Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pictures hanging in a hallway and a fragment of this song

white frames
This is an idea I could swear I saw on one of the blogs I always read. Yet I haven't been able to find it in her archives so maybe I'm misremembering that. If you're reading this and it was you - sing out, I'd love to give you the credit! Anyway I saw the idea somewhere, filed it away in the back corner of my mind. It came back to me when I needed ideas for Christmas presents, late last year.

I found quite a few examples online and decided on my approach. Cut out the photo, use it as a guide to cut the shape out of nice black/dark coloured paper, stick it on a background paper, choose a frame and possibly get a matt cut as well.

I spent lots of time shooting and selecting profile photos of the three kids. Resizing them so they would all be in proportion and the right size for the frames I eventually settled on was a little bit fiddly, but I got there.

On several op-shopping expeditions I picked up lots of small frames in good condition. I wanted to make two sets of three, and thought I might use similar but not quite matching sets, perhaps painting the frames to tie them together. This all became too hard in the end and I ended up buying the two matching sets of inexpensive frames new.
silver frames
The thing that gave me the most trouble was the idea of cutting out the photos. I was pretty sure I should use a craft knife rather than scissors as this is supposed to be neater, more precise, more polished. Unfortunately I don't really have well-developed craft knife skills. I found a pair of small precise scissors and hoped I could get a good result with them, if the knife didn't work out. I got several extra copies of the photos printed in case of mistakes, but it still worried me and I put off starting.

I worked hard at all the other projects I had going on, but avoided this one. I ended up with my little sister coming over right before Christmas (okay, it was Christmas EVE) to help me with the cutting. She did a lovely, careful job with the knife. I actually had to stop her before she did all of the cutting for me - I felt it was important that I do some of them myself! I used the scissors and it was ok. Not perfect, but what is?
spray
K had had a bright idea during the planning phase - I could do half as much cutting by skipping the black paper, and simply painting the backs of the cut-out photos with matte black spray paint (which we happened to have already). This worked out surprisingly well. It took a bit of practice to get a nice even coat - at first I tended to overspray them, leaving some slightly raised bumps of paint.

Luckily the framing was easy to put together at the last minute. I had earlier abandoned the idea of getting matts cut - this would require bigger frames than I really wanted. So, amazingly they were all ready for Christmas, though unfortunately not in time for good daylight photos.

And I think they were very well received. I'm not sure you really get the effect of silhouettes like these unless you know the subjects. It's fascinating how recognisable a silhouette actually is, considering how much information is lost from the photo. I suppose, given that you can often recognise someone you know well at a distance by their shape and gait, it's not that surprising.

5 comments:

amy said...

So crafty! And I'm here to tell you that cutting your own mats is an entirely achievable skill. It just requires a metal ruler, a beveled mat cutter (not that expensive), and a steady hand. I haven't done it in ages, but I used to cut my own mats when I was a photography student. That mat cutter is in the basement somewhere!

Donna Lee said...

I love silhouettes. Those are beautiful in the plain frames. I bet they were more than well received.

DrK said...

these really are very clever and effective, what a great present idea!

美妙 said...
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Kuka said...

ooh! I love these! I have seen them somewhere too, but can't quite remember.
They are gorgeous =)