Monday, January 28, 2013

Songs my Mother taught me # 7

 When my mother married and had children shortly after WW2, there were shortage of almost every thing in Norway. For five years house, clothes and food supplies had been forced shipped from Norway to Germany, leaving us with crumbs and ration cards. Housewives were busy lining up in stores when special offers were on the market. My father had priority, because he worked in an office where he had to wear a suit, a white collar shirt and a tie. I remember my mother bought him suits with two trousers, so they would last longer. When the trousers were too worn, she snip them back to pieces, wash and iron the fabric and turn the fabric inside out. Thus she had material for clothes to my brother and me. Recycling was a must and not only a virtue.
My ski suit had red checkered fabric on the collar and the pockets. I thought I was very well dressed. My brother got an overcoat from my mother's old old winter jacket and had home knitted, thick tights made from  and old jumper. The trick with wool yarn was to range up the knitting, then wash it gently and let it dry around the long side of some newspapers. This way it would stretch out again.
My grandmother had 18 grandchildren in Norway to whome she knitted caps, scarves and mittens for Christmas. The sons in law got long, gray socks. My brother is wearing a grandmother cap on this picture.
 

My mother never stopped her handicraft labor. She would always have two or three projects waiting beside her armchair. She embroidered national costumes, bunads,which would last almost forever. Serina has a Hardanger bunad with pearl embroidered breast cloths, belt and purse. She used the same items from when she was four till the age of 12, one short and one long skirt, shirt and apron included. Now Serina has inherited my mother's bunad and also have one my mother made for her confirmation. I have had my bunad with lots of silver from my youth. This way we have dresses for Christmas, weddings, confirmations and May 17th celebration. Indeed a worthwhile investment.

Normally we ship at least 8 garbage bags filled with clothes to charity every year. I guess we have done so this year already. Nevertheless Serina is attending a sewing class just now, in order to recycle some of her grandmother's old garments. She's doing it from love and not from need. I think it's a wonderful way to honor and continue my mother's heritage.

Photo  © 2012 by Magical Mystical Teacher


Ruby Tuesday 2

16 comments:

Karen said...

What a lovely post about your family history. The national costumes are beautiful.

Jada's Gigi said...

What a sweet tribute to your mother and a fun and sentimental project for Serina. would love to see what she comes up with.

Gemma Wiseman said...

An absolutely beautiful, fascinating post! Enjoyed this insight into your family history! That first photo is adorable and the costumes are amazing!

Annie said...

Such a heartwarming post, Elise. I love hearing stories of your mother. These stories keep her very much alive. The bunads are so beautiful. Just think, someday, if Serena is blessed with a little girl, she will have her mother's, her grandmother's and her great-grandmother's bunads. What a treasure.

Felisol - Elise Ljung said...

Actually Serina already has four bunads in her possession. The forth was made in 1903 by great grandmother Serina. My Serina has only used it once. Her great grandmother was a small woman, who nevertheless gave birth to nine children.

Ralph said...

In these days, we westerners have become soft, preferring often to purchase clothing that is cheap and not at all long lasting. Much is to be said for reusing and reclaiming higher quality articles. I wish that I could sew...

This look at three generations is loving and wonderful!

Laura said...

beautiful images and memories.

Lauren Davenport said...

Great photos and lovely stories. I could read these heartwarming memories of yours for hours on end. I hope you continue to share more.

Jackie said...

This is a very lovely post about your family history and I love your clothing!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Debbie Petras said...

Such lovely bunads! Your mother was quite creative and so helpful in your family. You know my grandmothers and my mother all sewed, knit and did embroidery. I do none of those things. I wish I had taken an interest.

I have to thank you for your comments on Heart Choices. Whenever I see your name, I smile. I'm so glad we can visit one another and see what goes on in our lives. You are a blessing to me Felisol!

Love,
Debbie

Crown of Beauty said...

A beautiful story, dear Felisol. What an industrious woman your mother was. I love reading your stories about her, and what you have inherited from her. May these beautiful memories continue to warm your heart.

Love
Lidia

Steve E said...

With all the wonderfula art and poetry circulating...my mind, soul, and body was/is read for simple short, excellent photo-story. of what it used to be like, what happened, and what it is like now.

Thank you for this respite, the pause that refreshes.
PEACE!

Enjoyed your visit with me, Felisol!

Steve E said...

With all the wonderfula art and poetry circulating...my mind, soul, and body was/is read for simple short, excellent photo-story. of what it used to be like, what happened, and what it is like now.

Thank you for this respite, the pause that refreshes.
PEACE!

Enjoyed your visit with me, Felisol!

Steve E said...

With all the wonderfula art and poetry circulating...my mind, soul, and body was/is read for simple short, excellent photo-story. of what it used to be like, what happened, and what it is like now.

Thank you for this respite, the pause that refreshes.
PEACE!

Enjoyed your visit with me, Felisol!

Mrs. Mac said...

The human plight during the war time and after it was very industrious .. it is good that Serina is learning to tap into that resource .. through her Grandmother's example. Lovely, national outfits .. and of excellent quality .. sewn with love.

Amrita said...

Your mum was such a thrifty , creative and prudent lady. I love her handiwork, specially the bunads.
We also wore a lot of recycled clothes when we were growing up, my Mom liked recycling old clothes, nothing should be wasted and put to its maximum use. Its good stewardship too
God bless Felisol