Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Grandma Bunny


Yesterday, I promised to share my mother's first sewing project in the barn... it's actually more of a story. So, please go grab a cup of something good, for this is a tale of enchantment... about real life magic that happens when you least expect it. My mother had not planned to be at the barn during Christmas and my daughter's birthday. She was supposed to be overseas, and had sent her holiday gifts in the mail. How she wound up in her very own sewing corner (with her life long collection of supplies) on the day her youngest grandchild turned four is a wild story in itself... maybe to be told another day. My mother had no choice but to whip up something before the snowplows cleared the roads and we came to get her for cake and ice cream. She wanted to make my daughter a doll, but knew that I had plans for that sometime soon. She took out a very special piece of cream colored organic flannel. It was the last piece she had left from the Moses basket she had lined for my son a decade earlier. What could it be? Who would it be? All morning she worked on her very first softie. No pattern, no tutorial, no internet... just letting this sweet soft bunny evolve in her hands... She sewed her a skirt and a beautiful velvet shawl. Grandma Bunny was born at the barn, but she was already a Grandma, wise and full of stories to tell. When she puts her shawl in her lap it transforms into a "story blanket". My mother is a master at telling tales... she can pull any aged child in and keep them completely engaged. You should hear the stories she taught Grandma Bunny to share. So, of course my daughter loved her instantly.

There's more. This is where the magic happened... the very next day, my mother and I were showing our good friend, Pat, the sewing room. There was a little jumble of antique cloth on the floor. Nothing out of the ordinary for the barn studio. "What's this, Mom?" I asked almost tripping over the little mound. "It was in a box of stuff from a sale, years ago. I don't even know and haven't had a chance to go through it yet," said my mom... or at least something like that. The three of us immediately went to examine the pile. When I remember this moment, I can hear fairy bells ringing, but I tend to be a romantic loon! So glad Pat was there to be our witness! Each little scrap of cloth turned out to be a piece of exquisite doll clothing from who knows how long ago. When my mother picked up the teeny, tiny white apron she gasped. She realized each piece was exactly Grandma Bunny's size! *Goose bumps* How do these things happen? She set about sewing on tiny buttons where they were missing and doing a little mending. Now, that Grandma has the most stylish, vintage wardrobe any bunny has ever had! Here are a few of my favorites, but there are others...

Would you like a little fashion show?

Grandma Bunny admiring her dressing gown...

Getting ready to cook up something in her little white apron...

Now where is that Carrot Soup recipe? (the lace peeking out from under the apron is from a pair of pantaloons!


Waiting for my daughter in her white shift...

It's time for a story... when my mother isn't here to help tell stories, Grandma Bunny enjoys this book of American Indian Fairy Tales. This book was my grandfather's when he was a boy in the 20's. He read it to my mother when she was small. Now, I help Grandma Bunny read it to my children. We really are a crazy, sentimental family! Much too romantic! We're not all sugary and sweet, just love the past and keeping it alive is pure pleasure.



All ready for bed in her union suit pajamas...


Since this post is already over the top... way over the top with magical nonsense, I must include one last picture. I don't have a choice... this is Grandma Bunny's daughter, the first softie I ever made when I was a little girl. My mother saved her all of these years, and I rediscovered her last summer at the barn. Her little ears are threadbare, but she's loved all the same.

I wonder if my daughter will make a white bunny, too! Traditions... sometimes they happen without your awareness that they are even taking root.

Congratulations if you made it through this epic post. I'll be back with my usual fare soon! Pin It

53 comments:

  1. Ha! I feel honored to have been here for the first moment of this post's appearance. I was reading yesterday's post (which is still today here in Oregon) and then for some reason decided to refresh the page and boof! there was Grandma Bunny. I LOVE your story and am so warmed to hear about the richness of your family's love and tradition, which is not just nonsensical tradition like some can be, but useful, beautiful, lasting and delightful. So appreciative... I want a barn someday :)
    Abby

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  2. I think this might just be my favorite maya*made post ever. It is just perfect and such good fortune that Pat was there to witness the magic. I feel like I just read a brand new story by Beatrix Potter.

