Friday, September 3, 2010

Traveling the World in Style…


Good afternoon, my friends!

Here we are again…another weekend ahead of us.  What will you be doing this holiday weekend? 

We have a fairly quiet time in store for us for a change…then a beach party in Monterey on Monday to top it off…sounds pretty good to me!

I’ve got another wonderful woman to tell you about today…I haven’t introduced you to many of the people on my husband’s side of the family yet, so it’s about time I do.


Melvina Adell Howard Campbell, known all her life as Vie, was a pretty amazing personality.  Born in 1848 in Wisconsin, she lived all of her life surrounded by farming.

Involved in many social causes, she did much good in her community, and indeed for women in the world at large….more stories for another day…

She loved to entertain, as is evidenced by her handwritten calling card from around the turn of the century:

Vie's calling card 

In 1910, just two years after the death of her husband, Henry, she embarked, along with her daughter Pearl, on a grand adventure….

Pearl Campbell with hat

Pearl, who would never marry, was quite an adventurer herself, and a prolific writer.  We’re fortunate to have many of her stories…

We’re so lucky to have Vie’s handwritten journal of their European cruise and adventure….

hpqscan0001_edited-1 (In Pearl’s handwriting, decades later, it says “Horace (her nephew), “you needn’t return.  Pearl.”)

In her handwriting, it says…

“A Journal of a trip of several months, beginning with the leaving of home, February 11, at 9:05 a.m.  1910.”

                         Vie Howard Campbell

                                            Evansville, Wisconsin

She continues on the first page:


“It seems most fitting that the first entry made in this journal should record the locking of the door of the dear home at Evansville, because it seemed to me a moment of grave importance, although it was the beginning of a trip across seas and a glimpse of foreign lands which has been in day dreams and deeper dreams at night for many years…”


“…It was not without some misgivings with regard to my ability to make the most of the trip that I said a mental good bye as I stood at the threshold of the home with it’s memories of joy and of sorrow, it’s happy meetings and it’s sad good byes.”

We two, the last members of the household, Pearl and I, to go out in quest of a wider knowledge of the world, in which God has placed us…”

Beautiful words…

They sailed from New York harbor on the S.S. Hamburg…she writes that it was quite luxurious…

hamburg ship 2 

I love this photograph of Vie from this time…

…all bundled up against the chill sea breezes in her wool and furs…isn’t she wonderful?


This photo and her journal inspired yesterday’s project…a small layout that I will either frame or add to my family history scrapbooks…


I LOVE these images…all from Crafty Secrets.  The ladies, representing Vie and Pearl, are from the “Girlfriends” Creative Scraps.


All other images, tickets, etc,. are from the “Travel” Creative Scraps.


I used a beautiful piece of Graphic 45 as background paper, along with a photocopied sheet of Vie’s journal and a European map I found online from that time period…

…some lace, lusciously creamy seam binding, vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, crystal rhinestones, Dazzling Diamonds and platinum Stickles for some sparkle.

I thought I’d add another card I made a couple of months ago, but never posted…


I love this vintage teacup stamp from Unity…one of their originals…


I imagine Vie and Pearl probably enjoyed many tea times with beautiful china on their European cruise…it just seemed fitting…

Just to close up today, I thought I’d show you Vie and Henry Campbell’s house as it looks today…well, ten years ago, anyway…with my three daughters, Vie’s great-great-granddaughters, standing in front of it.

Campbell Farm House 2000_edited-1

We even got to go into every room inside, thanks to the very sweet owners, who are caring for it, and it’s history, very carefully. We are so grateful…

Thank-you for coming along with me on another sentimental journey…my very favorite thing to do.

I hope your weekend is full of every good thing.  Make some wonderful memories…


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Grandmother’s Garden…

Good morning, dear friends!


What a beautiful day to begin September!  The sun is shining, a cool breeze blowing, the flowers--less bright and vivid now--are nodding their heavy heads outside my window…

Which brings to mind a certain garden I’ve been reading about this week in my grandmother’s & great-grandmother’s writings…

Sarah I. V. Young

Sarah Indiaetta Young Vance, my great-great-grandmother, was born on a plantation in Virginia during the Civil War…more stories for another day…

garden 8

(This was not her home, but a photo I found that, to me, feels like what she described…) 

As a teenager, she left Virginia and headed west with her family, eventually settling in old Mesa, Arizona.  There are so many stories I have to tell you about this amazing woman as time goes on…I love her dearly…mostly because I feel I know her well.  She left a beautifully written history of her life in her own words.  I cherish it.  She is why my middle daughter Sarah is…Sarah.

But, today, the words I’ll draw from are from her daughter, Estella and her granddaughter—my grandmother—Velda... about her garden.

As I mentioned in my last post, Sarah was a very busy mother of 12 children…they farmed for a living.  She was also an incredibly skilled and busy midwife.  No matter how hectic her life was, however, she loved to garden…

garden 5 (This and the following garden photographs were found online…)

I imagine it was hard to keep a garden flourishing in the heat of the Arizona sun, but flourish it did, year after year….here’s a description from her daughter Estella, thinking back to her childhood on their family farm, about 1900…

On the side of the house was a beautiful old-fashioned garden, with stocks, baby’s breath, bachelor buttons, pinks, carnations, pansies, violets, hollyhocks…

garden 2

…black-eyed Susans, sweet peas, daisies…larkspur, poppies…well just name it, it was there in colorful profusion in Mother’s garden…

“Growing from the ground to the eaves at each porch post were beautiful climbers—

garden 10

--roses across the front and down the right side of the porch…

garden 11

Fig trees, large spreading ones that grew luscious figs, both black and white, were planted along the ditch bank…Long pomegranate hedges that had big pink & white fruit—we loved to reach up into the dense upper branches for the especially good fruit--

garden 12

--true, our dresses would be stained, also fingers and teeth, but little difference did it make to us children. 

hpqscan0001_edited-1 (Sarah, John and their family of then 10 children about 1900…2 more would be added soon! My great-grandmother, Estella, is on the far right, next to her father.)

