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Rather than give you a Midweek Miscellany about books today, I’d like to share with you a few of the things I’ve found while sorting through my late Mum’s stuff. Don’t worry, I’m not getting morbid, these are curiousities and things of happy memories.

Firstly, this is an unopened packet of sandwich mats!  Doilies shaped to fit those rectangular plates people used to have for presenting sandwiches on – quartered on the diagonals, crusts facing down, all regimented in a neat row on a special plate.

Does anyone apart from my mother-in-law, who has the appropriate crockery and cutlery for absolutely any need, still use a sandwich plate?  Can you still buy them even?  But most importantly, would you use a mat under the sandwiches?  I’ve not found a sandwich plate in my Mum’s cupboards, so maybe this is why this packet was found in the back of a wardrobe!

But now to turn to something that brings back many happy memories…

My Mum’s sewing box contains a cornucopia of riches.  For a start it’s one of those 1960s plastic coated paper woven boxes, with cushions inside the lid for needles and pins.  The contents are wonderful:

In the front of the photo are cards of thread for mending your nylons – from the days back when nylon stockings were luxury items and couldn’t just be thrown away.  The colours are more subtle than the later disposable tights – not a hint of ‘American Tan’ there! 

There are lots of packs of bias binding too.  The only place I’ve encountered it used lately is on the hems of my other half’s dress trousers.  Given the quantity of different shades and widths in her box, she used it rather more widely.  There are also cards of darning wool for socks, enough hooks and eyes and poppers (metal press studs) to last a lifetime.

Then there are the tins.  An elastoplast plasters tin full of pins, and oodles of buttons – in assorted old tins from car travel sweets, and strepsils for sore throats in the pic, plus there were more tins from the festival of Britain in 1951 and some Irish toffees full of buttons too.  I loved playing with all the buttons as a child.   There are also assorted needles, crochet hooks, unpickers, a few zips and lots of odds and ends that may or not be useful one day.  Add to that a another big box crammed with a rainbow of reels of Sylko thread, and I’m very well equipped for the future. 

By the way, I can sew – just in case you were wondering. Although I don’t do quilting or cross-stitch, I’m a whizz with blanket stitch, ribbons and beads. Before I started blogging, I made pocket-money crafting embroidered felt Christmas decorations (see right). However they’re too labour intensive to make any real money, so I gave up spending every evening sewing Christmas things in spring through to autumn to have enough stock for later in the year.  I still make them for presents, and on request though.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back with more curiousities from my Mum’s cupboards soon – she has some interesting kitchen gadgets.  Back to books next post!

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