Finding rusty old junk is fun! Nevertheless, I have found that no matter how much "stuff" I find and collect, only God can fully satisfy my heart. Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun With Altered Ancestors

I love altered art! I spend a lot of my time online looking at amazing vintage inspired creations made from junk and salvage pieces that so many talented bloggers have shared. I have sort of dabbled in altered art for years, but until the internet I didn't realize other people shared my interest. It all goes back to holding on to the past, making something beautiful out of junk, preserving memories and creating new ones, and having unique items as decor in our homes.

With that in mind, I have had this picture of my great-great-great grandparents for many years. I uploaded it last year with the intention of photoshopping and restoring it but never got around to it. I was messing with picmonkey yesterday while making a new Halloween banner for my blog, so I decided to go ahead and edit the picture while I was at it. I didn't have an intention of altering it at the time.

This is a picture my grandfather's great-grandparents, Colsby (aka Colby, Caleb) Lyon and his wife Phoebe Jayne Lyon.The original photo is a drawing and it is falling apart, which makes it particularly tricky to work with. Colby, as my pappaw always called him, was the son of Jesse Lyon who founded Blaine KY, where they settled. Colby was the great grandson of William Lyon who fought in the Revolutionary war and immigrated to America directly from Scotland. 
It is this part of my family tree that stems directly to the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
My grandfather, John Lyon and his identical twin brother, Ed, (a.k.a. "Sonny and Buddy") were great-grandsons of Colby and Phoebe Jayne Lyon.

I am very blessed that my dear grandfather and uncle were so diligent in collecting information about our interesting genealogy long before there was They spent many hours traveling and researching, gathering interesting pictures, artifacts and information that has made it so easy for me while doing my own research. I remember seeing this particular photo as a very young girl and being fascinated by it.

Here is the best I could do using pickmonkey. I like the canvas grain tool that gives the effect of a painting. I am thinking of printing this on cardstock and decopauging it on a wooden plaque.

I love my Lyon family history, and I even love the ancestors that I could never possibly have met. Because of my Pappaw, I have so much information about these people that I do feel as if I know them. One aspect about my Clan Lyon family that is certain--- we all have very strong senses of humor and love to joke and cut up. My dad keeps us all in stitches at family gatherings and my grandfather and his brothers and were the same way. With that in mind, I didn't feel as if I had disrespected my anscestors by creating this...

It all came about when I thought that the picture was too badly damaged for my photoshop skills. So I decided to have some fun. I love how it turned out! Many of us Lyon kids love the Beatles, hence the John Lennon glasses. We also love gardening and nature, so I incorporated those elements in as well. I was going for a little bit of steampunk too. I am definitely going to frame this and display it in the house, and now I have the inspiration to alter other anscestors too. How 'bout I just add something else to my ever growing to-do list? Alas, its what I do. I even hoard ideas.

Eventually I will get the picture professionally restored, but for now, I feel so happy to have made this little piece of art as a tribute to family members that I somehow know in my heart. To some this may seem disrespectful, but I truly feel that if they knew that almost 150 years later one of their descendant grandchildren would care enough about them to proudly display their picture as art in her home, they would be touched and pleased. I hope my descendants will one day read my blog with interest too!

Yes, Grandpa Colby, you added many branches to the Lyon family tree, and yes, Grandma Phoebe, we most certainly did inherit your good looks and sense of humor!

Laughing and partying with:


  1. They're great Amber! Love your blog background too!

  2. your the only pagethat I could find that gives info on Colsby!!! thank you


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