Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Big Box in the Basement...Tiny Treasures!

Tiny Treasures...

Most of us have one...a large unmarked cardboard box that moves with us from house to house.  It must contain something of importance or we would never have kept it.  Yet we never seem to get around to opening it to find out what's inside.  It may be stacked in the garage on a high shelf...or buried behind something heavy in a basement closet.  It nags at us, but still there is no feeling of urgency...other more pressing tasks await our attention.

A few of my New Year's goals included organizing the photo albums, updating family histories and dejunking the house.  Usually I have to watch a Hoarders marathon to get motivated, but this time I genuinely want to lighten the burden of "stuff" that has taken over my home.  And I have been itching to go through the contents of that big box in my craft room closet.

I spent a full week on the photo albums...buying new binders and organizing our family life into time periods.  Slowly, but surely, the stacks of random photos found context and a place in the binders.  In a way my life has "flashed before my eyes."  Our children have come and grown and moved away in the space of one week.  It was an exhilarating and nostalgic journey!

What do photo albums have to do with the Big Box in the Basement?  When I finally opened the box I found it was full of baby clothes and small nursery keepsakes.  So that's where I put them!  As I laid out each little item a "photo" would flash into my mind of the child who wore it.  My feeling of excitement grew...I would photograph the little clothes and match them with photos of my little children wearing them!  I would show them what I found in the Big Box in the Basement.  My only regret is that I have no baby clothes photos of our youngest, Greg, to share in this post.

 Amber Lee...
Her newborn dress.

Amber had very few things that were pink when she was little.  Her dad didn't like pink for some reason.

A gift from Grandma Devey

My favorite dress...her cutest outfit.

In 1977 we moved to El Paso, Texas.  It's very hot there in the summer, but Amber was so cute and cool in her little blue outfit that people would stop me in the shops to admire her.  In the photo she is sitting in the sand at White Sands, NM.  She used to cry whenever she saw that photo..."Where's the baby's mama?" she would sob.  "Baby's all alone."

Christmas at Grandma Devey's...just before leaving for Germany

Missy Marie...
Missy...sweet in blue gingham.
Missy and Amber wore red, blue and yellow...no pinks.

Missy wearing Amber's overalls.  Kitty Luna photo bomb.

When Amber was born we had so little money that many of her baby clothes were hand-me-downs from her cousin, Christopher.  I embellished the little boy overalls with some iron-ons that came in a box of cereal.

Geoffrey Georg...
Geoff in his little German Sweater.
Purchased in a Flohmarkt (flea market) in Bremen.

Sascha Anna...
I never doubted that Sascha would be a girl.
Had fun making girly dresses for the first time.

Vintage Thrift Store Dress.
Her baby colors were "Sascha Green" and "Sascha Pink."

I made this baby version of a "Gunne Sax" dress.
Loved the ruffled bloomers.

Baby Sascha loved Care Bears and the Snuggle bear on TV.

Jumper crocheted by our Swedish neighbor, Kristina.

Kristina also made this cute little vest.

So, this was what I found in the Big Box in the Basement.  There were many other items...but no others with matching photos.  I hope my children will enjoy this story...and their children as well.  It's amazing these little clothes survived all these years...a couple of these dresses are almost 40 years old.  Sorry, Greg...you were way too hard on your clothes!


Tammy's in Love said...

What a wonderful idea and project! I kept a few things which the kids don't want despite the cuteness factor when it came to baby clothes! I have the outfits that each of the kids arrived from Korea wearing...what a happy day that was...My youngest wore pink all the time because she had the blondest of hair and looked like a boy! Pink is still her signature color.

Erica of Golden Egg Vintage said...

I love this post Shirley! What fun you must have had dressing each of your babies! Great memories I'm sure!
Erica :)

Musings from Kim K. said...

How absolutely darling!! I saved all of Emma's very special dresses not knowing that 8 years later, she'd have a little sister to enjoy them. I still can't part with many of the fanciest ones. I absolutely love this post!

Patti said...

This is a very sweet post. I kept several outfits, too. I have our son's overalls and our daughter's first nice dress hanging in the guest room on a vintage rake. It makes me happy to see them. They will always be our babies, even though they are adults with children of their own! Thank you for the cute doll clothes pics, too!

Jane said...

Sweet memories!

Margaret said...

You just come up with the most thought provoking and imaginative posts! How cool to match up all those photos. Your kids have one special mama! Maggie

Sandy McClay said...

OH....so wonderful....I hope you keep those outfits forever! Wonderful that you have photos to go with! Shirley, you are a great keeper of memories...:)