Thursday, June 18, 2009

Black Dog Salvage


Alli Printz

Years ago, I decided to take each one of my grandchildren on an individual cultural journey. Each had the freedom to choose any destination for his or her trip. But each also had to agree to three stipulations. The trip had to be one that stimulated them both physically and mentally; it had to be a place where they learned the ways of a different culture; and, they had to be kind to everyone they met along the way, whether fellow passengers or natives of the new land they were visiting. We called our trips Sunflower Journeys.

When the trips were completed, we decided they might be even more memorable if we created several artistic items to honor each particular journey. One item we chose to create for all four excursions was a montage, which is a collage of pictures of people and places or events.

Alli, the youngest of the grandchildren, was the last to take her journey. Alli chose to visit France. Recently, Alli and I decided to finish her montage. We spent the day scouring my studio for some sort of frame to display her pictures. Amazingly, we found an old frame I had purchased many years ago in France. It was a perfect base.

Alli chose the frame from France, on the left

We then headed to Black Dog Salvage to find an interesting artifact or something fanciful to add to that frame.

We were greeted by Sally, the Black Dog Salvage mascot

Black Dog Salvage has 40,000 square feet of treasures from around the world. Located at 902 13th Street in Roanoke, Va. (, it was the ideal place to uncover the perfect relic for our project.

Garden area

We rummaged through the entire salvage yard and warehouse.

Stained glass, bolts of fabric, iron doors, vintage house parts and mantles

Fountain area

Antique rugs

Christa Stephens and Koiner Thomas

We were elated when we found two small, rusted iron doors. They looked like they would give our frame the pizzazz that it needed to represent ancient France. We were not disappointed.

Alli with the iron doors

When we got back home, we spent the afternoon selecting, printing and gluing pictures to the frame. We also glued the doors we had found at Black Dog to the inside edge of the frame.

Preparing the montage

Montage completed

Be sure to check my blog next week for the amazing adventures that my grandchildren and I took. Some extraordinary events occurred that I think you'll find fascinating. I am sure you won't be disappointed with the Sunflower Journeys.

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