Maker Post: Roses Are Yellow

Hey! It’s a Richard Armitage related post! And even more pertinent it’s in time for Thornton Thursday (see Twitter, lol)!

So, my first post was about  some little cross stitches I made for Guylty Pleasure‘s Flat Richie Project last year, which she’s revisiting on her blog at present

This post is about the other item I made for the parcel. As i mentioned previously on my blog , the idea was a parcel that travels the world to fans who signed up and you take out 3 items and put 3 back in.

So, I started off by thinking about characters Richard plays and things we associate with them.

Tbh, Mr Thornton from the BBC mini series North and South is probably a bit of a cop out, but he’s one of Richard’s most iconic characters and very beloved in the fandom.

When we think of Mr Thornton, we think of  his intensity,  his top hat, that cravat, the Mill, his Mother and the train station scene amongst many things

The train station scene is probably the most iconic scene in the mini series. It’s right at the end of the  last episode and Mr Thornton is on a north bound train after having traveled to see what the fuss was about Helston, where his beloved Margaret lived growing up, and Margaret is on a South bound train accompanied by Henry after having organised business to get Mr Thornton back on his feet and the mill back at work.

Both trains are stopped at a train station, when Margaret gets out for a breather and sees John sat in the opposite carriage, he sees her and his whole demeanour changes..



They come out and talk and at one point John pulls out a yellow rose he ‘found in the hedgerow’ at her old house in Helston and the story comes to it’s inevitably conclusion and everyone cries and wishes they were Margaret…..

My first thought was to make a rose, but I have a strong interest in jewellery so I did a little search on eBay for a vintage porcelain rose brooch. These were in fashion years ago, bone china flowers have been made to decorate pottery since the middle of the 18th century and became popular as jewellery during Victorian times. You quite often see them in charity shops, but that is down to chance which is where ebay was my friend. The one I chose was from the Coalport Potteries.

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On it’s own, it’s not a very exciting or original idea, so I thought the best thing was to sort out a presentation box. This is multi functional, it protects the jewellery and also in itself is an attractive item. One great thing in my favour is that my partner runs a laser cutting business, so i knew I’d be able to make something that look semi-professional plus also he handily had some prefabricated boxes in his stash.

The box i chose was a cute hexagonal box with hinges. It is wooden and to protect it ,plus give the wood a warmer feel-i painted it with 3 layers of shellac.

Next was getting my creative juices to start flowing and decide on how to decorate the box.

So, traditionally boxes that comes from a jewelers have a couple of features. They normally look nice on the outside so you know something special is inside. They usually contain a velvet or satin covered cushion to support and protect the item of jewelry  and they tend to have the jewelers name /address on the box.

I started with making a padded cushion to attach the brooch to in the box. I found a lovely piece of brown and turquoise Chinese pattern satin in my fabric stash, which I thought was just the job.

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So next was to figure out what to decorate the box with. A great resource for free to use artwork is the Graphics Fairy website , it was here I found this beautiful design of a heart with flowers and an arrow which was found in an antique book

On it’s own, this seemed to be missing something which is when it occurred to me use use Mr Thornton’s  iconic words in the train station scene ‘I found it in the hedgerow ‘ which relates directly to Margaret’s beloved rose. I felt the best font would be one that looked like it was hand written for a romantic, personal feel

I decorated the inside of the lid with some beautiful paper I was given by a friend which had yellow roses on it and used Japanese washi tape to attach and decorate the edges.

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As a final little addition, I thought it would be sweet to add a little nod to Elizabeth Gaskell herself -so we engraved ‘Gaskell’s Jewellers, Helston’ on the bottom of the box!

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Hope you like it! I’m overall pleased the result, I guess the only slight issue was the grain and softness of the wood wasn’t ideal for the delicate writing on the front. But it’s legible and hopefully found a good home to a Mr Thornton fan!


    1. aww schucks! as i’ve said before, he’s a great muse and it’s wonderful to be so inspired. And truly there’s no better feeling knowing that it’s gone to a good home

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is such a wonderful piece of work. I really love all about it (although I am one of those very un-ladylike people who actually likes the box better than the brooch… And I am saying that even though I own a similar yellow porcellain rose – as a pendant – yet never wear it at all…). I really like the design you have chosen for the decor on the lid, and that quote is just lovely. The little nod to Gaskell provides the touch of humour that makes the whole thing really special. And your handiwork inside the box is absolutely lovely. Great choice of fabric and paper.
    (Btw, I think you should consider making more of these gorgeous boxes – if BF is on for it – and sell them on Etsy. I am sure that there are lots of Gaskell fans out there who would pay for a trinket box like this. It doesn’t even have to have the padded inside.)
    Whoever was the FR participant who got this, really had luck on her side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you, it’s funny as i wrote this post as a draft then re-wrote alot today because I don’t tend to notice my thought process when i’m crafting as my mid just whizzes along.! Regarding humour…well that’s me all over-I like a little wink and nod, Regarding etsy, you’re not the first person to say that to me, but tbh i’m much happier doing things like this for flatrichie and the birthday auctions and randomly sending stuff to peeps to cheer them up.
      I have another rose brooch which i picked up in a charity shop, have worn it for steampunk events but not generally. I like wearing brooches but they can get knocked off easily by wearing a shoulder bag.


      1. i’m slightly reluctant to remake the same thing, because for me I think it makes it special for the owner knowing they have the only one (bit like the uniqueness of Guylty’s RAPS). I’m trying to brainstorm something similar but different

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just fabulous! Anne was very lucky snatching it up !! Your two cross stitch plus your badges last year were superb! Even if our Mr Moody Anti socialite missed it attached to his Thorin card😉
    I love your cross stitch for me too
    Feel very fortunate as I know you put so much love and thought in all you do !!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s lovely to know, how was the Welsh tea btw? That was my third gift in the box (alongside Welsh Red Dragon Dolerhyde!)
      Lady Hale is a great lady to admire, with wonderful taste in jewellery 😊


  3. Wow! I’m impressed!. “I found it in the hedgerow” is one of my favorite quotes and scenes from the series and to this day I think of it whenever I visit a rose garden and will seek out a yellow rose bush. What a great project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ah thank you, it really is one of the most memorable scenes and so beautiful and tender! i’m so lucky that a few years before I got into the fandom that we chose a yellow rose climber for our garden! makes me smile when i see it


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