Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Lessons…

(Vintage image found online)

Hello, my friends!

Another blustery day here in my part of California…hope your weather is improving!

Just one project to share with you  today…another inspired by those I love who came before me…


I have so much fun with these amazing 3D Shadowbox cards from Crafty Secrets!  As I’ve told you before…they are wonderful creation of the very talented Vicki Chrisman

The subject of this shadowbox…early childhood needlework lessons…


Many, many loving (and patient!) lessons on sewing were given to my young mother by her mother, Velda…

I love this newspaper photo & write-up…while a bit younger than Karen (Mom) would have started her sewing lessons, it’s such an adorable photo of mother and daughter together…

Other memories…

Anna Ostlund

Mom’s grandmother, Anna, giving her first knitting lessons to Karen (Mom) when she was just 4 years old…

(image found online)

Anna took two nails--just the right size to be held by chubby, little-girl hands--filed them down so they weren’t too sharp for her little granddaughter, and began to teach…

Karen with her dolly

…a photo of Mom about that age, holding her beloved doll, “Czechoslovakia Sue” (quite a name to be chosen by a little girl!), wearing her first knitted creation (with LOTS of help from Grammie Anna!)…a sweet little purple vest, which the doll always wore.

*(In just talking to Mom about the name of her doll, she remembers that it was about the time of the start of WWII, and she recalls hearing “Czechoslovakia” on the radio a lot, and guesses she just liked the sound of it!)*

Anna was the one who also presented my mother with a precious sewing keepsake…


Anna, born in 1882, was given this beautiful silk sewing kit when she was about 10 years old, in 1892…


We don’t know who gave this little kit to her, as her mother passed away the year previously…some kind and motherly benefactor, most likely…


One year short of 130 years old, this hangs today in my mother’s room on her armoir…no hiding in a box or cedar chest…heirlooms always out in the open for all to love and touch…such a gift to FEEL history…


…loved through the years…a bit threadbare in places, but beautiful, nonetheless…When I was a little girl, I remember taking it into my room, sitting on my bed with it, and carefully feeling the softness of the silk, looking through the beautiful blue bead in the light of my window…a treasure, carefully kept…


…a silken cord-wrapped bracelet with simple blue glass bead attached…the perfect size for a little girl’s wrist…


The lovely pink, silk pouch with bone toggles, and just a little bit of embroidery left to be seen…


…still containing three VERY old pins…


…and the little snips kept in their own pouch…


…still sharp as a razor (I tried them!)

Karen & her Grammie's doll, 1946

Here’s Mom about the age she was when given the sewing kit by Anna, around 1949…holding Anna’s childhood doll that she was given that I’ve told you about before (even older than the sewing kit!)

Such precious treasures entrusted to one so young…but one who understood and kept them ever so carefully to share with those she would love in the future…

More of my Shadowbox card…

All three images used are from Crafty Secrets’ “Sew Nice” Creative Scraps (LOVE this set!)


Here’s the center panel, with 3D frame…complete with curtains, of course!  (Sorry about all the shadows—no sun today!)


…a little “tie-back”, courtesy of Platinum Stickles…


Topped off with three homemade (and imperfect—just the way I like them!) rosettes of lovely, old seam binding, dyed with a few shades of Glimmer Mist…


…the same seam binding gathered and tied in a bow on each side panel…



…finished off by a row of vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, stitched with the same color…


What loving first lessons do you remember being given? 

That’s all I have for you today…hope your day is beautiful in everyway…



  1. Oh Julie... what a gorgeous creation and beautiful post!

  2. Beautiful projects and another beautiful, fascinating post. Hope you are well XXXX

  3. Absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed reading that!

  4. Fabuous! I love the 3 little shadow boxes with all there special embelishments! You've given me a great idea of what(???) to do with my mother's 50-some-odd-years collection of seam binding, seam tape, etc! And I don't think they EVER threw away a pearl-esk (?) button! Thanks Julie!

  5. Oh...yes! Those precious knitting needles and little sewing kit! I think I came across something similar in Mom's collection. (although not as daity and pretty as yours)

  6. Wonderful posting, Julie!
    How right you are... these keepsakes and heirlooms need to be kept out in full view for all to enjoy and appreciate. They stir up the memories that we love to pass along to our loved ones. I'm going to do better about displaying my treasures!
    Ladybug Creek

  7. Beautiful project, Julie, and such a wonderful history!

  8. Hi Julie... another inspiring post!... I love that your family keeps all of their heirlooms out to be enjoyed, not tucked away in a box somewhere... such sweet treasures and memories... how did your mama come up with that name for her doll??? Too cute!... I think you look like your great~grandmother Anna... such beautiful eyes!... one of my earliest lessons from my mama was in the garden... I can still hear her gentle voice telling me to "pour a little cup of water in with each plant" as we planted flowers each Spring... xoxo Julie Marie

