You know what’s funny about writing a blog?
The most random things become popular.
Can you guess what some of the most popular series on the blog are?
The series of posts about my blue and white living room?
This series of posts I did on the before and after bedroom makeover I did for my mother?
This organizing series.
Umm. Nope. Nope and double nope.
The most asked about series. The most requested series. The one that so many of you e-mail me about and ask me for? Our handmade presents we make for each other every year for Christmas.
And I can’t disappoint. Right?
So here’s one of my favorite handmade presents from this Christmas.
A long time ago in a land far away I was Miss Mayfair.
The reigning victorian queen from my little town.
Every spring during the Mayday celebration, there would be a pageant for Miss Mayfair. We’d dress up in victorian dresses with flower crowns in our hair and parade in a historic auditorium in front of the judges with all the grace and beauty we could muster.
Miss Mayfair needed to be reserved and modest and shy.
Miss Mayfair needed to be demure.
Miss Mayfair needed to be poised and polished and light of foot and able to spin and sway to victorian music.
In full disclosure? I was none of those things.
But what I was—was SO MUCH BETTER.
I could rock a victorian fan like no one’s business.
I learned it all. How to tell a suitor you were available. How to tell a suitor you were desirous of an acquaintance. How to tell a suitor you wanted to get rid of them. How to say I’m sorry and I love you and let’s meet later.
All with the dramatic twist of a fan.
That’s my middle name.
And my dramatic fan display with its sweeping motions and stomping feet and a toss of my golden curls won the day.
The flower crown was mine.
I taught my sisters my fan secrets and eventually, they wore the flower crown, too.
And that victorian Miss Mayfair dress that we all wore?
It was part of a different time and a different era when fan dances and gloves and high heeled buttoned shoes reigned supreme.
I thought it was gone forever.
Until this Christmas.
When I opened this.
My sister taught herself slow stitching. Have you ever heard of it? Here’s more about it, but basically it’s all about mindful needlework—taking time to enjoy the process. It’s about stitching with intention and it’s more about the stitches and the process than the final work.
So during 2021, my sister taught herself to slow stitch.
And one of her projects was this thistle that she made for me for Christmas.
The leaves are felt.
The stem is made of fabric.
And the thistle it’s made from crochet fabric and something else. See it right there at the top?
Can you guess?
It’s the lace from that Miss Mayfair dress.
All those years and flower crowns and fan dances ago.
That lace and that dress stayed around just waiting for its day to shine.
A thistle by any other name never smelled this sweet.
And this thistle is testimony to this truism:
Grace and beauty and poise are important, but a little dramatic eyebrow raise, mischievous grin with red lipstick and sweep of a fan…
…always win the day. 🙂
PS If you are new here. Here are some of my other favorite handmade presents from year’s past: