Ephemera · Norwegian

Thank you Grandma!

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.

Wings of Whimsy: Easter Decoupage - #diy #napkins #easter

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 🙂

Wings of Whimsy: Oddny Bakke 1910 Hornindal Norway  - free for personal use #vintage #photography #baby #printable #freebie
Oddny Bakke, 1910. Hornindal, Norway.
Wings of Whimsy: Oddny - Greeting from Iowa  - free for personal use #vintage #photography #baby #printable #freebie
Oddny – Greeting from Iowa
Wings of Whimsy: Nils & Brita Taraldset 1908 Hornindal Norway - free for personal use #vintage #photography #wedding #printable #freebie
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!

Download Printable

Wings of Whimsy: Easter Decoupage - #diy #napkins #easter

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 🙂Wings of Whimsy: Easter Decoupage - #diy #napkins #easter

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11 thoughts on “Thank you Grandma!

  1. This post just brought tears to my eyes – my grandmas painstakingly taught me to sew, needlepoint, and my mother continued the instruction, having been a wonderful seamstress herself. Now I indulge in all things paper and have found my own crafting. I have pictures of my grandmas from 1894 and 1897, when they were three years old. Priceless.

    1. Dear Jan 🙂

      I think “painstakingly” covers it perfectly in my case too…lol! I considered her effort wasted for years, and look at me now…:-D So at least I can thank her in spirit, and use her wisdom when my girls are learning da works.

      I have had professional copies made of my Grandmas’ picture before, but scanning it now myself in 600dpi for this post made me take it out of the frame and look at the back, and finding that greeting to her from the photographer in Iowa, it felt like a little extra magic when I found that! It definitely confirmed her story about the picture traveling the world.

      If you have not already had digital copies made of your pictures, you should, to make sure they are never lost for future generations 🙂 xoxoxo

      1. I had the originals restored and digitized – they’re gorgeous. But I also have the original photos, which are the most precious to me. Sometimes we don’t know how good we have it until those people who are the good in our lives pass on. But I know they know how much I love and appreciate them.

  2. Such a lovely post. What a darling photograph of her as a a child! My grandmother was very much the same. Her influences are felt to this day. This touched my heart,

    1. Thank you very much LuvZdollZ 🙂

      We consider 1910 sooo long ago, and yet I believe many of us are carrying on traditions learned from those earlier generations 🙂 I even find that many of the best ideas and patterns have survived and outlasted changing times! xoxoxo

  3. WOW it was such a pleasure to read this post here, and I was all moved by it. It sure made me think of my own childhood, where we were 4 girl in a row, and my mum was of the old school too, who thought any decent girl had to learn to knit, Crochet , embroider and sew, so we were all 4 of us sat on a row every sunday afternoon and forced to do some kind of needlework, and boy I hated it back then ha ha ha. I must admit, I still don´t like anything with yarn, but I´ve been sewing all our family´s clothes for many many years, and since then I´ve learned to do soo many many things, and couldn´t live a day without some kind of crafting today. Unfortunately my only daughter also just hates any kind of crafting, and still do, but I now have 7 granddaughters aged between 19 and 7, and they all just love to come here and play in my craftroom, and all have their own space and materials here, where it´s allowed to do anything they like, and we have a blast, when they do. Unfortunately the older ones begin to change interests now, and don´t come as often anymore, but I think, that´s normal, but earlier we had the habbit of all of them gathering here for one whole week in the fall and again in the spring, where we all just played all week long and created anything they wished for, and it was soo cool, but now it´s mostly the 4 smallest of them, and 2 of them are confirmated this spring, so it´s probably a matter of time for them now too, how long they want to keep on, but I at least have a ton of memories from all these vacations here over the years.
    Thanks so much for this amazing trip here down Memory LAne, it was pretty awesome.
    Have a wonderful day sweet friend.

    1. Dear, sweet Maryann!

      Your comment brought tears to MY eyes! I’m sure that your grandchildren will keep crafting, don’t worry, they just need to find their “inner voice” like I did when I became a mother myself. With the stores overflowing with everything we need and then some, there is no longer a need for us to make our own clothes and linen. But for people like me, who appreciate beauty and excellence, there comes a point when the value of things are no longer measured in money but in beauty, uniqueness, love… I display the pieces made by my girls just as proudly as I do my own, knowing they are able to create things that most of their classmates never even tried, or knew was possible. I’m currently working with Sheri and Ingeborg on Mixed Media ideas, and we are sharing and discussing techniques, leading to me testing things at home with the girls. And I love how their young and non-polluted minds work, they are so creative, so free in their thinking! If any of them discover they are drawn towards art, they’ll be back for more inspiration before you know it! And they will all be thanking you for the creative foundation you have helped them build, in so many other areas of life.
      Wishing you a wonderful week, with lots of fun crafting! I think I must come to see that beautiful craft barn of yours one day…lol!

      Gunnvor Karita

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