Sunday, January 16, 2011

This Caught My Eye....

On one of my last thrifting excursions, which was back in November - this was purchased.
Professionally framed, nicely done.

Here's a pic of the whole thing....

Can I just interject this here now -
Why do I take photos like the camera is going to self destruct in my hands within seconds?
I take no time in taking photos, and I really wish I would.

I happened upon this in a large PILE of framed crewel work, obviously done by the same person.
Cardinals, koalas - you name it - this lady stitched it.
I'm assuming it was a lady.
It broke my heart in a way.
These all looked to be very 1970's, and my assumption was that the stitcher of these stitchings had died, and the family was cleaning the house out.

And here they were.
At the Goodwill on Main Street in Crown Point, Indiana.
For me - a little.

I often wonder what will happen to all my 'traysures' after I'm gone.
Will the things I painstakingly created be sold for pennies at a yard sale?
Thrown away?

I bought this for two reasons.
I liked it - I did.
It's colorful and happy.

But I also bought it to keep alive the lady that made it.
I've named her Florence.
She had a small dog, and three cats.
She was a light smoker, and enjoyed an evening cocktail.
She only grew red geraniums, and she made a mean nut roll.
She was beloved in her neighborhood and wore tan stretch pants with the little seam sewn down the front.
She was sleeveless at all times, even in the winter.
She passed away peacefully at home.
She's missed by all that knew her.

I haven't forgotten you Florence, or all the hours you spent stitching this while you watched the Carol Burnett Show and Archie Bunker.
Your stitchery makes me happy everytime I look at it - and reminds me to love the things I'm doing - cause if I don't - then what's the point in the doing?


  1. That was very sweet. You are a wise and colorful woman. People will remember you when you go ( a hundred years from now)and your funny and thoughtful words that you have spoken to people and of course, written, to all of us.

  2. Oh, I loved this. I can picture her right now.How true it is that we should only spend our precious time doing things we love and get enjoyment from because someday we will be gone and that will be that. So nice that this picture lives on.
    Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

  3. I've done the same thing with items that my clients have wanted to get rid of. Usually it's a home that I'm staging for a family selling their parent's home. They've taken everything that they want and are tossing everything else into a dumpster in the front yard. It just breaks my heart. The handwork that is thrown away makes me cry. Many times I have asked to keep one small item from the person just to appreciate the heritage of handwork.

    But don't you worry, Jami, we will never forget you. Your thoughts and piecrusts will remain with us forever!

  4. Oh my gosh I love this and I love Florence so much! I always buy old photos when I go to thrifts... it makes me so sad to think about all my beloved photos just sitting on a grimy shelf at the I buy them. Oh and all nativity sets. Because I am sorry, Baby Jesus is not gonna sit neglected on a shelf if I have anything to do with it. This post made me realize we truly are meant to BFF's if we were neighbors. Heart you, girl!

  5. oh Jayme I knew Florance she went to the "beauty parlor" every Thurs. you know.Oh and she had one of the those kind of red/purple rinses put on each week also. She loved her floral blouses (always on the outside never tucked in)and she had gold metalic sandles that she loved.If you had been around in the 70's you and her would have been the best of friends. nancy settel

  6. I often wonder what people think about the items they have found. When my mum died, tons of stuff was given to goodwill and I feel a little guilty about letting go of what was important to her.

  7. My home is stuffed with handmade
    items from my Mom, my Granny and my husband's Grandmother because I know the time and love puy into them!

  8. I have a large crewel work that I did in the 70's and it hasn't been on a wall in 20+ years, I guess I keep it because I figure no one would want it but my kids. If they feel the same way I do about it and one day want to get rid of it rather than store it in their basement, that's fine. I don't think you should feel sad. It gave the person pleasure to make it.

  9. Beauty is everywhere....we just have to open our eyes to see it!

    Many Blessings,

  10. I love the way you always paint a picture and I just wish I was sitting at your kitchen table and then I would tell you about Ida Powers whose bathrobe I purchased at Salvation Army. On Halloween when I put the bathrobe on, the curlers, the red lipstick, the cigarette and the knee socks I BECAME someone else...Ida, of course...and I am certain she was a good friend of fact I think the did handwork together every Tuesday afternoon while they watched the Soaps.

  11. I'm a Flo too. Did lots of these during the 1980's and 90's. They are framed in mauves and colonial blue, like the wallpaper on Happy Hollow Lane or peach and aqua like the wallpaper on Nottingham. They announce to the world that I'm a grandma with stretch pants (well yoga pants but they do stretch) and I have a history. I've lived and I've made something with me own two hands and counted the stitches one by one. Someday they will fight over my samplers at Bonnie's Thrift Shop!

  12. Oh are a dear heart.
    Love to agree with your whole motivation for what you do, and yet I love to laugh at your ability to turn it into a funny story. heh heh I kind of pictured the character Cher played that had her hair all kind of poofed up with a clamp and LOOOOOOONG HUUUUGE dangly earrings and HIGH platforms with a goldfish in the there smacking gum and talking on the phone and watching tv and doing her stitchery all at the same too funny girl and you give all of us laughter in our lives. bless you. Well Miss Pink Chicken...Keep on Keepin on. Stay Strong, and thanks for keeping someone else's treasures and precious handiwork alive...HUGS to a special bloggy sister...

