Vampire Facials

As I was running the last of my errands today, I drove past a lighted sign that read “Vampire Facials.”

I vaguely recalled hearing that one of the Kardashians had gotten such a thing, but I had never imagined that I could find a Kardashian level “medical spa” treatment within easy driving distance of a dollar store, and — ironically enough — an American Red Cross blood donation center, but sure enough there it was, and while I have zero interest a treatment where my blood is drawn and then smeared on my face, I did want to know: How much does such a thing cost?

It turns out that there is an entire suite of “Vampire” procedures and the much vaunted “face lift” runs between $1500 and $2500.

I could not imagine that there would ever be a day that I would want to spend that kind of money on any elective procedure, and I thought how my grandmothers — whose lives I am working to commemorate in crochet — would be horrified to see some of the “advances” that had been made in my lifetime.

My grandmothers’ stories began on different continents, but they had a lot in common. Both of my grandmother’s fought with their fathers for the right to get an education, and both of them were thwarted by the very men who gave them life.

My maternal grandmother was a harder worker than her older sister, Lillian, and Lillian’s lesser ability to get work done meant that she was allowed to go school and learn to read while Violet –her sister and my future grandmother — had to work in their father’s boarding house — a business enterprise that lacked what was then a luxury but would now be considered a basic feature — indoor plumbing.

Meanwhile, my paternal grandmother went to school, but was only allowed to finish the 8th grade. She lobbied unsuccessfully to continue to the 9th grade which, at the time, would have allowed her to study nursing. Instead, she was needed back on the farm, and like my maternal grandmother, her educational dreams were never fully realized.

It is hard to imagine that either one of my grandmothers, each of whom desperately wanted more education than she was able to get, would ever understand spending one to two semester’s tuition at North Carolina community college on a facial.

But I do hope that they would understand in some way, my own obsession with crochet.

Today, I continued work on the pieces of the crazy quilt center panel of the afghan that explores my paternal grandmother’s life.

At the moment, I am working on adding embroidery over the seams that have been completed. Here is one group of seamed pieces before the edge embroidery was added:

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Unadorned inner seams

and here is that same group of pieces after I had it tricked out to my satisfaction:

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The same seams suitably tricked out

Pleased with my progress, but still having a lot of seams to decorate, I started adding another row of stemmed French knots to a seam I had begun work on, but which still looked to me as if it needed a bit more tricking out:

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Filling in another seam more fully with bright orchid embroidery

The work I am doing now is not quick. Each day between now and the state fair I will have to get up, and complete the tasks in front of me, no matter how dull or exciting.

The tasks that remain are not flashy, but they are necessary, and along the way, as I complete them, I am sure that something will be revealed to me that I could not learn another way.

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