family treasure

June 17, 2011  in homemade, vintage finds


I think I may get my love of collecting and keeping little things from my Grandmother. She has always been a magpie. She is elderly now so her wings have been clipped, but she always kept everything. And I mean everything. As children, whenever we were at her house and asked for something then she had it. Somewhere, from a draw or a cupboard or a box on a shelf, she would pull out what we needed.

Last year, when my mother and I were at her apartment helping organise things, we discovered a whole wealth of treasures squirrelled away; beautiful vintage tins, my mother’s baby clothes, embroidered table linen, amidst other saved items like old egg boxes and tinfoil sweet wrappers all flattened in a pile.

Amongst the items was this lovely little pinny. It was my mother’s when she was about three or four, a similar age to my daughter now. I love the detail in the simple dots and pleats and my Grandmother’s darning just adds to it. Little patches of history of that give it so much character.

vintage pinnie

Like my grandmother, I love to collect and keep little things that I don’t have a purpose for. But I know that at some point I’ll have an idea for… or an occasion to use… those beautiful felted balls, that vintage ribbon or that old tape measure. It means that when I have an idea and want to get straight on with making, then I can usually rummage around and find something suitable to make it special, rather than write a shopping list and lose the momentum of the idea.

The clothes hanger in the photo is one that I made using scraps of fabric that I already had. It is a project from The Homemade Home with step-by-step instructions if you want to try it at home. It now hangs in my daughter’s bedroom to be enjoyed by a fourth generation of little girl. Something to make me remember my family history and smile.

To me, this kind of family treasure is priceless.

Comment (RSS)  |  Trackback



  1. suzanne says:

    simply lovely… ~
    your words and the photo… to be a magpie is a good thing. Sania, I must say… your blog is really such a highlight for me…the colors, the photos, your style…I may have said it before, but your work really is such a breath of fresh air & so inspiring. I’m about to turn 42 and have 3 school aged children. I have a teaching degree and yet am seriously considering going back to school to become certified in teaching Art. I’m so excited to compare my art makings from 25 years ago with what I will stretch myself to create in the next few years for my studio/teaching work… Thank You for all of your sharing… 🙂 {Oh, and your words about your Grandmother’s wings having been clipped…what a visual…! }

  2. elisa says:

    she sounds like a delight. what a gorgeous pinny, such a treasure. sania, we were of the same mind this week, i just got finished writing about my little wooden sailboat! x

  3. Megan says:

    This little pinny is really gorgeous! There is nothing like the richness of family history and fond memories that have been passed down through the generations; especially from grandmothers to their daughters, and then in turn to their daughters…truly special. One of my treasures is a pair of pinking scissors which was my granny’s, then mother’s, now mine. I’ve just used them in a shoot with some fabrics and Petersham ribbons I had bought recently…I bet my granny would have got a kick out of seeing that!

  4. Marcie says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate the old..and keep it fresh and new. Very clever and creative!

  5. corinne says:

    how sweet pictures and story 🙂 it made me immediately think of my grand-mother who was also keeping everything….. she had all what we needed and didn’t need, a real “caverne d’ali baba” as we would say in French. But now… she is in another world but i still have some of her things.
    Thanks for your blog, it’s a pleasure to visit it !
    hello from Geneva/Switzerland,

  6. Sania Pell says:

    Thank you for your sweet comments everyone! Glad you liked it.

Leave a Reply



Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.

Read biography



To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the form below.

Please note we do not accept advertising, sponsored posts or guest writers on the blog.

Please click here to agree to be contacted by Sania Pell. Your data will not be shared with third parties. View the privacy policy via the link below.