Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Checking things off the list

My New Year's resolution is to have a more positive attitude about life, and specifically this adventure in France. I know that things are what we make of them, and I know I don't want to look back on this time with regret. So I just have to buckle down and do the things I'd hoped to do. Easier said than done but here's a start.

One thing I've wanted to do for a while is make another set of Clotilde's Napkins. I say 'another' because I made an orange-themed set and immediately gave them away to Michele, the mother of Eric's best guy-friend Malo. So I ordered some more fabric and my sister brought it when she visited in September and then it sat for four months. Let's say it was marinating.

The finished product
What finally brought the project to fruition was an antiques market in the Marais. I always hunt down the antique linen stall and continue my quest for white-on-white bed linens with my own monogram (have to keep it challenging or I'd bring home too many beautiful pillowcases and linen sheets...) In that stall was an alphabetical box of labels that had been manufactured to mark one's clothes back when garments were sent to a communal laundry. Here is my set of "CT" initials:

Antique garment labels
They just happen to be the perfect size to 'label' my napkins. It makes me happy to mark them as my work, since Anonymous was a Woman. (note, I do not consider these to be masterpieces of American art, just my own pretty napkins).

Napkin labels are sewn into the existing seam. Doubled over there is no raw edge.
To add to our lovely tablescape we have these pretty napkin rings. They should be redundant since the point of the mismatched napkins is to ensure that each person has his or her own print, but since we already had 'Madame' and 'Monsieur' rings I include them in the photo.

The labels came in a gross (144 labels, what was happening with the metric system back then?) so I have plenty more for plenty more napkins. But that will be a much later project.

Plenty more labels!

While I was sitting here sewing these, on Sunday January 13, 2013, I got a text message from my sister. Her water had broken and she was sitting in a hospital bed awaiting the arrival of my nephew Edward. I finished the sewing thinking of her labor and chatting with her when she was available. Now I can't look at these napkins without thinking of him. Edward's birthday napkins. I suspect this is another set I will be giving away....

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