Thursday, April 7, 2011

Smelling a Memory

Here is my progress for the week on ATS.  I got 9 1/4 hours of stitching in so at the end of the first 4 weeks, I have a total of 40 hours in.  I really need to discipline myself and go back to the top and finish the border.  Perhaps when I get tired of stitching clouds, I will do that.  The rest of this blog is a story that happened to me yesterday.  Enjoy!
     When I was a little girl one of my best friend's name was Shannon.  I loved to go to her house because it smelled wonderful.  I didn't know what the smell was but it was comforting.  Every home has it's own smell and well, frankly, hers was better than mine.  I also loved her raspberry red carpet in her bedroom because my room at home had old linoleum for a floor.
     Fifteen years later my dad gave me a small purse-sized perfume that a tourist had left on his charter bus.  When I sprayed it on my arm it smelled just like Shannon's house!  Mystery solved.  It was the same perfume her mother used, Estee', by Estee' Lauder.
     Smell, to me, is the strongest memory that a person can have.  I remember the smell of my grandmother's cooking and my mom's bedroom as she sprayed her own perfume on while getting ready for work.
     You may be wondering what my keen sense of smell has to do with stitching.  Well, I'm getting to it.
     Recently, my hair dresser moved to a part of town that I hadn't been to in years.  I showed up for my appointment an hour early (oops) so I went shopping to kill some time.  I visited an antique shop (which I scoured for antique needlework accessories but came up empty handed), a wine and specialty oil shop, a small artsy place that sold local artist's jewelry, a pottery store and a quilt shop.
     The quilt shop gave me a BIG olfactory blast from the past.  I hadn't realized it but I was standing in the middle of the needlework shop I used to go to 20 years ago.  Now I don't mean I went there a couple times a month, I went there 4 to 5 times a week.  The shop owner, Toni, was surely sick of me but she taught me everything I know about stitching and even a little about framing.  I spent hours there, and $thousands$  Hee Hee.  While stitching The Earth Gatherers by Shepherd's Bush, Toni kept safe my hand painted mats I had ordered from Jill Rensel and just to keep me motivated to finish the large sampler, we ordered the frame as well.  I gave her $10 a day out of the tips I made working part-time as a food server at Chilli's (plug) to put towards the cost of framing this awesome samper.  Augh, the memories.
     So I'm standing in the middle of the store and it smells exactly the same but looks all wrong.  Gone are the racks of charts, the fabric wall, the awesome selection of fibers and beads.  The beautiful shop models weren't on the walls anymore either.  In it's place were bolts of fabric I could get at half a dozen other places in Peoria. 
     The owner greeted me and asked me if I sew.  Badly.  What kind of machine do I have?  Husqvarna Viking--used from eBay.  Do I quilt?  Once again, badly.  So bad in fact that the sweet lady who quilted my first and only quilt had to rip apart and fix 1/2 of the border just to square it up enough to fit it on her long arm quilter.  Would I like to be on the mailing list?  NO!!  By this time I just wanted her to leave me alone in my nostalgia.  I just want my LNS back!  I miss it so badly that it is making me tear up as I write this.  I miss actually picking out the perfect linen I want for a project and watching Toni cut it.  I don't get to browse the skeins of silk or get Toni's tutorials anymore.
     Things evolve.  That's just the way it is.  My LNS didn't have the latest reproduction charts from Europe, but the Internet does.  She didn't have an endless inventory for me to peruse. But the Internet does.  Now when I buy a chart or linen online I get to be excited twice.  Once when I order it and again when I get it!  I think a road trip is in order to Chicago maybe to hunt down needlework shops.
     Yesterday I realized that I miss my stitching friend Toni and her shop but now, thanks to Facebook and the Internet I have so many stitching friends that I can't remember them all!  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my mini break down and until next Thursday, happy stitching!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I couldn't agree more...nothing brings back more memories than smell. I loved reading about your friend's house and how it smelled, and your old LNS and the memories from your visits there. Yes, things do change...evolve. Not always for the better I'm afraid, but we're women, we adapt well ;-) It's nice to go back sometimes, and think on things past.
    Your ATS is coming along nicely :)