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  • Writer's pictureDawn Ford

Where it all began............

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

February 2017

Back in 2006 I trained as a Children's Bereavement Officer for a local charity Noah's Ark. As part of our training we had to attend and help out at least one of their residential camps held in Malvern, Herefordshire.

It was an incredible weekend working with many children of various ages. All of them had been invited to help them with their personal struggle over the loss of a loved one. There were craft activities and team building tasks but it was the 'candle time' circle, where the children remembered their loved ones, that had a profound effect on me.

Then one day, a few weeks later, I felt compelled to make something personal out of my children's favourite clothes. I had kept, for many years, a large bag full of 'stuff'. I remember thinking about the scenario of when I die and the problem this' bag of stuff' may cause my husband and children. What to do with it all, this bag of children clothes that Mum had kept all those years?

So, I decided to re-create my son's first soft dog (Scruff) and my daughter's first doll (Peaches) by making them out of their favourite clothes when they were young. I drew the clothes before I cut them up and made a little cloth book with the drawings of the item as well as a short comment on a memory inspired by the clothing.

I began with a drawing of each cherished toy and then selected the clothes, or the parts of, that I would use in the construction. Boy oh boy did my hand shake!! I was so nervous BUT instinctively I felt this was a good idea. A week later Scruff 2 and Peaches 2 were born and I can honestly say it was an incredible EUREEKA moment.

I realised that I no longer needed all the 'stuff'. I kept only a few very special pieces and the rest I gave away to a local charity shop. I felt so much better, no anxiety, no guilt, just 'lighter' and 'free'.

These 2 cherished pieces were the beginning of my Bespoke Cloth Keepsakes. Each commission is always a privilege.

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