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A Special Project

Feb 10, 2016

Last week was a sad one for our family. My 94 year old Nana had slipped into a coma after a brief illness and the family had gathered to say our last goodbyes. Fortunately we all managed to spend some time with her before she passed away in the night.

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Nana Gwen was an extraordinary lady ~ happy, positive, kind & creative. I have many wonderful memories of our time together and I wanted to do something special for her farewell.

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The past few weeks I had been making little crochet flowers for a pillow project and I had just completed some 3D roses to add to the mix. I used this pattern (scroll to the pink rose at the bottom of the page) and Rico Essentials Cotton DK yarn in Rose, Orchid, Pistachio & Emerald. When looking at them I noticed that they just happened to be in Nana's colours and my mind began ticking over how I could incorporate them into something beautiful to decorate her casket.

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I settled on the idea of a wreath and went about searching the craft stores for different options. There weren't many. Spotlight had two wicker style circular wreaths, but they didn't feel right for this project so I chanced a look at our local emporium. Right down the back of the store, out of reach, were some heart shaped polystyrene wreaths. But they were gigantic! Now I can crochet reasonably fast, but not fast enough to cover something about 600mm wide in a matter of days! So I asked the lady if there were any smaller versions squirreled away somewhere else. As luck would have it she found one last smaller wreath hidden out of sight ~ success!

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Next I found some large pearly pins for attaching the roses to the wreath, some pva glue, and my dwindling roll of garden twine. I wound and glued the twine around the wreath to cover the stark white polystyrene, and once it was dry I started pinning the roses in place. 

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As I only had a few roses to start with I had to become a one woman rose making machine! The project was going to need around 30 roses in all. Each rose took around 20-30 minutes to make so I had to get busy making roses around the clock! I hooked roses at every opportunity - at the beach, in the car, during the evenings, and while waiting at the boys'swimming lessons... It was an incredibly therapeutic process with memories (and some tears) bound into each and every rose. 

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I like to watch a project grow (I'm impatient like that!) so I pinned each rose as it was made. Towards the end I felt like something was missing so I decided to see what a few green leaves would look like amongst the roses. I added them in and they gave it the extra pop of colour it needed ~ just perfect!

And so it was done. I delivered the wreath to the funeral home & left it with them to attach to Nana's wonderfully curved eco-casket (she told us she wanted to be buried in a cardboard box with no fuss!). The next time I saw it was in the church, lovingly laid on Nana's coffin alongside a beautiful arrangement of real flowers in similar shades of pink, mauve, white & green. It was a sad day, but one also sprinkled with happy memories of days gone by. An end of an era.

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I would like to say a big thank you to all my crochet family out there in the world for your immense love and support at this time ~ you guys truly are the BEST!

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Rest in peace my dear Nana Gwen ~ give Grandad a big hug from us.

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Alia xx 


Category: crochet

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