Saturday, November 5, 2011

Restoring Theodora

DSC06912_edited-1{beautiful floral background paper & frame from Crafty Secrets’ “Creating with Vintage Patterns” CD} 

Theodora was born in a little town in Alberta, Canada in 1910…

…named for her grandfather, Theodore, lovingly raised by her parents, surrounded by two older sisters and two adoring younger brothers, all of whom called her “Dody”…

{Theodora, at 21 months old, 1912…with her older sisters, Ann & Mary}

…so beautifully photographed all throughout her life…

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I really don’t know much about this great-aunt of mine, though she passed away just eight years before I was born…

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I know that she had a very upscale dress shop in downtown Montreal in the late 40’s & early 50’s…

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DSC06916_edited-1 {vintage pearl-topped pins from my grandmother’s sewing box}

I know that she was married for a very brief time…we don’t know why she divorced.  She never had any children…

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…maybe this is the reason I’ve been thinking about her and her sisters so much lately…none of them had children…there’s no one else to give them a voice, is there?

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I’ve come to love Theodora through her lovely portraits…I see a resemblance in her face to my wonderful Grandad, Dow…her little brother born just two years after her…

Knowing him so well, knowing his playful sense of humor, the twinkle in his eye, his loving nature…I suddenly feel I might just know Theodora a bit better than I think I do…

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I found this gorgeous, old portrait in a scrapbook my mother gave me from her Dad’s side of the family  this summer…

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…it’s just a mess, poor thing!

So, for the first time, I tried my hand at a bit of photo restoration in Photoshop this morning---it’s  certainly not perfect, but it’s better!  {I’ve got SO much to learn!}

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Another page for my heritage album made yesterday…

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…just a simple, very feminine page to remind my family of this beautiful auntie of ours…

As often happens to me when I’m working on a family story, things coincide in my life that connect one thing to another…

I’ve been working on an old cabinet I bought for a song at a yard sale a couple of months ago…

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…the poor girl’s a mess!

I wish I took pictures of her before I got started…

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Built around the ‘20’s, the cabinet was painted & repainted, then wallpapered in different places, if you can believe it!  That’s what’s causing me the biggest headache…removing the old wallpaper that shouldn’t have been put there in the first place!

After working on cleaning up Theodora’s portrait this morning, I headed out into our sunny courtyard to work on the cabinet…

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…as I soaked & scraped, scraped & soaked, I found myself talking out loud to it…

“Beauty takes pain, you know,” I said…we have a relationship now, she and I…

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She will next be sanded & painted a lovely, soft Martha Stewart “ballet slipper pink”…just perfect for the old girl, I think…

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I’ll show you pictures when I’m finished.

When she’s all ready, she will be the keeper of much of my old family papers & photos…that’s her new purpose in life…

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You know, I think I’ll name her Theodora…

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See you soon with something new…

Julie