Holding On

Last weekend, I took a trip up to Milwaukee, to visit my mom and grandpa and help clean out my grandmother’s craft room.  My mom had told me of the piles of boxes and fabric and the cabinets nearly bursting with surprises.  I always wondered what exactly was in there, but was never permitted to look around.  My grandmother was a bit protective of her belongings.  I hear her voice echoing in my childhood constantly about not wearing shoes on her carpet, not playing in the living room where the tall glass cabinets held her china knick knacks and so on.

Sunday, then, was a bit surreal.  I arrived at my grandparents’ house, with news that my grandpa had taken a tumble and was in the hospital (and he is mending, thank goodness), and my mom wanted to get through the boxes as quickly as possible.  She had moved about half of the craft stuff out of the upstairs room and into the middle of the living room, where it would be easier to sort through.  We made three piles – one for mom, one for me, and one for donation.

I admit, it was a little strange, digging through piles of holiday crafts, never finished sewing projects, and boxes upon boxes of silk flowers.  I couldn’t help but wonder what she had planned to do with it all, and what she would think of what I was planning to do with it all.  I felt a little guilty in taking things from the pile and for not taking things.  My mother kept telling me that if I even had a short fused idea about an item, I ought to take it with me, because in this situation I would not be able to go back to get it.  After Sunday, it would be gone for good.

Needless to say, I ended up with far more than I know what to do with, and the promise of a trip in the not too distant future to clean out the other half of the craft room.

I took boxes of beads, buttons, and findings…

These funny little fuzzy animals, which Ellette quickly laid claim to…

Some beautiful fabric, which I am not quite sure what to make with…

Silk flowers….

And silk flowers…

And even more silk flowers.  Some of them were quite cool, however.  Like these metallic leaf bunches:

And these blue velvety roses

I took far more hats and baskets than I know what to do with

Ribbon and several boxes of lace

I am still cleaning up my studio and reorganizing to accomodate the sudden influx of supplies.  Much of it has caused inspiration (tons of the lace will look great on my top hats!)  So, if you keep checking back over the next month, I am sure you will see much of this stuff being used!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Douglas Johnson
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 07:51:51

    I would suggest that the silk flowers, ribbons, and lace were probably intended for decorating the plain straw hats you found. Were there also bundles of feathers and fake fruit? Fancy hats were very fashionable for women 60-80 years ago, and your grandma was apparently a milliner in her free time!


  2. Little Green Pixie
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 13:35:23

    I was hoping there would be fabulous feathers, but we haven’t found any yet. Most of the flowers were on vines or in the candle stick circle that I think means they were meant as centerpieces at some point. There was a bunch of fake fruit, however. I bet to some extent you were right about the items being used for the hats, although the hats are too small to actually wear. I think they were more for hanging decorations. I was planning on having my daughter brings some friends over to decorate some of the hats. Grandma liked to make clothes for her china dolls and cutesy stuff for stuffed animals. We found a few boxes of bunnies and bears (my daughter grabbed a few but not me) and I think some of it was meant to be more holiday decorations.


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