Friday, December 27, 2013

hidden treasures?

This morning I started going through my mother's (or maybe my grandmother's) sewing basket.  Well, not actually a basket but two tins that probably contained cookies in the 1940's.  Here is what I have not yet thrown out -- I am paralyzed.
OMG - I made that pin cushion when I was in elementary school.  I think it is filled with sand.  My mother actually used it. 

  •  A bag of safety pins, each pinned to the other so you could wear them as a necklace.  Steel - made in USA.  Do I need them?  Nope.  
  • A small bullet with holes through it, made to go on a key chain. I think it was my grandmother's - but where did she get it? Did my uncle bring it home from WWII?
  • A wooden embroidery hoop - sturdy and wonderfully made in USA.
  • Bobbins for an old sewing machine - one still with thread on it.  Anybody want them?
  • Some weird sort of scissors (picture below) does anyone have a clue?  WHAT do I do with these? Sell 'em on ebay? 

Sigh…this is an archeological dig.  Any takers?
  • Simplicity apron pattern from 1968.  
  • Bone rings. BONE? Not plastic?  Curtain rings for cafe curtains, I suppose.
  • My mother's darning egg. I remember this.
  • Needles bought at the Acme supermarket where my mother shopped. I don't think Acme supermarkets exist any more.
  • Unopened package of blue flash cubes. Do you need them?
  • A pair of electric scissors, still in the box.  It was a bad idea in the first place.
  • A couple of mother of pearl belt buckles.  Beautiful, but useless - I think.
  • A lone jack.  Remember Jacks?  If they still make them, you know they are plastic.
  • Rolls of film, undeveloped (I have to admit these are mine) Who develops film now?
  • Untold spools of old thread on wooden spools. Sigh…  
I haven't even dealt with the knitting needles, crochet hooks, stitch holders, and half-finished sweaters (mine).  My daughters do not knit, sew, or do any other handwork.  Back to work.  I thick this is sufficient reporting for now - it has been my morning's work and I am mired in the quicksand of minute, unable to escape.  HELP!! (and stay tuned).


Linda Swanekamp said...

Don't kill yourself with stuff. Goodwill or some reuse place, just bag it and take it there, free yourself. There are some places that take sewing related stuff and resell, like Sew-Green in Ithaca, NY to benefit their program. Just remove it without going through every piece. Your creative abilities are above the normal person, your work is super excellent and greatly admired so don't let this stuff trap you, move it out now! You are too great of an artist to be a sorter and keeper of stuff.

Donna said...

Ginger (sp) sells those scissors today. Thread snips that I keep in my sewing machine drawer......a very cool and comfortable pair. Your thumb goes in the hole.

Donna said...

Ginger (sp) sells those scissors today. Thread snips that I keep in my sewing machine drawer......a very cool and comfortable pair. Your thumb goes in the hole.

Jeannie said...

Donna beat me to the answer about the thread snips. Is there a local children's art program near you? I know they make things out of old flash bulbs (heck if I know what). Wooden spools are drooled over, so you can probably off load those easily. I took a bunch of my Aunt's knitting/crochet supplies to a local assisted living home. They make hats for the needy and loved the extra supplies and yarns. Good luck!

imquilternity said...

I have a pair of those scissors that I bought when I worked in the garment district in LA. We used them as thread "snippers" or "clippers" and we held them with the finger hole on the bottom with our third finger through the hole and used our thumb and second finger on the top and bottom of the blades to cut. Makes cutting threads really, really easy and fast. I still use mine all the time and I love them.

Connie Rose said...

I'm with the rest -- bag it all up and donate somewhere. Is there a SCRAP or other creative reuse place in your area? Re: those old clippers ~ updated varieties of those things are used to trim pot out in my neck of the woods! Probably everywhere else as well.
Give yourself a break -- get rid of that stuff, you'll never use any of it. Have a great weekend! xo

Cathy Bargar said...

Rayna, just move it on out! If you want to box it up and send it to me, I will be more than happy to pick through it, save a few gems like the bone rings (previous - my mom & I use them as hangers in the corners of the many potholders we make - the plastic ones melt perilously. Also good for the purpose but hard to find now - old metal garters. Got any of those?), and take anything someone else might want to Sew Green in Ithaca, exactly as someone else commented here. Sometimes it is easier to let a friend mine it for treasure and take care of the rest. Life is too short to pick through every little decades-old cookie tin ourselves!

Happy New Year - coming up soon!

Sandy said...

I 'inherited' my mom's sewing stuff too- I went to Pottery Barn and bought two 11x14" display cases (picture frames with glass doors on front) and made two little compositions with her stuff that i found most interesting and sorta went together. I hot glued it to the backing because certainly nothing valuable, shut the little windows and hung it in my bathroom. 90% of the stuff got thrown out but I love having these small reminders of where I came from! her stuff was easy to edit- I don't collect rick-rack!

