Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Heirloom - What a Surprise!

heir·loom  (ârlm)
1. A valued possession passed down in a family through succeeding generations.

How would I have guessed that the works of my hands would be passed down from one generation to another.  As a  young wife and mother, I loved creating with my hands.  One of the first substantial purchases my husband made for his new bride, other than kitchen gadgets, was a new sewing machine.  I still have that machine all these years later. It has served me through the decoration of two homes, six baby nurseries, smocked dresses and multiple business ventures.  Creating was one of my purest delights.

When the first e-mail came, I was shocked.  I had been commissioned to sew smocked dresses for clients in the 80's.  One of my repeated clients was the mother of one of my best friends from high school through our mutual stands in each others' weddings.  While I was having boys, she was having girls.  So grandmother would order a Christmas dress and an Easter dress for her granddaughters.  I only got by with a couple of boys' smocked outfits before my Dad's protest was heard loud and clear....releasing my sons from wearing Lord Fauntleroy clothing.  I never thought about those dresses beyond the 90's.  Then one of those precious little girls grew up and had a little girl of her own.  Her e-mail that was recently sent to me was a picture of the dress being passed down....a true heirloom.  I had created a true heirloom.

I also hosted a craft show in my home one year... sewing Christmas skirts which were large, reverse- able, muslin-stenciled skirts.  I didn't even remember who bought those skirts...each with different designs.  Then the phone call came. "Janette, I thought you would enjoy hearing this."  She had bought the skirt in the early 80's. Her son, a close friend of our son, had been going through a difficult time and lived many states away. She had asked if she could send him anything and he replied, "yes, the Christmas skirt."  He didn't even know I had made it, which enlarged the story for him after 26 years.  Again, how could I have known.

Recently, I received an email from a friend I met back in the 90's.  Moves had taken us to different states, until God miraculously had us standing in the same basketball arena years later.  We reconnected... we both now had six children and home school athletes.   She was now watching her sons marry and wanted to give each daughter-in-law an "heirloom".  She wrote to ask if I would help her make this dream come true with her cross-stitch.   The piece of art arrived in the mail and I began creating a pillow to enhance her work.  For the first time in my life, I knew there was a chance this piece would be an heirloom.  I was honored and fretted over it like I have never fretted over any of my own work.  She was so pleased....and I was so humbled, that I could be a part of her dream.  I will receive another piece from her soon.

As I now venture into my magnifying-glasses-wearing season-of-life, I am contemplating what I want to learn or re-learn as I began to increase my creating.  "Heirloom" has now taken on a special meaning for me.  I am glad I am leaving behind some works of my hands. But more importantly, I pray that I am also leaving behind some things that point to my Creator, the author of any gifts I possess.

26 Joining in with more words:

Debbie said...

Good morning! Sometimes I am just amazed at how similiar we are...haha...I created some of those smocked dresses too, and many others as well. I saved the best of them with the idea that who knows maybe Melody's daughter would wear them someday. They are still packed away and waiting. I only sold a few things over the years though and those were for people who asked (or really begged)...It stressed me so to make something for someone that they had PAID for, lol. I gave gifts though. I LOVED the pillow. What a wonderful idea. I am wishing now I had made something for each one of my grand babies when they were born. But I do love love love the idea of leaving something behind for them all. That's why I always wanted to learn to quilt. Enjoyed this post Janette. Hope you have a good day!

Vee said...

How darling! You really did/do beautiful work. This must have been so affirming, Janette. Those boys of yours are going to bring some girlies home you can be sure of it and I am certain that there'll be grandgirlies one day. You'll have a lot of work to do!

DoleValleyGirl said...

"Magnifying glasses season" here, too. :) What a delight it must be to see the work of your hands being cherished and passed on. Surely they bring glory to the Lord!

Shelley said...

Oh whata FABULOUS blessing ... seriously ... HOW MUCH FUN IS THAT!!! You have totally inspired me ... yet AGAIN! I feel like I am just enterting into the most creative seaon of life - I've just hit my forties and started to write (not well - but I find freedom in it) I learnt how to knit and have had a blast with that and now I am learning how to sew and making some skirts ... I never knew I could be creative .. but it's like you said -- God brings out the gifts he gives ... I pray that my legacy may be that I create heirlooms ... what an awesome post.

Angela said...

My mom made almost all of our dresses, but I don't think she saved any, passing them along to cousins, etc. I have been more selfish and saved all the ones I made my daughter:) I love that your dresses have been passed down to another generation. It's not just the beauty of the work but knowing the hands that made it (and with what love) that really make heirlooms special.

Angela said...

My mom made almost all of our dresses, but I don't think she saved any, passing them along to cousins, etc. I have been more selfish and saved all the ones I made my daughter:) I love that your dresses have been passed down to another generation. It's not just the beauty of the work but knowing the hands that made it (and with what love) that really make heirlooms special.

