Sunday, September 16, 2012


I have just completed making my very first fabric journal.
Over the past few months I have been round the world on my netmobile/blogbuggy several times over admiring journals produced by other textile artists, and decided this was the sort of project that would really suit me!
I decided that my theme would be ROSES.

And then I realised that it would make a perfect gift for my niece Tina, whose proper name is Cristina Rose.

Tina has a significant birthday on Tuesday - her BIG 4 0.
And as if that wasn't enough, she will be having her birthday all that day and all the next day......

 You see, on the night of her birthday Tina and Brandt and their three children will be flying to Hawaii. And when they get there the next morning, it will still be Tuesday the 18th September.
 When I started planning the journal, I went through my stash and gathered together all sorts of bits and pieces with a rose theme.
 And I printed off some of my favourite and well-loved sayings about roses and flowers, thoughts I felt would appeal to Tina.
 Some of the embellishments I used are ones I have had for years, just waiting to be showcased in a project like this.The little "Dorset button" brooch, for instance, in the picture above, is one I made a long time ago.
 On one of the pages I featured the other 'roses' in the family. There was my Aunty Rose (my godmother) whose real name was Stella Rose. Then there is Sienna Rose, Tina's 7 year old daughter. And my 18 year old grandaughter Sarah (Tina's 2nd cousin) has Rose as her second name.
 This silk ribbon embroidery (and the one on the cover too) were done by a lady who used to live on Norfolk Island many years ago. She gave a lot of her craft stuff away when she left, and I inherited a couple of her unfinished projects, still in the embroidery frames.
 The book involved both handsewing and machine sewing.
 It was lovely to be able to use this very old bit of crochet, made by Great-Aunt Charlotte many years ago. On that same page is a Rose scented sachet that I have had in a drawer for ages - it still has a lovely fragrance. Hence "Take time to smell the roses."

 My collection of floral upholstery fabric samples came in handy for the page backgrounds.
 It was lovely to use just a few of the doileys in my rather large collection.
 This page below uses some shadow work embroidery I did to keep my fingers busy during a trip to Cairns about 9 or 10 years ago!!!

 Actually, I must confess I still have enough "rose" embellishments etc to make several more albums!!
 My brain is now racing, trying to think of a theme for my next fabric journal. But perhaps I will not even go for a theme, but just use things and colours I love.
Meanwhile, Tina has instructions to go to my blog on her birthday (one of them) so she can see her present, which will be a complete surprise!


Friday, September 07, 2012


You know how I love lace.
The other day. someone reminded me about a wedding dress I was given a few years ago. The owner was going to dump it, as she know longer felt particularly sentimental about her wedding (another story, I suppose.) A mutual friend asked if she could rescue it and give it to me to use in my crafts. It was guipuire lace, with pearls sewn on. Over the years, I have actually used quite a bit of the lace section.

It got me thinking about my own wedding dress.
Bernie and I have been married for nearly 42 years.

My dress consisted of a satin sleeveless dress in a sort of Princess line, and over it a long sleeve coat with a short train in a lovely ribbon lace.

 It was very modest compared to the dresses brides wear today (I always think they must spend their wedding hours hoping nothing 'pops out') It was not overly expensive, and I did not agonise over its purchase. In fact I do believe it was the first one I tried on in the first shop I visited.
For years after our marriage, the dress was in a box in a high cupboard in the office at Fletcher Christian. I never got it down to look at it. I remember someone telling me they thought the rats had been in the cupboard, and I was too scared to look.
Then about 15 years ago I brought it over here to "Devon". I had a quick look inside the pillowcase in which I kept it, and ascertained it was not in too bad a state - just a couple of stains, but I did not open it right out. Perhaps I felt it would be kind of strange seeing a garment that was 3 or 4 sizes smaller than I wear now!!
Anyway, back to this week. Thinking about that wedding dress, I decided I would cut it up. The ribbon lace would be lovely to use in collages and some of the little things I make. I knew it would take a little bit of courage to make the first cut, but I did not think it was such a special or unique garment that it was worth preserving for posterity. By the way, that is no reflection on our marriage - my husband is definitely a 'keeper!' And I did feel very special in the dress on the day!
Anyway, only this morning Kim asked me about it. She said there was a Fundraiser coming up where old wedding dresses would be paraded and displayed. And she asked if I could show her mine.
So out it came. I was pleasantly surprised. There were still a couple of fairly  inconspicuous stains, and a yellowing in some parts - but not too bad. And I still had the veil and headdress too.
Kim tried it on. It was an absolutely perfect fit on her!
 My kitchen is not a very glamorous or romantic background, is it?
 Sorry - but looking at these pictures, the outfit reminds me a bit of a nightie and dressing gown! Perhaps the bouquet and hairstyle gave it a different look! Or have I been looking at too many strapless and off the shoulder wedding gowns that show far more flesh than mine did??

Kim was appalled when I said she was lucky I had not taken the scissors to it only yesterday!!!
So perhaps it is going to have one more special outing!
Will I cut it up after that?
The jury is still out on that one.

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