Wedding #1 Memento Part 2

Happy Day after Valentine’s Day.  Hopefully everyone is feeling incredibly loved.  It seems appropriate to finish up my wedding memento during this week of love.

So, where did we leave off?  Like a month ago…geez, sorry!

Ah yes, with this beauty.

I had a box that, size-wise, was going to work great to just set my newly made frame (check out part 1 of this memento to get caught up on how we got from California to married and then from Curacao to a little driftwood frame), trace the inside edge and cut.
Really, I couldn’t even at least get my pen tip on my already traced line so it would kind of look like an action shot?  Guess not. 🙂
As you can see, my cutting wasn’t perfect.  But, my plan was to wrap the cardboard with the brown napkin so it didn’t really matter.  I only had to make sure that the cardboard wrapped in napkin was 1) big enough that there were no “air gaps”, meaning that there were no spots I could see in between the frame and the napkin to what was behind it and 2) small enough that it could be wedged in and cover all of the shims so only the driftwood part of the frame could be seen from the front.

It was just a process of trial and error really.

I also decided I didn’t need to cut the napkin.  I just wrapped the cardboard and used some pins to pin it tight on the back side.
I did play around with ways I could layer the veil so I wouldn’t have to cut it, but I liked the look of only one layer of the tulle so I ended up cutting a piece that I could then just pull tight and pin to the napkin and cardboard.

I had these ribbons in my stash.
The cream colored ribbon I used to wrap my bouquet (read: three hydrangea blossoms I cut that day from a bush in the front yard of our house) of hydrangeas together and the green ribbon we strung our rings on for our youngest nephew to carry as ring bearer.

Truth be told, the ring bearer action…including the green ribbon…only happened at wedding #2, but I’m including it anyway.  Because…I had this idea to make it kind of like a charm necklace.
The charms include a very inexpensive, but very sentimental, ring.  One Joel had given me almost 9 years previously and that I had worn on my left index finger everyday since…I’m not really a switch up my jewelry sort of gal….clearly.  :/

I also cut out a pair of champagne glasses from one of the cards we received.  And I made a little “pendant” out of my wedding dress tag…which I happened to buy at Anthropologie.

And there just so happened to be the perfect rusty nail in the driftwood frame I could tie my charm ribbon to.
The cream ribbon was long enough that I could just use it as sort of a boarder, just folding it over at the corners and hot gluing…
Please excuse the dog hair stuck to the glue gun.  🙂

I then used the same embellished pins I used to hold my bouquet together on wedding day to add one more fun corner detail.
I cut out meaningful parts of each of the cards we received that day and randomly glued them on top of the ribbon.

If you don’t know, or remember, why we only got 4 cards at wedding #1, here’s the refresher.

And then, I made what I think is a cute little “framed” picture…other than that stupid house right between our heads.  🙂
I just cut off a couple corners of one of the cards we received, squared them off, and then cut a square to size from the lining (Yes, it was one of those fancy shmancy cards with a lining layer!  We have fancy shmancy friends.), glued it on the bigger square and then just hand cut the picture of us with rounded corners to fit.

It looked a little like this.
And this.  🙂
What can I say, I’m much more of a trial and error sort of gal.  Measure-and-do-it-right-the-first-time is highly overrated.  😉

All in all, I’m left with another FREE and uber-meaningful addition to our gallery wall.
She fits in so well right below one of my favorite pics from wedding #1.

Here she is all together and up close.
What do you think?  Did you do anything fun with your wedding cards?  We still have wedding #2 cards…so I’m in need of ideas.

Have you ever made a frame out of driftwood?  If you want some tips, check here.

If you did happen to do anything fun with your little wedding mementos I’d love to see it. Feel free to post it on my Facebook page.  🙂

And, have you gotten signed up on the new Linky Follower tool? If so and want to follow me please let me know you did in the comments so I can follow you back.

Click here to follow this blog and view my other followers…

I am sharing this project here and at:
BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, and Sugar Bee Crafts.

The Nitty Gritty Hanging Details

Update:  I’ve installed the new Linky Follower Tool in my right sidebar.  As a site I have never been able to have Google Friend Connect, which is rumored to be going away entirely.  It would be great if you wanted to sign up to follow along using that tool.  If you’re a blogger, let me know you did and I will, of course, follow you back.  🙂

Wow, what a week we’ve had.  Over 320 links at our very first Imagine the Impossibilities link party.  Are you kidding?!?!  That is just awesomeness people.  Thank You!! to all who have participated.

If you haven’t joined the fun, the party is open until midnight tonight…in some time zone. 😉  (Hopefully you’re laughing Linda!)  Click here to get linked up…or to just check out all of the inspiration.

And, if you haven’t signed up for a chance to win the $50 Lowe’s Gift Card what’s the matter with you? 😉 Click here to get your entries in.

Now, fair warning as you read on.

This is really about the minutia of hanging my one screw gallery wall.  If you want pretty, reveal type pictures please click here.  If you want to know how to pull something like this off yourself, please read on, but be sure to get your cup of coffee first, and maybe a scone or two.  🙂

First, I created 9 of the items hanging as part of the wall from scratch so that would obviously be step 1 – Decide what items you want to include in your gallery wall.

