Dear Heloise: Many years ago, my great-grandmother loved to embroider, and she made christening gowns for each of her children and grandchildren. She made them all by hand without a pattern. I happen to have the ones she made for my mother and my grandmother.
They are much too pretty and too special to keep them in a trunk, so I bought two framed shadow boxes and framed them. I used hidden straight pins to attach them to the velvet background. Now those two lovely gowns can display her delicate sewing of flowers, butterflies and hummingbirds. The shadow boxes are hanging on my bedroom wall and serve as a reminder of my mother and grandmother. — Catharine L., Muncie, Indiana
Catharine, what a terrific idea. I’ve seen doilies framed and hung as decoration before. But framing a christening gown would not only be a wonderful reminder of your mother and grandmother; it’s a unique piece of art as well. — Heloise
POSTCARDS FROM THE WORLD
Dear Heloise: My mother is in a nursing home. She doesn’t always remember people or their names, but she loves getting mail of any kind. Since I live a few states away and have to travel frequently for my job, I send her postcards and sometimes a short letter. The doctor says it helps her remember me, and it makes her day.
I was told by one of the nurses that most of the residents rarely have visitors. They’re lucky to get a Christmas card or a birthday card. Sadly, too many families see a nursing home as a place to warehouse their elderly relatives. This type of isolation seems to play a huge part in their feelings of loneliness and their mental decline.
It only takes a couple of minutes to send a postcard or pick up a box of chocolates and take it to them. A little kindness goes a long way. Not only will you make the recipient feel good, you’ll feel good about yourself, too. — Kyle T., in Philadelphia
Kyle, I agree with you. I’ve heard people say they don’t have time, but yet when they want to do something else, they’ll find the time. I know it can get tiresome to answer the same questions over and over, and some of our elderly people don’t remember us. But, give this some thought. They were the ones who made sacrifices for us so that we could go to college, or who watched our children while we worked.
They were the ones who fed us, bought clothing for us, bathed us and changed our diapers. Maybe they weren’t perfect, but none of us were born with an instruction book. They just did the best they could with what they had. There are so many questions I wish I had asked my grandmother, and now it’s too late. Don’t make that mistake. — Heloise
BUDGET BEAUTY HINT
Dear Heloise: I love to use a nice creamy foundation on my face, then lightly powder my foundation to set my makeup. If I’m going out for the evening, I take a soft brush and very gently dab a little gold, sparkling eye makeup on the top of my cheek bones. Afterward, I just brush off the excess. It looks great at night! — Tracy F., Ann Arbor, Michigan
— — —
Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.