My Great-grandmother's Brooch

This is such a special thing, an old brooch that once belonged to my mother’s grandmother.

It was time for me to purchase my maternity bra, but when I tried it on with my wedding dress it showed, so I needed a brooch to hold the dress in place. I had a wardrobe delimna, but didn’t like any of the brooches I saw in the shops. Lucky for me, my mum lent me this old brooch. I had my doubts, thinking I would have to wear a normal bra which has been getting very uncomfortable lately! But when I tried it on it suited fine, which was lucky! This is the ‘something borrowed’ and ‘something old’ to bring me good luck on my wedding day, which I dutifully returned to my mother the same day. I also wore a new blue dress for good luck!

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in your shoe

  • The “something old” represents the couples friends who will hopefully remain close during the marriage. Traditionally this was old garter which given to the bride by a happily married woman in the hope that her happiness in marriage would be passed on to the new bride.
  • “Something new” symbolises the newlyweds’ happy and prosperous future.
  • The “something borrowed” is often lent by the bride’s family and is an item much valued by the family. The bride must return the item to ensure good luck.
  • The custom of the bride wearing “something blue” originated in ancient Israel where the bride wore a blue ribbon in her hair to represent fidelity.

I found this information on Wedding Customs here.

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White Sunhat with Daisy Garland

The purpose of making this sun hat was to practice before trying to make one for a child, possibly my niece who has gone back to live in Darwin and has no use whatsoever for one of my winter beanies!

This is a very special doll my mother gave to my grandma. When nanna went to hospital I was given this doll for safe keeping. I think my mum wants this doll back one day but when I offer she says ‘next time’. So I am taking good care of her by making her a pretty hat, so she doesn’t feel left out because all the other toys are getting clothes made for them, too!

I have real trouble reading patterns as I often say, I need to understand in my mind beforehand how what I am making will work. This means I have a lot of trial and error while I try and make up my own patterns when I want to do something a little more complicated. I looked at images of cotton crochet sun hat on google but did not follow a pattern or any one image idea. I started with a five petal flower then continued with a flat round, then stopped increasing down the sides, making gaps in the five corners. With the brim I started increasing again at the corners, filling in the gaps with increasing stitches. I mostly used double trebles (American trebles) for this hat.

The hat was a little loose on the doll and I made it that way so it wouldn’t ruin the doll’s curls. But it wouldn’t stay on! Looking at the completed hat I decided it needed some more five petal daisies to match the one in the centre. So I came up with the idea to make a little daisy garland to go round the hat to keep it tightly on the doll. The daisies in the garland are the same size as the daisy on the hat, but are made differently so the tips of the petals are not joined in a round. The daisies on the garland were (3 ch, sl st, 3 ch US treble into centre cluster, 3 ch, sl st into centre) repeat 5x, then each flower was joined with 15 ch. I had to do the final sl st of each flower on the opposite side to front so they would sit properly on the garland, all nicely facing the front.

I’m still not sure how I will make one to fit a child though. This used cheap 4ply mercer cotton from Lincraft and a 1.5m hook. It might be a bit fine for a child’s hat, but I wouldn’t want a summer hat to be much thicker either. Making a child’s sunhat is just one more thing on my ‘list of things to do’!

❤ ❤

Pink Doilies my great-grandmother made

These are a pair of embroidered doilies my great-grandmother made which are edged with pink crochet. This is my post for this week’s Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly @ How Sweet The Sound.

I remember these from my childhood. My great-grandmother was so very talented with this, there are many samples of her work in our family, these are the few I have in my possession. My great-grandmother (my mother’s mother’s mother Margaret) embroidered these, as well as the crochet edges. These two are starting to show signs of age, and I know they look like they are in need of an iron, but I dare not touch them!

Here is another doily, this one my grandmother Beverly embroidered. That is my mother’s mother. The fine embroidery is so lovely, I hope one day to improve my skill with this, but I don’t think I will get it this good.
I hope you enjoyed seeing these two samples of our very special family treasures made by my great-grandmother, and my grandmother.
❤ ❤ ❤

Be sure to check out other pretty pinks @ Pink Saturday!

Barbie’s Pink Tea Party

The pink dress I made especially for today’s Pink Tea Party could very well be the most beautiful thing I’ve made so far! I think my Barbie is very pleased to have something so nice to wear to the party today, which is to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Pink  Saturday and is hosted at How Sweet the Sound.

The vintage doll’s cane furniture is the first thing I’ve ever bought from Ebay about two weeks ago. I remember when I was a little girl some of my friends had these but I didn’t, and when I saw them on Ebay I just had to grab it! There was also a four piece lounge set for sale with normal chairs instead of the peacock chairs, but because it was my very first ebay purchase, someone else bid at the very last minute so I lost! I didn’t make the same mistake on the peacock chairs though, and got them for $16 including postage. Probably a little on the expensive side for my modest doll collection as I’m not too serious about it, but I do believe the seller when they said this cane set is about 40 years old! I think it’s a very special thing.

Using a 2.5mm hook and a small ball of baby pink yarn, I started the doll’s dress on Monday afternoon and finished midday Tuesday, so it took less than one day. This is not the first dress I’ve made like this, although I think it’s an improvement on the orignal because it crosses over at the back so you can’t see her knickers – if she is wearing any! The Barbie dresses I make are inspired by a dress I’ve kept and treasured from my childhood which my mother tells me was made by my Nanna Pam. You can’t tell when she is sitting down, but you can pinch the skirt to make pleats appear. I am so tickled pink I could manage to make something as pretty as this!

