We’ve decided it’s about time to start hanging things on the wall — two years after we’ve been in our apartment. We started with a few drawings in the dining room but the we really need to do something about the bare living room.

I was in Aaron Brothers getting some picture hangers and looked around at some of the art they had hanging on the wall, just to get some ideas of what I’d like to have. One piece they had was of this cute dog, made from old letters along with some paining. It looked so simple, I thought, “I can do that.” I snapped a picture of it to keep as an example.

At home I thought about it more and realized, I really could do this. The best thing was that I have been saving all the letters that have been coming from IM’s grandparents in Slovakia. I thought it would be a lovely way to show some of those letters, with segments of the writing.

So yes, I shamelessly stole some one else’s idea. Shamelessly… . Here’s how mine came out.

I stained some of the letters to make them contrast. I used a really strong cup of coffee for the stain.

The dark beige around the dog’s eyes was the thin paper lining inside one of the envelopes. Nice touch, I thought. I used acrylic paint for the little painted bits. I like the nose and eyes. It really gives the dog character. Without the painted portions, the piece just wouldn’t have worked.

I love that we’ll always have handwriting of IM’s grandma and grandpa from both sides of his family. It will be a nice family keepsake. When I have it framed, I’ll put a couple of complete letters in the back of the piece.

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