A self-winding winder will wind your self-winding watch

 

This automated watch winder automatically winds my favorite watch!

I rarely wear a watch, I just don’t remember to put them on any more. My favorite watch is a self-winding one and when I did go to put it on it has always stopped. I never remember to set the watch until I actually tried to use it, and then it is too late.

I decided to try one of these self-winding gadgets, and it works. Once a day the mechanism spins the watch in the correct direction for about 5 minutes. The watch stays wound and my superlative chronometer with a perpetual movement keeps moving.

I use the app Emerald Time to set my watches to an atomic clock.

[Newly Upgraded] Versa Automatic Single Watch Winder with Sliding Cover via Amazon

Fight back against Facebook overcollection with EFF’s free Privacy Badger plugin / Boing Boing

 

Privacy Badger is EFF’s free privacy plugin; it blocks trackers and ads from companies that practice “non-consensual tracking,” in which your browser’s “do not track” instructions are not honored.

 

That means that advertisers who respect your privacy choices still get through, but everyone else is blocked from ever seeing you. And Facebook is a major customer of those “nonconsensual tracking companies” that hoover up your data as you traverse the web and then sell it to Facebook to add to the dossier that Facebook compiles on your every motion.

I use Privacy Badger, and it’s a big part of how I defend myself against the kinds of data about me that Facebook can provide to creepy companies like Cambridge Analytica.

 

Facebook collects data from two sources: first-party data (things you do on facebook.com) and third-party data (including data collected overly or covertly via the “Like” button on other websites, “Login with Facebook,” Facebook Messenger chat widgets, and the Atlas advertising network that Facebook owns). Even when you do not consent to share your information within an app or service, your data may be collected and traded by third-party trackers and data brokers.

Facebook is just one example of a much larger problem: online platforms and companies overwhelmingly operate with a surveillance-based business model that relies on gathering as much information on users as possible. This means companies gather data about you not only when you visit their site or service, but also follow you around when you move around the web. These third parties are often shadowy data brokers or advertisers most users have never end heard of.


One Response to the Cambridge Analytica Scandal: Block Facebook’s Tracking With Privacy Badger
[Andrés Arrieta/EFF]

Cufflink lighters

 

I generally don’t wear French cuff shirts, but I like the idea of Uncrate Supply’s Lighter Cufflinks, $70. Problem is, I’d most certainly fiddle with them, leading to scorched sleeves or worse.

 

Some idiot vandalized the brand new David Bowie statue in England

 

An asshole with a spray can vandalized a bronze David Bowie statue just two days after it was unveiled in Aylesbury, England. The individual wrote “Feed the homeless first,” “RIP DB,” and made a general mess of the statue. Artist Andrew Sinclair created the sculpture that shows Bowie and several of his personas including Ziggy Stardust, who made his live debut in Aylesbury. Fortunately, the paint is coming off and the vandal was recorded on video (below).

(BBC)

HP Lovecraft meets Billy Joel

 

Julian Verland‘s “HP Joelcraft,” an unholy union between the spine-tingling words of HP Lovecraft’s “Nemesis” and Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” music.

 

Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,

Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night,

I have liv’d o’er my lives without number,

I have sounded all things with my sight;

And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright…

(Thanks, UPSO!)

 

Basic SEO Techniques For Blogging

 

Today I will share with you 14 daily SEO techniques for blogging that I use to help my blog rank well on search engines.

SEO, or search engine optimisation used to sound really technical and intimidating to me when I first started blogging. SEO was something tech geeks did, right?

Well, as soon as I started to look into SEO for blogging a bit more, I discovered that even just employing the most basic SEO techniques every time I posted a new blog post made an enormous difference to my search engine traffic, and new readers.


WHAT IS SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a collection of techniques used to help a web page get ranked as high as possible on a search engine result. The higher a specific page is listed on a particular search engine, the more likely it is to get higher volumes of traffic.

For instance, if I write a blog post about ‘gluten free cake’ I can use SEO techniques to help Google and other search engines ‘read’ that blog post and include it in the search results whenever anyone searches for ‘gluten free cake’ or something similar. If I rank on the first page of Google for that term I am likely to see more traffic than I am on later pages, because most people just click through on the websites featured on the first page.

First page is main goal for SEO.

But the second, equally important goal, is to reach relevant readers. You want to get your content in front of the people who will resonate with your work.


WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT FOR BLOGGERS?

Many bloggers just concentrate on social media for sending traffic to their blog. Social media is fantastic for community building and growing an enthusiastic audience.

However, SEO is a fantastic way to get high volumes of traffic to your blog. It’s super important for expanding your potential reach to readers interested in your niche.

You see, search engines are all about helping people find the most useful information to their questions/queries/searches. Search engines want you to create informative, helpful content that they can direct it’s users to.

Every day, Google and other search engines, are sending out bots across the internet to crawl through your webpages to read the data and send that back to the engine. It’s your job as a website owner and content creator to help these search engines by giving them as much information as possible to help rank you in the most relevant search results they can.

Have I lost you yet?

If none of that makes any sense, don’t worry! Just start getting into the habit of using these basic SEO techniques every time you blog and soon enough it’ll become second nature. You’ll see results within months (if not sooner if you’re lucky), and the benefits can last you years.

I still get Google traffic to blog posts I wrote back in 2011 and 2012 thanks to these SEO techniques for blogging!


BASIC SEO TECHNIQUES FOR BLOGGING

1. Pick a keyword

The first thing I think about is what my keyword for the blog post will be. I have already come up with the topic, I might have done some research, taken photos or video. And now when writing the copy I want to have a keyword picked out. The keyword needs to be relevant and helpful for the audience. Remember, Google wants only relevant content so keep that in mind.

A keyword can be either short-tail (1 word) or long-tail (several words). Short-tail might be something like ‘cake’. Long-tail keyword might be something like ‘how to make gluten-free cake’.

2. Write post with keyword in mind

As I write the post I keep the keyword at the forefront of my thinking so that my content stays relevant to the keyword I want to rank for, and to my audience.

3. Write a minimum of 300 words

Google generally doesn’t like to rank blog posts that have less than 300 words (there are a few exceptions). But generally I aim for a minimum 500-700 words for my posts. Long form blog posts do particularly well with 1000+ words and if possible I like to hit that threshold as much as possible.

4. Repeat keyword

Make sure the keyword features several times throughout post where relevant. I usually make sure I use the keyword in the first paragraph, a sub-heading, the final paragraph/question, and maybe once or twice elsewhere where I can fit it in in a natural way.

Avoid keyword stuffing – this is where you overload the post with keywords and the writing looks unnatural. You can get penalised for this on search engines.

5. Rename images to include keyword

I rename all of my images to a relevant keyword that describes the image and the post. Usually at least one of the images will have the exact keyword I wish to rank for. And the others will be similar.

It’s worth remembering that Google also has an image search function so indicating what the image is about helps rank under that search process as well.

Rather than uploading images name DSC4528.jpg, you want to be uploading an image file named Gluten_Free_Cake.jpg

6. Use the ALT text for every image used

When I upload and insert an image into a blog post I make sure the ALT text field is filled in with keyword specific terms. Short for alternate text, this can help Google read what the image is all about. Plus, the ALT text is helpful when a page cannot load the images, or to help those with accessibility needs using a screen reader.

Blogging

7. Include keyword in title

After I have written the post and I’m certain on what keyword I want to use I amend the title of the post to include the keyword. Often my post titles start as something broad and generic whilst in draft mode. I complete the keyword rich title at the end.

8. Include keyword in URL

I update the URL of the blog post to include the URL and remove any unnecessary words. Plus, I try to keep the url as short as possible.

9. Write meta description including keyword

I write a meta description that details what the post is about and includes the keyword. This is the description that will display on Google when it gets featured on their search results pages, and it also features on places like Facebook if your link is shared there.

10. Include at least one internal link to my own post(s)

I aim to link to at least one of my other posts in each blog post I write. Hopefully it is relevant or at least in the same category on my blog. This helps when bots are crawling my website to rank on Google. It sends them through the blog and let’s them know which posts are relevant and how they are relevant together.

It’s worth using anchor text where possible and not ‘click here when linking to your posts. Anchor text that is descriptive of what the link is leading to – that is, if you link to a soup recipe the anchor text says ‘pumpkin soup’ rather than click here.

11. Include an external link to a high quality and relevant source

Where possible I try to include one external link in each post to a high quality source that is relevant to the topic of that post. For instance a wikipedia page, or a news website, or something like Tripadvisor.

