Amy Artisan

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Remembering Our Sweet Mama*

At 6:16 this morning my cell phone rang with a call that had been on the horizon – Grandma passed away early this morning in her sleep. For the last week or so, in every conversation with Mom it was obvious that Grandma was rapidly declining – she lived a full life in her 94 1/2 years & we are so grateful that she is now at peace.

 Sweet Grandma

* In recent years, Mom started calling her Sweet Mama.
Grandma always had a sparkle in her eye when she heard that.

As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, Grandma’s knit dishcloths are what pulled me to the needles and yarn in 1997. I am so grateful to have the the stitch legacy that she taught me (and also grateful that we got Mom knitting as well). While knitting is a big part of my memories of Grandma, there are so many other wonderful memories…

As the Artisan family moved around a lot when I was growing up, Grandma’s home in Orange County California was a constant – how lucky we were that she lived 7 miles from the beach, 7 miles from Knott’s Berry Farm and 7 miles from Disneyland! Being at Grandma’s house was always fun – I remember waking up early & getting to watch The Transformer’s on TV while eating a bowl of oatmeal. I also remember Rebecca & I loved to play with the box of kitchen toys – including some that Mom had played with as a little girl. It was around her dinner table in the evenings that we played many a game of Uno and Spite & Malice – she was a fierce competitor.

The Artisan Family - 2004

Celebrating her 90th birthday!

And Grandma’s gardening… No strawberries have ever tasted better than the ones from her backyard! No raspberries crushed over orange sherbert have ever been sweeter! Spinach is a favorite veggie because of the delicious spinach from her backyard! And avocados – oh my, she had the biggest tree “ever” in her backyard & they were the best tasting ones ever! In the last few years that she was living in her house, she would send me a big box of avocados for my birthday – a delicious meal was wheat toast with an avocado smashed on top & a dash of onion salt.

 Grandma's Avocado tree

The avocado tree that defies description!

Her flowers were always beautiful – camilleas, bird of paradise, poinsettias (taller than the roofline) & more. In the fall of 2000 as we were shutting down her house & preparing her to move, Artisan Dad & I packed up 2 boxes of plants that we shipped to the ‘Ville & Dad incorporated plants into their home.

Grandma's Flowers

While it’s tough to not be with the family in the ‘Ville right now, the simple rhythm of a dishcloth on my needles brings me comfort & keeps Grandma close at hand…


  1. Oh Amy! I am so sorry for your loss! Your Grandma sounds a lot like mine was…. a very special lady that put her family first and loved with all her heart! I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers and I hope that the many, many happy memories you have of her will sustain you. ((((( hugs))))

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have a lot of wonderful memories to bring you comfort. She sounds like she was truly a Sweet Mama. *HUGS*

  3. So happy you have so many splendid memories of your Grandmother. So sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was an amazing gift to you and your family.

  4. Amy, sorry to hear of your loss. I loved reading of the flowers and garden that Sweet Mama kept. The women in your family are so talented! Glad you have so many great memories to cherish at this time.

  5. Sorry to hear of your loss Amy. ((hugs)) It’s wonderful that you have so many great memories of your Grandma.
    Your right that tree is indescribable . it is one humongous-o avocado tree!

  6. Amy, my thoughts are with you re: the loss of your grandmother. I’m sure knowing she’s at peace and continuing her knitting legacy helps. Take care!

  7. Barb ( BJ) ATwood

    March 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

    So sorry to hear about my many years friend but glad she went in her sleep. Edith and I both had to put up with your Mom!! I always enjoyed her cheerfulness to everyone.Glad to she got to work on e mail for awhile as tried to help her and we had fun doing it.
    ‘You had a wonderful loving Grandma.

  8. So sorry to hear about aunt Edith. She was so very dear to my heart.

  9. So sorry to hear about aunt Edith. She was so very dear to my heart.

  10. Ruby Hedrick-Freiley

    March 2, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    I remember visiting Aunt Edith when I was a child in California. As children we though that Aunt Edith had it made living so close to Disneyland! We used to stay with her when we were going to the themepark and she aways made us feel so welcomed. The vacation memories were not ALL about the park! She DID have the best strawberries on earth!