Once you have your selections compiled, play around with different layouts.  I used the floor instead of going through the trouble of making paper templates and taping them to the wall because I’m lazy efficient.  Here is one option I tried.
I had found the pole in our little scrap pile and it just so happened to be about the same length as our sofa.  It was when I came across the pole that I got the idea to somehow hang that from my one little screw and then hang a gallery wall from the pole.  If I had to buy a pole I would probably get a 1×2 or 2×2 depending on the weight of the items I was going to hang.

When I was doing my floor layouts I used the pole to dictate the width (about 88″) and then I measured down from my screw in the wall to where I wanted the gallery wall to stop above the sofa and came up with about 40″.

It’s hard to see in the picture but I actually taped the floor with masking tape … can you see it below the B?  So when I was playing around with layouts I could just line up the bottom items with the tape, the pole was obviously going to be the top and the width of the pole dictated the sides.

Once I settled on a layout … in the process I actually decided to cut the pole down to about 80″ … I then turned everything upside down and laid it all out as it would look like from the wall’s eyes, so to speak.

This pic is before I cut the pole to size.

For all of my measurements I settled between 2 and 3 inches.  The items in the top row hang about 2 inches below the pole.  The items in each column are about 3 inches below the item above them and the columns are separated by about 2 1/2 inches at their widest points.

From this point it took about 6 hours, and a little final touching up to complete.

My plan was to hang the 5 top row items from the pole and then hang item from item down each column with fishing line.  And the column with the driftwood shelf would just have one item hanging from the pole and then the twine hanging the driftwood shelf tied around the pole separately.

I did realize as I started making my loops of fishing line that I didn’t exactly have a plan B … or any other, not thought out, might have a chance of working, this is my last resort idea ideas at all.

Pretty Please Let This Work became my mantra for the afternoon.

The early afternoon went something like this.

1 – Screw eye hooks into the bottom of the driftwood shelf and add small nails to the back of the 10″ x 13″ frame.  Measure so the frame would hang about one inch below the shelf and attach with wire.  This step didn’t need to be precise because I would have an opportunity to adjust the height of these items when I strung the twine that hangs the shelf around the pole at the top.  My logic behind hanging this part last had been that I was just going to line up the bottom of the frame hanging from the driftwood shelf with the bottoms of the items on either side of it…that proved to be easier said than done.

TIP!!!  If I had known at this stage how difficult hanging this shelf would be I would have tied the twine hanging the shelf around the pole FIRST instead of last. 

2 – Measure the width of the five pieces along the top of the gallery wall.

3 – Mark the half way measurement of those five pieces on the pole.

4 – Mark the center point on items that would also have items hanging from them.

OK, so this pic is of the back of the wooden mirror and the framed coral that hang in the far right column of the gallery wall.  By mark the center point, I mean the center measurement of the item that will be hanging.  So, since I wanted the framed coral to hang with the right side of it lined up with the right side of the mirror, I lined them up that way upside down on the floor and then marked what would be the center of the framed coral piece on the mirror’s frame.  Make sense?

5 – Drill pilot holes in the back of the pole where I wanted screws to hang my rows of items for the gallery wall.  Refer to steps 2 and 3 for a reminder on how I knew where to drill these holes.

6 – Add screws to the pilot holes.

7 – Add hanging hardware to the bottom of any pieces that would have items hanging from them.

I won’t go into detail for every single piece, but since the items in each column are hanging from the item above it I had to add additional “hardware” to the bottom of most pieces.  The pieces that DIDN’T need more hardware:

  • I used one of the staples that happened to be right in the middle of the bottom on the back of the top dog silhouette.
  • The round metal heating grate hanging in the column with the driftwood shelf doesn’t have anything hanging from it.
  • The black ribbon hanging the faux zinc B is just duct taped to the back of the framed HOME stencils.
As for how I determined where to put this hardware on the bottom part of the back side of each item please refer to step 4.

8 – Measure 5 million times and tie the fishing line loops that hold everything together.

This step took some patience.  It was just a process of measuring and placing my items where I wanted them, cutting a longer length of fishing line than I would need, pulling it tight – without pulling my items closer together – and when I would accidentally pull the items closer together, replacing them, then remeasuring and starting over – and then sextuple knotting the fishing line.  (Apparently, sextuple isn’t a word, but just double knot times 3…at least.)

Phew…you still with me?  😉

How about a pic of some of the finished wall for good measure?

Ok, at this point I had all of my individual items, hardware to hang each item from, and a loop of fishing line on each item to hang from said hardware.  You can see in picture 8 above how the fishing line loops, once tied, are permanently attached as part of one item and then can be looped onto the screw or hanging hardware I’d attached to the bottom back side of the item that would be above it.  Clear?

Now, just to get it all up on the wall…

That part went kind of like this.

Oh, these pics remind me to tell you that I used clothes line wire to hang the pole, the one item actually hanging from the screw.
From left to right above:
Left – The clothes line before, and if you look close you can see a screw in the pole.  I just measured 18 inches in from each end of my pole, drilled holes, added screws and looped my wire around them for hanging.  The same kind of ‘twist the wire around itself’ strategy I used with the Pallet Word Art.
Middle – I removed the green plastic covering from the clothes line to expose the wire using an electrical wire cutter.
Right – A slightly better picture of the wire cutter.  You just pick what diameter will cut through the material you want (the green covering in this case) without cutting through the wire you want to keep.  You can see from the middle picture I used the second to largest opening, I decided on that by trial and error.  And, you can see in the picture on the right that I took the green off in sections up to about 3 inches long.

