A Southern Girl’s Gallery Wall Inspired by her Grannie

Somedays, I close my eyes, walk up the concrete steps that are missing one rail on the side, put my hand on the heavy metal door’s knob, turn it, and walk through the back door.

And he’s there. Sitting at the kitchen table. A stack of magazines a foot tall beside him on the table, the landline phone above the table with the cord stretched out past no return.

But if I go back a little farther in my mind, she’s there too, I’m around five years old, and there’s a refrigerator donning stickers that spell out “Jenna Ann.”

And its time for milkshakes.

When its milkshake time, there is no getting ice cream out of the freezer. There is no running to the store to pick up a gallon.

Instead, she pulls down a huge tupperware bowl and we hop in the Cadillac to go get the good ice cream from Win Bob’s Drive In.

They fill the tupperware bowl up and I hold onto it for dear life on the ride home.

Grannie whips us up milkshakes, which are followed by The Wildhorse Saloon on the television complete with dancing around the room.

I’ve never had a better milkshake in all my life.

Or her green beans.

Or the deviled eggs she would make and leave some egg whites empty for just me.

I wasn’t yet seven when she died, but she is probably the one woman who has left the biggest impression on my life.

A Southern Girl's Gallery Wall via RainonaTinRoof.com #gallerywall #mothersday #balsamhill

This gallery wall gives a little nod to my Grannie, and my roots, and is a nice reminder of home.

A Southern Girl's Gallery Wall via RainonaTinRoof.com #gallerywall #mothersday #balsamhill

I started my gallery wall out with this boxwood wreath from Balsam Hill.

A Southern Girl's Gallery Wall via RainonaTinRoof.com #gallerywall #mothersday #balsamhillI have to say that I have been lusting after a boxwood wreath for well over a year now. Sure I could have stolen some boxwood from my front yard, but Grunt Labor wouldn’t have been too happy about that and the wreath would have died eventually, so I wasn’t up for doing all that work and then losing it. This boxwood wreath is perfect though – it doesn’t look fake, but I can keep it forever.

I added the arrows to the wreath to jazz it up a bit. They don’t really have anything to do with my Grannie – I just liked them. I think she’d be okay with that. The arrows came from this Etsy store.

When I started thinking about what I wanted to include on my gallery wall that really made me think of my Grannie, one thing quickly came to mind.

A Southern Girl's Gallery Wall via RainonaTinRoof.com #gallerywall #mothersday #balsamhillHer Cadillac.

In 1989, my Grannie got her a big ole Cadillac Sedan Deville. And they didn’t tell anyone they were buying it.

Except me.

Because I was with them.

We rode back home three deep in that front seat, me grinning from ear to ear because I was the first to know something no one else did.

My Grannie loved that car, but she also wasn’t afraid to put on her boots and go help my Pap in the field.

I found the Cadillac symbol patch at this fun Etsy store and knew I had to have it.

And speaking of helping my Pap in the field and considering that one of my favorite pictures of her is when she was in her late teens, in her overalls, feeding the cows, I knew I had to have a picture of a cow.

A Southern Girl's Gallery Wall via RainonaTinRoof.com #gallerywall #mothersday #balsamhill

 I had favorited this Hereford cow print on Etsy a couple years back. I just kept waiting to figure out where I would put it. When I finally went to go buy it at this Etsy shop, it wasn’t listed any longer. I emailed the sweet artist who did it and asked her if anymore were available. She immediately re-opened the listing for me. My day was made. Bless her heart.

The monogram print above the cow is a Stephanie Creekmur – she has the best southern prints. As you all well know, I love a good monogram and I do think that it stands for something more than a name – I have always refused to part with my maiden name because it reminds me of where I came from. I also have my Grannie’s monogrammed pillowcases safely tucked away.

A Southern Girl's Gallery Wall via RainonaTinRoof.com #gallerywall #mothersday #balsamhillYou may remember seeing the brass key on my gallery wall above the television. My grandparents had this metal box covered with illustrations of strawberries that always held all their old and extra keys. As a child, I was mesmerized by all those keys that box contained. I would climb up on the kitchen counter and reach upon the highest shelf to get the box and go through all the keys. The large brass key is a nice reminder of that box.

A Southern Girl's Gallery Wall via RainonaTinRoof.com #gallerywall #mothersday #balsamhillThe gallery wall is in our bedroom right now and when I wake up, its the first thing I see.

And I kind of like that.

And of course, seeing Grunt Labor first thing is pretty good too.

