Monday, 4 March 2013


This week's challenge on Artist's Play Room is What Do You Treasure.  No problem with that topic, the little hand-made doll in the picture below is one of my most treasured things. 

"Carol's Doll"
Mixed Media, Jez

In one of my cupboards I have three cardboard boxes, jammed with little mementos from over 50 years' worth of marriage, motherhood and grandmotherhood.

Anyone clearing out those boxes would see only scrappy bits of paper, hand-made cards, and even a tiny packet of baby teeth and hair.  It would be a case of 'Toss it in the skip', but to me these are my precious memories and treasures, and I often look at them.

Carol was only 4 when she made this doll at infant school, an early start to her love of crafting.  After 50 years it's rather battered, especially considering it's only made of paper and stuffed with cotton-wool.  And it is doubly precious at the moment as she is very ill.

What kind of teacher would have 4 year olds sewing through paper!  One short of money and craft materials in those far off days, obviously.

Can't remember how old she was when she made this white teddy (from Crimplene fabric) as a present for me, but not too much older.  It's so tiny, just about 3 inches high, with sequins for eyes and nose.

The next little treasure was made by daughter No. 2, Zoë.  As it's Mother's Day on 10th March this is a very appropriate treasure for the APR challenge.  Here's the poem she wrote for it.

This is just part of a large Mother's Day card she made for me on rough cardboard (an early start with recycling).  A large coloured tissue-paper tassel was glued on the front along with a loving message, and inside was covered with more sweet messages and the poem.

Zoë always says she missed out on the craft gene, but it's clear that even at 5 or 6 years old she was intended for a literary future, with highly developed writing skills, particularly in the field of poetry.  (Actually she is a writer now, as well as a professional photographer.)  This is the poem, in case you can't read her childhood script:

"I have loved you till this day
And I shall love you ever more
Till I fall upon the floor." 

How can a Hallmark card match that?  I really treasure it.

A final pair of treasures to show you - the precious cases that held my engagement ring and wedding ring.  

What makes you think I'm a sentimental old codger?


  1. Well my dear lady how to make a girl cry first thing in the a post like this!! So much sweetness...and to know I am not the only mother who kept baby teeth. So did my mother! I too have treasures such as these.... because we love so much...and these truly are wonderful. Love the tribute to love and all the amazing treasures! Thanks for sharing the beauty that is you, as a mother, a wife, and a grandmother!!

    Big hugs Giggles

  2. that's fantastic Jez, you make me really glad I thought up this challenge. it was a pleasure and an honor to see all your treasures. I hope your daughter gets better soon. I'm crossing my fingers and toes. Hope you have a spring-like week where you are.

  3. What a lovely post Jez. The little white teddy made by Carol is so special thank you for sharing it, The poem by your other daughter is wonderful too, made me smile. As for getting Children to sew paper because of budgetary controls, well nothing much has changed there I'm afraid :)

  4. Visiting from the APR - Oh me Oh my! My heart is in my mouth and my throat a little tight. What beautiful treasures! I too have lots of bits n bobs from my grown up children. I wouldn't - couldn't - part with them for anything. Thank you for sharing some of yours. I will keep thoughts of your dear Carol in my prayers :0) Mo

  5. I can totally relate to this, Jez, and all the wonderful momentos from family life. My son is just starting to lose his baby teeth so I'm saving them as of now. Thank you for sharing your wonderful treasures. They warm my heart. :-)

  6. oh Jez, these treasures tugged at my heart - i can only imagine how precious they are to you! So sorry to hear Carol is so ill... i wish there was something i could do to ease the worry and sadness for all of you. I think you are one wise woman to be making art during these times. Not an easy thing for you, i'm sure. Thanks for sharing so much love. xox

  7. Love your treasures. I, too, have a collection of things which are old and tatty - like me, but very dear to my heart! Your doll is gorgeous! Valerie

  8. What lovely treasures. It's funny how those small things matter so much more to us. It's these small things that draw out those deeper memories of what people were like, what was happening. So heartwarming when we need it most.

