Saturday, 29 January 2011

A card with some history............and a Pay it Forward!

After all the excitement of Christmas  the dull winter weather of January can make us all feel a little flat. We are very lucky that in this gap until spring are ALL our birthdays, yes my Hb, mine and both children.They are nicely set out - one each month in January, February, March and April! How convenient is that? Each birthday allows us more celebrations, laughter, parties, presents and of course food. By the time my birthday has arrived we are in spring with longer days and usually warmer weather. Some years though I can have four seasons in one day, I have had hot sunshine, snow, wind, rain, hail, thunder........on different birthdays.

Thursday of last week was my dear Hb's birthday and I thought I would share with you the card I created for him.  For family birthdays I try to do something very different if I have the time. Some time ago I managed to buy some very old postcards and amongst them was a wonderful card showing the ancient church of St. Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield, London. The writing at the bottom of the card on the left says "Oldest London Church".



It was founded in 1123 as an Augustinian Priory and has been in continuous use as a place of worship since at least 1143 There is a lovely link to it here

 Now this church has a link to us for a few reasons........

Firstly my Hb has worked very near to this church for the last 7 years. His office in Farringdon actually over looks Smithfield market. It is such an interesting and often not visited part of London. During the summer I sometimes take the train up to London to meet him from work and we walk from Farringdon, across to St Paul's and on...it's fabulously historical.

Secondly St. Bartholomew the Great has also featured in some very famous films, including one of my all time favourites, "Four Weddings and a Funeral". It was used for the inside shots.

Some years ago my husband was looking out of his office window on a windy day and noticed the flag flying unfurled from the pole above the church, just as it appears in this old postcard. He and some other staff members in his office were intrigued as it flies quite a unique flag, resembling the Royal Standard. On the spur of the moment he sent an email to the rector of the church, not really expecting a reply. Within 30 minutes he was amazed to find one arrived . This is the email;

Dear St Barts,

Can you help with our question?
We can see your roof from our office, and the flag. Three gold leopards/lions on a red background (looks a bit like the arms of Richard I) .
Why do you fly this flag whereas most other Anglican venues appear to fly a different flag?

And the reply; (delivered in 30 minutes!)

Thank
you for your enquiry. We fly the arms of St Bartholomew the Great -

two lions - called leopards heraldically - and two crowns. The lions are

those of Normandy, as we were founded by Henry I. The vast majority of
churches do not have their own arms but ours date from the Middle Ages.

Rector, The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great

How interesting is that and what an interesting piece of English history! Henry the 1 no less, not even near the time of the more famous Henry V111.  My Hb has kept this email for some years and never thought at the time that one day it would surface on his wife's blog!


The final link we have is that my daughter trained at St.Bartholomew's (or Barts as it is more commonly know) medical school. Barts hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in England and it's origins go back to 1123....yes that long ago. Although Barts medical school merged with The London and Queen Mary's Medical schools in 1995 there is still an ancient " stand alone" ceremony  called "The Rights of passage" which  Barts holds for it's graduates before the main graduation at Queen Mary's in London. We attended this when our daughter graduated in July 2009. It is one of the few remaining ceremonies where the Hippocratic Oath is still taken and the setting of the ceremony in a marquee on the green of Charterhouse was magic, right out of Harry Potter!

I am not going to embarrass my daughter by putting on a photo of her here so I have deliberately found a "no family members" photo to show you some of these amazing ancient buildings which are not usually visible to the general public. They just ooze history and you could feel that you were part of the chain of history. It was quite an experience. I don't believe in ghosts at all but there was a definite "presence" of  doctors who had gone before. It was one of the most memorable occasions I have had the pleasure to attend. It was also one of the only hot,dry sunny July days we had in 2009, we were very blessed that day.

So to find this lovely old postcard, with so many personal connections,was such a  delightful discovery that I knew I had to use it to make my Hbs birthday card. Here is what I made.

I chose some gold linen card
and some swirly backing paper.

I then mounted the postcard using photo corners onto a piece of  gold card stock. This was so that my Hb could remove the postcard when he had finished with his birthday card and use it as a bookmark etc.
I also used a heart punch to punch into the backing paper so that the gold from the card base could show through.

I also repeated this inside with a larger heart punch.

So here above is his completed card. I deliberately kept it very simple as I wanted the card to be the feature. I added some black star peel offs and some words too. I am pleased to say that he was totally delighted to receive it.

So sometimes when we have birthday cards on our mantle piece they include a little bit of history...............and a lot of pleasant memories.

Bye for now,

Jane x

***************P.S  N.B  this is an edit added this afternoon .................have a look at my friend Shirley's blog...http://shirleysillustrations.blogspot.com/2011/01/pay-it-forward.html
I will be taking part, it's a lovely idea!

Here’s the concept: “Pay it forward” is the idea that random acts of kindness are given without expecting anything in return. It’s passing on a kindness hoping that your recipients will do the same, and forming a never-ending chain of goodwill, that’s what this is about. But it isn’t only kindness, it is also a means to connect and share instead of just keeping it to ourselves.

Here’s how it works: You’ll have to comment on this post and the first three people who comment will receive an original “Pay it Forward” gift from me within the next few months. But those three people will also have to post the idea on their blog and commit to creating something for the first three people who comment and so on and so forth.

SO, the first three people to comment here will get something made by me, but you have to do this on your blog as well. I’ll be reading your blog to make sure that you have posted something about your “Pay it Forward.”

