Wednesday, May 4, 2011

grace in casino

no, not a day gambling but a unique op shop experience at a nearby town, casino nsw.

a lifeline store next to where i've been working is one of my regular haunts.  was in there and found a new table runner (see below) which is one of my most fav finds ever as i just love butterflies and don't often find tasteful butterfly pieces to match my home.... however that is not the story... back to it... was admiring the doilys looking for something cute and quality to add to mum's collection.  a lovely lady came up and spoke to me... her name was grace... she offered for me to come out the back and look through their boxes!! of other doilys and handiwork.  its always feels like sweet forbidden territory entering into the back room of an op shop... such a buzz... feels like you'll get an even earlier peek at amazing finds before they make it to the shelves and other hunting eyes.

she slowly unrolled... yes she stores the 'something special' ones on plasitc and paper rolls... she is the one that takes them home, soaks them for stain removal, starches and irons them... and still sells them at great prices. such care is taken.  as we went through 3 boxes (i had to get going by that stage!!) she, and gradually another 3 ladies helping in the shop that day gathered round, described the techniques and errors of the doily creators' ways.  'oh this one has been knitted and then crocheted'... 'oh dear, they've ruined that one by using too many stiches on the edging'... 'oh i remember that pattern'... i was surrounded by a lovely group of old ducks who were capable of all my needlework and sewing dreams!

despite my subtle hints that i would love to learn from such skilled ladies, it took till i was almost finished my transaction and out the door for grace to offer to teach me.  she then shared that she has 12 grand-daughters and none of them have an interest or appreciation of the skills of their generation. i think she was stoked to see a young person take the time to share this joy with her. 

while i was in there, i was thinking how much of a buzz my mum would get having this experience.  grace offered to have my mum come to the back room and delve through the boxes herself when she visits. she introduced me to the manager, told me her volunteer schedule and such was my day. 

i picked out a couple that i thought mum might like. but the real buzz was being able to show an interest and share the appreciation for the hours of work that went into these delicate creations.

thank you casino lifeline and st vinnies for my few finds from that day...

and most of all, thank you grace.


  1. oh nais, what a lovely story. I know so many of the much older than me generation cannot believe that 'young' people (my 11yr old gr.daughter included) are actually interested in embroidery, cross stitch, knitting etc.. good on you and good on Grace for having time to share with you♥

  2. what a lovely story. Oh, i would be ITCHING to get in the back of some of the stores - Vinnies in Toowoomba mostly!