Thursday, October 28, 2010

Temari progress

I finally made some progress on temari last night, by admitting I was getting nowhere on my current project. I was trying to stitch spindles with floss, which I had chosen because of the color selection, and I was spinning my wheels and getting frustrated. I finally ordered (most of) the colors I wanted last night in #5 pearl, and started a new temari while I wait for them to come in. It feels like a weight off my shoulders, something I should have done at the beginning instead of trying to "make do."

There was just one more thing in the sewing box, but it was not from my grandma, so I saved it until today to talk about. Cousin S's brother-in-law is a sculptor, and at some point in his career worked at a place that produced these cuties:


The are about as big as my thumb nail, a little donkey, ram, bunny, and cow. All four of them have really silly expressions, like I said, Cute! Thank you again S.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's in her workbasket?

I mentioned last time that my cousin S gave me a gift at our get-together. I was thrilled and touched when she gave me our grandmother's sewing box! She has had it for several years and thought I would enjoy looking at it.


When I opened it, I could tell right away this was a working basket, and it tells me a lot about my grandma, so I thought I would repeat the meme that came out some time ago, "Show us your sewing basket."


It is lined with pale green satin, and the first thing you see are two hankies:

The first one out of very fine linen with her maiden name monogram.


She did white-work before she was married. I remember her showing off a piece of white-work stitching when I was in college, and she told me then it was done before she was married. It is possible this work was too "fancy" to be useful for a farmer's wife, but I know she treasured the pieces she had; and this is another proof of that.

The second one has her first name initial done in extremely fine cross stitch with a tatted edging. I was so thrilled when I saw this one I got tears in my eyes. This one wasn't made for anyone else, it was made for her, and was kept separate, in a safe place. It must have been special to her.


There are a couple of lengths of crocheted lace and a beaded necklace. I remember her making these necklaces when I was a kid too. I didn't think they were very beautiful back then, but I have made some like it since then.


There is also a very pretty crocheted doily. I am tempted to wash and block this one just to see its full beauty. I will test a couple of threads first though, to make sure it will not disintegrate.


This is fun, it is a little tiny leather purse, very worn (there are a couple of holes in it). I wonder if she used it for pin money. She never had too much "mad" money, she was a widow raising 4 children, and supporting her parents and sister as well. When S and I were talking on Saturday, we were both wondering how she did it.


Now we get to the real meat of the matter, the tools. I was amazed by everything that was included here.


There are two tatting shuttles, and three pouches with different sizes of crochet hooks, plus two additional hooks (one a size 12, so fine you can hardly see the hook). There's a ruler, two scissors, a hairpin lace loom, and a shoe button hook (I think that is what it is). Very organized, very neat, with nothing extra. Oh, I take that back, there is one double pointed knitting needle. I wonder where the rest of the set is?

There are a couple more things that I didn't get pictures of, a spool of white and a spool of black thread, a couple of needles, a ball of tatting thread, and a worn thimble. All necessary things that were used, and taken care of.

This was the basket of a real needle woman. It is a real lesson to me too, that I do not need rooms full of stash to be fulfilled in my "work" (as she called it).

Miss you grandma!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This was the weekend of our "All 'D' Annual Meeting" our family get-together in Grand Rapids. All five siblings were there, 80% of the grand-kids, and all of the great-grand-kids. We usually drive up for the day, and it is usually a beautiful drive because of the changing colors.

It was our usual dreary day, but not too cold for the kids to run around outside on the veranda. Mom tried to vary our usual menu of Corn bread and chili con carne, but there was such a protest that they changed the menu back. Everyone brings food, and we had tons of left-overs. We spend a couple of hours eating and talking.

We decided to invite other 'D' cousins who live in the Michigan area, so that was even more fun. My cousin R came in with her international students, and they got to try golfing. My cousin S came as well, and brought me a gift I want to tell you about tomorrow. My SIL took the little kids minigolfing on the same property we were on, and they had loads of fun too.

Those of us who aren't terribly athletic participated in the annual craft project instead. My sister brought origami paper (some beautiful washabi paper) and we made ornaments. These are the ones I came up with.


And this is my favorite one. I love the color and the way the bead matches. Thank you V for sharing your origami paper.