Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Minimal wall damage

During my first conversation with Joe it became apparent that I had no choice in the matter—I was completely in love with him. Aside from his bright smile and kind demeanor, what really got me was how vigorously he had embraced life. For one, he was well-read and when I asked him if he knew where Count Vronsky’s name was taken from, he did. Minutes later he was telling me about his life before coming to southern Nevada, when he had lived on fishing boats all around the world. Life at sea would have been my life goal if I hadn’t discovered at an early age that I was joined at the hip to a 70 lb instrument. So for the rest of the night I lived vicariously as he told me about boating mishaps, encounters in foreign countries, questionable characters, and everything in between.
Joe from his seafaring days.

Throughout his many peregrinations, like any reasonable person would do, he took a lot of pictures. Where we currently live there are some rather odd limitations on putting holes in the wall, so we’ve reduced our wall art to a bare minimum. In order to display our pictures, we had to get creative, hence this picture hang which I finally finished this morning. It took a lot longer than it needed to; it could have been a very simple project but I’m happy with the way it turned out.
Bare wall no more!

In case you're interested: 
Top-- Joe in Ecuador, Malaysia, me in the Netherlands, Joe on a boat, Cologne Cathedral, Joe on top of Mt. Shasta; 
Middle-- me in Berlin, Scotland, Japan, me in Switzerland, doors in Amsterdam; 
Bottom-- Amsterdam, Joe in Hawaii, Joe with his Vietnamese fishing crew

First, I went to the lumber yard where they sent me off with a free piece of almost straight wood. At home I covered it in fabric, using hot glue. Then put two picture frame wall hangers on the back, and hot glued various lengths of ribbon to the front. But then decided that I didn’t like those lengths and took them all off. Then put them on again; then off. Nightmare. Eventually I decided on lengths that would make me happy, and left that aspect of the project alone. No mathematical endeavors were attempted in order to achieve even placement of the ribbon. I relied on a method called “winging it”, which gives it a very homemade [sloppy] look.
Wood, fabric, ribbon, paper, photos, and glue.

The hardest part was choosing the pictures. As I mentioned above, Joe took a lot of pictures while he was traveling. According to all the evidence I could find, my picture taking stopped after my second trip abroad. At the time, cresting on the wave of youth, I remember thinking that a camera wasn't necessary because I would never forget the things I was seeing. Dumb.  After getting over that disappointment, and shuffling through countless displays of an inability to smile when being photographed, it became clear that Joe would have to pick up the slack with his photos. So in total we have 14 pictures (none of which involve Mexico or Latin America!!) and together they give a good history of our individual travels. The last step before taping the pictures was to give each one a frame. Trying to save paper I took the longest, most tedious approach which was to cut strips of paper and tape them to each individual side. It took about 12 minutes per photo, good grief. But the border adds a lot and gives each picture a uniform look, which I like.
Subtle yellow border; cut and glued with minimal
concern for  perfection.

So, assuming we ever have a visitor (WARNING: never come to Las Cruces, it is an awful, horrible town), we now have a conversation piece!


Ron said...

Great way to display you "lives so far at a glance" . . .
No problem, I had no plans to visit Lots Crummy, NM.

Carol said...

I like it! Living in a crummy town with little money has drawn out the creativeness in you. Nice!

Brenda said...

In a quilting world you could call it scrappy instead of sloppy. I didn't know you had a glue gun.

LollyChops said...

I love that picture wall!! Such a creative and eye-catching setup!