  9. That is so beautiful, I keep all my little treasures from my girls too. Thanks so much for sharing your treasures, they bring back such lovely memories don't they. I hope your daughter gets better soon, sending healing thoughts.

  10. this is a wondrous post, Jez, and your treasures clearly well-loved.

  11. Treasures indeed! I love that poem to pieces and the doll and teddy are amazing - especially made by one so young.


  12. These are wonderful sentimental treasures, Jez! How sweet they all are! Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. I have treasure boxes as well and on Phantom's birthday we pull them out and all sit around and go through them and talk about different things in there... it is such a fun tradition and the boxes are full of bits of paper and ticket stubs, and assignments from school and things... and it brings such joy to us... thanks for sharing yours...xx

  14. Oh that is just so lovely! Kim

  15. A delightful post Jez and a privilege to peek at your treasures. I'm sending positive healing thoughts and best wishes for your daughter...xoxo

  16. I'm amazed at the skill she had that age my daughter is four and just started lacing cardboard I can't imagine her with a needle and thread yet.

  17. Oh Jez, I have to say I adore you so much!!!!! and what a wonderful post this is, you are a woman of my heart :) I keep lots of stuff of my children too and look at it now and again. It is worth more than any money can buy. Also I would like to say thank you for the wonderful comment you left on my blog about fashion and older age. You made my day and I now feel even more confident that I will keep my style going to the day I die. So wonderful knowing you much love for you from me!

  18. Aw, I love this post! I have boxes of treasures too - especially anything made by my son. These things of ours are more valuable than gold or jewels, crafted with love. You're making me go all gushy with sentimentality too. Lovely.

  19. Jez, I jumped over from Jenn's blog which I follow daily. Your warm treasures melted even this old codger's heart and brought back memories of my own. I also kept treasures like the ones you have stored, though on a very hot day -- July 1, 1994 -- I escaped an abusive relationship with little more than the clothes on my back. Of course, I would not leave if I could not bring my daughter, then only 8. I kick myself later that I didn't snatch the box of memories ... And I also left behind everything else, including my high school yearbooks, mementoes from growing up, etc.

    In the nasty divorce, my now-ex-husband took pleasure in sending me a photo of the boxes going into a bonfire. My stomach roils at the very thought, especially now that my memory is fading due to the constant beating I took to the head.

    But, in truth, I took the only "things" that mattered, and that is myself and child. Together, we have made new memories, and try only to remember the blessed occasions. For in truth, as I read in a fortune cookie 13 years ago, "Oft times, the key to happiness is a short memory."

    So what I treasure most is the relationships I have built in the second half of my life, as well as those that I have rebuilt from the first.

    God's blessings to you and your family, and may He make Carol well.

    Ellen (CardMonkey)

  20. Now who is bringing the tears to my eyes, and to my husband's eyes when I read the comment to him. How can people be so cruel? You were so brave to escape and to make a new life for you and your daughter. Such a true saying, ''the key to happiness is a short memory". There's a blessing in everything, and I wish you so well. Jez

  21. I think you left out a fabulous treasure that we have in photographic form only now ... although maybe you left it out because I have the photograph LOL And that's the picture of Carol dressing me head to foot in newspaper! Do you remember? I must have been about 3, so she would have been about 6 and she made me a hat, jacket and trousers all from newspaper :)

    By the way, my poetry did improve a touch ... but not really that much ;)

  22. Now you've done it - I'd like a copy of that photo, please. Thanks for comment, I'd forgotten about that.

  23. I sit at my desk which holds a very wonky UFO made by a now supercool teenager (who turns 16 in April! Eek!) When she was just a tiny tot at primary school... and also an even wonkier paper clay (I think) caterpillar that was made by Ruby just last year when they were doing The Very Hungry Caterpillar at school. We had to sit and carefully glue him back together and then smothered him in Glossy Accents to strengthen him because he was so delicate. They are so precious these memories and mementos. I don't think the most expensive sculptures from the most famous museums could ever replace them. Beautiful post Jez x x


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