Quite a while back (months… maybe even a year or two), I watched a movie on Netflix called War Room. It’s a Christian movie with a great message, but like so many others that have watched the movie, I was most taken by Miss Clara’s War Room and her Wall of Remembrance. In the movie, Miss Clara used an empty walk-in closet as her own sanctuary for praying, meditating and spending time with God. She called it her “War Room” because this was the place where she would battle through situations in her life through prayer and scripture. As I get older, I have found that daily devotions and meditation time are critical to my own state of well-being. It just helps to ground me and gives me better perspective to take on each day. Although I don’t have a “War Room”, I do have a special spot in our little library where I start each day. Because it is a shared space, it’s not equipped with all that I would have in my own war room, so I improvised and decided to create an inexpensive album that contains all of the quotes and verses that I use in my daily devotions. Last week, I somehow landed on Lexie Thiery’s DIY War Room video. If this is something that interests you, it is worth checking it out to see how Lexie made her wall. I basically did the same thing, but in a mini photo album style. I wanted mine a bit more organized and this worked perfect for the shared space as well. I picked up all of the items at the dollar store: one album, 2 mini pads of scrapbooking paper and a package of white lined recipe cards. All I did was trim down the pages to fit the 4″ X 6″ photo slots and then used a punch to fancy up the trimmed off scrap. I used this as a little border along the left hand side of each entry. So simple, but it is neat and organized. Works perfectly for me!
Wall of Remembrance:
Although this post really isn’t so much about the “War Room” as discussed above, it is a great segue to my project. During a scene in the movie, there is a shot of this amazing wall in Miss Clara’s home. Her “Wall of Remembrance” is like a collage of framed art and keepsakes that were true testaments to all the blessings in her life. Each item was very significant to her and her legacy. I guess a tribute and reminder to be thankful for all that God has done in your life. I LOVED this concept, but like so many other projects, never really got around to doing anything about it. Sometimes when you are trying to pull something together that just seems too big…the natural instinct is to procrastinate or worse yet, never do it. I learned a long time ago, that the best way to beat the fear and uncertainty of attacking a huge project is just to start. That is usually the hardest part. I decided that I could easily begin with an “Answered Prayer” plaque. A friend of mine had picked up an old picture frame for me on free day. She was thinking it might be great for a classroom project I was doing, but in the end it was a bit big so I brought it home. I decided to start by giving the old frame a bit of a face lift. I didn’t really have a plan for what I was actually going to do inside, but I knew I just had to start and I would figure it out.
- The first thing I did was clean and spray paint the frame. The inner frame was actually covered in this red velvet. I decided to leave it on and tape it off. When the white spray paint was dry, I removed both the tape and velvet. This left me with the dark stained wood of the inner frame exposed. Although I loved the contrast of the white and dark wood, I felt it was a bit harsh and decided to soften the white spray paint with just a touch of dark brown and cream to antique it ever so slightly. I also thought that dry brushing just a touch of white onto the dark stain would help to make the look more cohesive. I loved the finished look….quite a dramatic change.
- Once the frame was done, I searched for ideas on “Answered Prayer” framed art. I got an idea of what I liked and then began to play in a word document. I figured out the layout and font. I really loved the idea of having an almost translucent message in the background. I knew it wouldn’t be very visible once I began recording events, but I wanted it there all the same. Once I had the layout all figured out. I needed to decide on paper.
- I actually went through my stash at home and came across this beautiful natural looking paper with bits of natural fibre and petals incorporated into the paper. It was perfect. Because the paper had a bit of a yellow tone to it, I decided to change my background “Just Believe” to yellow as well. I printed it out and then tackled the next obstacle. The frame opening was 11″ X 14″, so standard paper was not going to work. My printed page was on 8 1/2″ X 11″, so I would have to mount it onto some kind of background.
- For the background, I found a perfect yellow polka dot paper with a vintage vibe in my scrapbooking supplies. I had to cut and patch the paper together to compensate for the 14″ width, but the polka dots made it super easy to line it up and the seam doesn’t stand out at all.
- I then took some foam board and cut it to size to provide some support for the project.
- I finished it off with a simple flower that I had on hand for embellishing gifts.
I love the way this project turned out! I have to say it took me over a week to commit to writing anything on it for fear of ruining it, but finally took the plunge. I really wanted it to be handwritten, even though it means there will be little slip ups and imperfections. Many years ago when I first started scrapbooking, I tried to type all of my little captions and journal entries that accompanied my layouts. I wanted everything to be just perfect and that of course meant that I would not be able to tolerate my less than perfect penmanship. Anyway, I can’t even remember exactly who told me this, but their words carried weight and have stayed with me ever since. She said that having my handwritten message with the layout would become part of the legacy of the album. That my script would actually be treasured as much as the photos themselves. This really struck a cord with me because I lost my mom when I was only 30 and I deeply cherish the handwritten notes and recipes of hers. So, although not perfect, the entries will be done by hand.
Of course, this is a far cry from a “Wall of Remembrance”, but I have the first step done. The “Answered Prayer” plaque will eventually be the focal point of the entire wall, so it made sense to do it first. Of course, this project will never end, but rather evolve. I can’t wait to find pieces that speak to me and become part of this wall of declaration. I’m not even sure where in my home this wall will be created. For now, I will hang the first piece and as it grows and evolves, I will figure out the perfect spot for it.