24 July 2010


Long before my grandpa died he started giving his stuff away. There were not a great deal of things that I wanted that belonged to him, but there were a few things. I took my grandmother's complete set of Shakespseare. Eric took the Winston Churchill series about World War II. We took a set of Japanese tile painting thingies. And we took these two needlework pictures.

Both of the pictures are done with really beautiful needlework. My pictures (of course) do not do them justice. I have a more detailed one below, and hopefully that can give you a better view of how cool these pictures are.

My grandpa served (in the army) in post-war Japan. Then he married my grandma. Then he served in the Korean war. While he was in Korea my grandma came to visit him, and they went to Japan together. These pictures are one of the things they brought back. They hung in my grandparents' formal living room, but they weren't the centerpiece of the room by any means. In fact, I had never bothered to notice how really stunning they were and what the medium was for them until I was about 15.

I've had them hung in our various apartments for a while, and I've been wanting to re-frame them all this time. I finally got around to it a couple of weeks ago while Eric was canoeing 540 miles down the Yellowstone River. (I never mentioned that, but yeah, long trip.)

I bought some stain to re-stain the wood frames. I wanted to go with something a little more red since I have red curtains in my living room. I also wanted to do something with the matting that wasn't so garish. When I took the pictures into a store to get new matting, the employee was really helpful. She asked about the color of my walls and the color of the frames. Then we went through a handful of different colored mats searching for the one that was the best. I was really pleased with how helpful she was and with what a good eye she had. I quite appreciated her good eye, in particular, because I do not really have an artistic eye. Going in, I didn't expect that a bronze colored mat would look the best, but it really was the best option when looking at both pictures.

Here are the before and after shots. Again, neither shot is great, but you at least have an idea of how they turned out. And below is a shot of my no-longer-bare wall.


Packrat said...

Are these done on silk? They are beautiful.

Alice said...

Just for your information Mom pick these pictures up in Japan in 1959.