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Friday, June 5, 2009

To Grandmother's house I go

I recently went to Minnesota to help my sweet Grandma Ingalls downsize and move in with her nephew Bob and his wife Margaret. ( I am SO jealous, but she didn't think she could stand the Phoenix heat. I don't blame her.)

Bob and Margaret just moved into the home last month. The house had sat vacant for over a year. They have quite the green thumbs so in no time there will be a profusion of flowers.
It's a quiet area with nice neighbors.
There is quite a large backyard and nice wide side yards.

I drew to scale a template of the rooms and also measured and made to scale tiny pieces of the furniture that she wanted to take with her.

Here's sweet Granny playing "paper house". :)

I also took some photographs of each piece of art and furniture that she wanted to move. Once all of the pieces were in place on the template, I taped each photo onto the wall where each item would go in the room. This is a great visual aid and my grandmother can instruct the movers on where to place things.

Of course downsizing meant that she had to part with some of her treasures. Here's just a wee bit of the fun stuff I brought home:
A painting done by my dad as a boy, old doilies, frames, and silver.

A hairspray can cover and tons of old jewelry and buttons.

I've already been playing around with the bits and bobs and created this necklace. (Sorry, it is not for sale, but I will have other similar pieces in the Etsy shop soon.

Of course I brought home a lovely abundance of linens that I am still mending, washing and ironing.
I think the strawberry linen tea towels will be turned into curtains at the Fashionista's apartment. So Cath Kidston.

Now for a few of my favorite things:
Remember on the last episode of "Friends" where Monica and Chandler were moving out of the great apartment and Joey wrapped his head up in bubble wrap and tape and invited Ross and Chandler to "Hit me. I can't feel a thing!" That is pretty much how I packed everything up and placed it into a hardside suitcase. I then said a very long and heartfelt prayer.
The next four hours were some of the longest I've ever endured until I got off the plane and could inspect the goods.
Whew! They MADE it!!!!
A lovely Bavarian china box to hold matches and a candlestick holder.

A close up of dreaminess.

A nice Bavarian biscuit plate. It is over 150 years old.

The baby cup is 87 years old. It was presented to my grandmother at her own christening. The little top hat is a toothpick holder that belonged to my great~great grandmother Sophie. She had bought it from gypsies selling their wares in a traveling cart.

I cried when my grandmother gave this to me. It is a biscuit (cookie) jar that my great grandfather gave to my great grandmother on their first Christmas together. It is 102 years old.

In the past I have bought many pretty china pieces at various estate sales and flea markets. But there is something so very special to know people you have loved have treasured such heartfelt pieces.

Pretty things are just that. Things. Nothing can ever compare to the treasure of memories you hold in your heart. Thank you Grandma for some beautiful memories. I will indeed treasure our time together.


Coastal Sisters said...

I am so glad all of your treasures made it safely home! Your Grandmother will never forgot you coming to help absolutely lovely!


p.s. Our new babies are all gone now *sigh* ---only the nest is left

Mildred said...

I hope your Grandmother will enjoy her pretty new surroundings. What a nice, big yard to enjoy the flowers and birds in.
She shared some lovely treasures with you and I know you cherish each one.

Connie said...

How sweet for a nephew to take her in, sweets. That's most unusual and charitable in this day and age. I'm sure it must be hard for her but it sounds like they must love her a lot to do this for her.

Lou Cinda said...

Laura: What a beautiful post ~ grandmother's are so precious and you are so blessed to still have yours. I know how she must have appreciated your being there and the heirlooms she gave you are...priceless!

Have a great weekend!

Lou Cinda

Jenglamgirl said...

The Necklace looks great. I too love anything I have every gotten from my grandmother. Just a few favs. I have gotten are Antique earings, a old vintage purse to wear to my first high school dance. (15 yrs ago) The antique china/ dishes you got are so beautiful! what an absolute treasure. It is so amazing to get pieces that are that old and have been passed down through family.

LiLi M. said...

I do hope that your grandmother will have many happy years to come in her new house. It must be nice for her to know that the treasures she had to part with are taken well care for. You are right; there is something special about things that once belonged to your loved ones, that something special that bought items can never match. Have a nice weekend!

The French Bear said...

Ahhh you're Grammy looks so sweet! What beautiful treasures you received!!!! How nice that she can stay with family, she must be so happy!!!
Margaret B

Carrie said...

My grandmother just gave me some of her treasures-- she moved into an assisted living facility. I think of her each time I use them (especially her dining room table).

Linda said...

I always longed to have Grandparents - all but one of mine were deceased before I was born - that's life with "older" parents. :) My Grandparents were born in the late 1800's.

So, I always admire those who have Grandparents and spend precious time with them. Such a blessing. I hope your Grandma will have many wonderful years in her new beautiful place.

Love, Linda

Blondie's Journal said...


