Dear-to-me family treasures

There is something wonderful to me about things from the past! I love the old fashioned treasures…wood burning cook stoves…beautiful quilts…wood furniture…doilies…maybe because of their simplicity and loveliness and yet usefulness! This same simplicity, beauty, and practicality is something that I am desiring to work towards here in my own home.

I am blessed when I see all of the wonderful things from the past that I have been given to enjoy as my own sweet heirlooms ~ and what treasured keepsakes these are to me! May I share a few of them with you?

My great grandmother made this lovely afghan for my grandmother and now I am so happy to be able to enjoy it in my home. It is so beautifully made and I love the time and care that went into making such a lovely piece of handiwork! A number of years ago, my mother-in-law gave me two small baby gowns belonging to Bill’s dad, thinking that I might be able to use the lace from them. I decided to make this little heirloom doll and I fashioned her dress and bonnet from one of the gowns ~ even the ties for the bonnet came from the original gown! I really love how it turned out and it is particularly special to me as it is the only family piece I have from Bill’s side of the family. The little doll now sits atop the antique sewing machine belonging to my grandmother on my dad’s side, who passed away before I was born. His mother had come to this country from Norway and the little brown book in the picture was a book that belonged to her as well. It was published in 1882 and is an American/Scandinavian book containing words and phrases to help in communication. It’s a little tattered and the pages are yellowed and worn ~ some even falling out ~ but it is a delight to look at and also contains a newspaper clipping of the farm my grandmother had for sale as well as other snippets in her own handwriting and I find it so lovely that it holds these things…it’s one of my favorite keepsakes!

I enjoy having things like these around my home so much ~ what a blessing they are to me!

Do you have any family treasures that make you smile?


16 thoughts on “Dear-to-me family treasures

  1. Good Morning Sharon ~

    I look so forward to your postings!

    I too, cherish family treasures. Our home was built for
    my grandmother. It is a small cottage type home. It was
    built by my parents and my dad’s brothers and sisters for
    my grandmother. I grew up next door. My grandmother
    passed on shortly after we were married and we were
    able to buy our first and only home and raise our son here.
    So our son lived next door to my parents and my husband’s
    parents just lived 2 blocks from us. Our son grew up with
    both sets of grandparents living close. Our son and
    “daughter” just live a few blocks from us and have been
    married 10 years. We will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary in August. We have lived many years in our home. My parents have since passed on and their home
    is no longer in our family.

    We also have many treasures from my husband’s side of
    the family. His grandparents died from the flu epidemic
    in 1919 ~ leaving my father~in~law (one year old) and
    his brother (two years old) on the prairie. My husband’s
    grandfather was 32 and had died in a dugout where
    they were homesteading and his grandmother was 22
    and passed on 6 days later. My husband’s father and
    uncle were found wandering around on the prairie by
    two cowboys. They were taken in by my husband’s great grandparents and were with them until they were of age. ~ There was an old trunk left for my father~in~law with many special items from his parents after they passed on. We were given that trunk with all of the items after my husband’s parents passed on ~ which has been in the past few years.

    We feel very blessed to have these and we will pass these
    on to our son and “daughter” at some point.

    We have many special items in our home that belonged to
    several generations back. We have a very small Bible that
    was given to my husband’s grandmother by an older relative of hers and we have it beside an old mantle clock that was my husband’s great grandfathers and it still works. We use an old oil lamp that belonged to my mother~in~laws family. We have several small oil lamps that were used by my father~in~laws family. You mentioned doilies in your post. We have many doilies and linens ~ all shapes and sizes ~ that are from my mother~in~laws family. Such pretty handwork that they did. I also use these everywhere in our home.

    If we lived closer ~ it would be so nice to share each others
    family treasures and chat and enjoy a glass of iced tea.
    (It is very warm and humid here today so we are drinking iced tea instead of hot tea.)

    I just love your heirloom doll. Such lovely work you do. You
    have so many special homey treasures for you and your
    family to enjoy. You are such a blessing to me.

    Blessings ~

    P.S. I’m sorry ~ I didn’t intend to write a book.

  2. I love old things but unfortunately I don’t have much from my family or my husband’s family, instead my mother keeps telling me about all the things that I will inherit one day! I have a few things from my paternal grandmother – a quaint porcelain and silk pincushion in the shape of Mr Pecksniff (a Charles Dickens character), a handmade blanket (Afghan to you Americans?) and a few pieces of jewellery.

    We have lots of hand-me-down furniture from family and friends that we enjoyed receiving – leather chair, nest of tables, stereo, lamps, coffee table, beds, chest of drawers… we’ve been so blessed. Perhaps they’ll be the heirlooms of the future!

    Thankyou for encouraging my blogging! (I have found DVDs of Tanglewoods’ Secret on-line).