If I had known that I was just going to cover it all up with the canvas pic of Curacao I ended propping along the top, I might have skipped this step, but I was thinking I wouldn’t mind the look of the exposed wire.  I was wrong.  :/

So, now my pole has a clothes line and all of the pictures have fishing line loops…we’re talkin’ high class decor here people.  😉

Now for the hanging.  I would hang one pic at each end of my pole, then slowly and gradually work my way toward the middle.

It was like an 8 foot long teeter totter with glass items hanging precariously from each end.

When strung tight enough, fishing line has a tendency to feel like a knife that is about to take off the tip of your finger as you are holding the whole pole contraption somewhat level with your left hand and using your right to reach up behind an item to find the hanging hardware and get the fishing line loop looped around it.

But, I am happy to report that no finger tips were lost, and no fish were spooked in the making of this wall.  🙂  And, none of those fancy knots were used either.

And nothing broke!  Phew!

All things actually went relatively well until pic number 4 (3 collages above).  It was at this point that I needed to tie my twine and driftwood shelf from my teeter totter.

I don’t know what part of “Oh, yeah, I’ll hang a driftwood shelf from my one screw gallery wall, and prop a really big picture on it.  Oh, and then I’ll hang another frame below the shelf and prop an awkward piece of coral in it.” seemed like a good idea.  It was the bane of my existence on hanging day.  And, as I’ve mentioned, I still don’t think it’s quite right. I think the left side is slightly lower than the right side.  I wouldn’t know for sure because I can’t find my stinkin’ level, but it looks that way to me.  And after about a half a dozen tries at untying that one side, then quickly adjusting my teeter totter so the whole thing wouldn’t come crashing down, then eyeballing level from right. on. top. of it, then retying and realizing I had made no progress I decided I was fine with it just the way it was.  😉

Thankfully the hubs has agreed to give an extra set of hands to the effort when I get up the gumption to tackle the teeter totter again.

It might be awhile.  🙂

The canvas pic of downtown Willemstad, Curacao was a last minute add to cover the wire that became exposed when all was hung.  It is just set precariously totally secure on the pole.

What may be my 2 all time favorite pieces of driftwood were next day adds after I had many hours of staring and smiling … but feeling like something just wasn’t quite right (other than the left side of the driftwood shelf being a smidge low).
See what I mean?

The aqua and white piece of driftwood is actually the only piece that is not somehow hanging from the one screw.  As a last minute add, I just used some of that orange tacky stuff and stuck it right to the wall.

There is one other spot I used that orange tacky stuff.
Once I hung the black canvas from the wedding memento it weighed down the left side of the wedding memento.  See, I wanted the outer edge of the gallery wall to be rectangular in shape.  So the left side of all of the items on the left needed to be lined up on the left. Get it?  🙂  In order to do that I couldn’t hang the black canvas from the center of the wedding memento, thus the need for just a pinch of orange tacky stuff.

Does anyone know what that stuff is really called?

Here’s what it looked like before the orange stuff.  And I have since tucked in the ends of the twine hanging the driftwood shelf.  🙂

And here is the final, glorious result of my afternoon of stress fun.
Can you hear that music and signing or is it just me?  😉

And, because today is all about the details, here is the items and cost breakdown:

  1. Canvas reproduction of the skyline of downtown Willemstad, Curacao.  Gift from friends last year.  FREE
  2. Wooden pole from scrap pile hung with left over clothes line we had on hand.  FREE
  3. Wedding photo, you may have previously seen here.  For this project I call it FREE since we had it on hand.  If I remember correctly I got the frame at an auction 5+ years ago and had the picture printed at Walmart for I don’t know how much right after our first wedding.
  4. Wedding memento, you may have seen started here.  Tutorial for the finished product to come. FREE
  5. Black canvas, started as a Goodwill find looking like this. Tutorial of the finished product to come…as soon as it’s finished.  🙂  $2.oo
  6. Antique metal grate, from an old farmhouse in my hometown now owned by my family, given to me by my mom.  FREE and by far the heaviest individual item on the wall.
  7. Frame and mat bought from Goodwill.  Picture of the girls edited for free on Picnik and printed at home.  $2.00
  8. Driftwood.  FREE
  9. Driftwood shelf hung with twine I had on hand.  FREE
  10. Old frame my mom gave me.  FREE
  11. Coral twiggy thingy.  FREE
  12. A canvas found at Goodwill and originally looked like this.   Tutorial for the silhouettes to come. $2.00
  13. See description for #12.  $2.00
  14. Driftwood hung with orange sticky tack stuff I had on hand…and think I’ve had since high school.  🙂  FREE
  15. Photo taken, developed and matted by my man probably 10 years ago…so that’s on hand, right?!  Frame my mom gave me.  FREE
  16. Frame from Goodwill and stencils my mom gave me.  That last minute trip to Maine in January is my proud sponsor of this here gallery wall.  😉  $2.00
  17. Faux Zinc Letter B hung by a ribbon that originally came from my awesome in-laws…wrapped around our iPad.  That’s right…I did say awesome in-laws.  🙂  FREE
  18. Antique mirror, from you guessed, my mother.  Thanks Mom!!  FREE
  19. Frame from my mama and coral.  FREE
  20. I had a few people ask me about my driftwood tree.  If you’re new around here you may not have seen my posts about it here, here and here.

