Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wildflower Garden Inspiration

I've been grooming the back yard for some time now in preparation for my son's wedding rehearsal dinner this Thursday evening. I am so amazed at how well my wildflower garden is doing. I took a picture of it yesterday I thought I would share with you. I am going to cut a few of the "bachelors buttons" (otherwise known as cornflowers) for arrangements on the tables. In the midst of mulling over how fun it would be to include the Victorian history on their love of the flower, I pulled out my vintage book, "The Bouquet" by "A Lady" -- which is a pocket volume on the poetry and language of flowers from 1846. Inspiration struck!! Now I know what my next little altered fabric book will be about! I am really excited to get a start after the wedding. I think I will share it in stages as I begin working on it. Now, that's all I'm going to share for now -- to tantalize you! But, with all these lovely poems and meanings of flowers, won't it be fun?! I'll get started on it next week after the wedding.

Here is the little saying I am going to print off as favors for all the guests at the rehearsal dinner (50 of them!) on the cornflower I thought you might enjoy.

"Tonight we celebrate the groom's dinner -- or rehearsal dinner. In the little vases on your table there are some lovely cornflowers.

In the Victorian era, if a girl wore a cornflower (otherwise called a bachelor's button), it meant she was available for marriage.

If a young man placed a bachelor's button in his pocket, he was letting the world know he was in love.

Via superstition of the day, if that flower lived while in his pocket, it was an indication he should marry; if, on the other hand, it died, he must find another sweetheart.

According to other lore, if a girl hid a cornflower under her apron, she would have the bachelor of her choice -- which is where the name "Bachelor's Buttons" came from."


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Poetry in Spring!

I promised I would share the vintage poem I have incorporated in my latest miniature altered crazy quilt book. The book is now finished! I am really pleased with how it turned out. I wish I was better at this blogging business so I could post all the pictures I took, but I am just going to share the one that shows best how the little book looks with all it's fringe and ties. I have decided to go ahead and put it on Ebay -- which I will do later in the day today. You can see 14 different views of the book there, if you want to check it out in detail. (Just follow the link to my Ebay items under the section "A little More About My Passion" on the left side of the blog.) I plan to post it there soon!

Here's the poem (author unknown, but in my 1899 book, Excelsior Writer and Speaker, listed under the children's recitations section).

The Bird's Picnic

"The birds gave a picnic, the morning was fine,

They all came in couples, to chat and to dine;

Miss Robin, Miss Wren and the two Misses Jay,

Were dressed in a manner decidedly gay.

"And Bluebird, who looks like a handful of sky,

Dropped in with her spouse as the morning wore by;

The yellow-birds, too, wee bundles of sun,

With brave chickadees, came along for the fun.

Miss Phoebe was there, in her prim suit of brown;

In fact, all the birds in the fair leafy town.

The neighbors, of course, were politely invited;

Not even the ants and the crickets were slighted.

The grasshoppers came, some in gray, some in green,

And covered with dust, hardly fit to be seen:

Miss Miller flew in, with her gown white as milk;

And Lady Bug flourished a new crimson silk.

The bees turned out lively, the young and the old,

And proud as could be, in their spencers of gold;

But Miss Caterpillar, how funny of her,

She hurried along in her mantle of fur.

There were big bugs in plenty, and gnats great and small --

A very hard matter to mention them all.

And what did they do? Why, they sported and sang,

Till all the green wood with their melody rang.

Whoe'er gave a picnic to grand and so gay?

They hadn't a shower, I'm happy to say.

And when the sun fell, like a cherry-ripe red,

The fire-flies lighted them all home to bed."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Bird's Picnic

We have two bird feeders in our yard. I think all the birds for miles around have been talking to one another, shouting the news that they can have a picnic here. If I fill both feeders, they are totally empty in less than 24 hours! One delight is that I have been able to observe a number of varieties of birds in my yard, from tiniest finches to a Blue Jay couple teaching their tiny new son to fly. They reminded me of a terrific poem from one of my vintage books from the 1890s (author of the poem unknown) -- entitled "The Bird's Picnic." I dug it out and began hunting for pictures of birds I could use in creating a miniature altered crazy quilt book. I have been having such fun creating it! In the post I did on June 11th, I shared the front cover in progress. It now has beadwork fringe. I'll wait to share it when the entire book is completed (soon, I promise). But, here are a few of the pages in this tiny 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" book that are already completed. I'm still debating on whether to put it up for sale on Ebay or wait for a bit. I'd love your opinions. The whole book has 16 heavily embellished surfaces (or a total of 8 fat double-sided pages). When tied shut with it's velvet ribbons, it's over 2 inches thick!
I'll share the poem tomorrow. . . Please come back for more fun! -- Judi

Monday, June 11, 2007

Busy, Busy!!

I have been very busy creating this month. My 5th son (of 6 sons) gets married at the end of June (the 29th), and I have been making the two flower girl dresses as well as ring bearer pillow(s). Yes, there are two of each! However, just this weekend we decided one of the ring bearer pillows will be a "bride's pillow" and the other a "groom's pillow." I have completed the one for the bride (to carry the groom's ring).

The groom's pillow will be black with black lace (no flowers) and the same silver embroidery with the names of the bride and groom and the wedding date. They decided just this week to add a ring bearer (to involve a nephew). I have that one to make still. I'm glad we decided no flowers! I think I am getting just a little tired of making so many! I have made 100 others to go on the flower girl dresses. (See the closeup -- the littlest flowers are the ones I have made so many of).

It is such a joy that this daughter-in-law-to-be also loves "old stuff." She was thrilled I would use vintage lace. I also made her bridal corset, utilizing a victorian-era pattern and improvising. She is just a little thing, but "blessed" and would otherwise have needed to pay premium dollars to have one custom made for her from Great Britain. (For the sake of the blushing bride, I am not including a picture of that piece.)

Today is my birthday so I am taking a wee break and doing more stitching on a little ACEO size crazy quilt book with a vintage poem, "The Bird's Picnic," incorporated within. I still have beadwork, binding and the closure to do. It has 16 embellished surfaces! Here is the cover so far so you can see the work in progress. I'll be posting the finished book in the next day or two so you can enjoy seeing it. I am struggling with whether or not to sell it! I'm having a lot of fun -- in the midst of busy!


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