Monday, September 5, 2011

Little Dutch Girls

My grandmother was as Irish as they come...with a little Scottish blood thrown in for good measure but as you may know, the Irish and the Scots are often of mixed heritage between the two but still identify solely as one or the other. My great great grandmothers on her side of the family both came to America in 1849-50, the years of the Irish potato famine.

My grandmother's family settled in an enclave of Irish mine workers outside of Pittsburgh PA and lived there for several generations. They were poor but they were proud.

Somewhere along the way my grandmother developed a fondness for little Dutch girls. Was it because they were blond and she was not? That they had smooth pale skin where her relatives all had freckles and red blotches? The 1865 novel "Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates" by Mary Mapes Dodge was enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the early 1900s when my grandmother was a child so perhaps there is a connection there. I know that it was one of her favorite books and that as very young children we watched the movie on her old black and white television with her.

Anyway, she collected all sorts of Dutch pictures and little knickknacks and hung things like this in her kitchen to write her shopping notes or recipe notes on.
It could hold a little pad of paper but she often thumb tacked paper on it to write on as well. There was also a place for a pencil in the wooden butter churn. This is a very sweet piece but I can't keep everything.
As mentioned in an earlier post my grandmother also collected knick knacks and postcards and in her collection of cards I also found these sweet Dutch children.
Many of my grandmother's pieces have moved on to live with my sister, my kids and my cousins and we have all tried to keep as many as was/is feasible but sometimes it is best to let things move on and find a good home. I'm hoping these will make someone else smile the way they made my grandmother smile.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Old the box!

My grandmother loved cards and postcards. When we were children she sent postcards to my sister and me all the time even though she lived fairly close by and we saw her often. After her death I found boxes of postcards and over the years I have sorted through them and organized them, trying to condense the collection and figure out what to do with it. I even have my great aunt's postcard albums from the early 1900s. It's a LOT of postcards, well into the thousands....and I just don't have room for them all and my kids have no interest in them whatsoever. I have begun to list some in my Muna's Treasures Etsy Shop.

These are particularly cool ones--a very rare Scottish Halloween Card from 1915
and this John Winsch card from 1913
 There are literally hundreds more where these came from so I will be listing for days if not weeks. Please stop on over at Muna's Treasures to take a look--they are just fun to browse!

Do you have old cards and postcards from your family? Do you save them? Throw them away? Put them in albums?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Things our grandmothers said...

Did your grandmother have lots of funny and old fashioned expressions? Mine sure did...

Whenever we sat down to eat at her table we would first say grace but then she would look up, grin, and say, "Pick, shovel and dig!" I used to think that was the funniest thing ever, especially since I thought she said pig, not pick!

Remember being told to "Hold your horses!" ? I would always, always say....but I don't have any horses and my grandmother would say, "Watch that mouth, young lady."

She would give directions "as the crow flies" and threaten to "lambaste" us if we were fresh. When we were anxiously awaiting something she would remind us "that a watched pot never boils" and when someone was gossiping about someone else she would often whisper to my mother, "Now there's a pot calling the kettle black" which always confused me. I didn't see any pots or kettles....

Did your grandmother have fun sayings? Please add them in the comments.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm back!

It has been a long year filled with many trials and tribulations and after many months of working through things I seem to be on the mend so I am back at work once again. I still have so many wonderful things of my grandmother's to share and am also working on writing down the stories she told and the stories I remember of her as well so stay tuned. I'll be posting more regularly very soon. In the meantime I've been putting the contents of her sewing baskets up in my Etsy shop.

I also found this little collection of nail files

and these cool old keys and nails came from an elderly friend...

You can find all these and more at Muna's Treasures on Etsy.