Design. Create. Decorate.

Design. Create. Decorate.

Friday, March 18, 2016

DIY--Memory Box

Welcome to Quince Cottage!
Today we have another shadowbox DIY to share.
When his dad died a little while ago, Ron wanted to find a way to remember him that went beyond a simple framed photo. Along with Ray's golf clubs, which might or might not ever see service, Ron inherited a small collection of personal items: a tie, some photos, a couple of rollerskating medals, etc.
To keep these special mementos safe but visible, Ron created a shadowbox. The box itself he got at Michael's. Ron's dad worked at a shoe factory in Manchester, New Hampshire when he was very young, so we found a wooden shoe form at a local antique store. It's a tiny, child-sized one, just right for this purpose. A small piece of leather behind the mold reinforces the shoe-making idea and highlights the shape of the mold.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
As you can see above, Ray was an early fan of the selfie! He also enjoyed skiing in New Hampshire's spectacular White Mountains. Some of Ron's funniest stories involve family ski trips.
Ray's wristwatch is in the photo below. Despite the watch, Ray was chronically late (this might be a genetic thing, although Ron's never actually left either of our children standing lonely on a street corner waiting to be picked up). While punctuality wasn't a strong suit, Ron credits his dad with instilling an appreciation of Nature, and that's why there's a bird feather.
As you may already have noted, Ron used a variety of objects in this shadowbox, some two-dimensional and some three-dimensional. Some are black/white, others have color. There's a mix of "hard" materials (metals and wood) and softer ones (fabric and the feather). All these contrasts, along with a variety of shapes, help to give the composition visual interest.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Ray met his future wife, Irene, when he was very young. In fact he was only sixteen when they got married! (She was a little bit older). They enjoyed rollerskating together and if the medals indicate anything, apparently they were pretty good at it!

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

Ron included one of Ray's ties, and a photo of him wearing that very same tie.

© Rhiann Wynn-NOlet
Unfulfilled by his job making shoes, Ray started his own business building houses. He became well known in the area for his fine reproduction Colonials. Ron spent a few summers helping out and learning about house design and construction. With that in mind, Ron papered the back of the shadowbox with woodgrain paper and included both a compass (which had been Ray's) and a rusty old nail (near the feather).

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
I apologize for the distracting reflections in the glass, try as I might I couldn't find an angle where those were not an issue. SO frustrating! But I digress...
If you're assembling a shadowbox, play around with the placement of objects before fixing any of them into permanent position. The photos in this box are straight up and down, but if you'll notice, some of the other items (tie, feather, nail) are placed at angles. Again, this is a matter of personal taste, but the idea was to make the composition less static and more dynamic - moving the viewer's gaze around. Use whatever adhesive makes sense given the materials you're using (hot glue, regular glue, etc.).
We'll close up this DIY with a picture of Ray, looking very French-Canadian (he was born in Quebec). It's nice to have these tangible reminders of a loved one and their life story, both for Ron and for our children, who knew Pepere only as an elderly man.

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
Tell us what you think, have you made a shadowbox before? What was its purpose? Strictly decorative or something more?
Oh, wait...we can't say farewell without a cute Irish Jack Russell pic! This was taken a week or so ago on a walk by the Neuse River. As you can see Buster (aka Pork Chop) is keenly focused on the treat in my hand. Daisy is scanning the woods beyond, ever hopeful of finding a squirrel. Preferably a fat, elderly one, with a limp and poor eyesight.

Buster & Daisy © Rhiann Wynn-Nolet
And one more thing! Don't forget to join us here on Instagram for our #MagpieMonday fun. If you collect decorative items of any kind, you're going to love it!

© Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

Quince Cottage Style is #agrarianchic - a mix of old and new, rustic and opulent.
Our goal is to make our new subdivision house look inviting, beautiful, 
and as though it wasn't born yesterday!

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