- Arts and Design
'Hanging Out' with My Wall Hangings
The ABC heads up My List of Favourite Wall Hangings
Raggedy Ann and Andy insisted on being first...what can I say? (I'm basically a 'pushover' for kids...and words...I really had little choice)...and they are extremely cute in their personal wall-hanging.
Since our grand-daughter was very small, she has loved chanting its message -
'ABC...1.2.3....Fine friends we'll be'
This was a small picture piece of printed material I was given to 'play with'...and so I did, and added gold embroidered stars, and stuffed and puffed sections and detail to give a slight 3D effect - and a calico border and a tiny print edge.
How about my rustic 'hanger'? It's a varnished branch from one of our farm trees. Seems to belong, somehow.
My Wall Hangings
....are amongst my Most Favourite Things
This one is called 'Miracles'. Its message is pretty well symbolic of most things about me (but especially my sewing), and it suggests -
...are by Appointment Only'
I never seem to get tired of their messages...maybe because I painstakingly stitched almost all of them. The love of creating these particular treasures, came out of an attempt to become a patchwork quilter. Well-ll-ll...if you look closely at the amazing evenness (?) of my sewing supposedly straight lines, you will see I have wavery eyes or sewing technique or something else that's just simply out of step with uniformity...and you will understand why I never developed into a passionate patcher. (I tell myself it's just that it's an important part of being a 'free spirit' and an individual, and being claustrophobic, and anything else I can think of...etc., etc.)
There is another method behind the madness of hand-sewing by choice - your needle goes slower...have you noticed? And when threading the needle, you can hold it up to the light or in front of a corner of the newspaper or an envelope or similar white object - but when it's attached to the sewing machine, you're likely to go cross-eyed or out of your tiny mind...or similar!
It was always a Red Alert moment when I pulled out my sewing machine when our kids were young. EVERYONE would scatter, including any cats or dogs...even husbands! "Oh no!", you could hear them cry, as they ran to the most distant corners of our farm. They ALL knew the blood, sweat and tears that were about to flow...almost as fluently as the muttered bad language, and sighs and thumps, and gnashing of teeth...all arrayed against the backdrop of a whirring sewing machine. I sew at top speed in order to get it all over with as quickly as possible...which probably explains a lot.
Ah well...I'm a great crocheter and knitter...and wobbling along as a wordsmith, also. Can't have it all!
(PS: I blew this pic up for a 'Text with Big Picture' module, and gave it an appropriate heading and sub-heading...and felt really proud - UNTIL I looked more closely at the appalling 'wobbles', and how the 'up close and personal' view magnified my mistakes and meanderings! Oh no! I don't need to focus on such feeble foibles...and neither do you! Please, just stick to the message...now THAT is a worthy whimsy!)
...is described like this
'My House is Small
No Mansion for a Millionaire,
But there is room for Love
and there is room for Friends,
That's All I Care'
Can't claim creation rights of this small treasure...can't even actually remember its origins - just saw it in a shop somewhere in time, and have found it's dear little message appropriate to the houses we have called 'Home'.
But...my 'Home Sweet Home' - ...gives you the 'Big Picture'
With great pride, this wall-hanging lives in our special 'corner of this world' ..as a tribute.
It's 'cutesy'....it's 'down-home folksy'...it's the name of the place that we love more than any other on this Earth! It's the place we plan to leave from 'in a box'.
We fell in love with our farm and its dear old farmhouse at first sight and sincerely get homesick for it when we are away more than 10 days...truly...that is our limit!
The only difference to reality is that our Home is a single storey - did I tell you I hate stairs? I negotiate them when I have no choice, but have not had to scale stairs on a daily basis since we were first married and living in a rented flat. The only stairs I hope to navigate in the future will the the Stairway to Heaven and the Pearly Gates. Yes, I know - 'beautiful dreamer' and all that jazz!)
What can I say? We are blessed with OUR very own 'Home Sweet Home'....
And On That Farm - ...They Had Some Chooks!