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  3. Ohhh. I just love this magical post. I needed to read something happy and warm.

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  4. A collective sigh --- ooohhhhh ---- what a wonderful story, she is a lucky bunny, she has such beautiful clothes, thanks for sharing :-)

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  5. What a wonderful story and such a great find!!

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  6. Oooh Maya, I'm not going to paraphrase all the Ladie who commented before me ... but what happened at the barn thanks to your mom is something so special .... I wish I had such a "romantic", magical, imaginative & ressourceful family ... you are so blessed. And you inherited all this magic & this ressourcefulness ... Grandma bunny is to be treasured for ever. Why not writing her story/birth, for your daughter to keep through the years ?
    Big hugs, my friend. Do take care, and enjoy your mom ! :) xoxo

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  7. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. What a lucky bunny to have such gorgeous clothes. You're a great story teller too! And who doesn't love a bit of magic and romance!

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  8. that was a lovely little breath of magic. beautiful

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  9. I get chills thinking about that magical moment of discovery, and I don't think your post was in any way over the top. Our first meeting and getting to know your mom and just being at the barn has definitely made me believe in magic. That night, pulling out one piece of exquisitely beautiful, handmade, vintage doll clothing after another was enough goodness and magic to last me through this winter.

    I would love to hear more about Grandmother Bunny and her stories, and about that lovely, creative, wise mother of yours and her parents.

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  10. Hi, Maya.
    Although I read your blog regularly I haven't commented before (lurker!).
    But this story was wonderful. I am a recently-new grandmother and I can only hope that I will be able to keep my relationship with my daughter, granddaughter and soon-to-be-grandson as precious as it is now. I can see how much you admire your mother...

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  11. Heartwarming...absolutely heartwarming. Thanks for this delightful post!

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  12. The best gift for your child is magic! What a beautiful bunny, and don't you think her new wardrobe was possibly dropped off by some industrious little elves? Thanks for blogging. I enjoy reading your posts so much!

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  13. I enjoyed reading this post & thank you & yr mother for having this magical moment to share with us. Adorable bunny with an adorable wardrobe!

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  14. What a magical, beautiful story!

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  15. Awesome. Nothing like a little magic to start my day.

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  16. what can i say that hasn't been said? magic indeed. your story brightened my morning.

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  17. Oh my goodness. I got goosebumps reading this. How amazing.
    The clothes were just meant to be for the bunny. She is beautiful by the way. I absolutely adore the velvet stole.

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  18. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. My aunt made me a special stuffed bunny with a few outfits when I was a girl. Those memories last forever.

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  19. Hi! I'm a new reader, and just had to comment that your blog is amazing. I love the bunny, and your family seriously is magical. Maybe you're part faerie? Hmm.

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  20. What a wonderful story Maya. And that bunny is just precious. I think your mother needs an Etsy store of her own. :)

    jessica

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  21. It sent me back to my childhood. Thank you!

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  22. Oh, my goodness! Oh my goodness!! How can that be? Can you imagine what fairy angels have been with you guys for the last four generations to make that post come together? It almost seems not possible. Those little clothes are absolutely gorgeous & really fit Grandma Bunny's old-fashioned sensibility. And your first softie! You must frame these & put them up in the barn!

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  23. What a wonderful story. Your daughter will be able to add that to Grandma Bunny's repetoire of tales to tell!

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  24. AGH!! I can't stand it! I got shivers when you said you found her wardrobe. I think Grandma Bunny had been floating around for YEARS and just took all those circumstances for her to come into being.

    My daughter's Christmas Fairy Doll (my first softie (no pattern) since the Shmoo I made with my sister at age 7) needs me to make her a Grandma Bunny too.

    Agh again. But not now. Sewing is not on the schedule yet!

    Everything having to do with the Barn is magical, IMO.

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  25. I love the romance and the magical barn. such Lovely bunnies =)

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  26. thank you for writing this very sweet post....absolutely love everything in and about it!! thank you for posting! you should definitely write a book!

