The power of a letter A; Ed’s lovely handwriting
The Power of a letter a;
ed’s lovely handwriting
Let me tell you my own wonderful true story about embroidering one of my first love letters…
Tiny bit of back story; I’ve been practising this technique for a v long time and finally got it to a point where I was SO HAPPY. But then it dawned on me, all my practises were on beautiful handwriting. As much as embroidering Frida Kahlo’s handwriting (image below) was a truly memorable experience, her handwriting is so utterly beautiful anyway that it was always going to be aesthetically pleasing.
No - I needed to practise some handwriting that was more difficult, less ‘traditionally’ beautiful, scruffy - just plain bad handwriting.
Cue; Ed Harrison. Luckily, the love of my life - Ed - despite being the most neat and perfectly geometric designer on earth, has the handwriting of a 6 year old. This may sound so harsh, but trust me, this boy is so perfect in every other way that for him to have one tiny imperfect thing is like nectar for me to cling onto. In saying that, it was this stitching process that actually made me realise Ed’s handwriting really is perfect and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Ugh *roll eyes emoji*…
Right then, the search was on for some practise time..Ed’s handwriting, ed’s handwriting...Memory box! I rummaged through all the scribbles, photos, & notes, and then I found it. The Eagle card. This is the one.
After secretly tracing the card in the studio next door, Ed & I had dinner & plonked our lovely bums onto the sofa (and probably put Breaking Bad on). We can’t sit still ever though so it’s not unusual for me to be sewing away and him to illustrating or making paper insects (link), but I kept a little bit of distance so he wouldn’t see what I was doing. Sat there on my little corner of the sofa, I began to turn his handwriting into a stitched version.
Starting with an ‘R’, a few basic stitches, onto a little ‘e’, carrying on mindlessly until I reached it. Ed’s letter ‘t’. Ommmgg HOW have I never noticed his t’s are SO LONG - comedy long. It’s utterly GLORIOUS. Then it’s time for excitement (no irony) number 2, Ed’s letter ‘a’. Ed’s letter ‘a’ is just the cutest most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. And I had never noticed it until now. LET ME TELL YOU, I was in a battle of emotion from wanting to cry and/or laugh with joy. It’s just one big line that curves, not like mine which is formed of a kind of oval and a straight line. So imagine me now, JB who tells Ed everything and I’m bursting with joy and excitement over a letter ‘a’ and a letter ‘t’ and I have to act nonchalant. Hard work.
AND THEN, I REACH THE GOLD. Ed either had a little wobble with the pen when he was writing this or he’s put two ‘s’ by mistake, but can you see how’s he’s written ‘this’ in the third line? …???? IT STAYS! The sheer amount of unadulterated joy I got from stitching this semi-mistake is unreal (is that ridiculous? Should I see someone professional about this?).
SO - before I continue for every single letter, let’s just zoom forward a couple of hours and I’m finished and my brain is overworked from excitedness containment. It’s time to show Ed. Inside I’m feeling a little nervous at this point because obviously it’s not going to look the EXACT same, and maybe he won’t even recognise his own writing??? I hand it to him and say ‘who’s handwriting is this then?’ and his reaction is perfect. He not only recognised it instantly but he also had a mild freakout about it because 1) he didn’t understand how I’d done it 2) he said when he read it, he read it in his own voice because it was his handwriting. He was so touched by it, and his reaction really shocked me (even though Ed is always team JB and top support).
So, a couple of hours of practise and (initially) mindless decision making turned into me almost crying because I feel like I’ve analysed Ed’s weird old scrawl and Ed’s emo response. HEAVEN WAS THIS SOFA MOMENT!
Needless to say, I then had a little bit of imposter syndrome and thought oh maybe it only worked because this is personal to us, and actually creating this for someone else won’t be the same. UNTIL Alex Sedgmond rocked up with his camera, his beard, and his dreamy capital-lettered handwriting. I said, to said bearded-wonderman, let’s make a little gift for Abi (Alex’s glorious wife) and I had THE SAME EXPERIENCE, only this time with his letter ‘w’s, ‘n’s, & ‘u’s! They all go up insanely at the end, like the highest things ever and they are utterly brilliant (see below!).
Okay so ramble town over. I just wanted a space where I could express freely and openly the sheer joy I feel creating these. This technique took me a full year of constant practise to achieve and it’s one of my proudest life goals. I would be honoured to turn anyone’s handwriting into a forever love letter.
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