Until I encountered my first chook as an adult, I had no idea how much I would love them.
As baby 'chickadees', they are the cutest, fluffiest, 'cuddle them to your cheek' type creatures you will find. It's impossible not to love them then.
But they sprout feathers and look quite 'yukky' for a while...until...they become little chooks. And in short order, they begin to lay eggs.
At first those eggs are little squidgy offerings with an eeny-weeny egg yolk in the centre....sometimes not! And they grow larger...and larger...until they are real live regular size eggs...and if they come from a farm like ours...and if the chooks feed all day on lucerne and every bug and worm known to Man...they lay the most beautiful, sunshiny yellow, tastiest eggs in the world.
(Pardon the boast...but people from many kilometres away 'phone first to order eggs to collect as they pass our farm!)
So...do I Love Chooks?? You betcha bottom dollar I do!
Then Again, Perhaps You Could Say
...It's a Generational Thing
...and ain't this the truth??
If I'd have known Grandchildren were so much fun
I'd have had them first.
...and I DO know where this came from - my grand-daughter...some years ago. I love it because of the memories it evokes every time I look at it - of the countless fun and loving times we continue to share. If I'd have known the joys ahead....well-ll-ll...
Bees Make Honey - ...and Bears Eat Honey
...and I eat Honey, too....Don't you?
Ah-h-h-h...I found this cute wall hanging in a Charity Shop...unfinished, unloved anymore...and I just had to rescue it! Only another crooked wannabe-sewing person like me could have the empathy to buy and finish this 'sweet' treasure. Apart from the fact that there's another crooked seamstress out there who is just as hopeless as me, I love the sweet message -
'Home is Where your Honey is'
This treasure (warts and all) lives in my Kitchen...and I love it almost as much as I love the bees who have lived in our sealed off Lounge chimney for some years. We have an arrangement...we don't hassle them in any way, and in fact, talk to them out loud and in our minds...often. And they don't sting us or our animals. They just generally buzz around on a balmy sunny day...and I find comfort in their bzz-zz-zz-zz-ing.
Hearts Galore - ...or a Heap of Hearts
...or have a Heart...or any other Hearty thing your Heart desires!
Thanks to my woeful photography, or insufficient lighting or any other excuse we can grab and run with...the colours of this wondrous work are not depicted at their best. The Blue is a Deep Royal Blue, and the Red is Post Box Red...and why, oh why, can I not capture its beauty in living colour? (Basically because I'm not a photographer's armpit...that's why!...just get over it!)
This masterpiece was what I created whilst all crafters around me were making Queen-size patchwork quilts...and they still had theirs finished about a month before mine! (Did I mention I am also not a patchwork quilter's armpit, either?)
Ah well...some of us dream the impossible dream.
(PS: I plan to keep trying with this photo...I'm determined to capture the beauty of its colours.)
Learn to Be - ...Your Own Free Spirit.
I REALLY like this thought.
It sincerely gives me license to be ME.
Where was it all those decades ago when I was YOUNG?? Just imagine the freedom it promises.
Free to BE...whatever!...Wow!
The good news is...I learned the lesson...it just took me a few years to really GET it! But honestly, I can seriously identify with that little worm who grew wings! Been there, done that...and now I'm flying, too.
Just Like ABBA - ...I Believe in Angels
And so my love of all type of 'Angel' manifestations grew...and blossomed.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered Squidoo Angels, hovering around...blessing here and blessing there...and leaving much joy wherever they 'touch down'.
What follows are my angel wall-hangings (although the one above seems to kind of qualify, given the 'spirit' bit, and the wings).
Could it be that 'Free Spirits' are actually Angels in disguise?
Well, of course Angels Can Fly - ...we ALL know that!
But just think - 'Because they make light of everything'.
Oh-h-h-h, isn't that nice?
What a super message. It's FAR too easy for we humans to make 'heavy' of many things - and when it's all boiled down to the 'nitty-gritty' - how much can we really change with just our worries and fears? Not too much...huh?
