Sunday, March 05, 2017

A Rose for a Rose

One day recently, after delivering some give-aways to our local thrift shop and thoroughly inspecting their most recent crop of books, I was heading to the door, empty-handed, when I was stopped in my tracks by this -


 It was hanging in a cheap, sloppy old document frame, surrounded by nondescript prints in equally indifferent frames. When I could breathe again I moved in closer to be sure I wasn't hallucinating. I wasn't. I could see every perfect stitch  - and there were lots of them - hours and hours of work. Beautiful shades of pink, green and yellow, freshly picked, lying there while someone went to fetch a vase. 

Who, I wondered, had stitched this? Where was she now? Why was it abandoned here, unloved? unwatered? unswooned over? The reality of Florida is that, in addition to being touted as a vacation paradise, it is also, sometimes, referred to as God's Waiting Room. And some don't have to wait very long. Then the family has to deal with the accumulated impedimenta of their beloved departed's lifetime. Often, in desperation, having no appreciation of what it meant to the deceased, they bundle up treasure, not recognising it as such, and unceremoniously pack it off to the nearest thrift store. Which theory probably accounts for the recent Voltaire I found with a Paris publication date of 30 Mai 1878......






And the professionally framed print of a sailboat rescued another time which made a perfect gift for some friends who love sailing.

The operative word is rescue. When the OC rolls his eyes as I set off on another treasure hunt, I patiently explain to him  that I'm not collecting junk, as he thinks, but rather performing a service. Think of me, I tell him, as a rescuer of orphaned treasures. Imagine how horrified the owner of "Voltaire" would be to look casually over from the Great Beyond and see his treasured volume dumped in a box with all manner of disreputable bodice rippers and other unsuitable companions, in imminent danger of irreparable, page-tearing harm at the hands of the heedless. And now imagine his joy when I happen by, find his book, lift it reverently from that ignominious box and bring it to a safe and loving haven. I may even take it down from the shelf occasionally, open it and struggle through a page or two. Who better to help me improve my French?




And now this rose. I was smitten once, long ago, with needlepoint and made an eyeglass case. It took me forever and I decided forthwith that I didn't have the kind of patience and persistence required to further pursue it. But, I could still admire it when done by others, as I was doing now. Though the frame was unworthy of its contents, it had at least served to keep the piece clean.The greatest incentive to finish all my half-done quilting projects is that,  in the event of my untimely demise, the contents of my sewing room could meet a fate similar to the above.

 In which case there would be some haunting to be done.

A timely demise would be one where I'm not called from the Waiting Room 'til all my books are read, all my quilt projects finished and all my fabric used up. But, that's out of my hands....my hands just need to stitch and turn pages as fast as I can.

I envy people who can pick perfect gifts, tailored exactly to the recipient. Birthdays always find me floundering, clueless, inevitably late, feeling like a failure. But this piece of stitching had me hyperventilating all the way home - at last I had an idea for a perfect gift. I would make it and mail it posthaste, even though there was no birthday in sight for the recipient. Maybe it would atone for past sins.
I knew my stash would yield up the perfect fabrics to accomplish my plan.





Suitable fabrics were excavated, as expected, from the multi-layered stash. Measurements taken, borders attached, inner pillow made and stuffed, envelope backing made, closure ribbons attached, all packed and shipped and dusted. Probably the most efficiently and speedily executed project I have made in many a year!

Lesson being - if I run with the inspiration, and skip the procrastination it'll get done - who knew?





California Girl's name is Rose, so named, among other reasons, for how her ears, at birth, reminded me of the tightly folded petals of a rosebud. She developed some thorns as she grew, as roses tend to do, and we locked horns many times since I also have a few thorns of my own. You've heard of Irish tempers? 'Nuff said. We both survived though and learned a lot from each other in the process. Today we still have our disagreements but the lines of communication are open, and I'm proud of the smart, intelligent, beautiful, stubborn, articulate, funny, opinionated, determined, and - did I forget to say stubborn? woman my Rose has become.




So - happiness times three. For me - the satisfaction of rescuing a discarded treasure; for California Girl - a gift, tailor made just for her; and for the ghost of a fellow stitcher - no more weeping. The beauty created by her hands is safe and treasured. I hope she rests in peace.



14 comments:

Gillie said...

