A Thousand Pictures

Welcome  We’ve probably all heard the familiar quote, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  Have you ever thought about the opposite being true?  A thousand pictures is worth a word or two.  I’ll explain what I mean by that in today’s “food for thought” and I have a DIY picture project instead of a recipe today.  Thanks for your visit today!

Food For Thought  I heard an interesting fact on the radio a few months back.  In our society, with cell phones and other advanced electronics, we are taking more pictures now than ever before.  But we actually do less with all of those photos than previous generations.  It wasn’t that long ago that it was such a big deal to have pictures made that you made sure to place those photos in frames or albums to preserve them.  It was also such an expense to have pictures taken that they were often reserved for milestone events in life, such as weddings, graduations, and births of children.  Now it seems that everyone has a camera in their hip pocket, literally!  We snap selfies at just about every location and venue we venture to and photograph our food (uh, hello food bloggers!) for all to drool over.  The ease of taking pictures has me photographing random things like a spider web with fresh raindrops or the hard boiled egg reflecting a rainbow on my kitchen counter.  When I observe my family doing something that just melts my heart, I grab my phone and snap a pic, in the fear that I may forget this simple moment of contentment.  If I’m honest here, on any given day I probably snap at least 2 dozen photos on my cell phone!  Most of those are never seen by anyone but myself, never even gracing the screens of Instagram.  True, a lot of those pictures are “junk” and their calling is for the delete button.  But I actually have a lot of special pictures that are quite meaningful.  So I’m that person that turns those pictures into something.

So what do I mean by “A thousand pictures is worth a word or two”?  When you walk into my house, you are greeted on either side of the stairs by photographs.  To the right, and the stairs going down, we have floating shelves displaying pictures of our daughter at various ages.  We have additional family portraits displayed around the shelves.  To the left, and the stairs going up to the main part of our home, we have a “gallery wall,” again with multiple pictures of our daughter from infancy into school age.  The pictures are broken up only by a crafted monogram for our family name and a scripted “family” made of wood.  As you climb the stairs, your eyes will likely be drawn to another gallery wall behind our sofa.  This time the pictures are of various waterfalls my husband and I have hiked to in Tennessee and North Carolina.  These pictures are accessorized with a couple different travel quotes, a farm-house style arrow, and wood monogram letter.  You will find more pictures scattered around on book shelves, end tables, and the mantle.  These pictures represent both sides of the family for my husband and me, as well as wedding pictures, and, you guessed it, more pictures of our one and only child.  Our dining room and hallway display photographs my husband has taken of mountains and waterfalls in Arkansas.  And yes, there are pictures in other rooms as well, along with MANY scrapbooks I have crafted over the past 20 years.  Between frames, albums, and scrapbooks, I’d say we easily have over a thousand pictures in our home.  Those thousand pictures say a few words, although I can’t keep it to just a few words here!  Those pictures, in just a few words, tell you and everyone who enters our home what is most important to us.  At least I hope so.  Family, especially my “baby” girl, gets “top billing” in our home.  I like my home to appear to have some sense of decor and I definitely have a distinct style, but displaying photos of our family is considerably more important.  My home decor will have to work around all the pictures.  I’ve heard different comments from people in our home regarding the amount of pictures we have, especially of our daughter.  When I hear a hint of criticism, I respond with “No one ever looks back on their life and says I should have taken less pictures.”  Yes, I only need our “thousand” pictures to say a few words.  Those words would be family, love, and adventure.  Those pictures reflect a life well-lived and fully blessed.

Today’s Scripture  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  -Matthew 6:21.  These words follow verses with the wisdom that we should not be collecting earthly treasures that will fade away or can be stolen.  We should store up treasures in heaven that cannot be destroyed.  Typically these verses are used as reminders to not put too much emphasis on accumulating “stuff”–material possessions and money.  This is very wise, and even accumulating too many pictures might not be a great thing.  Like other earthly things, these will fade away eventually and do not go with us to the after-life.  But these pictures are still treasure, in their way, as they do reflect where our hearts lie.  I hope the Bibles and devotional books laying around our home and special verses on display are indicators that the heart of this family is on things above, but I would also hope that the “treasures” in my house show where my priorities are placed.