  3. Dear Sharon,

    Yet another delightful post. You have such a sweet spirit and I love your writings. Your photos are so gorgeous, and I love the vignette you created with your family heirlooms! It is wonderful that you have these special things to display and enjoy in your home. I love old-fashioned treasures too. The afghan is so beautiful. Isn’t it wonderful that people from that era so carefully took care of their possessions so that future generations could enjoy them. They did not live in a throw-away society, but one that valued and appreciated the things they made and owned. Just like many of us do today! I love that you took the old baby gowns and made that beautiful doll from them! You are so talented and did a wonderful job making it! I love the old book and the clippings and things from your grandmother! I would love to see the antique sewing machine as well. Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful family treasures that are so dear to you!

    Thank you for the kind comment you left on my blog and the ones you leave here. You are so kind and encouraging and I appreciate you so very much!!!

    I am so glad you use baking soda and vinegar to clean with. I know you will enjoy looking through those books again.

    Have a lovely day dear friend!

    P.S. Has the weather warmed up yet?

  4. What dear, treasured heirlooms you have! I have some things that are dear to me and and perhaps someday will create a post complete with a photo I hope is half as lovely as yours!

    I wish I was as handy with a needle and thread as you are and I could ‘repair’ the damage I caused when I found a *new-to-me* pioneer type cotton cloth doll ~ because it was from a 2nd-Hand store and smelled old, I tried to wash it and the tiny glued-on buttons came off and some of the delicate lace ripped :o(

    We have an old quilt that was hand-sewn by my husband’s maternal grandmother and a pair of glass ‘double-candlesticks’ that were his paternal grandmother’s.

    When both his parents died within 5 months of each other a few years ago, we inherited a small porcelain cow figuring that actually belonged to his paternal GR GR grandfather when he emigrated from England to Canada ~ no one else was even interested in it but since I am the family genealogist, I felt like I *knew* the previous owner :o)

    I *did* have a tiny dictionary that once belonged to my maternal GR grandfather’s brother and even took the time to put it away for safekeeping. Can you believe that I have *forgotten* where that safe hiding place is?! :o(

    Have a lovely Friday!

  5. Teri ~ I’ve enjoyed reading some of the comments you’ve left on Sharon’s blog and wondered whether you have a blog of your own?

    Have a great day.

  6. Sharon ~

    I hope you don’t mind if I leave a message for Dallas on
    your site.

    Dallas ~
    I went to your website and left a message for you.

    God bless both of you!

    Hugs ~

  7. I love the beautiful afghan Sharon and that doll is exquisite. I have a soft spot in my heart for all vintage items just because of the history they represent! Thanks so much for sharing.


  8. Dear Teri ~

    What a wonderful comment you have left for me ~ I don’t
    mind if it’s long at all ~ in fact, I feel like I have been blessed with a sweet letter from you today! I really enjoyed hearing about your family history ~ and how sweet that you live in the house built for your grandmother! I would love to live in a house that had been in the family!

    It is wonderful that your son could grow up so near both sets of grandparents ~ and that he now lives so close to you! My grandmother lived with us for most of my growing up years after my grandfather passed away. It was so special to have her there as my dad’s parents passed away before I was born, so she was the only grandparent I had after the age of 7.
    My own children have not been able to spend much time with my husband’s parents because of distance and I think so much is lost. I think it is more difficult for his parents now as they have gotten older and realize how much they have missed.
    And what an amazing story of your father-in-law and his brother wandering on the prairie! Thank you for sharing this story with me.
    The treasures that you have from your families sound so lovely and special! I do wish we could visit ~ I would love to see all the wonderful keepsakes that you have and it would be fun to show you the things that I have too! What a lovely time we could have enjoying all these special things from the past ~ with the tea too, of course!
    Thank you so much for the blessing that you are to me ~ your visits have become very dear!

    Hugs ~


    P.S. And congratulations on your upcoming 40th anniversary this August ~ how wonderful!!

  9. Dear Phoebe,

    Thank you so much for your visit today ~ it has brightened up my day!
    Those treasures that you do have from your paternal grandmother sound lovely ~ I am enjoying hearing about the things that others have received from family members as keepsakes. I do so enjoy going treasure shopping in the antique shops looking for things that were loved and enjoyed long ago. What a blessing to receive all the things you mentioned from family and friends too to use in your home ~ that is wonderful, and yes, maybe they will be the heirlooms of the future!

    I think you are doing a lovely job on your new blog ~ I am enjoying visiting with you there ~ keep up the good work! I was disappointed that I couldn’t find The Tanglewoods’ Secret at the library, but I did see that they had DVD copies on line! Thank you!