  9. Aloha Julie,
    I so enjoyed your post. How wonderful of you to share your family heirlooms and photos.

  10. Oh, wasn't your
    mom a darling little
    thing??? How fantastic
    that the little sewing
    kit is still in the
    family, too ~ The first
    lessons that I remember
    were from my mom, teaching
    me how to sew : ) While
    I'll never be as talented
    as she is at the sewing
    machine, her lessons have
    proved invaluable over
    the years! Thanks for this
    sweet post, Julie!
    xx Suzanne

  11. Hi Julie, wow, I have goosebumps as I am reading through your post. How absolutely wonderful that little sewing kit is. You know, God always has a plan, which is why he gave you girls ... someone to carry on with the history of your family, to care for the treasures so lovingly handed from one generation to the next. How blessed you are! Best wishes, Tammy

  12. Hi Julie

    I'm playing a slow game of catch up now and saying thanks so much for your support these last few weeks whilst I have been missing from blogland.

    B x

  13. Such beautiful creations that spring from out of your beautiful mind and fingertips Julie! You are so talented and have such a wonderful treasure of heirlooms and family history. You are so blessed, and in turn you bless us with your stories. I love each one of them, I truly do! Glad you are ok despite an earthquake! I cannot imagine! I would be so afraid! I send lots of love and hugs to you on a cold and "frosty" morning. Spring is just around the corner. If I click my heels together and say it three times do you think it will come true? Love you! xxoo

  14. Beautiful creation, so many lovley details! I'm always amazed by your abiliy to link any creation to your family history, complete with photos! Lovely memories and what a beautiful little sewing set, obviously much loved!

  15. This is totally gorgeous--and oh gosh, I love the story about the sewing kit...your family has the neatest history--wow!!! And I love what you have created---totally exquisite, Julie!!!

  16. Julie, I Love seeing your shadow box art, The first time I ever saw one was on your blog, I'm still amazed at the beauty you create with each and everyone of them!!
    That sewing kit is a real treasure. To still have something so meaningful and to have the snips and those old pins!! How wonderful!!
    hugs Lynn

  17. Hi Julie...sweet post! Loving those little snips ~ I think I remember my Nana (Viola Rita) having a pair. I fondly remember her teaching me how to make bread and peanut butter cookies!

  18. Beautiful vignette, and such wonderful treasures you have, in your family photos and keepsakes!

  19. Julie Thank You for posting this beautiful piece!

    I still have the crochet hook, thimble and pincushion my MawMaw gave me over 50 years ago.

    Such treasures!



  20. What a wonderful post full of all kinds of wonderful treasures.. Thanks so much for sharing them with us. I have a couple of items my grandmother sewed. I have them displayed in my craft room.. I will always treasure them..

    Your creation looks so pretty..

    Hope you are having a wonderful day!

    Hugs, Linda

  21. I loved the name of your mom's doll, and the picture in the paper was classic! Beautiful work Julie ;D

  22. Oh I adore your new look over here my so pretty.

    your posts always make my heart happy my sweet friend and your comments are always such a blessing to me.

    So glad you like all the cupcake liner fun...I just love those sweet flowers...they look so pretty on gifts too.

    You know what....I have not received my copy of Where Women Cook yet to see my article...I have seen it as a draft on the computer but not in was soooo fun to do...I worked on it days before was a crazy crazy time...I had to think Spring.

    Have glad you liked means the world to me. oxoxxoxxoxoxo

  23. Love your sweet card...and the wonderful story behind it. Aren't family memories wonderful?!!
    Love the precious sewing kit, what a treasure!

  24. Love the shadow box Julie! IT is gorgeous!!! How cool that you have such a fabulous heirloom!!!

  25. Hi Julie
    Thanks for your comments it's lovely to meet you. It's so nice to have memories from the past.

    What wonderful place Carmel is, I have heard of it but didn't know what it looked like.


  26. Hi Julie I love you new blog look by the way. The vintage items in your family are so precious. I don't know anyone better at those shadow boxes than you !! The doll name cracked me up !! Oh that is cute and I understand how a little girl came by it too hearing it so much on the radio it clicked with her.

  27. hi julie!

    i am so behind on my blog visits but am happy to have visited today to see your pretty creations and amazing silk sewing kit! how pretty all of those things might be in a shadow box. literal treasures!

    happy weekend ~


  28. Love your blog. You have a heart for vintage and so do I.

  29. Julie,
    Visiting your blog is always such a treat, Amazing heritage projects!