My Mother Was A Creative Artist
Mother was creative, there is no doubt about it she had the drive. One of her favorite things was to have just the right thing you were looking for in your need. She herself, knew how to make do. Often times she had just the right clipping of how to do it with some odd object. She knew how to make something out of nothing. She tried to make things out of scraps of this and that. In today's world a craft of making scrapbooks, quilts and rugs is art. And that is how my mother looked at it. Even though these scraps of clothing given to her by others for such a task could have been just thrown together just to make do, that was not the way my mother dealt with it. She collected the pieces a good long time, before she began. She made making do an art of itself.
Again you see the image of my mothers keepsake. You have to remember that my parents lost many other things in their house fire of 1946, which could have been my keepsakes. Since my mother wasn't that close to her mother in those early marriage years, I am sure other family gifts were not coming that frequently or cherished as much as you would think one might. Since she grew up in real poverty, I doubt there were many keepsakes to have. Whatever, there was were probably long given away to the other siblings. My mother was the youngest. [I must add though, that my mother was close and fond of her mothers sister Theresa McMullen, who was you might say a real character.]
My mothers father died at her young age, and I suppose, if she had anything that remotely linked to her father, it would be special to her. [I think maybe that the crocheted heart had a link to her father in her mind] She really did grow up in hard times. In fact they lost her twin [Sybella] infant sister in those depression years in Yankton, South Dakota. If Sylvia too had pneumonia she managed to survive it as the youngest daughter. Times were very hard for her widowed mother with the children, Bill, Ray, Clarence, Arneida, Thelma, Wilma, Sylvia, and Vernon. So much so that they had to join a relative in Pennington county, in northern Minnesota. They had to work hard and they had to go without as well as make do.
Probably like you, I heard so many casual remarks from my mother about the tough times at Goodridge Minnesota as she demonstrated remnant actions of the past. [Saving scraps of paper, fabric or other things.] Many people of her past were brought to my mind from time to time during my childhood. Most of her stories or phrases seem to be forgotten, until some little moment a bit of a story or a phrase pops into my head and out of my mouth or through my fingers. [Do you know how that is?]
And I being a loyal daughter [not always] have kept it for her. Being a loyal daughter I have kept her small crocheted rugs. Just as I have my fathers small pieces of china and some of his bears. Being a good daughter with her genes, I have kept mothers philosophy and the creativity going.
A few days ago, I said mother did not know how to crotchet unless it was edging. It was something she had told me, when I was real small and wanted something crotchted for my dolls. Well she did know, maybe it was learned later, as you see proof here in the photo above of one of her rugs that she made from scrap clothing. Her special thing was to make these and even smaller ones that would fit on her rounded seatof her kitchen chairs that you see in the photograph below.
In earlier years or my younger years she taught herself how to make braided rugs. Her inspiration was a old brown braided rug that someone had given her. Sometimes some pull apart over the years, and that causes people to discard it, or put it aside to be fixed later. I don't remember moms falling apart.
Have you ever taken a package of wild flower seed and just scattered it around an area and let chance control your garden design. Sometimes that is how it would be, when you have boxes of many strips of material sewn together like a long chord. As each color gets crocheted around and around it is almost by chance where one color will land next to another.
She passed down this love of creation in so many ways. I myself wanted to select arrange patterns, textures colors, into design in the garden and in my home. I have to admit that I had a terrible time trying to arrange these rugs somewhere where they would fit in with my colors. It was a hard task for me.
Of course one can spread that package of wild seed out on a plate and look and separate the seeds one from another and sow it one selection at a time. And semi plan it a tiny bit. I would say mother did that. Even though they were scraps, she waited until she had the colors and a plan to begin. After the first rug or two, she had an eye view of knowledge; she knew where to place her colors and patterns.
It was a life long ambition with her, this creativity process. She planned and made many quilts, which she made by cutting the pieces the old way, Sewing them the old way. I would bet that the feeling of creating them for her, I think may have been most of the fun. Or maybe the fun was when she just gave them away to someone who admired them. She tried the crazy quilt, she did the random squares in her last years of quilting.
She also put this love of selection of color, line and texture into her garden. My brother said he would see her standing by her shovel studying her garden on some of her gardening days. As all creative gardeners do.
Now I have told you that she made rugs and quilts from scraps of clothing given to her by many people. As an artist she used another medium. I can picture in my mind to this day the few rugs my mother made out of bread bags. She and her loyal friends would save bread bags and a few other plastic bags until my creative mother made a crocheted rug. She was very proud of it too, and I must say when I see others in the blogosphere, I get a knowing smug attitude and I think and often say, my creative mom did that along time ago.