Thursday, February 28, 2008

the treasured chest...

My cedar chest is a treasure in itself. When I got married, my mother-in-law thought it was not quite fair that each of her daughters had a one...but her son had to do without. So I willingly accepted a cedar chest on his behalf as a gift from my dear mother-in-law. And many of the items within are treasures which were lovingly hand-made by her. The grandma slippers and everyone's favorite knit dishcloths have all but disappeared over the years...but nobody seemed too interested in the old linens. Until now that is...

Many of the items have little notes on them ( i.e. made by Grandma for Heidi during a hospital stay...March 1994). Heidi decided it was time to visit the cedar chest and reclaim all the vintage linens that were rightfully hers. I agreed...on the condition that I first take a few pictures.

She has a set of vintage tea towels... for each day of the week.

This pair of heirloom pillowcases is trimmed with lace made by great-grandma Pauline Tessman.

And here's a few pieces that Heidi won't be taking home anytime soon! I re-claimed a window from our old barn and used it to frame some vintage linens & lace. It hangs in an alcove where I plan to display historic family photos one day.

So here's my advice...don't listen to those who tell you to chuck out anything you haven't used in six months. If you keep it long becomes a treasure!


  1. I agree with your last comment...we can be overzealous. But part of that directive says not to part with anything that you love and to use what you love.

    That window is a great idea! I love it.

    Heidi is going to enjoy her treasures to no end!

  2. Judy, what beautiful treasures, and such a lovely way to display them! Dairymary

  3. Those tea towels with catch phrases are adorable. I wonder how many generations have used those phrases, and how many generations in the future will understand them: after all, how many kids today have ever been around a real live lamb?

    Those are truly treasures, and isn't it nice to know that if you get a yearning to see them again, you still can!

  4. I love those treasures, some items are worth saving! My favorite are the pillow cases.
    I always wanted a cedar chest but never did get one, my 'hope chest' was just a box. I still have embroidered tea towels that my mother made for me and a dresser scarf that my grandma made. My favorite is a small blanket that my grandmother, mother and I put together.

  5. OH Judy, such beautiful treasures. I also have some wonderful items in my cedar chest. I love the pillowcases, still so perfect and brand new. Isn't it funny how they couldn't be used until now because they were far too precious and now they just can't stay hidden anymore. I know that Heidi will enjoy them so much.

  6. Those are some beautiful things stored. I have a treasure box, but I don't even know what's in it. Maybe one of these days I'll have to check it out. I might be surprised.

  7. I can remember my grandmother doing the dishtowels and hankies and trying to teach me (the tomboy) to do a french knot...I'm a useless needlewoman! Lovely lovely

  8. What beautiful treasures! You are so right that it sometimes takes a long time before we appreciate the value handmade items like that. How lucky you are to have a talented and thoughtful mother-in-law.

  9. What GORGEOUS treasures!! Your lucky daughter!! How wonderful of you to save each piece so carefully...

    Love that window idea...

  10. Yeah I'm taking them!!!!!!!!! (thanks grandma...if only she'd made more slippers - no one elses quite cut it.)

  11. These are all beautiful heirlooms...yes, never, ever toss out such things as these!

    Oh, and I like your new header too.

  12. Oh, I sooo agree! I know I save too much... but my kids are so glad I do, now that they are grown.
    And I love what you did to that window frame. I have plans to do the same with one that I have saved forever!
    Thanks Judy!

  13. The linens are priceless and you've cleverly preserved those in the window panes. A beautiful testament....the cucumber one is especially awesome!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson