Friday, February 1, 2013

Loving Memory Portraits

As Valentines approaches I am inclined to think of favorite love stories ... and of course my very favorite love story is that of my parents ... they met at a dance when she was 16 and he was 24, in the middle of the depression.  He had just decorated the hall for the dance, when she and a school mate snuck away from a night of studying to check out the local dance hall.  When my Dad and his friend saw the girls, my dad said "I'll want the one with the skinny ankles."  The rest of course, is history, family history, that is.

They didn't marry for another 3 years.  With money being tight they spent their first married years living with his parents, whom he supported...   Anyway, I thought it would be lovely to capture their love story in an unusual way ... these are the elements of the finiahed portraits shown above.  The larger frames have photo copies of a page each from a letter written from one to the other during WWII when they were separated for most of four years.  The pictures were of them as youth, both taken before they actually met.  The bracelet  was sent from my Dad to my Mom from Hawaii while he was stationed there.

 I made the name plaques using this graphic from Graphics Fairy.  I erased the interior (in paint) and saved it, then took it to word where I stretched it to the shape I wanted, before taking it back to Paint, where I added their names, as shown below.

 I wanted to use the charm bracelet, partly because I love charm bracelets, and partly because it makes me think of my Dad, lonely and missing his little family wandering around shops looking for something my Mom, a young pregnant mother with a two year old, would enjoy.
To assemble them, I glued the small frames,  with their pictures, to the glass of the large frames with E6000, then I set the small name plaques on tiny blocks to make them stand out and give them added dimension. I hammered tiny nails into the corners of the small frames before gluing them to the larger frames to hold the bracelet.
 I love how they turned out ... so fun to see their handwriting with their photos, and phases like "dear one",  and "my loved one"  and from my mother's letter, "I said, 'Do you love Daddy?' (to my 2 year old brother) He put his face down on the paper, so lovingly as if to say, 'I do love Daddy."  and even the mention by my mother of her "two lovely blisters" makes me smile.

Thanks for coming along and sharing my parents love story during this season of love ... 


  1. How beautiful! What a great way to honor the love that brought your family together.

  2. Wonderful, Sis! I wondered where that bracelet had gotten to. So glad it's safe and sound and in loving hands.

  3. They turned out really beautiful. I have several old portraits that I should do something similar with.. Great idea.

  4. What a lovely piece of history you've captured in your portraits! Their letters to each other are a wonderful backdrop behind the photos, and the charm bracelet is just that. Charming. :)

    What will our generation have to pass on? A text?

  5. I love what you did with your treasures! You are so lucky to have these precious things. My mom was stationed in Hawaii during WWII too. She worked in the hospital there as a physical therapist. Mimi

  6. Love! Your father looks remarkably like my father when young.

  7. How sweet...I love your project...such a loving and special tribute to your parents!