12. Create a ‘pinnable’ image

I make at least one ‘pinnable’ image per blog post. That is, a vertical image with a text overlay of the blog post title.  This is the image I will pin to Pinterest, another search engine that is image-led. Pinterest is useful as not only does it send traffic to my blog but it is also crawled by Google and can help with SEO rankings there.

13. Format the post correctly

Once I’m almost ready to publish the blog post, I go through the post again to correct the format as necessary. I want to have good use of headings, short paragraphs, and use of bullet points where relevant. Google, and the rest of the internet, likes easy to read, ‘skimmable’ content. As such, writing for the web is different to traditional writing technique and format.

14. Use an SEO plugin or tool

I use the YOAST SEO plugin on my WordPress blogs to help streamline and guide my SEO techniques. It super useful to prompting you to tweak each blog post to maximise for SEO visibility.


Further SEO techniques for blogging tasks done on a regular basis

There are a few other SEO tasks I do an a semi-regular basis to help maximise my Google rankings for my blog. These are part of my blog maintenance routines and I recommend staying on top of them at least every quarter to help boost your Google rankings.

1. Check for and fix any broken links

Google doesn’t like broken links. It considers them unhealthy for the internet ecosystem as it doesn’t help your readers sending them to a non-existence webpage. So you don’t want to be linking to an webpage that no longer exists.

I have found that a lot of old comments on my blog now have dead links as old bloggers have quit over the years after leaving links on my comment forms. I also find that if I share shopping links for products, they often get removed when the product is no longer on sale.

You can use either a plugin on your WordPress blog such a Broken Link Checker, or a website such as Broken Link Check.

2. Check Google Webmaster Tools / now Search Console 

It used to be called Webmaster Tools and recently renamed to Search Console, be sure to set up your blog on the Google Search Console and regularly check for any errors that Google flags up for you. Google is usually pretty good with it’s help guide if there are any errors you need to fix.

3. Check for Page Site Speed

Google tends to prefer websites with faster site load times, that is the length of time it takes for a user to load your webpage to their browser, either on a desktop or mobile device.

I recommend choosing a web theme that is fast loading, be sure to smush your images and keep checking for page site speed and act on any recommendations you are given.

Don’t stress if it’s not the best of the best, it’s something you can tweak as you go along.

4. Submit sitemap with Google and other search engines

You can submit your sitemap to Google and other search engines to help prompt them to scan your and list your blog posts.

5. Update old posts with related links within blog

This is a task I do  when I have some spare admin time, or even whilst watching tv in the evening. I will go through my old posts (I have over 1000! eeeek!) and if I have written some related posts I will edit the blog post and add the related links in.

I either add an extra sentence, or hyperlink a relevant term. Or I’ll add a subheading ‘you might also like:’ and a list of a few related links.


There are still so much many more SEO techniques for blogging, and it’s a huge topic to learn about. I’m still learning as I go!

But with just these simple techniques I have managed to grow a steady stream of traffic to my blog for years and it only continues to grow.

Remember your blog is part of the world wide WEB, help search engines include you in that web by using keywords, and links, and the SEO techniques above to create the most relevant listings possible.

Good luck with these SEO techniques for blogging!

***

If you like this post, save it to Pinterest:

Super easy SEO techniques for bloggersBeginners guide to SEO for bloggersBasic SEO techniques for bloggers

Blogging Tips Further Reading:

 

 

Upright Go Posture Training Device: 3 Month Review

 

I have been using the Upright Go posture training device for a few months now and I feel I can now give it my final review and opinion.

It has been an interesting process to have the time to review a piece of wearable tech, I have been able to take note not only of how the device works and its efficacy, but also gauge realistically how the average person might use it.

Overall, I’ve found using the Upright Go posture training device a useful experience. For me, it worked, and I want to explain in a little more detail how that is so.

Upright Go Review

What is the Upright Go?

The Upright Go is a posture training device. It is a discreet piece of wearable tech that sticks to your upper back. The device links to a dedicated app on your phone to help track your posture throughout the day, reminding you to sit/stand straight.

The Upright Go emits a gentle vibration whenever you slouch to prompt you to correct your posture.

The device and app also record your posture throughout the day so you can track your posture progress. Over time, the device aims to train your body into a better posture position ultimately strengthening your muscles and improving your wellbeing.

