Friday, August 03, 2012

D ... is for Dorothy

Embroidered D - by my grandmother 1928

I'm sure I wore school shoes the last time I stood up for Show and Tell.  Yet somehow I found myself this week in the back row at the Phillip Island Historical Society, bag of goddies at my feet, waiting my turn for the microphone. 

Although I've had a membership for a few months, this was the first meeting I've been able to attend, and I'm sure I came along for the best one of the year. What could be more fun than sharing historical treasures with a room of kindred spirits?

And since I know many of you are also lovers of all things old and to be treasured.... I thought I'd share with you too. 

I brought along two handmade tablecloths. Heirlooms from my cupboard - family treasures I'm blessed to hold for a little while. Each were made by my dear grandmothers when they were teens and preparing their dowry, many miles from each other in Greece. 

Embroidered D - by my grandmother 1928
My paternal grandmother, Dorothea, embroidered her initial on this tablecloth, along with six napkins. Three of her granddaughters named in her honour have two napkins each.  I was also given the tablecloth when she passed away as I was the only married grandchild at the time. I love that she chose to embroider an English D, although I'm not sure why she didn't chose the Greek alphabet Delta

My maternal grandmother was a dressmaker. She embroidered and fashioned the delicate cutwork on her masterpiece. I can't imagine how many hours this took to accomplish and I'm so blessed to have these two pieces of artistry. 

Cutwork tablecloth by my grandmother - 1925

My new friends at the historical society were suitably impressed. As was I with their offerings. An antique sinker maker which belonged to a local fisherman and early pioneer, a tiny perfume bottle unearthed in the grounds of an old cottage by the sea, and an 1870s directory of early Melbourne and her inhabitants. 

It would've been nice to have something with the flavour of Phillip Island to show myself.  

But wait. I do. If colonial era love stories count. 

Cutwork tablecloth by my grandmother - 1925
Do you have an heirloom passed through your family to you? Isn't it a beautiful way to hold onto history? 

Cutwork tablecloth by my grandmother - 1925

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,