I'll have to write a story about it sometime, but the day Roy proposed, the moment he proposed, he presented me with a beautiful red, velvel-like rosebud. It had a long stem with several leaves. It was early January, 2009.
It's now 2012, three years later. And you know what? I dried that rose and hung on to it for dear life. I kept it in a cup or vase on our table or benchtop everywhere we have lived since. That's four house-moves, or five if you count the two or three weeks just before the big day where I was out of my flat and staying at a friends until we were married.
I had even kept the roses that Roy gave me on the date that we had our first kiss. Those ones weren't doing very well, most of the dried petals had fallen out so it was time to finally let them go a few months ago.
But this 'proposal rose' was not going anywhere. It still looked perfect. It had dried beautifully. One leaf was still remaining, the red petals turned to a deep, burnt velvet colour.
For a long time I had been thinking of how I was going to keep it safe, away from danger. One day it struck me - put it in a shadow box and hang it on the wall.
But not just any shadow box would do. It had to be long enough to fit the whole length of the stem, and deep enough to not crush the bud. I had it in my thoughts every week, what could I do, especially without spending much or any money on it.
I was sitting in our lounge when it clicked. Upstairs, tucked away in my organised piles, I knew exactly where it was, I had a canvas which I had begun to paint a picture on. It was nowhere near finished and, to be honest, I had lost the inspiration to finish it. Alas, it was the perfect size for my rose. Long and deep. I just had to figure out how to make it into a shadow box.
Here's what I came up with after I found a stash of the right fabric in the closet. I got out my staple gun, craft knife, needle and thread and got to work.
|So the canvas was going to have bumble bees flying all over it, with smiley faces.|
|Cut the canvas off the frame, I cut it here so there would be minimal|
fabric showing after it was all ripped off.
|I sliced only on one side of the staples so there wouldn't be any left-over bits of canvas to fly around and make a mess. The canvas ripped out quite easily.|
|You might find more staples, do the same, slice beside them but only on one side.|
|Bare frame, looking good.|
|Uh oh, the frame doesn't sit flush - never fear, it gets covered by the fabric.|
|Time to play around a bit.|
|Sew the corner gaps with a simple running stitch. Don't stop at the first corner, keep going all around to the back, then tie off the thread.|
|Finished fabricating... haha.|
|The finished product, ready to hang.|
I don't want it to get dusty over time so, when I get around to it, I'll cover it entirely with clear cellophane.