Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Homes for Mom's Damask Tablecloths

I've been on a decluttering tear, anticipating that the bid we have in on a short sale might, might, might be accepted by the mystery bank. Let's hear it for helping them detoxify their assets!
Looking around my home, I am eager to land my eye on things that are so much a part of my life that I never see them. The damask banquet tablecloths are a perfect example. I think they're from my parents, maybe from my in-laws. They are beautiful, formal, and require either professional laundering and pressing, or a chunk of time with an iron and starch. Forget it. I switched to non-wrinkle a few decades ago. I held the line for the seder, though. My cousin and I used to iron the tablecloth a day or two later, making a brief visit to the early 20th century. Gave up on that when I bought faux-damask wash and wear cloths and no one noticed the difference.
OK. I know I will never use these cloths. However, my mother prized them. She died 15 years ago, so I can't just call and ask her if she's OK with this. I was surprised at how aware I was of giving away something that was at one time a sort of family dowry item.
Enter freecycle. Several people expressed interest, and each now has a lovely tablecloth. I doubt I will ever think of the tablecloths again. However! There was a third table cloth, from an aunt. It is cutwork, yellow with white applique, exquisite. I used it once and it was a royal pain to clean, more suited for Versaille than a 21st century home. Way too obscure to put up on Ebay. Instinct said "Keep it", but for what?
Inspiration hit. Repurposed, the cloth could become beautiful window treatments for that mythic new house. On a window, instead of a table, we can enjoy the beautiful handiwork every day. So you don't have to give EVERYTHING away. When you edit, the treasures become more apparent.

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