Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hand(made)-me-downs

My mom came over on Saturday to watch The Boss while Hank and I attended a wedding. Little did I know that my mom went attic diving and brought along a few treasures for The Boss. The treasures, of course, were items from my baby/childhood. As much as I'm into getting rid of old junk we don't display or care for in my own house, I sure am glad that my mom doesn't subscribe to the same principles.

The Boss has been into her baby doll lately. She feeds her, gives her Tylenol (clearly she's also teething!), drinks of water from her sippy cup, kisses, etc. It's awfully cute. Taking cues from my conversations about this, my mom unearthed my baby doll cradle.This was made by my father, complete with my initials burned into it.
My mom wasn't sure how I'd react to this since my parents have been divorced for a long time and my father is not part of my life, but I am thrilled to have it for my daughter. Without getting too psychobabble about it, it represents happy memories for me and now I have even more to build upon as The Boss uses it for her imaginative playtime. It's actually a little surreal seeing her play with things that I remember playing with as a child. Seeing the cradle though makes me understand my urge to do wood working and dream of building my own furniture because I can never seem to find what I want in the stores! Oh if I had the time/space/money!

Included in the cradle are my first very baby doll and then my Cabbage Patch from back in the day when it was Cabbage Patch Mania.

My grandmother (on my mother's side) did this needlework.
She was the one who taught me embroidery and counted cross stitch. I did a whole lot of that throughout junior high and beyond. She also taught me to knit but I didn't pick it back up until this past year. I definitely get my crafty side from her. My aunt just revealed to me that she still has all of my Grandma's stash, needles and even a few unfinished projects. I'm itching to get to it. I've missed her so much more since I've gotten married and had a baby. I know she'd adore both additions to my family.

I always loved the the worm and the lady bugs.

Loved the quail (I think they are quail) and the turtle, too. I think what I love most about this piece now though is that her needlework signature is almost exactly like her written signature. It reminds me of all the cards and notes (usually stuffed with a twenty dollar bill) she sent to me while I was in college.
I also have nice handwriting just like her. The Boss will have this hanging in her room now. I wonder what her favorite part of it will be?

This was one of my bonnets that my mom thinks either she or my grandmother made. My mom used to sew a lot of our clothes and my grandmother made my mom's wedding dress and such. I suppose this is where I get my yearning to sew these days.
I love bonnets. I don't know why they are so hard to find now for little girls. When we were near Lancaster, PA last year for my friend Leah's baby shower, I sent Hank and The Boss to the Amish shops to find one. If anyone was going to come through for me on that hunt it was the Amish. Now I really want to sew some of these up!

Never before have I appreciated these items as much as I do now. I think sometimes it takes making your own handmade gifts to truly and wholly understand what it means to receive them. You understand how many countless hours go into projects and how much love is required to make each one. There is definitely love in all of my stitches!

4 comments:

McGee Family said...

Your family is awesome, and everyone sounds so talented. My mom used to sew a lot of my clothes too, and I've kept some of the things. I just got a pattern and some fabric for The Girl, and I hope to dig out my sewing machine soon.

Beth & Dave said...

Those items are just awesome! I am so happy for you (and for the Boss too!) - what happy memories you can think back about!

kc said...

These are such special things your mom unearthed for you! I'm sure The Boss will enjoy them just as much as you did!

Amanda said...

Awwwww! I have a baby doll my mom made me in EJ's nursery. I can't wait until she plays with my blue baby (that was the dolls name, she wears blue, my creativity came later in life). I agree that handmade gifts have more meaning when you understand the time and love put into them. I have done some wood working with my father. Actually made a bar/sideboard to copy on in Pottery Barn as a gift to K.