Cover image for Making memories : celebrating mothers and daughters through traditions, crafts, and lore
Making memories : celebrating mothers and daughters through traditions, crafts, and lore
Marlow, Joyce.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2001]

Physical Description:
248 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TT145 .M37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TT145 .M37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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This wonderful compendium invites mothers and daughters to create lasting family traditions and enjoy a renewed sense of love and appreciation for each other with original ideas for activities they can do together.

Throughout history, mothers have shared their unique creativity with their daughters as a way to strengthen the mother-daughter bond and preserve the essence of family love from one generation to the next. Now Joyce Marlow presents a host of original crafts and projects that mothers and daughters can do together to beautify the home and strengthen these special ties. Designed for women of all ages, "Making Memories" includes ideas for:

Cultivating gardens that bring mothers and daughters to common ground through the splendor of nature Fashioning extraordinary quilts -- from memory quilts to friendship quilts to artistic quilts -- that bring warmth to any home Originating special mother-daughter events like "summer picnic day" that will become lasting traditionsFilming videodiaries that capture the uniqueness and beauty of family life Creating "wildcraft" objects from plants and nature for home decoration Sharing lo

Author Notes

Joyce Marlow is the author of "Country Ways: Secrets for Finding & Keeping a Country Man" & three romance novels. She lives in Klickitat, Washington.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

"As the keepers of tradition, women preserve the families of our daughters and granddaughters through the power of knowledge, understanding, skill, artistry, and love," says Joyce Marlow in Making Memories: Celebrating Mothers and Daughters Through Traditions, Crafts, and Lore. Martha Stewart meets The Artist's Way in this style guide for honoring special moments, holidays, achievements and the mother-daughter bond. Rife with keepsakes, hope chests, finger sandwich recipes, knitting and decorating advice (e.g., how to make "the boudoir" into "a place where you can escape the worries of the day") and rainy-day boxes, it provides fodder for mothers and daughters of all ages. Agent, Maureen Walters. ( June 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter One Memory Books and Albums For many women, images from childhood can come rushing back unexpectedly on a quiet sun-glossed morning, while cooking a favorite family recipe, shopping, or just thinking about their children. Usually some stimulus prompts these images. Whether it's sight, sound, or circumstance that triggers these memories, suddenly priceless snapshots in time flood our minds: weddings, christenings, a day at the beach, the birth of a first child, a daughter's sweet sixteen party, or a mother's sixtieth birthday. Special moments happen throughout our lives -- sometimes when we least expect them -- and the smallest expressions of love can be the sacred moments we keep close to our hearts. But memories often dim, feelings fade, and in the hustle and bustle of everyday life we tend to forget the things that make us who we are. By sharing our treasured memories with those we love, we form a bond between generations and celebrate our own lives. We can even transform our beloved (but transient) memories into a tangible format that can connect us, both physically and emotionally, to our collective past. Memory Books and Albums Memory books and albums are a traditional way to take a nostalgic walk down the streets of your childhood, to remember mothers and grandmothers, and to share their stories with daughters. Better yet, they are easy to create. The first step is deciding what kind of keepsake you want. You might have a theme in mind (a baby book or a wedding album), you might want to use a particular medium (photographs), or you might want to blend mementos, writings, and photos into one book. The choice is yours, and you need only a few basic materials to get started: a large three-ring binder or album prepunched blank pages prepunched plastic sleeves prepunched lined pages for writing notes and remembrances glue, tape, a stapler, and writing pens Memory books and albums allow mothers and daughters to cherish those "firsts" in life. Carol, a friend and author, spent her junior year of college in France. It was an exciting time in her life and her first trip abroad. Her mother kept all the letters and photographs she sent home, put them in an album, and gave the album to Carol when she returned. Carol has delighted in rereading those letters over the years and reliving those memories with her daughter, Nora. Now that Nora is in college, she's keeping alive the tradition started by her grandmother. Nora takes photographs of family gatherings, friends, and special moments, and shares them with friends or family at every opportunity. I started a scrapbook in seventh grade and kept adding to it until high school graduation. I kept a jumble of things that caught my imagination -- interesting newspaper clippings, articles I wrote as