A Southern Girl's Gallery Wall via RainonaTinRoof.com #gallerywall #mothersday #balsamhill

Maybe we can visit in my dreams tonight, Grannie.

I’ll bring the Conway Twitty if you bring the milkshakes.


Be sure to stop by Balsam Hill and read my interview with them about my Grannie, my decorating style, Conway Twitty, and dance parties.


Balsam Hill is giving one of you lucky lucky people a Balsam Hill wreath and a $100 Etsy gift card!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter here and then hop over to their blog and enter to win another wreath and Etsy gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclosure: Balsam Hill provided me with their boxwood wreath and an Etsy gift card to complete my gallery wall. However, all opinions, and references to milkshakes and Cadillacs are 100% mine.

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  1. Patricia says

    What wonderful memories you have! I remember the pink mints my grandmother always had in the candy dish and my grandfather’s prayers every night. I often wonder what my grandchildren will remember about me.
    We are hoping to buy a patio home soon. I will have some new places to hang that wreath if I’m lucky enough to win. Thanks for the chance.

  2. Dad says

    Sweetheart, All I can say is today’s post brought back fond memories & tears to my eyes @ the same time. Oh how I miss Grannie, Pap, & Hey Bud so much. I can only hope & pray my Miss Landry Eva will have memories someday like that of her Granddaddy. Love you. Dad.

  3. ashley says

    i’m not sure where I’d put it but the wreath is beautiful and there’s always amazing stuff on etsy

  4. says

    Great post, that gallery wall is an awesome way to put all those memories together! I have a wall in my bedroom that is in desperate need of some fun and color, thanks for doing the giveaway.

  5. Amy says

    Hi Jenna! I loved loved loved this post so much! Made me tear up too….such awesome memories. Now I want a milkshake. That is all….. :)

  6. Susan M. says

    Your post brought tears and treasured memories of my Grandma Bessie. She too was an integral part of this little girl’s life. She had an apron for each day of the week and it was a right of passage to receive a newly-made apron because it meant we were old enough to help her make cookies and pies. She never seemed bothered by all the flour that escaped the bowl onto the counters, stool and floor and I dare say that poor Grandpa probably ate some pretty bad tasting cookies while saying “Skeezicks, these are the best cookies I have ever eaten!”

    It’s a tradition I have carried on with my own grandchildren – I hope that when they are grown they will treasure the same memories.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

    P.S. I have a spot in my laundry room that is beckoning for that wreath! Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  7. Patty says

    I truly loved your post today, it brought on the tears, and I started remembering my grannie, she was always there for me, no one loved me like my grannie. She was the most wonderful cook and whatever I wanted she would fix it for me, funny how she always had on hand what I wanted. I made a memory wreath from my grannies sewing box, it had spools of thread crocheted white daisies and crochet needles and other sewing notions and a small picture of grannie in a red frame, red was her favorite color. My memories of my grannie are so cherished and I pray my grand daughter will feel the same about me when I’m gone. After it is all said and done it is memories that is most cherished not money or homes, cars or boats, making good memories is the best things we can do for the ones we love. Thank you for your beautiful post and the trip down memory lane.

  8. Pamela says

    Lovely post. My Grandmother powerfully influenced my life also, even though our visits were infrequent.

  9. says

    You have a true gift with words! I loved reading your post! I felt like I was sitting right there next to you on the counter waiting for milkshakes. Your gallery walk rocks & because if you & your awesomeness, I will be making a gallery wall as a tribute to my sweet grandma. Thanks for sharing your heart & inspiring me!

    Happy Tuesday!
    ❤️ Tausha

  10. says

    What a wonderful tribute to your Granny! My Granny used to great me at the door with a big pan of homemade chocolate brownies with real fudge frosting – must be why that is still my favorite dessert! Next year will be 20 years since she has passed, but I can still hear her saying “Land sakes, its been a month of Sundays since we saw you last”. Isn’t it wonderful that we had these sweet southern ladies in our lives? I’m sure that they are both looking down on us now and beaming with pride over how well we turned out! Thanks for the great tribute to a beautiful lady!

  11. says

    I love this SO much, Jenna! Your gallery wall looks beautiful, but your stories behind it are even better! I think my favorite element is that fabulous sequined Cadillac logo! And so glad you got a set of arrows for yourself 😉 If I won the giveaway, I think I’d add a wreath to the mirror we’re planning to hang in our dining room for a pop of “natural texture.” And with an Etsy gift card, I’d be checking out some of the great shops you mentioned! Love all that vintage jewelry!

