Tuesday, July 19, 2011

They just started all over, Albert & Nellie

     1938 found the Geldards struggling through the Great Depression. 
 A young husband and father of 3 girls found himself homeless. The house they called home had been lost because there was no work, no paychecks, which meant no mortgage payments made to the bank. 
His name was Albert and he was my grandfather.
Albert in front of the home he lost.
     Instead of filing for unemployment, welfare, or food stamps they did what people did back then...moved in with family. My grandmother Nellie had a brother who lived in Vidor and so they moved with their daughters into a garage with a dirt floor. I am sure there were plenty of terrible moments of despair and hopelessness. I am sure there was embarrassment. I am sure options were few, 
but they found a way to start all over.

     Albert vowed he would never go into debt again. He lived up to this vow. They found an acre of land in this logging community of Vidor and paid $25 down. They paid $25 a month until the $150 for the property was paid in full. 
Albert & Nellie on their land in 1939
Albert was a carpenter by trade and so he started building a home for his family. First just 2 rooms and a shanty kitchen. As cash became available the house slowly expanded. 

Albert's oldest daughter Helen in front of their home around 1940
     My grandmother didn't get to go down to her local building supply and choose her flooring, fixtures, doors, or moldings for her new home like I did. Albert would trade materials with other contractors. One was grateful for any building materials. Eventually the house had 2 bedrooms, a real kitchen, bathroom and even an upstairs loft. 

I often wonder what he would think of our wasteful culture. I think we could do with some motivation to try and live by their generation's motto: 

"Use it up 
Wear it out 
Make do or 
Do without!"

I tried to follow that advice as I was renovating their home which became Nellie's Cottage. One such project was digging up bricks from his old patio and creating a landscape focal point.

I tried to use as many "found" materials for the renovation of his home as I could. We salvaged the original living room ceiling, kitchen floor, and cast iron kitchen sink.
I like to think he heartily approves of what I have done with his home!

Albert found a way to overcome a terrible trial.
I admire his courage. 
I am amazed at his perseverance. 
I am proud to be his granddaughter. 
He not only was a hard worker and honorable man, 
he was a survivor and 
he knew how to start all over...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Hair bows and 1980's obnoxious earrings

 I found a purpose for my really really big, bulky, and over the top 80's earrings!

I can't believe I actually wore these earrings!

Now you must realize that these earrings have survived many years, many moves, 
and even many craft purges...okay so obviously I don't purge crafts well!
I still have these in my stash and about 50 more...
these are just the broken ones.
And NO, I do not still wear my obnoxious 80's earrings:)

Brittany and I have been wanting to make bows for the baby ever since she arrived on earth.
Oh, she has had bows to be sure, 
just not the ultra custom, unique bows only this Grammie can provide!
Some of my ribbon is actually from bows that my girls had--gold star to me for recycling:)

Yesterday was THE bow making day and this is how we came to make 21 bows at once.

1. Make Annabelle happy by letting her destroy 
Grammie's very organized ribbon baskets!

2. Get out EVERY basket so the mommy can look at 
EVERY possible ribbon choice.

3. Put everything you may want to use on a trays to take a picture 
 using our very impressive crafting skills to turn this mess into a beautiful wardrobe of hairbows!

4. Lay out the ribbons so Grammie knows what to put together.

5. Make some bows with Grammie's vintage 80's earrings...
(I can't believe my stuff is now in the vintage category!)

5. Make some bows with Grammie's scrapbooking flowers.

6. Make some with old buttons.

7. And make some with silk flowers from Grammie's sewing stash.

8. And make one with nothing in the middle
 because Brittany liked it that way!

9. Be sure and put fray check on the edges for all the times 
Annabelle will rip these bows out of her hair!

10. Document your valiant and creative efforts
 so future generations will be impressed with the family talents!

11. Have the grandbaby grow some hair!
we have no control over this step...her mother was bald for a very long time:)
Annabelle 2011

Brittany 1990
And that is how one makes 21 bows at time
while recycling those obnoxious 1980's earrings!