Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tell Your Story…..

Good evening, my friends! 


I thought I’d get here much earlier than this today, but you know how it goes…!

Before I start, I get to tell you that the winner of my blog anniversary giveaway (chosen by Random Number Generator) is…


So, if you could please send me an email with your address  at:

I’ll send your prize right out to you!  Congratulations, Beth!


Anna Ostlund reading by window_edited-1

Some people are just born with a story in their heart…such was the case with my great-grandmother, Anna.

Born in 1882 in a small, western town of Swiss immigrant parents, she watched, learned, and kept many, many stories close to her heart…

Anna Meier Brandley young_edited-1

When a girl of only 16, she left with her father and other siblings for Canada.  Her mother had passed away a few years previously, and her father had been asked to go up to Alberta to help build the new canals and settle the area…

Oh, the stories she tells of that adventure!

She later met and married a handsome son of Swedish immigrants, Hjaldermar Ostlund…


…and they had five children, their first three were all daughters…


…just about my favorite photo of sisters that I’ve ever seen in my life…next to my three daughters…This was taken in 1911, just a year before my grandfather—their first son—was born.

Anna spent her widowed years writing…telling her mothers’ story, then her father’s, then her husband’s and her own…

Olympia typewriter

…almost always on a typewriter using  the delightful old Olympia script that has become so dear to me…


I have folder upon folder of her papers in my collection (as does my mother), of her writings.  Some are the same story, typed all over again, very lovingly and painstakingly on that wonderful old, thin onionskin paper…sometimes with added details…no photocopying for Anna…all done page by page…


….telling the stories of those she loved that were no longer here to tell their own..

Even dearer and more beautiful to me are the few pages in her own handwriting…


Another page in my family album completed…Anna Tells Her Story…


Once, again I used a beautiful image from Crafty Secrets’ new “Vintage Photos” Creative Scraps, the fabulous old typewriter is from Crafty Secrets’ “Office 101” stamp set…


…my background is a bit of Anna’s typewritten story (scanned copy, of course!), on top of some beautiful Graphic 45 paper, some ribbon, lace, a VERY old metal vintage button, some typed sentiments—in the old Olympia font, of course!…and the usual sparkly stuff…


An amazing woman with an amazing story to tell…more stories for other days…

As I read and sort through her papers, I feel her urging me to write my own…but first, I tell of others that led me to my own story.

An incredible sunset last night—almost unreal in it’s color and intensity…


“Hurry outside!”, my daughter Sarah called to us, as she was out feeding the dogs…”it will be gone in a minute!”  


…and it was…we caught it just in time.

Tell your story.


p.s.  Please hurry over and visit the glorious Debi of “Life in My Studio” …she’s sharing some of her fabulous stash with a lucky winner!



  1. "When you Publish Your family story as an incredible novel I would like an "Autographed copy PLEASE"... This is SO WONDERFUL that you have this to read, I wish my family had written about their "coming to America"... My Grandmother was born in 1885, and I did post a picture of her(the only one I have of her young)on a post I dedicated to her... OH you are SO lucky to have all this, and I thank you SO much for sharing it with us...

  2. Dear Julie, I have loved knowing the story of your great grandmother Anna and can imagine how happy you might feel having all her writtings where she must tell so many things that fill your heart. How lovely you preserve your grands as part of who you are.
    muchos cariños,
    maria cecilia

  3. Wow, how wonderful to have all the stories to carry with you and the amazing photos too. Enjoy:)

  4. Loved have such treasures here. I have an old typewriter like that sitting here on my desk! I love the hand written letters and notes so much. Love the pictures too..just wonderful!

  5. Wow, Julie, what an amazing story!!! I am in awe of the historians in your family - you and all who came before you, who understood the value of collecting, keeping, cherishing, and documenting all things that were precious in their lives. What a treasure you have! Thank you, once again, for sharing your story. Have a wonderful evening!

  6. Hi Julie, It must be wonderful and so exciting for you to have all those family treasures. I totally agree with Donna. All the stories you can tell of your ancestors would make a great book!
    Thank you for sharing your family history! I always enjoy reading about it.
    Hugs to you,

  7. Julie, I always love reading about your family . . . both the ancestral and the present day! You are so blessed to have all this knowledge of them, the trinkets and things they have handed down and all those lovely photographs! My late Aunt Freda was our family historian and nobody knows what happened to all the treasures she held . . . I love your newest scrapbook page. How lovely it is, just like you! Congrats to your winner!! How very lucky are they! Thanks so much for all that you share with us and for your much treasured friendship! Love and hugs! xxoo

  8. Yes dear Julie, you really should write a book ,about your accestors, you have so much material,and so many storyes to tell.
    this one as lovely and interesting as all the others.And accompanied with your beautifull creations, it would be a gorgeus,book.

  9. Hi Julie,
    OH HOW very WONDERFUL! I envision your book being a journalesque writing with copies of letters, photos, and ephemera beautifully enclosed in glassine envelopes and folded pages! What a treasure it would be...what a treasure it IS! I cannot fathom having such amazing historical documentation...but if you are the family historian, it couldn't have "fallen" to a better person!

    Beautiful, beautiful, always!
    Hugs to you, dear friend!

  10. Hi Julie... always love your posts about your family... the handwritten pages are wonderful! You captured that gorgeous sunset just beautifully!... those are special moments for sure... xoxo Julie Marie

  11. Oh Julie, your last two posts have been incredible. The stories and the photos amazing. And then to top it all off, your wonderful creations, intertwining the past with the present. Beautiful! You are so fortunate to have those fabulous typed and handwritten pages from your great grandmother. You truly have the makings of a wonderful book. :) Hope you are having a great day! Tammy

  12. Beautiful post and great family story! How lucky to have her stories!

  13. Fantastic post, Julie!! Thank you for sharing the story with us!

  14. Julie,
    I love the Olympia script...and the little piece of your great granmother's story in the typewriter. Very cool!

  15. That was such a touching post, how fortunate you are to have had someone like her to carry on your families stories and legacy. I love that.

  16. Hi dear Julie,
    Your post is amazing!!! So touching, indeed! And how wonderful that you have such history--and know what it is!
    Sending hugs,

  17. i live through you, because i dont have any family stories to tell. i wish i did. i love your stories. i bought the glitter glue you mentioned and finally cut all of the paper dolls out. now i just need to find time to glitter them! i cant wait. thank you again. congrats to the winner. lucky girl :)

  18. What a lovely story! Thank you for sharing.

  19. Julie! What a beautiful story. When I was in Wisconsin last weekend (birthday/genealogy trip) we visited the archives of the Historical Society. They had a hand written book by my gr-gr-grandfather, John Quammen. He had recorded the stories for future generations of all his Norwegian immigrant neighbors. He said on the title page that the goal was to record all the significant details for future generations. WOW!! I'm so proud to be his descendant and record my own stories!!

  20. Sweet Julie, you have the most amazing stories & photos of your family. And the post you did on Anna is wonderful!!!!!!! And the layout with the vintage typewriter & her pages as background... BREATHTAKING!!!!!! You are one talented gal!!! I'm so proud of you my sweet friend. Thank you for sharing. I wish you would adopt me so I could be in this amazing family too. HUGS!

  21. I'm so loving your blog. I too descend from Swiss immigrants. They settled and founded a tiny town in southeast Idaho named Bern after their beloved homeland. What a treasure to have all of your great grandmother's writings and how wonderful to incorporate it into your page--love the lace and beautiful soft colors!