I'm going to share the pages I sent to my friend Chris at Pear Shaped Crafting. Unlike the other players, whose packages are as beautiful as the swap pages they prepare, mine are dull and uninviting. I like to believe the postage stamps will more than make up for it. Some of you who live in the U.S. will note those liberty bell stamps were the first "forever" stamps issued. I used them for a reason that will be obvious soon.
I suspect my International friends know this nursery rhyme and its purported interpretations better than we in the U.S. do.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
According to a web site called Nursery Rhymes:
Snopes has a slightly different, albeit quite similar take on it:The origins are steeped in history... Bloody Mary!The Mary alluded to in this traditional English nursery rhyme is reputed to be Mary Tudor, or Bloody Mary, who was the daughter of King Henry VIII. Queen Mary was a staunch Catholic and the garden referred to is an allusion to graveyards which were increasing in size with those who dared to continue to adhere to the Protestant faith - Protestant martyrs.Instruments of Torture!The silver bells and cockle shells referred to in the Nursery Rhyme were colloquialisms for instruments of torture. The 'silver bells' were thumbscrews which crushed the thumb between two hard surfaces by the tightening of a screw. The 'cockleshells' were believed to be instruments of torture which were attached to the genitals!The "Maids" or Maiden was the original guillotine!
The 'maids' were a device to behead people called the Maiden. Beheading a victim was fraught with problems. It could take up to 11 blows to actually sever the head, the victim often resisted and had to be chased around the scaffold.
The origins are steeped in history...Wikipedia offers yet a different explanation, along with various final lines:
The Mary alluded to in this traditional English nursery rhyme is Mary Tudor, or Bloody Mary, who was the daughter of King Henry VIII. Queen Mary was a staunch Catholic and the garden referred to is an allusion to graveyards which were increasing in size with those who dared to continue to adhere to the Protestant faith. The silver bells and cockle shells were colloquialisms for instruments of torture. The 'maids' were a device to behead people similar to the guillotine.
Like many nursery rhymes, it has acquired various historical explanations. These include:
- That it is a religious allegory of Catholicism, with bells representing the sanctus bells, the cockleshells the badges of the pilgrims to the shrine of Saint James in Spain (Santiago de Compostela) and pretty maids are nuns, but even within this strand of thought there are differences of opinion as to whether it is lament for the reinstatement of Catholicism or for its persecution.
- Another theory sees the rhyme as connected to Mary, Queen of Scots, with "how does your garden grow" referring to her reign over her realm, "silver bells" referring to (Catholic) cathedral bells, "cockle shells" insinuating that her husband was not faithful to her, and "pretty maids all in a row" referring to her ladies-in-waiting – "The four Maries".
- Mary has also been identified with Mary I of England with "How does your garden grow?" said to refer to her lack of heirs, or to the common idea that England had become a Catholic vassal or "branch" of Spain and the Habsburgs. It is also said to be a punning reference to her chief minister, Stephen Gardiner. "Quite contrary" is said to be a reference to her unsuccessful attempt to reverse ecclesiastical changes effected by her father Henry VIII and her brother Edward VI. The "pretty maids all in a row" is speculated to be a reference to miscarriages or her execution of Lady Jane Grey. "Rows and rows" is said to refer to her executions of Protestants.
- No proof has been found that the rhyme was known before the eighteenth century, while Mary I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots, were contemporaries in the sixteenth century.
Of course, I had to change the nursery rhyme to fit the embellishments I was able to come up with. Mary, Mary was created by first sewing a part of a cabinet card onto a background and ribbon. Over that I added the words and dimensional flowers. Because I thought it was a bit too bright, I sewed a piece of tulle over the top of the page, but I didn't do a very good job with it, because I didn't realize tulle has a tendency to stretch in one direction. Live and learn!
So far I've followed the original rhyme.
The die cut flowers were given to me by my friend Kathy.
The same goes for the butterfly.
I used tiny brads for each of the centers. It was incredibly difficult to get them in a tiny hole I made using a straight pin.
Here's where I began deviating from the original because I had no silver bells and would never have been able to draw them. Luckily I had several liberty bells left over from sheets of postage stamps.
I found some shells in my stash that I hoped looked a bit like cockle shells. I added some flowers to the mix at the bottom because the page was too bare without them.
For the background, I used a large rubber stamp and stamped continuously until the page was filled. Unfortunately, I already had the words and the bells on the page when it hit me I needed something for a background. Unfortunately I hadn't thought this page through as well as I should have.
Of course I had no images of maids or maidens, but I had several images of flowers in bloom. Chris should get a kick out of the fact I used the die cuts she sent me that reminded me of a lattice in the garden.
I dyed some cheesecloth and used three wood repair markers to color the swizzle stick.
So, Mary has her full garden now.
Somehow I forgot to take any photos of this page. The scan doesn't do it justice, because I started with a page of small patterned paper, over which I added/sewed a sheet of glittery vellum flowers. In fact, I purposely left this page sparse in order to call attention to the background papers.
I added two hearts made from burlap, or hessian as some know it, over which I added a popped up flower. To complete the spread, I added two matching flowers and the word memories. I hope these are sweet garden memories for Chris. Again, I hope Chris takes a better photo of this because it's a beautiful page, but I forgot all about it after I scanned it.
This is what happens when you don't check your photos before you mail them. There was no way to scan this because it was so very dimensional. Believe it or not, this was the best image I had of the overall page. I only show it so you can see the overall positions.
I guess you can tell these are zipper flowers (and a butterfly) I dyed in order to use them in this piece
Tiny buttons were used for a bit of diversion.
I was surprised how well the Staz-on reinker and alcohol dye took on some of the zippers and their pulls,
while other pulls didn't dye at all.
It's fairly obvious this one is called butterflies and blooms.
There was even a gecko.
I found these wonderful letters I was able to use that matched the background paper.
The butterflies were stickers I found in my stash and the idea to create this page took hold from there.
Because the letters didn't show well over the glittery background paper, I decided to outline them. I can thank Dianne, another of the six international players for sharing that tip with me several years ago.
Here is a photo of the overall page showing all the glitter and glisten-y goodness.
My final page is called "Behind the garden gate." This scan is probably the best because the photos are not as crisp. I actually started with a transparency I created of the chair in the garden, then added the stamped bicycle, gifted me by Chris herself. Small flower "handles" were added to the garden gate, which I created from card stock I dyed. I also dyed and created what I laughingly call grasses in front of the garden gate. The background was a napkin.
I stamped a bird as well as a butterfly which was also given me by Chris. In fact, all the stamps of butterflies were given me by Chris.
The bird came from another napkin.
Because of the photo, it's hard to see this is a transparency, but if you actually look at it, you can see the napkin images behind it.
Here it is photographed, rather than scanned. I see a BIG color difference.
I cut the tag a bit short, but once I did, I couldn't go back. Talk about glitter. The entire tag background has lots of glitter. I used a technique I remembered where I pulled the sheet music score off the page using masking tape. What was left was this transparent music.
These adorable flowers were sent me by Annette, another member of this international swap. I think she picked them up in Saudi Arabia.
Chris's one request was NO FROGS, so I thought I would oblige her with this on the back of the tag. The rest of the tag information was added after I photographed this.
I hope you enjoyed these tip-ins I created for Chris, because what I thought was going to be an easy theme (In my garden), turned out to be a bit of a nightmare for me. I understand that Chris was not too disappointed with her frog, though!
Thanks for joining me for this voyage and Chris's pages. I have one final person to create pages for, so hope to do that now that I have finished my second Thursday tutorial. And of course, thanks for your continued support of my art.