I recently found this blog and love the idea of living in a small home and making the most of what we have. Carmella writes a series about using what you have, and after reading the last one, I realized I have been doing that for several months now, prior to reading her blog.
While my home is quite a bit bigger than the one Carmella lives in, I have written before about how we downsized when we moved to Virginia. Even so, I still have a lot of stuff....more stuff than I care to have, and a lot of it's heirlooms. Since both of my parents have passed away and I am the only girl, I brought home many of the sentimental items that my more practical brothers were not interested in. Some have been passed on to my two nieces, but I still hang on to a bit of it in case my daughters want some of it someday. Much of it sat in boxes and totes in my storage shed, and this fall I began to think about what could be done with it. Over the last few months I have been re-purposing heirlooms or simply digging them out and using them. Don't you think that would make our ancestors the happiest, actually using and enjoying their things? I hope so.....
A few of my grandma's doilies were framed and used as art on the walls. I still have several more I want to frame and add to this wall, but this is what I have done so far. Simple embroidery hoops were used, so the cost was minimal. Others have been added to end tables, serving their original purpose.
Some extra silver from my mom's silverware set was used to make rings for my daughters and myself for Christmas. I still have a complete set to pass on to one of the girls someday, and we all have a piece to remember mom.
Remington's crib quilt had been in storage for over 10 years. I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it, but realized it would make a great throw blanket this winter. The plaid is more of a type of "winter decor," and it's very cozy for curling up on the sofa for a movie or with a book. While it won't stay on the sofa year-round, it is a good addition for chilly months.
My Dad's old tool box has been cleaned up and filled with seasonal greenery or flowers. Right now it holds pine cones, but it has held pumpkins, dried lavender, and hydrangeas throughout the year.
My great grandmother's handkerchiefs have replaced the tissue box in my purse and by my nightstand, and the pillowcases my mother-in-law embroidered as a child grace our bed. My great-grandfather's shaving cup has been turned into a candle holder and sits on our kitchen table. Old fashioned candy dishes and nut bowls from both our grandparents were dug out and filled with candy and nuts over the holidays. It has been fun adding these "new" things to my home decor....it's like shopping without opening my wallet! It is another way to simplify my life. Rather than bring new things into my home, I use what I have.
How about you? Do you have any family heirlooms you use often or have re-purposed in some new way?