After we'd moved into this house, and Big Red and I had accomplished most of our decorating, we still were faced with blank wall space just above the couch in the living room. The walls were painted a rich chocolate, which I absolutely love. It's so cozy and makes anything that's put up on the wall totally pop. I'm a huge fan of color and I find it difficult to leave a wall white. Because I didn't want to rush to fill the wall space, I allowed it to remain empty until recently when I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Once I had the image in my head, I needed to find the actual pieces that matched.
What I envisioned was a frame installation, if you will. I wanted to hang pictures of Big Red and I, of our life together. I didn't want to spend a ton of money, and if you've ever shopped for frames - good ones - sometimes that's a bit of a hurdle. Additionally, I didn't want the frames to be all the same size, but a mix of 5x7 and 8x10. Pat Catan's, Marshall's, Ross, Target, Micheal's and JoAnn Fabrics, didn't have exactly what I was looking for, and if they did, the frames were just too expensive.
And then I went to IKEA.
Cue the Hallelujah chorus of Handel's Messiah: Oh sweet blessed Swedish store with your crisp clean lines and well-priced merchandise. BINGO! I hit the jackpot with the Ribba series. The 8x10 size was only $9.99, and the 5x7 was just $4.99. The aluminum frames, although inexpensive, look like the pricier versions I saw at other craft stores. I grabbed five of the larger and four of the smaller. For nine frames, my grand total, with tax no less, was $75. I went through all my picture files and pulled a combination of images, trying to balance both Big Red and I, and getting our parents in too, and had them enlarged at my local Walgreens. The enlargements came out at $21. Frankly, and you dear reader might disagree, I believe the finished product looks much more expensive than the actual $96 it cost to finish.
Because I'm a fan of pictures, it's incredibly comforting to look up and see images of our life. I love Big Red in his bright orange kayak against the backdrop of the blue waters of lake Coeur d'Alene, and of course the picture of our first dance, the chandelier just above us, is stunning. And guess who is front and center, smack dab in the middle with an 8x10 all to herself? That's right, our lovebug, Olive. Not only does the wall capture our lives together, but it's symbolic of how far we've come.
And that's something I have no qualms gazing at for a long, long while.