Let's make a promise to ourselves to just 'lighten up'. Lose the fear. Drop the doldrums. Shrug off the worries. Wiggle out from under the woes.
Choose Life...and choose to live it lightly..
If the angels can...we CAN!
Don't think twice...just DO it!
Angels Come - ...And Angels Go
...but NOT usually in this shape and size!
Isn't this a hoot? Can you see he has an unshaven chin, and a hairy chest...and don't you just love the slippers?
I just couldn't resist making it when I first saw the idea in a magazine.
And in the dark of night, in my insomniac hours (and whenever the man of the house was away down the paddock, or off talking to another farmer somewhere)...I was busily cutting and sewing. The masterpiece was born...and it grew.
There was much skullduggery and 'secret women's business' to keep the whole thing under wraps until...Christmas 2004...when it was my 'surprise' present to my husband.
And ever since, it has hung above his office desk, to remind him that he IS special to his family, friends and 'four-leggeds', as well. (oh!..sorry chooks...and all of you 'girls', too!)
Vikings Invade Australian Countryside!
Well-ll-ll not really and truly the way you may think.
First it was my heart, and then it was my home...
first a ring or two around my finger,
and then a 'treasure' or two....
Here are the wall-hanging ones!
A Birthday Present
....made especially for me
In olden times (much 'oldener' than me!)...there were bell pulls in castles and grand manors, so the gentry could summon their staff.
Today, these are duplicated (without the bell connection) as charming wall hangings.
I always admired the ones my parents-in-law proudly displayed in their home...and those dear people commissioned a superb Danish cross-stitcher to make this particular wall hanging for a special birthday... my 30th or 35th.
Because of my great love of animals, they chose this depiction of European varieties.
With its traditional heavy brass fittings, both top and bottom, it is truly a much beloved work of art.
(Yet another pic for me to keep trying to improve, so you can appreciate its true beauty!! Aaarrgh!)
An Inherited 'Treasure'
....Living on Our Walls for some years now
This was the wall hanging I loved and admired most at my parents-in-law's home.
It hung above their dining table, and I never stopped enjoying hearing the translation - amazingly 'green' and environmental for its day -
'The Day has Sun
The Night has Stars
The Town has Houses
The Paddock is Green
Take care of Nature
Be careful what you take away
So that the Earth can still be
Fruitful and Beautiful'
in every way.
An Amazing 'Find'
...in an Antique Shop
I rounded the corner inside an antique shop that had once been a grand old home in a nearby seaside town...and out of the corner of my eye, saw something hanging on the narrow strip of wall between the doorway and a tall sideboard.
I instantly recognised the words as being Danish - although I could only translate some of them.
The lady shopkeeper could not believe someone had finally recognised what language it was - and most especially by an Australian!
Well-ll-ll that was almost enough to capture my heart, but then my husband translated it fully for me, and all choice was removed.
It just HAD to be mine.
It says -
'Come from the South,
Come from the North,
Come to us,
where we live
Come to an everyday meal,
Come to a Feast,
Come and be our
(Like mostly happens with verses in other languages, this no longer rhymes when translated.
But perhaps you can see the rhyming quality, even though you don't speak the language?
It's beautifully lilting in Danish)
Mother and Baby - ...a Gift...a Tribute
Made for my Danish mother-in-law for a Mother's Day gift.
It seemed to epitomise all that a Mother and Child are. Yet another 'love at first sight'...translated it onto graph paper, and copied it to material...ready for embroidery.
It was a hit...and well-loved by my in-laws in their bedroom, above their bed for many years.
Later, we reclaimed it as part of our inheritance - and it has hung in our bedroom, ever since.
For All the Love My 'Other' Parents Gave to Me
This was the least I could do.
And every stitch was made
with extreme gratitude and pleasure.
Now they are our Angels -
Still close by...still watching over us...
Just different, that's all.
SPEAKING OF ANGELS?
I thought I saw an angel
...and I did, I did,
This Angel left me a Blessing.
Now my Day is SO much Brighter