Saturday, September 24, 2011

Remembering Grandma: Post 2

My regular readers may remember me posting about a box my grandma had loaded full of stuff for me a few weeks before she passed away. She knew she was going to pass away and took time with my mother and her other daughter to get her affairs in order before she did. I didn't know about this box until recently - my mother held on to it and gave it to me when the time was right for her - which I don't blame her. Losing a parent is hard - I know. My dad passed away 9 years ago and I still have issues.... but that's a different post - different blog.

I admit I am taking my own sweet time dipping into the contents of this box. Some of the items really flood the memories while others make me thing "what in the world - why would she give this to me." She was a funny woman and I am sure she had her reason - even if it was "oh, Crissy would love this" or "HA! If I give this to Crissy, I'll confuse the crap outta her." *laughs* My grandma and I had a strange dynamic but I loved her so much. She is the only grandma I knew as my paternal grandmother passed away a couple years before I was born. My grandmother was an amazing woman: funny and straightforward. We would get to joking with one another and she would get choked up and try to talk, stumbling on her words and then just scream "OH CRISSY! You are the meanest" .. or orneriest, or whatever worked for the situation... usually those two, though.

It is safe to say, my grandma and I joked around all the time.

So today - from the box she left me, I will be going through items from a small basket I picked from the top of the items.

There are a lot of small random items in here, some I remember, others I don't. Some are craft related, others are not.

The basket itself I remember sitting in her craft room. It was pretty much a catch all basket and it really looks like she just put some stuff in it, similar to how she would have anyway, and plopped it right down in the top of the box. It may even have been she had the box full and when she did one more pass around, she thought "Eh, Crissy - you are probably the only grandchild that would want this mess," plopping it into my box of randomness.

The most notable item in the basket is the plastic canvas American flag.

First, it may look like the picture is flipped, or a mirror image, but it's not. For some reason she put the blue field on the right.

What memories does this flag bring? First, my grandma LOVED plastic canvas. I remember when it first came out (or at least became popular) - she had those sheets of plastic squares all over the place. She loved it. I loved running my fingers over there, with and without yarn. She was constantly on a search for cool patterns. She made stand-up dolls (most remembered were her American Indian dolls), tissue box covers, Christmas ornaments, place mats.... but what I remember most, and was probably her most recent "kick" before getting sick, was making American flags like this one. Usually they ended up being car antennae toppers. This one has a ribbon on it with a small piece of yellow tape, indicating she had it taped up somewhere - perhaps her craft room window? Maybe taped to a wall to follow as a pattern for all her other flags? I don't know. But what I remember from this is her sitting there with her red, white, and blue - cranking out these tiny flags like a factory.

The next items up for bid show are the "random items I have no idea what she used them for as far as crafting is concerned or perhaps they were just tossed in the basket because she didn't know what to do with them either." Obviously the coin purse and pill case are gimme's as far as knowing what to use them for - I just don't know why they were in this basket or why she thought I would like them. I am thinking they were already in the basket for starters.

On the left side you will see 2 small screwdrivers, both rather old. I'm making the assumption she used those to work on her sewing machine. There is a small, dusty bag of about a dozen Christmas replacement lights. The level of dust on the bag indicates that I must throw those away. On the left there is a small brush - it looks like a makeup brush but the bristles are a hard plastic. Any idea what that would be used for? There were a plethora of safety pins of all sizes and a smaller, plastic clothes pin. There were plastic clips you'd see on clothing in stores, to keep them on the hanger (upper right corner of the picture). A small brass screw-in hook, and a business card for the place she used to get her hair cut and styled.

The next mass item photo is some of her sewing and crafting supplies.

The hands and shoes were for the dolls she made. She would make cloth body dolls and use the hard plastic face, hands, and feet. Obviously those shoes would never go on a doll with those hands. *laughs* Well, they could..... *laughing a bit harder*

There are a lot more of those black beads and blue buttons in the basket, I just didn't photo them. The metal buttons, the ones on the right, were the only two in the basket. The gold one was a button my mother would have used for making Civil War re-enacting garments - it has the eagle and a circle of stars..... I don't remember my mother asking my grandma for help in making the clothes, but that doesn't mean my grandma didn't take a swing at it. And considering I was 4 when we started that hobby, there are an ample amount of years I don't remember as far as things my mother asked her mom.

The needle below the black shoes is a REALLY thick needle. I would almost say it was a tapestry needle except it is sharp as heck. There was a smaller needle like it. The little shiny blue spot above the blue buttons is a ribbon flower with a wire so she could wrap it in the dolls hand or attach it to a dress. She loved accessorizing her dolls. The white strips on the right are velcro. The item in the lower left, the red handled thingee, I believe she used to perforate paper - but I'm not 100% that's what the tool was intended to be used for. Any ideas, folks? It has a thin, long, flat plastic red handle. The top looks and works just like a pizza cutter only the little wheel has teeth on it, like a saw.

