Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Handcraft

Theme ~ Swedish Rhapsody


Wood carving is a centuries old tradition in Sweden. Here are some examples from our home. When my cousin gave us these candle holders, he was worried they wouldn't fit with our decor, but they fit in perfectly, both in Los Angeles and here in our canyon home.


The Dala horse, perhaps our most famous symbol although on my last visit this little horse seemed to be overshadowed by the ever present Moose!


I was blessed to have two women who loved me very much as I grew up, my mother, and my girlfriend Barbro's mother, Elsa. Elsa gave me this heart and I will always treasure it. 


A blue version of the Dala horse.


Beautiful ceramic pieces have become a part of Swedish tradition. This plate is a fun example of 1960s Swedish style.


This is a part of a Christmas runner, made by my grandmother. She was of a generation whose hands were never idle. And she was very, very good at embroidery, lace making, dress making, and so on. I have a tablecloth she embroidered that is a work of art. The reverse side is as clean and beautiful as the front. (I would have to spend a lot of time ironing it before I can post a picture, so I'll save that for one of my Tuesday's Treasure posts.) Even though she was well into her 80s when she made this runner for me, I'm sure the cross stitch was a very simple thing for her to do.


Beautiful textiles also come out of Sweden. I have four rag rugs and they each have a story to tell. Somehow, my dad found a farm family not to far from Stockholm, where we lived. They took in laundry and for years they did ours. The farm wife also wove these beautiful rag rugs, so my parents  gathered all our old clothes and other materials and she made four rugs for me. So in this rug, I can find remnants of dresses that I wore as a child. Except for this house, I have always had wood floors with the rugs spread out. Now I alternate them in the hallway. 



The Swedish flag will always be the one to touch my heart.

24 comments:

  1. Inger, you have such wonderful traditions and treasures from your childhood! You are BLESSED!...:)JP

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  2. The Dala horses are my favorite. They always have been! We had a few when I was growing up and I treasured them.

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  3. Vad roliga grejer du plockade ut typiska för Sverige. Måste kolla i mina gömmor. Den röda duken tycker jag mig känna igen. Undrar om mamma gjorde en sådan?
    Nu är snön nästan borta och det skall bli varmare. Hoppas att man vår börja med trädgården snart..Kram!

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  4. Lovely items....I have a Dala horse too....a very tiny one!

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  5. my father made rag rugs. thanks for the memory. :)

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  6. Those rag rugs! What a lovely family story - and you still have the rugs to remind you.

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  7. I have a Dala horse. I did not know the origin until now. I always thought one of my relatives brought it back from Mexico. Thank you for setting me straight.

    I'm catching up on my A to Z visits this a.m.

    Lucy

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  8. I adore the Swedish carvings. The Swedish Art Institute was one of my favorite places to visit while I was spent most of my life in Minneapolis. Always such gracious people to talk to. That rag rug is a piece of art.

    I knoched on your door early this morning, but you weren't up yet. He He

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  9. I'm amazed at the rag rugs! - it's the first time I've heard of such a thing ... I wonder what could be done with African designs ...

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  10. I love ALL of them, but the rag rugs must bring back special memories!

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  11. Hello Inga: I love your treasures. Absolutely beautiful. My mother taught me to knit and many other needlework crafts. I treasure the things she made. It is sad that none of my nieces have an interest in crafts. In my community that seems the trend with young folk. Is this an indication that home crafts will be lost in the future?
    Feather

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  12. I always enjoy your blog. I've learned so much of the Swedish culture.

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  13. Oh Inger...what lovely handcrafts those are. The little boy and girl in the first picture are adorable and all that follow so special. I'm glad you have such a connection to your past. I love the runner...wow! that is gorgeous..Great H word my dear!

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  14. My mother was a great quilter, and still makes plenty of stuff- most recently a knitted princess doll for her first great-grandaughter. These are the best treasures to have. I am rubbish at most of these more practical homecrafts, but I have many younger friends who are keen knitters. There seems to be a resurgence of interest, which can only be a good thing. Your collection is lovely :-)

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  15. You have some wonderful treasures Inger. The rag rugs are fascinating, but there is something about that little heart that really intrigues me.

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  16. Lovely treasures! I like the cheerful style of them, especially that plate.

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  17. Beautiful items from your homeland!

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  18. Oh, I LOVE everything Swedish. There was a great place, a small place not far from where I grew up in Salt Lake City; a place where the Swedish had settled not long after the pioneers settled Salt Lake. With my memory, I can't remember its name right now, but I loved driving through it and seeing the houses and craft stores. I especially like your first photograph!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  19. Beautiful! I remember the Christmas runner from one of your holiday posts. It's truly gorgeous.

    Thanks, Inger, for the e-mail. I'll get back to you soonest.

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  20. Your collection is beautiful. I love the two dolls and both the horses. Thanks for sharing:)

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  21. Your collection is beautiful. I love the two dolls and both the horses. Thanks for sharing:)

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  22. You've had wonderful connections with handy people. Lucky you!

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  23. I love listening to stories my Grandpa tells of our family in Sweden. As a kid, slide shows from his trips back home were never boring. All of us kids eagerly sprawled out on the floor to view the pictures and listen to his tales. Thank you for sharing!

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  24. Hi Inger .. such great historical and family memories .. I love them all - rag rugs too .... with your childhood memories woven into them ..

    Such fun and great to see - thank you - Hilary

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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