Here at the Warm Beach Senior Community, our neighbors are truly young at heart. They fill their days with volunteering, service projects, and hobbies.
Lou Bosell, a former teacher, lives across the driveway from us. She welcomed me and some of our nearest neighbors to a Christmas tea in the cozy home she shared with her husband David until his death in 2005. Lou’s a busy woman. In her spare time she engages in fine needlework, an elegant pastime that is rare in these days of instant gratification.
She has decorated her home for Christmas with sparkling white crocheted ornaments she’s made over a period of thirty years. Here’s her tree, covered with mostly three-dimensional art works, every one of them different, almost every one handmade.
Lou’s siblings were twelve, eight, and seven when she was born, so she basically grew up in an adult community. Her mother was a skilled needlewoman. When at the age of seven, Lou lay abed with mumps, her mother helped her stave off boredom by handing her a three-piece dresser set and showing her how to embroider the design. Lou’s walls today are decorated with her intricate counted-cross-stitch pictures. At Christmas she hangs the mantle with cross-stitched stockings for each member of the family.
At the age of seven or eight, she learned to sew by designing and sewing clothing for her dolls. Later she made clothing for her two sons. She began crocheting after she married.
Her first crocheted ornaments were one-dimensional snowflakes, but then she saw a pattern book for balls and decided to try those. She usually uses size ten crochet thread and a number seven hook. She crochets the piece, then soaks it in fabric stiffener. While the ornament is still wet, Lou inserts a balloon inside and blows it up to the appropriate size. When the ball dries, she removes the balloon. Lou expanded on the original idea by hanging another lightweight ornament inside.
|An ornament with a church inside|
She has a collection of balls with musical instruments inside. Her favorite holds a brass map of Nebraska, the state where Lou was born and raised. Another honors Seattle, with landmarks including the former Kingdome. She thinks it will be a special keepsake someday.
Lou has two grandsons. She is making each his own collection of ornaments. One boy’s ornaments are crocheted; the other’s are counted cross-stitch.
When Christmas is over, Lou wraps each ornament in tissue and stores it in a box with dividers. Family and friends will have to wait another long year to see her beautifully crafted pieces again.
|Lou made the treetop angel and the bells.|
|Lou’s favorite, with Nebraska inside|
|Some snowflakes are backed with sheer fabric.|
|Caught in mid-twirl. Look closely to see the Space Needle and Kingdome.|
|Lou’s handmade tree skirt.|
|A good place for mistletoe|
|A masterpiece of a centerpiece|