Friday, 27 April 2012


The fourth completed page of On Being Soft is ready to share, which means I'm halfway through making the book (if you don't count putting it all together!)

As the pages are loosely based on different aspects of the Lily van der Stokker quote featured here, this page deals with sweetness.

My Mum found me some fantastic fabric embroidered with bees through a recycling scheme, which compliments the honeyed gold tones of the other fabrics I've used.

"Oh sweetheart, would you stoop so low as to swoon at my shriek of a smile carved out with an ice-cream scoop?" is a small segment of my own writing which makes me think of sickly sweetness, even in the ingratiatingly polite way that the "sweetheart" is addressed. The word "swoon" makes me think of drowsy bumble bees drunk on nectar. A "shriek of a smile" is one which is almost too sweet; one which will induce toothache, as do Lily van der Stokker's paintings and drawings.

I stitched the phrase on to a pocket edged with a bee-print fabric my Granny gave me. The tarnished silver beads scattered over the page belonged to my great-great aunts - the page is made from fabric and embellishments from four generations of women.

Poking out of the top of the pocket is a handkerchief. To tie the two together thematically, I embroidered an ice cream cone ("carved out with an ice cream scoop") on to the handkerchief.

The phrase embroidered on to the handkerchief was a comment I overhead a year ago on a day trip to Whitstable; "White dogs at the seaside - they look like they've been dipped in Daz". What's softer than a fluffy, white, Daz-dipped dog?!

When I bought the handkerchief it was already embroidered with sickly sweet, candyfloss pink and blue flowers, which I matched the text to.

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