Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweet Little Lessons

Little girls…standing alongside mothers and grandmothers as they learn the skills every girl should know…

…in the kitchen…learning measurements, scraping, pouring…flour on little cheeks and noses…baking secrets passed down through generations of mothers in the family…

…young hands beside more experienced hands…learning the things they need to know…

{beautiful hands…two of my daughters learning how to make my mother’s cinnamon rolls right along side her…}

In the garden…learning what herbs are helpful, which plants help each other in the kitchen garden…watering, weeding…growing…

…learning to have faith that a tiny seed will turn into something beautiful…

Cleaning and caring for the home…

…grandmother teaches the young ones how to fold the table linens “just so”…how to wash the china and crystal till they sparkle and shine…

…helping mother with daily chores…


…vacuuming (making pretty patterns in the carpet)…

…dusting, mopping…

…laundry…so many things to learn from those more experienced while we are young…

Learning to make the home a lovelier place…

Learning the age-old crafts from skillful hands…

…mothers and grandmothers patiently sitting while chubby little hands fumble with their first knitting needles…

…crochet hooks, needle and thread…

{my mother with my daughter Sarah}

…learning to make clothes all on their own…self-sufficiency being taught with love…

{Mom with daughter Annie}

…embroidery, needlework…

…hand-stitching…beautiful, useful things to be made to add beauty to the home and knowledge to the maker…


In 1912, a wonderful woman by the name of Jane Eayre Fryer, published the first in a series of juvenile books designed to teach young girls fundamental domestic skills…

…the result was a delightful series of books—magically illustrated and beautifully written--that are still collected and cherished today…

mary frances 1_edited-1


…and that were given to me, as a young mother, by my own wonderfully creative mother, for my daughters—and for me—to learn from…

mary frances 2_edited-1

In homage to this sweet little series…and to the mother and grandmothers that taught me…a little piece I made this weekend…


The beautiful blue background paper was printed from Crafty Secrets’ wonderful new “Creating with Vintage Patterns” CD…

The “stitching” around the paper is actually stamped—using a running stitch border stamp found in Crafty Secrets’ “Sew Special” stamp set…easy peasy!


I enjoyed selecting vintage elements to add to this from old, worn sewing kits—some handed down to me, some found at yard sales…


…beautiful pearl-topped pins from my grandmother’s sewing box…lovely golden-eyed needles from a  VERY old English set of sharps…


…vintage sheets of needles…pretty, old needle-threader…embroidery floss…and my favorite mother-of-pearl buttons…


…a stamped pair of vintage scissors, carefully cut out & topped with glassy glaze for a more metallic look…from Crafty Secrets’ “Sew Special” stamp set…


…and the sweetest of images, from Crafty Secrets’ “Sew Nice” Creative Scraps…the image is from the Mary Frances books, of course…don’t you wish we all had a fairy helper?


Generations of little girls…standing beside loving mothers and grandmothers…learning to become young ladies…

{My 4th great-grandmother, Louisa, with my 2nd great-grandmother, Ida…}

…that’s the way it’s always been…that’s the way it always will be…


I guess we all have fairy helpers, after all…


See you soon with something new…



  1. What a wonderful storybook series. I have never heard of. These are the things I long to bring back. I have been teaching my daughter these tips and also my boys so that they may be helpful to their wives someday. This maybe a favorite piece. Although all of your work is gorgeous. You know I adore sewing bits...thanks for always sharing...Renee

  2. What a wonderful way to pay homage to your mother. I like the elements used in this page. Your collection of books are a treasure. I think I may start looking around for one or two in my area. As always, it is fun to see what you are creating and the way you weave your love of family into your creative projects.

  3. Oh Julie,
    What a wonderful tribute...and I ADORE the piece you made--it is beyond amazing!! All the details--such perfection!!! WOW!!

  4. I love this post...I can only hope to inspire and teach my daughters in the same way. Your piece is beautiful!


  5. Fabulous post! Loved the walk down memory lane with all those vintage pictures. Excellent and beautiful card at the end of it. Well done!

