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Monday, October 10, 2011

Whoever You Were—Rest in Peace and Thank You

So, one of my local friends who knows of my obsession with all things counted cross-stitch, woke me up Saturday morning to tell me about a yard sale just a couple of blocks from her house. She was excited because she scored an office chair for $5. But she knew I would want to see the massive amount of craft supplies.
Not that I need any more @#$%, mind you. I have more patterns and supplies than I will ever be able to do in this lifetime or the next. In fact, I got rid of a bunch of stuff by shipping it to a needlework store where they sell such things on eBay. While I only get 60%, I don’t have to mess with it and I’ve done pretty well over this past year. Since Mr. Laptop died last month, I went through and got another two boxes out a few weeks ago and STILL have two boxes (one of XS magazines) to go out to them.
But, I went to worship The Cash-Giving Goddess and drove across town for a look-see. Oh my. She was right. They had about a half-dozen big boxes of all sorts of craft stuff and about that many bags. I went to my car to get my cloth Half-Price Books bags, because I knew, well, that the mystery woman would love for this to go home with someone who would appreciate her years of collecting stash.
I tried not to be greedy. There were two other women there going through stuff. I helped one by offering her first crack at some of the kits and patterns that seemed to be her style. Most all the stuff was more country, but there were a lot of Christmas leaflets. I recognized a few of the patterns that had been in my collection at one time. A lot of them had tags from the three cross-stitch specialty stores or the one craft department store that had closed. I probably saw her at Red Rooster or Stitchers Count, as much time as I spent there.
My bags and another were packed full. I got to go through them tonight and I wanted to share a small fraction of my S.E.X. (Stash Enhancement eXperience) with you. Even if you don’t like needlework, it’s fascinating to see what other people bought. I had an auction service deal with my parents’ house in 2003. I came up to one of the tables and a woman said, “This is someone’s life!”
I replied, “And yes, it was a very good one.” I hope it was the same for this lady.
There were dozens of pieces of fabric for stitching. I kept the even-weave and linen (a whole half-yard of a beautiful cream Irish linen!) and put the aida and other stuff in a box to be sold, including a baby’s blanket that was still in the packaging. This is a small sampling of what I kept.

My mystery friend had one of her pieces framed. It’s not my style, but I wanted to keep it as a remembrance of our shared passion.

I have a goal of someday sewing a Christmas tree skirt of hand towels and I added to my collection. The one she actually stitched (only one side, the other is partially finished) and the others are store bought.

I kept the dozens of partially used DMC embroidery floss skeins, but collected a gallon-sized bag full to ship off to sell. You guessed it, I already have all the colors. Kind of pretty though, don’t you think?

Here is a small fraction of the kits and ornament frames. There were a few finished pieces I sent on for sale too and some unfinished that I tossed.  It made me sad, but I have dozens of little projects of my own to finish.

I picked up this CD of Christmas music. Or so I thought. Look what was inside.

So, I went up to the bored and not-so-grieving family, plopped the bags down and said, “How about $20?” I think they were relieved they wouldn’t have to cart that stuff to Goodwill. My friend chided me when we got in the car that I probably could have given them a ten. I know, but it was worth it.
I got a blue and white teapot pincushion for her (still in the package) and I’ll take her out to dinner when I get the check from the service as a “finder’s fee.”
Somewhere, there’s a stitcher looking down at me with a smile. I enjoyed visiting with her for a while and I hope her soul is at rest knowing everything will go to new homes and people who want it. I’ll think of her whenever I use my new laptop and say a quick prayer of thanks.


  1. Very cool, sweet and love the bargain :D

  2. This post really resonated with me, Julee. Thank you for sharing your adventure and your perspective. Yes, that stitcher is definitely smiling down at you.

  3. I am still smiling over the "Cash giving Goddess"...
    I wanted to thank you for your comment over at Netta's and to wish you luck...

  4. Thanks, all, for sharing in my adventure. We live to amuse, Doreen! I'm usually not one for yardsaling, but really scored at this one, didn't I?

  5. Absolutely, Mark! Thanks for stopping by, sweetie and good luck on your office purge! I'm proud of you--it's hard work.