Let’s Not Rush Into Anything – The Dining Room Gallery Wall

Dining Room - Cheers Susan

Dining Room – Cheers Susan

Two years ago I closed the door on something that was no longer working for me. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Harder than getting emancipated. Harder than working three jobs and going to school. Harder than a lot of other things. But it was something that I needed to do for me. Since then, I have been taking small steps as a way to move forward. I have been building a life of my own. It has not been easy but it has been rewarding. It has helped me to heal from the hurt and the pain. It has helped me to come to terms with where I now stand. While I am not yet where I want to be, I know I am on the right path, I will get there, and it will be awesome!

Over the last couple of years I’ve been working on putting my life back together and part of that has been making my house feel like a home. To have a place and a space to call my own and that reflects who I am. For me, that means creating new associations, new memories, and bringing those into my own space. With that in mind, over the last year I’ve been working on putting together several gallery style walls and just this weekend I framed the last photo for the wall in my dining room. It’s now complete!

Working right to left, top to bottom, there’s:

Gallery Wall - Cheers Susan

Gallery Wall – Cheers Susan

  • A photo of my mom with Darby, Tess, and Gus at Empire Mine that my Uncle Jan took
  • A photo I took of an abandoned building from a road trip I took with a friend to the Caruzzo Plain earlier this year
  • A black and white photo taken of me on the back side of Mt. Whitney by Datura Photo
  • A teal and gold painting that I did after Pinterest-ing one day
  • A photo of California poppies along the California Coast  that I took two years ago while in Big Sur
  • A painting of a tree in front of a native american moon that I picked up on a trip to Washington years ago
  • A charcoal sketch I did last year of a forest of tree trunks
  • A print of bird feathers
  • A Leonardo DiVinci sketch of a horses front leg and hoof
  • A yellow and white striped piece of paper – I’m in love with yellow
  • A cookbook published many, many, many years ago that I picked up one day while in DTLA  at The Last Book Store
  • Last, but not least, a piece of white and grey baroque fabric that’s been framed for the purpose of a creating a bit of an dry erase board for notes

As I’m not one to spend huge amounts of money on frames, I tend to buy them on sale. I picked these up at places like Aaron Brothers (Hello Penny Sales), Michael’s, Joann’s, etc. For most of the photos in my place I use a mpix.com, and once again, I want for them to have a sale before ordering. If I need a mat I’ll usually browse Amazon until I find what I need.

Dexter making himself right at home - Cheers Susan

Dexter making himself right at home – Cheers Susan

As for the rest of the dining room, I also put that together since I sold my previous dining room table and chairs before my last move. The table itself came from a Pinterest session (what did we do before Pinterest?). The guys over at Creature Comforts built this totally cute table and I thought that with a few adjustments it would totally work in my space. I modified it to fit my needs by using 1″ x 4″ and having them cut about 5′. The legs came from Ikea along with the chairs and chair pads (which are kinda like these but slightly different). I picked up some small pillow inserts from Joann’s along with some quilting fabric in grays and and yellows. I covered the chair pads and whipped up quick envelop type pillow as covers. They’re easy to remove and wash when Dexter sheds all over them or someone accidentally spills something on them.

I picked up this old machinists cart at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market for $80. I use it as a bar cart or sorts. It needs way more alcohol to really function as a bar. Also, it could use a few more cocktail glasses, a collection of vintage spoons, a cocktail shaker, and a myriad of other things. Currently, I wouldn’t be able to make a martini if my life depended on it. I could however offer you a beer or a cider and a straw. Oh, and a napkin! What can I say? It’s a work in progress. 😉

Bar Cart - Cheers Susan

Bar Cart – Cheers Susan

The frame above the bar cart is from a project I did in college. For some strange reason, I really like it and have gotten several compliments, so I’m thinking I’ll keep it. 🙂 Let’s see, what else, on top of the cart there’s a glass vase/thing filled with corks and turkey feathers. I know, unique combination, but you see, Lexi and Dexter share a toy basket and if I keep the turkey feather in the basket then Lexi will destroy them all and Dexter won’t have any to play with. By keeping them out of her reach I’m able to terrorize Dexter with them while he’s trying to sleep on the dining room chairs and cover them in fuzz. There are candles, a salt cellar filled with margarita salt, because who doesn’t love a margarita, a stemless wine glass with a silver band around the top (I would love to find more so I could have a complete set), linen napkins, and an orchid I received as a birthday present. Oh, and a quote from Julia Child, “People who love to eat are always the best people”. Who doesn’t love Julia Child? There’s also a string of white Christmas light that run along the back of the cart. They’re on a timer and come on in the evening to give the space a little ambiance. At least I like to think so. I mean, come on, it’s way nicer than having the overhead light on, right?

Bar Cart - Cheers Susan

Bar Cart – Cheers Susan

So, for the most part, the dining room is done. Except I am thinking I might paint the chairs but I might not. I haven’t decided. What if I paint them and I don’t like it? It’s not like I can strip them and start over. They’re not that kind of chairs. What to do, what to do? Do you guys have any suggestions?




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