So, if you add that all up my cost of materials is $10.00  And the only other item I bought for the project was the fishing line.  I got it at Target for about $5.00 and have about 95% of it left over.  I didn’t know exactly which one to get, but I honestly did pick this one because it said “low visibility” and it had been tested up to 6 pounds which I knew would be enough to hold my columns of items.

Maybe I should send the fishing line company a picture of my wall to tell them that they in fact are right, that stuff is low visibility.  😉

As for the paint, it is all a mixture of what I had on hand.  I bought a quart of black a couple of years ago when a home improvement store was closing for renovation…and some other oops paints I’ve picked up and used for different walls in the rental…when mixed together create some nice shades of gray and yellow.

Aaaand … I think that’s it.  🙂  If there is any little detail that I have missed or anything you still need to know to make this happen for yourself please just let me know.

If I had it to do again, I would probably go with a 2 screw gallery wall.  Follow every single step, except screw the actual pole into the wall with one screw at each end of it. In order to do this, and maintain the same process, you would need to keep the pole away from the wall about a 1/4″ or so, in order to be able to use the screws in the back of the pole to hang each column.  We might try this on our “Take 2 – when we get that fricken’ driftwood shelf level darn it” attempt.

I’ll keep you posted.

In the mean time, hopefully these deets are helpful.  If you want to try this and need any additional info, or just some words of encouragement (it really is doable, I swear … really, I do swear a lot, total potty mouth here) just shoot me an email, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.

Now grab another cup of coffee and get on with your day.  🙂

I am sharing this process here and at:
BNOTP, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern StyleRemodelaholic, and Sugar Bee Crafts.

$50 Lowe’s Gift Card for YOU!


Hello again, and Happy Monday Afternoon!  I hope you all enjoyed my Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge project reveal this morning.

Update:  The Imagine the Impossibilities Link Party is now live here.  

If you missed it, you can read here about how I made a gallery wall using only one screw in the wall.  Heck yeah!

I now sit so I can peak at the gallery wall every now and again.  🙂

To learn more about the “I Might Be Screwed (Just Once), A Gallery Wall Experiment” process click here, here and here.

Now to the real business at hand this fine afternoon.  The first evah TSB giveaway, sponsored by OPC!  I am down right giddy about this giveaway.

In no small part due to the fact that I have a love affair with Lowe’s!  Well, in my mind, I actually have a love affair with this guy.

Seriously, could I be standing any closer to him???  🙂

He’s Chad Knaus and he’s the crew chief for the NASCAR team sponsored by Lowe’s.  Due to our long standing love affair with him this NASCAR team, my husband and I have become so brand loyal to Lowe’s it’s just a teensy bit scary.

So, for the first TSB giveaway to be a $50 gift card to this company that we love so much … I can hardly stand it!

And, it’s all thanks to OPC.  That’s One Project Closer.  If you do not already know, OPC is a fantastic online resource for all things DIY.  They publish How-To articles, Tool Reviews, Crafts and more!

If you enjoy home improvement projects, how-to guides, tool reviews, and more, you NEED to check out One Project Closer. Follow along as they shadow contractors on the job site, test out the latest tools, and share the most up-to-date list of coupons for popular home improvement stores.

And a big, phat (Gronkowski sized) Thank You! to OPC for sponsoring this awesome giveaway!

Now for the official deets.

  • Prize:  $50 Lowe’s Gift Card
  • Total Number of Winners:  One (1)
  • Entries:  4 possible entries per person, leave a separate comment on this post for each entry.
    1 – Be a follower of this here blog, either RSS feed in a reader or via email, both options are in the right sidebar just below my “Top 11 Referrers of 2011”.
    2 – Skip over to Facebook and “Like” The Space Between page, you can also click the FB Like button in the right sidebar.
    3 – Be a follower of mine on Pinterest.  You can either click the Pinterest button in the right sidebar or click here to get there.
    4 – Be a follower of One Project Closer on Facebook, let them know I sent you!
  • Closing Time:  All comments received before 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time Saturday, February4, 2012 will qualify to win.
  • Eligibility:  Must have a mailing address in the USA to qualify.
  • Winner:  The winner will be selected by
  • Just Because:  I have not been compensated in anyway for this giveaway.  OPC is sponsoring the giveaway and you will receive the gift card from them.  Below is not a picture of the actual prize … just the gift card design I like best.  🙂


I do! We did (Twice!). I finally made a memento about it.

Yep, we’ve been officially hitched for over 2 years now. Time sure flies when you’re living on a Caribbean island having fun. 🙂  A couple years earlier my brother got married, moved out of state and had a baby.  So, in an effort to try to up him, in 2009 I got married TWICE (to the same guy) and moved out of the country.

State to state move, whatevah, I’m movin’ to an island.  Booyah!

But, I personally think all of my nephews and nieces pretty much Trump everything else on this planet so I guess Brother=1, Me=0.  Boooo.  😉

But, I did end up with a pretty rad husband and too many wonderful memories to count so it all seems to have worked out for me.
A couple of pics from wedding #1 on display on our beautiful wedding #2 day.

And these were our “what the heck did we just do?” faces.  🙂
Hmmm, the hubs face seems a bit more natural than mine…

Anyway, when I was procrasti-cleaning and got sifting through my bag o’ stuff, I got all warm and fuzzy when I came across our wedding stuff.  Or, was it just the heat from living 12 degrees from the equator?  😉

See, we knew we were moving to Curacao toward the end of the year in 2009, so we had thought that after 10 years it might be a good year to make it all official.  You know, for all the unromantic reasons – additional security in case anything were to happen to either of us abroad, visa status, etc.  The reality is we choose to share our lives together day after day for all the mushy, romantic reasons. That’s just how we do it around here.  You know?!?

