Thursday, September 1, 2011

Something old, something dug up and something new

Dear readers,

Yesterday a package came for me and it was from my blogger friend, Antmee. What's in the package? Something antique. I want to say "antiquish" but I don't think it's a real word. I gave her some scraps in return but I can't show you what they are as I just mailed them today. I will show you a few pieces of what I received.

These 2 pieces are cross stitch on linen. The first one has a border of crochet. The second one, I think the border is drawn-work - something I've never tried before.

These 3 pieces are mainly lazy daisies stitches on linen and for the last one, I think the fabric is a tightly woven cotton.

These 2 pieces are mainly satin stitches which is a stitch I'm very bad at. You need a lot of patience and precision.

I'm very impressed with this last piece mainly because the edging is made of tatting! Unfortunately, the whole piece is starched so it feels rather unnatural. Maybe it is a requirement to starch such items in the past?

I had the idea that I could make something new incorporating these "antiquish" pieces. But I'll be honest with you, I don't quite know where to start.

I dug up something I had embroidered a long time ago and forgotten.

I was really copying the embroidery style of my aunt-in-law. See the embroidery on the bonnet and shoe? I guess the UFO will make a good drawstring pouch?

This week my family participated in a ceremony to move the buried remains of two relatives to a new home. Singapore is a land scarce country. If your loved ones are buried, sooner or later, the land where the cemetery is will be reclaimed by the government and you'll be notified to cremate the remains. Yes, Singapore land is for the living to put it crudely. It happened to my father many years ago. One day me mom received notification to cremate his remains. I did not attend the ceremony as me mom often gives me a free pass. The land he was buried in soon became landed property for terrace houses. Hmmm, I wonder if the current residents knew?

On Monday, we had to move the remains of my FIL and me hub's granny. After the cremation, the remains were housed at a columbarium. I'll be honest. I'm quite very squeamish when it comes to the dead. But I was quite brave throughout. I did not faint at all. I guess I base a lot of what I know on movies and TV shows. I had the impression that after cremation, you get fine ash. Totally not true. What I saw was medium pieces of concrete. Hardly any ashes.

Okay, this part was quite gross. As part of the ceremony, we had to use our FINGERS to pick up a piece of the skull and place it in the urn. (literally move house, get it?) Which means we had to do it TWICE. I did it without fainting. My kids gamely did it without a fuss. Amazing. I guess I set the example. Good job, mom! Actually, the idea of touching the skull sounds worse than the actual act. It was no different from picking up a pebble. Swear.

Of course I boasted to me mom about touching the skull without fainting and you know what she said? For my father, she used chopsticks! She had a good laugh over us having to use our fingers.

I know that for some culture/religion, cremation is not allowed. I wonder if these people are allowed to be buried forever? As for me, I have told my family I want a cremation and I don't even want my remains to be kept. That's right, gone with the wind for me.

I hope I have not put you guys off with all these talk of dug-up remains and cremation. Let's look at something new, shall we?

I made another boxy zip bag. This time I lessened the bulk where the handles are. I did not break any needles but I'm still thinking there ought to be a more elegant way to sew the handles.

This is something I'm quite good at. Making simple functional wristlets. I'm very attracted to fresh, young colours and I think this fabric fits the bill. Normally, I would not want to add unnecessary details but somehow when I look at this wristlet, I just want to add a flap!

Today I am using the new blogger to write my post. It's making me nervous. Does anyone have problems with it?

Come September 25th, I would have been blogging for 4 years. I will do a giveaway to mark it. I'm considering giving away my scraps because I have too much! I've been giving my scraps to a few crafters who make small items in Singapore. I'm almost embarrassed to lump more on them.  Would anyone want my scraps?


SewLindaAnn said...

Good Morning Jane! Yes, I'm sure there's many of us who would love your scraps. After I read your post I had to laugh at the header. It was really brave of you, but also like you said a good example to the kids. I personally think cremation should be the only way these days. When you think about it there will be no room left at some point. I LOVE that boxy bag as I've written before, I love wristlets too. Probably because there's so many fun options. What about using the embroidery on linen pouches for a special touch. I also have lots of pieces I collect for something, I'll find out what that something is one day.

Bethany said...

I'm Catholic and I don't think we're supposed to be cremated but people do it all the time, and I think that's what I want. It's a huge deal here if you want to dig up a cemetary for other purposes - it just isn't done. I used to work at a veterinarian's office and people used to cremate their dogs - the first time I saw ashes I had the same reaction as you - not ashes really, but more like broken concrete. Your embroidery pieces are really pretty - but I'd have no idea what to do with them other than wrap them up and keep them in a drawer. I'm creative like that.
I've been using the new blogger for a while now and have only had a few minor hiccups (which is normal with blogger anyway).

Little Blue Mouse said...

I'm with you Jane on the cremation. I want my ashes sprinkling on the garden to make the plants grow or in the field. It amuses me to think that the hens will eat my ashes and then the family will eat me via the eggs! I got the idea from an old Yorkshire song called 'On Ilkley Moor bar t'hat'.

tamdoll said...

Those embroidered pieces are nice, I bet they would look great as part of a bag, even as a flap on one to showcase the embroidery.

Your story was interesting - I can't imagine having to dig up remains for new people to move in, where I live in NH, there are cemeteries that are hundreds of years old. Being Jewish, cremation's not allowed, I never thought about it much really.

And .. I didn't know there was a new blogger... I always use LiveWriter and it posts my things to blogger for me (free download online, check it out).

Your bags, as usual are lovely! That boxy zip bag fabric is great. Do you ever use D-rings for handles? That would ease bulk I think. I have so many scraps, it's ridiculous.. I always think I'm going to do some patchwork with it all, haven't gotten around to it yet.

Chris H said...

I totally understand why you had to cremate your relatives... Singapore is a very small country!

Here we have masses of room for cemetery's... some people do choose to be cremated too, and have their ashes put in a very small plot in the cemetery.

Your bag is lovely, so are the old doilies!

Carol & Eddy said...

Jane, i've always wanted to tell you that I look forward to reading your entries cos I love current issues especially local ones since I now reside in Singapore - and you do so well in writing the ones that I want to read about :-)oh yes, and i love it that you craft and sew as well. would love your scraps but honestly, i have heaps of my own so let's clutter someone else's home :-)keep up the great job!

Miranda said...

This post has been very interesting. Here a cemetery is where you bury people, they pretty much stay there forever. I can't imagine if people had to dig them up and move them..
I recently switched to the new blogger, it's different but I've never had any issues/problems with it. I love your boxy zip bag. The handles look good. Maybe for the handles you could make the part of the bag where the handle attaches open and then tuck it in and put the end of the handle inside and sew it..

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