Sharing imperfections – my photo gallery wall.

I took a short break from blog writing last week to do some blog reading. (Hopefully one day soon I’ll find enough balance to do both.) Ironically, I was most inspired by all the imperfection I found. People posting their half-finished projects and mile-long to-do lists. People who are writing because they need to get something done but can’t figure out how. People just. like. me. Seems I’ve been so concerned with making this blog shiny and pretty I forgot the most important part of sharing creative ideas – THE PROCESS. Before and after shots are great but it’s all the blood, sweat, and tears in the middle that people really want to see. So with that in mind I’m sharing my latest work in progress – my living room photo gallery wall.

This whole mess started when the lizard moved in. The only space big enough for her tank was along my photo gallery wall, which covered up half of the photos and left everything all wonky and out of balance. I could only find half of a “before” picture so I filled in the rest with fancy illustration techniques.

before gallery wall

You get the idea, right? Not exactly Better Homes & Gardens. I’m embarrassed to admit things stayed that way for a year. Yep, a whole year. It wasn’t until we rearranged the furniture in the room that I was finally inspired to fix things.

I started by hanging a shadow box in the center of the space. (I found it at an estate sale years ago. It used to be in my daughter’s room but she’s tired of it now so I get it back!) Then I started filling in around it with photos. I have two words for you – TRIAL and ERROR. I just kept picking things up and putting them somewhere else until I liked it. This blurry shot shows newspaper templates we taped on the wall right before we got out the hammer and nails.

Photo 2013-02-04 01.11.06 PM

The end result is balanced (my taste) yet asymmetric (hub’s taste).

photo gallery wall from

photo gallery wall from

photo gallery wall from

My favorite part is the shadow box. I’ve filled it with treasures that have been stashed on a closet shelf for years.

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The stuffy my husband’s dad slept with as a child (he died when my husband was a toddler), a photo of him as a child, and his first half-marathon medal.

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My childhood stuffy, a picture of me & mom, and the locket I wore when we got married with a picture of my uncle inside.

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My oldest daughter’s first ballet shoes. So tiny.

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A picture my baby girl drew when her first pet, Ruby the goldfish, died.

As I said before, it’s not done. Here are some ideas I’m still toying with.

  • I plan to update the photographs. (I don’t know if you noticed but some of them are black & white, some color, and some aren’t even inside the frame, they’re just taped to the glass until I can decide if I like them.
  • There are a few more things I want to add to the shadow box, if I can ever find them.
  • When I can afford it, I would like add more frames and hang everything closer together. I think it all could be a little tighter.
  • The big empty space on the lower right bothers me a lot. I was thinking about hanging the guitar there.
  • Thinking about putting a patterned paper or fabric in the back of the shadow box – you know, like you would do in the back of a book shelf or cabinet?

So that’s what I’m working on in between loads of laundry and driving the mom taxi. It’s not a big project but getting it done will make a big difference.


6 thoughts on “Sharing imperfections – my photo gallery wall.

    • You made my morning Julie! I’m proud to tell you (Ms. Photographer/Author) that the Chicago sign is actually a photograph that I took. Me! Myself! Not too shabby for an Abi, eh? I was thinking of replacing it with 3 snapshots but maybe now I’ll leave it like it is since a professional has admired it from afar. 🙂

  1. My favorite is the shadow box. I have a couple different spots like this where two to three generations of goodies intermingle. I love the family feel of it.
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