Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Living Urns

I've been thinking about what to do with ashes, trying to think outside the urn. Currently I'm knitting a new urn cozy to replace an earlier version (I'm still low on the knitting learning curve.) What else can be done with them? How can ashes be used in a way that's beneficial?

For one thing, ashes are rich in phosphorous, which helps plants grow. So what about a Living Urn? A little terrarium globe like this one from Doodle Bird Designs could make a lovely and discreet home for a small amount of a loved one's ashes. I know this may be a little odd, but the idea grows on me (no pun intended!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Civil War Era Mourning Quilt

This is a beautiful example of a mourning quilt. The patches are mostly men's clothing, with what may be a Civil War uniform. The geometric simplicity of the pattern is masculine, yet there are sweet needlepoint embellishments scattered throughout.

Mourning (or memory) quilts from back in the day were part remembrance, part necessity - clothing material was scarcer than it is now, and so reuse was almost a given when someone passed away. There weren't exactly Salvation Armies to receive the clothes, and there weren't Gaps and Bed Bath & Beyonds to replenish our closets. Today, with a renewed interest in upcycling, memory quilts are both a way to remember our loved ones as well as find a meaningful reuse for their clothing.