Monday, May 4, 2009

An Inheritance and Spots of Bother



My very lovely Granny is in the middle of sifting through her worldly possessions, preparing for a move and some significant downsizing. Although she’d probably retort that four foot nine (145cm) is quite downsized enough, thank you very much. Last week it was the turn of the linen closet and I am truly the lucky one. Initially inherited by Granny from my Great Auntie Em, a bounty of the most magnificent embroidery and lacework has found its way into my unworthy hands. Many pieces are gobsmackingly beautiful and I am ever the sucker for a piece of crisp white linen (conceals stuck-to-the-table breakfast in the bat of an eye).







Alas, I am no Martha. Not the Stewart (am without criminal record), or the Gardener (local Queen of Stain Removal). I have in my care, pieces of irreplaceable family history, crafted by a pint-sized, fiery, hair-curler-ed great aunt with an impish grin. I am bothered by the yellowing fabric and signs of age but haven’t a clue whether the responsible thing, is to come over all Lady Macbeth and out the damned spots, particularly on the more fragile pieces. Needless to say, any tried and tested formulas or pearls of wisdom would be heartily appreciated. I have the sense Auntie Em is getting fidgety, eyeballing me from up high.

13 comments:

Cass said...

Wow you are very lucky there are some lovely pieces there. Sorry no cleaning advice though

Anonymous said...

Well you very lucky girl..you may be in luck as Mum (Your Aunty Valmai) attended some type of workshop on how to clean lace (and I presume delicate materials) so that they are lovingly preserved. I will ask on your behalf or you could give her a call..?
Regardless they certainly do look beautiful!
Mum is also a stain removalist expert so she would be worth consulting!
Love from
Jen xo

Angus in Northcote said...

So, you've heard about Spotless? The book that the art restorer from NSW published through ABC books?

http://shop.abc.net.au/browse/product.asp?productid=162165

We've got a copy and it's great, BUT if you're unsure I'd contact her through her Blog (she's now in Adelaide, apparently)

http://blogs.abc.net.au/sa/adelaide_shannon_lush/index.html

trashalou said...

From many years ago I remember there being an Embroiderer's Society or Guild or some such, I think it was in Malvern or S.Yarra, perhaps Prahran (this is where it actually turns out to be in Sunshine ;-) Maybe they could help.

AmyP said...

I don't have anything helpful for your cleaning efforts, but just had to speak up to comment on what beautiful pieces you have there! Wow. Your great aunt was such an artist -- and I'm sure she is delighted to know that they continue to be in the hands of someone who truly appreciates her work.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Downsizing must be difficult to do . But at least it's all going to someone who'll love it and look after it . That bird is so beautiful!

thea said...

Not sure I can help too much, have you tried Napisan?? FAB stufF!
LOVE the beautiful embroideries, mmm yum.

thea.
xx

(www.forthevisionaries.tumblr.com)

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

just beautiful! What lovely pieces of your families history. Hope you manage to lift the stains. If they are just stains from age, most will probably lift from just hand washing and then hanging in the sun for the UV light to do its bit. I would then wrap them in blue archival quality tissue paper to prevent further discolouration.

Sandra @ Pepperberry and Co. said...

They are simply gorgeous. What a lucky lass you are!

clare's craftroom said...

What really beautiful things , lucky you .

Kylie said...

How truly beautiful they are. Such treasures for you and yours.

GUGAW said...

these are beautiful! little grannies are the best...i think my gran secretly loved being the 'little granny' as we all called her x

Katy said...

That fairy wren is absolutely gorgeous - i collect pictures and figurines of birds with their tails in the air just like that! I think they are like an elephant with it's trunk up - it makes you happy :-)