Tuesday, August 11, 2015

the good queen

The good queen (AKA my mom)
has gone to her summer residence (AKA the physio ward at the hospital)
where ladies in waiting are attending her with loyal devotion.
From her lofty (and fully adjustable) perch she surveys her kingdom which contains a stack of magazines, three books, cards, notes, coloring pencils, two small stuffed animals and an exuberantly blooming hydrangea in a lavender pot.

When I was a little girl I got pneumonia one summer and had a short stay in the hospital.
I was too sick to enjoy the adventure until the very last few days I was there but one of the things I remember even now was the thrill of lifting the great silver dome that covered my plate at dinner time.
Ta da!
It made me feel like a queen.
Not a princess.
A queen.

They don't use great silver domes anymore. They're smallish plastic covers now but there's still an element of surprise and suspense around Supper At The Hospital.
To help ease the suspense, the hospital includes a small menu where the items on the tray are duly recorded just in case you don't recognize them.
Pudding or soup?
Carrots or turnips?
Tea or coffee?
My mother carefully glances over the list.
She never was one for surprises.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

nature of love

This picture is an oldie. It isn't from my stash of photos, shifting endlessly in a drawer. It wasn't taken out of my mother's black paged albums either, nor my grandmother's shoe box of photos. I doubt that it belonged to my great grandmother either although it is a picture of her uncle. Photography was expensive then and I imagine that the picture was given to her parents. It's a photo of William John Haddock, and would have been a very elegant and appreciated gift to give a brother and his wife.
Doesn't my great, great, great Uncle look distinguished? Isn't his hair amazing?
He looks very sober but he was a judge and that is a very serious business.
This photo makes me ponder the fate of old family pictures.
It has been spared the Great Cull that is inevitable as the baton of life passes from generation to generation.
It has somehow managed to survive the turning of two centuries, two world wars, and a yawning gulf of time that has made dear Uncle William a complete stranger.
But he was my great, great, grandfather Robert's big brother.
He was a teenager when the Haddock's made their voyage across the Atlantic to begin anew.
The Civil War was waiting in the wings.
Both brothers fought and survived those perilous times.
I am certain that Robert loved his brother William.
And that Robert's daughter Minerva loved him as well.
Minerva had something in common with her Uncle.
She left all and moved to a new country.
Beginning anew.
Minerva and Rufus C. Ray.
My great grandparents.
Letters and postcards traveled back and forth between Alberta and Iowa.
The tie remained for a time.
My own mother never met or even spoke of this man and yet I feel something so familiar as I look at his portrait.
More than a hundred years have rolled along.
Can love be passed down?
Or the memory of love?
I think it can.
It's in the nature of love.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

be bi bo bangle

starlight bright bangle

shell pink bangle

cobalt blue bangle

like gems

A whole bunch of beautiful bangle-y button bracelets. (in a basket) This post was brought to you by the letter B apparently.

I made the white one one several years ago. I always feel so special when I wear it. All those vintage white and mother of pearl buttons are like little jewels. And it has just the right weight to hang low on my wrist and jangle softly as I move. I love it so.
When a tin of buttons fell out of my cupboard, raining down like a kaleidoscope of hail, it occurred to me that buttons in the cupboard are hoarded buttons, whilst buttons stitched into bracelets are not just jewelry, but a handful of happiness.

I spent a happy afternoon yesterday stitching buttons onto wide black elastic. I made a pink/burgundy/coral bracelet first. The colors combined have a tension that excites the eye. And pink was apparently a popular vintage color. I had a hard time choosing from many.
I made the blue one next. True blue. There is a VERY old cobalt blue glass button with faceted face stitched amidst the bakelite and vintage aqua's. Blue is one of those colors that is a neutral without even trying.
The tan/cream one came next. I hadn't thought to include those colors but there were so many amazing buttons in shades of wicker that I fell under their spell.
The silver/pewter one came last. Well, last for now. It has an especially wonderful feel on my wrist. So blingy. The dull burnished glow is so elegant. Who knew old coat buttons could feel like gems.
I think I'm going to try to create a necklace next. i don't like anything I've seen on Pinterest but if I slide them around on the table an idea may come.