For the Love of the Game…board: Board Game Gallery Wall

Hey, friends! Somehow the living room became a focus for us. I’m not sure when that happened as it wasn’t a project that was really on my radar. And then, all of a sudden, BAM! I’m redoing every wall in the living room at the same time.

When I first started writing this post, I got WAY ahead of myself and then realized that I never explained how this wall began. Our house is weird and one day I’ll do a home tour or I’ll video a walk-through or something. I don’t know. This long wall runs along our stairs and has a weird slant on one end. We have had chairs centered on it, a couch centered on it, and it has also split the room into two separate, smaller rooms. Once upon a time, it held our ladder shelf. You should be pumped about how bad the photos are in that post. :)

Once I decided that I was changing this wall again, I took off the ladder which was a little heartbreaking. It was a project we did pretty early into our project days. Also, there were holes in the walls from the brackets (some of which you may have seen reappear here with Big G).


Unfortunately, when I took the brackets down, the drywall came off and I had to patch ginormous spots. I actually hate doing anything like this and it usually stays untouched. This time, I actually did it! Also, I have no idea what we were watching…and that Cheez-It box was from #SwapItLikeItsHot. Yes, this project started in May. MAY, Y’ALL.



OK, now that you see where we started, here’s where the game boards came from…

Last fall, Chris and I had a weekend in Richmond for a friend’s wedding. It was truly a glorious weekend. For one, Florida State beat Clemson. For two, we had tons of time alone and away from real life and the leaves were changing and, aahhhhh!!!! It was glorious. I also picked up my lady-love (bowling trophy seen at the end of this post) and got to go to Era Vintage‘s open warehouse sale. While there, we found some old game boards. We bought two Sorry and Parcheesi from The Odd Couple Shop. Shortly thereafter, Chris’ parents were preparing to move out of his childhood home. In the process, they offered him some of his games from childhood. We were so excited and took their Careers game and their Risk game. Chris loooooved Careers because it was one of the games they played a million times as kids.




Seeing the little details on the Risk board really did me in. I mean, the cute little whale and the beautiful cursive writing. It was hard to capture the cursive, but the whale? I got him up close and personal. I mean, it’s a whale WEARING A HAT, Y’ALL. A WHALE IN A HAT. Amazing.


At this point, I had very little idea what I was doing with all of these boards, but that Risk board was dying to be seen, right?! I planned to hang them on a wall somewhere, but I was thinking upstairs in the guest room or something, a.k.a. a room that will get done next to never. I had absolutely no clue they’d end up being a living room wall feature! In April, when we made our trip to PA, we picked up Monopoly and Uncle Wiggily (I had no idea that was a game?!), which brought us to 6. :)


We started hanging them with 3M Picture Hanging Strips…and I promptly messed them up. Of course I did. I put the strips in the wrong place and accidentally hung them upside down. It was really classy. Here’s our preliminary setup, note that I had not yet touched up the spackle spots. I was hoping the boards would cover them. Lazy.


Uhhhh, we were doing a Ghost Hunters DVR marathon. We’re really cool. Trust me.

This setup was good, but then I realized that I wanted to add these little bingo plates I’d gotten in the “hostess gift” aisle at Target. I’m super in love with them. I posted them on Instagram. If you don’t follow me there (@jwgourleygirl), you should. I post the some ridiculous photos. And cat photos. Sometimes there are pretty ones, too. Don’t hold your breath.

Anyway, this guy was the game-changer:



Charlotte, queen of all things flea market, bought this cool cat for us as our roommate gift at Haven. She’s amazing. The colors, the Happy Days theme (who knew that was a game?!), the Fonz on every corner. Yes. And, of course, when I hung it, Arnold’s had to be on the bottom side so you could read it. Because, ARNOLD’S WAS THE BEST, RIGHT?!

This obviously changed things…and when I got all the boards up, I realized I wanted the bingo plates to fill up some spaces. Then, I also realized that a bunch of our little Gs would fit in with the colors on this wall, too. So, I pulled them all out. We got two of these at one of my favorite stores of all time, seagreen gallery, over Valentine’s Day weekend. They’re metal, like enamelware. I love them. We also have an orange one, a turquoise one with orange chevron stripes, an orange leather-looking one, and I happened to pick up a black leather-looking one the week we put this together. Sheesh. Like I didn’t have enough already.


OH- As I show you the left side of the wall, know that the taped out box is where the TV will sit when it’s on its new entertainment stand/dresser. I’m in the process of finishing that behemoth right now. It should be set up soon! That’s why I left that huge space. I planned the whole thing around where the TV will go.


Here is the right side of the wall!


I cannot wait to have the entertainment center/dresser done. I love ALL THE COLORS! I never thought myself a super colorful person, but hot dang!, I love this view.

Aaaaaaand now for the whole wall:



OK, I realize that the view is messy and our entertainment center has crap all over it and the area by our door is kinda a mess. However, the view of this wall all the way down to Big G is PHENOMENAL, AM I RIGHT?! Maybe you hate it. That’s OK, too. I am obsessively obsessed with it. Obsessed. OBSESSED.