Hello youngness!  This pic was taken in 2002 and yes Deanna, I still have (and wear) that shirt.

As it turns out, I smile a little on the inside every time I refer to him as my husband.  One lucky lady I am!
Since our weddings (Yep, after 10 years 1 wedding just wasn’t enough, or was it that our planned wedding for family wasn’t early enough to process all of our paperwork for our move as a married couple?  Details, details!) were quickly followed by a move out of the country I tossed all of the memorabilia into the grab bag, until now.  I was actually looking for something for an entirely different project but I got distracted inspired. I ended up making a wedding card ornament in December from cards we got at wedding #2 and then gathering items from wedding #1.

I had forgotten that I had kept my napkin from dinner after wedding #1.  Unlike Sherry from Young House Love, I had kept mine intentionally, I never made any attempt to return it and I never for a moment felt bad about it.  Not sure exactly what that says about me, but I’m not all that worried about it.  🙂  When I rediscovered it, and my other mementos my creative juices started flowing.

Here’s the scoop with the 2 weddings.  The evening Joel told me we were getting married that summer proposed was perfect.  We shared dinner with great friends and Jayne made me an engagement ring out of a paper straw cover.  🙂  I immediately called my mom and was happy to let her organize the small wedding of her my dreams.  (Totally kidding Mom!)  We decided it would be in Maine (where I am from and most of the fam still lives), we picked a date, coordinated travel plans with Joel’s family to fly out from the midwest and preperations were in full swing.

Then, we got a little call, saying there was a little problem, that all of the little details for our paperwork needed to be organized by a date a little sooner than we had realized. Bring on wedding #2, which actually was wedding #1 since it happened first, but planned second.  Got it?

It turned out absolutely perfect.  We were living in Maryland at the time so we asked 4 of our favorite local couples to join us, asked a local restaurant owner we knew to marry us (he had become a legal wedding officiant to officiate another wedding before), knew of the perfect location to make it all official and had an absolute ball!  With our compact little group I had just the right amount of mementos to create something that will remind me of each and every part of that day and the people we shared it with.  Love.
You can just pretend that house in the background is not exactly between our heads.  😉

Here’s the skinny, I had been in the middle of my driftwood Christmas tree projects so I had the idea to make a frame out of driftwood and somehow make some kind of memento that would represent everyone who shared our day.

I started with the napkin and thought it would look neat to put a layer of the tulle I used for my veil over it.  Truth be told, I only wore the veil at wedding #2, but I went with it anyway.
I used a very strategic mathematics (is mathematic without an s not really a word?) formula to decide on just the right size.  I folded the napkin in quarters.  🙂

Turns out I had a couple pieces of driftwood that appeared they would work well as a frame with this quartered size.  So I got out my compounding miter saw hand saw and little carpenter’s triangle and headed out to my workshop patio table with my supervisor Marley.
One of the pieces had a few rusty screw heads showing and the other had a rusty nail coming out of it so I just worked around that when cutting.  I wanted these details included in the frame if possible.

TIP!!!  When using a hand saw first score a line all the way across your wood along your desired cut line so then when you end up sawing at the natural cutting angle your cut line will follow your scored line and end up where you want it.  It can so easily get out of line, why can’t my pen mark just work as a saw magnet?!?

Also, I marked on the backside of the wood because I knew I wasn’t going to be doing any painting or anything that would cover up an arrant pen mark if my cut line didn’t cut along my pen line exactly.  This may have resulted in cutting just one angle the wrong way.  Drats!

TIP!!!  #2 – Measure, remeasure, turn your wood around to make sure your line is drawn at the right angle to actually create a mitered frame, measure one more time, then cut.  🙂

Once I had my 4 pieces cut, I set them up to see if any trimming or angle sanding was necessary.  All the angles actually looked pretty good but, what became my bigger problem was that the thickness of the two different pieces of wood (I was able to get 2 sides for the frame out of each of the 2 pieces of wood I used) was not the same.
See the top and bottom pieces?  (Kind of a rhetorical question.)  But see how the top piece is stacked on a too thick shim and the bottom piece is too thin?  My plan was to use L brackets along each corner to attach it all together because I didn’t want any of the hardware showing.  But, in order to do that my thicknesses had to be the same if I wanted the frame to be flat in the front, which I did.  Make sense?

Soooo, I just tried a few different things.  I actually screwed in that too thick shim first. You know, ’cause I can mussel that sucker and screw it in so tight that it will end up the right thickness.  Yeah, let’s just say that didn’t work out.  And now I had awesome little screw holes that prevented my screws from holding tight on the next go ’round.  Deep breaths…or was it cursing under my breath…I don’t remember exactly.  😉

But, I just so happened to still have a pile of sawdust lying around from my adventures in driftwood Christmas tree making (here, here, and here) so I went with a little ol’ woodworking trick.
Now, some might mix in a bowl or measure quantities even.  But, my theory is always “why dirty something I am just going to then have to clean?”, and my hands were already dirty, and I didn’t need so much that I thought measuring was necessary.  Some might also take their wedding bands off if mixing glue in their hand but whatevah.  🙂

So, I filled the screw holes and while the putty dried I found a paint stir stick I thought might work for shims and cut it into about 3 inch long pieces.  I played around with different thicknesses and finally picked a combination of different shims and stir stick pieces that I thought was the best match.  I actually also used a few pieces of a thick card stock type of material, just to try to get the thickness just right.  You never know when your dog bone box inserts are going to come in handy.

