As some of you will know, my Nan died recently. She was a great lady and it’s been a time for reflection and remembering here.
Working through her belongings with my mum, we came across this:
It’s my Great Grandmother Clara’s sewing box, which was made by my Great Grandfather Phineus – he’s the P L Griffiths on the front. It’s a physical reminder of how crafting goes back through my family, as it does with many of us.
When I was small, my Nan and Granddad inspired me to create things myself. That approval and confidence was a big part of how I turned out. I found several paintings, a woven picture that Nan had kept where different coloured wools made up a Cumbrian landscape … and of course, the Rice-Krispie-box man still there since I made it at nursery!
There were all the reminders of her crafts too, Nan was an amazing knitter (my sister has picked up that baton, I still can’t knit…), making clothes, intricate dolls and countless charity squares. We found plenty of her embroidery kits too – table linens with flower patterns to embroider. There were so many photos of her in productions where she’d made the costumes too.
The funeral was a chance to see my Granddad’s side of the family too. Visits to my Great Auntie Doris and Great Uncle Cyril were such an inspiration to me when I was small. Their house was filled with a huge variety of creative achievements from Welsh love spoons to elaborate embroidery panels. It was everywhere I looked and I’d come away with grandios plans that didn’t quite work out. I still have the doll Doris made me, with a delicate hand stitched face, woollen auburn hair, calico skin and hand made clothes, down to her suede shoes.
Some people may be better at these things than others, but my Nan taught me to have the patience to keep practicing, getting better and making my crafts with love and care. That’s a proud inheritance. Without her inspiration, I might not have had the guts to think I could be good enough. And so I now have this beautiful coloured sewing box. I can’t think of a better way to spur me on to do well than to have that heritage by my side as I create.