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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Imogenes

My Grandmother, Imogene Talbot Anderson
I am often asked about the name of my little company, and so, I am reposting an earlier blog entry about why  it's call Imogene's Tea Garden...When I decided to share my love of sewing for children publicly, I decided to name my little business after some of my other great loves: Imogene was my grandmother. She was, in my estimation, a pretty amazing woman. Orphaned at the age of nine, she and her younger sister and brother were raised on her grandfather’s (my great-great grandfather) farm. To put it mildly, she did not have a wonderful childhood. I think because of the hardships she faced at an early age, she resolved to improve her circumstances. She went to nursing school, worked many years as a nurse, and ultimately earned her Master’s degree in an era when very few women sought advanced degrees. When she and my grandfather retired, they determined to be the best grandparent s they could be to us grandkids.
I cherish the memory of countless weekends spent at my grandparents’ house. They encouraged creativity by providing us with many open-ended activities. There was the woodworking bench in the garage and always a ready stock of lumber for the grandkids to saw, hammer, and build into creations of our own designing. They kept a box of empty plastic containers for us to play store. There was always a stack of paper, scissors, glue, and old magazines from which we cut out pictures to make “books” and just create in general. In the evenings, my grandmother would teach us the lost arts, of crochet and other needlework. Though an educated woman, these crafts and project were by no means beneath her. I think she understood that women, in particular, thrive when they are engaged in creating something. The few afghans that I own that she crocheted remain among my most treasured possessions.
My little "Imogene"
Skipping ahead several decades to the time our family was blessed with our youngest child – a true miracle by all accounts – it seemed only natural that we name her after my grandmother, giving her the middle name Imogene. She has breathed new life into our family of five children and is a constant joy to all of us. Most of the items I have created have been inspired by her. I am always seeking to create things that will help her to experience to some small degree the joy of creative discovery and imaginary play that I experienced at my grandmother’s home.
Reaching across the generations, I see similarities between the two Imogenes who have graced my life. Among other things, they both have taught me how to love unconditionally and to truly embrace each day. To be my authentic self and do things that I love to make other people happy. And so, I have named my little business after them to honor them and to remind me each day how lucky I am to have had these Imogenes in my life to love me, inspire me and challenge me to strive to make them proud.

...As for the "Tea" and "Garden" in my business name, well heck, who doesn't love a good cup of tea??? Keep reading, and soon I'll tell you all about my garden.

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