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Paint for the Soul.

Many of you know that the hubs and I lost a boat full of invaluable items after last week’s Windy City flood. (Insert four-letter expletive here). And while 3 heavy duty bins are now a murky dried up soup of class notes, daily news clippings, and countless photographs, there was one item in particular that really got me peeved at the rain gods. My mom’s camera.

Passed down to me during a brief photography lesson in high school art class, it became more than just a tool to aim for an “A” on the report card. And after four years of studying the ins and outs of a camera in college, it became a part of who I am. So although it doesn’t work a lick, I salvaged the poor thing and it’s been mocking me from our painting cosole ever since.

And then I got a wild idea. Paint it. Paint it as an ode to photography. A symbolic reference of sorts. Hot pink, bright white, or maybe a throw back to the ol’ orange bedroom of yore. (Check out a similar find right here). This is where I need your help. What do you think?

Leave it as is, or coat it in a glossy hue and make it the conversation piece of a room? Is this a scary sacrilege hair-brained idea? Oh boy. I’m looking at it this way – rather than mourn the loss, why not create from it? The hubs is totally on board. Your turn.

P.S. – Bear hugs and kisses go out from us to you for all your kind words and support as we sift through bin after bin. Flood or no flood, you guys officially rock.

  • Danielle - August 2, 2010 - 7:50 AM

    hmmm…I am leaning towards not painting it. Mainly because I love to look at the details of old cameras. I think if you paint it, those little details will not be seen. I do like it next to the orange elephant, though. They are a nice contrast to each other.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - August 2, 2010 - 9:51 AM

    So sorry to hear about your casualties. It’s hard to part with things holding such sentimental value.

    I’d absolutely display that camera! Personally, I love it as-is, but I do think it would make a great object d’art with a coat of paint.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - August 2, 2010 - 10:00 AM

    I agree with you, Kim – PAINT IT. If you didn’t paint it, and just left it on a shelf (in all it’s natural beauty, of course), I think it would just look like that is where you store your camera. Painting it would make it a conversation piece, allowing you to proudly tell its history. But either way you go, that’s one pretty little camera you’ve got there. :)ReplyCancel

  • Cait - August 2, 2010 - 10:03 AM

    So sorry about your losses to the flood! I’m leaning towards not painting it, and just leaving it out as-is. Probably because, like Danielle, I love old cameras. And strangely enough I think my mom had that same camera.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - August 2, 2010 - 10:04 AM

    Thank you to the ladies above for chiming in! I’m so so so on the fence. I understand Danielle, but agree with Kim that it would make a great conversation piece.

    To any other photographers out there – is this an absolutely wild idea? And to all the casual or photo enthusiasts, what do you think?

    Keep those opinions coming!ReplyCancel

  • Sassamadoo - August 2, 2010 - 10:28 AM

    Doooooooon’t paint it!ReplyCancel

  • Tina B - August 2, 2010 - 12:08 PM

    I’m usually on the boat of “paint it!”, however, with this, please don’t. If you have that itch to paint, how about sprucing up the details? Wherever it’s black, paint it black, so it pops. Although…….the more I look at it……..grrrr!! I don’t know!!! LOL!!!

    Ok, so if you don’t paint it, definitely display it as is.ReplyCancel

  • Penina - August 2, 2010 - 12:51 PM

    I also think you should not paint it. Maybe you could mount it on a block of wood or a stand or something instead?ReplyCancel

  • Kalli - August 2, 2010 - 2:28 PM

    I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking “don’t paint it.” It might turn something that is a specific memento for you into a generic camera-shaped form… so I think, though it probably would look cool as a decoration, since this isn’t just an anonymous camera you found at a flea market, you should just display it as is. I think the old style packaging of older cameras makes them ripe for displaying.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 2, 2010 - 2:40 PM

      All of the voices of “no” make me wonder what would have happened if I had never asked? So bizarre!

      I am, however, still unsure.

      And just to plead my case one more time before I continue to eagerly eat up your opinions, I will say that I have a spray painted camera magazine clipping (from ReadyMade) that I’ve stored in an inspiration binder for years. This seemed like the perfect chance, no?

