Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not Forgotten…


{Mary and Ann, about 1904}

Cherished family photos, documents and journals being sorted and piled in an effort to reorganize…

Sweet angel faces keep arising…evidence of daughters much-loved…many times photographed in an era when photography was new and not an everyday occurrence as it is today…


Faces of little sisters…long gone away…

I’ve loved my family history all my life.  Can’t really remember a time when the people and the stories weren’t dear to me…but I’ve always focused mainly on those I’m directly descended from—fathers and mothers—not as much on the great-aunts, great-uncles…

The Hjaldermar & Anna Ostlund Family {My great grandparents, Hjaldermar & Anna Ostlund, with their two oldest daughters—Mary and Anna—about 1908.}

This last week—an overwhelming need to spend time with these three little girls…why? I wondered…

Mary 9, Anna 6, Theodora 21mos, Ostlund {Mary, Anna and Theodora.  Taken 1911.  One hundred years ago…my goodness…}

Three of my great-aunts…Mary, Ann and Theodora…the older sisters of my grandfather, Dow, who I’ve talked about often here…

They lived in the small prairie town of Stirling, Alberta, Canada…this is their grandfather Theodore’s home and general store at the turn of the century…the girls’ mother, Anna, kept shop for her father for years…a quiet, country life…

Three little girls…grew up…

hpqscan0002_edited-1 {Mary…about 1919}

hpqscan0008_edited-1 {Ann…about 1923}

hpqscan0001_edited-1 {Theodora—Dody—about 1914—the only single portrait I have of her}

Mary never married.  Ann married a wealthy, kind man…they traveled the world and truly enjoyed their lives.  Dody was married for a very brief time, and the marriage was annulled…we don’t know why.

Three little girls…no children ever born to call their own…no one to come behind them to remember…

…I will remember…


All three sisters—all grown up—with their mother, Anna (far left)…

Karen with an Ostlund aunt 3

“Auntie Ann” with my sweet mother, Karen…on a rare visit to Canada early in her childhood…such love for and pride in her little niece…

Karen with an Ostlund aunt

Mary taught English in high school for some years, then left teaching to join Dody in the big city of Montreal for a new adventure…

…as proprietors of a high-fashion dress shop…


So glad I have this piece of letterhead stationery from their business venture…

Dody died very suddenly of heart failure when she was about 45.

Mary stayed with her mother for the rest of her life…caring for her and  being a cherished companion…                

Great-Grammie Ostlund and Aunt Mary

…always lovely, always gracious, always so grateful to have our young family of wiggly children come for a visit…

…more stories for other days…


A new page for my heritage album completed last night…


I so enjoyed working on this page as I thought of these three great-aunts of mine…


Beautiful journaling images used are from Crafty Secrets’ “Love Mail” and “Vintage Photos” Creative Scraps…

Mary 9, Anna 6, Theodora 21mos, OstlundDSC01704_edited-1 

In each of the photos of the girls, you can see beautiful lockets, gold baby bracelets, rings…big beautiful ribbons in their hair…here, a locket to represent these sweet gifts of love from their parents…


A border of roses made from some lovely vintage netting given to me by my mother…tinted a bit with some gorgeous Glimmer Mist & each topped off with a  little half pearl…


I love giving my pages texture and dimension…much more interesting to me that way!


Stories told to my three daughters…questions asked, photos pored over…appreciation gained…life lessons learned…love kindled.


Little girls remembered.


Three little sisters, long gone away…not so very far away, after all…


“Memories are the heart’s guardian.”





  1. gosh, julie, this is truly amazing. the detail, the info, your artwork. i'm sorry -- i probably say that in almost every comment but your blog is always such an extraordinary place to visit.


  2. Wow! How wonderful to have these beautiful photos of your family! It saddens me that I have NONE of my side of the family to show my own 3 daughters. Or even to see if they resemble anyone in my family. They just weren't "picture taking farmers." LOL On the other hand, my husband's side of the family has photo documentation of all sorts! I just need to get my hands on some copies of those photos!

  3. *sigh* How wonderful!!!! I spend the evening helping my dad compile and trim down my great-great-great grandmother's autobiography for a submission to "Women of Faith, V. II". So much beautiful and wonderful heritage. I LOVE how you captured their stories!!!

  4. I just re-read my comment...sorry about my disjointedness! LOL!

  5. Beautiful photos of your family! Your card is lovely and the flowers give such wonderful texture!

  6. You have the best family stories and photos!! Truly amazing and inspiring!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Beautiful story of the women and how you presented the scraping pages, so lovely.

  8. Julie, Julie, Julie! What a beautiful post filled with love of family! Such sweet pictures and your pages are stunning. Making memories last forever...

    I am thrilled you made the laundry detergent! Isn't is heavenly? Whenever I make it, it's like making it for the first time! Heehee.

    Love ya,

    P.S. Could you please make a little comment on my Facebook Fan Page? I love to encourage others! :)

  9. PSS..I live in CA too! Where abouts are you? I live in Murrieta, CA. Wouldn't it be great to have a little blog party with lots of us California girls?! xox

  10. Oh Julie, this post made me all teary eyed... what beautiful photos and stories about your three great~aunts... I love the page you have devoted to them, and the little locket makes it even sweeter... of course they are not forgotten... simply beautiful my friend!... xoxo Julie Marie

  11. Wow Julie,
    This post is amazing!! And can I come and see those gorgeous roses? They are breathtaking!!!!

  12. There are no stories
    more beautiful, more
    interesting and yes,
    more precious than
    those plucked from
    real life. Lovely
    ladies all....and a
    special great-niece
    to remember them!
    xx Suzanne

  13. Wonderful, wonderful treasures, those photos! And your heritage page is absolutely gorgeous! I loved this post . . . beautiful words . . . lovely stories . . .

