Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Ties That Bind…

Good afternoon, dear friends!

Well, it’s another beautiful, but beachily gloomy day here on the central coast of California…I miss the bright heat of Utah a little bit, but this cooler weather certainly feels like home…

I have a few things to share with you today…just finished a fun project with some of my new Crafty Secrets supplies…


All the images are from the new, double-sided “Sew Nice” Creative Scraps, and the background papers are from Crafty Secrets’ “Pastel” and “Classic” paper collections...


…lace, ribbon, old crystal studs, vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, a Prima flower, Stickles, a crystal pendant…

I decided to stitch it all together, crazy quilt style…


…and as I stitched, my thoughts turned to one of my great-great-grandmothers, as my thoughts often do…

augusta age 16

Augusta Maria was born in Denmark in 1854.  She was the daughter of a fairly well-to-do cabinetmaker.  Not wealthy, but they lived very comfortably for the times.  She was sent to a private school for young ladies, and learned the art of making fine ladies’ gloves, and became a good seamstress, which were skills she used throughout her life.

When she was just 16 years old, she married my great-great-grandfather, an American who was in Denmark for a time teaching.


                 {Augusta’s chest, crocheted shawl and shoes}

When she arrived with him to his home in the “Wild West”, and saw the impoverished way many of the women were living, she sat her chest down on the ground, opened it up, and gave away most of her fine dresses and things away to the women who were there to welcome her to her new home…

In a small town in northern Arizona, where Augusta lived most of her adult life and is buried, there’s a small family museum.  In it are a few of her personal possessions…physical reminders of a lovely, gracious and quiet woman…


A small, beautiful chest made for Augusta when she was young by her grandfather, a noted Copenhagen cabinetmaker in the mid-1800’s…


…beautiful purple velvet lining the inside of the lovely box…


Another “treasure chest” made by the same grandfather, who was also a violinist in the King’s Orchestra in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen…filled with her simple woman’s treasures…


Her scrapbook from late Victorian through Edwardian times…I could only take this one picture, as we weren’t to turn the pages…how hard it was to obey that rule!

And best of all, her crazy quilt…


I found out that it had been passed on to my grandfather, and was in their family for quite a while…oh, how I’d love to have it gracing my sitting room at home!  But, it’s in a place where many can love it where it is…


…delicate stitches…worn velvets and satins…beautifully embroidered monograms…flowers, animals, patterns…all stitched by the loving hands of a woman I never met…

Augusta Smith, middle age

…who has touched my life in more ways than I can imagine, through those invisible ties that bind us together…Augusta Maria, with necklace

I hope your day is filled with wonderful things….I’ll see you soon with something new…




  1. This is my kind of posting as genealogy and family history are my hobbies. How wonderful.. a family museum. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story about a woman with talent and a kind heart.
    Ladybug Creek

  2. Julie, it is so beautiful and special that you know so much of your family history, of what made them all "tick" so to speak. I am certain that your GGGrandmother is smiling down on you and your gorgeous creations! After all, she was a crafter, too! :)

  3. That is a beautiful card Julie...and I so loved hearing and seeing all about her...just so special! ;D

  4. Julie,
    The card is so pretty...and I love the stories of your family!!!!! You have a wonderful way of bringing them to life! :)

  5. julie,

    you are so lucky to have all of this information. so cool!

    your card is lovely.


  6. Oh Julie,
    How absolutely beautiful!!! Thank you for making the world a more special place!

  7. wow Julie- how totally inspiring and awesome- tfs- your creation is awesome as always too!)

  8. Hi Julie! Your card is just beautiful!!!... I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading about your rich family history! xo Paulette

  9. Love your story about your family...thank you for sharing.
    Your card is really inspire me..thank you.

    Hugs for a happy Thursday. xoxo

  10. Julie, I giggle to know that you too find the time to visit blogs late into the night. Had to share this, now I am back to read this evenings post! I love when you share about your family! E

  11. Julie, Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog! I love the idea of freezing the borage flowers and then putting them in a drink. Thank you for the great idea! I adore your blog :) Connie

  12. she is lovely inside and out. i wish i knew about my family history. you have in your posession a treasure in knowing the history of your family. i enjoy learning about yours. so interesting.

  13. So I see it runs in the family. The talent passed down from many generations. What a beautiful box and that quilt, oh my it would be hard not being able to keep it in the family, but as you said so many more can enjoy it in the museum.

  14. Julie,
    how wonderfull to read your story ,of this sweet, and loving danish woman, whom happens to be your family.
    The tokens from her life are all very beautifull, I understand you would love to keep them!
    Blessings, Dorthe,-Denmark

  15. fantastic!!! loved to read the story!!!

  16. what a gorgeous box and story. How precious to have this heirloom. I also love your gorgeous tag that you created! Have a wonderful Thursday!

  17. Great story; it is wonderful to have the photos and treasures that connect generations..

  18. Hi Julie, I loved hearing about your great~grandmother and great~gtrandfather! Those are such wonderful photographs and treasures... I am sure you would love to own them, but that is so nice they are in a museum for all to enjoy... wishing you a beautiful weekend... xoxo Julie Marie PS We are at the 100 degrees here in Utah now and it is getting hotter each day!

  19. Beautiful pics of your lovely great-great grandma's things - creativity obviously runs deep in your genes my friend! I'm sure she'd approve of your paper adaptation of her crazy quilt idea even if she'd be amazed at the "disposable" nature of a lot of today's culture.

  20. Wonderful story and pictures! Thanks for sharing. ~Diane

  21. YOU'RE BACK! I didn't know! I lost track of time while we were away . . .
    You have a family museum? You need to spill the story about that one!
    How wonderful that you have all that! And so much information! Golly!
    I recently discovered just the booties of my great-great grandfather and was thrilled just with that! I mean, I had them all along and didn't even know!!!
    What a wonderful story and how awesome are the pictures! Just imagine the stories that quilt could tell, who slept under it, who it warmed on a cold winter's night, how it was made and washed and treasured.
    I could go ON AND ON!!!
    Very fun! Loved this!
    Oh and WELCOME HOME!
    :) Karen

  22. Hi Julie, I love your beautiful tag! How wonderful that you know so much about your family history. The crazy quilt is such a lovely treasure and I can very well understand that you would love to have it in your home.
    Have a great weekend!

  23. Oh my cute, cute, cute! Love the Halloween images too.

  24. I'm sooo far behind! Love, love, love your family stories and pictures!

  25. Julie,
    Thank you for this beautiful dedication to a beautiful lady - my Great Grandmother - my father is Jesse Nathaniel Benson - son of Rachel Smith - so exciting to see a beautiful quilt made by Augusta - and fun to see her beautiful pictures.
    Kathleen Benson - a cousin