08 August 2010

Samplers, Treasure chests and linen

One of the many things I remember from my childhood is the linen Granny or Mum used on our dining room table. There was always a tablecloth on our table and I cannot imagine either ladies serving a meal without it.

There were delicate linen used only for the holidays or special occasions, tablecloths with bright seasonal designs, napkins and basket liners.
But the one item I most remember was the "everyday" tablecloth. My sibling and I being typical children were somewhat clumsy and spills were common. Thus Granny resolved this problem with a thick oil cloth.
I still remember summer holidays on the coast, Mum packing trunks to be delivered to our rental and Granny choosing a new oil cloth for the summer table. The apartment or house then become "ours" as it created a coziness we thrived on.

Mum had a favourite department store she often shopped at whilst Granny prefered the open air markets both in the city and on the coast. Either place would display lovely linen, local or from faraway places just waiting for us to discover!
Granny ever so practical would look for items which would serves us well along the years whilst Mum chose to buy and often store for later uses...which often never came.

I myself live with the motto "If it is not an heirloom or used at least once a year, it goes!" I use everything I have constantly and whilst some linen shows some wear and tear, I cannot stop using them. I find the house much more homey this way!
It is odd but growing older I seem to remember more and more of those moments, recalling smells and feels. Lavender always played apart in it as Granny would tuck linen sachets in all the closets!

I still reach out for linen first in any stores, be it department stores or thrifts shoppes. There is nothing like a well used linen item and I love the feel of its starch!

I have a few treasures I tucked away for special occasions and I do not hesitate to use these for a celebration such as a birthday, holiday or special events. Others however can only be described as souvenirs! One of these treasures are samplers sewn-ed by Granny at her school as seen in the above photo.
During the First World War times were hard as the country was occupied and supplies were scarce. Her sewing however at 9 years old was absolutely lovely and I have kept this to remember a spunky 9 year old who would have preferred to run across the dunes with the boys then doing cross stitch!

As the mother of a little boy who loved treasures chests I was always on the lookout for them and one day found the perfect one for him. We filled it with shiny nicks knacks and piece of broken custom jewelry which his great grandmother would keep for him and he would play for hours. No one was allowed to remove any piece from it and its contents were cherished by him as the cavern was by Ali Baba! He still collects albeit I have not seen any treasure chest lately!

I found the blanket/linen chest however a wonderful custom, something I have yet to acquire. O the items I could fill it with! I wonder if I can still find a spot somewhere...Dreams, lovely dreams...

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