Wednesday, July 28, 2010

beautiful urn cover

I am so amazed at the beauty of this piece by Pondhopper Studio! It's a one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn urn cover, commissioned by me. This is a unique concept, and I hope that Pondhopper's covers will catch on quickly and become another option for keeping a loved one cozy and close to home.

For me, it began when I picked up my mother's ashes at the funeral home, just days after her service. They handed me a plastic box, similar in size to a shoe box. I didn't quite know what to do next nothing felt emotionally right. The urns I had seen did not look like anything I wanted to display. And to be honest, I wasn't ready to take her ashes out of the box. So I displayed the plastic box in the bookshelf for a while. Later I knit an urn cozy to wrap around the box, but my knitting skills are rudimentary at best. While it was the gesture that mattered, I still hoped to find something that perfectly suited my sentimental memories of her.

I came across Lorraine's Pondhopper Studio shop on Etsy last year, and was blown away by the beauty of her repurposed sewn creations - from skirts to spats, dresses to wraps. When I approached her about possibly making an urn cover, she immediately understood the concept. We both believe in repurposing sentimental items, and it was a perfect fit. I cannot believe how lovely this cover is, just look at the amazing detail!

I'm very excited to announce that Pondhopper Studio now has a Modern Mourner section in the Etsy shop, and I'll be featuring a link to Lorraine's work on my upcoming website. I think this is the beginning of an amazing new product. Whether you plan on scattering a loved one's ashes and want something beautiful to carry them in, or if you'd like to keep them close to home, Pondhopper's repurposed urn covers are a simply stunning and original concept. Each cover is lovingly handmade, and can be personalized with your own sentimental remnants.

I've even ordered one for myself, loosely based on Victorian mourning clothing. I see it as a personal memento mori that will lovely to look at. I'll be sure to post pictures when it's complete. In the meantime, check out Pondhopper Studio's blog.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

flea market find

I was very excited to find these modest remembrance cross stitch samplers at the Alameda Flea Market last week. Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong places, but finding remembrance or mourning items in California is rare. Did we leave our mourning skills behind when we migrated west? I was also thrilled that they cost only $10 each. What a deal!

My first impulse was to change the frames, but on closer look I realized the framing itself is fairly old - a Ben Franklin Crafts store purchase from the 50's or 60's. I imagine someone inherited these samplers several years ago, and lovingly framed them as part of their personal history. Even though the framing's not my taste, I have to respect they are part of the heritage and leave them be.

Speaking of personal history, I also spent the weekend in our loft going through old photo albums, looking for pictures of my dad for his upcoming memoir, "Confessions of a Horseshoer", to be published by a university press. I'm so proud of him! He's led an amazing life and continues to inspire me everyday. My favorite cat Gentle Henry kept me company, and by the looks of it got a little bored with the process.