Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Five Boys

I bet most of you remember the Five boys chocolate bar, made by Frys between 1902 and 1976. It was much desired by me as a child probably because it was almost forbidden fruit. We only had a few pence pocket money and we were encouraged to buy 2oz of midget gums or sherbet pips, so we got quite a bagful for our money. But for some reason the Five boys bar has stayed in my memory. For those who have forgotten it, the wrapper showed five photos of the same little boy, supposedly showing the range of emotions between the initial desire for the chocolate through to the eating of it.

Well I have my own five boys now; my lovely sons ranging from 24 to nearly 40 years in age, and this is how I made a unique peice of art work inspired by them and a now extinct chocolate bar.

In an earlier blog I showed a photo of my ongoing lace work. Here it is again. Though it is not too complex for a good lace-maker, for a beginner like me, it was a pleasing piece to have mastered without any help. And now it is at last finished. It needed around sixty bobbins which meant that when the lace-making was done, I had around sixty ends to link, tie off and sew in. That was hard work!

Looking at the finished piece, I suppose the most obvious use for it would be to top a cover for a tissue box and I did consider this, but then I had a new idea.

This is the most recent photo I have of my five boys, taken when they had a get-together in late December 2010. I used photoshop to change this to a picture in sepia tones, and then to cut out each of their heads separately, and blur the edge along the neckline.

I rearranged them in age order, evenly separated in a straight line, then pasted them onto a white background and cloned out any marks and joins. The next task was to press the lace and carefully measure the size of the aperture. I returned to the photo and altered it slightly to get the proportions correct, and printed it onto some photo transfer paper that has lain unused in my stash for so long that I have no idea where it came from. This was then ironed onto some white cotton fabric. My first attempt was too dark so the features were lost, but I lightened it quite a bit and then it worked fine. The last bit was to hand-sew the lace on using an overlocking stitch which means the fabric can be trimmed up close to the stitching. Finally I mounted it onto some brown card, and here is my finished peice.
I think it is rather fun and quite unique. I shall now get it framed and hang it somewhere away from the direct sunlight so the lace does not yellow nor the picture fade.


vinny said...

What a lovely idea. That lace is just beautiful, it must have taken ages to make. It certainly makes something truly unique. x Lavinia

judith@poppy cottage said...

What a labour of love Kate. A great keepsake, although whether your boys will look at it that way remains to be seen! You are so talented to be able to make the lace, Judith xx

Aquarius said...

What a terrific idea for a piece of beautiful hand made lace and I'm sure the 'five boys' will love it. It is certainly unique.

Jill said...

What a wonderful tribute to your boys!! The handmade lace is absolutely gorgeous!



Jane said...

The lace is beautiful, putting it to an unusual and original use.

Jean Straw said...

What a fabulous fun idea,and the lace is beautiful. Jean

Gina said...

Fabulous work Kate, so creative and talented.
Gina x

Crazicards Crafty Blog said...

You are very clever Kate, that lace work is just gorgeous. :O) HUgs Angie

Jo said...

That is excellent Kate. Love it!

Lynne K said...

This is an amazing, very creative piece of work, Kate! What a wonderful family heirloom it will be. I admire anyone who can make lace. It seems very complicated to me. Yes, I do remember the Five Boys chocolate, a favourite from my childhood too.

Fiona said...

Kate, what a brilliant piece of work! Congratulations :)

It's possible your lace teacher and I met in the distant past. I gave a talk to the Poole Lace Group once...actually I did it twice, because my projector packed up as soon as I started the first time, and they kindly invited me back the following year to do it properly!