News

A remembrance of the SS Leopoldville Tragedy – December 24, 1944

SS. Leopoldville tragedy
A vintage postcard of the SS Leopoldville, which was torpedoed in the English Channel December 24, 1944. Seven hundred US Soldiers were killed. Miraculously our father, Harold Gittlen was rescued.
The SS Leopoldville was a passenger ship converted to a troopship in WWII. It was torpedoed by the Germans on December 24, 1944 while transporting US Army soldiers of the 66th Infantry Division across the English Channel. 763 of the 2223 soldiers died that evening. Also 56 crew members perished.
Unfortunately the horrific event was kept out of the media. The survivors were not allowed to talk about the event and they were told that they would lose their Veterans benefits if information leaked.  Many of the families did not find out how their loved ones died until years later. Clive Cussler claims to have discovered the wreck in 1984.
This vintage postcard has great importance to my family. My father Harold Gittlen was rescued on a lifeboat in the 48 degree waters on that Christmas Eve, 1944.  Growing up he never spoke of this event.   Until recently I did not know the importance of this part of WWII history.  Allan Andrade wrote an extensive book on the Leopoldville, published in 1997.  It is called SS Leopoldville Disaster, December 24, 1944.
 
The postcard is uncommon in the United States. I searched for months for the card and purchased it online from Romania for about $10, and it probably dates back to the late 1930’s. It is a 60th birthday gift to my brother, who will hopefully pass it on to his children so that we remember the Leopoldville disaster.

Allentown Paper and Book Show

I recently attended the Allentown Paper and Book Show in Allentown, PA. As a first time attendee, I had no idea that it was such a large show. I could have stayed for the two days. I went to search for a few vintage postcards. I found booths filled with all types of old photographs, magazines, advertising, sheet music, posters and more. Vintage cameras, World’s Fair items, romantic Valentines, toys, old maps, matchbooks and original drawings were plentiful. The original vintage signage was fun and bright. There was even a booth with display supplies for collectors and dealers.

Why go to a vintage show? Certain characteristics of vintage items can’t be compared to today’s items. You can see the difference in quality and design. The printing inks of the paper items are vivid and bright. The graphic design is cutting edge. The quality materials were made to last. These collectibles are great for display, framing and to tell stories of the past. Purchasing and repurposing these items is responsible, keeping them out of landfills.

It was a bit sad to see that most of the attendees were not young in age. Every item has a story to tell! These collectibles are a 3D history book.

The Allentown Paper and Book show is held twice a year in April and October. For more information go www.allentownpapershow.com.

 

 

Memories Matter!

Memories matter! Whispering Woods Gallery has been preserving your precious memories since 1986 and we use the best materials available. We proudly offer Artcare matboard from Nielsen Bainbridge. Check out this cool video that demonstrates the advantage of Artcare technology.

Ketubah Handling Tips

Your gorgeous Ketubah has just arrived in time for your upcoming wedding!  Here are some considerations for handling so that it stays in perfect condition for a lifetime of enjoyment.

  • Try not to excessively handle it before the wedding. It is easy to put a dent in it, so take it to a professional framer as soon as possible to open it.
  • A framer can put a temporary fomecore backing behind it for the ceremony.  Many framers put acetate over it to prevent damage. Other options include matting and/or framing it with out glass for the ceremony.
  • Be sure to read any recommendations from the artist or Ketubah supplier.
  • Check the spelling of your names in English and Hebrew. It’s rare that there are mistakes, but it can happen!
  • Colored nail polish can leave permanent marks on your light colored Ketubah.
  • Use a special fade proof pen for signing.  Ink can fade over the years if exposed to UV light rays. Test your pen if possible to see that it writes smoothly on your Ketubah.
  • Will you display it at the ceremony? Make sure that there is an easel available.
  • The wedding day can be hectic.  Appoint somebody who will make sure that it is carefully wrapped to come home.  Don’t leave it in the trunk of the car for an extended period of time. Take it to a professional picture framer as soon as possible for archival framing to last a lifetime!

These tips are provided by Whispering Woods Gallery in Holland, Pennsylvania.  We have been professionally framing Ketubot in the Philadelphia area since 1986.

