Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The "Grammy Beads"

This promises to be a rather long story.

On May 9, 1982 my Mother, Esther Gordon Deible, died. It was a very sad time in my life. It so happened that the 9th was Mothers' Day. To know my mother was to know the ultimate in motherhood. She was the champion of her two children, me and my brother. She would never have allowed herself to die on such a momentous day. Somehow I have reconciled that God picked the perfect mother to take. Was I the perfect daughter? No.

Very shortly after her death, my father wanted me to get her clothes out of the house. Although he did not say so I am certain they were painful to see.

My Mother was perhaps the most beautifully dressed lady of her time in our small town. She loved fancy clothes and dressed to the nines for her bridge club every month.

Many of her clothes were embellished in some way or another. Her wedding dress was a beautiful pink with a floral design in seed beads. I did not realize that until recently when I was cleaning out my parents house after my Dad's death. (If you read an earlier post on the cleaning of the attic you remember!) I ran across a picture of her wedding day without the corsage on her dress and sure enough there was the seed bead embroidery. Over the years I remember needlepoint pockets added to dresses. My mother had the dresses made and she had made the needle point. She was very accomplished in knitting and needlepoint. She also bought several sweaters and dresses that had intricate bead embroidery on them. When my sister-in-law and I are shopping and see "fancy clothes" we always comment on how Mother would have loved them.

Okay what about the "grammy beads"?

To all 7 of my Mothers grandchildren she was Grammy. That was like taking Mother to the second power. She adored all her grandchildren. My daughter chronicled grammy in her blog as well as my Father when he died in March. March 6th and March 7th. http://jessicamae3.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

The Beads! What about the darn beads?
Right the beads. Well after cleaning the attic at my Fathers and removing all the trash and treasures, his wife, Phyllis asked when I was going to do the closets? And drawers? You see when Dad married her he did not want change so aside from my Mothers clothes and jewelry everything else was more or less exactly as it had been in 1982.

I started on the closets and drawers a few days after completing the attic and again it was a treasure of family history. There were thousands of slides from 1955 onward. There were linens with stains and broken items, so much of the work included throwing away over 50 years of trash. In the drawers there were lots of pictures and also old old should have been thrown away years ago clothing.
In a drawer in my brothers room there was a small manila envelope and within were 6 glass vials. Two of the vials were empty...in the other 4 were seed beads.

I do not remember my Mother ever embroidering with them so I do not know what happened to the beads from the two empty vials. In the four were red, lime green, yellow, and white beads. They are old and not as uniformed as I use. However they are about to become bracelets for all of Grammys living female relatives. That would be my Sister-in-law, me, my three daughter-in-laws and two daughters, my three nieces, and my three granddaughters. That is 13 of us. To make the beads go that far I am doing my favorite Russian Spiral and adding some 15/0 beads to the 11 or 10's that I found of Mothers.

Beginning of the "Grammy Bracelets". There will have to be a minor adjustment. I think now that the Grammy Beads will not "stretch" to make more than 8 or nine bracelets. I fear that it will limit those who will ultimately get one. Time will tell.

I am going to give the first one tomorrow. I decided it was time to release this draft to my blog. Smile!

Thanks Mother, I guess you knew that someday I would be a seed bead addict.


jessicamae3 said...

Love this story! I think the beads you found and do not recognize from anywhere are a gift from your mother! She's telling you she loves what you are doing and is so proud of you. Imagine if she were here today how she would gush over AND WEAR all of the pieces you have created...especially the larger pieces! It dawned on me mother as I was reading this...we are of a lineage of fine craftswomen.
Thank you for sharing this story and if you hadn't been a "blogger" it would have been lost to who knows where! Don't stop blogging and add more stories like these to your blog. It is a legacy after all that we will have to pass on through the family.
I can't wait til I get mine!

Gypsy said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes, and a reminder that I need to leave more of what I am about, for my daughters to understand me better, when I am gone! What a beautiful gift for them, Deb..

Carol said...

Oh Deb, this was a wonderful post. And you are quite thoughtful to share the beads and memories with family and friends. My best friend died in 1989. At that time buttons were big and she had an antique collection that she gave me to create broaches with. As a thank you I made one for each of her 3 daughters and her. After she passed her daughters thanked me for the rememberance of her mothers collection.
I am so big on leaving a legacy that I have made so many things for my daughter. MANY jewelry pieces and a wonderful crocheted lacy shawl.
You have passed your talent. Your daughter's scrapbook pages are fantastic!
Carol in Indiana

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother. I was moved beyond words. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

Beadily yours
Susan Feldkamp

Cero said...

Thanks for the wonderful story Mom!

What an exciting find!

- Son Bryan