Finding my inner Martha…I mean MYRNA!

EVERYONE knows about the Martha (Stewart that is), but not many know about my grandmother, Myrna, for whom this blog is named, she too was a crafty woman. I don’t think she would have categorized herself this way, but as a child this is how I saw her. Painting, flower arranging, needlepoint, sewing, macramé, pottery and a host of other genres. But mostly she was a hooker….a RUG hooker that is! She would comb through thrift shops for the ugliest wool blankets and coats and then run them through a hand cranked fabric slicer and dicer (no idea what it’s technical name is!) rendering the thinnest slivers of wool ready to be dyed into an array of hues. The pots of dye and wool simmered gently on the stovetop producing colors with names I’d never heard of…cerulean, ochre, cerise, russet, goldenrod, a rainbow of color cooling and drying on the counter ready to be made into small rugs or enormous wall hangings. All of the intricate designs were “Myrna originals” always starting out as soft pencil sketches, ending in works of art, the shading and deep color layering giving an almost 3-D effect to the finished work. A large piece could take up to a year, but the final product was always ready in time for the county fair, bringing home more blue ribbons than I could count.

Yes, my grandma was crafty, a regular DIY’er (if the term DIY’er had been around then!) . But mostly she was a my grandfathers wife, my moms mom, an accountant by trade, a homemaker and my squishy soft-Avon smelling “Ma”. She didn’t have to “find the time” to enjoy the crafts and hobbies she loved, they were just part of her everyday, as much as cooking the pot roast and paying the bills.

As I make my way through this year, exploring different crafts or hobbies, one each month, I’m hoping to channel my grandmas can-do spirit. And seeing if maybe, just maybe some of her creative genes trickled down to me. Many long to be Martha, but not me, I’d take being Myrna any day.