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  27. What a fun "photo shoot" you must have had with Grandma Bunny! My grandma used to make me doll clothes which is part of the reason I said (at 5 years old) I wanted to be a grandma when I grew up!

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  28. This IS a fairytale of the very best kind.....full of treasure and love and magic.

    Thank you for sharing it.

    Jody

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  29. You melted my heart! Beautiful story and beautiful bunnies!
    Hugs, Laurraine

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  30. Love the bunny and the pictures. I feel like I just walked out of a fairytale. Tell it again...

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  31. This is just tooooooo good for words. You know that, right?

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  32. How lovely! I have goosebumps twice, first from the wonderful bunny made on teh fly, and second from teh serendipitous find of her wardrobe. How truly wonderful, all around.

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  33. It's official. I'm 38 years old, yet I want to curl up and listen to one of your mom's stories.

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  34. oh my goodness. that is so incredibly wonderful.

    one of my grandmother's made raggedy ann and andy dolls. the other made the most beautiful clothing for us girls. she actually made a living in Lebanon making clothes for many years. i wish i had that skill!

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  35. that's such a romantic and magical story - I got shivers down my back when I got to the bit about discovering Grandma Bunny's clothes. How lucky your daughter is to be growing up with two inspirational ladies as you and your mother.

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  36. Oh good lord....this is the sweetest thing I have ever read. It IS magical and special and I am honored to have heard it. What I wouldn't give to spend a weekend with you and your girls and me and my girls....and of course meeting your magical mom!
    Now I see....I see where YOUR magic comes from my dear Maya. Thank you for making my day!
    xo
    Melis
    (we ALL need a grandma bunny to tell us stories, no?)

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  37. Oh Maya! The barn is the place where magic is made! It is so serendipitous and magical that the vintage clothes would fit Grandma Bunny perfectly -- and I love the generations of bunny softies in your family. I can't believe your mum made such a gorgeous bunny without tutorials or patterns - that is true sewing genius!

    Thank you for sharing such a magical tale -- and for always sharing magic with us all :)

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  38. What a wonderful post, full of magic. I loved Grandma Bunny's fashion show, and seeing your first softie too.
    It's great that you have such traditions in your family, especially if they are creating themselves.

    More stories please, Grandma Bunny :-)

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  39. Ahhh.. serendipity and magic! What a beautiful story and wonderfully told. I read your post as soon as it appeared but haven't had time to comment until now... I HAD to come back and tell you how it warmed the cockles of my little beating heart.

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  40. This story warmed my heart. I can just feel the love that your family has for each other. What wonderful treasures and memories that you are making for reach other. Your mother sounds like a very wonderful and special person. I have been following along and am in awe of the beauty of the barn and her special treasures. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  41. What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing. You've really made my day! :-)

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  42. oh maya...this post gave me chills and made me want to meet you that much more! your life really is magical isn't it? I always think I am so much happier now that I have made the decision to stay in the city and then I come here...I long for a simpler life, I long for the country, the urge to take my sewing machine out of storage and and my mom. I think that is why I love you so much...you help me cut through the clutter and focus on the magic of the everyday...grandma bunny is so lucky to have come into such a special family...xo t

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  43. Love, love this post (smile). ~Jess

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  44. What a wonderful story. Grandma Bunny is gorgeous with an old fashioned feel -- like she has many stories to tell. Strangely enough I just finished reading "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" by Katie DiCamillo with my 7 yr old daughter. It is a bittersweet story about the adventures of a china bunny who learns how to love. Great book for adults and children alike.

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  45. This is the kind of saving and collecting I want to do in my life. Now, if I could just stop moving overseas all the time, so that nothing is left.

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  46. Beautiful post. I love the Grandma bunny and her special tale.

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  47. This was a lovely, lovely series.

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  48. What a beautiful post. I so now want to have a little bunny like that telling me stories. I have a similar one that was made for me during my college years by a sweet friend, it now sits on my daughters bookshelf. I think I, just might bring it down, make a few outfits for it and let her play all she wants.

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely, lovely story.

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  49. I have been making bunnies this spring and was thinking wistfully of Grandma Bunny. She is just as enchanting as I remembered.

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