Frame Job – Vintage Framing

IMG_6411 (2) Mom and Me.jpg

Along with the love of art and photography comes my obsession with framing. Vintage framing. Growing up, I always had a large collection of frames in which placed photos of friends and family. I preferred antique or vintage frames, but any frame would do. In part, this was due to my military brat upbringing and the longing to hold on to memories of friends after multiple moves or family I rarely saw (and in some cases never knew.) But I also think I got this from my Mother,  Artist Jacqueline Stubbs. She was the same way. Every time I moved, one of her contributions to my unpacking would be the creation of a family wall. Here is one of her with me as an infant, on my current family wall. In this case the frame and the photo are vintage!!

Many of my picture frames have ended up in boxes and drawers in attempts to de-clutter. I still have this keen interest in the importance of framing, however. Earlier this year, in honor of my Mom, I decided to frame some of her portfolio pieces. The first one was taken to a frame shop in the mall.  To be honest, I was too busy picking out just the right materials and not worrying about getting an estimate. It cost almost $300 (special mat, non-standard size, preservation glass…) Sometimes, a frame can make a picture or painting. Not necessary at that price! I recently started working in a gallery and nearby I discovered another gallery/frame shop called Sedona Joe’s.

What a relief! Sedona Joe’s has inventory from their parents framing business including moulding from the 50s and 60s. Being an electic collector of art work and frames, these folks scratched an itch with me at a much more affordable price. Sometimes they take some old stock and create pre-fab frames for sale. Other times, they will do custom framing. I picked out a few pre-fab frames, brought in some art work, and asked them to do their magic.

This undated water-color done by my Mom was found in a box of art supplies. Maybe she didn’t like it, because I never saw it. She liked it enough to sign it, however, and here it is framed in some vintage tiki style moulding. It looks great and reminds me of my recent trip to the Pacific Northwest.

IMG_6367 (5) Mom's Madronas.jpg

The following painting was done by “wetlands painter” Pat Witt of The Barn Studio who my Mom knew from her years in New Jersey. It’s a very serene painting, but I love the way it looks in this elaborate frame.

IMG_6362 (1) beach.jpg

The third one Sedona Joe’s did was this small shikishi board water-color done by my Mom. Rather than trim the board to match the frame, they suggested mounting it to the back, creating a shadow box effect. I love how the patina in the frame picks up the green in the painting. All done at a more affordable cost, but with great vintage moulding and impeccable attention to detail in the framing.IMG_6358 (1) peaches.jpg

Did I mention thrift shop frames? Here are a couple of my own paintings framed using materials purchased at thrift shops: 1) a barn wood fame for my art lesson piggies inspired by Vernita Bridges Hoyt and 2) a fake vintage frame for my plein air madronas. Total investment in framing….$6.00.  I think I can now afford to frame more stuff!

How do you preserve your favorite paintings, photographs or other memorabilia?

IMG_6366 (1) piggies

IMG_6364 (1) my madronas

Women Are Persons – Go Girls!

IMG_2483 (1) Women are Persons.jpg

Today is International Day of the Girl. After so much political, partisan, media fueled conflict in recent days, I was happy to see positive things pop up in my news feeds this morning.

One year ago today, I visited Ottawa Parliament Hill. Les femmes sont des personnes! I posed for this “tongue in cheeky” photo. Pure Kismet that it popped up in my “Facebook memories” on the International Day of the Girl. I then started reading my news briefs and discovered the Obama Foundation had launched the Global Girls Alliance. Still feeling hopeful…….

IMG_6384 (1) Global Girls Allianc







The Politics of Hopefulness


This is me. Stepping out of my “political walk-in closet.” I need that much room for all my questions and concerns. I got so discouraged this week after seeing personal attacks on Facebook and NextDoor from people who are supposed to be friends and neighbors! I really didn’t want to write this blog. I write about art, travel and family. I’m writing it anyway because its out of my comfort zone – and all that. Continue reading

The Art of Trees – Orcas Island Madronas

I love trees and artful expression of trees. If I’ve had no recent revelations to blog about, I can always express myself through the art of trees. I was recently travelling with these arty folks again. We all love photography, painting and looking at art. Per chance, we rented a house on East Sound, right next door to Leo Lambiel’s home and art museum.

We arrived in time to experience our first sunset on the pines and madronas of our bluff. Even though my Mom’s family is from and still lives in Washington, I don’t recall noticing madronas on earlier visits. I wasn’t familiar with their curvy branches and stunningly red bark. They always look like the sun is setting on them. Here on Orcas Island, we were constantly reminded of their presence in natural settings as well as in the community’s artwork. Continue reading

Pottery on Orcas Island



IMG_5582 (1) berry bowls

I took one of these home.

I missed a prime whale photo op because I was looking at pottery. Berry bowls. I was taking pictures of berry bowls while Mark was watching a whale off Orcas Island, WA. When I planned my trip to Orcas Island, I dreamed of daily trail hikes to the beach and ocean kayaking amongst the whales. It was quite cool and windy = cold as heck, plus the whales aren’t too happy with humans right now. We decided to go look at pottery one day instead. Continue reading

Grieving is Unfinished Work

IMG_5395 (1) Man and baby

Water color portrait by Jacqueline Stubbs

Sometimes I have to write something for myself – about my Mom. I’ve been thinking a lot about her lately. Not that I don’t think about her throughout each day, because I do. I’m talking about the thoughts and questions that bring me to tears. The kind of boiling tears that make you walk around the house carrying tissues and not daring to put on mascara or go out because you’ll look like hell and start crying all over again when anyone asks how your day is going. Continue reading

Quote Me – The Art of Conversation

IMG_4833 (1) conversation with Dad

Conversing with Dad

I was nominated by Britchy to participate in this quote challenge on the art of conversation. She knows I need help with the technical aspects of WordPress and what better way than to challenge me in a way that will require links and tags!! Also, in a time when conversations (i.e. effective communication) are more crucial than ever, I’m going to throw in a recommendation along with my quotes. Continue reading

Architecture, Fashion and a Rabbit Hole of Research


IMG_5202 (1) black dress

Cloak by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino in the Saint Guilhem Cloister

During my recent trip to NYC, I was able to enjoy Fort Tryon Park on a daily basis. One of those days, I visited The Cloisters embedded in the park and managed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I noticed the sampling of architecture throughout and learned it was constructed using bits and pieces of Romanesque and Gothic structures from France and Italy. Each piece has its own elaborate history.  In addition, a portion of the Met’s feature exhibit “Heavenly Bodies” was integrated into it. Continue reading

Trying On NYC – Fort Tryon Park


IMG_5139 (1) Fort Tryon Marker

Battle field marker at Fort Tryon Park

Did you ever have a shirt or dress that fell out of favor, ending up in the back of your closet? Months or years later you find it, pull it on and suddenly it looks differently on you? That’s how I felt about NYC before retiring. I associated trips to NYC with work and travel related stress. Plowing my way through crowds and drug sniffing dogs in La Guardia. Stepping out into the heat wearing a suit. A scary cab ride into downtown. People everywhere. I had many creative excuses for not going to work in NYC. However my beloved niece lives there and I decided to try on NYC again. Continue reading