From being very young I always tried to instill into my children the idea that handmade gifts were treasured, they always made presents for Grandparents and aunts etc, it might be a tray of mince pies, or a decorated matchbox. I loved the paintings they turned into calendars and I still use a pinsafe Helen made me when she was about six.
I try and make them presents each year, even if it’s just a little something. A few weeks before Christmas I happened by chance to find the Peacock & Fig website and their ‘Lest we forget’ collection. In amongst the poppies was a lovely design just called ‘To Serve’. It was perfect for my daughter Helen, she’s training to be a nurse in the Army. Now I’ve given it to her I can share it with you.
To Serve is described as ” a typographic art representation of what it takes to serve one’s country. These words are used constantly in unit and training mottos, and are at the very core of the military ethos. To serve your country and your community is a position of great honour, and also of great sacrifice.”
I love the simplicity of the design, the colours are based on the desert camouflage colours, blending gradually from ivory to dark brown. I adapted the pattern a little to personalise it. I changed the spellings to the English way with the addition of a couple of ‘u’s, I left out ‘airman’ and ‘sailor’ and added nurse and qaranc. Yes that’s the word you were all wondering what it said! Queen Alexander’s Royal Army Nursing Corps.
I took it down to Artworks in Otley and they framed it in a soft grey/brown frame which works perfectly. I was really pleased with it and Helen loves it, it’s already hung on her bedroom wall!
When it came to opening my presents I had a lovely surprise. Helen had made me a patchwork cushion! It’s gorgeous! I was so impressed as she hasn’t got any quilting equipment down at Uni, in fact I don’t think she’s ever done patchwork before, just watched me occasionally!
She cut out the triangles using scissors and a homemade paper template! She made a different design for the front and the back and just worked it out as she went along, learning from her mistakes and unpicking it and restitching it until it worked! It’s beautiful and I love it, it looks great on my favourite chair.
When we went round to my son’s house for Christmas dinner, I found he was also making me a present, it’s not yet finished but it hopefully won’t be long. He’s in the middle of making an oak dining room table with a ‘river of blue resin’ running down the middle. From the pictures I’ve seen it’s going to be stunning. With two of the smaller pieces he’s making me a chopping board, though it will probably be too precious and beautiful to chop veg on, it might become my special cheese board.
I felt a very lucky mum on Christmas Day!