…favorite things friday: gallery frames

Every Christmas I try to give my family a few framed family pictures to hang on our gallery on the stairwell. We typically do not do portrats because I love catching my kids being themselves and smiling every time I walk upstairs. The images are not glamorous or refined and either is the wall. I started with some expensive frames and as I’ve added to the space I matched them with inexpensive frames from Target or Michaels. The only thing that remains a common thread is the color of the wood on the frame.

As I was just starting to think about my pictures for this year, I received an online coupon in the mail for frames at Pottery Barn if you plug in the code: FRAMES. Thought I would make sure you knew about it too!

Check out these great images of stair galleries via Pinterest.

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I’m sure there are a ton of tips and techniques to doing an image wall perfectly, but my brain doesn’t see it this way. I guess, my only tip would be that if you are going to mix and match frames then just make sure you fill up a large portion of the wall so it looks deliberate and not sparse. I think doing all colored photos or all black and white images is a good way to also get some cohesiveness.

I know we don’t have my space for frames on our desk or counter surfaces, but it sure is fun to see them on the walls!

Dear Uncle Brado, I’m finally going to get your awesome images up from the beach! This one will definitely be in the batch. xo

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…it’s a bloggy world: make it personal

I heart all music from the 70s. Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, of course the Beatles, and…Cat Stevens! I must have some type of telepathy going with Cat Stevens because I literally heard in the car this morning on NPR that he is singing at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame this week. I bring this up because the title of my series this week was a play on his song “It’s a Wild World.”  You know it,

“Oh, Baby, Baby it’s a wild world.

It’s hard to get by just upon a smile.”

So true, Cat.

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Cat Steven has a really interesting background and I would venture to say that his music would not be as impactful if it was not so personal. That was my attempt to segue to blogging. How did I do?

I understand that opening ourselves up to strangers is not always comfortable. We are subjecting ourselves to criticism and judgment. But, there is also love and admiration and more importantly a sense of community if you choose to.

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I try to come from an attitude of “We are all in this together. Life is hard and we don’t always have the tools we need to get through it. Let’s lean on each other and lift each other up as best as we can.”

I knew from the beginning of my blog that I wanted to display an honest Christen. I said the same thing when I started dating my Dear Husband. I think when we come from a place of honesty we really honor ourselves. We are saying, I’m  not trying to be anyone else but who I am. We are all snowflakes. Precious and different. Why would we want to hide that?

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This is why you see my kids, me in my painting rags, me laughing at myself and me ranting when I’m upset in my posts. It is very cathartic to be open.

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If we walk around with our guard up all the time on we are not protecting ourselves, we are imprisoning ourselves. There is freedom in laughing openly when you are on the elliptical at the gym watching Hoda & Kathy Lee say something ridiculous. There is freedom letting yourself cry with your neighbor on the way to the bus stop because her dog has just died. There is freedom in pulling the car over and screaming because you’ve just heard of another school shooting and you still cannot figure out why we are allowed to carry guns in our country! ROAR!

Oh, Baby, it’s a wild world. If you are going to blog then make it help & honor you. Let others in so we can see the good and the bad and relate to it all. We are just as messy over here. I have found more friends and readers here because I dare to be vulnerable. Even when just discussing paint 🙂 Thank you, God.

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…it’s a bloggy world: the good & the bad

So, speaking of roaring a bit when I slip up and mis-spell something, I come to the part where I will discuss the good and the bad about blogging. Let’s start with the good news.

I always want to encourage you all to paint or to collect or to write because you love to do so. Start there.

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I don’t want you to blog because you want exposure, business, money. I want you to write because you need to write. This attitude will come through. I have read some blogs where it just feels like either the person is at a job and has to be writing the post or, even worse, is selling something. Blak! Your readers will be able to tell very quickly whether or not you are enjoying your process.

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As I have said, I love the writing part of my job even more than the painting & decorating. There is freedom in putting down your ideas and sending them out into the world. You will feel energized and inspired. You will gain new friends that want to read what you have to say. They may even want to meet you or buy one of your pieces. They may forward you beautiful post to a friend or neighbor.

You will be able to talk about your process and explain what you are working on. This is important for any creative person. Yes, working in your own, quiet studio is lovely, but I think we all have the need to show what we’ve done. You can post pictures of the process and the end result. You will feel accomplished and proud.

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Your business will grow and you will gain followers. Your numbers will climb and that can be fun to watch. You may sell more. You may be able to buy more supplies and materials to create more. This will make you feel happier and even more creative! Yahoo!

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Like in life there is always a flip side. If you have read Blue Egg for a while you will know that I don’t deal too well with mean people. Helpful pointers are one thing, but when it is delivered with a mean spirit I lose my cool. I know many, many, many, many bloggers that feel the exact same way. We are the ones wearing our heart on our sleeves and we get to reap the beautiful parts, but when we hear something harsh from someone we don’t know it, well, it pisses us off.

The information you are providing is free. When people get free things they should appreciate them. Most people do and you will create meaningful relationships with these readers and followers. Like a bad apple in every bunch there are people out there that want to tear others down. We all know it. Just know that it is coming. Even if you were giving out free apple pie every Friday you will have someone complaining about the crust. It’s not you, it’s them.

The reward that you will feel from talking and writing about what you are working on will be worth anything negative that you come across. At the end of the day this is just little, old you. It is YOU. You and your business. You and your craft. You and your writing. You and your audience. You and your blog. This is a very special time for you and something worth doing for yourself.

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