The Archaeology of a Sewing Basket....

Cambria Tide pools
So much has been going on lately that the days just seem to fly by. Living with MS continues to be a constant lesson in being humble, and with the fires in San Diego last week I'm increasingly grateful that my folks still have a place to call home. I'm also blessed to have such awesome friends. This week has been a hard one for me, I had to learn to self inject my MS medication and was very scared by the entire process. Not to mention my heavy dose of denial is slowly wearing off and I'm beginning to begrudgingly realize that MS isn't going away anytime soon.
Today I made a little jaunt over to my favorite thrift shop while I was waiting for my prescription to be filled and made an amazing discovery....I purchased and funky little sewing basket for $2.50 which included the basket and its contents. I liked the basket because it looked well used and there was something about it that made me smile, not to mention I think I inherited some sort of basket kleptomania from my mother because I definitely don't need any more baskets but boy do I like them!
Anyway, I took my little basket home and set out to discover the contents. Being the archaeologist that I am in real life I couldn't help but take things out "layer" at a time. Even when I could see something underneath a pile of ribbon I resisted disturbing the stratigraphy of the sewing basket. Piece by piece I uncovered a wide arrangement of items. Little hand sewn pockets contained different pieces of ribbon and bias tape, at the bottom of one of the little pockets I was surprised to find a small bag of hot pink sequins and another bag of dime sized silver sequins. In the corner I found a box advertising those little circular thing-a-ma-bobs (for a whopping 15 cents) that you use to prevent the holes in your paper from tearing, but inside the box contained an assortment of needles. Little bits of delicate lace were rolled into little pillows and stacked in a plastic baggie. Cream and pink lace encircled an old piece of card board. Bits and pieces of different thread wrapped themselves around old card stock and a Simplicity pattern label. A few thimbles rumbled around a flowered ceramic dish.
An Air Force Ez Sewing kit contained bits of felt with various sized needles, tan and navy blue bias tape and patches stacked themselves next to the Air Force kit. Old suspender straps gathered with delicate hosiery clasps all held in place by a large safety pin. A single strand of orangish red sequins stood out next to the full ball of hunter green Coats and Clark darning thread. A large pointy needle with a round circle on the end of it stuck itself between soft darning thread. I've never seen a needle like it and I look forward to figuring out what it was used for. Folded in between a funky piece of cardboard were two peculiar looking needles, one which was shaped like a crescent, and the other a very nicely tapered "yarn needle."
In the corner of the basket, almost out of sight stood what I thought to be a stack of bobbins. I was pleasantly surprised to find a silver lipstick type tube with a bobbin on top, when I took the bobbin off it revealed a wooden needle holder containing needles and wrapped around its side was two different types of thread. This lipstick sewing kit was apparently compliments of "Cal's Beauty Salon" and the sight of it just brought a huge smile to my face.
Contained in this funky old little basket were so many little treasures. The bits and pieces of white and cream lace saved perhaps for a future project? Varying colors of bias tape all organized and ready to be used. Needles of all shapes and sizes organized in small boxes, the Air Force sewing kit, and bits of recycled cardboard. Ribbons, clasps, thread, and brightly colored sequins sprouted forth from this funky little treasure box. Granted somethings were cooler than others but I got a good laugh out of this metallic, elastic, fake stone encrusted ribbon that had been clearly painstakingly removed from its original ensemble. It was an interesting afternoon of discovery and well worth $2.50.
I have a ton of ideas in how to incorporate the various bits of lace into a series of projects I'm working on and brain-storming ideas. The "artifacts" from this funky little wooden basket were intriguing and made me wonder about its previous owner. It was a good day for a little creative discovery.