Good posture is so important for physical and mental wellbeing. It can affect your body’s performance internally and externally. Posture can also affect your confidence and productivity.

Further reading: The Benefits of Good Posture

Upright Go Calibrate

Thoughts on design and app

I really like the design of the Upright Go device. It is about thumb-sized and attaches using reusable and replaceable adhesives. It’s a white streamlined design, that sits relatively snug on the upper back.

For a piece of wearable technology, I like that it is discreet to wear throughout the day, on most days. I can wear the Upright Go under tops or jumpers both at home and outside. It’s barely noticeable.

The only time you would see the Upright Go is if I was to wear a low back top. This I only see being an issue in the warmer months. But for me, I have long hair that I wear down so that would cover it most of the time.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that I tested this device during the winter months, I cannot vouch for how warmer or humid climates might fare in terms of the adhesive longevity. I’ll keep you posted when I try using it in the summer!

Upright Go ScreenshotUpright Go Screenshot

The Upright Go app has a nice easy-to-use interface. There are only a few pages to the app so it’s not too taxing to look through. The stats page gives you a snapshot of your day’s progress, including the length of time spent training, tracking, and percentage of time you managed to stay ‘upright’.

The main stat on this page is the pie chart that displays your upright vs slouched percentage of the time. And just below this is a slider of time showing what parts of the day you were upright vs slouched. Upright being green and slouched being red.

I find the pie chart and slider so useful for evaluating where I was able to maintain the best posture. For instance, an hour or so of slouched time might have been when I was lounging back on the sofa watching a tv show.

On the app, you can scroll back through the previous days to compare how your progress has been. Again, this is so useful for assessing how your posture training is coming along.

Other features of the app include a guide to good posture with a diagram and explanation for sitting and standing upright. There is a guide for calibration of the device, a guide to your training plan, settings for the vibration, a place to set notifications to remind you to use your Upright Go device.

Upright Go Posture Training

Thoughts on using it day-to-day

As I said before, my overall experience of using the Upright Go posture training device has been positive. For me, just the thought of using the device makes me sit a little straighter. I think there is definitely a mindset shift that comes with using the device over time, it gives you an awareness of your posture that you might not have had before.

The device itself is easy enough to attach to my upper back and calibrate with the app. I keep the Upright Go in the small case on my desk so I can keep it charged when it’s not in use. I find that if you keep the reusable adhesive clean with the alcohol wipes they do last longer. There were times when I was a little lazy and didn’t do so, and the adhesive lost it’s sticky pretty quickly.

At first, I did find I was sometimes forgetting to use the Upright Go, I’d get distracted and not attach it to my back. So I set the notifications to remind me at 10 am every day to start my posture training. I find this a pretty useful setting, and I’m usually at my desk working by this point. Any earlier and I might be at the gym, still at breakfast, or journalling.

I really liked the tracking mode for assessing how well my posture performed over the day. It was a kind of mini geek-out every day when I could look back at the stats and see the little bar graph and pie chart. But apart from the geek moment, it was super interesting to compare day to day my posture performance and then think about what else I was doing or feeling that day.

Upright Go Screenshot Upright Go Screenshot

I found that on days when I was particularly tired (I get occasional insomnia) my posture was pretty awful – loads of red! Whereas on days when I was feeling refreshed and healthy, I was able to maintain better posture.

Thus, the Upright Go was helpful for not only posture training but also aiding an awareness of my physical and mental wellbeing. Coupled with other wellbeing techniques I am trying out at the moment, this was an incredibly handy mindfulness tool.

For me, self-care is holistic, it is about all parts of lives and wellbeing that makes for a healthy and happy life. This device and app was a great addition to managing a healthier approach to wellbeing.

For me, the main challenges of using the Upright Go device would probably be; remembering to put the device on every day, remembering to charge the device regularly, and that it is noticeable if you wear a low back or thin top with your hair up (if you have long hair).

Otherwise I found using the Upright Go easy to use, and to integrate into my daily life. I found that it aided my overall wellbeing and mindset as well as helping to train my muscles into a better posture position.

Upright Go Calibration

Final result after using Upright Go for 3 months

After a few months of using the Upright Go, I can definitely say I’ve noticed an improvement in my posture. I find that I am more mindful of posture on a daily basis and I can now feel the difference in my body between a slouching and upright position.

The posture training device can take a little time to get used to, especially remembering to attach it daily and keep it charged. But the reminders within the app are useful for this.

The app is well-designed and easy to use and works well for tracking and training throughout the day.

The price point is pretty good for a piece of wearable tech and will be good value if you wear the device every day. At the very least I’d recommend wearing every other day if it’s not practical to wear daily.

As our lives become more stagnant, working at desks for long periods of time, our bodies are struggling with the consequences. Bad posture can give you back and neck problems, it impacts your internal organs, it alters your entire stance and thus can have a negative effect on your mental wellbeing.

Good posture is often overlooked but can make a huge difference to your overall wellbeing. It’s as much about a healthy body as it is about mental health. Being mindful of good posture is a super useful way to start taking care of your body in an increasingly physically stagnant way of life.

Upright Go Posture Training Device

Use the code ‘teleUP15’ for a 15% discount.

Further reading:

Testing the Upright Go: First Thoughts

The Benefits of Good Posture

***

This post is in collaboration with Upright Go technologies. As always, thoughts, words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Rosalilium.

 

 

Own Your Fears: My First Session with AXA PPP Healthcare

 

Last week I had my first session with an AXA PPP Healthcare expert to discuss how to tackle my fear of rejection. As part of this six month partnership, I will be working through this fear and figuring out how to live with it in a productive way.

I have come to this process with a totally open mind and open heart. I am keen to try anything the experts suggest and I am more than willing to chart my progress here on my blog. As we’re still at the beginning stages of the process I am still not entirely sure what will happen. But I suspect it will involve homework and shifting my mindset.

The first session

I spoke with a physiologist with AXA PPP Healthcare over the phone last week. The call was just under an hour long and during that time we discussed in detail what my fear was, and how we could start tackling it.
The act of just speaking about this fear out loud helped spark loads of thoughts of how it was connected to certain behaviours, where it might stem from, and how I know I react to particular situations.

It felt quite cathartic to speak about the fear out loud as opposed to just writing it down as I did in the previous blog post on the subject. It’s almost like speaking out loud about the fear made it more tangible, it took it out of my mind and allowed me to see it clearly as it was. Just that in itself was useful.

During the session the expert made several suggestions on tasks I could undertake. Each of these tasks were posed to me as a question, there wasn’t any pressure, rather it was suggested and for me to decide whether it was something I felt comfortable in doing, and whether it would work for me.

It felt like I had ownership of the process and that was empowering. I was able to think through what would work for me and how to fit it into my life.

Goal #1 – Set time for wellbeing

The first goal for me to work on is to make 9-11am on a Monday morning a time for me to be totally focused on my wellbeing.

In particular I wanted to use that time to go swimming. If not swimming than using that time for yoga, or journalling, or something unrelated to work or the home. My aim is to be able to set aside regular time, either daily or every other day, to focus solely on my wellbeing – both mentally and physically.

I have found that over years of working for myself and being at home constantly that I struggle with allowing myself nice things, or things for myself that aren’t work-related. I’m sure many self-employed people who work from home struggle with the same thing – I find the boundaries blur between work and personal life. This is especially so when my job is to share quite a bit of my personal life.

As such, I often tell myself that I shouldn’t be going to the gym because I should be working. I tell myself that I shouldn’t be wasting my time meditating when I should be working. I tell myself that I shouldn’t be going for a walk when I should be working. I constantly talk myself out of wellbeing activities because there is always work to be done.

The result is that my wellbeing has suffered. I have got to a point where I sometimes don’t leave the house for days on end because I believe I should be at the computer. My body is weaker than ever before, I have put on weight, and I regularly feel lethargic.

My mental health has suffered. I find my self-esteem is low, I don’t feel confident in my body anymore, I don’t feel good.

Likewise, my relationships have suffered. I often find I cancel plans, or put off meetings because I have work to do. I constantly prioritise work to the point that I rarely hang out with friends. I moved to a new city a few years ago and haven’t made many new friends because I don’t go out often, and every time my excuse is because I have work to do.

The result of this is, I feel lonely and disconnected from the world. My work is on my computer in my home. I have tied myself to this work and the home, and other areas of my life suffered.

Goal #2 – Daily Positive Observations 

The second goal is at the end of each day I need to list 3 positive things from day. These positive things can be anything from a compliment received, something I’ve enjoyed, or something that I felt went well. The aim is to reflect on the day and seek out positive moments on daily basis.

