Monday, July 18, 2011

Heirlooms (not just skeletons) in the closet

Of course my family has skeletons in the closet. I think every family does, or at least, the interesting ones.
skeleton quote shadowbox from aVelvetLeaf
But cleaning out closets can yield family heirlooms you might have forgotten you had tucked away, or enable you to physically lay a treasure in a loved one's hands to pass it on to a new generation. Family heirlooms need not be valuable, but can pass on a family's legacy and history within an object. The people who originally owned these objects may be gone, but holding an object in your hand that they once owned can keep their memory alive.
I helped my parents clean out some closets yesterday and we found things that connected to past generations of our family. At the turn of the century, there was no such thing as a lint roller, so people used natural bristle brushes to remove lint, hair and street dust from their woolen clothing and suits. They could be made out of anything from wood to sterling silver like these, one belonging to my great grandfather Fredrick Holcomb Page, and one to my great aunt Helen Page. The hook also belonged to Helen and was to button-up boots that were fashionable then. These treasures will be kept in the family of course.

There was also this little German set of wooden figures that made up a town, including a motorcycle with a side car, a church and a beer cart. My sister and I loved to play with these when we were little, and I can't part with them. You see things on etsy now that are reminiscent of this little playset.

Also found this retro set of gummed beauty dots in different shapes- not sure which glamourous relative they belonged to.

Less sentimental things that will be upcycled into something else include some early American style fabric from the 1950's:

An old photograph of a friend's baby, the friend long forgotten:

And a set of luggage just begging to be embellished:

So, cleaning closets doesn't have to be a chore- look for family heirlooms and  possible upcycling candidates, and teach those skeletons to dance!

Here are some fresh etsy shops that have items so reminiscent of the houses from the little antique wooden playset- please visit:


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