Paige goes to pre-school in at an in-home pre-school. As I was waiting to pick her up, I noticed a Grandpa and granddaughter dragging in the garbage cans together and then walking to the mailbox to collect the mail. The toddler-age granddaughter was skipping along with her grandpa in a way that made it obvious she was thoroughly enjoying herself. It instantly reminded me of time spent with my grandparents as a child. I thought of the way that even the most mundane of tasks completed with my grandparents was suddenly special.
As I reflected on time spent with my grandparents I thought of my sweet little grandma who passed away recently. She never had much self confidence and she was afraid of a lot of things so I don't think she would ever believe she taught me much, particularly about creativity, but I think she is a large part of my creative inspiration. She spent hours and hours embroidering beatiful pillowcases. She had 6 children and 22 grandchildren and created beautiful pillowcases for all of us and some to spare. Her work is delicate and precise.
Some of my first crafting attempts were at embroidery. Embroidery is still one of my favorite craft mediums and I find when I really crave calm, I am instinctively drawn to embroidery. My Grandma did not teach me to embroider. She was left-handed and grew up believing she was "dumb" so whenever I would ask her to teach me, she would tell me she couldn't. She regularly told us that she was not at all creative. I remember sitting at the foot of her lazyboy chair and watching her needle pop in and out of the fabric. She would take old magazines and use the pages to keep her strings of embroidery floss from tangling. I remember my sisters and I being enamoured by her gold and silver stork embroidery scissors. I have always secretly wished I had my own pair.
When I grew up and moved far from home and my Grandma and I began crafting, one of the first things I found myself trying was primitive stitchery. I was immediately drawn to it. I had a few demonstrations from salespeople at a stitchery store and I purchased and embroidery stitch guide. I knew a few stitches from my days in Young Women's, so I set to work. Now approximately 10 years later, I find that I am fairly skilled at embroidery. As I think back on my experiences I am confident that much of my skill development comes from the inspiration my grandmother provided. I watched her create perfect little stitches over and over again. I recognized, even at a young age the beauty she was able to create and I wanted to create something similar. By the time I started embroidering, my grandmother was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and could no longer remember how to embroider but there were times when she could remember that she once did it. I tried to talk to her about it a few times. I told her that I really enjoyed embroidery. It always brought a little smile to her face. Now she is gone and I have several beautiful pieces she created that I treasure, but what I treasure most is the inspiration she provided me with.