      More confused than ever…ReplyCancel

  • chrystie - August 2, 2010 - 2:55 PM

    Well it’s a tough call. Let me just point out you’re super creative to even think of this in the first place. Sometimes just sitting on something helps you decide, ya know? I know for myself if I can’t make a decision right away (which I usually can’t) I just do nothing, then eventually I make the decision once I’ve had time to adjust and figure out what I really want. Luckily, in this case, you have the luxury to wait it out until you decide what you want to do.
    If you do paint it my color of choice would be yellow, homage to your blog :)ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - August 2, 2010 - 3:45 PM

    I actually had the same thought as Tina B. Maybe you could paint all the black parts a super bright color? I think the parts about the camera that I love the most are all the words and letters and stuff against silver. However, what’s more important is what YOU love about it. You’re the one who spent all those years with it, so if painting it wouldn’t destroy its sentimental value to you, then go for it!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn Stevens - August 2, 2010 - 3:53 PM

    Have you considered getting it repaired? Don’t know if it’s possible or worth it to you in this digital age. I used to use a good camera repair place downtown. I’ll see if I can find the particulars if you might be interested.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - August 2, 2010 - 4:16 PM

    Hi Lynn,

    Thank you for the offer! There’s actually a great camera place around the corner from my office. Unfortunately, this little guy is so gunked up with flood “junk” that no parts on it actually even move anymore.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara - August 2, 2010 - 4:21 PM

    Sorry to hear about losing your memories to the flood. I vote for NOT painting the camera. Because a camera is manufactured the surface will not be kind to the paint. Why not start a small collection of vintage camera’s from a brownie to more modern.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - August 2, 2010 - 4:27 PM

    Barbara, funny you should mention that. I actually do have a brownie camera!ReplyCancel

  • just a girl - August 2, 2010 - 6:20 PM

    PAINT IT! I know I’m in the minority here, but I think it would be awesome painted! I’m partial to hot pink, but white sounds fantastic, too.ReplyCancel

  • Susan @ Jubilee Furniture - August 2, 2010 - 7:37 PM

    If anyone can get away with painting this camera, it’s you, Kim. Though I tend to also vote, “no” you have a good eye for stuff like this.

    One thought I had would be to place it by a cool photo of your mom so it’s obivous the two are connected – that would be a great conversation starter.

    Just a thought.

    My husband and I are still sorting through flood-soaked stuff from the rains in June! It’s been a wild summer in Chicagoland!

    Hang in there!ReplyCancel

  • Lili - August 3, 2010 - 11:55 AM

    I think that the camera is enough of a conversation piece as-is, no need to paint it. Susan’s idea of making a little vignette with a photo of your mom would be nice. I also thought that you would like to know that after seeing your flood story I upped my renters insurance to include flood protection!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 3, 2010 - 1:36 PM

      Lili – you’re on the right path with the insurance! We don’t wish that on anyone…

      Thank you for all your suggestions. To be honest, I’m still on board with painting it, but your overwhelming response has me sitting on the idea for a bit longer. All the points you’ve made have been helpful, but being the strong headed nut that I am, I can rebuttle each arguement. (Don’t you just pity Scott? I kid). At the same time, I have had “paint it!” votes from people in my day to day. With that said, I’m so so thankful I asked for your votes. It’s definitely making my brain spin wheels harder than it has in a long time! I’m such a “just do it” kind of gal, that this is hard for me to sit on a project.

      Oh, boy. This is a tough one.ReplyCancel

  • dave - August 3, 2010 - 7:33 PM

    Kim,
    No paint! No paint! No paint! The camera is just way too cool!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - August 5, 2010 - 12:17 PM

    I am definitely on board with painting it, but I also agree with Kalli in that it is not just “any old camera” – it was your mom’s. I have some old cameras displayed in my office that you have me thinking of painting now…but mine are just finds from a guy at work, so they don’t mean anything to me. As long as your are POSITIVE you won’t regret it in the future, I say go for it now!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog - August 8, 2010 - 10:56 PM

    Pink!

    Here’s what I think… you had it before because it worked, right? Now, it’s just an object to look at. Why not make it more fun/ more you? Think about it for a month or so and if you still want to paint, go for it!ReplyCancel

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