All in all, we paid maybe $12 bucks for game boards, $20 (max) for all the Gs combined–well, not Big G, obviously, $15-$20 on 3M strips because I may or may not have had to redo a few of those, $36 on Bingo plates (because I was obsessed- I’m usually much cheaper than that), and $9 on plate hangers. Less than a hundred bucks for a ginormous new statement wall. It’s probably the wall with the most impact in our whole house. And, in other news, it inspired the redo of our previous gallery wall which will now house some more game boards (yet to buy- any game recommendations with beautiful, graphic boards) and Gs (two of which I already bought)!

Anybody out there have any favorite games? Or is anyone hanging game boards on their wall? I gotta say I thought I was original until I saw this from Apartment Therapy THE WEEK AFTER I finished ours. I’m not a copier, promise. Even if I were though, you know what they say: Don’t hate the playa, hate the game. :)

Touring Through Blogland!

Last week, my friend Ursula at Homemade by Carmona shared a little smidge about me (and some other awesome bloggers) on her blog. It was the sweetest and, along with it, she invited me to talk a little bit about myself! If you have never had the privilege, Ursula has great taste and gives great tips. Two weeks ago she gave her secrets to painting free hand.

Secrets to painting free hand

Now, I’ve gotten better at this in recent years (a.k.a. with the practice of repainting, but I am putting some of her tips to use as I touch up some close spots in our bedroom! It’s a possibility I am doing that as you read, actually. She also made some AMAZING business cards that she brought to Haven. They were a HUGE hit. Everyone I knew that saw her cards was so impressed!

Make Creative Accordion fold Business Cards

Anyway, I had the privilege of sitting down with Ursula on the very first afternoon of Haven and just…chatting. It was right before all of the crazy began and it was probably the longest conversation I was able to have in the course of all of Haven’s busyness. I was sure that with all of the sessions, meals, parties, after-parties, etc. Ursula would forget about me, but then I got this fabulous email! So, thanks, Ursula for inviting me to be a part of the tour!

The next part of the tour is for me to answer 4 questions. I have to be honest, this was killer for me. It really made me analyze my “creative process” and stuff…those words are in quotes because I’m not sure I have a creative process. Truly. I just…do stuff when I’m tired of them being the way they are. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.


Question 1: What am I working on right now?

HAHAHAHAHAHA – If that isn’t a loaded question. Um. We are working on our living room. I painted my first ever piece of furniture and I can’t decide if painting furniture is the worst thing ever or the best. It will depend on the finished product. We are working on our kitchen, kinda. We have supplies, but haven’t started. We are working on (finally) finishing up our bedroom. It’s almost completely done, but a few little touch ups have to be made. We are working on our stairs since I ripped up the carpet at 11:30 one night and let them sit for a year and a half…OH…and did I mention that our roommate is moving out so we also have a whole new blank slate room (and bathroom) to consider?! Yeah…we have a few (too many?) things going on right now. But I love it because it finally feels like our house is “ours” since it looks more like us.


This wall is finally almost finished. Also, I don’t make my bed often enough.

Question 2: How does my work differ from others in this genre? 

I am messier than them. No, really. I am the messiest. Like, ever. Ask my husband. Truly, I think that we all have different ideas, but we all also have similar ideas. The last few original (ha ha) projects I’ve been REALLY excited about have resulted in me sharing the idea with Chris and then clicking on an Apartment Therapy link the next day and seeing similar ones that are brand new. I thought FOR SURE that I was the only one thinking that! That being said, our house is coming together in a totally different way than anyone else’s. That’s totally not me bragging. It’s just that we have weirdo tastes and hand-me-down things and heirlooms and junk other people don’t collect. And also, I just don’t call it my work. That’s not to demean bloggers AT ALL…but other bloggers do seriously amazing things and I do not AT ALL feel like I am even in the same ballpark as they are! So, when you go through this tour (and you can go way back through the blog tours and see phenomenal bloggers), remember that they’re all really kick-butt and I am just happy to be a little considered in the same category. :) And also, remember my house is messier.


The messiest.

Question 3: Why do I write/create what I do?

Well, basically, I’ve lived in this house for a long time. I’ve shared the house with 8 different people. It was a transitional house year after year for a long time and I copied my style from everywhere and nowhere and hand-me-downs. My first self-bought furniture was a bunch of stuff that coordinated from a furniture store. I liked it all, individually, but it never quite went together the way I wanted. It also didn’t really fit in the room correctly, yada yada. So, when Chris and I got married, I started replacing a piece or two at a time with things I really liked and eventually our hodge-podge started to form our style…and I use that term loosely. We’re definitely not done. One of the girls in our youth group said, “Your house has a lot of random things.” Yes. Yes it does. We are random. That’s the deal. But, we really like our random and we want to be able to welcome people into it. I guess that’s why I do what I do. I am trying really hard to create a home, not only for us but, for the people we love. Our kids and our teenagers and everyone else should feel welcome here. Hopefully we can welcome all kinds of friends, neighbors, and kids into our home at all times. Soon. :)


Random: handmade bench, brass bowl, glass head, flower frogs, bowling trophy, and GIANT METAL G. Love it. Feels like us.

