Here's a Christmas Card from 1975 with my Grandfather's lovely handwriting and the coordinated efforts of screen printed team uniforms. My grandmother, like many of our grandparents, was a product of Depression and World War II. She learned at a young age how to be frugal, and to create your way of life with your own two hands. And because of that gift, she was able to provide a very rich and full home with her meager income, raising 10 children. She embodied the motto that I've since made into an Embroidery Pattern, one that epitomized her times, and I hope to keep up: But she did so with a smile. She raised 10 children in a 2 bedroom house (which was added onto, but in maverick class and style) and she taught me how to use my hands, creatively, to make things work. Scotch tape and scissors could solve most problems. Darning socks and a stuffed animal would keep things longer, and save you from having to buy a new one. She died in a dress that the darned and sewed to make it just as she liked it, and she'd had that dress for gosh, maybe 30 years. I respect that so much. In this world of NEW NEW NEW she embodied the virtue of "Make it Do." A wedding shower gift to me was a hand sewn grocery bag holder, that was made "just right" so that you could stuff those tedious bags in and grab them right when you needed. She delighted me with her frugality.
6. Surround yourself with beauty
I remember traveling through Europe, and noticing in many homes, that while their dwellings might have been modest, they would invite us in, and show off their painting that they saved up so much money for, and valued above all else. Sometimes I feel like in this Americanized world we live in, that original art takes a back seat to many, many things. But my Grandmother (as well as her husband) loved art and furniture, and well made things. Her eames chairs, classic mid century modern architecture, and collected art pieces brought her so much joy. Just a few months ago, I caught her staring at a Frank Magleby painting that she paid $50 a month for, valiantly, until she had it all paid off. She sat in her chair, and said, "Sarah, I love that painting. It took me so long to pay it off, but it makes me feel like I'm looking right through a window into anther place." She loved rearranging her spaces, and I'd often come over and the family room would be in a different arrangement. In her later years, as she became more and more sedintary, her potted flowers and gallery walls became so important to her.
7. Sing it out