When I’m crafting and creating, I always think of you. Your hands were never idle, even when you were resting. You would embroider or crochet, and both the sewing machine and the loom were in daily use.
Maybe I had no patience to sit by your side and learn every trick in the book, but I was always allowed to keep you company for a chat, a snack or to sit and sift through your buttons and trim. And growing a little older, you never said no to finding some fabric I could use, or to letting me use your tools.
What a mess I must have made, and how useless my products were! How angry I would be when you offered advice when I struggled, and how often I left my projects unfinished in frustration! You would still sit patiently and correct my errors and complete my work.
I never got to thank you for all this when you were still around. I never appreciated it then. I did not think I was one bit good at crafting, since in school I could never excel in following the patterns, and pleasing the teachers. I also could not draw, what-so-ever! So I decided I was not creative in that area, and stopped crafting. For years! Not until I became a mother myself 11 years ago, and I decided I wanted to knit a baby blanket. That blanket is still in my closet, unfinished… I now know knitting is also not for me… But it still triggered something, and I started some small projects, bought a little paint, my own home printer, and a digital camera. I don’t know exactly how Grandma, but all this has grown over the past 11 years. A lot!
I have gone full cycle and come to realize how much I love crafting. You’d probably still frown at my choices, I don’t knit, I don’t weave, I rarely ever make clothes or floor mats or anything useful! I don’t even crochet or embroider pretty linens or tablecloths… What is left, you say? Everything else! Art! All the quirky and whimsical things no one told me about when I was a child. Combining things in new ways. Seeing things from alternative perspectives.
I have you to thank for all of this, for patiently laying down the foundation when I was growing up! Being a mother myself now, I remind myself every day of that wisdom, always trying to engage my girls in whatever projects we encounter. Even if they don’t succeed in making a perfect pillow, those seems are practice, threading the machine 15 times is practice. Cutting the fabric wrong is practice, and getting a little help to finish stuff when needed is essential to feeling rewarded. I have learned from you Grandma, and my girls are now learning from me, even if they don’t know it yet.
My grandmother Oddny was born in 1909 on a farm in the small town of Hornindal, Norway. Her parents Nils and Brita were married the year before in 1908. Nils at age 34 and Brita at age 25, which around that time was rather old. Their wedding photo is in cabinet card style, suggesting how remote they were, since cabinet cards were not much used into the Edwardian era. The picture of my grandmother was taken by a traveling photographer around her first birthday, spring 1910. The family did not receive the photo until several years later, when it came sent from America – in color! My grandmother used to tell me this was the first photo in color to arrive in Hornindal. She always said it was real color. I believe it is hand tinted in Iowa. Any expert advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated!
I love vintage photographs from this era. Most of the time I don’t know anything about the people depicted, not even their names. I only have a few real family pictures in my collection, and it’s needless to say: they are priceless to me 😀
I’d love for my Grandma and my Great-Grandparents to travel the world now, but please attach their details on the back of what you use them for 🙂
Oddny Bakke, 1910. Hornindal, Norway.
Oddny – Greeting from Iowa
Nils & Brita Taraldset, 1908. Hornindal, Norway.
These files are free for your personal use and enjoyment. Go to the folder below to download my “high quality grandparents” <—- I really enjoyed writing that!
I had to include a couple more pictures of my thrifted girl & unicorn figurine, the silver halo made by my daughter Torunn (age 9) and my decoupaged crafts. Are they not absolutely adorable??? I think even Grandma would have approved 🙂
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