Really?!?! Ironing for fun? Yes! When you bring out the vintage hankies!
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like to iron. It’s a chore that I do only when I absolutely have to iron. I promise myself that after I get through the stack of ironing I let pile up that I will not let it happen again. I promise myself to iron everything that needs to be ironed as soon as I finish the laundry…or at least when I finish it for that day. That’s a promise that I almost always break to myself and end up with another big pile of ironing.
When I have another big pile of ironing I call my BFF and we have a marathon phone conversation while I iron. At that point she is also usually ironing or at least cleaning. It makes the chores much more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with, even if it’s just over the telephone.
Now, with all that being said, there is one time that I actually do like to iron. That’s when I am in my craft room and I am ironing a sewing project. All of a sudden ironing becomes an almost peaceful thing to do. I love pressing open seams and then seeing the finished piece when I turn it over. To see how all of the colors came together. Checking to see if my corners lined up correctly. Looking to see if it all came out as planned. It’s during those times that I truly enjoy ironing.
Tonight I was feeling a bit blah and, believe it or not, my ironing brought me out of my blah mood. I felt the need to be creative yet I felt too tired to create anything. I have a few knitting projects on the needles but none that were calling to me at that point. The soothing motion of knitting would have more than likely lulled me to sleep. I didn’t really have a simple sewing project to make right now and my loom is not warped.
Then it came to me. I have a bin full of vintage hankies that need ironing. I received them from an elderly cousin. There must be about 150 hankies in that bin! Beautifully hankies with embroidery, hankies with floral prints, handmade trims and some basic white ones too. I washed and dried them after I brought them home because they had been packed away for years. The cleaning took away a lot of the musty smell. Since then, the wrinkled hankies have been waiting to be ironed and used in a project.
That bin caught my eye tonight. Those poor hankies needed a good ironing and I was looking for a small project. I took out the bin and my iron and I got to work.
Ironing for fun is really very relaxing. I was looking at each hankie as I was ironing it and imagining it’s history. Which of our two cousins owned this hankie? Rose or Frances? The one with the “R” embroidery had to belong to Rose. The masculine white one, which has an “H” embroidered on it could have belonged to either their dad or their brother. Look at that lace trim. That was clearly added by hand but by whom? Was it by Rose or Frances? Or maybe even their Mother or Aunt, both of whom embroidered. I also wondered if these hankies had been given as gifts at one time. One was embroidered with the name of a State that they had visited.
It made me think of simpler times when buying an embroidered hankie on a vacation was a big deal. It made me think of a time when things moved at a slower pace.
I also started to think about what I was going to do with all of these hankies. Pinterest is always a good place to find some creative ideas. I have patterns here in my craft room that could be adapted for vintage hankies. I had all kinds of creative ideas flowing through my head…all while ironing for fun!
After awhile, I was starting to get tired and it was time to get the boys off to bed. At that point, the creativity flowing through my head began to slow down. Ironing became a chore again. It was time I unplugged my iron and stop for the night. My mood felt better because, even though I didn’t actually create anything, I used my time to iron some of my vintage hankies. These hankies will be used in creative projects. I have new ideas in my imagination that will be used when I am again looking for creative projects to make. I also used the time to come up with a creative history for the hankies.
So, while I may not have a finished product in my hand, I do have a good creative feeling because I accomplished a task, or at least most of it, and I did it in a creative way.
I find that after a long day I like to do something repetitive like this as it helps me to relax. Knitting does that too but tonight I was just a bit too tired for knitting. The nice steady, flowing motion of a repetitive action slows my mind down and allows me to reflect over my day and it lets me be in the moment. It allows me to let my mind wander into all sorts of imaginative places. When I’m done with that activity I find that I am more relaxed and that I feel more restored.
What sort of things do you do at the end of a long day to feel restored?