  12. Dana Nichols says

    I dearly love this post! I found my way here from Pinterest. I need a Granny/MaMaw gallery wall now. Thanks for a chance to win one of those lovely wreaths. It is so pretty! I have so many things favorited on Etsy and I would have such a great time picking something out for my home. I might even find something fun for that gallery wall.

  13. says

    Lovely… both the story with your grandmother and the gallery wall. And I love the gold contrasting with the dark gray. Contrasting colors (the good kind) make my heart happy for some giddy reason. I’ll blame the artist in me. I now own my great grandmother’s metal tin of buttons. As a child, we all played with them and my cousin ended up with them. When she condensed everything for her move to Brooklyn, she realized that she didn’t need them. So now I have them. I sewed her a monogram on a pillow for her wedding gift made out of the buttons. I should do it for the rest of our cousins too… but then the tin of buttons wouldn’t be the same. But as a child who grew up in the Great Depression (she was born in 1899), she didn’t throw anything useful away. Love the Cadillac logo… makes me think of the Mackelmore song “White Walls”…. “in my C-A-D-I-L-L-A-C…”

    • says

      That is such a sweet story about the buttons, Megan. How wonderful to have! I love those little treasures like that. I’m thrilled you like the gallery wall – I’m the same way on contrasting colors!

  14. Jeanette MC says

    I don’t know yet where I would put the wreath, but I’d find somewhere. Believe you me :-) I, like you, have wanted one for a long time. Thanks for the opportunity.

  15. meredith says

    Ch a lovely story!! I wouldnt decorate mine much besides maybe a nice ribbon because I think the wreath is gorgeous on its own.. I would use the etsy card to buy some throw pillows to match the ribbon of the wreath for my front patio

  16. Heather says

    This is so sweet and I love everything you picked out! I would use it for a summer front door wreath and if course I love pretty much anything on etsy!

  17. Alina says

    I’m about to update my son’s bedroom (he thinks he’s a big boy now) and the wreath would look amazing with a mini baseball hanging down from it alongside the print with the baseball and mitten from the etsy shop.

  18. Linda says

    I never knew any of my Grandparents but I want to do a wall about my Mom and Dad. Thanks for this story and idea.

  19. says

    LOVE this story, Jenna. And your gallery wall is gorgeous. Love that boxwood wreath and the way you decorated it girl 😉

  20. says

    This is a beautiful post. I’m new to your site … saw the summer party post and kept looking! Oh … memories of grandparents are the best! Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. Meagan M. Greenan Liani says

    Oh my goodness, what beautiful, sweet memories!! I just adore the idea of a gallery wall devoted to a loved one who has passed! My Dad passed away in 2010 and I would most definitely decorate with him in mind… I have so many ideas brewing now! What a beautiful family you have! xoxo

    • says

      Thank you, Meagan. I think doing a gallery wall with memories of your Dad is a fab idea! I truly love how mine turned out and I’m sure there will be more in my future! They are wonderful to look at – for the eye and soul!

  22. Cindy Dahlgren says

    I would create a summery look in my living/dining room. Right now, it’s kind of blah.

  23. says

    I love this wall, making something in your home that means more to you then the fact that it is pretty is always a win. I just finished a feature wall in my home of my hometown, with shells and ocean pictures. Many shells were found and given to me by my Grandma, I know exactly how important having these memories and a visual reminder is. I love what you did with this space

  24. Sandi P says

    That memory wall is inspired. I have a group of photos of my kids and other family when the kids were small, and that is my favorite memory wall. The wreath is so clever, and I love that you used something you love without having to have it ‘match’.

  25. says

    I would get a monogram letter and hang it in the center of the wreath, maybe even hang the wreath so it is diamond shaped and put it in my living room in front of my French doors or my front door, not sure. Thanks for a great giveaway.

  26. Erika W. says

    I love the gallery wall with the wreath. I’d do something similar and use the etsy card to buy artwork. My guest bedroom/office has nothing up on the walls yet so this would be awesome to get to pick out some stuff to liven the room up some!

  27. SandyN says

    The wreath would go on my front door. I’m in need of some updated and fresh decor…this would be great!!

  28. Carolsue says

    Well, I would start by putting this beautiful wreath on my front door! Then I would start looking around on Etsy for some patriotic decorations to get ready for the 4th of July. I know there are plenty of beautiful things, I just love Etsy. I can find things there that are not available anywhere else.


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