anything that can be reframed should be

handmade picture frames

I’m a big fan of reframing: pictures, art, relationships, old ideas, common misconceptions.

In my house, nearly all the pictures have black frames – most also have white mattes. Its a simple combination that keeps my pictures looking good and my rooms uncluttered. Every so often, though, I literally reframe a picture. Or introduce something funky into the mix. Inevitably, this provides a real jolt to my wall and a completely different perspective on the image in question.

While reframing an image (or an idea) may not always end up with a net improvement, it does lend new perspective and can kick start the creative process.

Bland, conventional, normal is boring. And odds are, most of what you create is exactly that. Mine is. Most of our ideas are nothing more than ordinary, awash with beige.

Framed in black, matted in white – cream linen?! you daredevil!

So if your ideas are collecting dust in safe black frames, it might be time to do a little reframing yourself.

First, use outside inspiration to give the conventional a new twist.

Andrea Lee likes to say that truly great ideas are conceived when chocolate is introduced to peanut butter. On their own they’re great. Together, they’re so much better. Straight out of the freezer the morning after halloween they’re like a little piece of heaven.

Since the seductive dance of the Reese’s cup can nary be ignored, its a useful piece of advice regardless your craft.

If your daily routine, usual craft project, writing ritual or other modus operandi has become as tired as a Hershey bar (why do they bother making those things without almonds?), consider how adding a different flavor might help you create something much more delicious.

Oh dear… I seem to have abandoned my metaphor…

Consider your subject from a different perspective.

Part of reframing is to rearrange what you’ve got, the pictures on your proverbial wall. Creating new relationships between each image, forming interesting patterns with white space makes you experience familiar objects in new ways.

You may notice something you never did before or find the connection between 2 people you’ve never realized.

Our ideas and actions work the same way. Ordered in the same way each day, we become complacent. Our actions feel ordinary, ritual loses its power. You can reframe your ideas and actions by tweaking their order or flipping these on their head. No need to commit to forever altering your course.

Highlight something unexpected.

One trick I learned on a DIY tv show when I was quite young was how a unique matte can highlight unexpected colors and shapes in a photograph. A yellow matte can help your eye find a yellow detail, an oval matte opening can help your eye find the balloon escaping in the the wide sky in the distance.

If you’ve been mulling a good idea for some time, make it great by considering how highlight the unexpected will make your idea bigger, more compelling, or more efficacious. We are trained to expect ordinary, but something as simple as a new frame can force you to see the unconventional. GIve your mind’s eye a work out.

It’s easy to be safe, conventional. It’s easy to allow an old frame of mind to hide in the shadows, never presenting itself for change. But there’s real power in reframing our lives with new relationships, ideas, and perspectives.

We create – as we should – indiscriminately, exercising our primal need. But how often do we go back to really edit, massage, explore, and reframe our mediocrity into something extraordinary?

{ handmade distressed pictures frames by 2dogswoodworking }

7 thoughts on “anything that can be reframed should be

  1. Wonderful post Tara! Apt for election day as well. Virginia Woolf said “Arrange whatever pieces come your way.” It is a favorite quote of mine and I try to apply it to my art and life. Don’t take things at face value, remember to look behind you…all around. I believe I see another blog post in this, with credit of course :-)

  2. Love the metaphor…and it can be used applied to so many things, sometimes even minor tweeks can completely flip things around. And, it’s good to stay fresh, even wearing your watch on the opposite wrist than normal or moving your trash bin to another side of the room can wake you up a little and help to keep your instincts perked up. :)

  3. I’m getting ready to repaint the kitchen and change things up a bit. I’ve started to frame all the cute drawings that my nephew draws me. And I agree with the above comment by Courtney (hey there) about moving the trash bin around. I just moved the recycle bin, looks like a new room!

    Great post Tara, thanks for sharing.

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