Having to come up with creative solutions to overcome the imperfections of aged, weathered and otherwise not brand new and perfectly sized pieces is of course an inconvenience.  But, the huge upside in using these materials is the character in the end result.  Give a little, get a little I guess.

I actually had 4 previously used, weathered and otherwise not brand new and perfectly square L brackets I decided to use to attach the frame together.  They had held an old project together that I had recently disassembled so I just had to use our wonder bar (yes, I think wonder bra every time I say that) and a hammer to pry the L brackets off since the screws holding them in were rusty and stripped.
When I got them off they all looked a little wonky, but I just hammered them into our concrete patio a few times and they straightened right out.  Some might choose to use a more careful approach as to not risk ruining a concrete patio, or even buy new L brackets (Blasphemy!) but this worked for me.

So, then I just lined up the L brackets along each corner of the frame and screwed them in.  A couple things to point out here:

  • I would have loved to have had driftwood piece with the rusty screws along the top of the frame, but since that was the thicker piece of wood and didn’t need any shims, the only way to hide the shims I did have to use was to put the thicker wood along each side.  This is, of course, assuming that people don’t crouch underneath or climb on top of the memento to get a closer look.  From the normal, eye level angles the side view will be just a nice thick piece o’ driftwood.
  • If you’re using shims, make sure your screw is not only long enough to attach the L bracket to your frame but also to your shims, BUT NOT LONG ENOUGH TO COME OUT THE FRONT.
  • Drilling pilot holes slightly smaller than the diameter of your screw (AND SHORTER THAN THE DEPTH OF YOUR WOOD) will help in the L bracket attachment process.  It will prevent your screws from sliding out of place and moving the location of your L bracket when you’re screwing them in.
  • Please especially adhere to all advice in ALL CAPS ABOVE.

These all caps might lead you to believe that I made this mistake.  Oddly enough, I didn’t. I know, I’m surprised too.  🙂

I was just very aware of this because 1) I wanted the natural wood frame and knew I wouldn’t be able to cover up this mistake and keep the look I wanted and 2) I didn’t have any other driftwood on hand that would work if I screwed this first frame up.

So, I checked my screws a few times.
And then I actually attached my drill bit to only expose the depth of the drill bit I wanted to use so I couldn’t accidentally drill all the way through when making my pilot holes.
You could also use a piece of painters tape on your drill bit to designate when you should stop drilling.  I personally needed something just a tad more fool proof.

This handy little container made the move to Curacao and I was able to find the 16 screws I needed in the right lengths to attach the 4 L brackets with 4 holes each.  I just went straight to my “flat top” labeled section.  Yep, I say, if you’re going to keep random odds and ends you might as well have them labeled in a way you can actually find them when you find an opportunity to use them.  Dork!
Then I just drilled each hole and attached.  I went one corner at a time, so I drilled the 4 holes for one L bracket then screwed them in, then reset the frame to make sure it was where I wanted and moved to the next corner.  This took more time, switching out the drill bit and screwdriver bit for each corner, but worked for me.

Ok, seriously, this post is over 2100 words long and we haven’t even gotten to the pretty part yet?

But alas, we have a frame.

From this view you can see the shims as attached on the backside.
Just to be clear, I didn’t attach the shims to the back of the frame pieces separately from the L brackets.  When I drilled my pilot holes I drilled through the shims and frame where necessary and just used the one screw per L bracket hole to attach all of the layers together.

You can also see the box I used.  I just traced the inside of the frame and cut out a flat piece of cardboard as the base for the insert of my finished project.  Yes, there really is going to be a finished product, I swear.  🙂

From this front view you can see how the mitered corners look attached.  As you can see the bottom right corner gave me a little trouble.  It is actually the top right corner in the end – I had plans for that rusty little nail – but I just couldn’t get it to attach flush.  I fiddled with it a bit, unscrewed, puttied, re-screwed a few times and then just decided I was OK with it since I couldn’t seem to make it any cleaner looking.

Ok, I am going to let you all ponder what has been the awesomeness of driftwood, mitering, drilling, screwing, puttying and cardboarding.  Hmmmm.  I’m not sure how I feel about it either, but at this point I kinda feel like I’m just holding you all hostage.

Before we go, here’s just one more little tid bit of what became our Wedding #1 Memento.

Any idea why that’s included?

Have a grand day everyone!  Final results of Wedding #1 Memento to come soon!  And, don’t forget to sign up for our little challenge.  Did you see what little exceptional progress I made in the first week here?

the space between

I am sharing this project here, here, here and here. Check ‘em out!

Homemade Christmas Tree Finale

Hey hey!  How is everyone’s holiday prep going?  I am LOVING the holiday season this year but have to admit, I am ready to be done making ornaments and trees and move onto some other things.  I’m feeling just a little Christmas ornament crafted out, if you know what I mean.

But, first I have to sincerely thank the Mega Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge for kick starting me into the holiday spirit this year.  With a budget of $20 we were challenged to decorate a tree at least 4 feet high and this challenge was the perfect way for me to get a little Christmas going up in here.

I will recap everything I’ve made at the end of this post, but I want to first show you my scrap tree topper.