  13. And Jayme said....Let there be LIFE...and there was. Amen- Hugs-Diana

  14. Jayme I am with you on all the work that Florence had put into the stitchery. I own an Antique shop with my daughter and we buy old linens of all kinds I feel bad that no one in the family cared enough to keep those pieced. Please follow me back I am going to list you as one of my blogs I follow

  15. What a beautiful find! This post made me smile. My 94 yr old grandmother is named Florence and she only plants red geraniums! The smoking and animals are off but this still made my day.

    I'm also very interested in your no garbage pick up. I don't know about everyone else but I would love to hear you post on the things you've been doing to eliminate your garbage. Or if not could you send me an email about it?

    -Stacey - a fellow chicken lover who has stumbled across your blog.

  16. I may be a Florence too. But it won't just be my things that my children/grandchildren wade through to sell- it will be every thing I have of my mother and father's and my grandparents', too. I'm unabashedly sentimental and I hope it rubs off on my kids.

  17. I loved this post and your way of preserving Lovely Art...
    Keep On~~Keeping On

  18. Yeah to you for honoring Florence! May her needlework live on!

  19. What beautiful sentiment, loved this post. And that creative and colorful.

    And someone told me that nordic chickens are best because they are very hardy in cold weather climates. Ok then.

  20. This is not exactly the same, but I have a bunch of stuff from Bob's family and I have no IDEA what to do with it all. Sometimes you just have to let go... Example, what do you do with family diplomas from the late 18oo's when there are no heirs to pass them to? Seriously. Jayme, if you or your other readers have an idea for me I would really appreciate your suggestions! :)
    (pixilated at att dot net)

    As for you there are none in this audience that will not remember you warmly and fondly. I think you touch so many lives in a special way. And the lovely crewel work, well I am glad you saved it. It is a good piece. I find myself wondering where you will choose to hang it. :)

  21. That is a lovely peice, you made a good choice. But the reality is that a house only holds so much, and mine has a hugh collection from several different relatives. But my children won't know what to do with it, so why do I hang on to it? I also find auction very sad, someone loved these items. What will happen to my special things?

  22. I like that crewel work, too! I have collected a few of my family member's them!
    You should write a book, so funny how you made up the story about Florence. I once thought I wanted to write a book until I went to a writing class, it was hard! Then once the teacher said "write an outline/book about how you want your life to be" it was a piece of
    cake! I need to stay off the computer and finish writing the book! I applaude your once a week
    writing of your blog so you can have more time to do things you want! So happy for you!

  23. I like Florence already! Thanks for carrying on her stitchery in your lovely home.


  24. Your touching story left my eyes a little damp and a large lump in my throat. I Love the framed work ~ I miss Florence. :)

  25. You would not believe the old photos that are thrown away in the dump, albums and all. I too wonder where my crafts will end up. On that table for a dime... hopefully there will be lots of people like you out there that will rescue them. I do the same thing, I buy the lost crafts from time to time because I just can't stand seeing them so neglected.

  26. that embroidery is so beautiful and so right up my alley. TWO FIFTY??? holy moly smokes. Lucky girl. Nice tribute to that lady too.

  27. that embroidery is so beautiful and so right up my alley. TWO FIFTY??? holy moly smokes. Lucky girl. Nice tribute to that lady too.

  28. What if I told you it was MINE?

    Well, it's not, just thought I'd make you wonder. Doubt it really even did! I always wonder too about stuff like that. My folks have so much stuff in their house it would fill two Goodwills. I don't intend to leave that much, but even so, I'm sure some of it will end up there too.

    I loved your version of Florence.

  29. Very sweet of you and the story is really a gem.

  30. So glad you saved it. Love the story. I have a similar Goodwill stitching w/garish colors, originally framed in avocado, that reads "Happiness is still homemade." It's priceless to me. You will never be forgotten - the chick in the cleavage story will be passed down foreva. Others too. And if you write a *book* you'll guarantee it!

  31. Sometimes I see photos of people that speak to me. Well, they don't actually SPEAK to me, but to my heart. Forgotten loves, forgotten lives, special faces. I buy them, I frame them, I hang them in my home and love them. They are not forgotten. I have more strangers sometimes hanging about my home than relatives. But they are all loved and their stories imagined too.

  32. I love it. I know what you mean though, everything seems so fragile when it's in Goodwill.

  33. Florence and my mom might have been twins. I have a few vintage things I've bought because I felt sorry for them. I think they just deserved better.

  34. Love the story about Flo. I bet she is loving it too! She's up there looking down saying, "I'm so glad my family sold all of my hand made items so they'd go to someone who really appreciates them, and not those lamed brained kids of mine!"

    I buy every doily I see at every garage sale I attend!

    I got my wifi back! I'm whole again. I went without for a week and Jayme I'm tellin' ya, you are amazing to live without it! Law woman!


  35. that's just the happiest little stitchery I've ever seen! I love Florence! Hope she gave up smoking and that that wasn't what killed her. I kept telling her to quit!!

  36. I loved this post and the story you created to go with your new treasure. I started collecting silver baby cups, because I found one with a name engraved on it at Salvation Army. It just made me sad to think someone had gotten rid of their child's cup, or their cup from their childhood. So I just started buying them everytime I saw one. I care for them and try and picture the precious little hands that used to hold them.
    ll in ks


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