Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M ~ Make it Yourself! #atozchallenge

All Aboard! "It's Very Swedish..." a train on a cultural journey through Sweden, exploring the differences big and small between American and Swedish culture.

I feel like I'm letting you down on the whole childhood pictures thing, so I went on a quest for you today.  It was a quest through four photo-albums, with a completely different agenda than when I first wrote the title to this post back in January.

I was going to talk about scratch cooking, but we've really covered that topic quite thoroughly, so I thought I'd keep the title, but share some of the things that I've made, or helped make, or had made for me.

Some of these were made when we still lived in Sweden, but some are from after we moved to the US.  I guess my cultural comparison point is that it's the family that makes the difference, not the culture.  I have a lot of American friends whose moms made all their clothes and cooked from scratch, and some who did not.

Some of my Swedish friends had all store bought clothes, some did not.  One common thread (pats self on back for clever metaphor) is that knitting and crocheting have been a part of my life and the lives of my friends in both my countries.  That makes this a, "I guess we're a lot alike in a lot of ways, too!" post. Enjoy the pictures.  May my siblings not kill me...

This is Farmor, with about 1/8 of DataBoy, rolling out the dough for the buns from the B post, with Swissie in the background, working on something else.  We baked a lot with Farmor. She was infinitely patient.

This is me baking with Farmor, I'm guessing the summer I was either 14 or 16, because it's Farmor's kitchen, but I'm older than when we lived there. Notice we're still making buns...told you a lot of them were made.

What do you do when you're crazy about horses, but can't have one?  Make your own, out of the swing set. Notice we're riding horses NOT swinging.  Joachim is banished to the stable for some crime I no longer remember.  The Swede helped us build the stable. (Yes, I'm in the red shorts.)

I'm in the blonde braids (surprise) and that's my best friend Ann-Charlotte, 2 magical years older than me, and our neighbor across the backyard.  It's her little brother, my age, who was banished to the stable. She taught me a lot about sewing, and we're making doll clothes.  Note the hanging bibs we made.  Of course I copied hers...though you'll notice her embroidery is better.

Ann-Charlotte's mom made her those groovy overalls, and I had to have some, so The Nutritionist, who could also go by The Seamstress (she made me almost all my nightgowns and dresses and bathrobes of my childhood), made me a matching pair. (That's Swissie between us.)

Here's one of the bathrobes she made me.

Here's something *I* made.  I knit this teddy bear, with lots and lots of help from Farmor, and then she sewed it together for me, but I did the knitting.  I still have it.  Yes, I save too many things.

Not sure how old I am in this picture, but it's at least fifth grade, which is when Swissie got her cat, Pippi, as in Longstocking, by famous Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.

Did you learn crafts growing up? Who taught you?  Do you still craft?

~Tina, dying to procrastiknit, but has way too much to do...procrastination will have to wait...

©2014 All Rights Reserved
All photos taken by family members.  Probably Momarazzi...


CA Heaven said...

Pippi was my hero, because she didn't obey the rules and norms.

Regarding make it yourself, we also had the things going on in the fall: Making jam from blueberries, lingonberries and cloudberries that we picked in the forest. My father still do this, but I must admit I'm not keeping up >:)

Cold As Heaven

D Biswas said...

You were such a cute kid, Tina, as were your siblings :). Miss talking to you!

Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Did you knit Pippi as well?
Impressive you could make so many things. Even with a little help.
I could put together model airplanes and cars - does that count?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina - I can add my mother in there .. she made a lot of our clothes and taught me to sew, and to cook .. which I still do - sewing = no more. Wool and I and many other fabrics don't mix .. so nothing in that directions ...

Lots of Victoria sponges ... lots - mostly uncooked versions in my tummy!

Doll to play with ... don't remember a soft toy ... delighted you've still got your teddy though .. I've got Mum's Hardwick - except she inherited him .. he's still here ..

Cheers Hilary

Brian Miller said...

its cool that you had such a relationship with farmor...and that she taught you so much....

JoJo said...

Do I still craft? Hmmm...let me think. LOL I was mostly given craft kits for my birthday and Christmas, which I very much enjoyed. In summer I got activity books, new crayons and paints, and paint by number kits too. There wasn't much 'from scratch' either in cooking or crafting w/ my family. I tried to make doll clothes once but I didn't realize that they had to be sewn inside out, so all my doll clothes had big seams and excess fabric stickout out!!! I loved Pippi Longstocking movies and books.

