My friend Bethany is engaged and will be married on Columbus Day. Since this is a remarriage for her, she's chosen a totally delicious-sounding gown of chocolate brown for her big day. (I can't wait to see it.) And, she discovered, she is not particularly sentimental any more about her first wedding gown.
She put gown #1 up for sale in our office newsletter some time ago. It didn't get many nibbles. (It's a size 2, for Pete's sake!!!) But the other day someone showed some interest, so Bethany brought it in for a try out. It didn't fit. So, while I was absent Tuesday, she decided on a whim--she gets whims quite a bit--that the dress was art supplies. And she asked Jonathan to take out his pocket knife and split it down the middle so she could give half to Stacie and half to me, to be remade into art objects.
I was astonished to arrive at work yesterday and discover a wedding gown in my chair. I was even more astonished when I picked it up and found that it was half a wedding gown. It took me 3 or 4 seconds to get used to the idea that Bethany actually wanted us to destroy and reincarnate it. And then the wheels started turning.
The first thing I'm making is a ring-bearer pillow for Elizabeth's wedding. Last night, I cut a big chunk of the gorgeous peau de soie and embroidered the bride and groom's names and wedding date in silver in the center. Then I studied the lace appliques to see if they could be salvaged. Because of the way they're made and the tininess (is that a word?) of the bodice sections, I tossed out that idea and scrounged in my stash for some antique venise lace. I'm thinking I'll attach the venise in a square enclosing the embroidered names. I think I can salvage the gorgeous pearl-finish glass beads from the bodice and use them to embroider the venise. If it goes quickly enough, I may add a bit of silk-ribbon embroidery, too. We'll see. We leave for the wedding a week from today, so I'm running out of time.
There's something fitting to me about remaking a symbol of disappointment into a new symbol of joy and hope--an heirloom for a new family. I hope Elizabeth likes her keepsake. And I hope Bethany approves of how I've used my "art supplies."