Monday, August 19, 2013

Help! Decisions, decisions, decisions!

Shame on me. I feel terrible that I didn't record where I found this image. It inspired me to ACTION and that's saying a lot. So I'm really indebted to the woman who did this. But trying to retrace my steps, I came up empty handed. I do recall that I was surprised to learn it is actually two cupboard door frames. And if you look closely, you'll see the hinge hardware and how the far edge of the top cupboard does indeed show the wood going up. However, in my eye, I was seeing two long strips of wood and I said, "Yes! This will work for me. I like this."

SO.... I found the perfect piece of wood. I may add another strip later, but for right now, I'm ecstatic with the piece I got. I crossed the river into Portland and went to a salvage place called suprisingly enough Salvage Works :) For a whopping $4, I got a piece of 100+-year-old history.

Look at that crackle! The dark rich color! My camera flash makes it look a bit lighter than it is. It's a deep umber. Luv it! They sell such wood pieces and trims for 50 cents a foot. IF you have a salvage store close to you, I heartily recommend you visit. Great stuff to be upcycled....

SO.... I was trying to think ahead (very hard for me!) and do things properly (very hard for me!) I got The Hubby's fancy smancy laser light leveler and he helped me make sure that the strip of wood was truly straight on the wall before I began hammering away. I was ready to use my dark brown panel nails. Yes, I actually thought ahead about what kind of nails to use! I knew I didn't want silver heads "blemishing" my antique wood and then causing me more work to go back and paint over with wood markers. I felt very smug with the dark brown panel nails in hand. Strange, I don't mind the silver in the bulldog clips on the lady's cabinet display but I'm not sure I like that shiny "newness" on mine. Perhaps I'll paint them a solid black later....

Anyway, I grabbed a bunch of cards. One nail. Then another. And then I started realizing all the decisions I needed to make. It wasn't just a matter of pounding in a nail every 4 inches.
Some cards are vertical. Some are horizontal. Some are larger than others.
Should I lay out all my cards on the floor first, to see exactly what's what and what goes where?

Should there be a pattern or theme or some kind of color coordination?

What about horizontal cards? Should I just place them on the edge of the strip at top?

Should I keep the protective plastic sleeve on the cards or hang them au natural?
My preference is to hang them as is, but the bullclip bites into the center of some of the images -- like my parrot/bird postcard. So for him especially, the extra length/protection of the sleeve seems necessary.
Will it look "funny" if some of the cards are in protective sleeves and some aren't?

I began to run out of bulldog clips. Yes, I had bought a box of 12. Twelve! A dozen clips to hang my 10 year collection??!!! Hahahaha! Silly me:) I knew I had more clips but didn't realize they were a different size ....

 I didn't want to make such decisions. For a change, I wanted to get a project DONE, FINISHED, COMPLETED. So I kept hammering. Soon I had about 11 vertical cards with just a bit of room between each one. I asked The Hubby's opinion. He was in the midst of cooking "Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic" so I couldn't get mad at him for not being a bit helpful in my dilemma.

SO.... I gave myself permission to NOT be frustrated for not FINISHING what I had started and relaxed in knowing that I could turn to y'all for your advice.

Now,  I realize that I often look but don't really see. You know? So I went back to study the picture of the cabinet cards. I saw then that she had quite a bit of space between her cards. Some of hers are horizontal and some are vertical. One is in a protective sleeve but the others don't appear to be. In one sense, I feel as if I've answered my own questions, but then again, the thing I also finally really "saw" is that her images are all black/brown and white. Since mine are multi-colored, they will definitely look "busier." Does that mean that space around each one is all the more important?

Do please give me your candid opinions and help me finish my project. Like fine China dishes that should be used every day and not stored away, my postcards that bring me so much joy to look at and touch have been long overdue for better treatment. No more tucked away in a box (even though it is one awesome decorative box made by my friend Marj:)  Now, let me clarify: I'm not planning to display ALL my collection. I have more than 1,000 cards in my digital business and most of them will stay filed away (hahaha! "filed" away as if I have them all so neatly organzied and alphabetized...hahahaha! I am too funny sometimes:) Anyway, moving along back to the display at hand.....many of these cards are ones that I just have a 'thing' about, a special story to go with it, or the way it feels. These are truly my personal collection. Any suggestions or ideas on how to proceed so that I don't end up pounding a bunch of nails that I need to pull out and move over?

I guess what I'm asking is:

What are the artistic rules on display that make the difference whether something looks lovely and not just a cluttered blob?:)
Should I paint all the clips a solid black? Should they all be the same size or are the different sizes of clips a nice touch of variety? I was going to hang all the cards from the "center" indent line. Should I hang some at the top and some from the bottom edge?

