Hello all! I seem to be constantly under time pressure these days, and I know I'm missing lots of amazing work all over Craftyblogland. My apologies...
But there are still deadlines to meet, and today it's time for a new challenge over at A Vintage Journey. The wonderful Amanda would like us to Stencil It.
It's a rare project here at Words and Pictures which doesn't include the use of a stencil so this was a lovely theme for me.
And though the stencilling here is in the background, I've tried to leave as much of it visible as possible. And the title of the tag - Lost and Found - is also taken from the stencilled text.
I'm squeezing the writing of this post in just a couple of hours before the deadline, though I'm writing about a tag I actually made over a month ago - the last time I was at home with my craft supplies. Given I don't remember too much about the making, I'll stick mainly to the lost-and-found story bubbling up from within.
As with the Carte Postale, the story was triggered by the Photobooth photo, though this one took me in a less cheerful direction. If you'd prefer simply to look at the pictures, do feel free!
I was riveted by this little boy's gaze, and the look in his eyes - somewhere between bewilderment and determination.
Coupled with the crackled lost and found wording, and with the sombre colour combination, he became for me one of the Kindertransport children, rescued in the nick of time before war broke out across Europe.
But although he found his way to safety, he also lost so much on the way...
The first Kindertransport rescued 196 children from a Berlin Jewish orphanage burned down by the Nazis in November 1938.
But thousands more followed, and many of these were children whose parents leapt at the chance to get at least their children out of harm's way.
The children were separated from their families, the vast majority of whom went on to die in the concentration camps.
They were brought to Britain by train and boat, usually with only a few precious belongings in a single bag, and were welcomed in to British foster homes, hostels, schools and farms.
It's hard to be exact about numbers, but around 10,000 predominantly Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland made the difficult journeys away from family and friends into the unknown, but also away from almost certain death to a new life.
Not all of them made it... some were still in Holland and Belgium when those countries were invaded, and were unable to make the further escape across the channel.
And, of course, after the war it took great efforts to ascertain whether there were any family members left with whom to reunite the displaced child refugees.
For most, the answer was a tragic no, and many remained in Britain, some going on to achieve great things, others simply living long and happy lives and building new generations of children and grandchildren.
None of that would have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of individuals like Nicholas Winton and Rabbi Solomon Schonfeld...
But it's also well worth noting that the British government of the day passed legislation to allow for the immigration of unaccompanied minors, as well as simplifying the immigration process in order to help the rescuers and the refugees.
Out of the horror of persecution and war come these stories of courage and compassion... Children fleeing for their lives, children who had lost their homes and their families, found new homes and a welcome from new families - lost and found.
It makes my heart ache that you see this same look in the eyes of all too many children in photos in our newspapers today... bewilderment at the changes they are undergoing, a desperate determination not to howl in despair, a quiet strength and dignity beyond their years.
I hope we can find the compassion and courage needed now that there are thousands more children displaced by war and terror, so that they too can find their way to a new home. I refuse to believe that we have lost those qualities.
Thank you for stopping by today. Even if you've skipped the words, I hope the pictures will inspire you to have a play with your stencils. You'll find lots more inspiration from my fabulous team-mates over at A Vintage Journey, so do come and Stencil It with us this month.
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.