Wednesday, April 15, 2015

DIY: Cedar Shingle Photo Backdrop.

It's starting to feel like spring outside and that means wedding season is upon us! Today I'm sharing a relatively simple photo backdrop project for the diy bride. There are a few power tools involved and it's a little bit time consuming but the result is so worth it. One of my favorite project that I've tackle in a while.

One wedding trend that I love, is having a backdrop where your guests can stand and have their photos taken on your wedding day. I also love when the bride and groom display photos of the couple through their dating years, from their childhood and of the special people in their lives. This project blends those two ideas into one!

Here is the back story. This winter, I was asked by Discover Charlottetown to design and style a booth for them at the Halifax Bridal Show. The booth was to showcase Charlottetown and Prince Edward Island as a wedding destination and to feature three Charlottetown properties: Delta Hotels, Holman Grand Hotel, and the Confederation Centre of the Arts. Not a small feat in a small booth space but somehow it all came together.

I decided to pair my two favorite wedding trends to create a sort of "virtual Pinterest board". We contacted several PEI wedding photographers and asked to use some of their photos from those properties and of beautiful Charlottetown. Next was the fun part. How to display all these beautiful photos?

We picked up some sheets of plywood, a couple of 2x4s, some primed MDF trim, a few bundles of cedar shingles and got to work.

Knowing the 8x8 backdrop would both need to be stored and transported, we used two 4x8 pieces of plywood that simple get screwed together on site. A piece of trim would hide seam down the center.

Next, the simple square edge white trim was cut to fit all around the plywood and down the center. Once we knew that all the pieces fit properly, we marked the back of each ones so that we knew where they went later when we put it back together, and screwed them into place.

The shingles were a little bit time consuming but I love doing stuff like that. Steph and I worked side by side, gluing and stapling each one in place, row by row. It's important to measure the spacing as you go so that both sides match.

Then we stood back and admired our finished product before we had to take it all apart for transport. I was thrilled with how it turned out. 

The two pieces back to back, without the trim.

Our space at the bridal show was three of these booths. That floor was a bit of a surprise! I'll admit, I panicked a little when I saw the pattern and color.. how do you work with that?

As the furniture for the booth came in, Steph set up the shingled backdrop and hammered roofing nails, one on the left and right end of each row. Honestly, thank goodness for him. He's a gem when it comes to helping me out on these crazy projects and never complains about it.

I got to work looping two balls of string across the backdrop, hooking onto the roofing nails as I zigzagged across. I didn't really have a plan, I simply stood back every now and then and made sure it was evenly distributed throughout. We used roofing nails because they have a larger head with prevents the string from slipping off. Next, I used simple wooden clothespins to hang up all the black and white photos.

For a little variation, I randomly clipped some greenery, fresh rosemary and real pieces of cotton among the photos. It felt very organic and smelled good too!


A lot of brides who came through the show took photos of the backdrop and I really hope that it inspired them to do something similar at their own weddings! I can imagine it done with color photos and pinned flowers instead of greenery. Or no photos at all and only blooms would be so pretty too! I can imagine so many possibilities!

The gorgeous flower arrangements and that amazing eucalyptus garland that draped the mantel, were made by the genius florist, Michael at Prestige Floral. I was seriously obsessed with that garland. We brought it to the show in our car and I could smell it days later!

I'm so obsessed with an abundance of natural greenery and natural wood tones in weddings this year.
What are your favorite wedding trends?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Minted Art ~ Help Me Choose.

It's Islander Day today but unfortunately everyone on the island is confined to their homes at the tail end of a huge snowstorm. The winds are still quite high and the plows have yet to hit the road but hopefully soon we can start the big dig out. Last time I checked, our cars were completely buried in the driveway. I don't actually remember ever having this much snow. Thank goodness for snowblowers!

Inevitably, when cooped up in the house, I start mentally redecorating and shopping online. It's dangerous! My latest fixation is the wall behind the sofa in the living room. I had a gallery wall for the last while but after freshly painting the walls, made the decision to try something new.

I'm the girl who is constantly moving things around, which leaves little nail holes in the walls. To avoid this problem and still give me the freedom to mix things up, I hung a picture ledge. Instead of hanging art, I'll simply lean it one the shelf. This allows me to mix and match different frames, prints and art without doing too much damage.

Temporary art pieces.

The current Hello print, while cute, doesn't provide enough color or pattern. Not to mention the fact that the ceilings are high and the frame just doesn't have enough presence. I want a larger framed art print to fill the space and I'll add to the ledge from there.

