Thursday, August 12, 2010

fairy bookmarks, windy poem

I've always loved Australian artist Ida Rentoul Outhwaite's beautiful storybook illustrations, but it can be very difficult and expensive to find any of her vintage books or prints. So for a woodland-themed exchange I'm participating in, I thought I'd make a pretty set of fairy bookmarks paired with quotes about reading.

I printed the bookmarks and laminated them, but then thought that mounting them onto another piece of grey cardstock would be even better. So I stitched them up and they're on their way to Singapore at this very moment, which means they're traveling somewhere I've never even been. Lucky bookmarks!

I actually made four bookmarks (although the exchange only called for one), but one of the quotes was very short and I didn't like the way they appeared on the page once it was printed out. So they were ruthlessly cut and promptly turned into little gift tags, to which I've attached pink velvet ribbon; they'll be very nice for an upcoming gift I'll be wrapping up this weekend. I quite like the way they all turned out.

Also in the mail yesterday: a "discover a new poet" packet I made for Laura in Massachusetts.  Whenever it's windy, my husband will sometimes recite a poem to me called "Who Has Seen the Wind?" by Christina Rossetti, which is a poem his mother used to read to him as a child.

I decided to put together a little booklet of several of Christina's poems to send, which I paired with images of artwork by her brother, the artist Dante Rossetti. I like the vivid imagery in her poetry, as well as the melancholy that seems to run through all of it.

Who Has Seen the Wind?
by Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

If you'd like a copy of the poetry booklet I made, you can download a copy for yourself here and here. Enjoy!

I have to say, I really like having quick, focused projects to work on for Swap-Bot. It's almost like being in a writing group--the accountability forces you into action! But since I don't want you to think I'm completely insane, I won't share the paper Christmas envelope I also sent out today. At least, not yet.


  1. Those bookmarks are lovely, what a great idea!

  2. Oh, how I wish I were your partner for that swap!

  3. Aw, thanks ladies! If you're interested, I'm also participating in this other handmade bookmark swap.

    It's an especially nice one since you send two bookmarks, but one will be put into books that will be shipped overseas to soldiers. I've already made my themed bookmarks for that one, too.

  4. I'm inspired by your bookmarks - they're beautiful! Now all I need to buy is a laminator and a sewing machine....

    The Rosetti poem is absolutely beautiful. It can be quite windy here (one of the winds even has a name - the Tramontane) so next time it's blowing a gale, I'll go and take some photos of our trees so that I can make a nice journal page using the poem.

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  5. Thanks Lisa! My laminator and my sewing machine are two of my favorite purchases...I find I use them both all the time. Those, and my P-touch labeler.

    I love the idea of pairing the poem with a lovely photo. It might be nice for a wall hanging, too.

  6. Love the Christina Rosseti high school we went on a class lecture trip to Guelph University. It was the one about the fairies stealing a child out of it`s bed and the fun/horror of fairyland.

    coffeegirl18 on


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