Sunday, May 23, 2010

Family…a Link to Our Past, a Bridge to Our Future…

"In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”  --Alex Haley

I’ve always been drawn to my ancestors…those who came before me, those who made me who I am…

I’m fortunate to belong to a family that appreciates these things, and from the time I was a young girl, I’ve been told the stories, showed the pictures, taken to the places where the stories and pictures took place…a wonderful childhood…

Not Quite All--the Brandley-Ostlund Family, 1916
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family.”  --Thomas Jefferson

My blog experience so far has been an extension of this great love of mine…I love to create vintage-style cards and be reminded by the images I use of my family…those here now, and those long gone.  To me, it’s another way to preserve these memories, and share them with my family…and you.

Today, I made a card with one of my favorite old family photos…

This is the Ostlund Family, taken about 1906.  My grandfather, Dow, would be born 6 years later…I love this sweet family scene.

My great-grandmother, Anna Brandley Ostlund, the mother in the photo,  is very dear to me.  I was so grateful to have been able to know her…

Anna Meier Brandley 1_edited-1
She was born in 1882 and had such an amazing and full life.  I love these early photos of her…

Anna Meier Brandley 2_edited-1
She was born to Johann Theodore and Marie Elizabeth Braendli, both Swiss immigrants, well-skilled in the  baking arts.  They ran a bakery in a small town in southern Utah when Anna was a girl.

hpqscan0005_edTMP-1_edited-1                             {Anna & her brothers}

In her life, she would live in a chicken coop for a time due to hard family circumstances while her father was far away in Europe (her mother wouldn’t write and tell him…didn’t want to worry him!), lose her mother when she was still a young girl, leave the west for a new home in Canada when she was 16, run a frontier general store…

Marry a handsome barrister, Hjaldermar, of Swedish parentage…become a wonderfully loving mother and grandmother…and end her life in Arizona, surrounded by family who loved her.

Many more stories for other days…

“Family faces are magic mirrors.  Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.”—Gail Lemet Buckley

When I look at Anna,

I see my the woman who’s eyes and nose would instantly turn red with emotion whenever we walked into her home for a visit…I see my mother who resembles her so much (my mother has her nose and eyes, which turn red the same way when she’s emotional…I love that!)…I see my youngest daughter, Anna, who is named for her.

Thank-you for letting me share my feelings and more of my family memories with you…

One more card before I go today…

“Together is a wonderful place to be”, it says…perfect, isn’t it?  This beautiful image is from Crafty Secrets’ “Family” Vintage Postcard Kit.  Instead of making a wall hanging out of it, I decided to place it on a card…maybe this will go to my Mom (so many of my cards end up with Mom!)

Some lace, grosgrain & gingham ribbon, glitter (of course!), Dazzling Diamonds, and that’s about it!

Hope you’re having a beautiful weekend, and I’ll see you back here soon with something new…

***Just wanted to add a bit about our on-going theme on can read what other Mothers have to say by going here....

I have so many thoughts on the subject that I'll be sharing with you in weeks to come.  To go along with my earlier words on this post, when I look at the image of my great-grandmother....modesty personified. 

There is something so inwardly--and outwardly--beautiful about a modest woman.  There is a glow.  Confidence that she knows herself and what she's meant to be.  There is no need to go along with the trends of the day, to conform to what society tells her is "normal".

This is the kind of beauty I want my daughters to possess.  Classic beauty.



  1. Hello Julie, I am so touched by this post, and your beautiful grandmother... I too am so sentimental and my family is the most important thing in my life, always has been and always will be... I still carry on our family traditions, and know that my loved ones who have passed on are smiling down at me and happy I am doing so... there is so much to hold dear to our hearts about our heritage, thanks for sharing some of your private thoughts and photos with us... xoxo Julie Marie PS I lost my mama 28 years ago this day, so this post made me smile... I know my mama is always beside me...

  2. how nice to hear about your family and that you have these wonderful old pictures. There has to be someone in every generation to pass our heritage down to!
    Also, I just ordered those crafty secrets postcard sets!

  3. What a wonderful post! Thanks so much for sharing a little of your family history and such beautiful pictures of your Grandmother.

  4. Julie,
    What a beautiful loving post!!!!! You are so fortunate that you got to know this woman!!!! I am so glad for you and yours that you have all of these memories and photos....your story telling and art done with these wonderful heirlooms is such a gift to your family!!!!

  5. What a lovely post! I so love family stories, pictures, and momentoes with meaning. Your family photos are priceless, as are your memories. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  6. This is a beautiful post! I love seeing your old family photos. It really is amazing to see your old photos in such great condition.
    Your cards are lovel as well! I love your card style!

  7. These are such beautiful photo' are so blessed to have them and to know their stories. I so believe that..."when we know who they were, then we can know who we are." And I love what you have done with these cards too! :D

  8. Such a lovely post filled with family history, What a gift your passing on the the next generation! Beautiful cards as well and I'm sure your mom cherishes each and every one!