WHAT A LOVELY IDEA!! Jx

PPS If you don't want to take part in this and would still like to leave a comment....just let me know you don't want to be in the "3" to pay it forward........it's not compulsary at all and I appreciate for some of my reader's it's not possible to do this and a  few readers who leave me lovely comments don't even have blogs!! I still love to receive all you kind comments and don't want to miss them!
Jx
UPDATE: Monday 31st January; There are still 2 Pay it forward spaces free......some of my comments have been my lovely normal  "chats" so don't be put off as there are more than 3 comments, just scroll on down! Please indicate when you comment if you would like to join the fun....my gift to you is going to involve not only something from my card creations..but my jewellery too! Keep watching! ;0) Jx

21 comments:

  1. Ooo wow Jane that is fantastic. I never knew that about the churches not having their own flags and incredible that the ancient church of St Bartholomew the Great's does, how amazing. Hope hubby had a great birthday, my birthday is spring too, usually just as the daffs are coming up, can't wait, even though its a biggy :O(...but hey, soon be spring.

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  2. Hi Laney, it's great history isn't it? I edited this post I think just as your comment came in...I shall contact you and see if you want to be number one of my pay it forwards?? No worries if not..
    I too have an even bigger birthday coming up...;0)
    Jane x

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  3. I'd love to participate, I'm excited I ended up being one of the first 3 unless someone else is typing as I type...
    -Andrea

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  4. I got so excited to be part of the pay it forward that I forgot to say... one of my favorite movies is also 4 weddings and a funeral...
    -Andrea

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  5. Hi Andrea, great to know you are on board with the Pay it Forward too! I shall do a full Pay it forward post next week ..watch this space!!
    Jane x

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  6. Jane...wow, what a wonderful, wonderful card, image and story. Wonderful that your husband emailed and got such a quick and intriguing response! It never hurts to ask and how truly neat about King Henry I! I recently saw The King's Speech and oh how I enjoyed all of it so this is so interesting to me. : ) I'm SO happy that you're paying it forward..it is a neat idea, isn't it? And I am happy to be able to send something your way when it's created...you'll have to email me your address: shirley@shirleyngbenitez.com

    Looking forward to your Pay it Forward post!

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  7. Hi Shirley, I think this is a great idea especially in these dull winter months.I'm glad to be a part of it. It is a pleasant thought; people opening packages in far flung places bearing handmade gifts!
    Jane x

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  8. Hi Jane,

    What a great post again! I love your cards, and with the story this was just perfect! Handmade (and made for YOU) cards are so rare nowadays to receive so they're extra special.

    Have a happy and sunny new week soon and a BIG kiss to Billy again!

    Yours,
    Mia

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  9. Hi Mia, I do find history so fascinating....
    It has actually been a lovely sunny day and we have just got back from a drive out to the Surrey Hills but it was far too chilly to get out and walk.It was lovely from the inside of a car!
    Billy has stayed in, sensible boy, he sends a kiss."See" you next week
    Jane x

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  10. OK guys Laney has a lot on for the mo.... so still spaces for my Pay if Forward...just let me know with your comment if you'd like to join in the fun!
    Happy Sunday
    Jane x

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  11. And silly me: I didn't add on my comment that unfortunately I am feeling so busy right now that I need to pass this great idea this time :(

    So one place still left in pay it forward!

    Happy day everyone!

    Yours,
    Mia

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  12. ....There are still 2 spaces free ..Shirley is my "pay it forward" originator, if that make sense!
    My gift will involve not only something from my card creations..but jewellery too..watch this space and consider joining the fun ;0)
    Jx

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  13. Hi Jane
    What a really interesting story about the church, I do love a bit of history. Beautiful card too but then they always are!!!! :)
    Tempting as it is, I'm afraid I'll have to pass on the pay it forward at the minute. Good luck with it though!
    Have a great week Jane!
    Vivienne x

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  14. Thanks Vivienne, it is the most interesting church and so tucked away that most people miss it! Have a great week too,
    Jane x

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  15. Gosh, what a fascinating bit of history and a lovely story too. The card you made for your husband is lovely, and so special, no wonder he was delighted. Hope you're having a happy and sunny week. Helen x

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  16. Thank you Helen, we have actually had some sunshine and blue skies today for a change. I have just got home from my silversmithing class, more playing with enamelling!
    Jane x

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  17. Hi Jane...thanks so much for stopping by during One World One Heart. I like your Pay it Forward idea. I'll be happy to include your name in the pot for my Very Cherry earrings. Cheers from the US.
    ´*•.¸(´*•.¸♥¸.•*´)¸.•*´
    ♥•.*.*.*.Cherry*.*.*.•♥
    ♥•.*.*.*.Chick.*.*.*.•♥
    ¸.•*´(¸.•*´♥´*•.¸)´*•.¸

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  18. Hi Cherry Cick, great to see you here. I only stumbled across the OWOH idea a day ago...its such a super event, wish I had known of it earlier! Hope to "see" you here again soon,
    Jane x

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  19. Hi Jane! I must have missed the Pay It 4wrd post thought I read the one about the lovely card with the church! Anyway, if there still a place please include me, I'll have to e-mail you though re the details! :) xx

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  20. Nelli, that is really great! Speak soon,thanks for joining in,
    Jane x

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  21. So that just leaves one more space for my PIF, next comment here is the last so come on don't miss out!
    Jane x

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment; I really enjoy reading every single one of them.
Jane x