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.


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