Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rescued Keepsakes

 When looking through bins of linens at thrift stores or garage sales, I tend to appoint myself as Savior of the Craft.  My hand usually goes to intricately woven, crocheted, knitted, embroidered things that someone has laboriously toiled over for many hours and is now relegated to a .25 price tag.  More than once, I have gasped aloud when seeing a tiny hand knit sweater or bonnet, carelessly pitched to the bottom of a box.  When I lift it out of it's sad ,discarded position, it almost speaks to me, 'Finally!  Someone who recognizes me for what I am!'

And what is that?
Something that someone, maybe years, decades before, lovingly, intentionally, carefully, labored over for some dear loved one.  Someone took the time to pour over patterns, weigh the pros and cons of the weight and color of yarn, took to their needles and spent sacrificial time, energy and money to create a special handmade sweater for some dear little baby.  As you know from previous meanderings here, I always tend to drift to the back story of each handmade/vintage item that I approach with interest.  Hand crafted things all have stories; that's what makes them so appealing.  It's just odd people like me that actually hear the items plea their history to ensure rescue.

That is how mama's collection came into being.  Years and years of casually drifting into yard sales and thrift shops only to be pulled into 'conversation's with, as dottie angel's[ www.dottieangel.com],calls: 'forsaken things', speaking to me in a most specific way: 'Puhlleezeeee! Do not let me sit and waste away on the bottom of this shelf!  Please see me for what I am!  A handmade lovely (or vintage something) that has been carefully designed, made and loved for years and has now been tossed aside by unthinking somebodies!  You know how much work went into me!  You see the detail!  Reach into your pocket, take out that quarter that you have been keeping there for this moment and take me home!  Rescue me!  I will serve you well!!'
 And so it came to be that I understand that it is my lot in life to caretake those things that most find old and discardable.  And glad that I am that it is my lot, for on a dull, gray February day, I had the unmitigated joy to enjoy this most delightful pillowcase as I changed my sheets.  As I reached for the pillow case I had selected from my linen closet (do you know just how many vintage pillow cases I own? Nope, don't even try....:)), my hand brushed over the amazing detail.  I had to sit to take it all in.  Crocheted baskets of flowers, countless stitches counted carefully and executed beautifully.  Rows of crocheted edging, intertwined around pink rick rack, creating the most endearing pillow cover.  Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed by the beauty and detail of the most mundane things like pillow cases, that I reward their beauty by ironing them!  Crisply and starchfully, they look stupendous on a turned down bed, already for a good night sleep. And I always remember to thank the hands that went into creating a spot of pleasure and beauty for me.
 I believe that if we begin to look at things, people, places, more carefully, to see the intricate beauty in each thing/person, we will live differently.  We will value and cherish things/people more.  We will see their purpose in just bringing joy in just being around it/them.
We will live differently.  Guaranteed.
Seek out beauty in the things that are normally overlooked today.....And be blessed...

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