All of her grandchildren called my maternal grandmother “Nanum”. Apparently, I started it. She wanted to be called Nana, and my grandfather Grandpa, but I called them “Nanum” and “Umpa”, and it stuck.
Nanum was a slim, immaculately dressed lady, with a twinkle in her eye and the capacity to rally people into action and make it seem like fun. She and Umpa regularly moved with his work and she seemed to take it in her stride, arriving in a new town, getting new groups off the ground and leaving them thriving. Their most exciting move was from New Zealand to London in the 1960’s where they lived a very glamorous lifestyle, wining and dining at Embassies and living in grand houses. My all time favourite story as a small child was of a ball at Buckingham Palace and I asked to hear it many times. My mum, 18 at the time, went with them. She sewed both her dress and Nanum’s dress from beautiful silk they’d bought in Bombay and they wore them with long kid gloves that had a line of tiny pearl buttons at the wrist. I imagine Nanum wore a fur around her shoulders. Umpa drove them through the big gates of the Palace in his little car. Inside they met the Queen and danced with the richest man in the world. It was the stuff of dreams for a little girl in New Zealand.
Many years later we had two of Nanum’s old furs in our dress-up box. One was a fox, complete with a head and little claws. It was fascinating, but a little creepy. The other was long and slim, with caramel satin lining. As a child I didn’t really understand how to wear that one, but it all came back to me as I pondered over how to make my faux fur scarf for the first outfit of my Handmade Wardrobe. Although it was a bit tattered, I can clearly remember the lining and the strip of fabric on the back of Nanum’s fur and I’ve tried to recreate it from memory.
Mine is about 4″ wide and 32″ long with curved ends. It’s lined with some silky fabric I’ve had for years and finished with a strip of the same silky fabric that I’ve stitched on by hand. It’s simple to wear; one end is slipped through the fabric loop underneath and, hey presto, it’s on.
What do you think? I was surprised at how warm it it – cosy. (I apologise to anyone who isn’t keen on fur, even if it is fake…)
I’m nearly done with my first outfit. Apparently my glass chunks have been fired so hopefully I’ll get them back this week and do something with them. I’ve got an awesome location in mind for the photoshoot – making the most of what Cambridge has to offer – but I need Mr Myrtle to take the photos, so we’ll take them this coming weekend.
In the meantime, I’ve got a FANTASTIC giveaway later this week (see my sidebar for a clue) and I’m busy planning Outfit 2. See you soon!
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