dinsdag 22 december 2015

A weekend of family visits and heirlooms

A few weeks ago my father and I decided to spend a weekend calling on some family. It were two great days of talking about the old days, looking at old photographs and collecting some family heirlooms for my house.

The family history of my fathers side of the family is quite well documented. My grandfather made several albums with photo's (even some lovely CDVs from the 19th c.) and stories. My uncle and cousin digitized them and made them into books. But eventhough I've seen many pictures this weekend brought some new things. They were in the private albums of my grandparents and my great-aunt.

On Saturday we visited my grandparents. I feel they had a big influence on how I grew up out and the things I now like. It always feels like comming home a bit. I've spend so many hollidays there, when my parents had to work. I loved it there, life was very simple, wholesome, and old fashioned: healthy but good food, long walks, books with pictures, classical music, dolls for dressing up and stories read or told to me. I even had my own clothes there (made from my grandmothers old dresses). Mainly skirts & dresses.

This is my grandmother around 1949, love the print of flowers an ferns. She wore a lot of floral dresses throuhout het life. Probably why I love them too.

My grandfather will turn 90 in spring and my gran 85 but they are still very active. They've known each other since the mid 40's and still so cute together!

I found this picture of them from around 1950 in te album of my great-aunt Mimi the next day.

I still wear things from my grandmothers wardrobe from time to time. This time she gave me a crochet cardigan/jacket. I loved the color. Though it was likely made in the 70's it goes ever so well with older styles.

Now to the true heirlooms, not clothes but linens, also somehting I've really taken a fancy to since moving into my own appartment:
My grandmother had talked of a long tablecloth that had belonged to her mother. She did not know what to do with it an wanted to dontate it to a hotel. I did not want to let that happen.
So I got it from her. It is a linnen damask with flowers and dots. It probably dates from 1926-1928.
 (I'll explain why). With it came some napkins only one of which atucally matched.
The next day we went to my great-aunt on the other side of the country. She is my grandmothers younger sister. She had a bag with a letter adressed to me:

Mimi Jansen, your great-grandmother married Willem te Poel on the 14th of November 1928, after they had met 3 years earlier.
She must have made the embroidered contents of this bag in those 3 years. So about from 1926- about 90 years ago now.
So nice you want to have these sheets and pillowcases now!
(In February 1933 Mimi te Poel died, 5 weeks after I was born)

The contents of the bag were 4 sets of a sheets and pillowcases form my great-grandmothers trousseau. All monogrammed MJ, all four with a different band of lace or embroidery.

Monogram on the tablecloth
I knew about the pretty bedlinens from my grandmother who uses some of them still in the guest bedroom.

This are my great-grandparents at their wedding in 1928.

I love old bedlinens. I still prefer old wool blankets instead of a duvet, so I can really use them. Pillowcases are easy to find but sheets are far more difficult. Also the idea of sleeping under somthing my great-grandmother made herself makes it rather special.

This is the set I've put on my bed first. So much handwork. I thought the flowers looked a bit like Chritsmas bells so appropriate for the season.
Some pics of the styles of the bedlinens (just the pillowcases, but the sheets have the same decoration)

Just a little about my great grandmother, it is the little I know:
Maria Philomena Augustina (Mimi) Jansen was born on the 10th of august 1903 in Dinxperlo. She was the second daughter of Heinrich Jansen and Auguste Schulze-Tast.
My great-great grandparents at the time of their wedding around 1901
There are quite a lot of pictures from her youth. On this one from 1907 her (left) and her older sister Cilly are dressed in such cute matching outfits.
The oldest two sisters often had matching outfits or aprons. Like on this picture taken in the garden.

So many pictures were taken in the garden.
This one from 1916 with three of her sisters (second from the left). Such long locks!

Well on to the 20's and bobbed hair. I had never seen this picture of Mimi probably taken in the year of her marriage. Love her Art Deco scarf!

This was taken a few years later with her chubby baby boy Heini. Such a happy picture...one of the last pictures of her I have seen.

As she died so young I don't know anything of her personality, neither do her children. The thing that remains is the pictures from what looks like a happy childhood and handcrafted linens, that have probably not suffered to much because she died before they could wear out.....
This picture shows my grandmother making a carpet (she made the one in my living room too) in the late 40's with a picture of her mother hanging of the wall of her fathers house behind her. Love her sweater!
And as it is nearly Christmas: pictures from the Christmas season.
My grandmother, late 40's early 50's. White Christmas!

Cheeky: My great-aunt fastening her stocking
And I just adore this picture of my great aunt (secon from the left) with her friends under the Christmas tree. Do wonder what they are drinking.
Hope to get back to you soon with some Christmas outfits!
And if not: Merry Christmas :)

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