The Bouquet – 1848 – 2018

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July 5, 2018 by kittynh

“The Bouquet” has been a summer project, and one where it seemed every step of the way, something small and annoying would impede my progress.


Now there are two known copies of this book. I hope to do another one.

Unlike my other junk journal projects, this was the one where I would not allow myself to just brush off something as “It’s not perfect, but it’s fine.”


However, this work was a team effort.  I had an unknown partner through out.  “A Lady” from Boston, originally published this collected work or poems 150 years ago.  I bought the small battered copy at the Historic Society of Cheshire County book sale in the Spring.  It was delightful, and I feel written by a very educated New England lady with a passion for flowers and poetry.


The original and the new versions

Today, putting together a volume like the “Bouquet” would still be a lot of work.

You would have to google poetry, and match the poetry with the appropriate flower.  One thing is that these are not poems about each flower.  These poems are about the emotions, the passions and the folklore of each flower.


The new TWO volume work

There is no “Roses are red, Violets are blue…” poems here.

I tried to picture a woman, long ago before the internet, before advanced education for women, and even easy access to libraries, collecting these poems.  It must have taken her years.  She must have had access to a very complete and expensive library.


Vintage two sided ribbon, for decoration and book mark

It could have been a private library owned by her family, or perhaps one of the few public libraries.  There were also subscription libraries, but only the well to do have access to these libraries.


The vintage double sided ribbon, as a book mark. 

This was a woman of some wealth, as she not only had access to books, she had the free time to collect the poems and complete “The Bouquet”.

Also she had the means to have this book published.

Were these just printed for family and friends, or were copies sold in bookstores?


This is very simple, for junk journaling.  A simple “frame” for the poems. 

The other hint she was a private lady of means, is that she did not use her real name.  She is simply “A Lady”.

The old adage was that a true lady only had her name in the paper three times.

  1. When she was born
  2. When she was married
  3. When she died.

This Lady from Boston, followed the rules.  All her hard work was offered to the world anonymously.


Modern vintage looking graphics. No old books were harmed in this new version!

I decided to take on the task of making another copy of “The Bouquet”.  I don’t know if I own the only copy of this book  extant.

I found, at my age, it was hard to read the small print of the original small book.

So after a failed first attempt working with the original size, I decide to make the pages a bit larger.



The poems may mention a flower, but aren’t about flowers.

This is very tame junk journaling.  I kept the graphics very simple, and the pages all tie together with the use of the same modern versions of vintage graphics by Tim Holtz.


The original, still in good shape despite the age.  

While working, when ever a problem would pop up, such as a missing page requiring more scanning and enlarging…I would stay calm and keep working at the books.

Right, I wrote “BOOKS”.

Because the original book is 128 pages long, with enlargement, pasting and embellishments, my version was truly too thick to fit in just one book.


Two volumes 

It’s much more easy to read and enjoy the poems in two volumes. The two volumes are another modern change.

The finished work I feel is a collaboration between “The Boston Lady” and myself. I felt the need to work just as hard as she did with the original volume.

I plan to treasure the original volume.  I also hope to do a few more modern editions of “The Bouquet”.  Perhaps not as complex as this first go at it!


The ribbon, very rare vintage ribbon.

My favorite special feature is the ribbon, which is used here to make a bookmark. The double sided ribbon is from a now closed New Hampshire ribbon company.  This ribbon will never be made again, and was purchased from an antique store in Peterborough New Hampshire.  Let’s say it’s not craft store price for this ribbon.


“A Lady”

So, I hope people will continue to enjoy the original and my newer two volume update.  I hope “A Lady” would be happy with my version where all I wanted to do was highlight all her hard work.  Her pairing of flower with poems and quotes, shows she loved both poetry and flowers.

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