Monday, May 31, 2010

Mrs. Delany Comes Full Circle

I moved into my house about 11 years ago this Summer and when I did, there was a wonderful artist who came to paint green glazed stripes on my dining room walls. One day, I showed her a little vintage sewing box I had found at an antique store in town and I offered to pay her if she would paint it for me. She said Yes and took it away with her.

At the time Jack was 2 years old and I completely forgot about the box for the next nine years or so.

When Jack entered Middle School at age 11, imagine my surprise when the artist who had painted my living room was Jack's art teacher! She remembered me right away and one of the first things out of her mouth was...."I know, I still have your sewing box!"

That made me giggle inside because I would have done the same thing ~ since I myself, have no sense of time, it didn't bother me in the least that she hadn't yet painted my box. In fact, I wass thrilled at the knowledge that the little box still existed somewhere in the world.

As Jack went through Middle School, I would see his teacher every now and then and she would update me on the progress of the box..."I've painted the background," "I've only a little bit left"..."It just needs a final coat of varnish"...etc.

One time, when she was wondering what to paint on my box, I suggested she visit my blog and see if there was anything there that might help her personalize the box for me.

And again, I forgot about the box. Until she walked up to me with a cardboard box at Jack's graduation and presented me with this beautifully finished box...inspired by the work of Mrs. Delany!

To say I was thrilled is an understatement! She painted the one of each of the four seasons on each side and used Mrs. Delany's technique of a black background.

I have always admired the sewing etuis that some of my stitching friends have made for themselves. Now I cannot wait to make my own version to go inside this special box.

Thank you Lee for the special surprise. It's all the more sweet knowing its inspiration.


MosaicMagpie said...

The completed box was well worth the wait. Lovely, I really like the bird's nest.

flyingbeader said...

What a fabulous surprise!

Judy S. said...

I agree, it certainly was worth the wait! How fun!

Lisa said...

What a gorgeous sewing box! Good things come to those who wait!

Congrats on Jack's graduation!

Elizabeth said...

Your sewing box is glorious!! your artist/teacher/friend is very talented and she did an amazing job!!!! What a wonderful top off to a momenteous day!!!

Bobbi Pohl said...

Oh, I can hardly wait to see it in person. It's so special. I may be inspired to finish my box, even.

FredaB said...

After reading your last post I went back to the Mrs. Delaney post and started wondering what the surprise could be.

Well this was a wonderful surprise. I can imagine that you would have forgotten about the box over the years but it was worth waiting for. It is actually quite funny when you think of it.

the 2 year old Jack sure still looks like the 12 year old Jack now 6'1".
That was a wonderful picture of Jack and your Dad. Did your Dad atend this same school or were you just commenting on the 60 years ago?

I can hardly wait to see what you will come up with for a sewing etui.



Vicki W said...

That is fabulous! Sometimes the right match of canvas, inspiration and talent take a little time. In this case it was sure worth the wait!

Catherine said...


Robin said...

Your story reminds me of my Dad's favorite saying: I'd rather owe it to you than cheat you out of it.

What a lovely, completed, artist-enhanced sewing box. Thanks for sharing.

Front Range Stitcher said...

A special story really, why am I not surprised? The sewing box, now a work of art, will hold more cherished memories and tales for years to come. I think the paintings are beautiful and what did you say about what was going inside the box??? Something for us to look forward to, maybe? :)

Carol said...

Now, I admit I didn't know what etui meant. Now I can see that you are going to have just as much fun customizing your lovely box, as you were surprised and pleased to receive it back.

The painting is gorgeous!! I love black background with bright flowers. What a lovely surprise.
xx, Carol

MosaicMagpie said...

I was just reading my blogs past comments and saw where you will be in Lexington for a class on Tambour Beading. Well I am going to see what tambour beading is and I just may see you there.

Cathy K said...

Oh my! This is a masterpiece and a future family heirloom (with a great story to go with it!). She did a fabulous job, both technically and more importantly with giving it special meaning for you. You must be flying high! Hugs, Cathy

vicki said...

what a wonderful story - and a fabulous treasure! This is just beautiful - and your pictures are stunning. I know you are going to love this so very much!


Ati. said...

That is worth waiting 11 years! What a beauty! Now you have got yourself a heirloom!
Congratulations on Jack's graduation. ( I do miss the hat ;-)

Rachel said...

Well worth the wait, indeed.

I went to see the exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum - it was a little cramped and so popular it was difficult to see some of the exhibits, but it was truly fascinating. Mrs Delany must have been one of the real characters of the Court of the period - someone everyone knew and recognised on sight!

Allison Ann Aller said...

"Etuis"!!! What a great word!
And yours is lovely...also thanks for the fine photography so we can really see your friend's brushwork.

Ingrid Mida said...

What a stunning sewing box. It was worth waiting for!

tongfengdemao said...

The box is gorgeous!

This post made me laugh, though. I thought my mom took forever to get something painted (she paints furniture in a similar way), but I don't think she ever took this long. I'm going to show her this post. She will enjoy the painting and the time frame.

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Needle & Fabric Art

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