Establish A House…

I have been excited to share this project for a REALLY long time. We finally completed it last week! It all started about 9 months ago (no a baby is not involved.) I had been looking for something to put in our main entrance. It has a huge wall and needed some love.

See below.

That wall was crying out to me for something huge and dramatic. So one day I received my Restoration Hardware catalog, where I saw this photo.

The huge Subway Poster really caught my eye. I loved the black and white/vintage vibe. And if you are on Pinterest you know that subway posters are rather in right now.

Two things I didn’t love about it. 1. The price of $850 and 2. How generic it was. Everyone has these it seems. Also I have never been to New York, so the street names mean nothing to me.

One of The Smithocracy Rules about art is that is must Mean Something. All the art in our home has a purpose. It could be about somewhere we have been, or something to inspire us to be better. I also prefer my art to be spiritual in some way, but not in your face spiritual. Like the yellow painting you see in the top photo. That is titled The Mustard Seed, I painted it about 3 years ago. Anyway it is representative of faith and how it can start out small, like a mustard seed, but grows into a large tree. You can find that story in the bible. I like that story and wanted to represent faith growing in our home.

Here is a close up of that art. It has a watermark it, sorry but having someone steal my art once was enough for me.

Anyway back to my dilema.

So just ordering that poster would not meet any of those requirements. However I happen to know a retired Graphic Designer with some time on her hands (that’s me, if you don’t know). So I said to myself “Self! we can make this!”

I knew the look I wanted, now I just needed the right words.

I wanted the words to be something that represented our family. Something that when guests walked in the door, they knew right away what The Smiths were about. It was a bit of a struggle to find that perfect thing. Until…I was sitting in Sunday School and the Teacher used the following scripture (Mormon scripture) in class.

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;”      ~ D&C 109:8

It was perfect! I quickly wrote it down, and the next day I went to work. Once I got the design down I contacted Tommy, one of my favorite large format printers at Speed Pro Imaging, to print my Giant Masterpiece.

And I mean GIANT. You can see it laying there next to the daybed. It is 42″x96″ or 3.5 feet x 8 feet if you don’t want to do the math.

I was so happy! However the next, and most troubling step was framing this guy. So for months he just sat in storage until Dan and I could come up with a solution. So last week we finally figured it out.

Dan researched and learned all about building GIANT frames. And build one he did.

Then we mounted the art to some backer board. Which we then had to cut down to size.

Once that was done, we needed to attach it to the frame. This took some thinking. We had to have everything perfectly even as it was pretty much a one shot thing. Remember this is HUGE and Heavy. So no easy re-dos people. We decided to work backwards. So we placed the frame on top of the art and made sure it was nice and square. (FYI we protected the art with acetate that I ordered online. Later down the road, when the budget allows, we will order actual glass to put in a new frame.)

Then Dan got the pleasure of securing from the bottom up.

Actually everything you see, I did too, I just can’t take pictures of myself. In fact I am missing, in pictures, quite a few steps. Each one required both of us and all of our hands. So I took what I could.

Once we felt the back was secure enough, we transferred it to the floor and finished the job.

Once the art was secure it was time for me to finish the frame. We saved this step for last, because we knew the framing would scratch the finish we were going to use. And since I wasn’t painting it, we were confident in not getting any on the art work.

We wanted a silver frame, since that is usually the color I frame with. So to do the job I got out the ‘ol handy dandy Rub ‘n Buff.

I really like this stuff. You just use your finger to spread it on and it covers everything so nicely. It is great for changing a picture frame from a color you don’t like to any of the colors they carry. I used it for the picture in our bedroom from this post.

Just know that the process is very messy on your hands. So no photos of me doing it.

Once it was dry it was time to hang it up! Easy to say, but not do when you are talking about a large piece of art like this. But Dan came through and we achieved success without injury. A miracle!

Here is the view from the Living Room.

And another from down the hall by my office.

It is so nice finally having this project done. Well almost done. Like I said, when we can, we will order actual glass for the thing. Then we will have to re-frame it. I am super happy with the results for the most part. However I am wondering if the silver is too blah. Perhaps I should have done some other color, like I photo-shopped below.

Also I wonder if we should just let it rest on the floor and lean back, rather then hanging it on the wall. Let me know what you think. Since we are going to be doing a new frame in the future I will get a chance to change my mind. So I would love to hear everybody’s opinion.

Besides all that, I really like this and it added just the right amount of drama to my boring entry. Stay tuned till next time when I share all about The Wedding Party of the Century.

Seriously, my brothers wedding reception from this last weekend was so so fun and I can’t wait to share.

Happy Monday!


20 thoughts on “Establish A House…

  1. Love Love LOVE!!! You are a creative genius & OH so inspiring!!!
    I like the silver but LOVE the black best of all… just my two cents though ;). Amazing work & it looks GREAT!!!

  2. I like the red! But I am a big time sucker for the color red…so my opinion should probably not count for a whole lot. Haha! That design is FANTASTIC!!!!!! You are incredibly talented! I too saw that piece in Restoration Hardware and wondered about my own version of something. Also…the airplane chairs in that R.H. picture–pretty sure we’re going to have one someday. Haha. Casey LOOOVES them! Airplane chair goes with rustic/antique/Texas right?!?! =P

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