In my very first blog post evah I explained how I make Driftwood Christmas Trees and I was able to use little pieces of scrap 1/4 inch wooden dowels left over from that project to make this.
I cut 10 segments of the dowel about the same length and spray painted them red.  I first wanted to make it so the ends of the dowels overlapped and were exposed and the twine was used to connect the segments in a rustic way.  But to say I had some trouble with that strategy would be an understatement.  I don’t think the dowel segments were long enough to overlap, and I kind of lost my way on the way to making a star shape…
Uhhh, that’s going to be a star, right?!?  And yes, I started this project the same night I made the beaded star snowflake.  Somethings just take longer to come together, you know?

It was at this point that I unwrapped all the twine and decided I might have better luck hot gluing each of the points together and then just covering the glue with twine for effect. So, I glued the star shape together right before I went to bed,
and woke up to this.
Isn’t she cute?  😉  Luckily, (for her and the star) she hadn’t laid on it until the glue was dry so with a little extra glue support I was ready to re-wrap the twine.
In the end, it all worked out.  I love that it’s an open star so it doesn’t totally overpower the whole top of the tree.  The driftwood tree peaks through and even a little glittered sea shell.

And here’s how she looks all put together.
Everything on the tree (including the tree) is either made by nature or handmade by me, except for the lighting.  That statement makes me happy.  🙂

Now for a little trip down handmade Christmas tree lane…

I first went on a little “shopping spree” to gather supplies and came home with things like this,
and explained the whole experience here.  $0 out of the budget, $20 remaining.  🙂

While I pondered ideas on what to do with all this goodness I got distracted one night while organizing and made one of my favorite ornaments out of a few cards we had gotten at our wedding, I posted about it here.  This was the first time that I used the silver glitter that I had bought specifically for this challenge for Nafl 6.35 which equals $3.57. $16.43 remaining in the budget.
Then one day when I was working out on our patio a little bird’s nest literally blew right up to me so she found her way onto our tree, more on that here.   $0 out of budget, still $16.43 remaining.
Continuing to use some of the sea urchins I had found at the shore I made some cutie patootie snow(wo)men here.  This was the first project that I used the table salt and white paint.  The salt cost me Nafl 1.46 which is $0.82, and the white paint was Nafl 2.70, $1.52. Bringing my remaining budget down to $14.09.
I then played around with a few ideas that turned into my One Hit Wonders, a beaded snowflake, book page star and light bulb turned ornament.  No budget used for any of these guys.  Booyah!
Then the girls got a little tree representation with these dog bone ornaments made from a mushed up egg carton.  Again, $0 spent on these.  Still $14.09 remaining.  Woop woop!
After multiple attempts I finally came up with some salt dough starfish that were tree worthy.  You can read all about the troubles I had here.  I used the salt, white paint and glitter again here, but nothing new out of the budget.  I’m noticing a trend.  🙂

The last ornaments I made were beglittered sea shells and baubles, I really love the combination of natural element and sparkly glitter.  More on these here.

I then accessorized the tree with some sea glass and white and green sea urchins just scattered here and there.

Clearly this is not a traditional tree and stringing traditional lights doesn’t really work with the driftwood design.  With your usual pine tree you lose the green light wire in the tree when it is strung.  But, with the driftwood the wire just sticks out like a sore thumb, so I used tea lights.  They are just the right touch of light without all the stringing mess.

Now I don’t know exactly how I am supposed to calculate the cost of the items I had previously purchased and used in making some of the ornaments. My “ingredients” list includes:

    1. black paint, red rope ribbon, raffia and gold ribbon scraps for the Sea Urchin Snow(wo)men
    2. beads, wire, silver ribbon scrap and red wrapping ribbon for the One Hit Wonders
    3. red paint and red wrapping ribbon for the Dog Bone Ornaments, Salt Dough Starfish and Glittered Shells
    4. red wrapping ribbon and raffia for the scratched bauble fix.
    5. red paint and twine for the Star Tree Topper
    6. tea lights for lighting purchased for the tree but lighting doesn’t count in the budget, right?!?

Yes, I will haggle with anyone over pricing.  😉

Update:  I have to add the old baubles used for number 4 to the ingredients list.  Duh! How do you fix an old bauble without actually using the bauble?  Sometimes the brain just doesn’t connect all the dots, you know.

Truth be told, the cost of the Driftwood Christmas Tree was Nafl 4.90, $2.75 and the tea lights cost Nafl 7.00, $3.93.  So, if you add that to the total spent on supplies this year my total total spent was $12.59 (including tree and lighting).  That leaves $7.41 left to allocate to all of the scraps that I ended up using.  And, I would argue, that if you look back at the original price I paid for the items and amortize it over the life of said item and calculate depreciation…

Woah!  That’s even a little much for me, but you get what I’m sayin’, no?

I’m under budget, I just don’t know by how much.  🙂

Now, I really did think I would make a lot more different ornaments.

