As I was praying about what I wanted to call my NEW EMBROIDERY BUSINESS, it came to me that I should call it "Etsie and Me". Some have asked why Etsie and not Etsy, and more importantly, who is Etsie? Well Etsie was my Big Momma and the teacher of "all things fabric" in my childhood. She is the elderly lady at the top of the blog! Etsie Harris Reames
I was her little granddaughter that thought she could do no wrong. She was so very special to me as a child, even though she died when I was eight years old. I remember her as if it was yesterday and the memories are yet so very strong. She was my teacher in so many ways and she gave me my first look into the world of fabric, sewing and crafting. But most importantly she led by example in her Christian faith in the Lord Jesus! What a scholar I might have been had I had her longer. Funny, she would have insisted on me memorizing more scripture than any eight year old could fathom.
At an early age, I remember her sitting me up on a chest on the back lattice walled porch where she kept all her sewing items. She gave me a jar full of buttons where I played what seemed like endless hours arranging them, lining them up and holding them up to the sun just to see how pretty they all were. There were all kinds, large and small, dressy and plain, and all colors for she used these in her sewing for others as she took in sewing on the side to help with the household income.
Another memory I have of her was how she introduced me into the world of crafting, if that's what it was called when I was six or so. I just remember it was something to keep a little girl busy on a cold winter afternoon. My great aunt, Dovie Harris Kennon, a so-called DAR member and who was married to Dr. Kennon, a dentist, was visiting from Little Rock, Arkansas. (I later found out that Dovie's children would not share her DAR paper work because she really wasn't a DAR, but that's another story.) Anyway, as sisters that hadn’t seen each other in a while chatted, I crafted under their direction.
Big Momma gave me a Sears Roebuck catalog, a pair of scissors and some cardboard. I set on the floor in front of the fireplace while she stirred a pot of homemade vegetable soup and hoe cakes (however, my momma said she was not a good cook) and she showed me how to cut out paper dolls. I cut out the women with pretty dresses, the men with suits on, and even a few little children. We made glue out of flour and water and I applied it to the cardboard and put the cutouts on it. After it dried I would cut around the paper doll and I would then have a sturdy paper doll to play with. She was always making do, or as my friend says "repurposing". I love that friend too.
During the 1930's my mother told me she would take her, as a teenager, downtown and have her pick out a dress in the dress shop window and then come home and make it for her to wear. In fact the dress my mother graduated from high school in was made by my Big Momma and I still have that precious dress that is now 76 years old, thanks to my precious niece, Tiffany Holland Clark that thought I needed it.
Since there were two of us, my sister, Katrina and myself, my aunt "Nanny" would make my clothes and my dolls alike while Big Momma would make my sisters. My mother was a good seamstress too, however since we were the only granddaughters that lived in Columbus, Georgia we were the ones that got the pretty clothes made by Nanny and Big Momma. So as you can see we thought everything had to "match". I was even told that my sister and I had winter coats every year that were made by their fingers.
So you can see why my memories are so precious, as I am sure you readers have precious memories too. But, I would love to just spend one more day with my Big Momma in front of that big old fireplace! Oh the questions I would ask and what she would teach me. I bet the veggie soup and hoe cakes would even be better than my mother remembered. Maybe one day when I see her again! I love you Big Momma and I always will!