Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Post ... Parts I & II

 
PART I of Today's Post

Did you ever have an Autograph book?  I did ... back in the 1960's I remember I had one and so did a lot of my girlfriends.  Everyone was in a bit of a craze about it then, and we wrote silly poems which pretty much all started with "Roses are red, violets are blue ... ".  Not very imaginative.
 
 
132 years ago ...
 
This particular Autograph book belonged to a relative of mine, and I unearthed it in the family farmhouse years ago when the last member of my family (my Great Aunt Mary) was leaving the house forever.  The sentiments in this little book are so touching, and I thought it very fitting to share it with you on Valentine's Day.  So pour yourself a tea or coffee, maybe even a biscuit or two, and have yourself a little read ...
 
(NOTE:  if you don't care to read through this book, scroll down to Part II which has some Valentine craftiness)
 
The first page is from the book's owner, Jennette Paisley ...
 
To My Friends, Oh! keep these pages pure and white, Unless the glow of truth be there.  Let no rude hand presume to write, Or stain with flattery leaves so fair;  These lines so highly prized by thee, Because 'tis friendship, gems them o'er,  In future years more dear will be,  When those who penned them are no more.  Jennette Paisley
 
This next entry jumped out at me ... it's written by my Great Grandfather (Mom's grandfather) ...
 
Dear Jennette, In long years hence, mid other scenes, This writing you chance to see, Think of him whose fingers traced it, Think kindly as he thinks of thee, Your friend, Wm Radford (1889)
 
Most of the entries relate to friendship, heaven, freedom from sorrows, etc.
 
To Jennette, May heaven protect and keep thee, From every sorrow free, And Grant thee every blessing, Is my earnest wish for thee, Your Cousin, Laura Paisley (1882)
 
The penmanship is amazing ... my son can't even write in cursive, and he's 14!!  They just don't teach it like they did back then.  Homework now is all typed on the computer.  I think it's a shame to lose such a fine art ...
 
(1883)
 
This next entry had such a beautiful poem of friendship ...
 
They say that a shell when far from the main, When far from the bright sea foam, Will murmur the songs of the sea again, The songs of its native home;  Then would I know some shell-like spell, To recall kind thoughts of me, And to murmur memories, like that shell, From distant friends to thee. (1883)
 
Some friends have wished thee free from care, Others joy and wealth,  Some have wished thee blessings rare, Long life and constant health.  My wish for thee is better far, than all thy friends have given,  That when thou leavest this world of care, Thy soul may rest in heaven. (1889)
 
I have a feeling this entry may have been written by someone either very young or very old as the writing is not as good, but the sentiment is heartfelt ...
 
When this you see, Remember me, And bear me in your mind, Let others say what 'ere they may, Speak of me as you find.
 
And this from a loving sister (would only my sisters think of me the same) ...
Dews of the night are diamonds of the morn, so the tears we weep here may be pearls in Heaven. (1882)
A joyus song, is floating along, Happy & gay, may your life pass away,  May the same sweet strain, Ring in Heaven again (1883).
As gold more brilliant, from the first appears, Thus friendship brightens, by the length of years (1889)
 
May thy joys be as deep as the ocean, Thy sorrows as light as its foam (1890)

Much can be said about the good old days, and I think these sentimental autographs are a perfect window in time that shows us a tenderness people seemed to have for each other back then, and also a true appreciation for the written word of poetry. 
 
PART II of Today's Post
 

I recently participated in a heart swap put on by Shelley over at all4meggymoo.  My swap partner was Val at Yarni Gras! Now that I know my partner received her package, I can post about the things I made.  We needed to send five heart-related items, one of which had to be handmade.  This is what I sent out.
 
A pack of four coasters, following a pattern in the book "Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts".  The heart applique was my addition ...


 
 A tiny black bear adapted from the 'tinys' in the book "Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi" by Anna Hrachovec.  I did the black bear as they are native to our province ...
 



Tiny glass beads for eyes :)
 
Patchwork heart garland.  My own creation ...
 


Vintage button on each heart

 

The backside of the patchwork hearts
 

 

 
 
An embroidered felt heart, my own creation ...



 
 
And a simple pot holder, which I based on a pot holder that my grandmother made years and years ago ...
 
The pot holder I made
 
The pot holder my grandmother made
  
I enjoyed packaging the final products as much as making them!
 
 


 

And these are the lovely things Val sent to me ...
 
Two very pretty crocheted heart decorations.  I don't know how to crochet, so I really appreciated these!

 
Heart (& rabbit!!) cookie cutters, together with a felt rabbit (Smudge will be jealous) ...

 
A very looOOoong (so much work!!) crocheted tiny hearts garland ...
 
 
And a cute crocheted heart pin which I now have pinned to my jacket :)
 
 
So many nice handmade goodies ... thanks so much Val, everything is beautiful!
 
 Thanks for stopping by!
 
Wendy
I hope you didn't fall asleep through this long post :)
 
 
 
 


28 comments:

  1. What a treasure that autograph book is. How wonderful that it survived all these years. Some of the handwriting is so pretty.

    All of the swap gifts you made are so nice. Val is very lucky. What a fun thing to participate in. You received nice gifts too. Happy Valentine's Day.

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    1. The book is very fragile now, most of the page have come away from the binding. There were only a few blank pages in the book (I showed only a few), so Jennette must have had a large circle of friends and relatives.

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  2. What a beautiful book, wonderful sentiments and that handwriting....it's a shame we aren't taught to write like that now!
    I think your little creations are fab and what a great little swap! :) x

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    1. I agree ... the book is something special!

