Sunday, 7 December 2008

a heritage to treasure

Our lesson in RS today was based on the article "Happiness, Your Heritage" by Dieter Uchtdorf. Here is one of my favourite excerpts:

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty. Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mould it into something of beauty."
Elder Uchtdorf points out that creativity is not limited to arts and crafts, but it's that aspect that I am pondering this afternoon. I love making things although my creations are usually made with more love and enthusiasm than actual skill.
This urge to/enjoyment of making and creating is part of my heritage. A heritage that comes from this line of women:
This is my great grandmother Marie in a photo that was in the local newspaper as she was interviewed on the occasion of her 97th birthday. The tapestry she is holding is the last one she made - in her 97th year. Her eyesight was failing and her fingers were no longer nimble enough to work on the tiny stitches of earlier years. Marie used to paint as well - not on stretched canvases, because they were not easily available. She painted on muslin using watercolours or on felt in oils:This was painted during the Great Depression. (photo taken at a funny angle because it's framed under glass to preserve it). Marie was a woman who found fulfillment although she lived through very hard times. She was compassionate and wise. She died a month short of 100 yrs but by then she had been around for my childhood giving me a strong sense of roots and belonging.

Here is my grandmother Ragnhild and my mother. "Mommo" Ragnhild was a midwife and she was widowed when my mother was 3, so as a single, working mother she may not have had much time to indulge her creative urges. But, create she did. In the photo above she and my mother are wearing the traditional costumes of the region. Ragnhild sewed the costumes and did all the embroideries on the dresses and the shirts. In an upstairs room of her house there was an enormous loom where she made rugs. The rugs were made out of strips of clothing that were past repair and use. She was ever thrifty. Outgrown handknitted jumpers were unravelled and the wool used again for another jumper or socks/mittens. I don't get much use out of them here in our current climate, but I still have mittens she knitted me....

My mother embroidered, knitted and crocheted. Her last creation before she passed away was a crocheted bedspread she made us. I feel her love when I wrap myself in it. Some days she would only have been able to do a single row, but I know she wanted to finish it and leave it behind.
LP is the next in line.... as the 5th generation of needlewomen. Well, it might be too early to say whether she develops a passion for sewing, but I know she loves creating her own little works of art. She wanted to learn how to sew, and so yesterday we started by making felt ornaments:

This will warm a grandma's heart at Christmas!


  1. What a lovely tribute and what a wonderful heritage. I can see you and your children in the picture of your mother as a girl too. Carry it on LP, carry it on.

  2. I'd like to add that the sticky-outey tongue when concentrating comes from my side of the family.

  3. So sweet. My little frog princess is learning how to sew with felt right now. I love it and have fond memories of sewing with my own mom and grandmother. It's so fun to pass down these things to our own children. I love your blog. So glad I found you!


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