Last night, we hosted an impromptu little birthday fiesta for our good friend Eddie. I tell you, if there's one thing to get us to do some much needed tidying up, it's the knowledge that the clock is ticking down and people are coming over! Perhaps we should entertain more often. Ha!
Anyway, since our postcard collection is not yet large enough to span the circumference of the Wakefield, I needed to find something else to dress our new chandelier with in a pinch... preferably something interesting, readily available (um, free) and not too time consuming. I decided to turn to my stockpile of old newspapers.
Now, these aren't just any old newspapers. They're clippings from decades and centuries past that document the comings and goings of my family: my dad's birth announcement, my grandma's spelling bee success in third grade, word of my great-grandfather's homecoming from WWI. I also included census rolls in which my relatives are listed, as well as plat maps from the places they called home. A lot of it was amassed during countless hours poring over the collections at Ancestry.
In the year that this blog's been up, I'm kind of embarrassed that I haven't yet shared about my passion for family history. It's something that Kevin and I share, actually, and was weaved into so many details of our wedding. I've spent a lot of time researching and, well, if you'd like to hear more about it (or how to get into it), I'd love to pass along what I've learned over the past 12 years of climbing my own family tree.
This chandelier project took me about an hour-and-a-half to complete. After resizing/cropping the articles, I printed them on buff colored paper (for a more authentic look), trimmed the edges, and clipped them up. It's not the cascade of papers (à la the photo on the PB site) that I was hoping for, but it did the trick in a hurry. Next time, I think I'll vary the lengths more to lessen the appearance of the three distinct tiers and "stack" papers to reduce the hard shadows.
Here's a peek at some of the pieces that I used:
Roll announcing my grandpa's enlistment in the Army during WWII, to the right of the
ship's registry showing my 7-month-old great-grandpa when he came from Scotland in 1866
Auction bulletin posted by my great-great-grandpa in 1919
A telegram sent to Kev's grandparents while on their honeymoon in 1934
I just love the glow!
Kevin and I have a number of projects lined up that will incorporate elements of both of our family trees and heritage. Our house couldn't be our home without reflecting that passion of ours!
Are you into family history? Would you like to learn about genealogy and how to get started?