Wednesday, November 9, 2011

between here and there

When someone leaves us, where do they go? What images of this Other Place console us? For me, it's often something that evokes a romantic and wistful journey. That's why I love these enchanting prints by Theater Clouds.

These images (the one above is "Somewhere Between") are actually photos of paper miniature theaters, constructed with care to create a dreamy sense of atmosphere. I find these sailboats comforting, and I wonder if something like this would be much more soothing than the sympathy cards covered with the traditional lilies.

I also adore the lofty sentiments of this balloon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Behold the Medium, sterling silver ring and necklace by BloodMilk. These pieces were inspired by Lily Dale, a small town of spiritualists where the living and the departed commune on a daily basis.

Are these the tender and gracious hands of the spiritualist ... or the spirit?

Monday, September 26, 2011

unexpected ghosts

I love all things lovely, ghostly and ethereal, especially in when encountered unexpected places. These chicken wire figures from Pinterest (via Dudecraft) are absolutely enchanting.

Too often ghosts are either silly or scary. Why can't they always be beautiful like this?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

vintage cigar box for photos and flowers

Can you think of anything more nostalgic, colorful and cheery than vintage cigar boxes? I was so excited to find these at Sunday's Alameda Flea Market, only $20 for the entire batch! The rips and scuffs only add to their well-loved patina of time. Someone cared enough to store these for all these years, and I now hope to give them new life as potential memorial displays.

Vintage cigar boxes are ideal displays for photos, flowers, or both. Especially remembrance services for men, where you don't want to go too frilly with the floral arrangements. I've placed old photos directly inside the box alongside succulents and airplants, but you can use mini clothespins to attach the photos inside the raised lid. These boxes make wonderful centerpieces, or can be the center of attention on a memory table.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

urn cozies and vintage books

Here are a couple of new knit urn cozies, which will be available for sale on my soon-to-be-revised website (details soon!) This lovely wine colored cozy is by Andrea Lesley Crochet. Andrea's an amazing Etsy seller well-known for her adorable tea cozies. So while you may not be in the market for an urn cozy at this time, please check out her tea cozies, they'll make the perfect gift sure to help warm up chilly autumn evenings.

The lovely thing about knit urn cozies is that they're simply created to cover the plastic box that most people receive from the funeral home. Whether you're planning to scatter the ashes at a later date, or simply don't know what you want to do just yet, knit cozies like these offer a nice warm, textured alternative to a stark plastic box.

I personally love the way these cozies look with vintage, well-loved books. The knit cozy below is another nice option by The Hat Pit.

One of my goals with this project is to help people find ways to bring urns into their daily lives - so many people I've spoken with don't know what to do with urns they receive, and all too often they end up (guiltily) in the back of a closet. In their attempts to be respectful, traditional urns can unintentionally take on an ominous presence. For me, these knit cozies are a friendly and unassuming alternative. They don't suck the air out of a room the way formal urns can.

I hope others will agree with me!

Monday, June 27, 2011


When you think of urns, the words "soft" and "tactile" rarely come to mind. I'm hoping to change that with knit urn cozies. This one is created by Andrea Lesley Crochet, who's well known for her handcrafted tea cozies. Isn't this lovely?

Monday, May 9, 2011

you are loved...

Sometimes we all need to be reminded.

Shanna Murray's lovely wall decals provide a sweet way to remember. Alone or adorned with pictures or mementos, these decals can be placed on a window, a wall, or any place that will help brighten your day.

It's funny, I had just been thinking about the symbolism of knots, thanks to Art of Mourning's Symbolism Sundays (one of the highlights of my week):
Let’s take a look at the knot itself. The symbol itself is woven in on itself, enough to consider that two individuals are tying together to establish an interwoven union where two become one in the symbol. Next, there is the understanding of the knot becoming tighter as the two ends become further apart. Once again, distance only makes two people closer through its very nature. The knot also loops around on itself and travels in an eternal twist, for the love between the couple is forever undying. Put all these together and you have a rather special and beautiful symbol, one that encompasses much of the basis of what sentimental jewels are created for.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sentimental Repurposing: Books

I'm a big fan of repurposing, especially if it's sentimental. My grandfather was a great reader, I have many fond memories of browsing the wall of books at his lakehouse. When he passed away, I held onto a few books that either held memories, or were especially beautiful. The rest, I believe, were sold at the estate sale.

