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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Changing Rooms

Recently my cousin Neville emailed me asking if I could make a picture for his wife Margaret from the header on my blog. As some of you may know, the elegant lady sitting on the couch is Neville´s mother, my Aunt Lucas. I have many photos of her, mostly studio portraits from the 1930s in which she´s immaculately groomed and stylishly dressed. You´re probably thinking that the photo on the above header is one of them. Not at all!
As you can see, the photo was actually just a snapshot. According to the writing on the back, it was taken in March 1932 in the small Scottish town of Balloch on – to quote our national poet, Robert Burns - “the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond” - and shows that Lucas didn´t only dress in her best for her many studio photos but also for a day trip to the country. You could say that she looks just as immaculate sitting on a rock as sitting on the sofa in my header.

Anyway, that´s just the history of the photo. Back to Margaret´s request...I was wondering how I could possibly transform my blog header into a picture for her to frame when I suddenly remembered that I already had one. Years ago long before I started this blog I´d created a series of fantasy rooms one of which had been the inspiration for my header. I dug around in my folders and finally unearthed it.
It included the table, the vase of roses, the oval picture and Lucas seated on the sofa which are all in the header too. And if you look directly to your left, you´ll even see the china ornament which I´d placed on the table. I was tremendously relieved to think I´d found the perfect picture and wouldn´t have to start from scratch. That is until Neville sent me a photo of the frame...
 ...and I realised with dismay that 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm into 19 cm x 24 cm won´t go. I tried cutting the image down to size but that resulted in chopping the large oval picture on the wall right down the middle. It looked as if I might have to start from scratch after all. Then I had a thought that sent me scurrying back to the folder where I´d found the jpg and there, amazingly, was the original layout in psd format with all its layers intact! With some resizing and a little manipulation I finally ended up with this.
I was about to send it off when the thought occurred to me that since Margaret and Neville live in far distant South Africa the chances are I´d never get to see my work framed and hanging on the wall. On the other hand, since I´d already extracted the frame, there was no reason why I couldn´t have a preview of the finished picture on my computer screen.
Looking from the frame to the picture and back again I was just thinking that Margaret couldn´t have chosen a more beautiful frame when an idea occurred to me that made me smile. 
Maybe I should have called this post “Spot The Difference”.
Can you?
Will Margaret...
...and which one will she choose?


  1. Lovely work cousin. No I can't see the difference

  2. Neville dear, you´re definitely NOT "allrite"! Go away and let Margaret have a look...

  3. You put the lovely frame in the picture! You are SO creative and this picture that you did for your cousins is just beautiful. It's sad that you had to lose the pretty chest of drawers and clock but you got the important things. I remember your fantasy room layouts... always fascinating like an "eye spy" game to find all the little details. Wonderful work and I know Margaret will cherish it.

  4. OK dear Helen I see it now. There is a fly on the window in the second picture.
    The frame with the Petunias in has also gone darker in the second one. That could be because it's now later and the sun has gone down a bit,

  5. What a ***** ****** you are, Neville! (fill in whatever´s appropriate though your version will probably be different from mine.)

  6. OK you put Margaret's frame in the second picture- clever, clever you. Margaret told me but I won't let you know that.

  7. What a delightful challenge it was and a beautiful result. Bet Margaret wants her frame in the picture, you cleverness.

  8. How fun...love the way you redecorated the room with the new framed photo. Sure Margaret is thrilled with the picture you created for her frame. Your aunt all dressed up for a drive in the country reminds me of how people used to wear their Sunday best when traveling by plane when I was younger. Now, any old thing will do...not so positive change of the times.

  9. Nice "frame swap" (In our house that means something completely different. LOL) Love those rooms. Every time you look, you notice something different....

  10. The frame change makes the scene even better!