17 July 2011

A little something for Sunday : Making things

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved making things. My Gran used to leave me in her front room for ages, happy with some paper, scissors, sellotape and felt tips, sat cross legged on the floor. I'd pop into her kitchen a good while later, sit at the kitchen table and watch her wash the mint to put into the steaming pot of peas sat on the hob. She'd open the oven, flicking the steam away with a brown checked tea towel and then check how crispy the potato had become on top of the shepherds pie, before turning to me and stating tea would be ready in ten minutes. I really loved her shepherds pie - it's the best. I loved the way she fussed around the oven. But mostly I loved sitting on the high velvet-upholstered stool in the corner of the room, and using those ten minutes to show off the wondrous creations thought up in her living room. It was usually a picture, always coloured in perfectly, perhaps with sellotaped paper shapes cut-out and stuck on. I remember I went through a phase of making paper 'fortune tellers'. You know, the ones with the colours and numbers, that have little fortunes scribbled on the inside like, you are beautiful or you smell like pigs. I'd place the fortune teller on my fingers, pointing it at Gran and ask her to choose a colour.

'R - E - D', I'd spell out. I'd whisper the letters excitedly, opening the fortune teller to display eight neatly felt-tipped numbers. I'd look at her quizzically, raising my right eyebrow (a neat little trick I could do) and wait for her to choose a number next. She'd always oblige, and ponder dramatically over which one to choose before picking one. Loving the suspense, I'd open the little flap under the number and shriek with delight, announcing her fortune as 'you look like a frog' whilst doing a little victory dance around the kitchen.

I still haven't changed much - aside from calling my Gran a frog, perhaps... I don't tend to do that anymore, but I do still love her shepherd's pie.  I've always made friends and family cards for special occasions, rather than buying them and next weekend is Liam's sister's wedding. I think there's something quite special about making a card, it's just that little bit more personal. So today I popped into Wimbledon and ventured into one of my absolutely favourite places - an art shop. These shops have everything you could possibly need to make anything you could ever dream up. Fluttering around the shelves, I ladened my arms with cream and gold cards, golden envelopes, sparkly gems, little gold bows, shimmering tissue paper and 'angel dust' fine glitter. Everything that a wedding card should have, I brought and spread out on my living room coffee table. I've just finished it, and wanted to show it off to someone. So, here it is. It's no fortune teller, but it's far more beautiful than something I could have brought from a shop, and only a little bit more expensive.... But really - if I was very honest - I made it, because I really do love making things.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous! You should make cards for a living... take custom orders and produce for people, or make a whole bunch of different cards for occassions and sell them to customers.

    This is amazing.


  2. nice work -

    careful though, i've seen this sort of thing become addictive (i'm a long suffering husband who ranks a distant second to his wife's card making aspirations)

  3. OMG, this is so beautiful. You are very gifted, not just for writing but also for making things, as you said. I wish I was so talented.

  4. That is a beautiful card and a beautifully written post. I can just see you sitting on that stool sharing special moments with your Gran.

  5. Loved the post! and the card is outstanding! The bride and groom will love it.

  6. Speaking as someone with five thumbs on each hand, I am insanely jealous!

  7. dysfunction - You know what? I'd love to make cards for a living. Inspired me a little. I might try it!

    Dull boy - Oh no! I will be careful. I'm sure I could get lost among some glitter and UHU glue for the evening and forget the Boy for a while... I'll watch out for the addiction, I promise.

    Starlight - Thank you! As always you have just the loveliest things to say. x

    Abbie - It was so nice writing about me and my Gran, actually. I loved reliving those bits. Thank you.

    Barbara - Ooooh I certainly hope so! Thank you. It looks a little like the bride. So I'm sure she will. :)

    Hospitable Scots Batchelor - Hello and welcome! Thank you - I might have nimble fingers, but I'm very clumsy and seem to have two left feet... Cant have it all!

  8. My kids always fret over what to get Mama for her birthday or Christmas. I always tell them that the best kind are those handmade with love.

    Lots of love in that pretty card. Yet another career for you?!

  9. This is so delicate and beautiful.. a friend of mine started her invitations business and is doing pretty well, i'm sure with your eye you'd have tons of orders for cards like these..
    Took a minute to look around and u have a really cool site :-) I added you thru Google Connect, maybe we can follow each other? I just started my blog a few months ago about travel and design and I would appreciate the support so much!.. I want to make it a place where people can come for inspiration and escape. Please come visit soon and hopefully you like it enough to follow along also :-) Glad to have found your site!

    Hugs from NYC