editor of my high school newspaper, pressed flowers and corsages that I received from boyfriends, invitations to parties, ticket stubs from movies and theater productions, and photographs of me and my friends. I also kept some pretty unusual items, including a lock of hair from a young man I was sure I'd marry, but didn't. My daughter, Heather, loves to look through this scrapbook with me. She listens as I retell the stories behind each cherished moment, especially those having to do with her father. He and I met in high school, and quite a few of those pressed flowers came from him. Heather is fascinated by the mementos and stories that chronicled my youth and always has questions. If I'd known how important it was that my daughter learn about my life during those high school years, I'd have written a few sentences about each event or day, and what I was feeling at the time. That extra touch would have really captured the spirit of the past. Unfortunately, those thoughts and feelings have faded with the years and can't be entirely recaptured. No matter what you keep in your scrapbook or memory album, take the time to add a personal note. If you went shopping for a special occasion (like Christmas or a birthday), include your shopping list, the story of how you found the perfect present, or whether you "shopped till you dropped." If you're in doubt about whether to include something because it doesn't seem important -- do it. Whether that something is a "to do" list or a sample from wrapping paper and ribbon, just paste it alongside other mementos. Remember, even the smallest of reminders can trigger the most precious memories. The first time you take your daughter (or your mother takes you) to the ballet, a musical, or a rock concert, the event is so much more than a program or ticket stub. What happened? Did she love watching the ballerinas twirl or did she fall asleep? Did you go out for lunch at a fancy restaurant? Did she try pâté or escargot for the first time? Those "firsts" in life are so precious, be sure and capture them for all time. Photograph Album If you're like most people, your photographs are in a drawer rather than a photo album. The chore of organizing pictures always gets pushed to the bottom of the list, right under cleaning the bedroom closet. Unfortunately, time can dim the depth of the emotions of the day and the "feel-good" stories and amusing anecdotes our daughters would enjoy hearing from us when they're older. With that thought comes an idea for a wonderful rainy day tradition. Make steaming hot cocoa the old-fashioned way, pop a marshmallow or two into each cup, pull out that box of photos, and walk down memory lane with your mother or daughter. Here are a few tips to get you started with a photo album: Write a "memory note" on the back of each photo (and in the album). Organize and label photos by date or occasion. Start with the last time you took photos (instead of starting with the oldest photos) so you won't be overwhelmed. Recipe Book Many of our warmest memories are associated with preparing meals for our families, whether cooking old family recipes, creating something new and fun, or setting a beautiful table with china and silver. Another type of memory book comes from Pat, a lifelong midwesterner. When Pat's three daughters were growing up, each one had favorite foods and meals. As the girls grew older, Pat looked ahead to the day they would leave home and made a separate (and very special) recipe book for each daughter. When the girls moved out on their own, Pat started inviting them for Sunday morning brunches featuring their favorite recipes. One thing led to another, and the girls pitched in with the cooking and ended up spending half the day with their mother. Pat's ingenuity started two traditions -- the recipe books and Sunday brunches. You can start a family recipe book by collecting recipes from the cooks in your family. This could get tricky because some cooks measure by "a pinch" or "a handful" rather than "a teaspoon" or "a tablespoon." One way to manage this problem is to watch that favorite dish being prepared. That way, you can write everything down and visit at the same time. If you're the keeper of family recipes, be sure to record measurements and directions as well as any special cooking tips. Write out the recipe by hand and paste it in your recipe album -- alongside a shopping list for the needed ingredients. I would also encourage you to write a few notes about each recipe -- not just that it tastes great but that it was your sister's favorite dish or that you usually serve it for holidays, Dad's poker nights, or the kids' sleep overs. Recipes handed down from your mother and grandmother should be included, especially if they were written by hand, along with a few lines about entertaining and why food is so much a part of your family gatherings. Wedding Albums Wedding albums are something most women keep, but here's an innovative idea. Iris held a special scrapbook wedding shower for her daughter, Jennifer, and her fiancé, Rob, and asked family and childhood friends to bring photos of the couple when they were growing up. As you might imagine, some were flattering, while others showed a mischievous and even outrageous side to both the future bride and her groom. Iris pasted the photos in an album and asked the guests to jot down a few sentences to accompany each one. Then guests took turns