How lovely, Molly, your opinionated girl will love it. I have one too.....the Baltimore Babe! There is a will you can write, tongue in cheek, to make sure all your stash is given, sold for charity, to the right people who will appreciate it!

dianne said...

i know i am not alone in thanking you (from the bottom of my pea-pickin' heart) for saving the rose creation, and for making it even more beautiful...

Roses ... i love roses, especially pink ones ... my nonna's name was Rosina (scrawled on the ship's manifest as "Rosa" when she was bound for America) ... she was, by all accounts, smart, intelligent, beautiful, stubborn, articulate, funny, opinionated, and determined, too ... but from what i've been told, she would NOT have embraced the treasure that you have rescued - she told my dad that my mother was wasting time and money (which was even worse than wasting time) on embroidering anything that was just as FUNCTIONAL without embellishment - and i am grateful every day that, of my four children, TWO of them have some sense of appreciation for the work of my hands...

Sabine said...

What a beautiful job, the post and the pillow!

Elephant's Child said...

An ABSOLUTELY perfect gift.
And I hear you about wanting to be in that waiting room long enough to get all my books read. Not going to be a happening thing - but I will die trying.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I made needlepoint Christmas stocking and can attest to the work involved. I sometimes wonder what things I treasure will end up in a thrift store one day. I'm sure my grandparents would have grieved to see the things they lovingly collect go to an estate sale because there was only so much the grandkids could absorb.

Colette said...

You did, indeed, rescue this lovely piece from oblivion! And then you gave it new life. If you don't mind, I'm going to share this post with a friend who has a needlepoint blog at https://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/ She would love this.

Molly Bon said...


Gillie - You live! Thank you for your comment. My Rose "absolutely loves" it so that's enough to make me happy. Have added making my "quilt will" to my to-do list...

Dianne - My m-i-l, may she rest in peace, crocheted beautiful doilies but,when I made quilts, she could not understand why I wouldn't save myself all that trouble and go buy some of the "beautiful" ones available at JC Penneys. Can you feel my pain? Pushed below mass produced, made-in-China....agggh!

Sabine - thank you!

EC - It's good to see you back! It's a balancing act with me, making sure the books and the UFOs get equal time.

SAW - That's the only way to really appreciate the work involved - to have tried it yourself. I'm on a UFO mission this year. A finished object is worth something to someone, maybe. An unfinished, half-done project - not so much!

Colette - Thank you for sharing it with someone who appreciates needlepoint as your friend does. I went over for a peek - lots to drool over!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I haunt thrift shops , too , and have found lots of vintage fabric treasures . I've now got far more than I can ever hope to use but Middle Daughter will take it over and make something lovely with it all . Meanwhile , I've had the fun of finding it.
Such a pretty cushion ... Well done !

Pam said...

Ah, it's lovely but tell her not to let anyone actually lean on it! My grandmother took a sampler made by my grandfather's mother ("Maggie Tait, 1879") and incorporated it into a cushion. By the time my mother rescued and framed it, it was very worn by years of use. I have it on the wall, but it's a sad thing compared to how it must have looked. Sigh.

Ali Honey said...

The original stitcher would be delighted with your efforts. A job well done.

Molly Bon said...


S&S --- Oh, we could have fun together fellow haunter. Try as I might, I too fear I will not last to see the stash used up. I'd need to live at least another half century which would put me in the running for the Oldest Woman on Earth....what are my chances d'you think?

Pam --- It's probably in very little danger. When she does sit it's more likely to be on a horse than a sofa.....

Ali --- Thanks Ali, I'm hoping she is.

Susan Kane said...

Treasures dumped is a tragic thing. In my daughter's generation, ordering from Crate and Barrel on line is far more suitable than inheriting my grandmother's vases or my mother's crocheted table cloths.

Molly Bon said...

SK --- I hear you! I keep thinking, but haven't done it yet, that I should put our Irish crystal wine glasses on a more accessible shelf and start using them every day instead of preserving them for my children who show scant interest!

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Molly -- it's beautiful -- and perfect! What a wonderful gift! And, having two houses to clean out this year, this is a subject near and dear to my heart. What to do with all the STUFF? And treasures??? It definitely makes me want to dispose of all my treasures before too much longer -- my children won't want most of it and I don't want them to be burdened with such a massive job. But oh dear. How will I ever part with my fabric. And books??? Soooo sad that we can't take it with us! ;-D