Monday, November 30, 2009

Made At Home

Christmas is only a few weeks away and I am thinking about the gifts that I am going to make and how much time I need. Last year I made a John Derian style plate for a friend, it took weeks to put the layers and layers of varnish on top of my decoupage, but it was so much fun to make a personalized plate and it did look rather beautiful, and my red headed friend from the Emerald Isle was tickled pink with her gift. The NZ'er has quite a collection of handmade gifts; a red and green tea cosy, an assortment of knitted scarfs, a quilt made out of his old t-shirts, many photo albums, and our favorite; a draft excluder that I made to look like our dog. 

I spent long holidays with my Grandparents, I called them Nanny and Poppy, they lived the ultimate self sufficient life, everything was made at home, Poppy had a large allotment where he grew all of their fruit and vegetables, he spent all day tending to his plot, Nanny would ring a big bell out of the window to get him in for mealtimes. Bread and cakes were baked, jam was made, vegetables were pickled, when they went food shopping the list was simple, flour, eggs, milk and butter. They recylced everything, old rags and shirts were made into tea cosies and draft excluders, and there were many draught central heating and very draughty! 

Evenings were spent mending stuff, socks were darned, can you imagine anyone darning a sock these days? actually I do darn my favorites from Erica Tanov, they have the best socks and I want to keep them for a long time but I have very pointy feet and I make holes easily. Poppy had been a cobbler so he would fix up all of their old shoes, I think Nanny had the same pair of navy shoes for decades. They knitted and crocheted and sewed together, I will always remember the lovely crocheted milk jug covers with beads. They were resourceful because they had to be, they never went out to a restaurant, maybe once, with my family, I remember........they were a bit uncomfortable, picnics were more their style of 'eating out'. They had a huge influence on me and the way I live my life, I may not have appreciated it at the time especially the teen years, when my focus was on platform shoes, flares and disco, but the desire to 'make things' has always stayed with me and they taught me that those quiet times when you are so fully engrossed in the process of making stuff are the best times......the simple pleasures. 
My book (tee hee) is going to be called 'Living Like Nanny and Poppy'.

This is another draught excluder I made for friends last Christmas, I owe them a tail! 


Wendy said...

Daisy doo doglette would like a draft excluder please?

A Table of Contents said...

I would really have to stretch her to keep out the draughts!

Wendy said...

oh but so so pretty!