retelling stories that were sometimes warm and affectionate and other times funny and embarrassing. When you can appreciate both the adversities and accomplishments someone experiences in childhood, you come closer to understanding the adult. Jennifer and Rob learned a lot about each other that night with the help of family and friends who created a memory album documenting their lives from childhood up to the wedding. A person's story might begin at birth, and a woman's wedding day might be "the most important day in her life," but since there's so much more to our history and heritage than the monumental events, "every day" albums can commemorate the daily beauty in all our lives. Summer Memory Book You can start a summer memory album on the last day of any school year, whether you're in fifth grade or college. When school ended, I always had extravagant plans for the summer. I was going to read the classics, take up a hobby, learn how to sew or paint, lose ten pounds, swing dance, plant a garden, and a zillion other things. All these thoughts, words, and deeds should be in your summer memory book. Dorothy has a monthly traditional "picnic day" during the summer with her daughter, Amy. They spend the morning getting lunch ready and making a special dessert. Sometimes it's cupcakes, but usually they stick to cookies because they're easy to make and pack. You could even buy cookie dough in the refrigerated section of the grocery store so all you have to do is slice and bake. Dorothy and Amy usually go to a city park for their picnic, but there's no reason you can't take a leisurely drive to the countryside. When my daughter was quite small, we had summer picnics at the nearby grade school playground. That gave me the perfect opportunity to be a kid, too, and play on the swings and jungle gym with the excuse that I was playing with my daughter. Although I did take a few photos of our picnic traditions, like so many mothers who have grown children, I wish I had more tangible reminders of those days. We had another favorite outing -- weekend campouts at New Brighton Beach (near Santa Cruz, California) with one idea in mind: relaxation and fun. We'd bury each other in the sand, swim and play in the surf, walk along the shore looking for shells and pretty driftwood to take home, or toss a Frisbee. I got in plenty of reading time, too, sunning myself while watching Heather; her brother, Brian; and the occasional playmate who came along. Outings like this are perfect opportunities to create summer memory books. They also give you a way to spend time with your children doing something you all enjoy. Another hallmark of summer is a vacation, whether it's the one you've been planning forever or a spur-of-the-moment getaway. Add maps, tickets from sightseeing adventures, postcards, and personal observations, and you've got something to keep and share with your daughter or mother. School Memory Book School days are filled with memories that can be lost over time if we aren't careful to keep them close to our hearts. Barbara, the author of over thirty romance novels, started a school memory book for each of her daughters. These books provide a veritable history of each child, including report cards, honors, awards, term papers, artwork, programs of events the girls took part in, and other remembrances of childhood. What a great way to foster self-esteem in your daughters -- by celebrating and remembering their victories, no matter how great or small. Theme Memory Book You can make theme memory books for any special occasion or interest. Holidays that include family celebrations are a good place to begin, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Independence Day, and Halloween. These holidays are filled with family get-togethers and traditional festivities. You could create a memory book that highlights one holiday over several years, or one that includes all the holidays for a particular year. Include photographs, mementos, entertaining tips, guest lists, amusing stories, and special highlights. Another great idea for a theme memory album is the seasons of the year -- spring, summer, fall, and winter. This project is especially interesting for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors. Capture the beauty of the natural world by pressing flowers and leaves from the garden. Once the cuttings are dry, slip them into plastic sleeves along with a description, a note telling where and when you found them, and an explanation of what each cutting means to you. Add favorite poems or sayings about each season, or try writing a few of your own. Include photos and information about different species that interest you -- butterflies, bees, birds, insects, and mammals -- their habits, and their natural habitats. On the lighter side, there's always kitchen artwork. Mothers cherish the scribbled drawings children bring home from school, and post them with pride on the refrigerator. When putting up your pint-sized Picasso's new masterpiece, save the older "classics" for an album called "Best Refrigerator Art of the Year." If your daughter is involved in sports, cheerleading, the school newspaper, or any number of extracurricular activities, you might have enough material to fill a theme album. My daughter was in Job's Daughters (a Christian organization for girls ages twelve to eighteen who are of Masonic heritage) when she was a teenager. The Masons