This blog is called A Make Do Life. My life is make do. Doing with what one has. Not always buying new. In years gone by woman made make dos. "What in the world is that?" people ask. Basically - a pin cushion. They were rather whimsical. Something very functional and decorative at the same time. Fashioned of wool, linen, or cotton, into flowers, birds, animals, fancy shoes, or just a round ball. Most of the time they would be attached to a pedestal of some sort, such as the base of a broken oil lamp or a candlestick. Kind of like junk out of art that we do so much of today.
I've had this candlestick for years, and rarely use it. The idea has been in the back of my head for a while to use it to make a make do. Yesterday I got out this recycled washed wool, drew a pattern and sewed. Before I stuffed it I sprayed it with some grubby spray.
You can see the difference in red color. It gives it a nice aged look. Next, stuffing.
My grandmother taught us to always save hair from our hair cuts. She learned this from her ancestors who came from the "old country". They were very fugal people, and used everything. The ultimate recyclers. Nothing was thrown out, everything was reused in some way. They stuffed their pincushions with hair. When the pins and needles were pushed in, they were lightly oiled and sharpened rubbing against the hair shaft. When my older children were babies, I used cloth diapers. The diaper pins quickly became dull. I would run the pins through my hair each time I changed a diaper. The pins would slip through the cloth easily then. Through the years, I've saved hair from my children's hair cuts and used the hair in pincushions. This is the hair my son saved from his last hair cut. Into the pincushion it goes. Hair stuffs firmly and smoothly. You don't have to work out the bumps.
Finished. A Red Cardinal. My grandmother's and mother's favorite bird.
Ladies of long ago would have something like this at their side to put pins in while sewing. Maybe a fancy one would sit on their dresser to hold hat pins. My grandmother had one shaped like a flower, where she would put her corsage pins and a few safety pins. She would use corsage pins for many purposes, (another story) so always wanted some handy. This is a visual memory of grandmother, honoring her make do life.