Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Busy Fingers Club

For awhile my mother, 3 aunts and grandmother would get together once a week and create whatever it was they felt like doing. A few may have knit or sewn while others may have preferred to crochet. My mother was a talented seamstress; making tailored coats from Vogue patterns or suits with narrow lapels. She loved fabric. She loved fabric so much that for awhile she ran a fabric shop right off our living room decorated in antiques. I'd go in her shop in the evening and pick out bolts of fabric and mix-match them into outfits in my imagination. She carried all the top pattern lines and fancy feathers,pins, and jewels to make hats. Some times I'd bring a pad of paper and design my own patterns-or try to at least.

My grandmother was always braiding rugs. Her generation never wasted a thing. Socks with holes were darned; discarded clothing debuttoned; cut into strips and braided into rugs of all sizes. My cousins and I used to lay on the floor in her living room and pick out material woven into her rugs that had once been our pants or shirts or jackets. Each of those rugs was a tapestry into our family. They each told a story.

Christmas time is when those busy fingers got really busy. Wreaths made from greens brought in from the nearby woods were created around coat hangers. Fresh greens were also turned into centerpieces for each of those 4 houses in a row. But the candles are what I remember the most-especially the ones made by my creative aunt living in the old farmhouse. She must have collected bits of crayons and milk cartons all year for at Christmas she'd melt the blocks of paraffin and turn bits of crayons and milk cartons into beautiful,colorful, sparkling, shimmering candles of all sizes. I don't know how but she'd whip the paraffin and make some candles look as if they were covered in snow. To some she'd add little silver beads. Those were my favorite ones.
Making memories can sometimes be quite easy if you take the time to gather and share. I'm quite certain the talk was lively and the laughter loud as those busy fingers created into the night!

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