Ok - almost done, promise! (this is a LONG post!!!!!)

The last group photo is all the little spools of thread shoved into the basket. Most of these will need thrown away as the thread is so old and brittle.

The taller spools (the greens on the left side, the metallic gold in the front, the pink and yellow on the left) are all on cardboard spools that are stamped "Pretty Punch."

Do you all remember pretty punch? It had a tool with a needle on the end and you would literally punch it through a pattern and make a loop. Pull it out, and repeat. My grandma LOVED pretty punch. She made so many things with it including a poodle sewed onto one of my poodle skirts I used as a costume for a sock hop themed dance at school.

I have a cousin that is roughly one year older than I am. And my grandmother felt that she and I should get the same exact Christmas present to ensure that we did not get jealous (trust me, it was a founded thought as far as my cousin was concerned - I personally did not care). One year, I was about 15 or 16, my grandma pretty punched us appliques and sewed them to a sweatshirt for us. While I truly appreciated the sentiment and the work that went into her crafted gift, it was just funny because the sweatshirt with a cutesie picture theme was something my cousin loved, not me. It didn't help that the applique was SO thick and heavy, it pulled the front of the sweatshirt forward. I folded the sweatshirt up, wore it only a few times, and put it in storage. I'm sure if I went to some of my boxes stored in my mother's barn, I would find that sweatshirt.

grandma could pretty punch with the best of them! She made some pretty cute appliques with it, that's for darn sure (I loved that poodle she made for that dance - I wore it around the house too. I felt like a 1950s princess when I wore it... It is probably stored away with the sweatshirt).

If anyone is interested in some really old, kinda fuzzed pretty punch thread - let me know. I think it may be first edition! *chuckles*

There is also one wooden spool of thread in that picture - its sandwiched between the pretty punch thread on the left of the picture. I'm going to have to do some research on this one - it's a pretty cool lil spool of thread. I know I'll never use it but it's really cute so I'll be keeping it!

The other cool thing in that photo is my grandma's wax block she used to wax her thread. She did a lot of bead work and I'm sure she waxed thread for other purposes. It's just cool to see the small block she used, with thread drag marks all through it. I'm sure I'll find a use for that!

The final picture is a simple one. A thimble.

My grandma and grandpa traveled a lot. I think I mentioned in Post 1 that he had bought a Winnebago type camper to go lots of places. That camper took them everywhere - I don't remember a day without it parked in their back yard.

Anywhoozles, she loved to collect various thimbles from the places they went - the ones you find in souvenir shops. This one, still in its original box with foam, is from Shiloh, Tennessee. You can't see the detail but it says Shiloh across the top of the plaque on the thimble. TN is on the bottom and it has a picture of a cannon on it. It would not surprise me if I found more of these in the box. They were EVERYWHERE.

So that's this post. Apparently there was a lot to say for such a small basket.

If you got this far - thank you for reading. I shed a few tears remembering grandma but all in a very good way. It is good to remember Grandma

"When you are sorrowful look into your heart and you shall see that you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
                                   ~ Kahlil Gibran

If you are not familiar with this series, please start with the introductory post located here.


florencefrazier2002 said...

Isn't it nice to have those memories?  I have some of the dolls my grandma made and I love them and cherish them because she made them.  The little pizza wheel thing was used for transferring marks from a pattern to fabric.  If someone were really frugal, you would do that instead of cutting out the pattern to save it for future use.  It was also used to transfer patterns onto quilts and dish towels for needle point.  (((Hugs)))

Tink said...

How wonderful of your Grandma to think of you all in this way! My Gran did something similar with her jewellery; when I arrived in Yorkshire ahead of her funeral my mother handed me an envelope (addressed to me by Gran) containing several necklackes, bracelets and earrings that she'd decided to leave to me. The ones that really made me cry were the necklace and earring set featuring daffodils, as I was her only female Welsh relative.

CrochetBlogger said...

It is wonderful that you have such terrific memories of your grandmother and that she gave you some really special - and silly - things to help you remember them.

Cris said...

What a sweet rememberance from your Gran. This box is a treasure of memories for me - unfortunately, I have to take it slowly. There is a lot to take in with each item I take from it.

Cris said...

I am really taking in these items and the memories being brought to surface because of them. Such as the pretty punch poodle applique... As for the wheel thing - I could definitely see my grandmother using it for that. She did a lot of quilts and needlepoint. Do you know the official name of the tool?

Lisa Mills said...

Transferring patterns with that wheel is also great for cloths patterns that have multiple sizes so you don't cut the pattern down to one size and loose all the other sizes. The black rubber brush probably goes with the screwdrivers for cleaning/maintaining a sewing machine. I love that your sharing your journey through your box with us! No one in my family (on either side) has ever done anything like that so I'm really enjoying reading your posts. Thank-you for letting us be apart of this.

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