Wednesday, 23 September 2009

A Vignette


Kate (Chronicles of a Country Girl) put what she called a Vignette on her blog yesterday. It was a display of things, grouped together, which had significance for her. In a way it made a kind of statement and she invited readers to do the same.

I am afraid I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to "knick-knacks" - I have an awful lot of them about, cluttering up surfaces. But each one has a memory for me and I could not bear to part with any of them.

Things which my son bought for me when he was small - a replica pot from the Vasa which he brought back from Sweden; a fine china beer mug he once bought us for Christmas; even an egg timer he bought when he was very small and which is well past its sell-by date - I have kept them all because they mean a lot to me. Small things of my mothers (her thimble), things which my sister or brother gave to me. I suppose we all have these things.

This little group in the photograph stands on my desk in the window of the sitting room. I took the photograph after dark, hence the dark background. There are seven things and they are all of great sentimental value.

The photograph of my parents with my sister was taken in 1910. The silver frame was given to me by the cast of an amateur dramatic company of which I was musical director. The tiny suede book is a copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam which belonged to my dear Aunt Nell, who has been dead for many years; the silver paper knife was bought for me by my late first husband on our Silver Wedding Anniversary; there is a tiny pair of scissors there too, in an Art Nouveau pewter case - this was bought for me by my niece quite recently but I love the workmanship - it is quite exquisite; the little box is very delicately watercoloured and deserves a picture of its own so that you can see it more clearly. It was bought for me by a dear friend who sadly died a few years ago. Tomorrow, when I have more time I will try to show you the box close up - it is beautifully painted. And finally, the little bottle. I don't know where it came from and it don't know what it has held but I just love it.

None of these things has great value but I love them all because of the memories they hold for me. I suppose when I have gone they will be dispersed and their meaning will be lost for ever - and that makes me sad.

Vignette anybody? PS And the little silver mouse? How did he manage to creep into the photograph - he gets everywhere - he is a real showman and likes to steal the limelight. Where did he come from ? Ah - that's a secret!

26 comments:

the watercats said...

Love the paper knife and the silver mouse. Being hoarders of objects, I'd be a bit afraid of trying to photograph a vignette, lol...

Woman in a Window said...

Pretty, Weaver. I enjoy these vignettes. They do reveal a bit of us, I think. But I feel the sadness too, how thin the link is between all and how we are it, a thread that holds it together for only a short time.

willow said...

I feel the same way about my little treasures that hold memories and significance. Lovely post.

steven said...

it's funny weaver but i was wandering 'round this house the other day and noticing the little gatherings of items purposely placed together and wondering about them. what do they say? what do they mean? why there? why those items? many of them have stories - but forgotten stories. have a lovely day in the dales. steven

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I was wondering about that mouse! It is comforting to have little tableaux around the house of treasured objects no matter how old. It is their association with people and places that is important.

The WV is 'ratter' - your little friend better watch out!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Delightful!

You were a musical director!!! Tell me more.

Studio Sylvia said...

A lovely 'still life'. Your vignette tells me a little more about you, Weaver. You value the thought behind the gift, you treasure friendships, you are loyal. Delightful pieces. Thanks for sharing.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'd never thought of my tiny collections grouped here and there as vignettes. I like that. And, yes, when we are gone, they won't hold the same memories for anyone else. Sad, indeed.

Jenn Jilks said...

Great idea for a blog. I did this at my parent's funerals, and we used to have our students do treasure boxes to bring to school the first month to explain who they are!

Gramma Ann said...

I truly enjoyed reading your 'Vignette' post today. Memories are things that we have that no one can take away from us. What a fun read that was.

Heather said...

I love your little tabletop display of treasures and am sure that, even if they are one day dispersed, whoever has them will value them because they once gave you such pleasure.

ArtPropelled said...

Some things are handed down from one generation to the next and are precious to each person because of their connection to loved ones but I suppose we collect too many things for them all to mean something once we've gone. Lovely vignette, Weaver.

Titus said...

Beautiful post Weaver, and one I feel much inclined to copy!
The photograph of your parents and sister is stunning.
Thank you for sharing such very precious objects, regardless of their monetary value.

Golden West said...

I think it was William Morris who said things should either be useful or beautiful - and your collection of treasures fits his template just right.

You asked about the weather here... It will get into the 40s at night this winter, but winter days will mostly be in the low 50s. We are in desperate need of rain and are currently under a mandatory water rationing. I'm thinking positively and tucking dozens of bulbs into the garden!

Cloudia said...

A great idea, delightfully fulfilled! I must try this. Just charming, Weaver



Aloha!
Comfort Spiral

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a lovely vignette, I love the mouse particularly

The Weaver of Grass said...

Woman in a window echoes my thoughts on these vignettes. I often go round sale rooms to look at the things on offer. There are always photographs and little objects which I feel must have had sentimental value and the reason for this has usually died with the person who owned them. All a bit sad really.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Maybe it would be a good idea to write the provenance of each one on a label to stick on the back - or maybe it doesn't matter who they belong to and where they came from - if they are pretty in themselves then someone will hopefully treasure them in the future.

The Weaver of Grass said...

?Derrick mentions word verification - isn't it funny how often the word is apt?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Bonnie asks about me being musical director. I have found over the years in teaching that if one is musical and can play the piano one gets roped in for all activities. I was musical director of a staff amateur dramatic group. I relaly enjoyed it but it was hard work and I was quite relieved in some ways when we stopped doing it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think Jenn's idea of a treasure box is a good one. Our most precious little things could go into it together with an explanation as to why they are precious.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone for the comments - I hope one day soon to read some of your vignette accounts. Thanks also to Kate of Chronicles of a Country Girl for the idea.

Janice Thomson said...

Delightful and evocative post...now do tell about the mouse please :)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Janice - I have had the mouse since 1952 - it was bought for me by my late husband mainly as a joke because his nickname for me at the time (I think there was a cartoon character by this name) was mighty mouse! He has accompanied me on all my house moves - his tail has been broken but he is a symbol for me of carrying on whatever the difficulties.

BT said...

I'm on a serious catch up Weaver! This vignette is wonderful and your writing and explanations of the items so sincere and full of love and emotion. Most of my treasures are now packed away so it would be hard for me to do one now. But I am just as much a softy for sentimental things I own.

I didn't know you were an MD. I have worked with many as a singer. A good one is worth their weight in gold.

Teresa said...

Through your writing, I can sense your attachment to these lovely items. I'm also a hoarder and love the special memories these items stir up.