IT’S SIMPLY A STUNNING piece. Stitched flowers, artfully arranged, springing from a blue vase.
I was beyond tempted to keep the crewel embroidered floral art for myself.
But, instead, I would present it to my eldest who, for her 28th birthday, requested thrift art. She knows my knack for finding great original art at thrift shops, garage sales and elsewhere. I’d been searching for awhile for her gift, to no avail.
So I conceded that, until I found the perfect piece, she’d need to settle for a bouquet of real flowers. Fresh flowers are always welcome and would be a great way for my husband and I to thank our daughter and her husband for inviting us to lunch at their St. Paul apartment.
The day before the lunch date, Randy and I stopped downtown Faribault for St. Pete’s Select blue cheese from the Cheese Cave. Our son-in-law loves this locally-made cheese. And while we were on Central Avenue, I would pop into a floral shop for flowers.
But, before I even exited the car, I noticed that stunning floral art in the front window of The Nook & Cranny, a gift shop which features vintage, collectible and handcrafted merchandise.
I beelined for the store, my husband trailing. When he read the price tag on the artwork, my excitement diminished. It was priced way higher than I expected or wanted to pay. Art, but not exactly thrift art. As is typical of me, I debated whether I should spend that kind of money. I circled the store, fingering other merchandise, my thoughts never far from that floral art in the window.
To make the potential purchase even more enticing, the shopkeeper shared its history. The floral art was created as a wedding gift some 75 years ago by a mother-in-law. Now no one in the family wanted the long ago gift nor two other crewel embroidered pieces, also for sale in The Nook & Cranny.
That history, combined with a comment by my spouse that real flowers would last perhaps a week, made the decision final. Our daughter would have this art forever.
So I meandered to the back room and, in an atypical move, asked the shopkeeper whether she would consider dropping the price. She did, by 10 percent. That was just enough. I knew, too, if I didn’t buy this vintage art with its wonderful history, I would regret my decision.
Truly, this art was meant to be purchased by me and gifted to my eldest. I am convinced of that. I know she will treasure it. When she saw the art for the first time, her enthusiasm was genuine.
Besides that, when we arrived at her and her husband’s apartment for Sunday lunch, a bouquet of fresh flowers already adorned the dining room table.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling