Category: About

Beyond The Rainbow 2020/21

As we emerge from a year like no other, I was reminded of a few things. Of how every sector of life has been affected. We’ve clapped for the NHS , which has been amazing but what of the supermarket staff, care workers and Funeral Directors to mention but a few, all putting their lives at risk to be there for others.

NHS Rainbow

I was chatting to a friend whose Dad sadly passed away 2 years ago in Ireland. Estates & wills , house sales etc are always lengthy processes at the best of times but then a Global pandemic comes along & everything grinds to a halt. Unable to travel let alone tie up his affairs, her grieving journey is in limbo.

Will

I feel very lucky that I haven’t lost anyone to Covid but sadly so many have.I recently held our beloved family cat as he slipped away which was heartbreaking, but I felt so relieved that i was able to do that. It is absolutely unimaginable how poor families that have not been allowed to be by their loved ones side must be feeling. Then this arrived in the post. A beautiful, touching memento of our furry friend. Even though adding fingerprints to memory furniture is a service we offer, in that moment, as Bert slipped away it never occurred to me to take his paw print. But now when we come to say goodbye to another pet it is something I will consider.

I wonder how many families have lost loved ones in care homes and not even being able to access their belongings, go through their personal possessions and clear out their rooms even.

My Mum passed away just 3 years after my Dad 3 years before her. Unbeknown to me and my Sister, Mum Had spent that time getting her affairs in order. There was still a great deal to organize and I remember the feelings of guilt. As if we were giving her life away. When we donated clothes & other items to charity shops etc. it was like a betrayal. But the fact is, you simply can’t keep hold of everything that belonged to them. Her house sold very quickly and it was a bit of a blur.

Sold sign

So often I hear from clients that they feel guilty for not wanting to keep items of furniture in their homes that had belonged to their Parents or Grandparents for example. It may have been their pride and joy but It is not necessarily to your taste. They may love it but you don’t like it, or at least not in its original state. It is not disrespectful to deal with things as you see fit. This is how FMN memory furniture was created.
I kept one item in particular belonging to my late parents. It was a reproduction mahogany corner cabinet. The kind everyones parents had in the 70s. With a glazed top door behind which sat her Coalport China . Mum was very house proud and her front room was ‘for best’ . High days & holidays . The bottom door hid/housed her sherry and brandy for special occasions.

Ornaments

Sitting lonely & yes unloved in my garage for over three years after she died, I didn’t want anyone else to have it, I never intended to paint it and sell it but just didn’t know where or how it would work in my modern home. Until Christmas 2020 that is and suddenly I knew exactly what I needed to do with it.

Hand & bulb

My Mum started a tradition over 30 years ago. Each Christmas she would buy me and my Sisters a Snow Baby Ornament . A tradition we have carried on after losing our parents. We still buy each other one every year. As you can imagine there’s quite a collection now. I do love when it’s time for them to make an appearance, and feel sad when they have to be packed away. This year nowhere that I placed them felt right. This is when it came to me that Mum‘s former drinks cabinet would make the perfect home for them.

Forget me not

I set about creating my own memory furniture. Our house is decorated in neutral Scandi tones so the dark wood regency cupboard didn’t fit at all. I got to work removing the doors and the shaped plinth on the bottom before I began refinishing it in a contemporary grey colour. The shelves were given a woodgrain effect in a taupe. The finishing touch was an angel feather containing some of my Mums ashes which I discreetly attached to the top cornice . My snow babies were home.

Forget me not items

As part of my journey with FMN I have reached out to various organizations, forming relationships with those in the funeral industry, house clearance agencies, care homes, hospice and other makers of Keepsakes.We share a passion and common goal to assist bereaved families on their grief journey. Helping to preserve something precious, creating links from the past with their future. Because after the rain there is sun & when the two come together they create magic. What lies beyond is up to us…

Rainbow

A Mouses Tale

My Home Town. I’m lucky enough to live in Gods own county – Yorkshire. As we’ve just celebrated Yorkshire Day I thought I’d share with you some of my local history. The village we live in is Conisbrough, just off the A1 near Doncaster which was famed for its industrial heritage building famous steam engines such as Mallard.

But our little village is steeped in history too. We have a Medieval Castle mentioned in the Doomsday Book & the Novel Ivanhoe.  If you are ever in the area it’s well worth a visit & is part of English Heritage.

The view from my Kitchen window is breathtaking as I look out towards the Dearne Valley and Conisbrough Viaduct, a fantastic architectural feat of engineering and just beyond it is a quarry currently mining limestone being used to restore BIG Ben!

There was at one time a Brick Makers in the village too employing many locals as did the coal mines at nearby Cadby & Denaby Main. 

The other Famous landmark in the village is St Peters Church dating back to the 8th Century and it holds a wealth of history but what I love the most about it is this little fellow

Robert Thompson ‘Mouse Man’

Each of the pews in the church was made by this Yorkshire Man who was famed for making each one of his pieces with a carved mouse hidden somewhere uponit – hence he gained the accolade of being the Mouse Man.

So This Yorkshire Lass wants to follow in his footsteps. I am by no means a carpenter but I do want my pieces to be special for each one of my clients. To this end  I offer the option to incorporate hidden mementos. These include Thumbprints, Angelwings & feather mouldings which can  contain ashes or Locks of hair , photo & signature transfers or Decoupage items of clothing.

If you would like to own a unique, one of a kind item of furniture do get in touch and together we can make your very own Forget Me Not Piece.

How I Found My Niche

Welcome to my first ever blog. I’m delighted that you’ve taken the time to join me and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Never thought I’d find myself saying that I enjoyed writing, but I really do.

As a child I struggled at school. I hated being the one asking for help & not getting any, so in the end I stopped asking. I do recall at secondary school having a wonderful science teacher named Mrs Mason who had faith in my abilities as did my form tutor Mr Watson who was also my Geography teacher. I left Dearneside Comprehensive June 1979, never having been kissed behind the bike sheds like the popular girls. I had 2 C grades in Biology & Geography, but not much else. My favourite memory was that of the cherry blossom that lined the entrance ….

I fared much better when I attended Barnsley College doing subjects I’d chosen and enjoyed. Being a miner’s daughter I had a good work ethic. I worked from the day I left school, first job at almost 16 behind the bar at Ings Lane Social & Social Club in the pit village of Bolton on Dearne where I grew up. This gave me a good grounding & I have fond memories.

After a life of ups & downs, I found myself (through choice) a 46 year old single mum of 3 boys. This was the hardest but most rewarding job ever. I always had the love and support of my Mum & Dad who always believed in me & encouraged me in whatever I did.

Both my parents were quite creative- Dad with his DIY. I recall he once came feet first through my kitchen ceiling whilst working on a job in my bathroom above. Mum was  a skilled seamstress. When me and my sister were growing up she’d make us matching outfits. I had the latest Rarra Skirt in every colour imaginable. She was a good cook too.  We never had much money growing up but we were loved and well fed. 

Sadly I lost my Dad in 2014 and mum 3 years later in 2017 both to Cancer. My world was turned upside down. I didnt cope well after losing Mum & decided to leave my job in Education. I needed time to grieve. My therapy was painting. I worked on furniture for  friends & had a small shop but knew it wasn’t where my passion lay. Much of the work I did was inherited furniture & it gave such comfort to families, re-loving what once would have been sent to the skip.

At 55, I realised, THIS was what I loved to do.  So in January 2020 I decided to Niche my business & focus on  Memorial Commision Work under the brand of Forget Me Not Furniture & the rest, as they say, is history or it will be once this Virus does one!!!!