Now I wish I had held onto all of them, so that they could've been transformed into something amazing like this Book Rug by Pamela Paulsrud (via Recyclart). How awesome is this?

What do you do with the uncovered books once the spine's been removed? Something simple like Restoration Hardware's uncovered book bundles would be a very easy DIY project. These books sans spines are wrapped with twine, the warmth of the pages adding texture to any shelf. Very nice indeed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

all because ...

I'm inspired by this picture garland, created by Pearl at Vintage Pretty - what a charming way to keep the ones we love close to our hearts at all times. Pearl used a popsicle stick to rub the vinyl lettering onto the walls, creating a meaningful and lovely message. She attached the photos to string with mini clothespins, held in place on the wall with screw loops. Gorgeous!

Monday, April 4, 2011

an urn made of summer skies

In memory of someone dear, textile artist Patricia Bown has created this lovely knit urn cozy. With a deep blue base reminiscent of summer skies, crocheted flowers and butterflies skim the top, adding an element of light-heartedness.

Along the side of the cozy Patricia chose the favorite colors of her beloved. These colorful stripes remind me of a layer cake made from spring days.

It's very challenging to bring light and cheer to an urn, and Patricia's piece is a wonderful example of the possibilities. Her work is inspired by nature and the sea, and I'm especially fond of this sea urchin collection:

Monday, March 28, 2011

everything sounds better on a doille

Such sweet words, made even sweeter with this handcut doille by CrystalT, who takes custom orders. Turn your words of encouragement into something that can be framed (or at least beautify a comforting cup of tea.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

fragile as leaves in fall

I've been scanning pictures from my family photo album, and I find myself charmed by the actual photos themselves - the faded borders, folded corners, even the yellowed glue on the back. With everything now digitized, we're losing the presence that actual photographs have - instead of being objects to hold, they're now only images to observe. What can be done?

Luckily, I came across these fabric brooches and necklaces via Poppytalk and was instantly smitten. And you can see why! Created by jewelry designer and stylist Miranda van Dijk at Puur Anders in the Netherlands, these leaves are created by imprinting digitized images on unbleached cotton. Their tactile, faded quality is part of their charm - they remind me of sentimental flowers pressed in old book. Fragile yet precious.
Although these pieces are part of a collection called "Hidden Memories", Miranda is also taking custom orders. These would make a thoughtful gift, especially for Mother's Day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

ammo urn

Just had to share this vintage ammo box I bought on Etsy, which I believe will make the perfect readymade urn. I love the bright red paint and the little "bomb" on the side. What do you think? It's gotta be perfect for somebody, right ... ?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

random acts of remembrance

I honestly don't know how graveyards came to be perceived as places to dread. My neighbor recently buried his mother in a nearby cemetery, and in my opinion he summed it up perfectly when he said that cemeteries are places filled with love. Everybody there was cherished by their family, with hopes that their memory will live on.

These Memento Mori pieces by Lady Lavona capture that sense of magical remembrance. Each tintype is a portrait of a different person. Who were they? How were they remembered by the ones who loved them? And how does our looking at these portraits - remembering them even though we've never met them - bestow upon them a certain immortality? Are they thankful to be remembered?

Friday, February 4, 2011

When this you see

After being inspired by 19th century memorial needlework, I asked Jessica Marquez of Miniature Rhino to create a special needlepoint. I already have a couple of her needlework constellations, which I adore.

And here's what she did! Don't you agree that the vintage-inspired stitching is absolutely gorgeous? Look at the detail of the flowers:

This piece is so sweet and versatile, with enough space for a special memento between the phrases Remember me/When this you see. Jessica included some thread for sewing on small tokens. Here's the needlepoint with a lock of my grandmother's hair:

And here it is with the Order of the Eastern Star pendant that belonged to my great-grandmother:

And finally, a sprig of lavender that my mother gave to me:

This sentimental needlepoint is handmade, and can be passed on between generations, giving us a lovely opportunity to remember those we love every time we see it. It also would make an awesome gift. Thanks Jessica!

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