It was the first "finished" room in our poor old house, so decoration it was more exciting then you might imagine. The only problem was finding a picture to hang on the wall. I had a painting that sort of worked, but I wasn't really happy with it, and nothing else turned up in my occasional shopping.
Then, about a year ago, I went on the annual Ikea shopping trip with my Mom and sisters. While browsing through that wonderful store, I happened about a package of five art cards that had photographs of Stockholm house numbers on them. The calligraphy caught my eye, and I bought them on a whim. It wasn't until several days later that I realized that they matched my bathroom perfectly! Hurrah, my problem was solved...or was it?
The new problem was the size of the cards: a five inch square. Over the course of several months I discovered that none of the stores in this area carried any square frames in any size. So, I started browsing online. I found square frames, but they were expensive! The Dutch blood in me boiled at the idea of spending eight bucks for a frame (and I needed five frames) for cards that cost about three bucks. I had just about given up on my art cards when my sister Tandis gave me an idea. She was working out an idea for decorating her living room using painted canvases and I realized that stretched canvas didn't need a frame and that Hobby Lobby sold it in lots of different sizes. So, off to the store I went, with my forty-percent-off coupons in my purse, and brought home five six-inch canvases. A new project was under way.
Step 1: I brewed a cup of Lipton tea (which I don't actually like but still have in the house) and used it to paint the canvases so that they weren't glow-in-the-dark white. I think it took three coats to get the color I liked.
Step 2: I used rubber cement to attach the cards to the canvas. I thought rubber cement would be a better choice then white glue in a damp environment like a bathroom.
Step 3: I had a can of spray varnish in my collection of odd stuff, so I gave each canvas a couple of coats on the front and back for more waterproofing. It took several days to do that since I had to set it up in the basement because of the smell of the varnish.
When the varnishing was finally done, I had to figure out how I wanted to hang the pictures. I cut five squares out of wrapping paper and taped them to the wall. It took a whole morning of walking into the bathroom and looking from different angles and then adjusting the layout before I found an arrangement that felt right. Then I measured where the nails needed to go and pounded them right through the papers.
Then I hung up the finished card-canvases. Just right...and it only took a year. How long will a whole living room take me?