Monday, October 10, 2011


be·speak  (b-spk)tr.v. be·spoke (-spk), be·spo·ken (-spkn) or be·spoke, be·speak·ing, be·speaks
1. To be or give a sign of; indicate.
a. To engage, hire, or order in advance.
b. To request: bespeak a favor.
I've been reading this word for years in my decorating magazines, and I wrongly thought it carried a meaning close to "eponymous."  I finally looked it up.   The definition is so clean and precise that I've begun sprinkling it into my conversations.  
And this week, after seeing the army/lace/denim bags on this blog, my sister bespoke a bag.  She is not a lace girl at all, so her bag is all burlap and army fabric and plenty of buttons. In fact, this sparkly pin is about to be switched out for a smooth silver one.
I used a darker burlap, because she is a busy young mom and the bag will get hauled all over.  
This shows the reverse side, with lots of buttons just like she wanted.  (Also in this picture:  my daughter's boots, planted with driftwood to keep them from flopping over).
I finished Anna's bag and I looked around my house, and realized that very few of our possessions are bespoken.  I have some pieces that my husband made for me, and a couple of custom-upholstered soft furnishings.  I have a new necklace made by my friend Gretchen.  And a bear, (my Grandma was famous for churning them out by the hundreds), stitched out of an old family blanket. 
And I realized that the word "bespoke" reminds me, not of high-end custom labor, but of some old familiar lines:
"For you created my inmost being,
   you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully 
   and wonderfully made;
 your works are wonderful,
 I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
 when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths
 of the earth,
 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
 were written in your book
 before one of them came to be.
(Ps. 139:14-16)

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