Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Grandmother

I'm really, really enjoying the art journaling course I'm taking.  Each day I'm learning about new materials and techniques.  The other day, I learned how to do transfers from paper -- very cool.

So I've been making lots of pages, and the other day, I made one about my grandmother.

I included things like her birth certificate, a piece of a letter she wrote me once, a scan of some crochet she did, a bunch of pictures, and a little bottle with beads from the bead store she owned in the 1940's.

My grandmother was a tough lady.  She didn't do cuddly very well, and my mother never heard her mother say "I love you," not once in her life.  (When we as little children would say, "I love you, Grandma," she would say to my mom, "Why do they say that?")  She had little patience for childish shenanigans, and often said that children should be seen and not heard.  She was a very difficult taskmaster; when I was in second grade or so, I was hemming something under her supervision, and she wanted it done so the stitches didn't show on the outside or the inside.  It wasn't up to her standards, so she just ripped the whole thing out (that was around the time I just gave up on sewing).

Still, we loved her.  She was a source of endless fascination.  She wore corsets!  My sister and I would watch her wind the strings around her middle, every morning.  She drank gelatin dissolved in juice because it was good for her fingernails.  Her teeth would come out!  She would pop them out to scare us.  She talked funny -- she would say "Close the light" or "Make the door open" or "I put you some milk in your glass."  (She was a German immigrant.)  She had a scar on one finger from when she worked in a factory in WWI (our grandmother!  Working in a factory!) and a machine punched through her finger.

She lived with us from the time I was three until I was in college, and she was a steady presence in our lives, a built-in babysitter who did much more for us.  She crocheted, knitted and sewed, and cooked delicious food (we loved her chow mein, which now I realize was probably all made out of cans).  She could make peppermints appear out of her pocketbook or bosom.  

To this day, I don't eat the crusts on pizza, because Grandma liked them a lot and we would pass them down to her, where she sat at the end of the table (she felt they were good exercise for her jaw muscles).  I would like to be more like her -- tough, had no trouble saying "no," lived forever (to age 96, with all her faculties), and is remembered very, very fondly by her grandchildren.  I miss you, Grandma B.   


Rural Revival said...

She may have been 'tough' but she sure led by example. A very sweet tribute and I like the page you made about her, what a great idea!

Ewa said...

lovely pot about your Grandma!
and I love your flower photo, the texture is beautiful!

You posted today in my comments a link to your giveaway, but it seems like it's finished now, as you have a date 24th of May for choosing the winner:)

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Hi -- sorry, I had forgotten to extend the date -- it's changed to the 31st.

texwisgirl said...

funny. when you started describing her, i thought "i bet she was German..." then you said she was. :) i never knew any of my grandparents but knew from stories they were very matter-of-fact and non-demonstrative with affection. my mother was a lot of the same way, but we could certainly make her cry by giving her a hug or telling her we loved her. :)

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Yes -- I think it might be a generational thing, as well as a German thing -- as opposed to an Italian thing or whatever where people actually hug and are affectionate :)

Thanks --

Erika B said...

Beautiful texture on that flower shot.

Erika B

Alisha said...

She sounds like a fantastic woman. LOVE the texture on your photo!

Denise Magill said...

Sounds like you had a tough and fun grandma! She sounds unlike any other grandma most people would have. She was funky and seemed to have a lot of character. Your artwork looks very lovely. I think the hodge-podge design fits your grandmother’s personality very well.
Denise Magill