I’m joined this week by author, Henriette Gyland as she tells us about an ornament she loves…
ONE ORNAMENT FROM MY HOME AND WHY I LOVE IT
Some might argue that this old swing handle sewing machine isn’t an ornament as such, but it has been my steadfast companion since I was in my late teens.
Many years ago my mother had a machine similar to this one, and I spent my adolescence and teens making clothes, bags, soft furnishings and even dolls clothes. My parents didn’t have much money to spend on teenage fashion, so I had to mend and make do, as they say. I remember revamping one of my father’s old shirts into a top and sewing a skirt from some leftover curtain fabric. A happy, creative phase although, to be honest, I did spend some of that time cursing and swearing because it was a rather temperamental machine …
When I left for university, my maternal grandmother gave me her old swing handle machine (pictured), and it’s been with me ever since. I carried on sewing throughout uni, mainly by upcycling charity shop finds. Eventually, one by one, the needles that came with the machine broke, and modern needles sadly weren’t compatible so I had to upgrade to an electric sewing machine.
Which has been a god-send for a lover of bargains and the home-made like myself!
Since then the old machine has graced the shelves wherever I’ve lived. It hasn’t always been to everyone’s taste over the years, causing a few eye-rolls in my ex-husband because he found it ugly, but I insisted that it stayed on display. I understand that it may be difficult for some to see the beauty in this slightly scratched and no longer functioning piece of machinery, but for me it’s not so much about aesthetics – instead it’s about the beauty of the memories it holds.
I’m grateful to my mother for teaching me to sew, and to my grandmother for this extraordinary gift. The skills I have passed on, but the memories are mine to treasure forever.
I love your sewing machine and I too am grateful for the craft skills passed on to me by my nan and mom. Mx
About Henriette Gyland
Henriette Gyland grew up in Northern Denmark but moved to England after she graduated from the University of Copenhagen. She wrote her first book when she was ten, a tale of two orphan sisters running away to Egypt, fortunately to be adopted by a perfect family they meet on the Orient Express.
Between that first literary exploit and now, she has worked in the Danish civil service, for a travel agent, a consultancy company, in banking, hospital administration, and for a county court before setting herself up as a freelance translator and linguist. Henriette recently began to pursue her writing in earnest winning the New Talent Award in 2011 from the Festival of Romance and a Commended from the Yeovil Literary Prize.
Henriette lives in London.
To keep in touch with Henriette, you can use the following links:-
About Up Close
When Dr. Lia Thompson’s grandmother Ivy dies unexpectedly, Lia leaves her life in America and reluctantly returns to Norfolk to handle her estate. The homecoming stirs not only memories of old childhood fears but new suspicions, as well. When Lia discovers that her grandmother was considered a town gossip—and a woman with many secrets—Lia can’t help feeling that there’s more to her death than meets the eye.
Lia finds an ally in her former teenage crush, ex-navy man Aidan Morrell, and a reignited attraction. But the emotionally scarred Aidan has secrets of his own, and his motives for helping Lia may be hidden in a very dark and personal place. In a world of increasing danger, is Aidan someone she can trust to help retrace her grandmother’s final steps? Or is Lia slowly being edged toward the same chilling fate?
To buy Up Close please use the following links:-
Thank you, Henriette.
Readers don’t forget to check out the Choc Lit online festival over the next two weeks, #ChocLitFestival, which features myself and Victoria Cornwall on Thursday 14 May!