Today’s DIY  It would be impossible to frame all of the amazing photos my husband and I take when we go on our hiking adventures or when we take family outings with our daughter.  That’s why I love “scrapbooking.”  I can get my creative juices flowing, while using multiple photos and then the scrapbooks take up only minor amount of storage space.  They’re quite fun to pull out and look at from time to time and recall those great memories.  Sometimes, though, I come across a special photo that deserves framing and display.  Today, I have a DIY frame project for such a photograph.  My example is for a picture of my husband and I hiking last spring, so I selected the phrase “sole-mates” with hiking boot prints.  You may select whatever phrase and embellishment fits your photograph.  I am really into the rustic cabin look right now, so I’m decorating with a lot of wood.  If that’s your “thing” too, then this project is for you!

Gathering supplies for crafted photo frame project.

You will need: 4×6 photo, 5×7 mat, wood picture frame to fit 5×7 picture but has ample space around for decorating, small wood letters to create phrase of choice, craft paint in “nature” colors, paint brushes, newspaper to cover work area, adhesive for wood, chip board or sticker embellishments, stencils for your subject area

“Wood Pile” wood craft products has a large selection of wood letters to choose from.

Sort out what letters you need for your phrase.  This is a great way to incorporate your “word of the year” also!  I used wood letters and frame from the “Wood Pile” company, available at Hobby Lobby.  For my word, I only needed one pack of letters which cost 3.99.  If you use this brand, check the back of the package and they tell you how many of each letter is included.  That way, you don’t get home and realize you don’t have all your letters!

Use newsprint to cover your work surface for protection AND easy clean up.

I save all the brown “newsprint” paper that Hobby Lobby uses to wrap glass and fragile items.  This is excellent cover for your workspace when painting.  These letters are so small that you need a well-covered surface to keep your table clean.  I also like to just squeeze out my paint right onto the paper.  When I’m finished I just have to roll up all the paper and throw it away….no clean up!  I used Ceramcoat Select multipurpose craft paint, selecting “dark roast” as my color for my letters.  This dark brown compliments the hard bark edges of my frame and the deep browns in my photograph and mat.

Adding a mat to your photo gives it a more “complete” look.

I used a contrasting wood pattern mat for my photo.  I used Scotch photo-safe adhesive to place my photo on the mat.

My trick for craft adhesive!

To stick wood letters to the frame, first lay out the letters in the way you want them to appear.  Rearrange until they’re exactly how you want them before you begin adding the glue.  I have a couple secret tricks for sticking items like wood.  First of all, the BEST adhesive for sticking anything bulky or heavy is mosaic tile glue.  This is designed to stick rock to concrete, so you know it’s strong!  My next trick is to squeeze some out like I do my paint and then use a toothpick to apply it to the backs of my wood letters.  This allows me to be precise with where my glue is applied and prevents “squish-out” when I place it on my wood.  I have also found that in addition to allowing for better precision, it’s actually much neater than trying to squeeze glue out through that tiny tip that repeatedly gets clogged with glue.  After teaching kindergarten for so long, I’m done with unclogging glue bottles!  I haven’t found this method to be any more wasteful than trying to squeeze it out of the bottle and getting way more than what I need, plus the hassle of messing up a project.

Glue wood letters to wood frame with mosaic tile glue.

Once your painted letters are completely dry, you are ready to glue them to your frame.

Embellish frame to fit your theme.

I used a forest-theme stencil with trees to paint the pine tree in the corner and some boot print stickers from the scrapbooking section.  This wood frame came with nail holes already place for either vertical or horizontal hanging, so this picture is ready for hanging or displaying on the mantle when whenever we’re ready.  BTW, the “sole” is playing off of the soles of the hiking boots.  Most people will get that, but I just know someone wants to scream out, “That’s not how you spell soul!”  LOL

If you want to see some of my other recent craft room creations, be sure to check out my DIY page!