Keepsakes

Keepsakes inspired by the memories that cloth holds onto.

I create cloth cats & dogs, teds and buddies as well as wall hangings,  out of those much-loved baby and toddler clothes, that you have been keeping, probably for years. I also create keepsakes from the cherished clothes that once belonged to a loved one who has died. These keepsakes are available as a  cushion, scarf or buddy.

Back in 2006 I trained as a Children’s Bereavement Officer for a local charity Noah’s Ark. As part of our training we had to attend and help out at least one of their residential camps held in Malvern, Herefordshire.

It was an incredible weekend working with many children of various ages. All of them had been invited to help them with their personal struggle over the loss of a loved one. There were craft activities and team building tasks but it was the  ‘candle time’ circle, where the children remembered their loved ones,  that had a profound effect on me.

Then one day, a few weeks later,  I felt compelled to make something personal out of my children’s favourite clothes.  I had kept, for many years, a large bag full of ‘stuff’.  I remember thinking about the scenario of when I die and the problem this’ bag of stuff’ may cause my husband and children. What to do with it all, this bag of children clothes that Mum had kept all those years?

So, I decided to re-create my son’s first soft dog (Scruff) and my daughter’s first doll (Peaches) by making them out of their favourite clothes when they were young. I drew the clothes before I cut them up and made a little cloth book with the drawings of the item as well as a short comment on a memory inspired by the clothing.

 

I began with a drawing of each cherished toy and then selected the clothes, or the parts of, that I would use in the construction. Boy oh boy did my hand shake!! I was so nervous BUT instinctively I felt this was a good idea. A week later Scruff 2 and Peaches 2 were born and I can honestly say it was an incredible EUREEKA moment.

I realised that I no longer needed all the ‘stuff’.  I kept only a few very special pieces and the rest I gave away to a local charity shop. I felt so much better, no anxiety, no guilt, just ‘lighter’ and ‘free’.

These 2 cherished pieces were the beginning of TLCbuddy keepsakes.  Many years later I am still making cherished bespoke keepsakes but now they are from other people’s baby and children clothes. I also create keepsakes made from clothes that once belonged to a loved one who has died. Each commission is always a privilege.

The courting cake

The courting cake

  This is one of my 'in love' ( engagement, wedding, anniversary) series, that was personalised for the winner of my competition. All my illustrations are created with a fine pen and are usually a continual line drawing; frequently combined with beautiful papers...

Fox & Badger Keepsake inspired by a poem

Fox & Badger Keepsake inspired by a poem

  Two weeks a go I received an email from a lovely lady, I had previously met at a local business networking meeting  and she asked me if I could illustrate her dear friend's poem. Apparently her friend  had written this poem especially for her much loved Gran,...

Keepsake made from dog’s t-shirt

Keepsake made from dog’s t-shirt

A friend of mine asked me to make something special for her daughter. Her daughter's much loved dog had sadly passed away and she was struggling with the loss of her faithful companion. She wanted me to create a keepsake out of his aqua t-shirt. This charming dog was...

Bespoke keepsake off to London

Bespoke keepsake off to London

This is the view of the cushion where panels were made up from a pair of jeans, a pair of cords and cotton bedding.    This keepsake cushion is now ready for posting out to London. This commission made me think 'outside of the box' and that was really exciting. In...

From dresses to a cushion

From dresses to a cushion

Front view- This cushion was created out of 2 dresses and a sweatshirt that belonged to a dear boy's mum who tragically died a year ago from cancer.  He provided me with the clothes, ones that reminded him of his mum, of holidays shared and other happy memories. Back...

Comfort cushion for our daughter

Comfort cushion for our daughter

When our daughter left to go to University I made a cushion cover; one side predominantly from a favourite shirt of her dad's and my favourite summer dress ( now too small) that I wore for many a summer whilst she was at primary school. This comfort cushion sort of...

A dear grandad’s jumper

A dear grandad’s jumper

This lovely stripey jumper was worn by a much loved grandad and I was commissioned to create a keepsake or two out of it. The result was the cushion cover and buddy ( with legs) that you can see here. One thing I now know is always let the fabric do it's thing.. Go...

From pyjamas to pillow

From pyjamas to pillow

A few years a go a beautiful dear friend of mine tragically died and her husband asked me to make something special out of her pyjamas. I sat on my studio floor, scissors in hand, shaking, feeling sick and scared about making that first cut... Some time later I had...

From kimono to cushion

From kimono to cushion

My dear friend's daughter, holding on to the buddy & cushion I created out of her dear mum's pyjamas and kimono dressing gown. No words..... Playing around with the arrangement of the sections of the kimono & pyjamas before sewing them all together.

From a dress came a scarf

From a dress came a scarf

A dear lady commissioned me to make something out of her dear daughter's clothes. ( Tragically her daughter had died a few years before) She chose this dress and decided upon a scarf. All my bespoke keepsakes are designed with the ability to hold or hug or even wear...