Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Tree of Life

Most treasured possession

"What is your most treasured possession?

Some little knitted booties given to me when I was pregnant with my daughter."

Dame Vera Lynn

Q & A with Rosanna Greenstreet, The Guardian Weekend, 19.12.2009, p.8

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nobel lecture on handkerchiefs

“DO YOU HAVE A HANDKERCHIEF was the question my mother asked me every morning, standing by the gate to our house, before I went out onto the street. I didn't have a handkerchief. And because I didn't, I would go back inside and get one. I never had a handkerchief because I would always wait for her question. The handkerchief was proof that my mother was looking after me in the morning. For the rest of the day I was on my own. The question DO YOU HAVE A HANDKERCHIEF was an indirect display of affection. Anything more direct would have been embarrassing and not something the farmers practiced. Love disguised itself as a question. […] Every morning I went to the gate once without a handkerchief and a second time with a handkerchief. Only then would I go out onto the street, as if having the handkerchief meant having my mother there, too.”
Herta Müller
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009
Nobel Lecture, December 7, 2009

Children's handkerchiefs

multum in parvo

"Like visual multum in parvo, linguistic multum in parvo is best shown in a display mode; hence its place upon home samplers has now been taken over by posters, cards, bumper stickers and T-shirts."

Stewart, Susan (1993), On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection, Duke University Press, Durham and London, p.53

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Woven ribbons

The German town Wuppertal has a long history of ribbon weaving. In the Bandwebermuseum, the museum of ribbon weavers, housed in a school and only open two hours a week during term time, old machinery has been rescued and restored by enthusiasts and can now be seen in operation. My friend Gisela found out about the museum through a friend who is a friend of founder Irmlind Pesch, and from her visit sent me some samples of ribbons woven from old patterns on the looms in the museum.

For more information, visit the museum at,6,5

Wool Blanket Maps

Picked up at an exhibition years ago, these were found in a box file where I was looking for something else which was not there.