Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Custom Woodcrafted Heirloom Photo Display Box

Custom Carved Heirloom Photo Display Box







In America’s history, there has been an active interest in learning one’s genealogy and ancestors, as well as recording these via words, paintings / pictures; often displayed in custom woodcrafted heirloom boxes or frames.

There are many stories (the spirit of a single person, a single place, a particular occasion) woven together that have made and continues to make the most vibrant fabric of the American story.


Recounted By Mr. Thomas Johnson, the great, great grandson of Mr. Anthony Canavan … is such a story …..

Approximately 160 years ago the man in this picture, my great, great grandfather, Anthony Canavan, made the fateful decision to emigrate with his young family from County Mayo, Ireland to the Promised Land – The United States. He did it to avoid almost certain starvation from the Great Famine that was ravaging the Emerald Isle and causing a huge exodus of Irish to America.

According to  family lore, the passage across the Atlantic was rough with huge, rolling seas that caused part of the ship’s rigging to fall and blind his oldest son John in one eye (a fact that did not keep him from serving on the side of the Union in the Civil War years later). The ship eventually docked in Philadelphia where Canavan saw signs and placards warning “Irish and dogs keep of the grass.” A few years later the Canavan clan made its way west to Kankakee, Illinois where Anthony bought a farm and from which late one autumn night in 1871 he saw the northern skyline turned into an unearthly crimson hue — the Great Chicago Fire.

This picture, taken during the last year of his life in 1890, captures the determination and grit that emboldened Canavan to cross an ocean and forge a new life in a foreign country. The photo and a funeral prayer card are beautifully presented and preserved in a one – of – a – kind custom – made frame by Uri Misrachi with images of a farm and a plow carved into each side.

It seems only fitting that Uri, himself an immigrant to America, took on the job of creating this beautiful frame – an heirloom to be passed down to future generations – of the original immigrant of our family. We think Anthony Canavan would be well pleased.

Gallary: step by step


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‘Portrait of Hope’ Begins the Parade of Summer of Color.

‘Portrait of Hope’ Begins the Parade of Summer of Color.

Continuing from the previous post, the professional construction teams stormed the beaches with a screw gun in one hand and screws in the other to install the finished panels on the lifeguard towers ( with all the trimmings).

Amongst them was I and my team. In spite of being buffeted by the winds, and baked by the sun, we are honored to have participated in this transforming project by the Massey Bros.

The project now complete, we wish you all a color filled summer.

Installation Gallery:

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A Dream Comes True in the Summer of Color by ‘Portraits of Hope’

Summer of Color by ‘Portraits of Hope’

‘Portraits of Hope Project’:

(public art, creative therapy, community volunteerism, education….)

From the world renown beaches of Southern California (Zuma, Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Manhattan, Hermosa and Palos Verdes), the lifeguard towers, 156 total, will be transformed from plain to dramatic structures that will be viewed from land, sea and air.

Having set the stage, it was my good pleasure to assist the Massey Bros.  once again.

I was called upon for my expertise as a builder and artist.

First; my task was to verify all measurements for the panels. These were pre-outlined in black with appropriate patterns in preparation for painting. Approximately 6,000 people participated in the painting of the panels.

Second; as time was nearing for the installation of the panels, the railings of the lifeguard stations needed to receive a fresh look. Yellow, Orange, Green, Purple and Blue were the colors chosen. The railings were painted in sequence.

Third; with 1,200 plus participants, the 156 towers were to be painted in 4 hours. To achieve this, the week before, I instructed a team of volunteers re: the ‘how to’ paint the rails. this was filmed, to be viewed by 1,200+ volunteers.

During this time, a coordinated effort by Beach & Harbor and lifeguards, was made to prepare all supplies and material for each tower.

Thus, on Sunday the 25th of April, 1,200+ people stormed the beaches of Southern California with coffee in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. By midday the railings were done.

The following week, I and a small group of volunteers inspected and touched-up/cleaned-up where needed, all the towers.

The stations now ready, we did a test installation on the 11th of May on one tower to nip and tuck where necessary and to calculate and coordinate the official installation of the panels on the 18th of May.

For the next 2 to 3 weeks, these beaches will be filled with teams of volunteers to bring to fruition the ‘Summer of Color’.

Photo Gallery (courtesy of Loren Philip Photography):

To learn more about ‘Portraits of Hope’ and the Massey Bros. visit

To keep abreast of the progress you can also visit facebook/portraitsofhope.

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