Not long ago, The Grizzly Kid and I were watching a documentary where it mentioned a tiny Scandinavian village where the meager population was all over 60 years old because the younger generations had been moving to bigger cities. This village is essentially dying with its inhabitants, and with the citizens go the old traditions of song, stories, hand crafts—an entire culture. This is a sad reality for many cultures and art forms around the world, and yet there is a rebirth going on with many disappearing arts. For example, Pinterest is full of tributes to handwritten signs with beautifully crafted lettering; this in a culture where more words are typed than written. Online tutorials are available for pretty much anything you can think of, so we have the ability to save these older art forms and bring them back; along with all the other vintage things that are popping up everywhere. It seems we live in a nostalgic era, a time where people long for the coziness of the past while advances in technology send us ever speeding toward the unknown future. Here is my tribute to a disappearing art.
My home was always filled with the sewing projects of my mother, with ten children she had a never ending stack of mending, but when she had a moment to herself she became creative and worked on lovely little outfits, many of which included smocking—a disappearing art. Here are some examples of the dresses we grew girls grew up in.
Only since Wallaby was born have I learned from my mother how to smock, just two little pieces so far and they are certainly far from perfect, but learning to smock is my attempt to keep this art form from disappearing. I thought I had finished smocking my Scotty dogs on Monday, but The Grizzly Kid pointed out that I had forgotten their little bows, so here there are completed, my first attempt at picture smocking.
Ideally, all three of my dogs would be identical, but I suppose they have more character this way. And don’t tell the other two, but the puppy on the left is my favorite. I have some lovely, black and white gingham fabric that I am going to use to make a summer romper for Wallaby and the Scotty dogs will go right on front. Wish me luck with the rest of this project.