    Looking forward to visiting with you again soon,


  10. Dear Paula,

    Yes, it is wonderful that these treasures have been preserved from the past as I enjoy them so much here at home. My husband shares the joy with me of the family heirlooms which is such a blessing! Sometimes I am disappointed when I am in an antique shop and I see an old photo album full of pictures for sale ~ I always wonder if no one in the family was interested in keeping such a lovely thing! I purchased a lovely granny square afghan at the thrift store last year as I knew someone had put so much time and love into it and so I decided to take it home to enjoy!
    I am looking forward to looking at those books again ~ I am so happy that you shared the titles so I could see them once more!
    I do have a question maybe you could answer for me ~ do you know what the difference is between Sucanat and the Rapadura sugar?
    Thank you once again for your lovely visit ~ such a sweet friend you are!



    P.S. The sun and the blue skies came out this afternoon ~ to everyone’s delight!!

  11. Dear Dallas,

    Thank you for your lovely comment and kind words! I do hope you are able to do a post on some of your treasures ~ I would love to see them ~ and I’m sure your photo will be quite lovely too!
    I am so sorry to hear about your cloth pioneer doll ~ I love finding things like that at the second hand shops. I did have a similar experience with the granny square afghan that I purchased at the thrift shop. I washed it when I got home and it came out with quite a few holes in it! 😦 It was disappointing but I fixed it up as best I could and I enjoy it so much ~
    The quilt and the candlesticks you have sound like wonderful keepsakes! When I was growing up, I had a quilt on my bed and I remember how I loved to just look at all the beautiful and different fabrics. The work they did back then was amazing! I am so glad that you were able to have the porcelain cow ~ it will be a special treasure for you! Oh, and I do hope you will be able to find the tiny dictionary ~ sometimes I think I find too good of a safekeeping spot too! Hopefully it will turn up soon!
    Thank you so much for sharing with me today ~ what a blessing it is to hear about everyone’s treasures!

    Have a sweet day Dallas,


  12. Dear Kris,

    Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind words! I do so much enjoy all of the keepsakes that I have from my family that have been passed down through the years, but I also enjoy going antique shopping and finding lovely treasures that have been in other people’s families. I have some things like that too that I enjoy just because of like you said, “the history they represent”! My husband and I enjoy watching the Antiques Roadshow on TV and seeing all of the wonderful treasures that people bring in ~ some of the things are amazing!!

    I hope you have a blessed weekend,


  13. Dear Sharon,

    Yes, it is so sad to find family heirlooms, old photos and such and antique stores and thrift shops. Many people have no value for those things. The last time we went to the antique store my husband and I were admiring a beautiful old Victorian suitcase, a photo each of the husband and wife, lace gloves, white “granny type” boots and something else I cannot recall. We asked the lady selling it about these items and where she found them. We told her we were surprised someone would part with such things, and she related a sad story concerning it. They had purchased it in an auction but did not know a thing about it until they opened a box it was thrown in. The husband and wife that had owned it were there and she just new they would want it and that they did not know it was in the auction… but they did know and the lady said she did not care a thing about it, nor did she want it. Isn’t that said, it must have been her grandmother or some other relation to her. The antique lady was shocked.

    If it had been in our budget we would have brought it home! Our dear 12 year old son thought just as we did, that it was sad!

    I am so glad you brought home that granny square quilt. I know much time went into it and you will appreciate it!

    To answer your question. Years ago, I read that Rapadura was much less refined than Sucanat, but since then I have also read that Sucanat is just the same as Rapadura . I have been using Rapadura for the past ten years since we began eating organic whole foods and using it instead of white sugar. I now use only honey for myself, but I use Rapadura for all the goodies I make for my husband and son. I also use less than the recipe calls for. I have tried Sucanat in the past, but I always have preferred Rapadura. I think either would be fine, and both are so much better than white refined sugar!

    I hope this helps! Let me know what you think.

    The Lord bless you, sweet friend!

  14. I’m so happy that you have these WONDERFUL heirlooms in your BEAUTIFUL home! What a blessing that you have the items AND the stories and memories that are behind them.
    Thank you so very much for sharing these very special treasures –
    (the “other” Sharon) 🙂

  15. Dear Paula,

    Yes, that is so sad that they were not interested in such lovely heirlooms!! I just love these things from the past even if they haven’t been enjoyed by someone I know!
    Thank you so much for your help with the Sucanat and Rapadura. I just purchased some of the Rapadura and will be looking forward to making something with it. I have used Sucanat and also Date Sugar which we have enjoyed. We do use honey as well and also evaporated cane juice ~ but I’m sure it is more processed than the others. I will let you know how we like it!

    Thank you for your sweet friendship!!


  16. Dear Sharon,

    I am so happy to have you visit me again ~ and thank you for your sweet comment ~ what a blessing!
    Thank you so much for your kindness!

    I do hope you enjoy a lovely weekend,


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