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.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

In At The Deep End

While looking through my old photos recently I was reminded of a page which I´d almost forgotten. It dates back to shortly after I joined Deco-Pages almost 6 years ago when I had no experience of designing anything other than stained glass windows and murals and it´s only significant because it features the very first photo I ever attempted to restore. Talk about jumping in at the deep end! If I´d had the slightest idea what was involved in photo restoration I´d have chosen something a lot easier to begin with. Well, they say that ignorance is bliss and, if so, I must have been the happiest would-be photo restorer ever. In those days I didn´t have Photoshop to help me so I had to improvise and struggle along with the very few tools provided by my old German language version of Corel Photo-Paint 9. Looking at the results now with a critical eye I realise I really didn´t do a great job but at the time I was so proud of it that I designed a layout around it. Come to think of it, that was a first too. Anyway, for what it´s worth, here it is.

That´s still one of my favourite vintage photos and one I´ve attempted several times to restore to my own satisfaction. Well, that hasn´t actually happened yet but, so far, the following is the best I´ve managed. The original is on the far left, then a couple of early attempts at restoration and my latest attempt is in the foreground. Lying next to it is the back of the original on which is written along with the date on which the photo was taken, “With love from your little daughter, Lucas”, something which, for obvious reasons, baffles me to this day.

I created this slightly surreal page using a very few of the 85 items in my most recent kit which was named appropriately “Nostalgic Scrapbook” by Lajuana as my imagination apparently took a break after I´d finished the kit. I´ll show a preview soon and may even get it into the store within the next few weeks.

As for that photo, I´m still not entirely happy with it. I can almost feel the ghostly presence of little Lucas looking over my shoulder saying, “Surely you can do better than THAT.” Who knows? Given another 6 years, maybe I can...


  1. Really, your first restoration is quite charming though not up to your current standards. It was a very sweet page. The new one though is so interesting with all the versions and even the back shown. Maybe the inscription was written by her mother and then presented to her father? Looking forward to another super kit.

  2. It is amazing to look back at work that we did "back in the day", and see how far we have come. It's been a wonderful journey... I agree with Jean, perhaps the inscription was written by Lucas mother and then presented to her father. I love the page you created! Great job Helen! :)

  3. I'm sure little Lucas was pleased with each step as each one was such an improvement over the original. Very interesting to see all the stages of restoration. Lots of work went into this project. Love the 3D effect of the layout. Know the kit is awesome!

  4. Thank you all.
    I realise now that I made a mistake with the date on the first page because the actual date written on the back of the photo is April 1918 when WWI was still in progress. Since it didn´t end until that November, I can only imagine that my grandma sent on the photo to my grandpa who was probably in France at the time. With that in mind, it´s surprising that it was in such relatively good condition considering that he must have carried it with him through the last months of the war.