Monday, June 20, 2011

G is for Grandma

A lot of people have inspired me tremendously to create and be creative. I have talked about my mom in relation to my crafting so I think it's a gimme how much she inspired me and was one of my primary teachers. BUT considering today's letter is G, mom doesn't fit. So I'm turning my attention to another woman in my life and family that was inspirational to my fiber arts.

My grandmother is really the only grandmother I had. My paternal grandmother, whom I share my middle name with, passed away before I was born. From stories, I have a feeling she would have been just as inspirational to me in crafting, the arts, and in the kitchen, as my mother. My maternal grandmother was alive and I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time getting to know her and be inspired by her.

Now, before I go any further I want to say that it is posts like this that make me wish my family was more "photo friendly." No - not saying we are an ugly lot, I'm just saying we don't take near enough pictures. I searched and searched for photos of my grandma and I just don't have any. I found a couple of her back... but those don't do her much justice. So, I found a wallet sized photo and did my best with taking a picture of the picture. I apologize for the quality of the photo - but I think this post alone may have inspired me to take a little more care in taking photos and getting them into albums (and in an external drive... guess I need to buy a scanner!)

So there isn't a whole lot of demographic stuff I can tell you about her - I don't know the exact date of her birthday but I am pretty sure its in September. In my defense - I really don't know anyone's birthday outside of my immediate family and children. She was born in 1928 (I think) and was not an overly educated woman. I don't think she finished high school. She worked in a factory for a time and lived in Indianapolis. She moved to my hometown when I was about 5 years old.

We would visit her almost every day - usually it was my dad and I visiting because my mother worked in a factory. My dad was handicapped so he did odd jobs, leaving him to be my stay at home parent. He enjoyed going to "mee-maws" and sharing a cup of coffee and casual chat. My brother and I would play outside or in the school yard in the next block on nice days. When it was rainy or cold out... heck, who am I kidding - we still played outside or over in the school yarn in he next block.

I really took her for granted as far as being there. This had a lot to do with the fact that my family was always "there." I never had to question if Grandma or Grandpa were there or if my parents were around or my brother was there to taunt me.

My grandma always took her coffee in the same cup and always sat in the same spot. Her spot was pretty much like mine is now - it was her craft nest. This is what I want to talk about today - my grandmother as an inspiration to crafting and the arts.

My grandmother always had something in her hands. She was an avid crocheter although I admit, I don't think I ever remember seeing her knit. I remember when plastic canvas came out - she was all over that like white on rice. She had plastic canvas everywhere! She always sewed - Her sewing machine was in the same spot from the day she moved to her house in my hometown to the day she died - it was set up in the "guest room" that was converted to an all out craft and beanie baby room. She made goose clothes, plastic canvas dresses, crocheted bed dolls, afghans, ... she was a manufacturing company all her own. She was insane when it came to crafting.... and between you and me - I LOVED IT.

As a kid I got to see new yarns, watch her quilt, touch the silk threads she embroidered with, help her choose colors, help her decide if "this looks ok" or not....

I was around 8 or 9 when she bought her first kiln and got into ceramic making. She painted so many wonderful things and that lead the way to my dad making me a porcelain doll from start to finish - .... my dad even made the mold that was poured - my mother banded all the arms and head so they moved....

but that is a story for a different time.

So that was my grandma - while I may not have a bunch of material items or hundreds of photos, I do have a million memories of her and the inspiration she gave me to be creative.

I only have a few material items from her since she passed away three years ago. One of those is a large swatch of the shell stitch... I'm not sure what it was intended; however, that is packed away in my cedar chest. The other item, pictured here, is a ceramic bear she painted and banded (so it's limbs and head move) and she sewed the dress.

The bear was a little more handy to pull out of storage and snap a photo.

I'm hoping that with our move later this month, I'll be able to get a nice display cabinet where my little bear grandma made will have a nice place to sit.... safely.

I miss my grandma terribly - sometimes it feels unreal that she is gone because she was always there, but I know that she is waiting for me in heaven.... perhaps with a sewing needle or crochet hook in hand.

If you are interested in reading more ABC entries like this one or would like to share one of your own, head on over to the Accidental Knitter's blog for the link party.


Natalie Howells said...

Aww, that's a lovely tribute :) 

LyndaGrace said...

That was a very sweet post.   Grandmas are very special, I know mine was.

Charlotte said...

Lovely post :) 

Sharon said...

Very sweet post - I can tell how much she means to you.  Her bear is lovely - it will be very nice if you are able to display it. 

CrochetConcupiscence said...

Lovely celebration of a woman who was obviously important to you!

Carolee479 said...

Very lovely post!

Vikkihook said...

My grandma taught me how to be a grandma..She made each one of us kids feel like we were each her favorite. Found that out while talking at her funeral.. I miss her from time to time, but see her when I look in the mirror and makes me smile.

topperarnold said...

What a sweet post. Your grandmother sounds like a lovely person. The bear she made is just amazing. Judging by the bear's dress, she was quite a seamstress. 

Emma said...

What a lovely post, you are so lucky to have so many happy memories of her, and to still have things that she made for you which you can treasure forever

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