Anonymous said...

Hello. :) I baked and crocheted with my grandmother and today I crochet and quilt. She was Swedish. Her father's family was from near Filipstad and her mother's family from Stockholm. I just found your posts today but I'll be reading all of your A-to-Z to date and following forward. :)


Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Tina,

You were such a pretty little girl. Such a sweet face...and the heart to go with it!

I LOVED crafts, still do! But I was mostly self taught. My dad didn't appreciate my creative side so it was tabu for a long time.

But eventually I won out, but had to do it all on my own. My mom was a business woman and wasn't interested either.

I received these gifts from my grandparents who had died by the time I was nine.

Kathe W. said...

I don't remember makig too many "crafty" things...but for years now I have made baby quilts- over 50...and yep each one was made for a specific baby. All different and a heck of a lot of fun!
Here's a link to an earlier post this year that shows some quilts made this year:

Andrew Leon said...

I did ceramics because my mom did, and I learned cross-stitch and needlepoint in school. I still like to cross-stitch, but I haven't done it in a while.

Julekha Khatun said...

Wow Tina ...beautiful picture :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Tina, I'm enjoying your A to Z. I make all sorts of things. I was taught at home and at school and I have developed more skills later. I have even pretended to be a young person and learned from YouTube!
Tomorrow I'll be featuring a Swedish musical instrument for N.

Anonymous said...

Loved, loved Pippi. Thanks for such an array of fun pictures. I had an a-ha moment while I was viewing about generational differences. All my childhood pics are black & white; yours are color; and I bet today's kids' are either digital only or perhaps some printed in scrapbooks. But they aren't prints from those little yellow Kodak film canisters like ours.

amanda lee said...

I made lots of crafts! My mom sewed and embroidered, but didn't craft till much later. She hated quilted, knitting and crochet, as to her they were unnecessary chores that cut into time that could be spent reading about politics and collecting petitions. She actually hated sewing, too, but liked designing clothes, and liked high quality clothes, so she considered sewing a necessary evil. She didn't quite know what to do with me and my passion for "making". Funny thing, in her retirement years, she became passionate about beadwork, so we would make jewelry when we got together.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Great family photo share, I was looking in an old photo book from my great grandparents the other day... I forgot where I was going.

I was out for a virtual walk today, so I thought let's visit the great A to Z team!

Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2014]

Old is the New Cool...

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

Reflecting back on your younger days in all those photos. Good stuff and it's always neat to see how we were. Okay, maybe not in my case :)

No crafts for me. Although I did knit a scarf when I was eight years old.

Gary :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

You were very cute in your teens. Making things yourself is a great value lost a lot in today's generation. But I think it is making a come back.

Jo said...

The only thing I ever learned with any proficiency was cooking. I once made a gingham skirt and a raglan sleeved sweater. That was the extent of my abilities. I did have a time when I painted, did embroidery, wrote poetry, and so on, but none of them lasted and I wasn't much good at any of them.

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

I am definitely not crafty at all- I wish I was though! Can't believe those overalls are homemade!

Anonymous said...

It looks like you all had a lot of fun in those pictures!
#AtoZChallenge http://virtuallyallsorts.wordpress.com

Romi C said...

Thank you for sharing wonderful pictures. I especially like the teddy bear you knit.

I love making teddy bears. I sew and crochet them. In fact, one of the threads running through my A to Z Challenge this year is my teddy bears.


Anonymous said...

"procrastination will have to wait..." lol, can I steal that? :)

I've never learned any crafts, or any baking recipes for that matter. Hopefully my wife knows some of that stuff so my little girls can learn.

Pippi Longstocking was the only Swedish thing I knew of until I was about 15 (aside from the Swedish fish candy, of course) Thanks for sharing all these pics from your childhood!

The Pedestrian Writer

Darla Sue Dollman said...

I actually wrote an article once about how my parents would make all of our Christmas presents, and I remember those gifts so well. They were wonderful. I now make scrap books and other gifts for my children. I wish I had my mother's sewing skills--she also made our clothes!

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