Becky Strom, owner of Posters On Board, was showcased in our most recent advertising campaign that focused on the amazing talent framers have. For the Tru Vue® booth at the West Coast Art and Frame Expo (WCAF) in January, we invited the framers featured in the ads to create a framed piece of their choice for display. Becky’s piece was particularly personal, capturing an important but nearly overlooked part of her family’s history.
When Becky’s aunt showed up one day to her shop, Posters On Board, with items belonging to Becky’s father, Becky knew she had found her inspiration for her WCAF project. Her aunt had been sorting through family treasures and came across Becky’s father’s World War II Navy uniforms, a dog tag, and photos taken during a port of call in Cuba. They were perfect for a shadowbox featuring Optium Museum Acrylic®.
The Larson Juhl Bergere moulding that Becky chose provided the depth needed for the shadowbox and enhanced the nautical theme of the piece. To match the navy of the uniform and mimic the white strips on its collar and sleeve, she triple-stacked Bainbridge Alphamats in Darkest Blue. This same mat board in triplet appears again as a base to lift and emphasize the dog tag so that it stands out from the background which was a slightly speckled Blue/Gray Artique mat called Pumice.
Becky repurposed the small gold frame that was found with her father’s Navy portrait and added it into the framing package. The matte black photo corners give the vintage look of family photo albums from that era. Lining up and screwing the skinny frame through the mat board was one of the biggest challenges of the project. The other little photos are hinged in place to look like they are strewn into the shadowbox.
Preserving the small treasures
Her dad’s Navy hat contained a scrap of paper that said, “Special Liberty” penciled on it. Though she wasn’t sure of its exact significance, it seemed important to her to leave it visible in the hat. Other items found with the uniform were small rope-like cords, which she believes were used to tie around the pant legs. After researching knots, Becky tied the ropes into a “Bowline on a Bight” knot to add interest and keep with the nautical theme. She sprayed it with starch to keep it stiff.
Though Becky and her siblings had spent many childhood hours snooping all over their grandmother’s home, they had never uncovered these items. Like so many customers who frame family treasures, Becky was thrilled to be able to preserve, protect, and display something that was an important piece of her father’s life story.
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