Anne-Marie Alexander said...

O Rayna, I love your energy! & the fact that you've included REAL pics of your studio in yesterday & today's blog -- Brava! - cuz in reality, aren't there a lot of us in the same boat? Before I got this miserable cold, I was in the middle of cleaning my studio up, & now after seeing & reading what you're doing, I've been inspired to pick up where I left off. If I find my camera before I push stuff out the door, I'll send you a pic of my room. & if no one else wants that Apron Pattern, I'd love to have it. And I'll make you an apron!

PS: I give unused art supplies, etc. to the elementary schools nearby. They're very appreciative.

Helen said...

Ooh, ooh....I have been searching for that apron pattern for a very long time. Would love to rescue it if I'm not too late!

Judy said...

I love Sandy's idea…..just a few mementos of your Mom and Grandmothers. I'm very sentimental, so I would definitely keep a few things.


Hooked On Fabric Art said...

Love your blog activities Rayna. So real life.

KAM said...

Rayna...Saving a few things for yourself, mementos, reminders of the past...I treasure my little basket saved of things from mother and grandmother...Bagging up and sharing with a good thrift store is always a great thing to do. If you wanted to take photos and do EBay or Etsy most of these items would bring in a few dollars.
The snips, well those are truly a wonderful tool. I use them when I am doing handwork, always. Makes the cutting thread process a breeze and they cut right next to the fabric. My standard in the sewing basket snips that I have used since my grandmother gave them to me in the 50's.

Elaine said...

We had a fire in our home in March of 2012, and everything was packed out of our house by the restoration company, cleaned, and brought back in random order. It was a terrible and wonderful thing, because it made me really LOOK at all the junk I have accumulated and make some decisions about whether or not I wanted to be weighed down by all of it anymore.

"If this had burned, would I care?" became a question I asked myself every time I unpacked another thing. If there was any hesitation at all, I got rid of it.

I threw out old UFOs, stuff I inherited from my grandmother but felt no real attachment to other than the "inherited from my grandmother," and anything I knew I wouldn't take the time to fix up and/or use. Piles of fabric went to the local guild for the FREE table, and anything that didn't go was donated elsewhere.

The ballpoint pens you found? If they suddenly went missing, would you care? Would you feel wistful EVER if you couldn't find that stash? If no, then let it go. I'm a reforming hoarder. It's hard for me to let stuff go if I paid good money for it once or if It's "still good," but if it's only bringing me guilt? OUT IT GOES.

A really big cross-stitch UFO that I needed to unstitch a big section of and fix (because of a miscounted thread -- and not something I could just hide with another intentional miscount) burned in the fire. It was eye-opening to me that my reaction to that was one of relief, because I no longer "had to" fix it and finish it.

All of my fabric dyeing supplies burned. I haven't rebought them, and I won't anytime soon. At this time in my life I don't have the time or the storage space to dye my own fabric, so I'll just let that go.

Truly, it's liberating. The real estate you gain and the guilt that lifts when you no longer have all of this STUFF to deal with... it's HUGE. Bless yourself with the gift of giving these things away. I can count on one hand (and still have fingers left) the things I've regretted getting rid of. The benefits have far outweighed the regret.

I'm not glad we had the fire -- that truly sucked. But I'm grateful for what I learned from the experience.

Patty Ashworth said...

I collect darning tools! Would love to have that one.

Patty Ashworth said...

And wooden spools!

Eva said...

My Dad used to take pictures with these flash bulbs, and I ran away in panic when I was young -- even up to seven years. They gave me nightmares! --
The antique scissors remind me of tools which are used in the oriental carpet manufactures for trimming rugs. --
I own some bone tools, as well, they are still from Estonia. There is one knitting needle left, a crocheting hook, an awl. --
How exiting to see that this pin cushion has similarities with your favoured patterns of today! The irregular grid, the bold shape of the house -- it must be a moving souvenir.

patty a. said...

There are Acme supermarkets here in northeast Ohio. Don't know if it exactly the same chain. Wow the memories from your dig. Hope some of the items find a new home.

janice pd said...

Gosh, I searched and searched for electric scissors. Had to buy 2 pair since the first ones I got on Ebay were nasty with cigarette residue..and not the pot Connie talked about, lol. I use them to make fabric strips for weaving since they don't need to be exact. Saves my arthritic hands.

Linda Dunn said...

oooo. I love the darning tool. I want to teach a class, "The art of mending/mending as art." If the darning tool still needs a home, I'd be so glad to adopt it.

studiofaro said...

Those are great thread trimmers. Mine live with my machine and handy at all times. Love the stash. :)

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