I feel like this goal is going to be a useful way to shift my mindset to one that is predominantly positive, and one that builds my self-esteem.

I think that reflecting on a daily basis will not only help me recognise the positive things in life, but will also be an act of gratitude. I believe that expressing gratitude is a great way to embrace positivity, particularly when times are hard or I’m not feeling good about myself.

Positivity can take practice, particularly when you’re coming from a place of fear, or feeling low. But with practice comes the mindset shift, which is what I am aiming for.

Goal #3 – What Do I Like About Myself?

The third goal is to write a list of things I like about myself. The list can include my values, aspects of my personality or appearance, or what I enjoy doing. The expert suggested asking a friend or loved one to help if I’m struggling with the list.

I feel like this goal is going to be a useful exercise on self-esteem. It’s about focusing on the positive parts of myself and recognising what makes me who I am. I think self-esteem is going to be a big part of this journey in working with my fear of rejection, so this goal is a good starting point.

Own Your Fear

Task – Avoidance Diary

The expert also suggested keeping an avoidance diary. In this diary I have to record every time I avoid something. In this diary I will note – what did I avoid, when did I avoid it (date and time), how I felt emotionally and physically at the time, what went through my mind, and any other things I did to cope.

For example, if I avoid going swimming I need to record why I avoided it, how I was feeling, and what was going through my mind. Likewise, I might make a note of avoiding meeting a friend for coffee – I need to write down what was going on in my mind and how I was emotionally and physically.

I feel like this will be a useful exercise in understanding the internal and external factors affecting me when I avoid situations that might otherwise have benefitted me, particularly when they might have helped my wellbeing. I am guessing this might reveal why and how I am sabotaging my own wellbeing.

AXA PPP Healthcare Gateway

The final suggestion from my call with the expert was to register on the AXA PPP Healthcare Gateway. Here I am able to register my goals as listed above and I can use the system to track my progress.

I have only just gone through the registration process so I will feedback next time on how I get on with using this tool. But from first impressions it appears like the AXA PPP Healthcare Gateway tool is a comprehensive website which allows you to register, track and get inspired to improve your health.

Part of the dashboard includes a toolbox which covers health goals, nutrition, fitness, lifestyle and mindset. Within each of these categories you can pick a goal and it will take you through suggestions for improvement and how to use the goal to track your progress.

In other words, depending on your health and wellbeing needs you can great a unique set of goals within the toolbox to help you stay on track.

Thoughts on first chat with expert

I felt really good after my first chat with the expert. It felt good talk about my fear out loud, and I was encouraged by my expert to pick goals that were small enough to implement straight away, not too overwhelming, but ultimately will help with the bigger goal of facing my fear.

I will be speaking to her again in a month’s time and will feedback with how my progress working towards this goal has gone. I’m sure, from there, we will together figure out the next set of goals on this journey.

Likewise, I will share the next update in a month’s time to let you know how I got on with the goals and tasks I’ve mentioned above, plus what I will work on for the following month.

Wish me luck!

Read more about the AXA PPP Healthcare Own Your Fears campaign.

***

This post is a brand partnership with AXA PPP Healthcare. As always, word and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Rosalilium.

 

 

How To Make A Gallery Wall

 

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to create a gallery wall in my living room filled with beautiful art and inspiration. I have a Pinterest board full of ideas on how how to display art in the home, and I think, if done well, can form a striking feature in any room.

Today I want to share with you how to make a gallery wall, as I found that it is a little more fiddily than it appears. It took a bit of work, but I am so pleased with the result.

Our gallery wall sits in the centre of the largest wall in our living room. It previously had a large painting on it (which has now been moved upstairs) but I wanted something fresh and contemporary to go with our new living room makeover (full reveal of that coming soon).

I got in touch with the folks as Desenio to work on picking some pieces for my makeover. (They have kindly offered a discount code for the next 2 days if you want to get any prints for yourself, details below.)

THE GALLERY WALL PRINTS

I chose a total of 6 prints in black frames for my gallery wall. My starting point was the large moon print, Lune. It had caught my eye on Pinterest a while ago, and as a moon-lover I was totally drawn to it.

