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March 28, 2011

My Ancestor Wall

My ancestors are hanging on my living room wall. I collect antique picture frames and then I take a photo of an ancestor, have it enlarged and insert it into the frame. Then it gets a place of honour on my wall.

My main Ancestor Wall

There are a few things you might want to do if you are going to have an Ancestor Wall. First you need to choose a photo that is in focus. It doesn't matter how small the photo is, it's the sharpness of the image that counts.

You should choose a photo that suits your frame. You don't want a family group photo in a tiny frame. Likewise you don't want Great grandma's head and shoulders photo in a large one.

After you choose your frame and your photo you need to pick a suitable mat. That's a personal choice but you should think about colour - you want the mat to go with the frame and the photo, you don't want it to clash. You should also think about the size of the mat, the bit you're going to see around the photograph. If you make it too large, it will overpower the photo. If it's too small it won't look balanced.

I had a frame chosen for a family photo of my dad and his siblings and parents in 1916. But none of the mats we looked at seemed just right. The frame was an unusual dull beige-gold. So we chose a cream mat and my husband stained it in blotches with a used tea bag. It looks great - very antique looking and it ties in the frame colour with the photo.

We love our living room. We have a cathedral ceiling so there is a lot of wall space to fill! All three walls are hung with ancestor photos and antique art. We even have an oil painting that my husband's grandmother painted but didn't like. So she nailed it to the wall of her barn! We rescued it, cleaned it, chose a frame to suit it and now it hangs in a place of honour. You can see it in my photo above - it's the bright oil painting with orange flowers hanging top left of the photo.

So be creative and pick what you like, not what someone else tells you is good. After all you are the one who has to live with your Ancestor Wall, so it has to please you. Our Ancestor Wall would not suit everyone. The way we choose to hang our pictures would not suit everyone. But it pleases us and that's what's important. Every morning when  I go through the living room to get to the kitchen I feel a warm glow as I pass the photo of my father, my grandmother and other relatives. The pictures bring me peace and pleasure.


Susan Petersen said...

Very Nice!

Leah Kleylein said...

What a lovely idea!! I especially appreciate you sharing the idea of using the tea bag to "antique" a new matting - I'm going to use that one!!

Lynn Palermo said...

Nice job!I'm hoping to do the same after some spring painting. Thanks for the tips.

Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

Love your ancestor wall! You've done a great job. I collect frames with concave glass (bubble glass?) in them. Two still need ancestor photos...thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

How lovely to be greeted by so many of the family every morning :-) Jo

Cheri Hopkins aka You Go Girl #2 & Sweetwater Sherry said...

What a beautiful wall and entire setting. Mine are all over the house, wish I had the lovely space of yours, as they really do show beautifully!

Geniaus said...

What a wonder it.
Something like that is on my "to do" list but, as I have so many convict ancestors it will be a rogue's gallery.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to have a copy made of the original picture in whatever size you want on your wall and put the copy on the wall. Keep the original in a dark dry air condited place in arachival wrappings to preserve it.

Helen said...

This is a great idea! There are some ancestors that I just really feel that there has to be an image of them out there somewhere, I just don't know where to find them.