Monday, July 22, 2013

Triumph Alley

When I revamped the corner of the study to create a small built-in bar, it meant displacing the running-related items I was displaying there -- some photos, race bibs, medals, etc. I knew I wanted to relocate them somewhere eventually, but wasn't sure exactly where. I also knew we needed to update them, because the photos we had up were from Sam's full marathon (which my dad and I ran part of as a relay team) and his first half marathon, and since then I've run my first two half marathons (one of them with Sam and my dad), and we did a Tough Mudder in June. We got some great photos from some of these, so I wanted to be sure to incorporate those.

Awhile ago I picked up some frames on sale at Michael's, and this weekend finally got my act together. I decided to put together a small gallery wall in the narrow wall space that leads from the kitchen to study. It seemed like the best option where we could put up some photos we really like (and find inspirational, which I need right now as I train for my first full marathon, which Sam will likely do too), but not dominate one of our main living spaces since frankly pictures of us crowing triumphantly while sweating profusely aren't exactly what I want any given room to focus on (and given window placement and the art we already have, we don't actually have a lot of extra wall space).

I picked some of my favorite photos, and printed them at CVS in a mix of 4x6s and 5x7s to match the frames I had (plus the two shadowboxes I already had on hand). Then I laid out all my frames on the floor and matched photos to them (you can see that I also threw in a smattering of race bibs):

Then it was a simple matter of popping them into the frames and getting ready to hang them. A handful of the frames were only meant to be tabletop frames, so didn't have hangers for the wall. I picked up some sawtooth hangers along with the frames, and then just attached them to all the tabletop frames as needed. I was sure to remove the glass etc from the frame and hammer on a soft surface -- seems self-evident, but I've accidentally damaged frames before not thinking.

The other small prep piece for tabletop frames is that I usually like to rip off the portion of the frame that makes it stand up, since that will cause it to hang unevenly on the wall.

They're usually pretty easy to just yank off, either by hand or with pliers.

Then I stood in front of my two walls and basically eyeballed an arrangement that I thought looked good and that I thought I could add to over time. Here's where we ended:

(the first wall, looking in toward the study/living room) 

(the second wall, opposite the first, looking toward the kitchen;
ignore that gross light switch, the kitchen walls need some help)

I like it quite a lot -- I tried to pick photos that made good photos in their own right, so while it's running-themed hopefully it isn't too over the top. Sam and I have nicknamed it "Triumph Alley."

In case you're curious, below are the photos that are up there (except for one, from Sam's first half marathon, which we don't have in digital form, and for the three bibs that I also framed).

(Sam, me, and my dad walking to the start line for Sam's marathon, which my dad and I each ran 6-mile legs of)

(Me and Sam starting the last 6 miles of his marathon)

(Crossing the marathon finish line. Somehow Sam manages to look better than me despite the fact that he's run 26.2 miles and I've only run 6.)

(Sam, me, and my dad after the marathon/relay)

(I don't think it's real gold)

(Me during my first half marathon, in lovely Vermont)

(Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon)

(Sam, me, and my dad after finishing the BAA half marathon in Boston -- my dad's first!)

(Me and Sam before starting the Tough Mudder)

(Me and Sam emerging from a dumpster of ice water, one of the Tough Mudder obstacles)

(Sam carrying me for one of the Tough Mudder obstacles that involved carrying a team member)

(Me, Sam, and our teammate Shannon just over the Tough Mudder finish line)

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