Monday, April 29, 2013

Decorating a Niche with Family Pictures

Whenever people come to my house they always stop in my foyer to stare at my family wall. They often comment on pictures, ask questions about family members and talk about how good of an idea it is to use the old pictures in that way.

When I decorated my foyer I knew that I only wanted to use old black and white picture. I wanted to use pictures that meant something to me and pictures that had a story. I wanted it to be a statement with emotion that showed the importance of family and where you came from.

I had a really hard time trying to figure out what to do with this space, but I'm so happy that I decided to give the entire niche to black and white family pictures.

I added the basket (from Pier 1) with some flowers I got at the craft store and the rustic stool from Pottery Barn. I also added the little candles on the wall and they are also from Pottery Barn and I've seen the on sale quite a bit, plus they are always free shipping! I love free shipping.

I still want to paint the back of the picture wall either two shades darker than the color it is now or I want to stencil something in the same color, but in gloss. I really am at a loss about this which is why nothing has been done-- if anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear it!

I love the top picture! It's my great-grandmother (dad's side) and her friend. She's the skinny little thing in a hate. Now Ms. Ona Lee Garrison was a bit of a crazy thing and she always pushed the boundaries. I never met her, but what I've been told is that she lived her life to the extreme and didn't much care about what anyone thought about it. That's saying something for a lady who lived at the turn of a the century!

The bottom picture is my mom's mom, my Granny-- Ester. She is the cute little thing on your right hand side. My Granny is also an independent woman, but she has class. Don't get me wrong-- she also has a lot of sass! There really was no hope for me! The other lady is her sister, Nancy. They were both just teenagers when this picture was taken.

I love how these picture are near each other because they show the difference in the two sides of my families. My dad's side is a little bit crazy and my mom's side is more traditional and normal (still a little bit crazy).


This is my Grandpa's Army picture. He is in the first row third from the left. I have a lot of military pride and I like to display these old military pictures.




This house is where my dad's great grandmother raised her family. Can you believe it? That's her in front of the house. It's so tiny and it doesn't even look like all the windows are intact. It's humbling to see where you come from.


This is my great-grandmother Alma (my Granny's mom)-- she's the baby! I like how serious they are and how my great-grandmother is cross-eyed in this picture! I have the pleasure of only remembering two of the people in this picture: Alma and Aunt Ester (who my Granny was named after).

Aunt Ester was a force of nature and a woman before her time. She never married, but she knew what she was doing. She pushed boundaries, but she was always a lady. I remember her getting after me when I was little about how a proper lady should sit, ankles crossed. She was stern on the rules!

This is my great-grandmother Alma all grown up! I love the 20's flare and the sass she's giving the camera.

My great-grandmother was a strong lady. She married when she was older and survived a heart attack at a young age. She loved to cook and my Granny (who is also an excellent cook) learned most of what she knows from her mother.

She passed away when I was very young, but I will always remember her kindness and those delicious hard candies she always slipped me and my cousin, John. Yum!

She passed away after an accident where she had fallen and broken a hip. She survived the surgery, but, unfortunately, ended up with pneumonia and passed away shortly after that.

She was a beautiful woman, full of energy even when she was in her 80's.

I like to look at this picture. I can remember those eyes and that look, but that's a much younger face. It always makes me smile.


This picture also always makes me smile, but for a totally different reason. This picture is of my dad's family back in the late 1800's. You can see Harvey Griffin in the back row in the middle. Apparently, there used to be a daddy in this picture in front of the young girl standing next to Harvey, but the story is that mama got mad at him and scratched him out. Hence the blur and empty
space.

This is my Grandpa Griffin and his wife and my Grandma, Stanley and Mary. Pretty cute couple, right? I love how happy they look and how handsome he is in his uniform.

They came together over trouble childhoods and bonded, eventually got married and had eight kids together.

My Grandpa has since passed away, but my Grandma is still alive and kicking.

Lady power!

In the next picture it shows their oldest, child: My dad, Raymond. There was a total of four boys and four girls. My dad says they didn't have a lot of anything except kids, but they had enough of what they needed.
He was a cute boy, but always up to something. My dad says he could always find trouble. He grew into a spunky guy who always had something to prove. He was a pretty fearless kid!

I think I have grit in my bones!


He joined the Marines during Vietnam because he said if he was going to get drafted, then he was going to pick the most badass people to fight with. Simper Fi!

I like this picture because you can see the twinkle in his eyes and those dimples! I hope that if I have a son one day that they inherit my dad's smile. It's pretty infectious!


This is Ona Lee again with two children. We have no idea who the kids are, but she's looking as crazy as usual. She makes great pictures.

The man is also from my dad's side of the family and it's actually a postcard. I picked it because of what's written on back-- some funny remarks written in very proper ways. I liked the traditional nature of the picture and the fact that it's a post card.

Last but not least is my Papa-- my mom's dad, John Bryant. He was one of the most kind and gentle men I knew. There was no one who could think of telling a story better than my papa. He could engage anyone.

He retired Air Force and saw the world. He took my mom to quite a few places-- Ohio (rolls eyes), Florida, and Okinawa, but he always loved his family most of all.

He was a pretty handsome guy right?

He passed away in 2002 from lung cancer. His last words were how much he loved my Granny. They had a true romance. Something like what the movies are made of. Something that most people only wish to find.

I have other older pictures scattered around the house, too.

Wedding days:


My Great-Grandpa and Grandma Thaggard


My Granny and Papa


My Mom and Dad

I love family pictures. They make you remember where you came from and where your heart belongs. 

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