Sunday, November 14, 2010

A love for all seasons

For the last couple of weeks our house has been abuzz with excitement and preparations for the wedding of our lovely friends Alex and James. First, new frocks had to be made. Mine, a navy strapless number with ruffles all over the skirt, Pearl's a gorgeous blue inspired by the hessian dress in the filmclip for Megan Washington's song, Halloween.
She also had a matching bolero made with one of the many many fabrics that recently arrived in our Alewives order. Olive's dress also had Alewives input, and was inspired by her 2 favourite books, The Owl and the Pussycat and Little Seed. This little dress actually made its debut last week at the Arias, but, being the current fave, was of course first pick for wedding dress-ups as well. But the thing that really kept me up late at night (no seriously, baby-related sleep deprivation has nothin' on this one) was the pair of pillowcases I decided to embroider as a wedding gift. As always, I wanted to give something handmade. But I also wanted to make something useful, and something that wouldn't take up too much (or any) space in their house. My lovely friend Louisa has a set of 4 quite stunning embroideries that her grandmother made for her when she was a child, which I've always rather coveted. They are trees. One for each season of the year. So it was decided that I would create a pair of pillowcases with seasonal tree embroidery down the edges, so that when the pillows are next to each other on the bed, the trees will all be together. Like so.

Now, I am not experienced in embroidery. I've basically never done it because it always seemed like it'd take too long. Boy was I right on that front. But, it was a labour of love, and I was actually quite surprised by how well things were going after I finished the first tree, Spring, so I persevered. If I do say so myself, I reckon they're tops. We wanted to keep them, actually. Olive was particularly taken with Spring. Nothing like a billion little french-knot blossoms to impress really.

I was also really kind of excited about how the trees looked from the back. I saw once, a long time ago, I do not know where, an exhibition of embroideries where real-size photos of the backs were exhibited next to the framed fabric. So I actually spent a lot of time looking at the backs of my trees as well as the fronts. It's like the patterns on the back have a mind of their own, as they're being created almost without consciousness from the embroiderer. Cool. This is the back of Summer.

The wedding was spectacular, beautiful, love-filled, and delicious, just as we had anticipated. We know that Alex and James do indeed grow a love for all seasons, so it was wonderful to celebrate it. Yay!


  1. Here's a comment from Sally Dobson that she wasn't able to post -

    Such beautifull pillow cases! Just divine. Great to see you 2 yesterday and your beautiful kiddies. The embroidery artist who has the back as prints is our friend Tim Moore. Keep in touch. Love Sally xxx

  2. What a beautiful, thoughtful, and meaningful present - a lovely symbol to mark a commitment to love. I think your embroidery is tops, too

  3. Wow Annie these are just beautiful and yes I can see why Olive is particularly taken with Spring! love you, mum