Monday, February 04, 2008

TIF Challenge for February

One very early memory that stands out for me would have been when I was about 3 or 4 years old.
My great grandfather had a sweet and tobacconist shop in a little picturesque village in Essex called Finchingfield.
This is the only occasion that I can think of that we actually went to visit him while he lived there. Although only 20 miles or so away from the village we lived in, having no car, it would have been a major day out.
The reason it sticks out in my mind though is because peering through the metal gate at the back of the house next door were three little faces, two boys with crew cuts and a girl, and they kept calling to me ‘what’s your name, little girl’. I was totally entranced – I had never heard voices like they had! I found out later they were American. We didn’t have television or a radio at that time and the only accents I had ever heard before were good old Essex ones!
I can still see their faces and hear their voices even now.

Anyway, thinking of great-granddad Ben reminded me of the two postcards I have which he had sent to my great-grandmother, whom I never got to meet, during World War 1.



These postcards were known as ‘WW1 Silks’ and were generally hand embroidered on strips of silk mesh with as many as 25 on a strip. They were mostly produced by French and Belgian women refugees who worked in their homes and refugee camps and then sent the finished strips to factories for cutting and mounting on postcards.
They were very popular with the British and American servicemen on duty in France and were usually mailed home at no charge to the sender in Military Mail pouches.
Both of these postcards have little flaps, which have message cards inside.



The first postcard was written in March 1916 and he says that he is still waiting for a letter from her, the post is irregular, the weather is changeable and he hopes she has recovered from her cough and cold.
The second one written in October 1917 just says ‘to my dear wife, with love’

Here's a close up because you know how much I love close ups :)

So my idea for the TIF challenge for February is to use the colour scheme to recreate a ‘WW1 Silk’.

I know this is pushing the goalposts out a bit further, contrary to popular opinion I am not that old that I actually remember these cards being sent and received, but I do remember great-grandad Ben :)
Not sure yet if I am going to make a replica of one of the old postcards or create a contemporary version.

It got me thinking though, our textile and fibre postcards which wing their way around the world and bring a lot of happiness to so many people are nothing new are they?

Here are the links for Sharon B's 'Take it Further Challenge'

Sharon B Take it Further Challenge on her Blog

Take it Further Challenge Blog

Take it Further Challenge Webring

Take it Further Challenge Flickr Photo Album

22 comments:

Quilt Pixie said...

what a great idea for "taking it further" :-)

Vicki W said...

Those cards are really beautiful! Your plan to use them as inspiration is really taking if further - in a very good way.

Becky Vigor said...

What a fascinating glimpse into history. I'd never seen or heard of these embroidered postcards, so intricately crafted, I'm not surprised they were popular. And a lovely link to your great grandparents. It's inspiring to learn that our fabric postcards had such meaningful forerunners.

Ruth said...

Wow - I've never seen one of these before but it is funny how you think you're doing something new and really you are just repeating something from the past.

Angelcat said...

These cards are lovely, how lucky you are to have such a wonderful piece of your family history. I can't wait to see how your piece inspired by these progresses.

Julie said...

Your cards are beautiful and the colours are still so vibrant. What a good idea for TIF! And a bit of a coincidence, sort of, my Dad owned several sweetshop/tobacconists.

sharon young said...

Beautiful cards, Lynda, I'm sure they'll make a great starting point. Looking forward to seeing how you interpret this month's challenge.

Susan D said...

Aren't they beautiful. You must have kept them in the dark because they look as if they had been made yesterday. Soldiers of today are more likely to send an email than a card.

Jacquelines blog said...

These are lovely, it makes me very curious how you will approach this...

Doreen G said...

What a brilliant idea Lynda and the postcards are wonderful

Joanna van said...

Lynda how special and beautiful these PC's are. I can only imagine the women who made them and the attention to detail. It really is difficult to find (if you even can) these kinds of things in the modern day. Just beautiful! And, what a cute story about the American children!

Hannah Katarski said...

What a touching story. I can just imagine what a beautiful thing that would be to receive while waiting for your husband to come home. Your grandfather made it home then? For you to remember him as a little girl?

Aussie Jo said...

What a wonderful keepsake of your grandfather (and grandmother0 Looking forward to seeing what you come up with this month.

neki desu said...

oh how i love those postcards! and your reminiscing.
looking forward to see what you come up with.

neki desu

Debra Spincic said...

Aren't those postcards just grand? Lovely thought and ideas. I know you will surprise us with something special!

MixPix said...

Hi! I've tagged you - my blog http://fibrefan.blogspot.com/ provides details.

Sandy said...

They are wonderful. I've never heard of them. It's a good TIF idea. Sandy

Pat said...

What a wonderful souvenir of your great-granparents, I can't wait to see your version.

Dianne said...

Oh Lynda, those postcards are beautiful - I would certainly treasure them! Can't wait to see what you create with these as inspiration.

Kim said...

Oh, the cards are so special! and your design theme is a wonderful tribute. Looking forward to what comes next...

Debbi Baker said...

As always a fabulous blog post!! Love your idea to use the postcard as your inspiration - the colours on the one you have chosen are a beautiful combination. And I didn't know about the embroidered postcards either so I have learnt something.

Barbara Hagerty said...

What a wonderful idea! I'm glad to have found your blog (through TIF). I have had a good time reading through some of your posts, and have learned MUCH! Thanks for your interesting topics! I'm sure your WW1 silk replica will be gorgeous!!