beautifully haphazard: the art of a wall gallery

We always admire people who can hang a collection of random images in an artful way. Mixed frames, drawings with photos, black and white with color, found objects — getting them to live together in harmony on one wall is not easy. We’ve tried it ourselves once or twice, and always end up with more nail holes than we should have, or a lopsided space here and there. This simple how-to gallery at iVillage Home by Meryl Levin finally shows us the secret behind this look: planning! She suggests making a template by tracing the frames on contact paper, then placing those on the wall to decide where the photos will hang, followed by dots made by Sharpie marker to indicate where the nails should go.

Do you have an eclectic collection of frames on display in your house? Email us at letters at shelterrific dot com and tell us how you do it. We’d be happy to feature your handiwork here!

From our partners
From our partners

want it now: margic garden growing plant markers


When I spotted them at a local gift shop, I immediately fell in love with these cute wooden gardening stakes with a twist. Seated at the base of each Magic Garden plant growing marker (either a gnome, toadstool, or ruby-bellied toad) are herb seeds that sprout up when watered, adding a bit of tasty edible foliage to existing flower beds or pots. I have some pansies in containers that could use a little touch of toadstool whimsy, and I cant help but think that these would make a lovely (and affordable) hostess gift for springtime. Find them at, $5 each. — Megan B.

From our partners

should i buy easy-thread needles?

I like to sew things by hand. I have a sewing machine that I break out for big projects, but I find sewing by hand extremely therapeutic. Ask me to mend a fallen hem and I jump at the chance. Got a hole in your pocket? I’m your girl. I’m pretty good at threading needles, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the genius that is these Spiral Eye Needles. A slot on the side of the eye catches the thread as you run it up the needle. It’s practically foolproof. So why haven’t I heard of these before now? Any sewers out there have a reason why I shouldn’t buy a spiral eye needle? I’d love a real-life review. — Erica P.

image via LikeCOOL

From our partners

spring fever: new designs from loll outdoor


We’re all just itching to get outside and into the sun — and thankfully we’ve already got an early spring here in the Northwest. But all this lovely weather has me dreaming of new outdoor furniture to enjoy it in, and these fresh picks from Loll Designs are what I’m dreaming of! A pair of coco chairs (shown in apple) out on the deck? Sigh! Perfect for having coffee while I look at the lilac blooms. And that coffee is resting on a tiered topo table (shown in sky) while a family of robins chirp inside their pitch birdhouse (shown in leaf). But these are cooler than the average plastic furniture. Loll makes their products out of recycled milk bottles, and they’re constructed to last. See them all here. — Megan B.

From our partners