Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Bygone Era

by Lisa Hughey

As a kid--dare I say it-- a girl growing up I was always doing some sort of craft. X-acto knives and needles were my tools, my mom and grandma the instructors.

I did it all: The ubiquitous Holly Hobby painstakingly cut out with the sharp knife and decoupaged onto a miter-ed block of wood (that we enterprisingly stained ourselves). The cross-stitched pillow with some ultra-sweet and trite phrase like “Home is Where the Heart Is”. The crewel still life of flowers in a vase. Tie-dye, candle making, tissue paper and pipe cleaner flowers, sewing...frankly, I wasn’t very good at any of it. (I wish I had some pictures but somehow my ‘projects’ have not survived my many moves...possibly ‘lost’ on purpose)

My grandmother, Nellie, was a veritable queen of crafts well into her nineties, crocheting dish scrubbers out of netting and stitching Christmas tree ornaments.

Some ornaments made by Nellie

I remember asking her once how she knew how to do all this cool stuff. In her era, she had a ‘Ladies Club’ meeting once a week where they learned all sorts of crafty things.

She had an incredible eye for color. And she could take a length of any material, ribbon or raffia and turn it into an exquisite bow for a wreath or centerpiece. When I bought my first house, Grandma Nellie helped me make a grapevine wreath for the front door, using orange crinkled paper wrap and old sheets, we attached a beautiful bow and handmade ghosts. It was awesome and I still have it, even though it’s looking a little tired these days. (Sorry-but the Halloween stuff is stored in the garage and not at this time, easily accessible-so no picture!)

Nowadays, among piano lessons, soccer, basketball, swimming, volleyball practices, tutors and the like, there is no time leftover for the pastime of crafting. It’s become a lost art.

But I try to find time to create beauty for everyday ordinary events. Nellie could take random objects and with floral foam, green wire, a few yards of ribbon, and flowers (sometimes right from her garden) and design a masterpiece for the dining room table. I like to think in this respect I inherited just a tiny bit of her artistic ability because my one talent is being able to set a beautiful table.

Happy Holidays to all!


ps-I was going to take a picture of my dining room table (set for today's Pens Fatales holiday get-together but the battery on my table died) The good news is that we're going to try out our Flip camera thingy and hopefully take a fun video to post on Friday. Keep your fingers crossed! :)


Rachael Herron said...

You sure did set a beautiful table tonight... Thank you for hosting! And keep knitting.... :)

Sophie Littlefield said...

the holiday table was *perfect* - and I am looking forward to knitting together sometime soon!!

Juliet Blackwell said...

SOOO sorry to miss the party! Seems like you managed to have a great time without me, but I was thinking of you!

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