I wanted the rest of the prints to be of a similar colour scheme to the moon print to create a sophisticated look to the gallery wall. I spent a lot of time scrolling through the different prints on Desenio to get an idea of what they offered before deciding on a theme. I wanted the prints on my wall to reflect our interests and who we are – I wanted it to incorporate travel and the stars.

To choose my prints I began creating an epic shopping bag on the website, as well as saving my favourite pins to a private board on Pinterest. This board is for my living room makeover and features all of my inspiration and the products I want to buy. I kept checking the entire Pinterest board on my large desktop computer so I could see what patterns and themes emerged.

Eventually I narrowed down my choice of prints to about 10-15.

The next task was to choose the size prints and to make sure they fit. I kept a measuring tape handy to help me get an idea of scale of the prints I was shopping for.

I started with the largest prints first. I picked the largest moon print I could and the watercolour map print. These formed the foundation of my gallery wall.

How To Gallery Wall

I drew a rough sketch in my notebook along with the length and width measurements of my main prints.

Next, I figured out the length and width options of the remaining prints and then tried different arrangements on my sketches to see how the fit. For me, it was a priority to include the capricorn and libra prints as they would be the personal aspect of the gallery wall. Their width was too short or too long against my map print, so I searched for a third print in the smaller size that would complement them. I found the nebula print which added the star/galaxy theme. Together, the three prints had a width that was similar to the map print.

Finally, I searched on Desenio for the landscape prints that would fit along the width of the moon print. I chose two options that fit they colour scheme of white, grey and black, and were meaningful to us. The train print was chosen as I absolutely love train travel, and the birds because they represent flight and freedom.

Together, all of our prints match in terms of colour scheme and they complement each other on the themes of travel, freedom, and space.

Prints I chose:

How to Make a Gallery Wall

HOW TO MAKE A GALLERY WALL

The first step to make a gallery wall is to create templates. We used old flipchart paper that we had in the shed. We drew around and cut out templates for each of the six prints in their frames. We also made a note on the template of the measurements for each dimension as well as the name of each print. This bit helps when figuring out where it all goes on your wall. Finally, we measured inside the frames to where the brackets were and marked on the templates exactly where the nails need to go. 

Next, we measured the entire wall, both width and height, to find the exact centre point. We marked the centre point with pencil.

In my notebook I made a sketch of the gallery wall arrangement using my own calculations. I wanted the gallery wall to fit as though it was one piece of art, so the outside was to be the rectangle. This meant that the inside of the gallery wall needed precise measurement as the frames didn’t fit exactly next to each other.

Using the centre point we measured out and marked with pencil where the templates needed to go. We attached the templates to the wall with bluetac and used a spirit level to make sure they were straight.

Once the templates we all attached to the wall we did a second check with the spirit level and made sure the gallery wall looked right.

We then hit the nails into the wall through the templates, using the markers we’d put on them. Then we removed the template and attached the frames. Once again using the spirit level to ensure they were straight.

Voila, gallery wall done!

Gallery Wall Desenio

FINAL THOUGHTS

I am really pleased with how striking our gallery wall looks. It’s smart, contemporary and adds a bit of drama to the room. As the prints and the gallery wall are so large it does add a bit of wow factor.

I am still super pleased with the prints I did choose from Desenio. There is such a huge range to choose from that it take a while to pick my final prints. As we spend so much time in our living room I wanted to make sure I picked something I’d happily look at all the time.

The quality of the prints appears to be pretty good so I am hoping they last a little while. In the spirit of honesty, I do have to admit that some of the frames did arrive to me damaged. I’m not sure if this happened in transit or at the manufacturing stage. Desenio did replace them straight away and I received the new ones within a week. The frames weren’t necessarily the best quality, but they’re fine.

Overall, I’m pleased with the gallery wall result, I think it makes a great statement in my living room and a good start to the makeover.

I will share the rest of our living room makeover soon!

Gallery Wall Tutorial

DESENIO DISCOUNT

Desnenio are offering a discount to Rosalilium readers for the next couple of days.

To get 25% off posters between the 27th February and 1st March simply use the discount code ‘rosalilium‘ at checkout.

Note: this is a limited time discount only available between those dates. The discount is only for prints, it excludes handpicked-/collaboration posters and frame.

Let me know if you have a go at a gallery wall!

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These prints were gifted from Desenio. As always, thoughts, words and opinions are my own.

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How To Make A Gallery Wall