Friday, November 16, 2007


This Thanksgiving will be the first Thanksgiving of my life when I can't pick up the phone and call my Mamaw and ask her how to make dressing. It's the first time my phone won't ring on Thanksgiving morning and her voice be on the other end. But imagine my surprise when the mailman left a package by the front door. The package was from my dad. The only thing I asked for of my grandmother's was this jewelry box. It's nothing fancy, but I love it. I would spend hours sitting on her bed playing the music and dreaming about faraway lands and wearing kimonos and binding my feet(don't ask what I read as a child) all I knew was I wanted to be somewhere more exotic than Bartlett, TN.

This is a picture of the inside:

Here's a picture of the front and it's painted like this all the way around:

And this was the note taped to the bottom:

My daddy bought this for my Mamaw forty-eight years ago. Seeing her handwriting broke my heart.
A few weeks ago I found a letter in with some pictures that my great-grandfather wrote to my great-grandmother before they were married. The letter did not really go with the stories I had heard about him. Rumor has it my great-grandfather on my daddy's father's side was mean but he wrote a pretty sweet love letter to my soon to be great-grandmother. That was like finding hidden treasure. The sad part is I've had this letter for ages and never read it because I couldn't make out the handwriting, then I remembered my Mamaw gave it to me because my great-grandmother did a lot of handwork, applique, tatting, embroidery, she always thought I would have liked her.
On to some happy stitching talk, I made some executive decisions:
1) Once all ornaments are ornamentificated I will work on 13th Colony Bay.
2)Since I'm being so positive that 13th Colony Bay will be finished before the end of the year when it's done I'm going to work on Mirabilia's Lady of the Flag
3) Since receiving my Mamaw's jewelry box I decided I now had a good reason to stitch Dimple's Designs Embroidery and I will finish a Dimensions design Serene Shores I started back before I got married in 1985, both are Oriental designs. As soon as I round up both-they are probably out partying with Jane Atkinson and Beatrix Potter- I'll post pictures because I don't have links for them. It also gives me a reason to start Dimensions Mighty Samauri(think that's the name and forgive my spelling).
Now for a conversation starter and some ideas, how in the world does the eclectic stitcher make TW designs, Quaker designs, Reproduction samplers, mermaid, primitive designs, and Mirabilias, etc all work together in the same house? I can't begin to start to figure all this out.
My tastes are all over the place. I also think once I finish Lady of the Flag I want to pull out Design Connections Cowboy Boots which is a design I started a few years ago and it still makes me happy to see it and maybe get it finished. Not by the end of the year though, but maybe by next summer.


Anna van Schurman said...

That jewelry box is so pretty and I LOVE that "James pawned his shotgun" to get it for her. I think I should start labeling my valuables. Too bad the stories that go along with them kind of suck. Except for the tourist Tlingit button blanket we bought on our honeymoon, where the dude almost died. I shall label it tonight!

I love that you make bigger and more outrageous crafting plans than even I do!

Sweet Pea said...

Her handwriting looks eerily like my grandmother's handwriting. Isn't it funny how a simple little note can evoke such emotion?

Anonymous said...

That jewelry box is beautiful. I love the note :)

I wanted to say I have the same tatse--it's all over the place. Quaker, houses & villages, samplers, TW & oriental designs. I also have the hippie chick in my stash.
Your blog always enables me--I bought the new White Stripes after hearing it here :)

Linen Stitcher said...

The memories you shared really tell just how special that jewelry box must be to you. What a treasure!

siobhan said...

What a special treasure that jewelry box is!! The box itself is wonderful but the memories that it brings are even better. Big hugs.

Michelle said...

What a gorgeous jewelry box - it truly is a treasure. Especially with the note on the bottom. Your plans sound like good ones!

Wanda said...

I can relate, I have a similar treasure of my grandma's.

When I was 16, I went to the mall with my grandad (he was getting some groceries) and found a needlework store. I hadn't done cross stitch before but was instantly fascinated. I only had enough for a book, Precious Moments. When I got back to my grandparent's house I showed my grandma what I had gotten. She asked "did you get all the things you need to make one?" Of course I didn't, so my grandpa was informed that he would take me back the next day to get me everything I needed. When I came back with my treasures, grandma took me to the linen closet and tunneled to the back, bringing out a woven straw sewing basket. "this was mine when I was thirteen" she told me. This is my sewing treasure, I ADORED my grandma and her sewing box is now 77 years old.

As for living with eclectic stitching, my whole house is eclectic . . . .translation, a home. If you love it, it will fit in just right . . .

Nic said...

I loved the story about your grandma's jewellry box - and I lvoe the way you're going to sttich some items to make it feel at home :o)

As for the eclecticism - I basically have different themes in different rooms. Which is tough in a one bedroom flat, but in the bedroom I have the more "traditional" style samplers and more delicate looking pieces, the kitchen has seasonal bits, the living room my collection of bees on one wall, blackwork on another, and stitching things by my stash. Welcomes and bell pulls are in the hall. I think grouping looks more effective than random scattering, but honestly, if you like it, hang it wherever!

Jacque said...


I love the jewelry box and am so glad you got it in time for Thanksgiving. Your grandmother might not be there in person, but she is definitely there in spirit!

We went today and had our Christmas pictures taken. Today would have been my grandmother's 100th birthday so in her honor, Gianna wore a broach that I got to pick out when she died. It's not fancy or valuable except in my heart, but I loved knowing that Gianna was helping to celebrate a special day today!

I didn't know that you lived in Bartlett....Birch Mill Road here...where street did you reside on?

Glenna said...

I'm with Nic on different themes in different rooms. "Formal" samplers go in the living room and dining room, fun and seasonal go in the family room, more samplers and animal pictures go in the bedroom, and the walls in the halls are a free-for-all which change as I get tired of looking at stuff.

Such a pretty jewelry box and lovely story to go with it.

Anonymous said...

Aw! What a sweet story! I love family treasures too. I have a jewelry box that my grandmother got in Italy and love it! Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful jewel box.

I have Mighty Samuri in my stash too. He's lovely isn't he.

Medieval Needle said...

As a current resident of Bartlett, TN (or right across the street from it - literally) I can understand wanting to be anywhere else ;)

That music box is beautiful. You are so lucky to have such treasures.