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Monday, June 16, 2008

Over the river and through the woods

Yes indeed I traveled over many rivers and through the woods to arrive at my Grandmother's home. She is near Grand Rapids. Judy Garland fans know that this is the birthplace of the beloved "Dorothy". It is a lovely spot in America if you ever get the chance to visit.

Here is my lovely grandmother and I. She has the sweetest twinkling blue eyes.

This picture is one of my favorites. It hangs over my grandmother's sofa. She aquired this picture when she was a very small child. Her family went to an estate sale and she was given a whole fifty cents. This is what she purchased. Can you imagine a small girl selecting this above all other treasures?

More favorites. These pictures were a gift to my grandmother on her 16th birthday.
She is now 84.

Many of you know that I collect antique and vintage dolls. This photo shows the guilty party who is responsible for that. (Smile) My grandmother ran a doll hospital for many, many years. She still does some special work. Here are two lovely dolls that she plans to finish.

I brought about ten years of projects home with me. First is an entire shoe box full of "yo~yo's" that will make a lovely bed covering.

Next are pieces for a fan quilt. I asked her how she came to have these. She said that she loved going to estate sales and was always so sad to find unfinished needlework, knowing the amount of time someone had invested. She always had plans to finish the quilts, but unfortunately now has terribly painful arthritis. I smiled and told her that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. When I go to an estate sale I too always end up bringing home some doily or hanky that some woman had lovingly created.

Isn't this a beauty? Every piece is hand stitched. I just love the colors and patterns of the old cloth.

Here are more examples of needlework that she has collected over the years. In the coming weeks I will select examples of crochet, drawn work and others that I will write about at length. It will be so fun.

Given that she restores dolls, my grandmother has boxes upon boxes of old lace and trims to embellish dresses, bonnets and such. I must share a laugh. One evening while I was there, we went out to dinner and we both spotted on the diner's community bulletin board a flyer that said "Estate sale". Here I am a thousand miles from home wondering how on earth I am going to close my already stuffed to the gils suitcase and my grandmother already owning boxes of things and I was walking over to investigate with her calling after in an excited voice "See when it is and write down the address!" How sad we were when we realized that the anticipated event had already passed. Then I said, "Like you or I really need anymore stuff!" We both started laughing. Yes, we are trash to treasure seekers to the bone.

This is better than a pirates chest. Click on the picture to enlarge it. Delicious!

I brought home two plates that belonged to my great grandmother Emma. My grandmother said that her Ma (who was of German decent) would only keep a piece of china if it had a German label. Both of theses pieces passed muster. I am so glad.

Last week's quote:

"If we expect to enjoy our life, we will have to learn to be joyful in all of it, not just at stated intervals when we can get time or when we have nothing else to do. "

Laura Ingalls Wilder, author


Dana said...

I just found your Blog and I love your post about your Grandmother. I'm an only child of an only child and such wonderful things came my way. You have some real treasures. I have quilt blocks that I helped my great grandmother stitch when I was 9. I'm 51 and need to think about putting the quilt together. I'm adding you to my blog list.......
Dana Smith

Miss Sandy said...

I can't wait for you share in depth about your treasures! Your grandmother looks like a little angel! I am thrilled that you had such a wonderful visit, your smile says it all. I linked to this post, I hope you don't mind.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

I love that Laura quote! And this is such a sweet post, made me miss my grandmas and their happy twinkling eyes!

Have a great week!

Liz said...

I stumbled onto your blog this morning, this post is so sweet! Your grandmother is a lovely lady!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

I am so glad that you had a sweet visit with your Grandmother. She looks like she could give anyone a run for their money!! twinkly, mischievious eyes.:)

Love her wonderful things, but it's that she loves YOU that I love most.xoLidy

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

A wonderful post chock full of treasures. How interesting that your grandmother ran a doll hospital and that she collects linens and handwork just as you do. I think that I have a piece very similar to her's a tablecloth and napkins for the bridge table or so I was told.

Your grandmother is a delight and I am glad that you have been able to reconnect with her.

Katy Lin :) said...

soooo many treasures (especially your sweet grandmother!) thanks for sharing!

Wanda said...

Thanks for sharing. That was great. Your Grandmother sounds like a great lady...anyone who runs a doll hospital and goes to estate sales to rescue things is okay in my book. She totally rocks. It was so nice to see that I'm not the only one who does that.

ceekay said...

Laura, I just read the rest of your story on Quill Cottage and I have a question. It mentioned that you help with Ovarian cancer. Could you let me know what that entails. I was diagnosed October 2006.
By the way, I think those quilt blocks are great and anxious to see what you do with them.
I tried to email you, but I don't know if it went through. Thanks...Ceekay

Kimberly said...

What a lovely time and lovely treasures--especially the one with the blue twinkling eyes!

Bonita said...

It's all quite beautiful, but I'm such a tea party dish fiend that the china really struck my fancy.

How wonderful that both you and your grandmother were so caring to buy unfinished pieces that other women had started. That's so precious.

KARIN said...

I found your blog this morning and was reading through your previous posts. This post just made my heart stop. What a treasure your grandmother is. She is everything that I would imagine my grandmother to be, if I had had one.

Can you see any marks on the underside of your German china? I would be curious to know what they might say. I was born in a town in Tirschenreuth, Germany, a town that is famous for it's china. The factory is now closed, but I still see pieces every once in a while.

I's so happy to have found your blog!


She'sSewPretty said...

I know this is an old post but I just had to comment. I hope to one day pass on my treasures to a grandchild. I'm an estate sale junkie too and though I love the treasures I find, I am always sad that no one wanted them. What a sweet grandmother!!