Question 4: How does my writing/creative process work?

Do you hear those crickets?

They came in the long, undisturbed silence that took place while I contemplated the answer to this question. I have two really good examples of my creative process: my stairs and my kitchen backsplash. One night I was sitting on the couch and needed to go upstairs for something. On the way upstairs, I noticed (for approximately the millionth time) that my stair carpet was coming up. So, I pulled on it. And then I had pulled it all up. And the padding. And then I was taking out tack strip. Meanwhile, Chris and Michael had come to the bottom of the stairs to see WHAT ON EARTH I was doing. Backsplash? Similar situation. Chris went to a meeting. I read too many countertop/backsplash links falling down a blogging rabbit hole and decided we needed to tile our backsplash WITHOUT the laminate lip and then, a few bad phone pictures and a sharp blade later, we had no more laminate on our backsplash. That’s kinda how the creating part goes…I create a mess and we have no choice but to clean it up. As far as the writing part, I’ve liked to write for a long time. I used to help my sister write her papers. I started blogging six years ago (on a different blog) for fun because I liked to write. Then, I started writing (a previous version of this blog) in 2009 or 2010 before Chris and I got married. I just needed to get thoughts out of my head. Unfortunately for you, that means you’re reading them. :) Really though, I don’t think I have a process other than I act on ideas when I get them and, more importantly, when we can afford them. This means I end up being cheap and resourceful (?) and we end up getting ourselves into messes. :)

Okay, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Here’s where I get to introduce you to another amazing blogger so that you can go to her blog next week!

The next stop on our tour is Dee from Cupcakes and Crowbars!

Seriously, if her blog name doesn’t make you want to be her best friend, I don’t know what will. Actually, I do.

This is Dee:


She’s so lovely, right?!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Dee at Haven, but I did start following her on Instagram and Facebook (you should, too!) and she’s super funny. WHEN you go to her site, you’ll see the following bio:

Blogger, DIYer, Crafter, Amateur Photographer, Wine Drinker. Probably Wine Drinker should have been listed first, in the way that ingredients on food are listed in order by quantity. Basically I’m full of wine. I sometimes say inappropriate things. And I make jokes. Like constantly. They’re not all good. Fair warning. Still curious?

AS IF THAT BIO WERE NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH HER?! I think we would be instant friends if we lived closer to each other. You’ll have to wait until next Monday (August 25th) to find out her answers to these questions (and I, for one, can’t wait), but until then…

She makes amazing food. This is the most recent recipe she posted, but I promise, I wasn’t being lazy. I saw “Summer Corn” and stopped dead in my tracks (only momentarily…then, I looked at every recipe EVER) because SUMMER CORN IS MY FAVORITE!


She has food, crafts, DIY projects, and a GREAT story on her About page. So, start there (or with summer corn if you like food like me) and then fall in love with Dee and her blog! :)

Thanks for coming with us through blogland! Hope to see you back Wednesday for our random version of a “gallery wall” in our living room! SO many changes! :)

My Amazing Hometalk Opportunity

So, guys. Have you heard of Hometalk? It’s this amazing website/resource where you can ask questions or post projects and find inspiration. For example, if I don’t know what kind of roses I have, I can post a picture (this is a fictional example based on real experiences) and say, “What are these and what is the best way to care for them?” and people will respond to my post and CURE MY GREEN THUMB. [By the way, this is a good post on pruning roses.]

OK, that’s an extreme example. **None of these claims are substantiated by Hometalk, but I have faith in their ability to fix my abilities.**

BUT, it really is a great website and a place for people of ALL tastes (you like painted furniture? great! you hate painted furniture? great!) and I never go there without “clipping” (which is like pinning) projects that I love. The best part for bloggers AND readers? It instantly connects you with a blog page and full tutorial. No broken pins or anything crazy. Just straight to the source to give credit where it’s due.

Well, this is important because THEY ASKED ME TO CURATE A BOARD?! Yup, Hometalk approached me after seeing Big G and asked me to curate a board of amazing marquee letter projects. This was amazing for me because I love letters and now I have a whole bunch of tutorials and ideas. Sure, I got them from other people, but I promise if I follow through they won’t look exactly the same. Or maybe they will, these people’s ideas kick butt. So here’s the graphic that takes you to my Hometalk board:



There are amazing projects from bloggers like: Dusty at All Things G&D, Allison at Two Thirty-Five Designs, Lindsay at Makely School for Girls, Jacque & Matt from The DIY Village, Janette & Jordan at The 2 Seasons, Shelly at Dolen Diaries, Laura at Bright, Bold, and Beautiful, and Trish & Bonnie from Uncommon Designs…just to name a few. There are actually 12 more projects on that board! So, what are you waiting for?! Go sign up at Hometalk and check ‘em out!


Oh, and while you’re signing up for your TOTALLY FREE HOMETALK ACCOUNT, be a dear and follow me. :) Thanks!