Friday, September 14, 2012

"Mom... Who ARE These People?"

Those are the exact words my son said to me when I returned home from a
flea market junket! With a scrunched up face and a bit of uneasiness, he
then uttered, "They're kinda creepy.  Why do you get these?" 

Why wouldn't I?  After all, look at their character.. their expressions.. their clothing from a different era.. the antiquity.. the mystery!   It never occurred to me that anyone would see it differently than I do but apparently I was wrong.  I tried to explain as best as I could but we were having a bit of a disconnect.  Just as I don't understand the need for 5 snowboards, when only one is necessary to get down a mountain, he doesn't understand the need to amass vintage photos of people I have not had the pleasure of knowing.

So, who are my new friends whose photos I bought at the flea market? Besides the seven tintypes, I found this couple...

..who obviously had some drama at their wedding.  Makes you wonder why it was cut out like that.  But that's what I love about it! A torn memory!
Such mystery!

A tiny photo with children whose eyes are so dark and piercing.  The ruffled lace collar with matching jabot.  Somber expressions! Immediately, I think of using them for a Halloween collage.

This last one was a gift.  Seriously!  I asked the vendor what he would ask for it as it was just thrown in a box of photos.  It's a glass negative with cream paper, smudged with time, wrapped around the edges.  So charming!  The vendor takes it from me, scrutinizing it carefully while conjuring up what it was worth to him. You know that stern face they can give you!  Still thinking, he runs his finger over the glass and that's when I see it... a diagonal crack in the glass!  When I point that out to him his face relaxes and a smile breaks out.  "Here.  You can just take it!"  Seriously?  Yes... it was mine!  Free!  For him, the crack meant no good but to me it only added more charm!  Now that's a good day at the flea!

Same photo, just the opposite side... love this!!

Everyone is safely back home with me.  Everyone is accounted for!  Now what do I do with them you ask?  I use them on mixed media canvases like this...

                         (I will do another post about this class)

....or I use them to create little vignettes around the house.  For instance, to display the wedding photo, I chose elements that would relate to a wedding.
Rosaries, flowers, vintage lace. And I always seem to gravitate towards books for support, height or the text.

With the glass negative photo, I used a worn toddler's shoe stuffed with vintage ecru lace to mimic a sock.

I prefer the simple look but you could even add antique wooden blocks to create more of a story.

Well, I need to get busy as I have another mixed media piece in the works!  I hope this gives you some ideas of how to play with these photos.  Until next time....


  1. Those old photos are beautiful.I am blessed to have many like that of my husbands family.I don't have any that old of my family.I am sure someone has them but not me.I think it is so sad that someone would have parted with them.I love the creations you make with yours!

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Anne! I have the reverse situation in our family... none of my husband's family but some of mine. I believe my mother still has some rolls of film that haven't been developed. Oh, how I wish I could get my hands on those!! I can only imagine the memories!!

  2. I especially love the arrangement of the child with the shoe and vintage lace. In my home, I would probably add the blocks.

    :) Hope

    1. You know... after shooting the photos I did leave one block and like it! The teal blue "W" ties in with the antique blue jar!

  3. I adore old photos. I get lost in what their story might have been. The wedding photo torn in half makes me wonder if there was a mother in law that got taken out of the picture!!!!
    Your mixed media piece is fantastic. Can't wait to see more!

    1. Love the MIL connection!! LOL Or perhaps the groom had a tryst with the maid of honor before the wedding and the bride found out about it! Hmmmmmmm....

  4. I just love old pictures! I always wonder who the people are, what their live was like and where are they now!!!
    Love what you did with them, the pictures look so lovely in your creations!!!

    1. I've been having such fun using them in mixed media. And I'm always on the hunt for classes that show new ways to utilize them. Right now I am using one for an ATC card to use in swaps. I backed them on foam core covered in paper but knew there would be a better solution. And there is.... balsa wood! Cleaner cuts. Thanks for dropping by, Diana! And thanks for your kind compliment!

  5. I LOVE all your new family members!!! It always makes me wonder why people sell their family... LOVE the vignette you did with the wedding photo. And your comment on the DRAMA! It happens throughout history I guess. Thanks for sharing all your treasures! And as for your son understanding... he won't! Don't worry about it... Each to his own. Enjoy your week. HUGS!

  6. Those old pictures are so charming! Thank you for visiting me today. Your blog is so pretty!

  7. These are such fun ideas and displays. You must have quite a collection of stash for styling!

  8. I think it was the mother-in-law who was cut out! OR the hussy of a tart Maid of honor who slept with her brother....Ii can keep going! I love old photos, thanks for sharing!!!!xxoxoxoxoxooxoox-c

  9. I'm with you, Cindy! Both good scenarios!! By the way, I told you my count for wedding photos... what is yours?