Saturday, March 16, 2024

In the Bleak MidWinter

Dear lovely readers, here is a journal that began in a daydream when I was listening to my favourite Christmas carol, "In the Bleak Midwinter". How familiar and beautiful both the melody and the words are...I've sung this hymn many times and it never fails to stir me, and paint a wintery white scene when the world is cold and barren but yet still full of hope.

'Bleak Midwinter'

I was curious about the words to this carol, and I discovered that the renowned poetess Christina Rossetti wrote the poem that became this wonderful carol. I dove head first into her world and her family, learning about the turbulent and intriguing art scene in Victorian London called The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood created by Christina's brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti and various others Victorian painters.

I began to envision a journal that was snowy white, with glistening icicles; a small tribute to a marvelous, talented and mysterious woman whose poetry is still much admired and now fully recognized outside of the shadows of her well known brother.

The cover is many layers of white and cream cotton and lace, all stitched together with a vintage brooch with a tiny portrait of Christina. These pages are an hommage to this lovely lady, and how even in the bleakness of winter, we can know there is refuge and salvation.

After all the deeply coloured journals I have created in the past few months, it felt so light and refreshing to work with a palette of such pale whites, creams, silver and gold.

Christina's poem "Goblin Market" is perhaps her best know work, and is a narrative poem about two sisters who eat forbidden fruit and struggle to survive the Goblin temptations.

I recently discovered Arthur Rackham, a wonderful illustrator at the turn of the century who created drawings of many famous fairy tales. Below is his drawing for the "Goblin Market" poem.



Lots of wonderful soft shabby layers of poetry, pockets for notes, photos, and of course lots of spaces for journaling your winter thoughts, and of course the long wait for Spring.

In the bleak midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
- Christina Rossetti 1872

Thank you for looking! I hope my winter journal has inspired you in some way, and do go and look up the women of the Pre- Raphaelite period, they were wonderfully talented and outrageously beautiful souls.

Love, Lisa xoxoxo

Monday, December 25, 2023

Tidings of great joy

 Merry Christmas to all my lovely readers, I hope you have all had a wonderful day with family, 
good food, and maybe even a little time for crafting? 
I want to share my Christmas journal that I have made over the last month.

Christmas Bells

I have been gathering Christmas fabrics and ephemera for quite a while so I had a really nice collection of bits to work with here. I always start with some watercolour or mixed media paper that I tea dye and then add inks in whatever colours I'm working with. Then I added pages from several vintage Christmas carol booklets that I have found at estate sales. I also had some family Christmas cards, bits of wrapping paper and tags from gifts. I made the cover by taking apart a vintage velvety Christmas stocking that had sweet little brass jingle bells. I then layered on some Christmas Suffolk puffs, and some Prima flowers left over from my scrap booking days. I love how it turned out.


 I had so many lovely materials to work with to work with, I even had saved some candy wrappers from my favourite sweets, and they made cute little frames. Be creative and think about all the little bits of paper wrapping or packaging you can use, I added some gorgeous little vintage embroidered handkerchiefs, bits of lace to make pockets, pages from a vintage children's Christmas book, even the programme from our Candlelight church service. All these can tell your family Christmas story, your traditions, and what makes the season special to you.

If you're anything like me, I know you will have kept little notes, tags, cards, photos from your Christmas's past, all you need are some Christmasy fabrics, a few pieces of red quilt and you can sew together a journal to hold all your precious Christmas memories.

This back cover I sewed a vintage doily over a piece of pretty ribbon and attached a Celtic cross ornament. And below on the back cover I found this vintage brass reindeer pin at an antique shop.

I wish all of you a happy Christmas and a wonderful Happy New Year! 
Thank you for visiting, I have so many exciting plans for the new year approaching, I hope you feel inspired to create your own Christmas journal, it was such a pleasure creating this one while listening to my favourite Christmas carols.
Love, Lisa xoxox 
                                                      A Christmas Carol by Emily Dickinson
Welcome, sweet Christmas, blest be the morn
That Christ our Saviour was born!
Earth's Redeemer, to save us from all danger,
And, as the Holy Record tells, born in a manger.

Chorus --

Then ring, ring, Christmas bells,
Till your sweet music o'er the kingdom swells,
To warn the people to respect the morn
That Christ their Saviour was born.

The snow was on the ground when Christ was born,
And the Virgin Mary His mother felt very forlorn
As she lay in a horse's stall at a roadside inn,
Till Christ our Saviour was born to free us from sin.

Oh! think of the Virgin Mary as she lay
In a lowly stable on a bed of hay,
And angels watching O'er her till Christ was born,
Therefore all the people should respect Christmas morn.

The way to respect Christmas time
Is not by drinking whisky or wine,
But to sing praises to God on Christmas morn,
The time that Jesus Christ His Son was born;

Whom He sent into the world to save sinners from hell
And by believing in Him in heaven we'll dwell;
Then blest be the morn that Christ was born,
Who can save us from hell, death, and scorn.

Then he warned, and respect the Saviour dear,
And treat with less respect the New Year,
And respect always the blessed morn
That Christ our Saviour was born.

For each new morn to the Christian is dear,
As well as the morn of the New Year,
And he thanks God for the light of each new morn.
Especially the morn that Christ was born.

Therefore, good people, be warned in time,
And on Christmas morn don't get drunk with wine
But praise God above on Christmas morn,
Who sent His Son to save us from hell and scorn.

There the heavenly babe He lay
In a stall among a lot of hay,
While the Angel Host by Bethlehem
Sang a beautiful and heavenly anthem.

Christmas time ought to be held most dear,
Much more so than the New Year,
Because that's the time that Christ was born,
Therefore respect Christmas morn.

And let the rich be kind to the poor,
And think of the hardships they do endure,
Who are neither clothed nor fed,
And Many without a blanket to their bed.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

October Journal

 Warm greetings dear readers, happy fall!
I finished this journal for October, but here we are already in November.
     Again I'm working with some antique fabrics that I found during my weekend scavenger hunts.

 Warm October

This grungy piece on the cover was salvaged from a needlepoint antique pillow that I tore up
into pieces, then discovered that I liked the look of the back more than the front! You
can still make out a flower, but I just couldn't resist the rough woolly texture.

I have definitely found a lot of joy in gathering bits and pieces of old fabrics, I have baskets of them sorted into themes or colours. I put on some calming dreamy music, light a candle or two, and then rummage in my baskets, trying not to think too much, letting my hands move unhindered. I start with a foundation piece of cloth, and then begin to build my layers, moving around little bits of material, lace and fibers until I like the composition, then pin it all together.
While making this journal it struck me that I am creating a collage, but with pieces of cloth instead of papers and paint.

I love using real pressed flowers on my pages, I happened to find some small antique crocheted swirls and thought they added a sweet little texture to my petals.

 "There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." — Nathaniel Hawthorne

Thank you for looking.....xoxoxoxox
I am so happy to finally enjoy the crisp cool autumn air, this always make me want to bake!
Enjoy the season, I'll be back soon with another fall journal.
Love, Lisa 


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