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  3. I so agree with you about handwriting becoming a lost art form. I taught second grade for many years and during those years I taught my kiddos cursive. They loved it just as much as I loved teaching it. I would play classical music as they practiced...it was the only time of day they were quiet! ha! Anyway..your autograph book is stunning! What a treasure you have there! Wow! And your creations are BEAUTIFUL!!! I mean you make me want to go out right now and get a sewing machine so I can teach myself to sew! The garland is adorable and that little bear! Oh my! You are a talent girl!

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    1. I remember very well being taught cursive writing ... every day a new letter, and there was the 'proper' way to do the swirls on the capital letters. Our class was very attentive to it as well. I don't understand why it isn't thoroughly taught now ... even my daughter still prints if she needs to write something down. Definitely pick up an inexpensive sewing machine and give it a whirl!! There are so many books out there that teach the basics, you just can't go wrong :) Wendy

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  4. That autograph book is just incredible. The penmanship alone is poetry. My hand could never produce such beautiful, consistent loops and swirls. And the poetry itself is also a delight.

    And holy craftiness! Astounding what you sent out, and what you received. Was a garland a part of the exchange, or did you just both happen to be garland kindred spirits? Either way, it all made me smile.

    Blessings...

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    1. My mother told me they had plenty of practice in her school days for perfect penmanship (back in the 30s) ... a ruler was smacked down on the child's desk if it was sloppy! She was left-handed and struggled to get it right, but she always had beautiful handwriting as a result. And no, a garland was not part of the swap, just a happy coincidence :)

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  5. Hey Wendy, we had some old autograph books in a drawer when I was young, belonged to my grandmother or someone.
    The entries weren't as poetic but the writing was just as beautiful I remember one entry. Someone wrote on the very last page, by hook or by crook I'll be last in this book' and then some cheeky person wrote on the back cover, 'by ham or by bacon I think you're mistaken'.........

    Your swap items both given and received are all lovely and thoughtful......it is fun joining in a swap. And yes, havlf the fun is in the planning and packing .......as well as receiving. i love the black bear and the felt bunny....

    Claire :}

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    1. The humourous entries are the ones we remember the longest (I like that bacon retort!). There were so many entries in my book, but I only posted a few. And yes, I did enjoy the swap and am on the lookout for another one :) Wendy

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  6. I love that autograph book! I do wish that people would still write like that!
    Sarah x

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    1. I wonder if they memorized these poems, made them up, or just copied them from a book. Wendy

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  7. ~ Awww~ The book is beautiful and the verses are treasure indeed... Preserved in time for all to see..Didn't people write wonderfully in those days?....There is a lot to be said for emails and and techno' jargo', but I do love to see beautiful written pieces..The swaps are wonderful too, Wendy! ....Have a Friday full of loveliness.Love Maria x

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    1. It really is a special glimpse into the past. I love the first verse with the author/owner writing about 'these white pages', and now the pages are stained with time ... a bit melancholy. Happy Friday to you Maria :) Wendy

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  8. Wow, what a great post! I certainly did have a little autograph book back in the 1960's, just like you! I appreciate the Victorian versions too.

    Your little heart garland is just adorable! So is the little black bear and embroidered heart. My goodness, you've been busy!

    I love your grandmother's potholder. Isn't it nice to still have it after all these years?

    BTW, I am putting your blog on my sidebar. I should have done that a long time ago!

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    1. Thanks for all your kind comments Mitzi, and also for following :) I actually was looking through some of your old posts and read the one about your father "Rags to Riches". What a wonderful tribute to him! And then when I saw Dubrovnik, well, I was just there last summer and was able to tour the old city and did the walk around the wall ... a beautiful city! Wendy

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  9. That book is amazing. What a treasure. Makes you think we are getting dumber and dumber though. ;) Their writings are so beautiful. All of the crafts are extraordinary. Love the patchwork heart garland! :)

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    1. This book is very special to me and I hate to see it crumbling with age. I might just photograph every page to preserve it somehow. Wendy

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  10. What a beautiful post :) The autograph book is a treasure, I really enjoyed seeing the handwritten pages and reading the poems.
    Love the heart swap items too. So many lovely crafted goodies!

    Have a happy weekend, Wendy :)

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    1. Thank you Hilde, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit :) Wendy

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  11. Wow you sent and received wonderful gifts.
    I'm now a follower of your wonderful blog x

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    1. Thanks for visiting Shelley. That was a fun swap you organized and I really enjoyed getting back into a bit of sewing! Thanks for following :) Wendy

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  12. What a beautiful post, I love the autograph book. The crafty things you have made are so pretty.

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    1. Thanks Gaia, I enjoyed making the hearts ... I can't deny that seeing all your fantastic embroidery added some inspiration for the felt heart :) Wendy

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  13. So many lovely hearts. I do think the garland is super sweet. I had an autograph and I can still see it. Wonder whatever happened to it? So do have all of my HS yearbooks signed by friends. Penmanship is a lost art as is letter writing. Technology has taken over.

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    1. Thank you Stephanie ... I don't know what happened to my autograph book either, but I do have HS yearbooks (well, a couple), but never look at them. Maybe I like looking at other people's histories rather than my own :)

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  14. Wendy! I adore everything you made me. I've been ill so I didn't do a very good post. I just threw one together tonight!
    http://yarnigras.blogspot.com/2013/02/lovely-hearts.html

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  15. Good morning, I'm back again. Last night I popped by but didn't get a chance to read your entry about the autograph books. Being a sentimental type, I wish we wrote things like that still....people in the past would be horrified to see what we've done with our language! As for me, I never had one....I never had a journal or diary either....too old to start now!

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