Monday 1 February 2021

Memories Made and Found

This theme was so big I didn't know where to start with it.  So I pro-craft-inated for quite a bit.  Over the Christmas my sewing machine had to make its way from the dining table to the boxroom, so we could all fit around the table on Christmas day.  Somehow that physical move disconnected me from sewing altogether and I turned towards paper crafts that only need a small bit of the table to work off of.  

I found a series of You Tube videos by Amity Bloom using vintage papers to make journals and I was really drawn to them.  Watching all those videos on You Tube and pondering the theme of memories got me to thinking.  I started collecting things as a memory keeping idea, birthday cards, favourite bits of fabric and Mum gave me my grandmother's wedding rings to keep.  

I'm not a jewellery wearer (except maybe for a watch) and all the pieces mum gives me end up in a fancy box or somewhere safe where I can't find them again.   So, I decided to make somewhere nice to keep them.  I used some birthday money I had gotten from my mum for art materials and purchased Amity Bloom's course on the Artists in Bloom journal, thinking I would make a memory book and include bits of quilting and fabric and paper and anything I could think of to use including my grandmother's rings.  
I didn't quite make it exactly the same as Amity Bloom's or use vintage looking materials but I did follow her process and use my fabric scraps, pages from magazines mum had bought me, watercolour card stock, quilted fabric and some wallpaper we had leftover from doing up mum's house.  

The quilted panel was from a workshop I did with Mary Palmer (award winning quilter and Best in Show at Festival of Quilts so very privileged to have had a workshop with her!).  This has been covering my sewing machine for years and some of the quilting is grand and some of it's pants!  So, I chopped it up to use it to bind the book.
The music paper is wrapping paper from a Christmas present and the little flip our window picture comes from the Simple Things Magazine.  I wish this was the view from my window while I am working from home.  I get to see the roofs of other peoples houses but we do have starlings nesting under the eaves and they sing to me all the day long.  Along with a neighbours barking dog.  Sometimes our dogs answer back but I think he annoys them so they mostly ignore him.

This is a gift bag I was given, so I used one side of it and made a pocket to keep little notes in.  Cotton and Steel fabric on other side with coyotes howling at the moon.

More dogs! Cards I got for my brithday back in November and a stitched card from Christmas made into flip outs and more pockets to put keepsakes into!  Friends and loved ones make it into the book too this way.

Wallpaper, fabric scraps and some texture paste used with a butterfly stencil and some watercolours.  I love this cover as it reminds me of my Dad.  He was an amazing at whistling and could whistle songs and have the birds whistle back at him.  There are so many things my Mum has given me in this book, its nice to have a reminder of Dad too.

I know there is a whole debate on useful objects being art but when you are making with the intention of art and it happens to be useful too I think that's a double bonus!   

So that's it.  My take on Memories for this month's challenge. A bit of everything, some recent memories, some distant, some not even my own but all connected to me and now bound up in a quilted fabric papery something!


  1. This is great, Ruth! It's a very personal piece, full of memories and treasures, and a work of art too :-)

  2. I love this Ruth, there is so much in it not only in terms of physical objects but also in experiences. All of those pockets are just crying out to be filled with even more wonderful pieces :)

  3. This is a wonderful piece of Art. I really like the way you have combined so many different elements and included so many memories. It is also a very lovely thing to have to look through and be reminded of past times and people :)

  4. Thank you for sharing this, Ruth. What a pretty reminder of so many happy things. I had to smile at the story of your dad and his whistling to the birds. My dad did the same, and it's one of my favorite memories of him.

  5. What a wonderful collection of happy memories. I think this challenge was fun because it encouraged us to look back at those special things put away and out of sight. Nice to bring them out into the open.

  6. Ruth, this is grand -stashing memories inside memories. Just simply grand!

  7. I love art journals of all kinds and this one is beautiful! It was fun to do a walk-through of its pages and learn the stories behind the images. :)