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Friday, March 4, 2011

a little project: an antique frame

As I continue to show you around the house (just waiting on some velvet pillows being made to show you the living room) you'll notice that we have a fondness for paintings.   We have been very fortunate to have found some fabulous antique and newer paintings over the years-  keep in mind we've been antiquing for 23 years! 
(for the record:  when I use the word antique I only mean that it is over 100 years old.  Just because something is antique doesn't mean it has to be precious, untouchable, unattainable, unaffordable, etc.  It can be, but doesn't have to be... )

I think original art is an extremely important element in a home.  I believe art gives a house a soul.   It should speak to you on an emotional level, whether it is art drawn by your child or an antique oil painting from a listed artist- the value is in the emotion is brings to you.  That's why art is so personal.

So, when I found this watercolor several weeks ago I had an immediate emotional attachment... it reminded me of our farmhouse and how the farmhouse sits on the property, and the amazing skies that we see here.  From the framing I would guess it was painted in the 1970/1980's?

Later that same week, we found this antique water-gilt frame at another antiques shop.  At first, I walked right by the frame only seeing the painting... wasn't interest.  Then, my eye saw the beautiful antique frame and I was smitten!  We bought it for $100.  Good antique frames are really difficult to find, so when we spy them we buy them!  The frame joined several other antique frames stacked in the closet awaiting its perfect mate.... until it dawned on me how perfectly this frame and that watercolor would go together!

I "married" them. 
I will use a piece of antique wavy glass (from our house renovation) instead of new glass to add some additional character.
So, for a mere $110 I have an original piece of art in an antique frame! 

Wishing you a very happy weekend filled with some great finds!


  1. Love this marriage of art and frame!!

  2. Hi Joan,

    I love this post so much. You and Trina (from A Country Farmhouse) have the best art and it really adds so much to the room. I am always on the lookout for frames now but rarely see anything! But I am still new at this hopefully in 23 years I will have some wonderful treasures.

    I actually have a question for you. Do you change the hardware on the frame yourself (or Dan)? I have a frame that I need to rotate right now from vertical to horizontal (like this frame did)...should I remove the existing hardware (screw eyes with hanging wire) or just leave it and add new hardware to the new spots?

    I hope you are having a wonderful day and are seeing glimmers of spring in New Hampshire...it is bascially here in Texas!


  3. beautiful, joan. I have a frame that is SO similar. I need to post it!

    happy weekend to you! donna

  4. hi joan,

    very beautiful. a match made in heaven.


  5. hi Cali!
    It depends on the difficulty of the individual piece- this one I will take to a framer so they can cut the old glass (we don't seem to have good luck doing that;) and also cut the watercolor to fit the frame.... but in general we would do it ourselves. If I were you I would remove the existing wire and eye hooks and just move them to the new spot. I think if you left them in place it might interfere with the peice hanging nicely.


  6. Marla in ColumbusMarch 4, 2011 at 3:51 PM


    Your post raises a question that, if I may, I'd like to ask of someone who has more experience with antiques that I do. Came across a pair of frames last weekend that I thought were very pretty but I didn't love - not even remotely - the pictures. When do you know when to keep the pics and when it's OK to discard them? These happened to be old portraits - not painted.

    Marla in Columbus, OH

  7. Thank you so much for responding Joan. I figured I should remove it but was just checking with a pro!
    I have been sending my mom the posts on your house and she is just too smitten. Cant wait to see the living room.

    Thanks again

  8. I felt sad to think I donated a beautiful old gilt frame with a velvet matte to Salvation Army....I never thought of putting something else inside the frame. Duh....loved this post.

  9. You truly know how to spot them! Really turned out to be a special piece. I love that you have access to the old glass. I adore the waves in the old pieces. Can't wait to see the finished living room!

  10. Looks beautiful, Joan! I believe my sister lives in your neck of the woods, so I'd love to hear if you have any favorite antique places in the area.

  11. Looks lovely and thanks for the tip on using the old glass. We're using our wavy window glass in our cabinets but never thought to save some for pictures. Now I will!

  12. Gorgeous! I love the two together and especially appreciate your definition of "antique" referring to age and not just value. I have always been a collector of original art but not often any with "value". I usually appreciate those most.

  13. And it speaks to you, too. :) I love that...I'm just like you-- original art with that has meaning to me. Art is so personal, part of what makes a house a home.

  14. A perfect marriage Joan! I'm looking forward to getting caught up with your blog...I've gotten behind in reading my favorite blogs now that the weather has warmed up finally. Well it's not so great today though..thank goodness for a wood stove! I hope you are having a wonderful day...enjoy your weekend!
    Maura :)

  15. Congratulations on your happy nuptials!....k

  16. hi Marla!
    that's a very valid question and a situation I have encountered before. I bought a pair of gorgeous antique frames that had old photographs, and put in them some antique hand-painted egg prints... I sold the photographs that came in the frames at a garage sale to a neighbor who was so excited to have them.
    I only have a few things in cabinets -in general if I'm not using an antique or if I don't absolutely love it then I want it to go on and live a happy life somewhere where it is valued and loved, instead of being stored away in some closet! Since the original owners of these photographs didn't cherish them ... they came to me and I cherish the frames and my neighbor cherished the photos- a win, win in my book!
    Same with the painting of the girl that came in the above frame (she wasn't original to the frame either). I will give her to someone so she can go on and be loved!

    If anyone is interested just let me know!!

  17. Love the marriage, you have such a GOOD eye. Thank you for sharing.

    Have a God Filled Day

  18. You find the best stuff! I will send you an original of mine if you would like. hehehe

    The watercolor of your farmhouse is perfect! I was wondering about you liking the lady before I read the whole story.

  19. Joan, You found two beautiful treasures and they look as if their marriage will last forever. I can see why you were drawn to both. Happy Weekend in your lovely home, KS

  20. Great finds and great job combining them! You doubled the value of both!

  21. Oh, I do love them both and they will look fantastic together!


  22. Hi Joan, Dan, and Ella: Picture perfect! The painting is enhanced by the frame; I like how you are going to use wavy glass. Have a wonderful weekend, Cindy

  23. What a beautiful combination! How lucky of you to have the foresight to "marry" the painting and the frame. Love it!

  24. Love them both! We try to pick up an original piece wherever we travel- it's a small and useful souvenir that tells our story.

  25. Lovely! It does look like your little corner of the world.

    I kinda like the lady...she would be at home with my odd group of "people" paintings.

  26. Linda- She said she would luuuuuuuuuuuv to come live with your "people" in sunny Florida!!:)

  27. I completely agree! Artwork adds so much warmth and character to a home. Nice post. :-)

    Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

  28. They look beautiful together:)...I need to spend more time looking for these things. We have collected original art over the 15 years of our marriage too. We bought our first tiny painting in Paris when we were married 5 months:) We kind of laugh at it now (it is cute but our tastes have evolved) but it always reminds me of that time together.

  29. I couldn't agree more, about original art adding soul, about antique frames, about the emotional connection and reaction to art! Love your new water color & pretty frame. I love that the frame isn't in perfect condition. I leave mine alone too. My Mum always takes them to be restored, I happen to think a little chip here and there adds so much character!

  30. Wait a minute!! I thought you said she was my Christmas present this year!!!! Oh, Okay, Linda can have her!!! What will you give me instead????

  31. you are so kind to share so much of your experiences and advice. Not many people would do that. Good Karma is coming your way.

  32. Anon Susan...I happen to have a VERY large oil painting you may just LOVE. snicker, snicker. Can I send it your way? Pretty please?

    I certainly would not want to cause family strife...really. So extra large creepy painting can be heading your way...STAT.

  33. Love the marriage of the two pieces!

  34. hey there. just want you to know i ADORE what you are doing in your home and i love your blog. i have an award for you. come see

  35. A very good decision....smiles.

  36. Hi Joan
    Thank you so much for your visit! I am going through one of those crazy busy times and have not posted or even read a blog in several weeks! I love what you did with your watercolor and the beautiful frame - it is lovely and so YOU. I agree wholeheartedly about art being the soul of a house. Well said. Thanks for not forgetting me, and I hope to get back in the blogging loop soon. Looking forward to the summer! xo Ann

  37. I just love it when something comes together like that! The watercolor and frame were clearly meant to be together. :-)

  38. That is wonderful looking! I so agree about original art adding so much character to a room/space. You don't have to invest in super expensive art as you have proved above. There are so many avenues where you can find cheap art, tag sales, online, flea markets, antique/consignment stores,etc....you just have to get resourceful. A good collector friend of mine has a major collection and has found things in the most unexpected places.
    Happy to have found your lovely blog!Brooke, how unbelievably exciting! I loved all the pictures....salviating over many of them:) The old doors, hardware...those stone mantels..oh my! What wonderful and divine inspiration...and to be developing a farm...does it get better??
    Stop by. mine, if you have a minute, its about the buliding of our new home and my passion for decor/design.... also doing an incredible giveaway! A pair of Murano handblown glass lamps..drawing is this Friday!

  39. Great finds! The watercolour looks perfect in your "new" old frame :)

  40. Joan, that is a beautiful painting and I love that frame. They are perfect together.

  41. Joan,
    Such a good eye you have...they are going to live happily ever after! Just catching up and went back to read your last post...dying over the gorgeous iron gate doors!!!

  42. So so pretty!
    Come to think of it....all my treasures have a story. To me, that's what makes them more valuable.
    You did a wonderful job here and I must say, you do have a good eye!
    Thank you so much for sharing. Your before and after on each piece was great to see.
    Take care,

  43. Watercolors are almost never framed without a mat. It's a mistake.

    1. Really? Says who?? That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a very long time!


Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one. Comments are moderated by me prior to publishing on the blog, so if you don't see your comment post immediately it will be posted as soon as I receive it and read it. joan


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