Monday, October 24, 2011

A Victorianesque Hallowe'en: The Frame Up

This was meant to be last evening's post, but due to a few technical issues, I am
posting tonight. And my apologies for the cornball title that sounded a bit too much
like an old gangster film line. It is just so difficult to come up with a witty
reference to old picture frames. Although I'm certain at least a few of you will
immediately come up with a dozen or more phrases FAR better than mine. Or one will
occur to me as soon as I post. But I digress.

On with the post. Now I am quite certain I mentioned old picture frames among the
many things that can be altered through the brilliance of modern chemistry and
environmentally-safe propellants (aka: black spray paint) in the post "Paint It
Black." The things I had not yet mentioned will be outlined this evening. These days
the trend seems to be wall decals. Please do not get me wrong, I have seen some
fantastic ideas and designs, as I am quite sure you have, too, however, we want our
haunted Victorianesque home to be more realistic, to have a true classic feel and be,
well, three-dimensional.

By now we have established that a lot of wonderful Hallowe'en decor goes unrealized
as it sits collecting dust in storage sheds, closets and thrift stores. Slowly but
surely we can "repurpose" a lot of these items with a Gothic Victorian flair both for
our haunted Victorianesque Hallowe'en, as well as year-round. Old picture frames are
among the much-overlooked items, mostly because their value usually lies in the
picture they display. When the picture no longer goes with the home's decorative
theme, picture, frame and all go into the trash, a closet, a shed, storeroom or off
to the thrift store. A few fortunate ones get a slim chance at a new life via yard
sale or online sales (Craigslist, eBay, etc).

Truly lucky old frames find new lives at the hands of imaginative crafters. The rest
we will try to save for our own dark decorative purposes by discarding that old
artwork and adding them to a wall of frames. Keep in mind, some art is certainly
worth saving, but if it is not going to be displayed, it is best preserved rolled and
in a sealed tube to protect it from light, humidity, scratches, etc. This leaves the
frame free to go on to other things.

The first step is very simple. Paint it black. Flat black, crackle black, glossy
black, brushed black, sprayed black, speckled black, any black. You choose. Does the
shape, size or style of frame matter? Not really, no. The more variety, the better.
By all means, include some very ornate (think: Baroque) frames in your menagerie, but
keep in mind that simple is great, too.

Now they're black. What next? The main idea is to dedicate a wall or large enough
portion of a wall to a display of your black frames. Here's where the fun begins:
  • Hang your frames empty and slightly askew at different angles.
  • Hang your frames empty and uniform, but at different heights.
  • Hang your frames from one another. In other words, hang a few in a loosely-lined uptop row as you would normally: hammer and nail. Hang one or two from those using twine or hanging wire by attaching a longer-than-usual piece to one corner or side of the second frame, looping through the bottom of the top-row frame, then back down to the opposite side or corner. Nail, loop, repeat, at varying lengths and mixing up your frame sizes and styles.
  • For frames with glass, press a piece of black paper behind the glass and then hang amongst empty, glassless frames. At first glance, they will appear empty, too, but by moving across in front of them, visitors may notice a faint reflection of themselves, shadowlike in the glass. By scattering them amongst glassless frames, it will give off a slight illusion of someone else walking "behind" your wall of frames.
  • Hang your frames using picturing hanging wire, but use a piece much longer than the frame is wide. Insert a small tack or nail in the wall for the bottom of the frame to rest on, allowing the top to hang forward. Do this at varying lengths for each frame, keeping some flush to the wall and others at slight angles (this may require two small tacks or nails to hold the frames in place).
  •  Use broken frames as well as good ones. Hang the broken ones (also painted black)at slight angels between the others to add to the "abandoned, haunted home" look.
Now these are just a few ideas. Coloured foil in glassed frames can accent your decor while giving off spooky-coloured reflections of passers by. A grey tissue silhouette
behind glass is just noticeable enough in the right light, and as always, string
lights laced or draped loosely through your display draws attention to them as well
as adding a nice visual glimmer.

Yes, I will be getting pictures up just as soon as I get time to finish painting and
clearing a wall. For now I leave it to your endless imaginations and ask that you
share your creations, if you wish.

Now to find more coffee and the rest of my topics list.

As a side note: While I have, regrettably, been unable to do a post-a-day throughout
the month of October, there are 31-plus ideas on the board, and thanks to the
encouragement of many fabulous readers, they will find a home in a book I "hope" to
complete before All Hallow's 2012, complete with lots of pictures. I will post more
on this project as time and progress allow.

For tonight, Keep it Spooky Chic and Darkly Divine.


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