She was a prolific seamstress and even though arthritis got hold of her in later years, she continue to sew, mainly mending or making new from old for herself and those whom she lived with at the nursing home. There would occasionally be handmade Christmas and Birthday presents for myself and I remember she kept her pennies in an empty Atrixo moisturiser tub on her bedside table in a perfect example of ‘waste not, want not’.
When I was away at Central Saint Martins studying fashion, Grandad gave me her wooden handled pattern tracing wheel which I still keep in my sewing box. It’s a simple and beautiful object and means so much to me.
Mum came to visit at the weekend after a short detour to visit her Brother who is currently also having a good clear-out. In amongst the items in his loft he found Little Gran’s napkin ring and has passed it on to me as I am the only Great-grandchild who can remember her. It is handmade, though we are not sure who by, and her name is taped on the front. There’s a half shilling piece attached to the back as a decorative finishing touch and I have no doubt that she would have treasured it as she didn’t have that many personal possessions herself and this was something special made just for her.
As I continue the clearout of clutter prior to our move, it’s good to be reminded how much more importance is carried by some of the simpler objects in our lives. I read a beautiful quote earlier that sums it all up so much better than I ever could, and will leave you with the words of poet and preacher, Edwin Hubbel Chapin:
“The bosom can ache beneath diamond brooches; and many a blithe heart dances under coarse wool”.