just an old-fashioned girl

Hello and welcome. I'm glad you dropped by. If you´re looking for something a little nostalgic of bygone eras with a timeless elegance and a little modern twist – in other words, something slightly “retro” – then you should feel right at home here in my shabby chic room. Month by month, there will always be something new to see so I hope you´ll enjoy your stay and come back again soon.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tante Anna

Anna was the oldest of the four Schwerdhöfer sisters of whom the second youngest was my husband´s mother. I never knew Anna and know very little about her apart from the fact that she was born in Marktheidenfeld in Bavaria and died in Mainz in Rheinland-Pfalz at the age of 89. As for the age of this photo, it´s difficult to be exact about the date, but judging by the hairstyle and the dress which doesn´t have a dropped waistline, I originally guessed it was probably taken during the early 1920s. My husband thinks that Anna died about 25 years ago which would mean that she was born around the end of the 19th century so my guess is probably pretty accurate. I´d even go so far as to assume that this lovely studio portrait may have been taken to commemorate her 21st birthday. It´s obviously a special occasion anyway as she´s decked out in all her finery and wearing some beautiful jewellery and she´s certainly looking a lot less solemn than the subjects in most of the studio photos I have from that era. I think this is a perfectly beautiful photo and it´s still in such remarkably good condition that no restoration was necessary, thank goodness!

The kit I´m working on at present is mainly in warm sepia and cool teal with cream, gold and silver accents. I´ve used mainly the warmer shades for this page with a little pale gold and silver to echo the colour of her dress and the artificial roses she´s holding.


  1. You have the most interesting photos and this one is beautifully set. Love your new colors! It would be interesting to know what that is on the front of her dress. A brooch?

  2. Thank you, Diane.
    Yes, it´s a brooch. It´s unclear in this format. In the original photo it looks like enamelled rosebuds.

  3. I can tell already that I'm going to love this kit. I have always been fond of the combination of silver and gold. My wedding ring and my 5th anniversary ring with larger diamonds which we couldn't afford when first married both have silver and gold together. And my favorite pair of earrings given to me by my "sunflower" friend is swirls of silver and gold combined! Can't wait to see the rest of the kit!

  4. Clearly I will like this kit too. The photo is so handsome and you've really done it proud with the striking frame and warm, rich colors. How nice not to need restoration!

  5. What a wonderful photo of your husband's aunt. I love the page you have created with your new kit, it really looks lovely Helen! Can't wait to see the rest of the kit. :)