    I was a penpal to her for years and then caught back up with her when she moved east. But as time has a way of slipping by it did – but my heart still holds her!

    Ruby Hedrick – Freiley

    Oh and P.S…….

    It is my turn to return the favor of having guests stay when wanting to visit a theme-park. If anyone is ever in the Dallas area and needing a place to stay I am here! Just 20 minutes from 6 Flags!

  11. Hollie Hedrick

    March 2, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    My first taste of avacdo’s was in a salad at her house with Unc
    Clovia. I remember her every time I eat one. I’t was in the 50’s
    She was a very special person Hollie

    I am soo sorry to hear of your loss. Ilost my mom in 2007. It is such a empty feeling. At least we had them around for a long time. My mom was 90 Yrs old. We’ll say a prayer for you and your family Love Mary.

  12. I am so sorry to read about your grandmother Amy. ((hugs)). She sounds like the sweetest, most talented lady and I know you were so lucky to know her so long in your life, and enjoy her both as a child and as an adult. Thank you for sharing her memory with us. Blessings and peace to you and your family.

  13. My first taste of avacado’s was in a salad at her and Uncle Clovis’s house. It was in the 50’s. I think we all remember the little things she used to do.Every one was welcome at her house as long as we didn’t ask her to go to Disney land a time or two. ha! ha! Hollie and Mary

  14. What a BEAUTIFUL tribute to a BEATIFUL lady! I loved playing Spite and Malice with Edith……….yes, she was a fierce competitor! But, I even won a few games. Her avacadoes were the BEST! Aunt Edith will be missed. But the memories, oh such sweet memories……can carry us a long way….she sure loved Amy and Rebecca, every letter or e-mail I received from her told me about your lives……..what you were doing, what you had accomplished and what you had planned for the future. She hated to leave Midway City…..but, knew it was the best thing to do….and she loved her “home” attached to Joyce’s home in Georgia.

  15. Daniel Hedrick

    March 3, 2009 at 2:02 am

    I share some of the memories that my sister Ruby expressed. It was always an exciting and care free roadtrip to see her and uncle, how long ago it seems.
    I’m very sorry for everyones loss.

  16. Rhonda (Hedrick) Harendt

    March 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I am so sorry for our loss. I have few memories of Aunt Edith- as I was so young when my family moved to Texas, but have heard many wonderful things about her and know how dear she was to my sister Ruby and my daddy Wayne. This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. God bless you all.
    Love- Rhonda (Hedrick) Harendt

  17. I am so sorry about your loss. Your grandmother seemed like a wonderful person. I’m glad you were able to enjoy your time with her.

  18. Congratulations on having had such a wonderful grandmother. Keep your memories and relive them often.

  19. our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. aren’t grandmas great!? and always the best gardeners…..makes me look forward to grandparenthood!

  20. Brenda Gagnon Bubier

    March 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    What a wonderful web site! I am so sorry to hear about Aunt Edith, but was so glad she went in her sleep! I am just glad that I was able to visit her before the worst of her decline and had such a great time! She never lost her sense of humor! Hold on to those knitting needles! After my mother passed away 13 years ago, using her old sewing machine and reading her old books still holds memories near and dear! I am sure that Uncle Clovis is happy to have Aunt Edith with him! I think that Mom is with them and they are laughing and enjoying strawberries and avacado sandwiches! They were definitly the talk of the family! Mom and Terri never let me forget them! God bless you all!
    Love, Brenda

  21. So sorry for your loss. I’ve been thinking about you and your family – and praying for y’all.

  22. I am so very sorry for your loss! You and your family will be in my thoughts. Keep knitting–it will give you comfort.

  23. My sympathies for your loss, Amy. Sound like she was a treasure whom you will remember always.

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