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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Embroidery from the past

My paternal grandfather celebrated (I use the term loosely) his 90th birthday in Bathurst on the weekend.

(we lit the candles and he walked away... overcome? pissed that we took him out for dinner when he didn't want a fuss? just sick of having family around? who knows...)

I've never really spent much time with my paternal grandparents but I remember the bits and pieces that they have around the house. The last time I was there was for my grandmother's funeral. A combination of having my husband and his insatiable curiosity about family and history, and the children's brazen invasion of the whole house made me look at some of these things anew. Like this incredible cross stitch map of the Netherlands (where my family is from).

My dad was born here in Leeuwarden.

The work in it is amazing.

Its filled with lovely little details - an ice skater, a horse, a boat (and three things that look like nuclear submarines - but I suspect not)

It makes me so sad when I think that she could have shared so much with me about her love of craft and her country. But we never really felt comfortable with each other. But she certainly had skill and talent and she must have shared some genetically with me...


Gina said...

Wow, that IS an amazing piece of work.

I often wonder what it would have been like to learn and talk craft with a grandmother. I don't even know if mine were creative... the whole crafting thing certainly skipped a generation in our family, and I am quite envious of that whole idealised vision that some people present of sitting at their grandma's feet learning to knit, that sort of thing!

Michelle said...

The Lolkus side of my family comes from Beetgum, which is so close to Leeuwarden we could almost be related. Mind you, they did move from Beetgum to Heenvliet in the south in 1743, and then on to Schiedam so .... perhaps not.

The embroidery is fantastic! It's sad that your Oma didn't get the chance or the inclination to share her craft with you, but obviously there's a lot to be said for crafting genes too. Glad you got them!

knitting sprouts said...

oh to be old and cranky enough to be able to walk off !

good work getting those genes. it is sad what we don't get to share tho isn't it?

Olivia said...

The birthday party sounds a bit awkward. But wow, I just love that cross-stitched map! (Off to search for photos of cross-stitched/embroidered maps now) My grandmas are/were both crafty, which has been a source of bonding for us, which I mostly appreciated - despite a difficult relationship with Grandma.