I have some very old and large photographs of family members looooong gone. When my great aunt was moved from her family's home in Hamilton years ago, I one day helped my mother to clear out some of the things. I don't think I was much help as I was more interested in the fascinating things my great aunt had in the house. This was the original farmhouse of my family that my great-grandfather first owned. It sat on ten acres of land originally (a market farm), but I only knew it as a small town plot surrounded by other newer homes. It was a treasure trove of antiques.
I was sent up to a bedroom to sort things out. In a closet I came across an old photograph of my grandfather. There is no date on the photo, but he was in the WWI and sent overseas. I have some postcards that he sent to his sisters at that time. My mother groaned when I showed her the photo, and said "Ugh ... that photo!". I never thought to ask her what she meant, but perhaps a big deal was made of my grandfather going off to war and she had heard it all her life? Who knows. She didn't have the best relationship with her father apparently, but she didn't say a whole lot about it. He died before I came along.
The framed photo had slept inside the bedroom for many, many years and was quite filthy. Everything in that house was filthy as my great aunt only dealt with daily necessities by then. I thought it was kind of sad that this old photo was neglected. I brought it home with me and what did I do? I put it away in my own closet for another 30 years or so :(
With all the decluttering I am doing, I am now forced to deal with this photo. Today I pulled it out once again and decided to clean it up (again) and take the photo out to wash the glass. The frame is a well-made piece of wood with plaster pieces around the edges and painted a hideous gold. I want to freshen it up and breathe some new life into it. Out came my little tool kit that I keep in my kitchen ... every girl should have one ... in fact, the tiny hammer also came from my great aunt's house and I use it all the time for hanging pictures, etc.
I pulled out the nails holding in the photo and backing. The glass is convex and I was surprised to find that so was the photo, although you can't tell from this photo.
I washed the frame gently with hot soapy water and soft scrubby brush and dried it off with a towel. It's now resting on my mitten drier over the register to get completely dry.
There was one little piece on the frame that had been repaired with plaster (below), and unfortunately the bath weakened it and it crumbled away. Not too drastic, but I'll see if my husband has some wood filler to maybe build it up again.
I have this tiny missing piece (below) in my jewelry box and will glue it in place once the frame is dry.
I think I'll paint the frame all white so that the details of the plaster bits don't get lost. I really don't like the gold and I think the white will give it a fresh look. I don't know where to hang it as yet. I'm not sure if my husband will even agree to hanging it up. Where do you hang your family photos? We only have a few small framed family photos around.
I also have this other photograph of, I believe, my great-grandfather. This photo is very fragile and little bits flake off from the edges every time I handle it. I think it too deserves to be framed again (it didn't have a frame when I found it). I think he must have had those "crystal blue" eyes from the look in the photograph.
The last thing to show you is this old survey ... again quite old and brittle ...
It's the survey of my family's old farmstead in West Hamilton.
I want to put this in a frame too ... one day!
I'm sorry I don't have the finished photos to show you today, but I'll definitely post about them when I get the frames all painted and back together.
Thanks for stopping by today!
Linking up today with Jemma of At Home With Jemma and Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Maybe you'd like to pop over there and see what all these creative folks have to share today. Thank you so much for hosting this link party Jemma!