Other People's Sewing Boxes

Sometimes in the summer I like to go to yard sales. I look for things that I can transform in the art process. Someone else's old wood candlesticks can be sanded and painted and become a holder for a doll or a spotted killjoy. I can't resist sewing boxes. I love, love, love them. And I'm not talking nice looking ones.

I happened to stop at a place where someone was selling their parents stuff - the parents were downsizing into a retirement condo. On the table was this lonely sewing box in the midst of offerings from the 70's and 80's. The woman selling the stuff looked at me oddly when I asked how much she wanted for the box of sewing stuff. It was just a rubbermaid container with stuff thrown in it. I think I paid a $1 and then off I went with treasures unknown.

I found a fish tool that actually isn't a sewing tool, it's for figuring out how long to cook a fish by how thick it is. But apparently someone had repurposed it for a sewing gauge. I also found things from eras gone by - buttons, hat pins, garter belt clips. A tool (obviously from the 70's because it was orange and gold) for making bows. An old crocheted pin cushion. Zippers, snaps. Little sewing scissors. Thread on wood spools and plastic spools. A package of velcro claiming it as the new miracle.

Okay, Dixie, get to the point! That sewing box was a visual picture of who that woman was and what mattered to her. It makes me think about the kinds of things I put in my sewing box. They tell stories, those sewing boxes. They give out secrets.

What's in your sewing box?

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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