Monday, August 8, 2011

You Are Such a Doily

Doily from Vintage Scrap Co. on Etsy

A simple phrase Grace once pegged at me in high school that she thought completely described my essence, but made me feel pigeon-holed and totally misunderstood. Few like being summed up so easily, insisting they are far more complicated and mysterious than anyone can possibly understand! (Foot stomp here.)

In my old age I have transformed from a petulant teenager into a person who doesn’t take herself quite as seriously anymore, and can now appreciate that her best friend of 18 years knows her better than she even knew herself back then.

Resist all I want, I am constantly drawn to these little lacey things.

My mother draped doilies on every chair back and gleaming wooden table she could find in our house growing up. And I just recently discovered an amazing doily stretcher in my grandmother’s basement a lot like this one I found on Etsy.

Years ago, doilies were used to guard furniture from scratches, and shield the expensive upholstery of sofas and settes from the oils used to groom the hair of gentleman callers.

Two years ago, I made a doily out of my own hair during my second semester of grad school. 

Heart-shaped paper doily garlands were strung around the Knights of Columbus where Micky and I got married a few months ago.

And now I’m seeing them everywhere! At the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this past June, I met and snagged the heart-shaped metal dog tag calling card of maker Angela Spencer after browsing through her booth. Angela, founder of A.S.I.S, was selling some very rad T-shirts (see below) and stunning earrings.

Angela Spencer can regularly be found shilling her wares at the Brooklyn Flea on weekends (Saturdays in Fort Greene and Sundays in Williamsburg, 10am-5pm, rain or shine). I couldn’t locate the gorgeous lace earrings on her website that she featured at the fair, but you can take my word: they were divine! They looked like small snippets of intricately woven loveliness dipped in gold! Here’s a non-precious metal DIY version from Honestly WTF:

This next incredible piece isn’t exactly a doily per se, but I love the idea of a crocheted cobweb tacked up in the rafters of a dusty, musty attic. It's work from artist Shane Waltener, a beautiful reminder that knitter’s needles and a spider’s nimble arms and legs are not that far removed from one another.

Delicate, complex, and lovely, the doily evokes something pretty and sweet, with one lacey utilitarian toe planted firmly in the past. I suppose it’s not the worst thing to be associated with.

- Cathleen

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. I am in the middle of troubleshooting a pair of doily earrings. We shall see...


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