Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sitting next to the back door of my Grandmother's house was a bag of 'vintage' clothing. She said that she wanted my sister and I to go through the bag and see if there was anything that we would wear. My sister and I quickly realized that these clothes were not 'vintage' but antique, the oldest dress in the bag {above} dating 1923. Most everything belonged in a museum but we were very taken by the dress from 1923 with a note that said 'Thelma's high school graduation, 1923.' Thelma was my grandmother's best friend who never married and left everything to my grandmother when she passed away in 1990. My sister and I asked my grandmother if she thought she had any photos of Thelma wearing this dress. This question led us to hours of exploration through Thelma's life. My Grandma kept pulling out bags, boxes even a briefcase full of letters. We finally did find a photo of Thelma from her high school graduation but we found a lot more then that.

Rolled up in a bag was Thelma's mother's wedding dress, dated 1903. Above is what's left of the skirt, made with the most beautiful lace and below was the bodice hand stitched and incredibly delicate.

I love this photo... The date is unclear but I am sure that it is early 1900's. This was a picnic in the Sequoia National Park which is about an hours drive from where Thelma lived. My grandma couldn't placed anyone but she assumed that Maudie and Thelma were there somewhere.

Thelma kept the most amazingly detailed scrap books. She kept menus, photos, postcards and wrote detailed journals on everything that happened during her days. Vanessa {my sister} and I had so much fun reading about what she ate, what time she woke up, what flowers she saw, who she had tea with, what she thought was beautiful... 'sweet fern, wintergreen, Queen Anne's Lace, meadow sweet, wild raspberries' sounds like the prefect place for a walk to the 'cemetary and spring and back to woods'
Thelma is in the center of the photo on a boat going through the Panama Canal. 1935


  1. Hi Lex- LOVE THIS POST & Thelma was so beautiful!
    It reminds me of going home to my Mom's house filled with similar objects. Don't you just love the photos, the clothes, the vocabulary and especialy their names!? Daily life and simple gestures were more appreciated and celebrated back then - I'm truly, truly convinced.

  2. Oh Joy! Loved this message...loved it.....thanks Alexis! Vanessa ~ you did a good job modeling {HUG}!!...xoxo

  3. When I first saw your post and thought your might be talking about my grandmother (your great grandmother) Thelma (aka toots) ! beautiful dress - I think with a beautiful pair of tights and shoes it could still be worn today - timeless!

  4. No not grandma Toots but she is next... there is so much to say about her! and my grandma larita... that gives me a lot to think about.


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