Wedding Custom Framing

Custom framing is a great way to remember your special day.  Gather your favorite photographs, invitations and other mementos and we’ll create a wonderful treasure that is cherished forever. We frame wedding items old and new.  We can custom frame your engagement photo, wedding portrait, invitation, ketubah, signature mat, and family photos. Choose from a wide variety of frames.  Our award winning staff will come up with a design that you will enjoy for years to come.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

West Coast Art and Frame 2017

Every year framers from all over the world gather at the West Coast Art and Frame Show in Las Vegas for five days of classes, vendor exhibits and networking to strengthen our industry. I just returned with fabulous new ideas and a few awards too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sunday at the Met

On September 30, the Metro Atlantic Professional Picture Framers Association met for a private tour with frame historian Suzanne Smeaton at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  Framers and vendors from three states attended the event. It was inspiring to be with others in the industry, discussing art and framing and I came back to the shop with many fresh ideas.

 

 

The Power of a Photo

As a 30 year veteran of the picture framing industry, I understand the power of a cherished photo. It stirs up emotions, brings back memories, shows love, and shares pride. My clients rely on me to create a display of their favorites in the best way possible to preserve, enhance and enjoy. Let me share one of my favorite photos. The original is stained and tattered but brings back so many precious memories.

My Dad, Harold Gittlen, loved to pitch horseshoes. Spending our summers in Atlantic City, Dad enjoyed setting up matches with friends, neighbors and sometimes a few guys just passing by. At the end of the summer there would be a championship with trophies. Pre man-cave, this was his “guy activity.” No worries, he was always there for us.

Ok, so let me tell you about this photo. It was taken in the early seventies on the Boston Avenue Beach.  In the mist, you can just make out the “pipe” which marked our place on the beach.  As you can see, Dad has just pitched a ringer!  That just didn’t happen, it took much practice, patience, determination and dedication. This is how Dad lived his life. In addition he probably had a bit of marksmanship skill too.

To everyone who knew my Dad, this photo just shouts out, “Harold!” I don’t know who took this photo, but the photographer captured my Dad and the moment perfectly. I’ve framed this for both of my siblings and they display it proudly.

Do you have a special photo? It’s more than a small image to view on your phone now and then. Stop by Whispering Woods Gallery to have your photo preserved and protected to enjoy every day.

image

Welcome to my Etsy shop, “Greetings From Susan.”

Welcome to Greetings From Susan, my online Etsy store. For those of you who are not familiar with Etsy, let me explain.  Etsy is an e-commerce website where you can shop for unique handmade, vintage and craft supply items. There are over 1.6 million individual shops selling on Etsy and over 25 million buyers worldwide.  It was launched in 2005 and the headquarters are in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2014, after being in a storefront location for several decades, I felt that it was time to expand our audience from just the Bucks County/Philadelphia/NJ location to a greater area.  I chose Etsy because many of my customers were coming to me to frame items that they had purchased online.  Etsy had a great reputation, so I thought that I would give it a try with one of my passions, vintage postcards.  I had been framing many vintage postcards for family, friends and my customers and I enjoyed creating unique projects. Vintage postcards and ephemera bring back happy memories, taking us back to our youth, a fun occasion or a place that we lived.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Selling online has a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s exciting and gratifying. I can be open 24/7 instead of just regular business hours.  I routinely ship all over the US and even overseas now and then.  Initially I only wanted to sell matted vintage postcards, but I tweaked my shop to include both matted and unmatted postcards. Soon I will add greeting cards. It’s been a great opportunity and I look forward to seeing “Greetings From Susan” grow. If you are in the area, stop by our shop at 295 Buck Road, Holland, PA 18966.

Check out www.GreetingsFromSusan.Etsy.com

 

 

 

“Oh no, the glass broke!”

At Whispering Woods Gallery, we frequently work on glass replacement projects.  Glass can break for many reasons.

  • A proper hook was not used.
  • The hanging hardware was not sufficient for the piece. Screw eye hangers and sawtooth hangers usually are not the best choice.
  • The wire did not catch onto the hook properly.
  • The frame was jarred by a person or object.
  • House repairs to the roof or siding shook the wall.
  • The art was not hung on a timely basis and was jarred while on the floor.
  • The art was leaned against a wall without being secured.

Our goal is to safely dispose the broken glass, remove glass shards, repair or replace a broken frame, and replace the glazing with the appropriate choice. Prices vary according to size, type of glass used and complexity of the project. We stock five types of glass at our shop – Regular, Conservation Clear, Non-glare, Conservation Reflection Control and Museum.  All glass is cut in our shop to fit your frame. Drop by with your  piece and we’ll get it fixed up fast. No worries!

 

Glass Replacement at Whispering Woods Gallery, Art Gallery and Framing in Holland, PA
Whispering Woods Gallery can help you get that picture back together again.