Friday, May 24, 2013


Well it's finally summer in these parts. I've had ice cream three days in a row and the A/C has been turned on to combat the heavy impending-thunderstorm humidity.

I wrote those first two lines 4 days ago and clearly I jinxed myself. It's zero-c (~30f) in these parts today. FML. Moving on...

In the past year I've really taken to the phrase "stop the glorification of busy" because I, in good company, am sick of hearing how busy you are and sick of telling people how busy I am. I get it, you get it, we are ALL DOING ALL OF THE THINGS. My general state tends to involve having a lot on the go and if it's not on my schedule then I probably don't want to do it. Instead of telling people how busy I am I try to tell them how HAPPY I am. In response to "How are you?" I've instead been trying to say things like: "Great, playing lots of Frisbee  lots of wedding events coming up, an exciting summer ahead for sure!". Responding with "Oh we're so busy!" was often accompanied with a crooked face like "woe is me and all my social engagements, it's so draining!" or carrying a sense of "oh my life is sooooo much more exciting than yours." because really, it's not. I made these choices and you've made yours, they shouldn't be compared. I was BUSY planting grass seed and pulling weeds last weekend so no, my life is not more exciting than anyone else's. That is nothing to brag about. You do your thing and be proud and I'll do mine, and then let's share how great those things were instead of putting on a dramatic showing of how we're drowning in our self-planned lives. Shut up, Erica.

You know what's not on my schedule these days? Blogging.

Things that are on my schedule?
Playing Frisbee.
Training for Fall half-marathon. (Now that I've told you I can't back down...)
Planning upcoming doom nuptials.

I suppose things have already quieted down in these parts this year but now I'm making it official by telling you not to expect much until... an undetermined date between September 20th and December 31st... maybe.

Yes we're planning a wedding and that involves a lot of fun things to share but they are largely the same as any wedding. I'll wear a dress, people will consume food and booze, there will be music. After the whole debacle is over I'd love to share some of our more personal touches - like the centerpieces my dad is making, and our ridiculous wedding cake - but not until we're on the other side.

I wish you a safe, and wonderful, and ice-cream filled, and HAPPY summer!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

DIY: Gallery Wall

...or a post with a lot of pictures about how I hung a lot of pictures.

In my never ending effort to make my house a home, we put up a small 'gallery wall' this weekend. By 'this weekend' I mean I've been collected pictures for months and finally went out and found frames.

Here's the process I went through:

1. Decide on pictures!
I was inspired by this post from Nothing But Bonfires - particularly the pictures lining the staircase and the personal montage to the couples relationship. I liked the mix of print and photograph, too. Another post that caught my eye was this one from Young House Love. Again with the hallway lined with photos, typically a space that you are just passing through, lined with a gallery of your life. Sounds easy enough! I had recently purchased two prints - Chicago and NYC skylines - both cities that Rob and I had visited together - and we'd just had an engagement photo session. Those would be the anchors. Oh look, here they are!

Ah yes, how could I forget when it was 10c in January... how young! how naive!


 This print and the next one are from an online store called Bird Ave, who were wonderful.

I miss this place.

These were the 4 big ones, all 8"x10". I decided that everything else would be 5"x7" or 4"x6", largely because they are cheap to print at the instant photo kiosk and frames would be easy to find. The rest of the pictures:

Me & Rob on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Me & my fam after a long days work.

Me and all my cousins.

Me & Rob drinking wine.

Boomy and his best girlfriend, Ilse.

Me & Rob doing what we do best: watching hockey, drinking beer, being crazy. 

2. Frames! 
After I chose all my pictures it was time to find appropriate frames. I spent very little time on this. I had several frames on hand and the rest I purchased at Home Sense for as cheap as possible. I think the most expensive frames were the large ones at $12.99 a piece. I owned 6/10 frames so when it came time to purchase the other 4 I considered how many of each colour I had and tried to balance that. Worked out to 3 brown, 3 white, 4 black. The thinking was that it would look odd with just one white frame etc. 

3. Figuring out where to hang all this crap
I have ten pictures, of varying size, that need to go on the wall in some configuration. I figured this out using two techniques:
a. trace all the pictures onto paper and then hang the paper on the wall to see how the alignment looks
b. lay all the pictures out on the floor to see how all the frames work together (not all white frames in one corner etc). 
I settled on the lower part of the stairs because I liked that it made the pictures visible from the front door. I considered putting them towards the top of the stairs but then no one would every see them as guests rarely go upstairs. 

The final layout.

View from the front door, messy kitchen and all!

4. Hang the bitches
The paper layout on the wall did not accommodated for any calculated spacing, nor were they level. Our strategy for hanging the pictures was kind of rogue - hang the first one and eyeball everything from there. Lucky for us it worked. We have this picture hanging tool and it works like a charm. 

 We took each picture and held it over the trace paper to mark where to drill holes... repeat, repeat, repeat!

 Almost done!

 That dog needs to be at the centre of the action. 

 All done!

The whole process was easier than I thought. Figuring out the layout, framing everything and hanging probably took about 2 hours.