Monday, March 18, 2013

The Googery

googery /goog'-uh-ree/ n. :  a collection of grandchildren's photographs taken by a googie, treated with an artistic flourish, and then grouped and displayed on the wall of the room the kids use for sleep and/or play during extended visits

I am pretty proud of the googery.  I use the definite article the here, because I am sure it is the only one of its kind.

Unique to my googery (an invented word telescoped from googie and gallery) are not only the particular five children who inhabit it but also the technique by which it was designed and the way it evolved.

It all began when a two-page ad in a magazine caught my eye.  I was impressed by the fact that the entire second page consisted of only an 8 1/2" x 11" graphic whose design and palette of colors cried out to me with the very essence of carefree childhood joy.

Instantly, I imagined it as the matted portion of a series of 8 x 10 wall portraits featuring 4 x 6 photos of my grandkids (who at that time numbered only three, but two more were on the way).  Each piece would feature a frame and secondary mat in a solid color matching one of the colors in the graphic.  The color would be different for each child, and I would change out the photographs periodically as the children grew.

It took only one trip to a couple craft and hobby stores to see that my great idea was couched in dollar signs.  Frames were expensive, mats were worse, the colors weren't a perfect match, and there weren't five different colors available of any one design.  Facing obstacles like these, how would I ever make my idea work?

Well, unlike most people whose brains are divided into left and right hemispheres, my brain has three distinct sections: left, right, and cheap.  I decided I could make multiple copies of the graphic by photocopying it onto white card stock and use matching sheets of variously colored card stock for the insets.

With cardstock purchased piecemeal from our community college reprographics department, I then invested in five cans of spray paint from Wal-mart and five wooden frames marked 25 cents each at a local thrift store.

With a little snipping and spraying using supplies like this,

 my updated googery now looks like this:

Things have been so busy that I just recently got Beenie and Zoomie, both born this past year, added to the display along with newer photos of the other three kids.  All told, the project required an investment of about three hours' time and less than $20, with the biggest expense being the paint.

I love to sit in the glider-rocker in the kids' room and admire the way the googery stretches across the wall above Pooh's toddler bed.  I like the fact that the different colors showcase each child's individuality, while the common mat design suggests the ties of family.

If I ever need to add another piece to the googery, I will go with the graphic's chocolate brown for the frame and the inside mat.  After that, who knows?  Maybe I should keep my eyes open for new graphic ideas just in case.




  1. I love your googery! You succesfully accomplished your goal at an unbelievable price!

  2. I absolutely love it! Each one so unique and yet so similar! I bet they love it and I bet they will love it as you change out the pictures, too!