Again, any advice on artistic 'rules of thumb' for display in regard to groupings and displays will be much appreciated!!

UPDATE: A big merci beaucoup for everyone's advice!!! And Marj, I finally figured out the garlic joke:)hahaha!

Thanks to Gail, I spent an evening reading about Sibella Court and checking out her books (I'm next in line for a copy of Bowerbird at the library and I really wanna see/touch a copy of Etcetera), which led me to Rebecca Purcell and "Interior Alchemy" (a used copy headed my way from Florida:)

A big thanks, also, to Lynne, Marj and Chris for affirming that I need to leave space and go with groupings/themes. I will think of this as my own private gallery to change with the seasons!

Daqadoodles Debbie, in regard to color groupings, YES! I'm so glad you pointed that out. My mind was working in that direction and you've verified it for me.

In regard to painting the clips, that would be easy. I have a new can of black spray paint at hand. However, I'm also toying with the idea of wood push pins I saw at a store the other day. I had tried some of the mini-clothespins at my shop and the quality of the ones I got from Craft Warehouse are ATROCIOUS. If you try to clip and reclip more than 2-3 times, the wood pops out from the silver clip. SO I've become very anti-clothespin. However, I may try out the wooden push pins (will definitely have to put all of the cards in sleeves then for sure) and might even try mixing: some pins, some black clips ..... Hmmm.... I just realized that if the cards are all in protective sleeves, I could actually use a tack on the backside and no form of attachment would even show, but I'm not sure if they would gape forward or exactly how they would hang. Maybe I should try some of Sibella's masking tape:)

Anyway, again, I can't thank you enough. Listening to y'alls advice helped turn this into what it should be: from perfectionist-driven angst to a fun adventure in decorating and displaying!! Remerciements!


classyandsassycharms said...

Okay - I can't give "artistic rules of display" as I'm not a display artist. BUT I think it would look lovely to have a good amount of space between (especially since the wood is so cool) AND I don't think you have to have the same amount of space between. For instance - if you did group your "dancers" together, then put less space between them, but then more space on either side. Which I would do with all themes (obviously, I like the idea of themes) I would probably paint the clips all black so they are uniform and don't draw the eye away.

So just an opinion from a non display expert!

Gail Thayer said...

What an intriguing post!!! I'll have to go check out that shop you linked, we usually go to Hippo Hardware in Portland and find what we need.

Since your cards are rather 'precious' and you don't want to damage them I see nothing wrong with the protective sleeves. What I'm wondering is if a small piece of double-sided tape would work to adhere them, or even a small glue dot?
That way you won't need to mar your cool piece of wood......of course that will only work if the adhesive used doesn't take off your awesome finish.

I love the way that Sibella Court displays such things.....sometimes with tiny pieces of masking tape. She's very creative!

Have fun with this project!

marda said...

I think I agree with classy...put some space between them. I'd also do a theme, something you can change from time to time. Painting the clips black would most likely be a hassle, but...
I think it would look better. Unless you can come up with a different clip. I like the idea.. good luck. OOOOhhh major garlic breath!!!!!HA. No vampires will bother you guys tonight.

daqadoodles said...

I don't think different kinds of clips draws that much attention, that's something you can do when you haven't got anything else to do.

As for the cards: A bit of space around it with a uniform-coloured wall behind it is good I think, so it is acentuated, like a lightbeam that features the card.

On colours: I see it in home decoration magazines all the time - it's not the items that make a room look organized or matching, it's the colours.

So maybe yes, paint the clips (and ofcourse use sleeves to protect the cards, or bend the clips so they don't squeeze very hard and add some fabric to the squeezing parts) (I know, more work!)

Group the cards by colour, and change every month or season. Then mix colours - go with your mood at that moment. If you change them regularly, then eventually you'll get a good feel for what you like best.

I like the idea of putting some on top too, but just a little bit of wind, a door that closes too had, and the cards fall off, so you'd need something to keep them up there.



daqadoodles said...

Oh one more idea: How about gluing (painted or washi-tapedecorated) clothes pins to some wood? The don't squeeze your cards as hard as these clips I think. If you paint/dye the clothes pins a dark brown/red, it will get that dark wood colour. Maybe even finish with a layer of varnish for some gloss effect.

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

Bonjour Trisha
Definitely protect in sleeves and as for clips, as I adore all things vintage and if you are able to source them, vintage clothespins or if not you could easily distress cheap and cheerful clothespins with household emulsion paint in a chalky finish.
Grouped by themes would be attractive and as for spacing. I think a random fashion works best.
That is a beautiful piece of wood.
Wishes to you

Gail Thayer said...

OOOh, forgot totally about Rebecca Purcell and Interior Alchemy......that's the "bible" of edgy interior design.
Definitely give it a look and be inspired!