Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Where It All Began

If you've known me for any length of time, you know I'm just crazy about my very southern family. My grandmother, Ethel Cruise, created beautiful material things throughout her entire life. Her green thumb knew no bounds and she was an expert seamstress. My cousins and I played in the basement where there was a room with file cabinets filled with sewing patterns. She adored Christmas and I adored going to see her and Grandaddy at Christmas to see all the decorations that filled her home.

Grandmother passed these creative genes down to her five daughters. One year, they gathered at various times and together created a beautiful memory quilt that they gave to her that Christmas.

It was my Grandmother and my Aunt Joann who helped prepare the nursery in my parents apartment at UNC-Greensboro for my arrival.

My earliest memories of my mom are of her at the sewing machine. In fact, it was while she was sewing that I learned the value of a well placed swear word. From smocked dresses to a flower girl dress that has been passed down a generation to Halloween costumes, Mom made most of our clothing when we were young. She would stay up until all hours, the whir of the sewing machine lulling me to sleep in the other room.

{500 yards of red yarn to make that Raggedy Ann wig!}

{I would go on to be Dorothy for Halloween two more times by the time I turned 35. 
But this was by far the best one.}

{I'm pretty sure that Mom and Aunt Melba forcing us to participate in a local fashion show contributed to our need for therapy later in life. But the outfits were made with love!}

{All the girl cousins are wearing applique sweatshirts that our moms made. I'd also like to point out that I've seen Andrew's Air Jordans and my brown boots on more than one college student recently.}

It wasn't just the sewing that Mom created (although she totally hit out it out of the park when I asked for an Annie dress for my 5th birthday.) She makes every occasion special from birthdays to Christmas and little things in between.  There are probably more times than I know of that she stayed up until all hours perfecting a celebration that would happen the next day for one of us. She started the tradition of my red velvet birthday cake, my needlepoint mailbox Christmas ornament, my angel ornament collection, and it goes on and on. 

So this is where I come from. 

I'm the third generation of women who love to create, who love to make events and things and places memorable. 


  1. You do love tradition! I loved making them too! Those sure are some sweet memories and I wish I had the same energy as I did then. So happy to see you blogging again and using your creative talents! Love you sweetie! Marmee

  2. I just learned that not only did they do the appliques, they MADE those sweatshirts. The actual sweatshirts.

    I'll be scratching my head about the booties and Air Jordans for a while. I don't get fashion.

    Nonetheless, very excited to see what you create! xoxox

    1. NO WAY. Seriously?! I don't even know how you begin to make a sweatshirt. That particular overachieving gene skipped me.

  3. How fun!!! I'm just now realizing that I get every ounce of my 'create' gene from my mom, too. :)

  4. Very fun to think back at creative genes :) Makes me think of my own family and how the creativity was passed along.

    1. And I'm always fascinated with who got what out of the gene pool. My sister and I are so different in many ways, but there's a few key Cruise genes that seem to hold strong :)


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