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Guest Project — "Summer on a Wall"

Hey there all you Tatertot fans!  It is such a  pleasure to be here.  I remember Jen from back when she was funnin’ it up with the Friend Making Mondays with all her cool clip art photos.  That is how I found out that she and I share a love for the same lip-gloss.  She was also my first follower.  I just love her.  Plus, she is also a Mom of four kiddos and has the coolest hair.
I am J.J. from over at I’d Rather Be Laughing.  I am a military wife and stay at home mom to 4 kids.  I love photography, bubble gum, chocolate, classic literature, silver tone jewelry, baking, snow, feather pillows, hot buffalo-style hot wings, hiking, and the smell of clean children.  I love to do creative stuff when I get the chance. The following idea was something I had been wanting to do for a while…but finally just did it.
What do you do with all those old frames that you have stored in every nook and cranny and crawl space?
(sorry to say that these aren’t even all of them)
And all the awesome digital shots of your wicked cool summer?
(I was always wanting to do something creative with our travel photos other than just put them in an album)
Well…I actually had prints made of the digital photos  (enlarged in all different sizes) from the great summer of traveling. I did it differently though. I tried to pick the ones that weren’t faces…but the ones that really seemed to capture the essence of the summer. The feel of it. The uniqueness of it. The inside jokes of it.

Matched them up with frames…
then popped out he backs and took them outside to paint.
We had some black spray paint out in the shop, so that is what I used.  It was a satin finish.  It was free.
I made use of the cat food bag that I had just emptied, and sprayed away.  I did not sand or prime them.  I just painted.
 I let them dry while I made lunch, watched a little Y&R and had a Diet Coke.
I had gone to Hobby Lobby and picked up these mattes at half off.  After the frames dried, I spent about 20 minutes matching the mattes up with the photos and frames…
And tada!
It is that simple.
Then without a ruler…level…or straight edge…hung them on the wall.  Using itty-bitty teeny-tiny nails and a hammer.
This is our basement hallway/landing area just at the bottom of the stairs.  Our basement is not a dark storage basement…..it is half of our house. It includes a couple of the kids’ bedrooms, guest room (aka home of the treadmill), theater room, full bathroom and living room.  It does, however, lack a few decorative touches.  We are down here a lot…and this wall needed something.  There are a lot of walls down there that need a little something. 
This little something is our summer on a wall.
While I was at it, I found some collage frames that I had not used…and assigned one to each kid.   I picked out a few summer photos that were unique to each kiddo…and reminded me of a special moment.  Each photo is at a place from our travels and makes me smile or giggle each time I see it.  The girls got the white frames and the boys got the black, and they loved them.  
They said they wanted to go back to the places we went…and do it again.  They loved dreaming over the photos from a wedding we attended that showed them dancing with each other, or the ones of them swimming with their cousins, or the photos taken from the suburban window on the road.  I heard my oldest daughter say that having these photos up and on the wall was “almost like being there.” 
I agree with her.  
So…summer will be with us for the year…flat on that wall.

Well…until next summer when we will fill the frames up with new fun.
What cool thing are you going to do with all YOUR summer photos?
Thank You J.J.! 
As J.J. said, we have known each other for a long time. 
I just adore her. 
She is so naturally funny!
You have to see her posts — Ryan Reynolds Chocolate vs. Matt Damon Chocolate.
J.J. is also an amazing photographer! I am so privileged to have won a giveaway of hers and I treasure the two that are hanging in my home!

I think my favorite thing about J.J.’s blog is that she really makes you think. 
Some of my favorite posts of all time are:


Be sure to go over to
you will be so glad you did! 



  1. Rachel@oneprettything.com says:

    Wow- I love it! It's absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for the great idea, I'm off to explore your blog and link to this as well.

  2. This is such a great idea! I am so going to have to do this with all the frames I have!

  3. Thanks again for the opportunity!!!!! And I love the new look. It is so pleasing to the eye…like eye candy!

  4. what a great idea for a very cohesive look!
    kids love looking back at photos!

  5. Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful says:

    Love, love, love, that gallery wall! Thanks for sharing your skills with us JJ.

    Jen…..your new look is fan-freakin-tastic!!!! Your blog is absolutely divine. Gotta love that Bailey….she is a rock star!


  6. Yep, she's awesome!! I LOVE what she did with those pictures!

  7. Miller Racing Family says:

    What a fabulous idea. I love how you can change these out with photos from the previous season. Thanks for sharing!
    Have a blessed day!

  8. I have reading your blog for almost a year now and have learned so much from it and loved your ideas. I have shared it with family, friends and even strangers. Although lately I have missed YOUR ideas. You have some talented ladies sharing but your ideas seem to be lost in all of their posts. I hope that I get to see more o your wonderful ideas in the future,

    Thanks for sharing your gifts!

  9. Great idea~love it!

  10. Yep! JJ is a fab photographer! I love that her kids noticed her project and were pleased with it. :)
    Thanks for sharing her with blogland and for pointing out special posts she's done.

  11. Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia says:

    ahhh, Beautiful. And yes, I could see her pics ara amazing too. I have the same concept in my hallway wall.

  12. J.J. what a great project!

    I have a stack of frames sitting on my night stand that I've been trying to figure out what to do with!

  13. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    this looks so fantastic! I can't wait to go check out her blog.

  14. amycornwell says:

    I have so many frames that I need to do this with. Thanks for the practical post – great idea!

  15. Pieced Pastimes says:

    This is such a great project! I love how she 'captured the essence of the summer' with her unique pictures of the places and moments they had shared. Really lovely!

  16. Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels says:

    What a great idea! We have two walls of pictures in our dining room but they don't get changed very often. One group is in frames and the others are just all loose pictures taped up in a huge collage. The collage is pretty cool and takes up about 1\2 of the wall but is very hard to re-do with new pictures.