Sunday, 27 December 2009

A story for Christmas

In the deepest part of the pine forest, where the sun barely shone and the frost rarely extended its icy fingers, strange small red and white toadstools had begun to emerge. Pearls grew on their smooth red tops. The legend was, that if a bride gathered the pearls from these toadstools and sewed them to her wedding gown, then her groom would stay forever enchanted and never see her grow old. Some of the larger toadstools had little pearl buttons, and these, if sewn to a grooms gloves, would have a similar effect on his bride.

Bronwen was to be married that winter, and gathering her velvet cape about her and picking up her basket she ventured far into the forest, the hem of her dress picking up pine needles from the forest floor as she went deeper and deeper into the wood. Eventually she came to a spot so densely wooded and dark she could barely see her boots on the forest floor. She could, however, see tiny spots of light, nestled on softly glowing mushrooms - what little light there was reflected in the brilliant pearls on the toadstools tops. She stooped and gathered the strange soft fungi until her basket was full, then, pleased to be heading out of this long forgotten place, hurried back to the cottage.

The day of the wedding came at last and Grüber buttoned his white kid gloves. The pearl buttons he had gathered from toadstools in the wood earlier that December glimmered in the faint winter light. He admired his reflection before he set off to church.

When Bronwen walked down the aisle and stood next to her groom, she lifted her veil and turned to face him. Grüber fell backwards in horror. Her skin was papery, wrinkled and grey, her hair wisps of lifeless cobweb, and her eyes faded and watery. Bronwen gasped, her once handsome groom was wizen, decrepit and toothless!

The couple had overlooked an important part of the forest fable:
'Pearls for a bride and ne'er grow old,
Buttons for grooms to stay young and bold,
But buttons and pearls on the same wedding day
And both will appear in a state of decay'.

Fortunately the Bride's mother was wiser than either of the young couple. She had also made a trip into the pine forest that winter and had gathered the soft brown toadstools that grew alongside the red ones. From these, she had gathered the twists of thread that sprouted from their tops, and had fashioned the cotton into boutonnières, the silky thread intertwined among sprigs of mistletoe and ivy. At once, she sprang from her seat in the church and pinned a boutonnière to each of the wedding couple.

To the rest of the congregation nothing appeared to happen at that moment, but to Bronwen, she saw her groom once again grow handsome, and to Grüber, his bride became even lovelier than he ever remembered.

The couple were married that day and, although, they did of course grow old, they never paid much attention to it, and lived happily ever after, never having cause to venture back to the spot where the enchanted toadstools grew.

The End.

Enchanted: Fabric toadstools in red and brown nestle in pine branches.
Inspired by a tutorial by LucyKate Crafts.

Monday, 14 December 2009

I dream of Narnia

Is the name of this wintery head adornment I made this evening. Ever since I was told the dress code ('festive headwear') for a party this Friday, I've had this creation stuck in my head. It's a little winter woodland scene - in fascinator form! The birds were purchased and are in two positions, flight and perched. They have shimmery aqua in their feathers so I used a pale green vintage damask remnant over a wire and padded frame work to make a headband, wiring in a frostily painted twig before stitching it in place. A bundle of tulle (which forms a veil), a sprig of pine, some silvery sprayed dried grasses and faded green hydrangea blossoms gave the flying bird a soft landing spot. The perched bird shares her arbour with some miniature vintage baubles and a jingly silver sleigh bell.