2 Apr 2012

I Spy With My Little Eye

I collect old photograph frames… and arrange them together on a large table at the top of our stairs. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with photo frames… I don’t like them everywhere… I have no idea why… but it is that way. I like them jumbled up… faces peeping out, destinations revealed… I love the way a brief glance can trigger a memory, invoke an emotion  – make me smile or send me to a wistful place.

As I came up the stairs yesterday, I stopped and looked over our photographs. It was a ‘this is your life moment’… My son as a 4 year old, blonde headed and cuddly, my daughters as they no longer wish to be remembered (chubby but adorable…) and my daughters as gorgeous teenagers… I saw my husband as he was when we married, I was reminded of my father in the streets of Arles, I glimpsed a peek of Venice and I had the bittersweet reminder of a friend who is no longer with me… That is the beauty of photographs… they transport…  and they enable us to time travel for the briefest of moments… xv

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Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane

What a fabulous idea to group them in one place like you have in these antique frames! It becomes a piece of art like that. I also do not love having photos everywhere. Maybe because I am Dutch. I found when I lived in the US people had them everywhere, in big frames, their kids and grandparents and the dogs on walls and shelves and side tables.

I'm going to steal your idea ;)

The Magical Christmas Wreath Company

Your photos and thier frames look wonderful Vicki. I didn't like photos out on display in the past until an inspiring visit to a friend's home who amassed them on one table similar to your table at the top of the stairs. He thought it strange that I should miss those reflective moments you describe and he gave me the most beautiful small frame that started me on my way to presenting my photgraphs in a similar fashion.
I still only have a few on display but I realise that my snaps are wasted locked in a digital file on a computer, so ever so slowly I am releasing them onto my 'table at the top of the stairs.


Beautiful frames, Vicki!
I also collect old frames, bronze, silver, whatever I'm lucky to find. Recently I found two vintage silver frames with Minerva head, fully stamped in an junk shop for so little money I could not believe my luck. It doesn't happen often in Hong Kong though :(

Francine Gardner

Beautiful antique frames. I tend not to have family photographs in the house, i actually have none. Instead, I have quite a few photo albums and now, thanks to Blurb or My publisher, I create photbooks.I came upon my son showing his girlfriend old photo albums and that really brought a smile to my face.
Perhaps it is time, I frame a few favorite photos…


Me too,I love them displayed like yours. They are lovely reminders of moments and loved ones. I have a friend who has not one photo or frame anywhere on show in her home,and I find the absence of them quite noticable.


Vicki Lee Johnston

Beautiful display – gorgeous frames and each one chosen carefully, as well as the photo I imagine.
I love the idea of the vintage frames – and I put mine atop a vintage piano – really looks right there … and while many walk past without glancing it's a heart-stop for me on the way past.


love reading your blog posts…
i had to comment b/c my photographer's card is on my desk…i adore his statement on his card:
"a good snapshot stops a moment from running away"(Travis Wayne Baker Photography)….so very true…thx for sharing.


We have ours jumbled up as well, but I am considering blowing them up to all 8×10's and framing for one giant picture wall.

la la Lovely

I love this! I'm trying to find my personality in how I display photos too and I love the one big clump vs. spread out look. Thank you for the inspiration. Beautiful photos, beautiful family, beautiful life! Have a great week, Vicki!
xo . trina


Jumbled, mine too, and a one stop shop for memories…different ones at different 'look sees'. Memories… so personal, so different to each of us Time may fade them but the 'essence' remains. Nice post…
xoxo, Chris

peggy braswell

OMG…I am the same way..don't like frames with photos all over the place, just in one spot! Thank you for the image. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com


Oh, it is the reminiscing, which delights you, these beautiful frames transport you back to these moments! I love it! Enjoy such moments…made me look at mine as well!

Today's Treasure by Jen

The frames are spectacular… the memories magical. Paul is right, I too have many newer memories stuck on memory sticks that need to be released & framed. Thank you Vicki for the inspiration to rotate some of my photos but to also leave many of the older ones for those "this is your life" moments. ~Jen


How very sweet and touching. I love your frames and I'm so glad that you love them because I'm getting wearing of all this de-cluttering of our lives, it can be a good thing but too much when pictures and frames disappear and instead we stand before a digital display of other peoples lives that circle endlessly.

Refreshing and lovely is this photo.


I too like my glimpses of times past in only one small area, mine is upstairs on a ball and claw dresser where I pass to enter my bedroom, this is a private space and not often seen by friends. This is my homage to my beautiful family and those memories made with them.

Sara de Cerqueira

I just loved your frames! I love taking pictures to remember me of loved one and great places I've visited. I'm moved by memories, I don't know if that is a good thing or not, but I just can't stop remembering, that helps me to live and to go on.


So lovely to see Bears face beaming at me and you peeking in behind…..special memories…made my day :)x


Your description of a tabletop full of framed photos is smashing. Great post, as usual. Thank you.


Dear Vicki

Truly beautiful – both the pictures and the frames! Love the way you've grouped them. Interesting to read other comments including about homes where there are no pictures of family/friends, at least in rooms visitors will see. To me a house without such pictures, without real books that have been loved by the owners (not ones that have been bought by the yard because they match the rest of the decor) and without fresh flowers and plants, is not really a home. It may be a very beautiful and interesting display house, but it has no personality and no soul. You see a lot of pictures of houses like that on the net: often a great deal of thought has gone into positioning every object perfectly and colours all well matched or contrasting (sometimes they're just too perfect) – but somehow they miss out – they just don't have the warmth and spiritual comfort a home should have. We can see from your books and your blog that Mas de Berard is a real home: it has elegance and style, but it also has warmth and a loving ambience which is why you and your family love it so much and why we enjoy it too.


I too am in to frames … but I like the small, miniature ones. These are typically less than 3" tall, although I do break my rule now and then 'cause I just like it. Great collection, excellently displayed. Bob


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