I turned to Minted., a marketplace for independent artists, for some inspiration and instantly found many pieces that would suit perfectly. Actually, I found too many and need your help narrowing it down to one!

From left to right:
Even Still, by artist Katie Craig
Mid-summertime, by artist Emily Jeffords
Solstice, by artist Lindsay Megahed

As you can see, I'm definitely drawn to more abstract painted pieces with shades of blue and grey. It seems to be a theme around my house.

From left to right:
Weathered, by artist Melanie Severin
Frosted Barn, by artist Lindsay Megahed
Passage, by artsist Kelly Ventura

I'm thinking the best size Minted print  for the space will be 18 x 24. You can choose to order it framed or unframed and I'm still undecided on that part.

Minted. is super easy to navigate. I simply made an account and within the Art Marketplace clicked the little heart on each print that I liked, to add it to my favorites. It's a great way to help narrow down your selections. I was even able to filter my results to include only portrait size options and by choosing my favorite colors.

So what do you think? I'd love your suggestions before I decide which one to order. Is there one that you prefer?

Be sure to check out Minted. yourself. The choices are endless. You're bound to find many that you love!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Large Scale Photo Art.

We are snowed in today on PEI. I love love love a good snowstorm! The ones where you have no choice but to stay home and everything completely shuts down. Out my window, all I see is a white fluffy wonderland of blustery snow. Feels cozy and warm in here!

Inside, I'm surrounded by white as well. Before Christmas, we gave the whole living room a coat of crisp white paint. When I say whole, I mean walls, trim, fireplace, built-ins, the whole deal. Of course, it took longer than I anticipated and I never wanted to see another paint brush again, but I love how it all turned out.

I'll show more on the whole space another day but today, I wanted to share the refreshed fireplace. When I moved into the house, the fireplace was red brick and I covered it in many many layers of primer and white paint in an attempt to give it a little update. It worked out fairly well and stayed that way for several years. However, when I painted the walls white, the fireplace looked absolutely terrible against the crisp white walls. I expected it to appear a bit yellow but I didn't anticipate the dull grey. It absolutely had to go.. asap.

We thought the smart thing to do would be to tape it off and spray paint the brick. Unfortunately, that didn't work at all and we ended up having to tackle it using a paint brush and dabbing paint into all the nooks and crannies. Thankfully, Steph took on this job, while I repainted the built in. You can see the difference in colors. I can't believe how different it looks.

Ultimately, I'm thrilled with how it turned out. It feels so bright and clean!

My favorite part, however, is the large scale photograph that we hung above the mantel. I was contacted by Posterjack, an online photo printing company, a few months ago about trying out one of their products. I knew right away that I wanted to do some sort of large scale photograph over the mantel so I jumped at the opportunity.

I chose to upload one of the beach photos that I'd taken during our summer cottage vacation. I used their editing software to change it to black and white and chose to print it as a 28 X 42 Satin Matte Poster.

When it arrived we removed it from the mailing tube and trimmed it slightly to fit into the largest Ikea Ribba frame, without the matte (27 1/2 X 39 1/4). I really like the proportions with the scale of the mantel.

Christmas was easy in terms of decorating the mantel but I've struggled with it since then. I don't want it to appear too busy since the built-in cabinet beside it is so full of books and objects. I also don't like it completely bare either. For now, I have a few plants and occasionally some flowers. I'm sure inspiration will strike one of these days.

It's been a while since I posted. Life has been busy but I think of my blog and its reader often. I'm not ready to abandon it just yet! I hope those of you who are in the path of the storm are cozy at home today! 

*Posterjack provided me with the printing of the poster. I am happy with the product and wouldn't hesitate to use Posterjack again.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Outdoor Christmas Pots.

I can't even believe that Christmas is so quickly approaching! I set the goal that I would have all my Christmas shopping finished by the 12th and I'm realizing this is only days away... I'm on the right track but doubtful that I'll be done by then. Oh well! I did, however, have the tree and the outdoor pots on the agenda for the weekend and got those two things accomplished!

Here is a little peek at the front porch with the outdoor pot I through together.

I used spruce and pine boughs, birch branches, red berries and a few warm white lights.

My dad makes the the Joy and other nativity scenes. I think it looks pretty sharp with the red front door.

So pretty with a little dusting of soft snow.

I meant to put up a fresh greenery wreath but didn't get around to it. I think my red fall wreath may work double duty this year.

 How about you? Do you do any decorating outdoors? Do you use natural elements?