When I was growing up, I loved going through my mother's closet and looking at all her interesting clothes. She had formal gowns, a sequined Mexican skirt, fancy nightgowns and robes, and sparkly high-heeled shoes.
One favorite of mine was a corduroy skirt that she'd embroidered herself and worn in college in the early '60s. I remember her explaining each embroidered image and what it meant to her at the time.
When she died, I ended up with the skirt and it has hung in my closet until now. I thought it would be an interesting bit of living history and folk art to share photos of it here and tell the stories one more time. Sorry for the poor photo quality, but I think you'll get the idea.
I'll start with what I think is the front:
As you can see, my mother was a Purdue University alum. "Hecho en Mexico" referred to her major in Spanish, while Uncle Sam represented her other major, Political Science.
The red-haired singer was her. She sang with a variety band and also acted with the Purdue Players, which we'll see more of soon.
Here's the other side of the skirt:
At the left we see a matador, echoing the Spanish theme from the other side. On the right from top to bottom there's her Plymouth Fury (I believe it was the car she named "Blue Toeprints," for no adequately explained reason); her cat, Inca (nicely embroidered in fluffy angora); her college boyfriend, Ray; and a section devoted to the Purdue Playshop and the specific plays in which she performed.
My mother was engaged to Ray when she met my dad. That story, when told by anyone in the family, always ended with, "Poor Ray, he's dead now." Presumably the broken engagement and eventual death were unrelated.
Finally, here's a closer look at the symbols for the three productions in which my mother had roles, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, " "The Crucible," and "Damn Yankees." My mother had the Jayne Mansfield role in "Rock Hunter," and what you see there represents a fur stole and a string of pearls.
It's nice to have such an interesting piece of craft and history. I'm sure I'll show it to my niece and nephew when they're older. Hope you enjoyed it as well.