What a Difference a Frame Makes

I come across all sorts of things when I’m out thrifting….I’m sure you do too.

Plastic Christmas decor that wasn’t pretty even when it was actually still green instead of faded, pale teal….

Lids without bottoms and bottoms without lids…..

Silverware that has already been chewed by the garbage disposal….

You know what I’m talking about…..

Pretty soon I’m going to do a special post of what NOT to buy at the thrift…once I have enough evidence that is…..

Recently I found this canvas portrait in a fantastic frame…..

All these old portraits have sad looking people in them and these children are no exception……

Obviously dear old Dad is standing nearby threatening a whipping if they don’t stand still for the outrageously expensive portrait person or something…….

The garish gold frame didn’t help……

I wasn’t sure if there were people like me who buy pictures of other peoples dead relatives but I bought it anyway…….

At first, I thought I’d just turn it into a chalkboard but then I decided to go ahead and paint it first and see if the kids looked any better……

They did I think……much better…..

It’s possible now that there is another person out there wanting to live the Downton Abbey Life and they might want these faux ancestors…..

The thing is…if you WANT the Downton Abbey life, then the picture of Uncle Frank on the back steps with a huge grin and a bottle of beer doesn’t cut it.

Neither does your great-grandmother standing next to the Ford DeSoto lifting her skirt so you can see her garter……not good if you want to impress the Dowager…..

Those are the kinds of pictures I have in my stash……

You HAVE to have things like this….posed, unhappy portraits…..I’m telling you….take my word for it…..

So, just like the nouveau riche who invaded Europe……if you don’t have history…BUY IT….

I’m taking them to the shop…….these sad kids might make someone smile…..


  1. Nice job on that frame, it looks beautiful!

  2. Lovely. I have a portrait that is our homes “mascot” and always has been , we call her Aunt Annie… so yes there are those of us out there that buy such things.

    Interesting fact why children and well most people looked so horribly upset in the photos.. it took 7-8 hours to take such photos, most times the people, including children had stiff boards and or rods running up their backs behind their clothing! If they moved, the photos would become blurred so there they sat or stood for hours on end and well if we had to do that for a single portrait we would look quite upset as well!

  3. Lorraine-Your frame looks great- a good frame really does make a difference, doesn’t it? xo Diana

  4. Love the frame…I recall hearing about artists that would go from home to home making “head portraits” and putting them on “pre-painted’ bodies…that is why the heads are so disproportionate in so many old paintings…and why did no one smile back in the day…??

  5. Lovely! x

  6. beautiful! i just picked up a few antique frames and am trying to decide what t paint them! i think white. 🙂

  7. You’re a riot!! I must hit those same thrift shops with all the plastic and lidless jars and how about the florist vases that come free with an arrangement. Anyway, painting those vintage gold frames do turn them into a work of beauty.
    Mary Alice

  8. I do hope those poor sad children find a good home. Now you have made me sad, but the frame looks loads better.

  9. The frame looks great. But the kids still look pretty sad to me!

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