"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


Gold Diggin'

I titled this post "Gold Diggin'", but it should actually read that "I'm digging gold". I put this mini wall collage together this weekend, and I think it's "as good as gold".
 It all started because I found this pretty little watercolor (pictured below), when the Hubs and I cleaned out the garage. My 3rd grade teacher painted it and gave it to me 35 years ago, after I wrote a story about her remarkable teaching career for the newspaper. As you can see, the painting was still wonderful, but the frame and mat were in poor condition and outdated. So I decided to clean it up and change a few things.
 Then I was looking around for somewhere to hang it. It is just a small watercolor, so it could easily get lost with our 12 foot ceilings. I could not find a more updated picture, but (below) is basically how this area looked up until Saturday. I did have that cute little brown table (from the first pic) under this piece of antique ceiling tin, but other than that, it was like this.
So I was walking around with the updated and cleaned up watercolor when it hit me that I could put the painting right by the piece of tin, under the light switch and right above the table.

 And it was actually cute like that. So I kept it that way. For about 15 minutes. 
 I had used the yellow mat and just painted over it with some gray paint I had. Then I used a bottle of "old gold" Rub and Buff on the frame. As my husband pointed out, it took me less than 15 minutes to have a completely "new" watercolor. 
 Well I loved the gold tin with the (faux) gold frame. But while I was sitting there on the sofa I saw the glass number tray. I had already (E6000) glued a hook to the back of it ages ago, but had never hung it up. So I hung it up. Then there seemed to be a little space on the side. So I got the mini glass letter tray out of the closet. It too had already been "hooked" a while ago. 
 And I was happy with the way it looked. For about 10 minutes. 
 So I took the little wooden frame I had found in a drawer this summer when cleaning. I had even left it out after finding it because I knew I wanted to do something with it. I loved it's small size and I thought it would be cute with an antique broach or something. But before hanging it in it's new spot, I put a small layer of old gold around the inside rim. 
 And I hung it up. I was happy. For about 5 minutes. Well, it did look cute just sitting there in its emptiness, but why be empty when you can be full? (And I knew I could never explain it to my mother. She questions by big empty frames each time she comes over!!! ha!!)
So I pulled my gold 5 off of the bookshelf it sat on. (I collect 5's because of my 5 children.)
 And I loved it. More than I even dreamed I would. So I was happy. For about 2.5 minutes. 
 But that empty space beside the (ugly) light switches just kept taunting me. Over and over. And I kept thinking of what I could possibly put there. 
 Then as I went to get a new lightbulb for the lamp, I saw the small gold "L" also sitting on a shelf. Ding. Ding. Ding. Perfect. 
 So I hung the "L" and I breathed a sigh of relief. It was perfect. Almost. I realized that my silver lamp was oh-so-not-good with all the old gold. So I took the lamp out to the garage. 
 I gave it a quick coat of ORB (oil-rubbed-bronze) paint. Then I highlighted a few spots with the old gold Rub and Buff. 
 And I sat back and LOVED it. Yes, I did. Yes, indeedy!!  
 I wish I could sit here and tell you that I planned for all that old gold to be together. And that I searched high and low for those glass plates-turned-wall-hangings because I wanted them to match the shade from the bronze and gold lamp. I could lie and say that I had planned all along to put a gold L and a gold 5 up to also tie in with the typography from the plates and lampshade. But it would be just that. A big lie. It all just came together without any planning. Because I found that pretty little watercolor from one of my all-time-favorite-teachers. 
 But then as I sat there reveling in my not-planned-and-not-one-thing-bought-mini-collage-wall I saw this (above) out of the corner of my eye. A blank wall with only an old World War II mortar basket sitting there. 
 It taunts me. It wants to look like it's twin on the other side. Hmmmm. Hmmm. 
 And of course that ugly light switch needs something not so plasticy. Not to mention the actual switches need to be switched out to all white. And is that a blank spot above? Like perhaps it should all be a little more equal in height? What do I have I could put up there? Hmmm. Let me think! 
But for now, I'm digging all this gold. All because one little watercolor deserved a place of honor. What have you "found" lately that caused you to change things around? 
Linking to:


  1. I am so glad gold has made a huge comeback. I love it and this is a gorgeous collage. I would love for you to link up to my ongoing party - Inspire Me --http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/08/179th-inspire-me-tuesday.html Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty

  2. I love your wall collage and appreciate you sharing it at the Open House party! Check back this week to see your feature.

  3. Love your gallery wall...so pretty!

  4. Lori, first off I have to tell you that as a retired teacher, the fact that you kept this gift and treasure it, made me smile with delight. Your 3rd grade teacher would be honored to know your still honor her in your heart. Secondly, I like a good story! Have to say that the way this all came together is also a delight. It looks fantastic. In fact I'd like to pin it with your permission. I think this collage arrangement is the perfect way to spotlight each one of these elements. Together they really make a "golden" statement. Well done! I have an assortment of those decoupaged plates, so I'm going to shop my house and see what might work with them. I don't have the numbers or the letters, but they are certainly ones I'd buy if I saw them. It will be fun to see what you find to hang on the opposite side of the door. '-)
    Thanks for sharing the inspiration. I'm your newest follower. ~ Sarah

  5. Love, love, love this post for several reasons! One, it's sweet about your teacher and collecting 5s because of your kids. Two, it's great looking! (Though I think you really may want to fill that empty space!-but than that's me. I decorate by the vacuum theory most days. If there's an empty space, I rush to fill it.) And Three, last but not least, I have many of the same items! I have a piece of old tin tile, though mine is rusty. (Now, I want to go get it out of the garage and hang it up!) I have a little gold M just like your L, and I have a 7 like your 5. I also have a very similar table and a very similar space beside my front door. In other words, I think we're twins who got switched at birth. :)
    Seriously, I've been wanting to do my current gallery wall over. See it HERE: http://revisionarylife.blogspot.com/2012/04/industrial-elegant-vignette.html Your post has inspired me to see if my old tin piece can be used in a similar fashion. Thanks for the inspiration!

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