Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lavender (salts) and Lace (doilies)

My mother-in-law, Mildred Menkedick, has given me a lot of pretty, useful things over the years. She knows that I like the old stuff and she hates to throw things out, so we make a good pair. Years ago, she gave me a mother-lode of hand embroidered linen dresser scarves and a passel of handmade doilies. I've never counted them, but I'd say there are twenty-five or more of these beautiful things.
A small sampling in their un-ironed glory:

I have used them for a variety of purposes over the years--I hung some dresser scarves over the screen doors of a pie safe in our old house--I scattered a bunch of the doilies down the middle of the dining table one year as a runner--and today I solved some curtain issues with them. I slung some short scarves over the rod between two curtain panels in the living room, and I made a weird combo that seems to work in the downstairs bathroom.
The side panels are made from leftover eyelet and they push aside to let light in.

When we were creating this house in our heads, I wanted a big window near the bathtub so that I could look out at a beautiful scene whilst relaxing in lavender salts. Well, I got the tub, I got the window, but the scene turns out to include the cars parked on the gravel in front of the wood pile and the bikes and some leftover gutter piping. Hmmm. Not exactly the scene I had in mind. Truly, I don't take baths in the middle of the day anyway, so what I really needed was an inspirational curtain to keep the moths and the owls from looking in at night. And that's what I got.

I love to think of the women who made these items, my "grandmother-in-law," and John's aunties looking at me from wherever they might be and feeling satisfied, maybe, that they are still serving a pretty purpose. Unless, of course, they disapprove of my unorthodox ways, in which case I guess I'll hear about it later. : )


Maggie said...

Meg, I'm almost afraid to admit this to you... I have tossed (into the giveaway bag) a number of things like that because, while pretty, they served no purpose in my home. From time to time, another one surfaces. So next time, I will box it up and send it off to you.

Meg said...

Agh! Yes, please. Thank you! :)