Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Music Box


It sits on the shelf now…tidily nooked in the china cupboard in my mother’s house…

But once upon a time it sat near a little girl.  A gift lovingly given to one that wasn’t to be long for this world…

Judy sitting on vanity {Judy sits on her mother’s vanity…reflecting}

She was only 7 at the time…blind and cancer-ridden.  The music box came during the Christmas season…a family friend seeking to give what joy he could to this dear little one so loved  by so many…her last Christmas.

Eyes that could no longer see could feel…the tiny, perfectly carved roses…the little birds perched here and there…


…miniature musicians busily playing their instruments.


Little ears could hear the sweet beautiful melody the music box was made to play…a lovely Swiss folksong.

image {the sweet 1950s bedroom shared by my mother and her little sister Judy}

Time passed.  The little girl was gone now…but another little girl slept in the same room, from time to time—visits to her grandmother’s house that filled her with such joy…

 Smith (57)_edited  {little me}

And one of her favorite things?  The little music box that sat next to the bed…nothing was more wonderful to her than to gently wind it up with her chubby little fingers, then lay there quietly listening, while the musicians turned round and round, playing that same sweet, little tune…


The tune could be called up into her mind with perfect clarity whenever she thought of it and wherever she was during her life--no matter how far away from her grandmother’s house she was…and no matter how old she became…

And nothing gives that old girl more joy now than to carefully take that music box off of the shelf in the china cupboard whenever she visits her mother…


…gently turning the key with her older, careful fingers…eyes closed while she listens to that familiar old melody which remains the same, undimmed by the years that have rolled by…


The little music box is loved.  Loved by my mother who shared a room with her little sister Judy.  As she sits quietly and turns the key, the notes of the song remind her of that little girl she loves and misses…

DSC09279_edited-1 {Mom winding the music box while reminiscing…}

And the other little girl—me, loves it because it never fails to remind her of being a little girl in her grandmother’s house so very long ago……………………


A little piece made this week—the music box serving as inspiration…pinks and soft blues the color scheme here…reminiscent of the beautifully painted box…


…perfectly dried, diminutive  rose buds from my garden {my mother’s favorites—Cecil Brunner}, a sweet Frozen Charlotte doll turned fairy {one of my favorite things}…little blue birds and vintage sheet music—and a key, of course…all combine to remind me of that sweet little keepsake of my mother’s…

Wishing you sweet, melody-filled memories today…


Judith Lynn Ostlund portrait, June 1958 {portrait of Judy}

{“Loves Old Sweet Song” and rose images from Crafty Secrets’ “Love Mail” Creative Scraps, Frozen Charlotte and key from the Tim Holtz collection}



  1. Oh, I love this! And I don't think I've ever seen that picture of Judy "reflecting" (très clever, by the way). It's a wonderful picture. That was a fun day watching you and grandma wind up that music box over and over, trying to figure out the name of the song! I didn't realize it had been Judy's. I'll appreciate it even more the next time I see it. Thank you for the beautiful post. I love you!

    1. PS: First "kind words" award goes to me! And that picture of you is flipping adorable. You look a lot like me... ;-)

  2. Julie this is just beautiful all these sweet memories and what you made!! I wish I had the touch you do for coming up with such special creations!

  3. What a sweet post you have written. It's wonderful to get inspiration for creations from mementoes and memorabilia. I've always enjoyed your posts about family.
    And what a beautiful bedroom for two sisters and then a daughter!
    Ladybug Creek

  4. What a wonderful tribute to Judy and her music always tears at my heart when you speak of loved she was! Sandy

  5. My heart...swells with tears for Judy and sings for the sweet memories you have of this beautiful wooden treasure. Thank you again for the gifts you share each time with us...smiles...Renee

  6. This sweet post tugged at my heart. Your charlotte box is beautiful as are your loving memories.


  7. What a beautiful post of sweet memories!! Thank you for sharing!! The music box and your creations are absolutely amazing!! Have a lovely weekend, Julie! xo Heather

  8. What a beautiful music box with such a bittersweet memory.....just lovely, I wish you a wonderful weekend, Ashley

  9. So sad about Judy's short life. How wonderful to have that picture of her. And that music box is beautiful and precious. Have a great weekend. Tammy

  10. tears in my eyes for the sad tale of a little girl's short life. Glad the music box gave such joy to many .
    Your creation is so lovely ,I love your work. janex

  11. You have the best stories and the way you convey them and the way you craft something to honor the story is amazing!

  12. What a tender sweet post Julie. I loved every word, but then, I always feel like that about all of your posts. You are a treasure and I love you dearly! Cold and wet here today . . . where did spring go??? xxoo

  13. What a touching story and I love the piece that the music box inspired you to make! You looked a lot like Judy when you were a child! I'm glad you received the package safely and that you like everything :)

    Sandy xox

  14. A beautiful story! How wonderful that a sweet little object can tie so many people together - thanks for you sharing!

  15. You should really be writing books!!! What a beautiful post....your tin is gorgeous!

  16. This reminds me of the shoe collection I have that belonged to my grandmother. I could look but not touch. I have them packed away in a box with stuffing. A lovely memory of your Aunt.
    Funny what the mind can dig up. Treasures from the past.

  17. So precious! The music box and Judy. Mimi

  18. How blessed you are to have such a beautiful family story and actual visual pieces of that history to share with us today! Blessed indeed!
    Thanks for sharing!

  19. "little you" is so cute.
    What a lovely post. There truly is something magical about a music box, and THIS one has a great story about it.

  20. Oh Julie, We have enjoyed so many wonderful posts about this very special sister. These memories are all the more precious as seen through your mother's eyes. Thank you for sharing your loving family with us! Elizabeth

  21. Absolutely Beautiful Dear Julie. Your Piece, your Story and the Music Box. I Love reading your Stories. What a Beautiful Piece you Created for your Aunt!
    Have a Wonderful Day my Friend!

  22. What a beautiful story of the love of sisters that span generations. I so enjoy reading your family stories and seeing your lovely artwork.

  23. So beautiful, so sad - so lovely that the music box helps keep the memories and connections alive, beautiful photos
    Mary x

  24. Es ist mir eine große Freude, Ihre Website zu besuchen und Ihren ausgezeichneten Beitrag hier zu genießen. Ich mag es sehr. Ich kann fühlen, dass Sie viel Aufmerksamkeit für diesen Artikel bezahlt, als sie alle Sinn machen und sind sehr nützlich. Vielen Dank für das Teilen.

  25. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh that was beautifully written :-)

  26. I am not one to comment much but this story touched me!! Judy is a beautiful angel in heaven!!

    I have a lump in my through so I have to go!!

    God Bless