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Just a few musings by me which maybe you will enjoy

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Long and rambling

Isn't funny how things set you off. Yesterday I was all set for what my next stitching project would be, my new mug bag, which I had started to trace off, that was until I got home last night and started reading my Stitched Sunday tutorial from Helen and she talked about stem stitch.  Stem stitch my favourite stitch of my youth.  Lol now that sounds dramatic :)   So the hunt was on to find the pattern I had wanted to make a few years ago, a 12 days of Christmas banner for my piano.  

Two of my 12 days of Christmas Banner
Then that started me thinking about the history of my piano.  I have a 1930ish Belling iron frame upright grand piano that hasn't been played for many years, and how now it serves to hold the photos of our wedding and the kids.  I don't think I could play it now if my life depended on it.   I was never much good, but my Dad, he could play whatever he felt like and by ear.  Ohh how I envied him.  When I was little we used to go to the Aunts and Uncles and they in turn would come to us.  Don't know how often this happened, but I know I was the youngest of all the cousins, and they would look after me.  There was always supper and the Aunts would have Pimms No. 1 Cup to drink and the Uncles would have beer more than likely.  My Dad played the piano when they were at our house, and one Uncle played the harmonica, another the violin and I think one would play my Dad's mandolin.  Mind you these memories are of a 4 year old.  If my Nan was there they would play "I'll take you home again Kathleen" and she would sing and sing.  They had so much fun.  My Dad used to tell me that before I was born my piano belonged to his sister, my god mother.  Where they used to live was on a canal, and when it rained, they would have to put the piano up on bricks to keep it out of the water.  The thing weighs a tonne.  I would hate to think about putting it up on anything.  

I have just finished reading the Anne of Green Gables books, and it was funny how when Anne's boosum  buddy Diana became engaged she had to have 37 pieces of fancy work when she married Fred, because a friend of theirs had 36 pieces.  My Mum had lovely fancy work.  She made beautiful doileys and table cloths, and duchess sets.  I have alot of them here.  And when I was growing up I made doileys and I started a table cloth and had a few duchess sets too.  

My beloved Mum has vascular dementia.  She now lives in a nursing home, recommended by her doctor, to stimulate her brain and stave off the full onset of Alzheimers.  She is now 86.  We had a very confused conversation last night, she gets confused with my boys.  She knows that one is in Bathurst and one is in Melbourne, but gets confused as to who is where.  Last night she insisted that No. 2 would know the grandson of her long time friend, who is stationed down where No. 2 is you know......he is in the Air Force,   they would know each other, because everyone knows each other.  So I asked No. 2 son did he by chance know this young man, and got a very puzzled reply, no Mum but there are more bases down here than mine, and if he isn't studying the same thing that I am, I wouldn't know him.  The conversation with Mum always starts off with "Hello Stranger" wouldn't matter if I spoke to her 10 minutes before its always Hello Stranger.   I admit that I don't do up and see her much, I lost my Mum along time ago.  Anyway that's my problem.  We got the call a few years ago to make the quick trip to the hospital where she was because she wouldn't make it through the night, drag the boys out of school and then the long 3 hour trip to my sisters place, not knowing what we would find once we got there.  Lo and behold there was the Queen sitting up in bed surveying all her subjects, never you mind we were told the worst and had prepared for it.  She forgot that she didnt like jelly, she forgot that she love football and her beloved West Tigers, but she didnt forget how to knit.  That really surprised us.  She still knits beautiful intricate patterns, mostly now she makes coat hanger covers, but when one of the nurses tells her that someone is having a baby she makes a matinee jacket with booties and bonnet.  

Mum and Dad were 12 years married when I came along.  I'm the eldest, I have a younger sister.  When she brought me home from hospital, it was in a beautiful matinee jacket booties and bonnet and a lovely dress.  Along with a beautiful hand made feather and fan shawl.  When I brought home No. 1 son from hospital 28 years later, he came home in the same matinee jacket, booties and bonnet, and a dress.  Mum made the same one for me.  When I brought home No. 2 from the hospital two years later, it was in the same jacket but made it lighter wool which she also made, so they have one set each for when they have kids of their own if they want them.  

My mother, Paternal Grandmother, me kneeling, my sister

I come from a family that makes things.  My paternal grandmother and aunt were seamstresses.  My grandmother made haute couture clothes for the racing set, but she also made men's clothes and made my Dad's wedding suit, along with my Mum's wedding dress, and the rainbow bridesmaids dresses and flower girl dress.  My maternal grandmother was a milliner and she worked in a shop in Liverpool Street Sydney that also catered for the racing set.  When I was a little girl I had all the hats you would ever want, they just scaled them down to suit me.  Every dress I had to wear to Sunday School I had a hat to match lol.   My mother also made all my clothes.  She dressed me beautifully.  My sister wouldn't wear anything that was home made so Mum would cut out tags from other clothes and stitch them in to her things.  When I got married Mum presented me with my Child Endowment and I had enough to buy my wedding dress, veil, shoes and going away dress, when my sister got married she wanted to know where her's was.....Mum said I spent it on your back when you wouldn't wear what I made you lol.

My mother, me, a friend and my best friend.
My mother made my Confirmation dress and my Debutante dress.  She dreamed that I walked down the aisle to be presented to Sir William McMahon, former Prime Minister of Australia with little gold pins in the hem of my dress.  Well you guessed it, I got out of my cousins car, put my stiletto heal through the dress and it had to be fastened by little gold pins.  The next morning my Mum was washing the dress and we heard a scream from the laundry, she found the pins.  She vowed she wouldn't make the wedding dress. 

My Chatelaine made in a class with Judith Baker Montano

Mum and Dad were brought up with Victorian Values.  My great grandmother (born in 1876)  raised my mother and my fathers mother was born in the 1884 and was positively old when my father was born in 1919,  she wanted to be a teacher and in those days it wasn't the done thing so she became a seamstress and by the time I was born she was 74 and really didn't have time for children until they became interesting.  So I to was raised to these values, and I did fancy work at my grandmothers knee, and learnt to knit, crochet and sew at an early age.  

Mum, me and Nanna
So now I have shared some things with you my mind has settled, somewhat, and I hope that I have not bored you all to death because I have just realised that there is no rhyme or reason to this post except now I feel better :)

Happy stitching

Pam xx

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