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6.06.2012

recovering my grandmother's dress form, part 1

my paternal grandmother passed away at the beginning of this year. more than a homemaker she was a master of domesticity who loved to take care of her family. from sewing to quilting to cooking to gardening and preserving, she had at least two sets of supplies (but usually more) for any craft that could interest you. over the past few years we had talked about me taking her dress form several times, and after her funeral i finally brought it home. it waited patiently in the corner of my living room until i decided to get on with the business of cleaning and re-covering it. grandma k hadn't moved it from her basement in decades and i knew it was going to be a project...
originally my plan was just to clean and cover what was there, but once i opened it up and saw what was inside- spider webs (and a live spider!), dust bunnies, and lady bug wings- i realized that i was going to have to pull off the fabric covering to make sure i wasn't leaving any dirt sandwiched between it and the frame. i'm so glad i did! there was a thick layer of dust underneath. but it was no match for my shop-vac (technically my husband's, but what's his is mine, right?)! i used the shop-vac hose to suck up dirt while i removed the fabric (turns out it was just glued to the inside of each segment so it pulled right off).
                        
after vacuuming every inch, inside and out, i used a dry paintbrush to sweep out anything sandwiched between the bolts on the inside right into the shop-vac hose (the dry paintbrush-to-vacuum hose
so dirty!
maneuver is a great trick i learned from my mom, and it works really well to clean out the dust/cat hair that always finds its way into those tiny spots between the vertical pipes of steam radiators).
so now she's all clean and ready and waiting for me to find a little time for part 2: recovering her in some clean fabric. i have some (and by some i mean barrels) of grandma k's stockpile of remnants and yards and i'm thinking maybe i can cover her in some sassy patchwork- to crazy or just the right nod to grandma k? keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter- hopefully coming soon!