Making Heirlooms

This is all I have to remind me of my maternal grandmother. It's a small ornamental hat which has been made out of a plastic doily, crochet, ribbon and a plastic flower.

I am not sure if she made it especially for me or if it was given to me on a whim... all I know is that she gave it to me and I have treasured it ever since. I have often thought I would like to make some of these and I am always looking for plastic doily's but I have never found any, I think it must have been a 1960's fashion... plastic doily's I mean.

My grandmother died when I was only 10 years old and I am certain that she would be very suprised to know that I still have this little thing that she made. I don't think she intended it to be an heirloom.

We can't be sure which or what of the items we make will become heirlooms but if like me, you are always making something then I think we can be sure that something we have made will survive at least a generation or two... that makes me feel nice.

Do you remember the oranges that I picked up outside the hospital in spain? For the last few weeks they have been drying nicely on my kitchen windowsill. I chose that place because I have once or twice had lemons or limes inadvertently dry out there... so I knew it would be a perfect spot for drying my Elizabethan pommanders... of course the orris root helps too.

You can see that they have shrunk quite a bit. The ribbon is very loose now. I removed it and then carefully brushed the orris root off... The oranges are really very hard but not all the cloves are secure so I had to be careful. Realistically, we could lose some of the cloves but the orange itself is very strong and will last for many years. I made a much better job of the second orange. I guess practice made perfect.

I used a pastry brush to brush off most of the orris root powder. It wont matter too much if some of it stays on. I also used a small knitting needle to get at hard to shift bits. A hair dryer on a cold setting would blow off most of the powder - except I didn't fancy the mess it would make. I have kept the used orris root in a bag ready for the next time... you can re-use it several times.

Then I replaced the ribbon with a slightly thinner one and added a decoration.

A lemon rose for one and a bow for the other. I secured them with a small bead headed pin.

Now they are ready. They smell really nice, quite strong - just perfect for deterring moths from the wardrobe. I am wishing I had brought home several more. But these two are special. I am going to wrap them in tissue and take them over to Spain where they originally came from. One for my daughter and one for my grand daughter who has not yet arrived. And who knows... they could be handed down through the generations.


  1. my granny made me a pomander and it lasted for years, i still have some of their bits and bobs and i lost both of them over 23 years ago - lovely story about the crochet


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