In an attempt to preserve the doll’s hair as long as possible, I try and keep it tied up in a little snood. Anyone who has collected dolls knows how synthetic hair can ruin over time. But the pretty pink dress needed it’s own hat, so I decided to give making a bonnet a go! I looked on google for images of crochet doll bonnets, but there were not many that I could see. I remember a knitted bonnet I wore as a young child which folded neatly into a square, so I made one up kind of like that. I didn’t follow a pattern at all, and used the same stitches as in the skirt of the pink dress.

The tiny coffee table needed a pink doily, don’t you think? This is my first completed proper doily and it took me between 2 to 4 hours I think, finishing it last Thursday morning. I used a pattern in a book I borrowed from my local library on Monday called “101 Easy Scrap Crochet Projects“. The pattern for this doily is on page 40-41.

This doll’s setting would not be complete without a tiny doll’s teaset but when I looked on ebay for those I decided they were too expensive. But when David took me to the Salvo’s store last Saturday I saw this set for just $1! That was more like it I thought, but didn’t notice until I got to the counter that the teapot has been broken and glued back together. Oh well, I don’t think Barbie minds! And the tiny teddies don’t drink tea anyway. The cheeky things have hidden a big bottle of liquor to sip during today’s party, those Party Animals!!! A good thing too, because there is only one teacup!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my special pink tea party!
❤ ❤ ❤

For more pinkness check out today’s special anniversary of Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Highlights from this week’s party

Dress for a Special Teddy

This pair of teddy bears are very special to me, I’ve had them for nearly two years now.

I knew I wanted to get my grandma something soft and pink, hopefully something that could bring her at least a little bit of comfort. David found one and I loved it straight away, knowing it was what I needed to give her. I put a big, bright pink ribbon around it’s neck. It was a hard time for my family, David took me back to the newsagent and bought me another one. When my nanna passed away, I was given the option to look after her teddy so chose to keep the pair together.

I recently made a dress for one, it was very easy. I might make another one in a different colour for the other teddy.  I simply made a circle chain with a circumference as wide as the chest, rows of single crochet make up the bodice. Then I used a shell stitch for the skirt. Last to do was 2 shoulder straps leaving holes for the buttons, and sewing on the prettiest buttons I could find that would suit. I chose ones with a nice shell texture.

It might be fun to make a frilly pair of underpants to go under the dress, if I ever get around to it.

Good Luck Charms for the Garden

The ritual of placing good luck charms in the garden is a way to remind yourself to do the best you can as it’s caretaker. There is no voodoo or magic involved, other than the magic of self-motivation. I made up a little ceremony where David and I each chose a pebble from the collection of smooth river rocks sitting with my pony-tail palm. We then gave our pebble a peck and wrote the word ‘grow’ on it with a laundry marker. We then chose a plant to pop the pebble under and whispered ‘grow’ as we placed it. There is no witchery behind this, just a little ceremony to help us try hard while looking after our garden and to help us do our best. I believe it is a powerful thing indeed to convince the mind to have faith in something such as a little magical help in the garden.

This pair of lovey-dovey puppies started off the whole business of me placing lucky love charms. They were a gift from my late grandmother, and at the time I really wondered what I would do with such an impractical gift. I was in an unhappy relationship at the time and the significance of these puppies were lost on me. Now, I’m very grateful they take pride of place in our garden.

My granny also gave me a couple of windchimes, one year after the other, perhaps because my response to the first one must have seemed very positive. At the time, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with such things. But now one hangs from the pot plant hook with the newly planted peppermint, which looks as if its going to take off, and some lemon balm for herbal tea. Last spring I saw some crows pulling the coconut fibre from our hanging pots, presumably to line their nests. I hoped the sound of the chime as they tugged at the pot would scare them off, and so far it seems to have worked. But perhaps nesting season is over and the real telling will be if they come back next year. The other small and cute windchime hangs on the back sliding door that opens out to the courtyard. A soft pleasant ringing sound nicely reinforces a trip out into the garden before engaging in some pottering.

After some recent trips to the beach near David’s mum’s house, we couldn’t help ourselves but to pick up some rocks from the sand that we thought looked like love-hearts! Of course, in some cases you need a good deal of imagination to see it, not unlike being able to see things in clouds. But that is part of the fun! One person insists a rock is shaped like a heart, when for another the connection is dubious. We have a few little rocks placed around our garden, that with some stretch of the imagination resemble love hearts. Here are a couple I think look like hearts!

We almost never walk into what we call a ‘junk shop’, shops that sell poorly made bric-a-brac cheaply so those on a tight budget can get some retail therapy. But one day we were on the hunt for ‘lovey-dovey’ stuff to decorate our home, and we found this cute little piece to pop in our garden. I insisted a junk shop would have heaps of lovey-doveyness and I was right!

Here are two more  examples of lucky love charms in our garden. We got the love-heart bird house for $1.79 at Bunnings, it’s so cute! The dragonfly love charm was $2.95 from Turner’s Nursery and sits with our new Thai Chilli plant.