Thursday, February 2, 2012

Found Treasure

I'm a little slow getting reorganized after the holidays, but in my defense, I've just had a tour of half of the Best Loved kids and grands.  We went west, were bumped off planes, experienced snow and lived!  Pictures to come of the cuties.  Visiting them is worth anything!

I started making the things I have in the Etsy store because I wanted the little folks in my life to have something special, made by me.  I wanted it to be special enough that they would keep it around for their own small folk to love.  Not to toot my horn, but I wanted to make things that my decendants would fight like wild weasels over (nicely fight).  I've been captivated by someone else that made sweet childrens toys that have been saved and cherished and now are in the Victoria Museum in Australia.  I found this image on the great  blog Kickcan & Conkers and clicking on the links found an amazing story.

Victoria Museum via Kickcan & Conkers
Ada Perry was an English woman who immigrated to Australia in 1924.  She was a widow with eight children and saw herself as a pioneer.  Australia gave her land to work in an isolated area of Victoria and she and her children struggled to eke out a living.  In 1928 she was injured in a buggy accident and could no longer do the physical farm labor she had done daily.  Her children continued to work the land and she worked creating countless handicrafts from the most humble of materials.  She reused scraps and old clothes and took great pride in making wonderful gifts for family and friends.  The first "prototype" designs were kept for her children and the rest from each pattern were given away.
Humpty Dumpty - Victoria Museum
Her designs are captivating. Australia suffered from the same Great Depression we did in the U.S. in the 1930's but I imagine that Ada, like my grandmother, was already poor and living off what her farm produced so frugality and using what you had were already a way of life.
Navy Velvet Cat - Victoria Museum
Ada lived until 1962 and created original designed crafts through her entire life. I'm in awe of her tenacity.  In spite things that might make someone want to lay down and die, she regrouped and pressed on.
Cream Velvet Pig - Victoria Museum
I'm inspired by her life and work.

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