I mentioned previously that our new gallery wall is full of things that hold memories for us – a print from a place we visited, something from our childhoods, things our children made. Some are just things that I like, but they tell a story, too. Like these forks I found in a thrift store years ago. Yes, I hung forks on a wall and I’m not ashamed to admit it (much to the bewilderment of Brian).
They are vintage silver-plate with roses on the end – and are monogrammed with a “B.” It’s pretty rare (for me, anyway) to find a vintage monogram that matches our name. We used these with our everyday silver for a number of years – because they were never “fine” silver plate – until I got tired of the upkeep of using vintage silver everyday (we now eat off of 1980s-era stainless – and fine silver plate occasionally).
But I loved these forks, so I hot-glued them to linen and mounted them in an old frame I had. My son thinks it’s a little “out there” too. But I’m OK with it. Really.
This reproduction sampler holds a memory- I made it. Back in the early 1990s, and it totally makes me laugh.
I couldn’t afford antique samplers, so I found a company that sold patterns based on antique samplers. The one I chose had colors that were original to the sampler it was based on. Oh, but I didn’t want those. No, I wanted it to coordinate with my decor- mauve and green (…cough, cough). Yes, I can guarantee that you will not still like the same shades and combinations of colors 20 years in the future, no matter how much you like it now. But by 40 years? It’ll probably be back in style (like 70s avacado and orange now).
And what nucklehead would spend all that time cross stitching a sampler and use cream thread on a antique white background? Betcha didn’t see that there are numbers beneath the alphabet, huh? I can remember, though, not wanting another color to “mess-up” my decor. See? Funny.
These two brass rubbings were done by Brian (he did the top one) and his family when they lived in England the year Brian was in the 5th grade. They’ve been stored for the last seven years because I couldn’t figure out how to use them when we moved to this house and I’m so happy to have a place for them now.
We visited Jefferson’s beautiful home, Monticello, about ten years ago and bought this drawing (bottom photo) so we’d remember. About a year later we found this pen-and-ink drawing of Portland’s Pittock Mansion in a thrift store and I thought it would look nice with the Monticello print. Nine years later…ahem, I can say they do look good together.
I asked our daughter to fill a couple of the smaller frames with some drawings of her own. She’s very talented (if I do say so myself), and they look terrific with the other drawings- and add another memory.
The rest of the wall is filled with items we’ve had for years that were found at garage sales (the mirror that use to hang over the fireplace – a garage sale splurge for me at the time for $20, but, oh the carving!), thrift stores (most of the frames, the black trays, oval paintings, and candlesticks), and discount stores (mirrored star, a few frames, set of keys, white shelves).
I love that when people enter our home, they are greeted with a wall that draws them in and encourages questions and conversation. And I’m beyond happy to be able to look at and enjoy these memories every time I walk by.
Hopefully, I’ve been able to encourage you to look beyond the standard prints and photos (though there’s nothing wrong with that…we do have a family photo gallery down the hall) that are typical of gallery walls. Find things that make you happy, tell a story, or have history to include as well.
Then it truly becomes your home and not just a house.