Mom’s Wedding Dress – Re-purposed
My parents moved into a retirement home and I needed to clean out their home and one of the treasures I came across was my mom’s wedding dress. She had always kept it hoping one day I or someone in the family might wear it.
She was tiny, much, much tinier than any of us, even her young grandchildren, so none of us could ever wear it. The dress was beautiful. Ivory satin, and it had a long train. I kept it for many years and just could not bring myself to throw it away or pass on to good will. I needed to keep it in the family.
Finally, last year I decided to make the women of all ages in the family a little keep sake bag out of the dress.
I knew what I wanted to do but one of the hardest things I have ever done was make that first cut into that dress!! I had made a small pattern and laid it out on the material and knew I had enough to make everyone a small bag – BUT – that meant I had to actually cut up my mom’s beautiful dress.
Summoning the courage, I made that first cut – felt better – and was finish enough bags to pass along a little piece of family memorabilia to each of us.
I finished them off by taking a wedding picture and printing it on Avery Printable Fabric and ironing one on each bag.
I’m not sure what treasurers each bag will hold but I do know they will be special.
Dresden Plate Quilt Block Pillow Cases
I inherited partially completed Dresden plate blocks when my mother-in-law was downsizing.
I held on to them thinking I would make a quilt but when she passed away I hated to keep them to myself. I cut the Dresden plate in half, left all her brown thread basting stitches and made a set of pillowcases for each of my brother and sister-in-laws.
The extras I took to the next family gathering and offered them to her grandchildren. Many took them to incorporate into quilts, or accent pillow coverings or framed the square as a memory of their Nana!
This is another wonderful way to re-purpose a started but forgotten craft item into something new and heartfelt.
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” ― Germany Kent
For me being thankful is a powerful tool to use to help persevere through my tough times.
I have kept a thankful journal for a long time. At times in my life I have written in it every morning. Taking a few minutes to start off my day simply and finding three things I have been thankful for. This helped set my mood and tone for the day. Even when I was working and knew that the day ahead was going to be especially challenging and add family commitments too – just taking the time to think of three things that made me grateful helped.
I shared this experience with a friend who was also struggling with her own challenges. We committed to each other to send our three grateful things to each other daily. No comments, no judgments, just a text ‘I am thankful for . . . . . .’ It was remarkable to both of us how much this helped. It not only set the tone for our own day, but it reassured us that someone else cared and was waiting to hear from us, not passing any judgement or comments.
I’m not sure how long we did this or why we decided that we could stop but it was after that we talked about how much we gained through the experience. And still do mention often how being grateful puts things into perspective.
After awhile of consciously taking the time to put the words down I find myself just thinking subconsciously about good things in my life as I start my day or pausing throughout the day if I find I have gotten into some “Mud”.
Although, through particularly thoughtful times it is helpful to still get out that journal and just start again – sometimes reading the written words is also very reassuring.
I will let go of …………………
I am grateful for …………………
I will focus on ……………………..
I made little sheets of these and put them in the front of my journal to use them to help me.
On days when I feel a particular challenge I complete:
I have not …………………………………………… yet.
I acknowledge something I want to do but telling myself that it is ok that I’m not there yet which gives me the power to leave it and move on.
Firstly, it is important to make the disclaimer that I am not a professional therapist. I have no training in psychology or any other training in the social or behavioral arts. So, everything on my site is my own thoughts and feelings.
So, with that in mind –in the quote that inspires me
Be like the lotus: trust in the light, grow through the mud, believe in new beginnings
The Mud, in my opinion – can be anything, everything and nothing at the same time.
The Mud can be baggage we always carry with us that is in the background – the things, thoughts and memories that influence us.
Or, it can be something that just happened but profoundly made an impact on us.
Or it could be nothing – a thing so trivial but that in the moment made us pause and then passes just as quickly.
Growing through The Mud – is what gets us through all those memories and moments and allows us to get back to a state of calm and be the true, person we are all meant to be.
I feel we grow through The Mud by being mindful of influences from the world around us and persevere in our journey.
Creating heirloom memories is fun and easy but it does take some pre-planning.
I love helping people re-purpose things to create items and share memories of loved ones.
We can be such a disposable, throw away society so the next time you are cleaning out your children’s clothes to make room for new ones – think about saving a special outfit or T-shirts.
When you are downsizing your home or your parents look at everything not as old but as a new possibility. Are there shirts, sweaters, finished or unfinished craft items that can be re-purposed into keepsakes for new baby gifts, father or mother day gifts, Christmas or birthday gifts?
Shirts can be made into pillows, quilts, picture; sweaters into mittens, pillow covers or golf club covers; cup and saucers can become bird baths or bird feeders and tea pots out in the garden can be homes for birds and butterflies – the ideas are endless and all are possible.
Why hold onto a keepsake and keep it in a box stored hidden away. The easiest way to downsize and become more efficient is either display or use the item – my motto is ‘if I can’t see it or use it then it goes’ I refuse to store things in boxes just to have them. I recognize there are seasonal items that require storage but to reduce and declutter overall requires a strong will and looking at being able to re-purpose special keepsakes can make the task easier.
Crafts: I love heirloom sewing, sustainable reusable items, scrapbooking, knitting, crocheting, journaling, just to highlight a few things.
I will share some of my own ideas as well as links to other crafter’s who share these loves.
Newly retired, I started this website as a way to discover myself and connect with the world in a new way. It is easy when you are out everyday working to meet people and share thoughts and ideas. How many of us try to save the world on our lunch break! But being retired posed a new challenge to stay connected with other people who share common interests in Inspiration and Mindfulness; Resilience; Crafts and Sustainability.
I choose ‘A Lotus Blooming’ for my website name because I had read a quote on a wonderful website Healing Brave and felt it fit where I was in my new journey.
“The lotus flower is a reminder of the beauty that comes from change, the magic that a new beginning brings, and the seed of potential that’s buried in the most unlikely places.” – Jennifer Williamson