Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Project 2: the silhouette

"Rickey - 1961"

I first laid eyes on the silhouette when I visited Rick's mother, Jane, at her apartment. She had a two bedroom place, and in the guest room she had the silhouette of Rick in 2nd grade. It seems she has had it hanging on her walls since it was created; holding her baby boy right there beside her.

There is something between a mother and her youngest son. Probably any son, but in a family of 5 children, the youngest holds a particular place. A bittersweet place, if the mother realizes this will be her last.

After Jane's passing last year, the silhouette eventually made its way to us. It was a harrowing journey, as it arrived in an old frame with shattered glass. What care is "fragile" these days? It was sweet to lay eyes on it again, and I assured Rick I could quickly fix up and re-frame his treasure. The cherished silhouette was in the same frame it was placed in 50 years ago. Taped carefully to a white sheet of cardboard, who could have guessed it would still barely cling on, these many years later?

It makes me wonder how many of my little projects will carry on, just as I have made them, for as long as someone loves them. At what point will my little ones go to re-frame their cross-stitch birth samplers, only to see how I rigged them in there by hook or crook? :)

A small, excited 7 year old Rickey - much like our own kids each day - must have proudly presented this silhouette to his Mom after school that day. Knowing how cautious and particular he is, I can picture him cradling it all the way home, careful not to bend it. He was successful, because all these years later, it is sun-faded, but has not one bent corner. Rick remembers his 2nd grade teacher making these for the class, he said she shined a light and traced their profiles on paper taped to the wall.

I found a beautiful custom frame in one of my (trash) treasure hunts, used archival watercolor paper for the background, and a simple white mat. It makes me wish I had a matching one of myself at age 7! It definitely makes me want to try this out on my own brood.

And there you have it. Me chugging along with the little projects I have been wanting to complete. Project 2 - done. I may take a break from project posts after this. They are exciting to me, but maybe make for *cough* dry reading... ;-) Surely the activities that Godzilla-toddler has been up to are much more stimulating! And I have photos to prove it...

Happy days...


  1. bethany,
    I love your project posts! :)
    Keep it up. :)
    That story about Rick is so sweet. :)

  2. I love this! And I too love hearing about your projects. Nice work on a real keepsake.


Put it right here, babe!