I thought I might try to make something like this map pine cone ornament that Barb over at Turtles and Tails made.  I could use a Curacao map and I’m from Maine.  A Curacao map pine cone ornament, seriously, how appropriate is that for me?!?  Love the idea, maybe someday.
And I had all of our Christmas cards out from last year.  I didn’t want to do exactly what I did with the wedding cards and I just never got the idea that got me crafting.In recent years I have cut the pretty pictures from each card and used them as gift tags. If I don’t come up with a creative ornament idea I can always do that again.
I pulled all of the petals off of a red rose I got here and let them dry.  I could make some kind of our ornament out of them, right?!?  I suffered from a little crafter’s block here too.  :/
Now, you know I’m going to get the perfect idea in like March. Isn’t that how it works? Ohhh, maybe if it’s February it could turn into a Valentine’s Day idea.  One can hope. 🙂

And just because, here’s another picture of our little homemade driftwood coastal Christmas tree and the projects I actually DID accomplish.
I love how it turned out.  I’m glad we have a tree representative of where we are in the world and where we are in our lives.  I do think there are plenty of ornaments on the tree as is, it’s nice to give the driftwood tree itself some room to shine.  And I’ve had a blast gettin’ Christmas crafty and again can’t thank Meg at Mega Crafty enough for giving me the Christmas kick in the butt. I am definitely in the holiday spirit and heading out to spread some cheer.

So, do you have all your holiday deco up? Have you been done forever already? Waiting until the 24th? Either way, I hope you’re loving every minute of it. Happy Holidays everybody!!  🙂

I am sharing this project here, here, here and here. Check ém out!

Procrasti-cleaning with a festive result

It really is more like procrasti-organizing in my case, but the chances I use a 7 syllable word correctly is slim so I needed to dumb it down for my own comfort.  🙂  Lucky for me the end result this time was this.

But, seriously, do you ever find yourself cleaning or organizing something when you really should be doing something else.  Should be working out?  Let me just make sure the kitchen is super duper clean, not sure I put everything in alpha order in the fridge last I checked.  Need groceries that I should have gotten 3 days ago?  I really NEED to just make sure the cabinet in that other room is all in order, and dusted, and labeled.  See what I’m sayin’?

So it really is no shocker that when I was trying to come up with crafty little Christmas ornament ideas for the Mega Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge I got just a wee bit side tracked.

I thought, in order for me to really be able to be inspired I need to procrasti re-organize this cabinet we have with random stuff in it.  It’s where I’ve been haphazardly stashing all my random crafty supplies and anything somewhat related to craftiness.  But, also in this cabinet is a bag o’ stuff.  You know the bag, the one where you throw random stuff you’re not quite sure what else to do with, or stuff you have an eventual plan for, just not a plan for executing the plan.   Yeah, that bag.  (Clearly this all went down at night.)

I haven’t looked in my bag since we moved to this little island which means I’ve been accumulating stuff for over 2 years.  I really don’t know how it started, but next thing I knew I had a couch o’ stuff.

Just ignore the couch, really, there is no further discussion about it needed at this point.  🙂

Is that a handle for something?  Yes it is.  The plan for that is to go on one of our corn hole boards.  Yes, of course the other one is already on.  No, of course I don’t have a plan for executing this plan.  The current approximate distance between the handle and the board needing the handle…less than 10 feet.  The handle ended up back in the bag. Gotta love a spot you can organize disorganization.

Of much more importance, I came across all of our wedding memorabilia.  Sigh and smile.  We got married just a couple months before we moved to Curacao and I just tossed all the wedding stuff in this bag and forgot about it apparently.  (The stuff, not the actual marriage part.)

Clearly the little challenge was on my mind because when I laid out all of these,

I remembered pinning this,

This inspiration pic is a cute little ornament made by Gifton over at Savvy by Design out of paint swatches.  But I thought, why can’t I make the same kind of thing out of circles cut from cards we got at our wedding?

By golly I can.  And I am in love with it.  It’s a simple concept, but made out of meaningful things to us.  An ornament that will remind us of a wonderful wedding day every year we bring it out to decorate the tree.  🙂

After I had all the cards out and idea in mind it took me a couple of hours, but really only about 30 minutes of work.

I picked out some of the cards that caught my eye and used the bottom of a glass jar we have as a circle template.  Oh how I heart The Homestead.

I traced and cut out 8 circles of images and words I liked and I folded each circle in half.

It just so happened that 4 of the circles were colorful and 4 were more monochromatic (5 syllables, not bad) so I paired them up to alternate colorful then monochromatic.  Using a glue stick I glued my pairs together.

I was doing some trimming every step of the way.  Whenever new circles got glued together and didn’t line up just right I just snipped away.

Then glued one set of 2 to another so I had 2 sets of 4 folded and glued circles.  Don’t forget to carry the 1, it will help the math make sense.  😉

I also scored with this beautiful ribbon that came from one of the cards.  At the same time I glued the 2 sets of 4 together, creating the full sphere, I glued the ribbon into it so it could be used to hang the ornament.

Then, because the edges still looked a little unfinished and I have recently discovered the joy of glitter, I beglittered (kinda like bedazzling only different) all of the edges with some silver glitter.   Then I hung her and admired her.  She just makes me smile.

Everything up in these parts is fair game to get beglittered now.  But the first to go down was this little wedding card Christmas tree ornament.  I think it adds just the right amount of bling and covers up any cutting imperfections around the edges of the circles.

I just love her.  🙂

This circle says “{Two} hearts share, one promise, one life, one love – forever”.  What a perfect marriage sentiment.

The ornament doesn’t scream Christmas, but to me it screams happiness, and that’s the best kind of ornament in my book.

What about you?  Have you created any non-Christmasy ornaments that are sentimental to you for any reason?  Any other crafty things I can do with the rest of our cards? Other wedding memorabilia ideas, or homemade Christmas ornament ideas?  Let me have it.

I am sharing this project here, herehere and here.  Check ém out!

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