Saturday, May 10, 2008


With this chilly rain and little rain cloud icons showing for the next few days I thought I better pull out an AZ photo to warm myself up. My parents house has this great courtyard ( office) that is tucked into a little space that makes the house U shaped. I think it was one of the primary reasons they bought the house. It even has 2 palm trees in it. Over the years it has started growing wild flowers between the cement blocks on the ground, and has this amazing jasmine and rose bushes. My mom comes from amazing gardening stock and it shows! I sit out there for hours looking at the flowers, watching the bees work their magic*, maybe doing some stitching and letting my mind go where it will. A scary thought I know! He he.

About a month ago while my mom was in Utah, my dad and little sis decided to clean out the garage so she could use it as her studio. (she made me one of those pies for my birthday, and it is amazing!) They took tons of things (that mumsy might have kept, those nuts) to the dump and set out the rest to sell. My dad loves collecting antiques. Refinishing furniture has always been a great stress reliever for him. So it wasn't bad that they were cleaning, I am just glad my mumsy got back in time to salvage a few treasures (family treasures I should point out) for me. My dad did let me go through the pile of kitchen gadgets he had procured from my great grandma's house when they cleaned it out. They need some work to be functional but I love them. There was also this really cool old popcorn popper that you use over a fire, but it is an awkward size to ship and keep. At least I now know they exist though, ha.

The real treasure though, was hidden by my mom for me. It is an early 1900's mini/sleeve ironing board made of wood. It belonged to my great grandma Olsen. I want to do a special post on her later with these amazing photos we found so for now I will just say that she was an amazing woman, and an expert seamstress. She absolutely loved to sew and sew and sew.
Her husband died when her twin girls (one my grandma) were five and she never remarried despite proposals. Being an independent woman like that in the first half of the century was not easy. She sewed every bit of clothing she and the girls ever wore. Hard to imagine now. We still have a lot of her dresses and the detail and accuracy is amazing. I will show some dresses when I get the pictures of her all together. I don't have the before pic of the ironing board on my camera so lets just say it showed the wear of the years and needed some sprucing up to be usable. We think the padding may have even contained asbestos, ha ha, so we replaced that too. I picked out a few repro fabrics from the quilt shop in town and my mom made new covers and paddings (thank goodness) and it now resides next to me at my sewing table. I can't tell you how thrilled I am. I really needed a smaller one since my space is so small, so I will be able to use it as well as look at it daily! I also got a trunk of fabric that belonged to her. It is all pre-1970's, some of it much earlier I think including yards and yards of ginghams. My grandma sent me a box earlier this year as well, which was one of my first posts I think. I think she and my mom are just thrilled I started sewing and have any interest at all in these things. What can I say, I am highly sentimental.
Before I go, I wanted to share a little upcoming surprise with you. Over the past few months of blogging many great things have happened, especially meeting so many people with similar interests and learning a million new things. But I also won a few giveaways which were so thoughtful and fun. I figured it was time for me to return the favor. While I was in AZ I started collecting a few things and am almost ready now. Some of it is being mailed to me by mumsy because it wouldn't fit in my luggage. I even added a big duffel bag on my return but I got A LOT of stuff while I was there. Here is a quick peek at the fancy boxes from one shop which will be part of a larger collection of things. Two collections actually which will be basically the same. So look for that in the next week or so. I am excited! And a little box for my new favorite Kiwi. I couldn't resist. Much more coming soon! Sweet dreams everyone.


Maureen said...

Sounds as if you had a good time out west, well in the SW. The contrast in the light is amazing, isn't it.

Thanks for you comments on my blog. We go from hot enuf for iced coffee, to chilly enuf for a fir. Typical.

Sandra said...

I miss you already, but didn't we have a great time! Keep up the sewing, and I'll keep the fabric coming, box by box!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Such fun stuff. Your parents garden is so lovely. I love old household items, too. It makes you wonder about them and who used them and how often, stuff like that. What a lovely time you had. Oh . . . to go home again!

Tipper said...

I love old things-especially from my family. I never knew they made small ironing boards that long ago. Can't wait to hear more about your Grandmother!

Joanna said...

You are SUCH a tease! How can you show me that box and bow in all it's gorgeousness and not tell me more??? LOL!!! I can't wait! I really must come visit next week. I don't think I could wait any longer for the surprise! It was FABULOUS talking to you today!

Jacquie said...

That little ironing board is wonderful and you will think of your great grandma each time you use it. Priceless!

BigCat said...

It sounds like you had a fabulous holiday and it looks so sunny and lovely there in AZ.

I can't wait to read more about your great grandmother and see pictures.