Hello friend! I hope you're enjoying this beautiful July and what I hope are milder temperatures in TN. We're finally having some summer weather here, woohoo! I'm wearing a dress today, for the first time... ever in Seattle?! Anyway, enough giddiness, I'm going to make the clouds come back. Today, I thought I would share some photos that mean a lot to me. I've shown them to you before but thought it might be good inspiration for all of us to post them here...
As you know, last summer we visited friends and family in France and Italy for 3 weeks. It was a wonderful whirlwind trip where we got catch up with everyone, brush up on culture (and language skills...), and Ben finally got to meet my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. While we were visiting my mother's parents, I took my camera around their home and documented a lot of items. Old photos, family heirlooms, random things that bring up fond and distant memories for me.
In the pink play room, hanging on the wall for as long as I can remember is a beautiful assortment of samplers. These are embroidery samplers that my grandmother Colette, her mother Marie Antoinette, and her own mother and grandmother, made at school. Based on the dates, it would seem they were all between 7 and 10 years of age when they accomplished these lovely works of craftsmanship.
Here are the samplers embroidered by my own Mamie Coco and her mother Marie Antoinette (my sweet great-grandmother who passed away at the beautiful age of 102 a few years ago. I'm so thankful my hubby got to meet her! She had put on lipstick and a special dress for our visit!):
I think these next ones were made by my great-great grandmother (maybe my mom can correct me if I'm getting the specifics of the family tree wrong):
And I believe these last two were made by my great-great-great grandmother, Marie Leleu.
It seems the further back in time you look, the more elaborate and detailed the embroidery is. I remember learning the basics of embroidery, crocheting and sewing in 4th or 5th grade when I still lived in France, which I think is pretty cool, but nothing as fancy as this stuff. I am so glad my grandmother has kept and cherished these family heirlooms.
This last one is probably my favorite. (I am sorry the picture is so crappy. The reflection off the glass was terrible.) Based on the other samplers' dates, I am guessing this one was made around 1888. My grandmother explained to me that these types of samplers showcased the various skills learned by the girls at school: patching, darning, monogramming, making a button hole, working with lace, etc.
Isn't it incredible? My great-great grandmother was probably about 10 years old when she stitched these. It makes my jaw drop. I can't remember what I was doing at 10 years old, but it sure wasn't anything that focused and intricate.
That's about it for my little tour down family memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it! It makes me crave a visit to France and some hugs from my grandpa...
Jenny what amazing pieces! So much history, and I love that they all created the pieces around the same age. Waldorf schools are the only ones I know that consistently encourage handwork, I think it's a real shame that it's not part of the American educational experience for young children. I wish I had learned myself at that age!