Monday, December 10, 2012

(Almost) Free Art + Gallery Wall

Hello, Hello! I'm back from the dead again. Yes, I like to randomly disappear in the dark abyss of parenting and overwhelming housework, not to mention a quick surgery just to spice things up! I hope you all had a great feast with your families. I, went on to my second year without Turkey, but still enjoyed and appreciated all that I have. Now on to the beginning of the END! DECEMBER!! New Years is around the corner and what better time than now to take your super cool, and now old, calendar and turn it into awesome art!

So for the past, I don't know, really long time :o) the Los Angeles Umma Clinic has not only been providing health care for those in need, but they have also been making these beautiful award winning calendars that I am OBSESSED with, to say the least. A small donation will get you a years worth of gorgeous Islamic architecture from around the world. This project was actually made a while ago with my 2011 calendar, but I'm definitely planning on using my 2012 as well!!

I made a small donation got this beautiful calendar and really only paid for the matte and framing for this project. I cut the pages off with my paper slicer. Perfect lines every time! No need to worry about the previous holes since the matte will cover it anyway.  Here are three of the ten images I used. Unfortunately, the other two months got badly bent or ripped during the move, but ten images were more than enough for my project.

Ibn Batuta Mall, Dubai
I figured this one was less elegant. ;o)

Putrajaya Mosque, Malasia 

Honestly, I don't remember the name of this mosque, but it's definitely in Istanbul, Turkey. 
Maybe Laleili Mosque? 

 I present to you my Umma Clinic gallery wall of art!

I love this wall. I think it's a perfect mix of colors and the layout is NOT so crazy. Some times when I look at gallery walls I feel like the frame layout is so "artistic" it actually takes away from the actual art itself. Though, I really can't stand staring at too much symmetry either, so the typical rows of frames was out of the question. After I laid the frames out on the floor and contemplated patterns, my oldest son took to experimenting and made some of his own patterns...

...which somehow lead back to this...

So how did we hang it you ask? Really simple actually. My handyman hubster drew a light grid on the wall. (o: Maybe not the most conventional way of doing it, but the pencil markings were either hidden by the frame or what was exposed I just erased off the wall and it came off nicely without a smudge. Our walls are matte finish just so you know. 

 A close up of the grid. 

He measured well before drawing the grid. Frames were perfect squares 
so measuring was relatively easy.

Quick drilling tip: If you tape a plastic bag below the drilling point 
all the debris will fall nicely into the bag saving you from extra cleanup!! Learned that trick from the TV instillation guy out here. 

And the wall in all it's gory one more time...

I know that custom frames can be costly in some areas, luckily I had a decent deal on these considering each frame had two mattes ( the obvious cream and a subtle blue on half and a subtle orange on the other half.) Calendars are usually a perfect 12 x 12 size and if you check out Ikea, Michaels, Target, thrift stores, anywhere really you might be able to find these sizes. You can even buy completely different style frames, butvare the same size to add more character instead of the uniform look. 

The goal hear was up-cycle and I think I achieved an elegant look on the (relatively) cheap (o: Hope you all enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by.



  1. lovely! i love the plastic bag idea too.

  2. I really like the picture of the woman to the left of the couch. Wonderfully exotic. Just read about you, ex-pat. The warmth sounds delightful right now since it is lightly snowing here in Maine. We have been lucky to not had any snow to speak of, but if it melted the day after Christmas, I would not shed one tear.
    Oh, hanging pictures...When I have a bunch, I trace their sizes on brown paper, cut them out and tape them up using painters tape (so as not to mar the walls) ant them can experiment with placement. I can even leave them up while I hammer the nails to also aid in placement. I am sure I saw that somewhere, I'm not THAT clever to have thought it up myself.

    1. Hi suzieQ, the brown paper would be the smarter thing to do, but things are so expensive out here I try to limit what buying stuff I could maybe do without. I got lucky that that pencil markings came off the wall easily. As for the painting of the woman, my dad painted that, I'll blog about it soon. It resembles my mom. Almost all the my dads paintings of females resemble my mom. keep warm out there! Thanks for stopping by!


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