Sassy Granny ... said...

First, let me just say how much I esteem people with creative talent. Your heirloom creation is worthy of it's honor. How beautiful!

Let me also esteem how valuable are the ponderings of your heart. I share them. Considering what spiritual heirlooms we might bequeath is such a rich endeavor.


Theresa said...

That is so beautiful! I wish you lived near me and could teach me to sew. My husband bought me a sewing machine too but I have hardly ever used it. I did use it when I took a quilting class but if I don't have someone right next to me to help I don't know what to do! Maybe someday I will learn.

Farm Girl said...

Wow that is awesome. Your smocking is just the most fantastic thing I have ever seen. I have never learned smocking.
I love the story of the Christmas Tree skirt. You just never know do you? I am so happy that God is in the process of restoration. I know you don't see it but since you moved into this house almost a year ago, I have seen God returning to you those things you loved.
It is so awesome to watch.
Almost like watching those books I love so much about how God works in peoples lives. You are that book.
Thank you for living out loud.

Debbie said...

I am so jazzed by this post that I can't even explain it. It amazes me that God has moved his hand to remind you of the incredible gifts you have passed to other people. I can't imagine what it must feel like to have the work of your hands become a cherished family heirloom.

Why do I hear that song, "God is trying to tell you something" in my head right now? Winking. I'm a winker you know. It's the spunky part of me.

NanaNor's said...

Hi Janette, Oh how I love little girls dresses with smocking. I was never very good at sewing clothes but if I could have, I would have made lots of smocked dresses too. What a wonderful skill that you have enjoyed and that others still desire.
Thank you for sharing-your work is lovely and I'm sure that many will treasure it, be it a pillow or a dress.
Hugs, Noreen

Carol said...

Wow, Janette. What a legacy. An unexpected blessing.
You do beautiful work. Truly a gift!

Petra said...

That is wonderful, a true blessing! You are so talented. I would love to know how to do an in home craft show if you care to share those secrets. I would be so grateful! Blessings!

myletterstoemily said...

now i will always think of you as my heirloom
friend, not to be confused with heirloom

this really is just the sweetest story, and MY
prayer is for you to have your first grandbaby
soon to wear those beautiful garments.

Sonja said...

I have always thought that smocked dresses were so adorable on little girls. I don't think I ever had one and not even sure if my daughter did, but Gracie has one, I gave it to her about 3 years before God delivered her! :) Your time is coming, and those precious little grandbabies will reflect their heritage! :)

Rebecca said...

I think "Heirloom" should be the name of your magnifying-glasses-wearing-seasons-of-life venture/business. You've created so many beautiful items, Janette! And such a variety!

Pom Pom said...

Wow! Your smocking is lovely! Sometimes I look back at something I made a looooooong time ago, and I'm more proud of myself than I was at the time!
Handmade is best, I think!

Sue said...

I call this a wonderful surprise from the ONE who gave you this wonderful talent!!! When I walk by my gifted pillow, I always think of you and of how gifted you are.
How wonderful to know that your creations just keep right on giving!!AWESOME!!

Please say "HI' to Benjamin from me, and how wonderful it would be for him to visit and feed Buttercup, but he can call her his own, she would like that.
Enjoy your day,

Marla and Steve said...

I, too, wore smocked dresses as a little girl. Cotton that needed ironing :) You are very gifted. I love the heirloom pillow.

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

What a beautiful post! I love heirlooms and have many myself. My daughter wore lots of smocked dresses (smocked by a friend of mine) and I can hardly wait for her to have a little girl of her own one day. (hopefully)

But, yes, the greatest heirloom is our Lord and our faithfulness to Him throughout the years and of course, His faithfulness to us.

Another lovely post! Have a joy filled weekend my friend.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, Janette, this is so beautiful. I love hearing of your heirloom pieces showing up again in small surprises for you to see or hear of. I know that seeing the Little Men wear the clothes I had smocked for their uncle made my heart just smile. (knitting is the next thing from smocking... you don't need to see as well... LOL). Look forward to seeing what you will be doing next and I love that you are helping someone else with their heirlooms too. ;) blessings ~ tanna

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Wow, Janette, how cool to be the creator of a timeless treasure. And, so beautifully sitched (as I am not in the least surprised).

In Love With Sunflower said...

You are one talented lady who has created many delightful things and have made people happy, I am sure!

Please show us more of your works... would love to check them out soon God bless :)

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

What treasures you have shared with others -- and what a treasure to have them "come back" to you to bless you at this time in your journey!

Amy said...

Yes, pretty heirlooms! Thanks for sharing, Janet!

Amy from ThreadsintheNest.blogspot.com

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Sharing your talents blesses in the most unexpected places sometimes. Your work is almost as beautiful as your heart!
(still haven't made time to get new mac running so must plug/unplug this keypad n mouse to comment. Just so you know why I've been away! ;-)

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