  6. Wonderful, inspirational and beautiful post!

  7. This post pulls at my heart~strings! All the wonderful things I have learned and I give thankfulness are to my darling mother and sweet grandmothers! I love the pictures of your daughters and mother. Priceless. Your card is beautiful Julie. You do such lovely paper-crafts! I LOVE the book collection your mother gave you as a young mother!!! Smart mother of yours! xox

  8. What a sweet post and how true. I love those Mary Frances old books and those vintage stamped scissors look so real at first glance I thought they were.

  9. Wonderful and inspiring words Julie and a lovely piece of work to go with it. You know I have those stamps and had to go and look as I've never noticed the running stitch stamp! Mind you, there are about 30 stamps on the sheet and I was most upset when I lost the little safety pin - still hoping it will turn up stuck to something else (story of my life!) Your Mum looks really proud of your girls - its so good that they have the opportunity to learn from her as well as you. x

  10. What a wonderful post. I love the books, the photos and your lovely work of art!

  11. Julie,
    I love you Mary Francis collection! Isn't it amazing how beautifully the colors of each illustration have remained true!
    A great post with a great new card, luv the vintage accents!

  12. Hi Julie. Love this post. It takes me back - wishing my Mom and Grandma were still here. All the things they taught me, sewing, canning, cooking, baking, and I think my best memory is of us making jam.
    I'm going to look for those books! I think they are perfect!
    Have a wonderful day!

  13. What a beautiful piece Julie. Love the sweet vintage bits that you added. They help tell your story beautifully!

  14. Oh Julie, this was such a wonderful post and how lucky are your daughters to be taught at the hands of your mother. Your memories are always so interesting and filled with love and respect for all who have gone before. Your card is sweet as well.
    Have a restful Sunday~

  15. How wonderful that you have these books and old family photos--what treasures! Love the new/old memory you created with all the special sewing touches.

  16. I actually have one of those Jane Fryer books. It's so cool! Love what you did with the images. So fun to go see that family home. Such a treasure. Mimi

  17. Great post Julie,

    Love all the reminders of days gone by. My mom and I are reliving the old days, singing songs, looking over old pictures, etc. Your lovely little layout is just perfect.


  18. im not close to my grandmother at all. never really have been. when my kids start to have kids of their own I plan to be the kind of nana you described. :}

  19. Traditions carried down through the years from mother to daughter are beautiful ones Julie. I love how you share these with us and in such a beautiful way. Loved the pics of your mum with your girls and I adore you newest creation! No surprise there! Love you! xxoo

  20. Such a sweet post...brings back memories of my Grandma and me. xoxo Hugs to you my friend.

  21. What a lovely post and priceless pictures of the beauty of passing down life's lessons from generation to generation. Love all the little details of your beautiful artwork.

    Have a great week.

  22. I LOVE your lay out but, most of all those books are amazing! I have to find some for myself!!!! Thanks for sharing & turning me on to yet, another MUST HAVE! Now, I'm off to EBay to find them. HUGS!

  23. What a beautiful piece, and such a wonderful tribute to the traditions handed down through the women of the family!

  24. Who knew that homekeeping could be so delightful. Those books must make even every day chores seem like wonderful tasks. Love the family photo and your sweet card. It's so great that you and your mom are passing on these valuable skills to your daughters. Hope your day is great. Tammy

  25. WOW ... it's just wonderful how your blog has grown over the year and what amazing posts you share with us week to week! LOVE the photos of your daughters learning from your mom ... what treasures!!!
    You (and your family) just warm my heart and my daughters too ... for she & granddaughter Morgan always enjoy spending time with MY mother and learning all those things from years past!
    GREAT JOB on your postings and your creations my friend ... keep up the awesome work and thanks again SO MUCH for sharing with us all!! HUGS!

  26. What fond memories you have given me, I remember learning so much from my Grandmother. Wonderful post Julie and such a sweet card full of Love!
    hugs Lynn

  27. Kristina M. AndersonAugust 22, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    Lovely card and sentiment. Thank you for sharing.

  28. I'm a new follower...I think I'll really like your artistic beautiful blog!