Monday, February 1, 2010

In memory of my mother
19 August 1929 -
4 January 1986
I was going to publish this a month ago
but something intervened and it just did not seem to be the right time.

My mother loved Sister Parish's work.
Pictured above is SP's NYC apt.
This decorating scheme looks so current,
yet it dates back to the 70's or 80's
watercolor by Mita Corsini Bland
in the new book
Did you know
that Sister Parish made it into 2010 decorating trends
according to Mrs. Blandings?

Read some excerpts from the Kansas City Star via Mrs. Blandings:

More craft and things that have been touched by hand,” said Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie stores and the subject of the Sundance Channel’s “Man Shops Globe.” This trend is good news for my business, mrr design and my products: new fangled pictures frames and memento boards made by hand in the USA - the entrepreneurial spirit lives on.

We’ve heard “this ain’t your grandma’s …” A new buzz phrase just might be “that’s so granny.” Patricia Shackelford thinks we’ll see more patchwork quilts, hooked rugs, needlepoint and chintz.

Shackelford said it’s the return of Sister Parish design, using heirlooms or pieces with history. “It’s a way to bring comfort to formality,” she said. Susan Bartlett Crater, granddaughter of Sister Parish, said using family pieces can be stylish. “My grandmother always said houses should be receptacles of memories,” Crater said. “What better way than using grandmother’s things?”

Looking around my own house I see Sister Parish's influence... I love her style and use lots of objects and pieces from my fact, I see my heritage everywhere in furniture and objects. Each piece brings back memories and is a touchstone for a story to tell my daughter.

Not only furniture but clothes. My mother died a long time ago. She was too young. We did not dismantle her closet for a few years. I have five siblings. I think we all stopped at the closet and gazed and thought about her - it wasn't morbid. It made me think she wasn't gone. She was still with us somehow - it was something real we could touch. She is still with us - in thoughts, in conversation, in a random memories sparked to life by a word, an action, an image, a color, a flower... I talk to her often. I miss her terribly. Somehow we all managed to have our babies and to raise our families without her. There were so many questions we wanted to ask but never got the chance.

But back to the clothes. We finally did dismantle the closet years later when my father sold the house. We saved the very special things. My sister P just mentioned to me that she wore Mom's Bonnie Cashin coat a few days ago when she was walking the dog on a frigid morning in Vermont. Now it is hard to picture my mother walking a dog, but she did love that coat in the winter and she looked beautiful in the warm salmon color with raccoon fur.

My mother was a great knitter. I have lots of her sweaters. They have been stored away and just the other day my daughter and I explored the cache. So many hand knit treasures and so beautiful and they fit Miss Is to a tee so she started wearing them. When Miss Is is complimented she proudly says they were her grandmother's. Some other 17 year olds might think that is bizarre but I think it is wonderful.

My mother influenced me in so many ways; she had great style and a great eye. Years after she died I found magazine articles about the Isabel O'Neil School of Decorative Painting in NYC that she had saved.. and what is stranger still is that I had taken a dozen decorative painting classes in nyc years after she died ... talk about being in sync... I never knew she was interested in painting...she was artistic...she would have loved all that my sisters and I have done...and my brother too...more on my sisters' talents in upcoming posts...and so in a tribute to my mother and to all mothers, especially one new mother, sarah and her beautiful baby Huck...and for my dear friend d as she moves through these dark days, I toast mothers and their children and leave you a few special photos of my daughter and me.

happy and cozy mother & daughter


Miss Is said...

:-) Love you mom!

pve design said...

What a wonderful post. I want to go visit my Mom now! I love how a MOM's love lives on and is like an indelible mark on our heart and soul. You are a great Mom Marnie!

JR said...

Nice writing!