You are such a sweet thing! What you did for your Grandmother surely equates to all the fine treasures she gave you (all of which I just love!). Designing that room and putting the photos on the walls using your designing expertise is just fabulous! And her future home will be a beautiful, serene place to enjoy her time once it is flooded with greenery and flowers!

I have seen a lot of your jewelry and hairpieces that you have made but that necklace is stunning!! I can see why you would never sell it. The memories must be worth their weight in gold!!

Enjoy your weekend, my friend!!


KayEllen said...

Hi Laura!

Thanks for your visit and sweet comment this morning:)

Claudia is a sweet heart!

Beautiful Blog!

Love your post about your Grandma too:)


Craftymoose Crafts said...

What a lovely post. You are right about "things being just things", but it is so special to have these beautiful reminders of special people in your life.

PS I saw the resemblance in the painting!

Muthering Heights said...

It was so kind of you to go help her, ad how wonderful that she passed on some family treasures to you!

Frantic Holly said...

What wonderful treasures! Glad they made it safely.

Amy Schulz said...

What wonderful things. I especially like the painting by your dad. Very sweet!

Victoria@WhimsybyVictoria said...

Such a sweet post! I wanted to stop by again and make sure you saw that you won the Yummy Cupcake Pincushion on my giveaway! Lucky You! :) Come by and claim it.


Liz said...

Laura, I'm with you! These items are so precious but even more so because you have the stories behind them. I am always so sad when I see things like this at a garage sale.

Glad they made the trip! :)


Allidink said...

Awwww. What a sweet post! You received some lovely things! I am sooo sentimental too about things I inherit. I hold on to sometimes what is junk just because it belonged to my great grandma LOL.

All the best!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

You are the sweetest, I bet your granmother just loves you to pieces! What a cutie she is.:)

Hope you are doing well, friend. Had so much fun reading a few of your older posts, too!
xo Lidy

Fifi Flowers said...

Grandparents have some wonderful items that are filled with memories... thanks for sharing!

Susie Q said...

Very sweet. And I do love the hairspray can cover...what a delight!

Neabear said...

Wonderful memories and beautiful things. That biscuit jar is so pretty. Do these wonderful things come down the Ingalls side of your family? I know you have said you are related to Charles Ingalls of the Little House on the Praire fame. But I forget how now.

Neabear said...

I just went to your early posts when you first started blogging and found it in the comments there. I knew I had seen it before. :-)

Cassandra said...

Congrats you have won one of the "Marie" magazines. Please email me your address at

THANKS Cassandra

Paula said...

Family pieces are the best. Each time you see one of your grandmother's treasures in your home you'll think of her.

I've never seen a hairspray cover. That one gave me a chuckle!

Willow said...

It was so thoughtful of you to make that template for your Grandmother. I know that helped her out alot. Also happy to hear that your precious treasures got home in one piece.


Andrea said...

wow Laura! You have some pretty things there! I love the baby cup! I collect those! xo andrea
p.s( I am having a show me your crown party, come join in being queen for a day~!

TattingChic said...

What a sweet granddaughter you are to go and help your grandmother like that! Love the scaled down paper house idea! How loving!

The best part of all those treasures is the sentiment that they once belonged to your Grandmother! How sweet! :)

A Joyful Chaos said...

Thanks for sharing this sweet, meaningful posts.

honeysuckle said...

You will always have fond memories of your time together with her each time you use or see one of her treasures as each one becomes your own treasure that you can pass on to your family, in turn.

vickysplace1 said...

I enjoy my mom's,grandmother's and great grandmother's keepsakes. They are special to my heart.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, this is the sweetest post, and I have tears in my eyes as I read. Your grandmother is so sweet, and I hope she is happy in her new home. What wonderful treasures she gave you, and youo're right, things are things... but things from someone you love are truly special!

Love to you...


Sheila :-)

shelley said...

hi laura,
i'm popping over from roll call this morning! love to find a fellow sista i have things in common with! i am a designer by trade too! and i love love love the china your grandmom has given you. i recently started collecting "shelley" china where ever i can find it, which is kind of hard.. but i keep on looking. love the fp of grandmom's home!
feel free to come on over and visit me anytime!

Joy said...

Thank you so much for taking us along on the visit with your Grandma, Laura. :o)

Miss Sandy said...

I am thrilled that you have these family treasures. I know you will be a great keeper of the family stories that go along with these treasures. The painting by your father is priceless!

domestic bliss said...

Amazing loot Laura! Grandmas are the best aren't they? I just adore my Grandmothers- they hold such special places in my heart.

Cat said...

Such beautiful treasures.. And ur Grandmother the most treasured of all..

Lady Dorothy said...

How blessed you are to be in possession of such lovely things with such wonderful history and memories attached. Enjoy them! How very sweet of your grandmother to pass them on. I know she knew how treasured they would be with you!