  14. There is nothing I love more then family history.
    Love the photos...love the stories.
    STERLING ALBERTA...seriously, my family is from the Cardston ares, do you know where that is. Not far from Sterling.

  15. geeesh, you'd think I could spell Stirling correctly. anyway, southern alberta, my stomping grounds.

  16. I just want to scoop up Theodora and give her a big hug! What a sweetie.

    How lovely that you have some history attached to the three girls and not just a photo. It's nice to know you will keep their memory alive when otherwise they would disappear into the midst of time. xx

  17. Awwhhhwah! How sweet those little girls were! Love the bows! I so look forward to reading about your family and looking at those old photos. Great stories too, as always!

  18. Julie!
    Hi so happy to visit you again.
    What a beautiful warm hearted story you created about your relatives!
    Beautiful writing and photos are precious.
    Thank you... hugs, Darlene

  19. Hi Julie, my, your garden is so beautiful. And the weather seems to be really nice in California right now. I hope to get to the plant souk this weekend in order to bring some life to my balconies. Many of the plants have not lasted this winter which is quite unusual as it was so mild.

    Your family history is so mesmerizing! It is amazing that you have so many wonderful photos and stories to share. My uncle who died in November was the one who traced my dad's side of the family and gathered together information for a book -- I saw it once, but have no idea where those books are now. Since my dad no longer talks to me, who knows if I will ever have access to any of it. Oh well! C'est la vie!

    Have a bright and beautiful day! Tammy

  20. It's always wonderful to hear about your family history and see those lovely vintage pictures.
    You have created another beautiful page for your heritage album, Julie!

  21. Julie, how wonderful a page you have created here for your heritage album. What a treasure that will be for your girls! You need to make 3 of them so there will be no arguments about who gets it one day!! I am in awe of your journaling/scrapbooking talents, truly. I send you love and hugs on a cool March morning, but in a few days spring will be here and that's a fact! Oh how I love the spring! Love you loads. xxoo

  22. Lovely addition to your heritage album, beautiful details for three beautiful girls!

  23. You knock my socks off...not just with your stories of ages past, but your scrapbooking as well. Love it!

  24. What an awesome post, Julie! Have you thought of publishing some of your photos and stories of family? Your writing is beautiful and heartfelt. I was so touched by this post and many others you've written in the past. Your artwork is lovely and I'm so glad you are sharing it! Just wonderful!

    Also...Thanks for commenting on my picture uploading problem yesterday...I don't know what the issue was but it seems Blogger is working well today. I appreciate your help! (Thanks for the link, too!)
    Have a great day!

  25. Gorgeous heritage layout, Julie, and a beautiful tribute to those three lovely ladies.

  26. It's so wonderful to have those family photos to use - wonderful story to share and an even more wonderful page you've created. I love the softness of the flowers along the bottom - such a well-worn and loved look to them.

  27. These photos are stirring memories of visiting my Nana and her sister and always hoping that their brothers and sisters would stop by while I was there. They were always so much fun to be around!

  28. Hi,
    I love the story and photos of your family and the beautiful tribute you have created in your blog! What a great gift you have given---the story of love. Your photos are beautiful and love your blog design! I'll have to share your blog with a friend of mine who LOVES scrapbooking and stamping. Have a fabulous day! xoxo Kim

  29. Oh, Julie-your roses are so wonderfull-love their shabby look-and color.
    And the dear little girls ,so sweet.
    I still find it fantastic that you, have all those wonderfull storyes to tell-and photoes to show.
    XOX -Dorthe

  30. I loved the story of the sisters. As I have mentioned before you are so lucky to have so many pictures and so much information!!
    Gosh you have me wondering why the marriage was annulled...I'm nosy like that:)

  31. I just love to visit! Your collection of vintage family photo's is so COOL!

  32. Hey Julie, me again too! Okay, you are Northern CA and I am way Southern CA. We can all meet in the middle!!! I am in the Murrieta Stake. I use to be in the Walnut (not Creek) Stake for many years. Here's my email if you ever want to write me! BeehiveCottage@rocketmail.com


  33. What a beautiful tribute to your great-aunts! Your heritage page is stunning, and the story is wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Wonderful post, love the photos!

  35. You are so very blessed to have htese stories and the photographs to go woth them. They are wonderful.

  36. Hi Julie, You would love the book I just finished about Mary Higgins Clark (mystery author) called "Kitchen Privleges". It captures wonderfully just the type of everyday things you love to recall in your family. Very short, a three day read at most. It reminds of the stories you tell. I especially love todays, and your page is just beautiful! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Elizabeth

  37. Priceless photos and memories cherish with a new generation.

    Love your layout and the beautiful rose that you made.

    Have a great weekend.

  38. You have such an interesting family and you are so lucky to know so many details. Beautiful layout. Such sweet little pictures of some sweet little girls. Mimi

  39. Hi Julie, I love your photo's of the 3 sisters, their so sweet.... what a great story! Julie you page is so beautiful and I just love the roses, they add an extra special touch!
    hugs~~~ Daphne

  40. Oh this is gorgeous! You're lucky to have access to your family photos!