have been around for generations and are committed to serving the community and those with special needs. Over the years, Heather held a variety of positions, became an officer, and eventually led the group. She was active in so many social, service, and charitable activities that we were able to fill two albums. Traditions don't necessarily have to start when your daughter is young. Adele, an administrative manager in California, took tradition up the generational ladder by making "growing-up" albums for both her grandmothers. She spent time with each of them and traced memories from childhood and beyond, so she could fill in the blanks and get to know what her grandmothers were like as children. She helped them collect photos, cards, memories, and family history and put it all together in albums that Adele will share with her own daughter one day. If you decide to make this kind of album, ask your grandmothers to write about their childhoods, parents, school days, weddings, holidays, and favorite things. Be sure and give them nice stationery or parchment paper to write on so that you can imitate the antique look of old tattered letters in museums that evoke such wonderful memories of the past. My mother has several letters written by my ancestors, including one from my great-grandfather proposing marriage to my future great-grandmother. If your family has letters like this, be sure to include them in your album. Videos and Audiotapes Filmmaking shouldn't be reserved for professionals -- why not include videos when capturing your family memories? I can't think of a more perfect way to capture a story about how Grandpa proposed to Grandma than having her tell it in her own words. Before asking your grandmother or mother to participate, research techniques used in filming, indoor and outdoor lighting, angles, film, cameras, and audio equipment and techniques. You will find plenty of resources at your library or on the Internet. If you don't have video equipment, do an audio interview of two, three, or four generations of mothers and daughters. In either case, spend time together before turning on the camera or tape recorder so everyone will feel relaxed and comfortable. Then focus your thoughts on the past and talk about anything and everything that comes to mind, special and everyday events, a particular topic, or just girl talk. It's a good idea to have a list of questions to ask, and I'd suggest giving them to participants ahead of time so they can prepare. I'd also let participants know that these are only preliminary questions, because others are sure to come up during the taping. You don't want to miss out on a great story by being limited by the list. Here are a few topics and questions that might lead you in the right direction: Discuss your childhood and teenage years, where you lived and went to school, your interests, and your hobbies. Describe how your husband proposed, your wedding ceremony, what you and the bridesmaids wore, the reception, and the honeymoon. What surprised you about being married? What were the hardest adjustments to make? Talk about each of your children and what makes them different and special. What is your greatest joy or your greatest sorrow? Were you close to your grandmother? Describe your relationship with her and your favorite memories. Reminisce about a favorite childhood Christmas, birthday, and Mother's Day. Describe how your mother celebrated family traditions at holidays, which traditions you follow, and which you celebrate differently. What interests, talents, and skills did your mother or grandmother hand down to you (such as cooking, sewing, quilting, gardening, nature walks, music, and art)? What is the best and worst thing that ever happened to you? When you make a videotape or audiotape, give copies to everyone who participated, as well as to your closest relatives, so that these stories will be preserved for the future. Memories on the Internet It seems as if the old tradition of memory albums and scrapbooks is being partially replaced by personal web pages on the Internet. Although personal web pages are a new and interesting medium, you need to be aware of some pitfalls. The Internet tends to be fluid, in that web pages are generally updated from time to time. That means losing older data and images, and that could prove costly in terms of history. When you update your web pages, don't replace information if you want your children (and their children) to relive your memories and share in family traditions. Instead, continually add to your web site to create an endless chronicle of personal stories, memories, scanned photographs, and images. Keep in Mind When creating memories: Find something you have in common with your daughter -- a hobby, sport, place, or activity -- and start a scrap or memory book together. Sharing both the activity and making the album will give you the opportunity to spend time together doing something you both enjoy. Keep searching for unique ways to display your memories -- for instance, take all those photos, children's artwork, theater programs, even Grandma's favorite recipes, and create a collage and frame it, or make a decoupage and cover a box meant for saving keepsakes. Remember, never use the original; use a copy instead. Excerpted from Making Memories by Joyce Marlow. Copyright © 2001 by Cantrell and Company. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.