is doing his or her own "look." 

I went to Michael's and bought J, O, and Y from the wooden letter aisle.  That's it!  You could spell out your last name, you could spell out NOEL or MERRY.  Think about the size of your family and that will help you pick out the length of your word.  Go early to get your letters, though!  Christmas crafters come and take the popular Christmas letters.  I had trouble finding some of the letters for crafts later in the season.

Have fun with it!  This year we are taking a year off from a formal picture session and just making a card with pictures from the year.  Here are some poses from last year's photo session . . .

My youngest is 2 and 1/2 here, and he was acting very much his age that day.  We had to tickle him to get a smile.

Here is what to be careful of avoiding--having your kid cover his or her face with the letter. 

It's a wrap!
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