Sunday, January 11, 2009

The creative arts, mostly fiber arts are a very big part of who I am . One reason for this I thing, are the woman who I have come to know and love. This learning period for me was while we lived in Iceland were my Mother was born. They started me on this path , they were my foundation.

I never meet Vilheimian Soffia Sveinsdottir, my Mothers Grandmother. I have been told that she had the talent of looking at a dress in a store, going home making her own pattern and when she was finished it was as beautiful as the one in the store window . I feel a kindred spirit with her, I enjoy making my own patterns . Maybe I inhered something special from her.

Vilheimian's daughter, Louisa Tomasdottir, my Grandmother. She loved to crochet and to do counted cross stitch. There are many beautiful samples of her work lovingly treasured in the family. She would share her cross stitch patterns with me from her Danish magazines, I still have some of those magazines to this day. Grandma is wearing her National costume .

Louisa's daughter, Engilbertina Guðrun Asgrimsdottir is my Mother. Better know as Laura Lee Stanick here in America. Mom was the one who took the time to teach me counted cross stitch, I was about 8 years old at the time and we lived in Kopavogir. With different color sewing thread she would count out small parts of the pattern with the correct color and sew a small section at a time with the thin thread. I learned by reading the pattern and sewing with the DMC floss over the thin x's.

That same summer we had a very nice girl named Sigrun that helped my Mother around the house and look after my younger brother. She and I worked on my sewing skills, I have never forgotten her . Together we did a counted cross stitch Squirrel.

At the age of ten we moved to Hafnarfjoður, and I meet two wonderful girls named Gyða and Dissa , we are friends to this day. Gyða was always crocheting clothes for her doll and I thought that was great . Before I knew it she was showing me how to hold the crochet needle and yarn and I was on my way. This is my birthday party & Gyða is standing next to me.

In Catholic school I learned needle point and knitting from Sister Leopa and Sister Monica .

My mothers sister Soffia was a great knitter . She would stop by for a visit and if my knitting "home work" was laying out she would take up my poorly done knitting , fix it and then knit a few rows to give me a helping hand.

Thank you all, Great Grandmother, Grand Mother, Mother, Aunt, girlfriends and two very stern Nuns. With out the gifts that you have shared with me I don't think that I would love life as much as I do.


Stephanie said...

Mary how wonderful to read your history and see all the pictures. I thing the love of fabric and fiber is genetic in your family!

kashakru said...

Hi Mary, cousin Kathy here. It was nice of you to mention that my mother Soffia had an influence on your doll making. I remember that she always had to keep her hands busy. She was prolific in her crafts, be it sculpture, ceramics, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, etc. I even picked up a few talents from her. We are lucky for our Icelandic heritage. I really enjoyed your website. Keep up the whimsical magic!

janice a/k/a earthloczwoman said...

Hi Mary Lou - Congratulations on launching your blog and website. I really enjoyed learning about your ancestors and the rich cultural history you bring to your amazing dolls. You are truly a great artist and an inspiration to newcomer doll artisans like me. All the best. - janice