Sunday, December 4, 2011

Inspiration Avenue - English Literature and Twelve Days of Mary

As a member of Inspiration Avenue I participate every week in the weekly challenge.  This week I am participating in both Inspiration Avenue and Twelve Days of Mary.  You can find my Fourth Day of Mary here.

This week the challenge at Inspiration Avenue was English Literature.  I had actually already started planning a Miss Havisham storybox before Lisa announced the topic, so I was very happy!!

I remembered this passage from Great Expectations so clearly from my university days and this is the exact image that I imagined :

She was dressed in rich materials — satins, and lace, and silks — all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table. Dresses, less splendid than the dress she wore, and half-packed trunks were scattered about. She had not quite finished dressing, for she had but one shoe on — the other was on the table near her hand — her veil was half arranged, her watch and chain were not put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets and with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers, and a prayer-book, all confusedly heaped about the looking-glass.

It was not in the first moments that I saw all these things, though I saw more of them in the first moments than might be supposed. But, I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its luster, and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose, had shrunk to skin and bone. Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly wax-work at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state. Once, I had been taken to one of our old marsh churches to see a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress, that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement. Now wax-work and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me. I should have cried out, if I could.

My son's girlfriend, Jana,  is an excellent crafter and artist herself and she loves to sew doll's clothing.  She made Miss Havisham's entire wedding dress, bouquet and veil from an old blouse of mine.  She stitched every bit by hand and this is the beautiful result!

As you can see, she is still sewing her trousseau, hat box and trunk half packed.  On the table is her wedding cake as well as her quill and the wedding invitations that she is still writing!  So tragic!

I used a wooden box and turned it into Miss Havisham's house complete with victorian weathervane on top.  I wanted it to look like a big book that has been opened, so I covered all the edges with book binding tape and added a collage of old book ends and book labels and some metal book corners!!

I had so much fun creating poor Miss Havisham - by the end of the box, her skeleton self had become quite pretty to my eyes!!



  1. Oh yes - just perfect - mouldering away in her fading beauty.

  2. Oh wow what attention to detail!! That little sewing machine, the tiny keys, and the dress - Jana is obviously a very talented dessmaker! She is a fascinating character and you have really done her justice here. Gorgeous entry :)

  3. I read earlier in the week you were working on Miss Havisham and was so interested. It's great that you got her finished with all her spooky glory. You should hang on to that talented Jana. She's a real keeper. Stunning artwork in this piece.

  4. This is sooo stunning and it blows me away how much work and thought go into every little detail of what you do... the results are always so fantastic and this is really something else!!!

  5. This is fabulous, creepy, true to the essence, and a delightfully sad work of art. Beautiful gown and details throughout. TY!

  6. exquisite. magical. perfect.


Thank you for your comments - I read each and every one! I have taken the word verification off - hope it makes it easier