Thursday, January 20, 2011

More on Mary Belle's Book

Cover of altered book for Mary Belle

Last post I shared a few pages in the altered book I've been working on. I originally thought this book would be for all four of my great-grandmothers, but it turned out I needed the whole book for Mary Belle Denhart Wheeler. So here are some more page spreads and a bit of Mary's history.

Mary Belle's rug and painting with a photograph of Mary
and one of "Cousin Carrie"

Mary was a creative person. She painted, sewed, and hooked rugs. On the left above, Mary poses for her picture. I'm intrigued that she covered her mouth. She had a beautiful full mouth, the kind women pay thousands for today. I wonder if she was self-conscious about it, as a small rosebud mouth was more in vogue when she was young. Behind her is a closeup of the only hooked rug I have of hers. Unfortunately many of the rugs that have been scattered throughout the family have deteriorated beyond saving. Mine isn't in very good shape, but I'm going to cherish it as long as I can. On the right is the only painting I have of Mary's.

The little lost children

I have cabinet photographs of the three children of Mary's who died as infants. I can't imagine the sorrow so many parents endured before the advent of antibiotics. The children's names were: Beatrice, Esperence, and Henry. This page spread honors them.

A photograph pocket and my grandmother,
great-aunt, and great-uncle. Gretchen,
Pauline, and Harry lived into old age.

Mary with Harry on left, with Mary's embroidered
hassock cover in the background. Right, Mary with her three
children in 1947.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Dayna Collins said...

A beautiful and heart-warming tribute to your grandmother.