Monday, January 2, 2012

On The Eighth Day of Christmas - Julie Cohen's Own 'Faberge Egg'

On the eight day of Christmas Julie Cohen adds her favourite ornament to the RNA tree...

My favourite ornament

My mother is both artistic and deft and can create beautiful things for her family and friends to enjoy. The walls of the house where we grew up are decorated with her framed embroidery; she made me Hallowe'en costumes and beautiful beloved rag dolls when I was growing up. She used to decorate wedding cakes with delicate hand-made sugar flowers and she has made her home both comfortable and elegant. 

When I was about seven years old, she went through a phase of making Christmas ornaments out of egg-shaped styrofoam balls, covered with velvet ribbon, jewelled pins and sequins. They were things of baroque beauty, every one different and marvellous. Every year I would set them out carefully in a row to savour the differences. My personal favourite was made of pink velvet and crusted with rhinestones, topped with an elaborate pink bow. Later, when I saw my first photograph of a Faberge egg, I would think of that ornament. When we decorated the Christmas tree, I always put that pink velvet ornament in pride of place, right in the front of the tree at eye level, where it would catch the light and sparkle.

I tried to make one myself. While I'm reasonably artistic, I've never been gifted in crafts, like my mother; when I made my ornament, the ribbon wouldn't stick to the egg, the pins were all wonky, the bow was bedraggled. You could see white styrofoam peeking through the decorations. Mom wouldn't let me throw it away. Ashamed, I hung it right at the back of the tree, where no one would see it. But mysteriously, it kept on migrating to the front of the tree. In pride of place. 

I know now that my mother moved it. It was her favourite.

My latest book: The Summer of Living Dangerously:

I have a free Christmas-themed read up on my website, to read or download:


Jan Jones said...

Aw, Julie, how perfectly lovely!


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