  9. Once again I loved this post . . . the beautiful cards, the wonderful old photos, the richly embroidered family history that you so willingly share with us. So much of who we are today is due to the family that came before us. I love family histories and I can tell you do too!! Another kindred spirit likeness? For sure! I just know your mom must adore the cards you give to her. My mom would too. Perhaps I should get busy and make a special one for her birthday in July. I am sure it would be well received. Won't be as nice as yours though! Sending lots of love and hugs sweet friend on this early Monday morning/Sunday evening for you! XXOO

  10. Everything is so beautiful today, Julie. Your words, esp the title and quote at the bottom! The pictures are lovely, adore that old look, and you made some gorgeous cards. Eye Candy!

    Wishing you a great new week! xoxo

  11. Wonderful pictures from your family.
    I love your post with your family history.
    And thank you for showing your amazing cards.

    Have a nice day

  12. Dear Julie,
    this is such a wonderfull post.
    Thanks for telling your grandma`s story, and for showing the beautifull photoes.
    xo Dorthe

  13. What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing. A great story to start my day!

  14. Hi Julie! Spent yesterday catching up from being away ~ only 36 hours, but still ~ and am now skipping through the blogging neighborhood to make a few visits before I'm off and running for the day! You KNOW how much I love hearing your family stories and I thought about you yesterday as I was mending a pillow sham that belonged to my great-grandmother. I wish I knew more about her and how old she'd been when she stitched that sham. It is precious that you know so much about your family. Your cards are a brilliant reflection of this love and I LOVE seeing each and every one. Happy Monday! xx P&H PS: The gal in the picture at French Larkspur was Tracey, not me....but THANK YOU, she IS lovely!!!

  15. I loved seeing your old photos and hearing about the little bits of their lives. Very inspiring cards, as always!

  16. Beautiful cards and memories. You need to take a trip to Salt Lake City to the new genealogy library. It is fantastic and I know you would find out so much information on you ancestors. Have a good day, Joy

  17. Oh this is wonderful

    Love Dawn xx

  18. Of all the people I've met in cyber space, I think I have a very strong affinity to you. Like you, I love my family's personal history, but unlike you, I haven't yet explored it fully. But I'm so glad you have the pictures and the memories and are able to experience some of the places your family lived.

    Your work is so beautiful and this blog is such a happy place to visit. I love anything floral, so whenever I visit, the beautiful flowers always make me feel joyful.

  19. Stunning creations, as usual.

    It is such a gift to say we knew our great grandparents, isn't it?

    Hope you're having a great day.

  20. Beautiful cards, beautiful stories, beautiful photos, beautiful quotes!! Love it all. Thanks for sharing your talents!

  21. I love reading about your family history, and seeing all of your wonderful vintage photos! The card is just stunningly gorgeous!!!!!!!

  22. I had the opposite experience. My father, the youngest of many siblings, would not talk about his family, so I've met only a few of them. I work at giving my 4 a different childhood, and tell them all the stories I can, as well as journal.

  23. Hi Julie, you are so lucky to have all these wonderful family photos. I know, I keep saying that, but truthfully, the fact that they were well-preserved and treasured from generation to generation is just amazing. Some people go to the flea market to find old photos and adopt them as their long ago families, but you actually have those long ago stories to share and they are so wonderful! Wishing you a fabulous week of beauty and blessings, Tammy

  24. What a fantastic post! Your family memories are wonderful and beautifully expressed by you! I'm honored that you have shared!

  25. JUlie, I LOVE this most all of your posts! Lovely story and so important to document and share! I agree with you that inner beauty is all so important!! Most important if you ask me! LOvely Lovely post!
    Have a blessed day my friend!

  26. Anna is AMAZING! I loved all of the photos of her & your precious stories. You were lucky indeed to have her in your life. I feel the same about my sweet Grandmother too! Thank you for your sweet words about my bracelet from my class this weekend. I was pleased! HUGS! Charlene

  27. Julie...
    Such a heartfelt, family post.
    I loved reading about your families lineage
    The cards are excellent momentos...
    Your so talented, such a nice job.
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  28. Julie, It is just amazing that you would know your great-grandmother! I love hearing about your family history. I wanted to tell you that when I first looked at your cute little bird card I thought I was looking through a window. What a great idea! Shutters on the side of the image. It's not enough that you give us such inspiring art, now your fans are directing you! Signed, Your #1 Fan, E

  29. Oh Julie, I never get tired of reading about your amazing family. I love seeing the old pictures too. It's so wonderful that your family has passed all this down. Have a great week! Twyla

  30. What a wonderful post Julie! Thanks for sharing this look into your personal life with us :) Gorgeous Vintage cards :)

  31. It is difficult to know where to start so I will mention your artwork first - so very beautiful and you have captured the true essence of those times. To have the stories of your family along with the photographs is very special indeed. I am sure I am not alone when I say that I hope you will share more stories of your family and photographs with us another time. You are doing a great service to the memory of those who have gone before you and through you their memory continues to live. TFS. Lynne M

  32. Julie,
    Lovin all your family photo' much history! Beautiful cards, too :)

  33. You have such an amazing collection of family photos! 90% of mine are unidentified - such a shame!

  34. Your great-grandmother sounds like a remarkable woman. Living in a chicken coop? Isn't it wonderful to have treasured stories of family past? I have a few nuggets from both my grandmothers but wish I'd asked more questions. xx