August 10, 2014

"Wisconsin Memories" Book...

I finished my memory book last night. I'm calling it "Wisconsin Memories", 
and I've filled it with items that come to mind whenever I think of Wisconsin.
I didn't do anything to change the layout of my front cover, except to add the silver
 owl bead. I threaded my seam binding behind it after I finished making the bow.

Why the owl? One day, I looked out the window of our home to see a Great 
Horned Owl sitting in the old oak tree on our hillside. He was looking right back at
me! We watched each other for a long time that day. He belonged on the front cover,
 right along with the acorn. They represent the woods and wildlife on our property.
The first set of inside pages only changed a little. I added our favorite photo of me
with Bannor to the page. I printed it on linen fabric and then affixed it to the lace.

This was taken by a staff photographer for the Department of Natural Resources. 
I was featured in an issue of the DNR magazine celebrating the 25th Anniversary 
of Wisconsin's Hunter Education program because I was  the administrator for 
the Hunter Education program in Fond du Lac, WI and I was the first only female 
to hold one of the top three positions for the state-legislated Wisconsin Conservation 
Congress in their now-eighty year history. I was State Secretary for the organization.

I served as the administrator for the Hunter Ed program, and as WCC Secretary
for ten years during the 1990's. The photographer captured my reaction as Bannor
surprised me with a kiss, and of the thirty or so images he took, this is the one they
used. It's still my favorite picture of me with my boy, so I had to add it to my book.
The left side page represents Mom Grace. She taught me to crochet my first granny
square, so I made this one using #12 pearl cottons. She also loves daisies, so I stitched
a bouquet for her. The heart is Swarovski crystal. That sweetheart ribbon at the top
was so very appropriate for her page...and it was a recent gift from my generous friend,
Sherry of Createology blog. She sent a whole card-full, and it came just in time to use.

Of course, the right side also represents our high ground woods at Hawk Hill. There
were many squirrels that lived there. This squirrel is a design from The Hearts Content.
I stitched him using one thread of floss over one thread of linen. Michelle Palmer
created the wooden button with one of her ink drawing of an acorn. I love her work!
The center of my book is very special to me. First, the heron (a pendant) and 
the feather remind me of the birds that were always visible around Handsome's
and my home - lovingly called Hawk Hill. The feather represents the resident
hawks that inspired the name for our home. I also sewed a whole page of silver-
lined beads beneath my "North Star" on the right. They stand for all the blinking
fireflies that used to fill our view on hot, summer nights in July and August.

The left side page is a tribute to my paternal grandfather. Printed on fabric is 
an image of my grandfather's pride and joy...his mill house in White Creek, WI. 

He personally built a home that overlooked the creek and mill, and lived he there 
for a number of years. I worked about a half hour away and visited him often
when he lived there. It makes me happy just thinking of him and his bright smile.
Below the mill house, I stitched ruched seam binding (the same used to tie the
book closed). I also added a charm of a frog on a lily pad and three abalone discs.
They added sparkle, and made me think of the water swirling below the dam.
I have multiple collections of British cigarette cards, so I made a pocket to hold
a few of the cards representing some of my favorite Wisconsin flowers - geraniums,
chicory and wild roses. I just liked the basket of blueberries button, so there it is!

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love barns. I've pointed them out and marveled 
at them since I was a child. I have no idea why. They just always captivated me. A
quilt and robin's eggs in a bird nest also seemed to go with the theme for this page.
My final set of pages has a vintage crocheted lace sewn to make a pocket of the
faces I remember most affectionately when I think of Wisconsin...all the beloved
dogs, long gone but never forgotten; our sons and their wives and children. Our
hearts fairly burst when we think of them; and one of my favorite photos of 
Handsome with our grandchildren. That little red head hanging on his neck, 
and the older two grands being silly and serious. We miss seeing them every day.
These are two of the photos that I placed in the pocket. There is a third - a family
photo taken of all of us in the studio of a photographer friend up north. 

The last page is my Brynwood page. I began Brynwood Needleworks in 1989
as the name of my cross stitch design business. Although I rested for a while, 
I've been Brynwood Needleworks ever since. Acorns and oak leaves were my
inspiration for the logo that was designed for me all those years ago. The pin
on the right side of the page was available to my customers - and I even have
a dozen or so of them left. I may have more of them made in the future to sell.
  So, there you have it. My completed labor of love - "Wisconsin Memories". I'm
 sure I'll add more photos to my last page. My BFF and other family members will
 be tucked into the pocket, too. I always think of them when my mind goes north.
This was really a fun project. While I'm quilting, everything has a certain size and
 place, but with this little book, my mind could wander and explore. I'm sure I'll make
 more in the future, but for now, I'll just enjoy this heart in a little fabric book.

6 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Jacque. said...

All I can say is, "WOW!" That is an amazing piece of work, Donna! I love everything about it.

Createology said...

A labor of love and cherished memories created beautifully with your talented hands. This is truly exquisite and I can hear the joy in your words when I read them. Little Book of Wisconsin Memories is true Creative Bliss Dear...

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Just gorgeous! I loved reading your memories, too. Makes me want to visit Wisconsin! Twyla

Patty said...

What a wonderful way to preserve memories, just beautiful!

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

It's beautiful! Just beautiful!

Sarah said...

Beautiful, Donna. Each page is unique and meaningful for you. This is a wonderful idea! Your handwork is amazing!


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