Yes, Mother would scold and caution us to eat and peel the fruit carefully, so she would have the minimum of trouble trying to take the stain out with sour orange juice and salt---and much boiling.”

Her description goes on in some detail, but for now we’ll switch over to her daughter, Velda’s child’s eye memories of her grandmother Sarah’s garden:

“She (Sarah) always had a fresh garden—vegetables and flowers of all kinds, and trees that were unusual for the area, such as quince…She also grew oranges, lemons and tangerines. 

“She always had her own milk, butter and cheese.  We could help her churn the butter…she always had homemade bread. 

garden 6

“She had us go into the garden and pick nasturtiums.  We’d wash them—leaves, stems and flowers—and we’d put the leaves on homemade bread with her homemade butter.  I don’t think I ever went to Grandma’s without doing that.”

Velda in garden_edited-1 (Velda in a garden, about 3 years old…1918)

I got this information from my grandmother Velda just a few years before she died, when we sat down one day to talk about her childhood—I wrote down every precious word.

I had nasturtiums growing in my garden at that time—still do—and told my daughters about this. (They were quite young then…)  They wanted to try it, so we did (without the homemade butter and bread, sadly!)  They loved it, and dubbed them “Ancestor Sandwiches”—they still love talking about them!

In thinking about my great-great-grandmother Sarah this week, I made this little garden card in her honor…a beautiful, busy, turn-of-the-century gardener…surrounded by blue skies, a riot of roses, and heavy-headed hollyhocks…


The image is from Crafty Secrets’ “Garden” Creative Scraps…I decided to do some machine sewing on this one…then decided to “crazy quilt” it, I was having so much fun!


Just some lace, ribbon, vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, Dazzling Diamonds & platinum Stickles for a little gilding around the image, and that’s about it!

I also did this card for a color challenge hosted by sweet Vicki Chrisman just for fun!   Thanks, Vicki!

Well, that’s about it for me today…my posts seem to be getting longer lately…hope that’s okay! Sometimes there’s just things that need to be said, I guess.

So, from Estella, Velda, Sarah…

Sarah Indiaetta_edited-1 (Sarah later in life…she passed away in 1940.)

and me…I hope you have a beautiful day.  Enjoy the sunshine while it’s here…fall is coming!  Go and create something beautiful—whether it’s in your garden, in your kitchen, or anywhere the muse strikes you!


See you soon with something new…


Monday, August 30, 2010

Careful Keepers…


Good afternoon, dear friends!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I took a few days off from the computer to be with my girl, now gone back to school far away from her mother…it was a wonderful couple of weeks….and time very well spent.

The night before she left, she was cleaning out her closet, when she found a box that I had stored there a few years ago, and hadn’t seen since.


Inside were treasures that I hadn’t thought of for a while…carefully left to me by my grandmother, Velda


…who was a careful keeper of all family memories…knowing that I would always be a careful keeper of them, as well…

One day when I was a young teenager and she was showing them to me in her home, she asked me if I’d like to have them “someday”…and to put my name on the box, so that others would know to whom it  should go…”someday”…


…and so I did.

Inside, precious things left by Velda’s mother, Estella…both of whom I’ve told you stories of before…things carefully saved through the years by other careful keepers…


In Estella’s handwriting, tucked into each and every object, a brief description of the item and who it belonged to, so that no one could forget…”The other coin & red ribbon mother had when I was a very small girl”, she writes…


Her mother, Sarah, who I’ll tell you more about another day soon…


A buffalo head nickel (that Estella always kept in her pocket, a gift of remembrance from a loved brother) and a tiny old Mexican coin kept for years for good luck by Sarah…


A crocheted piece that Sarah made…


…a very old velvet pillow case…


…a knitted shawl made by Sarah…Estella remembers her mother placing it at times on the end of a bed, or over a chair…a little extra comfort for a loved one on a chilly evening…


…a pair of perfectly preserved silk stockings…a second pair purchased for the burial of Estella’s sweet little girl, Glenna, who died when she was just 3 years old, in 1922…


…carefully saved in the original Goldwater’s (of Phoenix, Arizona) sack they were purchased in…



A sweet old photo of my grandmother, Velda, on the right, with her sisters Nathel (left), and little Glenna in the chair…

There was so much more in the box, now used elsewhere in my home…in cabinets and such…where my family can always see them and remember…more stories for other days…


…this isn’t part of those family things, but a sweet little antique cup I couldn’t pass by in a vintage shop one day some years ago…Think of Me…..I keep this near those treasured family mementos so carefully kept…


This is a photo of Sarah and her husband John Vance with their 12 children.   My great-grandmother, Estella is next to her father on the right…a beautiful, blonde twin girl…oh, so many stories to tell!


A close-up of Sarah Indiaetta Young Vance from the Mother’s collage I made last year using Crafty Secrets papers, poem & elements…


…one in a loving line of careful keepers…”someday” I will pass these same treasures on to a much loved great-granddaughter I’ve not yet met…and the line of careful keepers will continue……

This is not the post I sat down to write today, but this is what wanted to be written…it’s always such a wonderful thing for me to remember those that I love…even those I never was able to meet in person….and today was filled with those thoughts.  Thank-you for letting me share them with you.

I’ll be back in a day or two with the post I intended…I hope your day is filled with every wonderful thing, and loving thoughts of the careful keepers in your life.