Of Frames And Mirrors

“Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.” ~Victor Hugo

I have a penchant for antique frames and mirrors. I used to not like old mirrors because of the mottled glass. I preferred to see my flaws clearly so I could try to correct them. Once upon a time I was a perfectionist. How often I’ve placed myself or others within a frame, and then when one of us fell short the disappointment would fall over me like the shadows on the mirror.

I was recently given another antique mirror. The beveled glass is encased in a beautiful wood grain frame. The mirror itself appears smeared along the lower edge. Years ago I would not have hung it…I would have placed it in our storage area with the other old vanity mirrors I refused to hang but didn’t have the heart to trash. I consider this mirror a reminder of the gift of imperfection. Every time I walk past it I will remember we are human, fallible. It tells me to accept others as they are and not set expectations of them.

I plan to continue climbing out of my own frame a bit more often. I will try to look for the beauty in the smudges. I will try not to be disappointed, and if I am I will call myself out on it.

Other notes:

The Betty Boop quilt I made for my mother.

The Betty Boop quilt I made for my mother.

My mother was thrilled with her quilt!

My mother was thrilled with her quilt!


I finally finished my hand embroidery panel.

I finally finished my hand embroidery panel.

19 thoughts on “Of Frames And Mirrors

  1. Suzi, we’re a lot alike. I, too, tend toward perfectionism — in myself and in others. What an impossible mountain for us to climb! Thank you for reminding me that nobody — myself included! — is perfect. As long as we’re doing our best, shouldn’t that be sufficient?!

  2. I love the Victor Hugo quote and have added it to my quote notebook. I too used to be a perfectionist but Lord Marks (of Marks and Sparks fame) said ‘the cost of perfection is too great, close enough is good enough’ and so when I look in a mirror these days I am pleased to see ‘good enough’.

  3. “I have a penchant for antique frames and mirrors.”

    Suzi, this is yet ANOTHER area where you and are similar. I love mirrors. In fact, I have one wall in my apartment that is nothing but mirrors. Mirrors of all shapes, sizes and designs. I do that because my apartment is so small, that it gives the illusion of a much more LARGER space.

    Love the quote above!

    And BRAVA to both the quilt that you gave your mother AND embroidery panel. They’re both AWESOME!

    You dun good, girl!


  4. I have mirrors all over my house – mostly vintage, mostly beat up. Among my favorite is the one I have hanging in the dining room that I bought at a junk shop in college for something like $4. The glass is in good shape, but the backing has spots, so the mirror is imperfect. I also have the convex mirror that hung in my grandparent’s entry hall that fascinated me so much as a child. I suppose that mirror is the one that taught me that what’s in the mirror looking back at you isn’t always what it seems.

    • Love it when simple object teach us life lessons.
      You have such a collection of neat things…and I always love stories behind items…it makes them much more valuable to me!

    • Thanks, Rudri. I just worked on it a bit at a time without expectations or time limit, however I got excited to finish so it really didn’t take as long as expected. The beading took the most time.

  5. Nicely done with the embroidery Suzicate.

    And, I had to look up your quote on the three things that can’t be hidden; I was just having a conversation about the lack of honesty in society so it is fitting.

  6. What an interesting metaphor with the mirrors! I love it! We all need to learn how to cut ourselves some slack with it comes to those minor imperfections. Your quilt and embroidery panel are amazing. Such detail! Truly a labor of love in each one. xoxox

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