Monday, January 23, 2017

Swedish Horses

Family histories makes fascinating stories. Here's a little piece of mine.
These bright colored horses are a symbol of Sweden and are called Dala horses (based on the region where they come from  called Dalarna). They are really big tourist items.  They became very successful after appearing at the 1939 New York World's Fair, and I know many American families with Swedish ancestry or backgrounds have one in their homes.
I have a whole collection of these horses. When one of my uncles was still alive, he would give me a Swedish folk object each year for Christmas. These included the Dala horse and some tomte, which is the Swedish word for these wooden carved people. 
I put them out on my living room bookshelves each year at Christmas. As they aren't just for Christmas, I leave them out for while into the winter. Since they are so cheery.
These 2 little people on the left mean a lot to me too.  Back in my 20's I went and spent a month in Sweden with some of my mother's family-her uncle and her cousins. They made and gifted me with this great little traditional couple   on the left. They also gave me the large red embroidered one on the right.
The 2 tomte on the left are gifts from my uncle and the 2 on the right are similar pieces I bought last summer in Iceland. One is  a sheep and the other is the Icelandic Huldufolk or elves. I think they fit in with my Swedish pieces just fine.  After all, we are a multi-cultural world.
I enjoy this connection to my past, even if I can't say I really know all that much about it.
Any why I cherish my Swedish folk art pieces.

And if you are curious
Here's a newspaper article about these horses:

My page started with my painting part of the Swedish flag, and then I added my painted sketch of the Dala horse. I stamped the Viking image and the word hej (which just means hello).
I am linking this story up to Art Journal Journey. This month's theme is every journal page tells a story.
And thanks to Valerie for inspiring me to make this page. Back at the beginning of the month she showed us some gorgeous glass that she received from relatives, and that put the idea of Dala horse into my head.

Hope everyone has a great start to their week.



9 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Love your journal page, and especially because it tells the story of your ancestral heritage. Love the figures, too, they are all so pretty. It's good to keep things which remind us of our connections. Have a great week, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Fabulous collection - Adorable!
And the page is lovely made!
What a inspiring post!
Happy new week Erika!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

There is a Swedish town in Kansas called Lindsborg. Here is their web site that shows their Dalas. http://www.lindsborgcity.org/
I have been there several times, and really enjoyed the authenticity of the city and the shops. They even have a Dala factory and a restaurant that makes authentic Swedish meatballs and Swedish pancakes. It is a tourist trap, but a very affordable one.

I really enjoyed your Dala art journal page today. The background with the Swedish flag was perfect for this piece, too. It's a beauty. I also enjoyed seeing your collection of tomte and Dalas. Hope you have a lovely day.

BTW, I suspect your Pats won. I turned in once in the 4th quarter and they were so far ahead, it would have taken a miracle or hail mary for the Steelers to win.

Let's Art Journal said...

Such a lovely story! Your art work has captured your cheerful swedish keepsakes beautifully and I love your play on words - it sure is sweet! Happy Monday and have a great week! J :-)
p.s. Go Pats! Hope you enjoyed watching the Semi Final, I hear they player really well :-). I'm so looking forward to seeing them play in the Super Bowl which is televised here in the UK :-). J:-)

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

Great collectin. There was a great kds book abut the Dala type horse. "Ride on the Red Mare's Back". One of my sn's favorites. xox

Divers and Sundry said...

My son-in-law gave me one of those little garden gnomes for my patio, and when I saw it I said, "That's a tomten! Hoorah!" He had never heard of them, but they were familiar to me from books I read to the kids when they were little.

pearshapedcrafting said...

I love your page! How clever to make the flag! I enjoyed seeing your fabulous little Swedish ornaments although I must confess to be ing distracted by your books and would especially love to look in some of those on the last shelf! Hugs, Chrisx

Meggymay said...

Its a wonderful collection of folk art pieces you have shown us today. Your page looks FAb as well.
Yvonne xx

Jeanie said...

I love your pun and the wonderful way you composed the page. Your little figures are just adorable. I love stuff like that. These have a particular charm that really speaks to me. You're lucky to have them.