Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Vintage Handkerchief Journal



Okay - just one more post before I sign off - is this a record? 4 in one day? must be making up for not posting for a month! I looooooooove this journal - not completed yet but love what I have so far - created this in Lilia Meredith's wonderful class - not only did we learn new techniques but she got me to use a sewing machine for the first time in my life! (don't laugh) The class was a great group including Mary - who owns Sweetpeas and Snapshots - treated us to adorable bite sized cupcakes and champagne for those who cared to indulge! I, of course, was the "designated driver" since I don't partake of the vine -

I chose to create my own version of this Vintage Journal using photos of my Great Grandparents in a tribute to them. I never knew them. They died before I was born. They lived in a shtetl in Russia under the rule of the Czar (in the 1800's), raising several children. Jews were persecuted there and when their son and daughter - my paternal Grandfather and my Great Aunt Esther were old enough they escaped and emigrated to America crammed into steerage deck of a ship that arrived after two weeks or more at Ellis Island. There they prayed that they would pass the intense medical inspection and be allowed to cross over into New York. But little did they know that the stories of streets in America being paved with gold were just that - stories. They lived in tenements on the Lower East Side of the city - streets crammed with humanity, garbage, street vendors and heavy wool clothing (the style of the day) in all types of weather. My Grandfather raised eight children (my Daddy was the baby) - My Great Grandfather came to visit my Grandfather in New York once with the idea of maybe moving there but when he saw how immigrants were assimilating into the culture and working on the Sabbath, he left and never returned. My Great Grandmother never visited America. So I made this tribute to them - Rivkah and Shmuel -






Close up detail of the cover - we used a vintage handkerchief to cover canvas and then stitched it on the sewing machine using a variety of stitches - my Great Grandmother's photo was printed from my computer using sepia tones - the pearls and the heart charm were items I found at a thrift store in Burbank - I also got the flowers at that same store - the tag next to flowers says "yesterday" - The letters spelling out their names are brass letters I found at Aaron Bros. when they were phasing out their scrapbook supplies - the detail on the letters are perfect for the vintage period -




The inside of the cover looks like gold fabric but it is actually an amazing piece of flocked wallpaper! Lilia you rock!




This is the center two-page spread - the left side is not completed yet - on the right side is my Great Grandfather - the metal piece in the left hand corner is the back of an old broken Mezuzah that I saved from the garbage - it is brass and has the words "made in Israel" stamped on it - My Great Grandparents didn't live long enough to see the birth of the State of Israel so I thought it was appropriate to use it on this page - and the left side of the spread is from a calendar - a Tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) - my Great Grandfather would never have had such a fancy one but wanted him to have it in this tribute book -

8 comments:

~*~Patty said...

I have enjoyed having a look around your blog, very nice! This tribute to your great grandparents is so moving and so beautiful. I really like your attention to detail with all of the special touches you've added. I have a hankie collection and you certainly have inspired me to use some :)

Angie in AZ said...

What a treasure! LOVE the story with the piece. How sad that so many lived in such a way... and so many still do today. You have a rich heritage though. The stories can never be taken from you.

By the way, when are you purchasing a sewing machine? hehehe! ;) They are addicting!

Carol said...

I love your journal! You did a beautiful job and it is a wonderful tribute to your Great Grandparents. Carol

Carol said...

I love your journal! You did a great job and it is a wonderful tribute to your Great Grandparents!
Carol

Long Black Eyelahes said...

Oh what a wonderful journal and with your grandparents pictures, what a treasure you created, thanks for sharing. Angelica

Holly Loves Art said...

WOW!! I am so impressed with your journal. It's absolutely gorgeous and so special... you'll treasure this forever. It was great seeing you again in Lilia's class. Looking forward to another time soon.

All the best,
Holly

M said...

I finally made it to your blog after you posted earlier in the week on the AU message board.
Your books are beautiful.

I recently took a class with Lisa Kokin. She incorporates Jewish themes in her work in a very subtle manner. Google her and look at her portfolio. It's very inspiring.

We haven't met but maybe we can connect at AU in August. My dance card is full of classes.

Marissa

Cory said...

What a beautiful journal...a real heirloom. See you at AU 2008.

Cory