Thursday, January 10, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - The Doily Box, Part 1

I've heard it said that you can't keep everything.  I'm living proof that it's not true!  However, there comes a point in every packrat's life where she has to start looking at her stuff with a critical eye.  This morning, it was my "Doily Box," which was overflowing with "who knows what."  Here are a few highlights of what I found:

This cute little hand-embroidered napkin holder is something I picked up at an auction sale in Princeville, Illinois.  It has family significance for me, as the lady who did the embroidery is a distant relative, Eloise Bliss Graves.  Her husband, Leo Graves, was a second cousin to my grandfather; I don't think they had seen each other since the 1940s.  What wonderful timing that I was in Illinois at the same time they were holding their auction!

I got this beautiful embroidered card-table cloth at a garage sale, a frequent source of the things in my Doily Box.  I look at these items and wonder about the woman who created them.  Did she fall asleep at night designing her next project, as I so often do?  When did she do her crafting?  As she watched her children play?  While she was watching television or listening to the radio?  Was she a farm wife, or did she live in town?  I love the history of these items as much as I enjoy the items themselves, but most of the time the history is lost.

And one final item for this post - lovely embroidered flowers gently swaying in the warm summer breeze.  A welcome thought on a cold winter day!


  1. I love the handmade family items I have, but I'm a sucker for picking up more at estate sales! That napkin holder is unusual - at least i've never seen one before. Your timing was perfect!

  2. Oh, Karen, I'm like you. Whenever I find linens like these at a reasonable price, they come home with me. It seems that most people aren't interested in old, which is fortunate for me because they sell at a lower price.

    Your card table cloth is just beautiful. Imagine all the time that went into stitching the wreaths and flowers. Lovely.

    I have never seen a napkin holder like yours. I love seeing items like these when the napkins inside were probably real fabric and not paper. Somehow, even just holding these linens connects me to another era when time went slower and life (at least to my mind) was gentler. Thanks for sharing them!

  3. Oh, Nancy, yes, the napkins that came inside of it were beautiful white linen! I think we were born about 50 years too late...

  4. My grandmother had a similar handmade napkin holder. She and her sister would embroider napkins, table clothes, sheets and pillow cases. Most of the bed linen are worn and long gone, but I still hold some of the table clothes and napkins.