My grandmother was an avid painter. When she passed, my mom asked if I wanted any of her painting. I had vivid memories of these ballerina paintings hanging in a dark hallway in her home, so I asked for them to remember her by. I hung them up in a bright space above the stairs of the home we had just moved into and enjoyed seeing them again.
We were very careful to hang them straight and level, so I started getting annoyed by always finding them askew. I told my husband, after we had some people over, that I knew they didn’t look like much, but they were very special to me and I really wished people would stop touching them and bumping into them. I carefully straightened them again. A few weeks pass and they continue to move. I start to suspect it’s him brushing his broad shoulders against them. I ask him to be more careful and show him that it’s not me because I’m not tall enough to nudge them with anything but my head, and I’d notice that. He’s fairly confident it’s not him, but the painting continue to move….
This is an old house and a high traffic area, I’m sure there are a handful of ways they could logically be shifting on their own but as far as I’m concerned, my grandmother’s ballerina paintings are dancing.
Jumper Mod Dolly
Nylons Pretty Polly
Slippers White Noise Maker
Glasses Warby Parker
I had a moment while making the sample for my newest top. I was almost done, carefully hand-sewing the vintage buttons in place, when a strange emotion came over me: I felt connected, for the very first time, to my maternal grandmother.
We were never close when I was young. She lived nearby and I spent a lot of time near her but we never really bonded over anything. There were a lot of us grandchildren growing up and I happened to be number six out of ten, quiet, skittish and “the weird one”. I remember being surrounded by older cousins who were doing more interesting things and younger cousins doing more adorable things while I was just sitting there, in a dress made by my mother, hanging out with the photographer and asking him questions about cameras, birds and the human tongue while he tries to shoo me away long enough to photograph my family. I remember my grandma coming over to make quilts with my mother and aunts. I remember them draping a new quilt between the dining table, the kitchen island and two chairs so they could do the finishing details. I remember getting yelled at for trying too many times to start my new life under the quilt. I don’t remember really spending time with her… only passing time near her.
I was surprised and extremely grateful when my mother and aunt told me I could keep all of my grandma’s sewing supplies that they didn’t want – namely a box of buttons, threads and ribbons – while I was helping them clean her house and get it ready to sell after moving her to a nursing home. I’ve been holding on to these things for a couple of years, trying to find a way to make use of them.
A few weeks ago I had an idea to put them on a top I was thinking up. I thought it would be mighty green of me to re-use these old buttons my grandmother had saved, collected and cut off of her children’s clothes when they were no longer suitable. I was sewing them on by hand, using a needle, thimble and my arm length to measure thread, when I looked down and realized that I had recreated a scene, that I was doing exactly what my grandmother had done 20… 40… 60 years before me. For the first time, I felt connected to this woman that I never really knew. I felt that if she could see me, she would be proud of me – something I didn’t even know I cared about.
Necklace gift from my thoughtful brother