Memories to Heirlooms
Memories to Heirlooms
Allyson, a former colleague, contacted me before Christmas. She asked if I could make a Bearloom from her daughter's Blankie. Taylor got Blankie from her grandmother when she was born. For the last 25 years, Blankie has kept her company every night, and now it was at the point it might not survive another washing.
When I got its picture, it looked like lace and suggested that I make a pillow rather than a Bearloom. Allyson agreed, especially since Taylor's dog sees all stuffed toys as his!
I looked for lace pillows on Pinterest and found several ideas that I thought would work with Blankie. Allyson liked this pillow from SunnyApril on Etsy but wanted grey ticking and let the rest of the design to me.
I carefully sewed Blankie to a piece of cotton fabric to form a "lace" focal point and worked through various trim options.
Blankie needed the ISI (Intensive Sewing Intervention) to save her, and I was humbled to be entrusted to do that work. It is wonderful to reimagine/recreate such a meaningful part of someone's life on the brink of disaster and give it new life.
Christmas Day Message
"There wasn’t a dry eye in the house - she LOVES it!" Allyson
Do you have a childhood keepsake in need of a new life? Contact me, and we can see if we can come up with a way to make that happen.
The Unattended Garden
April 2020: I was busily dreaming of my first tomato as I built raised vegetable beds to join my asparagus, blueberries, and strawberries.
March 2020: I told Mom if we were quartered for the pandemic, I would come and stay with her.
March 12, 2020: I asked, "When should I come?" "Tomorrow," she said. I quickly packed a bag and planted my vegetable seeds in the dark before heading out for a "two-week stay."
February 1, 2021: I had sold my house, and now Murry and I live with Mom & Annie.
Maintaining a garden 30 minutes away in the growing season's height during a pandemic is no easy task. Solution: document "The Unattended Garden." My neighbors Harry & Joanne mowed the grass and watered the pot of caladiums (only when they got dramatic). The Holland family came and pulled out my veggies and mulched the beds, and I came over about every 3 weeks for an hour of speed weeding. That was all the attention the garden got. For me, this was a good lesson on why my favorite plants are my favorite; they are beautiful on their own! I hope you enjoy these pictures, and it inspires you to plant some of my favorites in your life.
I know, I know, this was before I left, but Winter Aconite (Eranthis) are just so wonderful! No muss, no fuss, just pure joy when you need them in late January -March. They spread like crazy from bulb and seed to form a blanket of yellow joy and then are gone by the time you are ready to mow. One of my absolute favorites!
Check out Amy Holland Pottery
Mary and I have known each other for years. We taught in the same district, and I taught her two girls. Recently I got to know Mary a lot better when she gave me a bag of her husband Chuck's shirts and ties to make Bearlooms for her grandsons, and a Hareloom for her granddaughter. For me, it is about telling the story, and to do that, I have to listen. Mary told me all about Chuck and shared his obituary. I learned about a remarkable man who lived with passion.
We talked about her grandchildren, two months to five years, and how they lit up his world. The oldest had dubbed him "Pop Chuck." With Mary's help, the first step of making these heirlooms was creating an original poem that spoke to each child and Pop Chuck's love for life and them.
A memento was selected for each child & I thought about a way to incorporate each piece. It had to be
- removable if they wanted to use it
- child safe
- coin - put into a bezel & sewn down
-rock - made into a pendant & sewn
- tie clip - slid over a thick layer of
the tie & cinched in with buttons
- lapel pin - back enclosed on
the heart pocket and removable only with
Pop Chuck loved many things, not the least of which was his grandchildren &
Penn State. WE ARE. . .
Hare and Bearlooms
They all have a familiar feel while being unique. Each has a pocket in the back to keep its Story Starter safe and ready to tell the "tail." (Hee, hee.)
One last touch
Heirlooms for Mary and her girls.
Mary gave me the gift of getting to know this remarkable man who put love in all he did. I hope these Hare/Bearlooms help keep happy memories present, bring comfort and help to tell his story.
If you have a story you would like to tell through an heirloom, contact me; I would love to hear about it.
Jean is the owner and designer for Remember When Studio.