Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Two Mothers, Two Daughters

The theme for this month of ‘Parents and Children’ has been very interesting so far. Some stories are beautiful, some are sad, many are happy, some have sparked interesting comments and discussions. All are profound and special in their own way, especially to the authors who posted them.

Several years ago, I found some family photos and looked through them to find images of my Oma (a German endearment for Grandmother), one of my Mom and one of me. The funny thing is, each of us was more or less the same age when we had these photos taken – just many years apart! And the poses are strikingly similar!!

I reduced the photos to the same size and made them the same tones: black and white for continuity. Next I had them professionally transferred onto some linen fabric. Then it was my turn to work with the piece. The fabric was stretched onto a large embroidery frame so as not to crease the printed photos. I added some simple silk ribbon embroidery flowers, seed pearls, beads and 2heart charms. The final step was to have it properly framed.

My Mom opened it on Mother’s Day, a few years ago now. She cried because she thought the photo of her mother had long been lost. She loved this piece I made for her and kept it on her wall for many years. Now that she is gone, I treasure it, too. It reminds me that we are linked through our parents and grandparents to the past. Although I know I will never have a daughter, it reminds me too, that everyone is also linked to the future.


Two Mothers, Two Daughters


January 7, 2008 - Posted by | Art, Parents and Children


  1. Bonny, what a lovely story! And what a lovely gift you gave, so touching. There is something so timeless about seeing these three generations portrayed in this way. It spèaks of continuity, of constance, and of proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 7, 2008

  2. Very nice entry, Bonny! I have a small story to tell, concerning one of my clients portraits, which is very similar to yours …
    I´ll write it here as a comment when we have internet again..

    Comment by Miki | January 7, 2008

  3. This is so beautiful, Bonny! What a precious gift for your mom. Now I think I’m going to cry, thinking about old photos. I’m wondering if I can even find one of my grandmother. My mother has all the old photos in Arizona right now.

    Comment by shelleymhouse | January 7, 2008

  4. Old family photos! Great! I could spend hours and hours going through it… I also have two with my mother, very special, both before she married… I’ll try to find them… Yours are great and there is, no doubt, a family “air” to them…

    Comment by iondanu | January 7, 2008

  5. Thank you All for your nice comments. I thought this would be a fitting entry for the “Parents and Children” theme. It has a bit of a twist because two photos show mothers and two show daughters.

    This has been a very thought provoking theme and we’ve had some really interesting stories and discussions.

    Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Miki and Kev: I hope you get your Internet connection back soon! I’d love to see your story, Miki!

    Comment by Bonny | January 8, 2008

  6. So much heart in this! What a treasure you’ve created. I’d love to follow your example.

    Comment by Susan Cornelis | January 8, 2008

  7. Susan, go for it! You do such lovely paintings! I’m sure you could come up with a combination of your own, or even similar.

    Then you could post it here (we have until the end of the month). We could all share in your creativity.

    Comment by Bonny | January 8, 2008

  8. There is so much love in this story. What a wonderful experience to have shared this with us.


    Comment by Michael | January 10, 2008

  9. Hi everybody… still not on home internet, but getting slowly used to a public room and more able to imagine the Cafe Crem walls around me, to isolate my brain and heart towards all of you…
    Yes, Bonny, the story… I have a Dutch client, she has a charcoal portrait of her mother, painted when she was 18. This mother ordered a portrait of her daughter -my client- as she became 18, exactly in the same style as her own.
    2 years ago this woman came to me and told me the story of these 2 portraits and ordered me a portrait of her own daughter, who just became 18, in charcoal too, to continue the series. She has another daughter too, who was 15 at that time, and as soon as she will be 18, she will order me a portarit of her too!
    The 3 portraits (her mother, herself and her first daughter) are on her wall now, close to each other, with an empty room after, waiting for my portrait of the second daughter. I found this very touching, and a wonderful idea, and your entry reminded me exactly of them.

    I found your entry very touching too, for another reason. I could see and almost touch the family line built by your oma, your mother and yourself, and somehow I felt a deep sadness imagining this line cut now…
    Strange somehow, because i have no children myself, and NEVER had problems to cut my own line… perhaps it was because I saw you three, so similar, that it made me deeply realise, what a family line is…
    Great words about the links to the past and to the future…

    Comment by Miki | January 10, 2008

  10. Hi Miki and Everybody;

    Your story of the charcoal portraits is wonderful, Miki! It shows these Mothers are really connected to their families and want to preserve what they have now before it changes.

    Your story illustrats that there are still people who value the family bonds and continuity of line and love, regardless of the modern disease of divorce and separation. Not everyone has those same feelings regarding strong family ties and I know in many cases it’s better to be on your own.

    I was always closer to my Mom than to my Dad, although I miss both of them very much. My Mom had 2 children before me, both of whom died. I was her last chance and then I was born 3 months too early. So you can see in another way, why I have such strong feelings about my Mother.

    I hope you do that 4th portrait, Miki. It’s your connection of continuity with them that you have done so many of that family’s portraits. That special in itself.

    Thanks for sharing your story. It too, is very special.


    Comment by Bonny | January 10, 2008

  11. Bonny, do i understand right that your grandmother is German? Somehow I loved to read the word “Oma” here in Cafe Crem, I have spent almost my whole adult life in Germany, and I always loved the words “Oma” and “Opa”, they really sound like kind grand-parents!

    Comment by Miki | January 11, 2008

  12. Hi Miki;

    Yes, Miki. Both my grandparents on my Mother’s side were German, as was my mother. My father was Canadian and married Mom after he met her in Germnay just after the war. I was born in Canada, but spent the first 8 years of my life in Nord Rhein Westfallen. I did up to grade 2 there and then Dad wanted to come home to Canada. That was when I met my Canadian grandparents. I still have some distant family of my Mom’s in Germany, my school friends and my Mom’s best friend from her school days there. She was and is still, like my second mother because I spent so much time with her and her family growing up.

    Where did you live, Miki?

    Comment by Bonny | January 11, 2008

  13. Guten Morgen Bonny!
    I moved to Germany as I was 19 and lived there til some years ago. First I studied in Göttingen, worked there too in the university, all together about 10 years, then 10 other years in Papenburg, in Emsland, and finally about 10 last years in Freiburg…
    Where exactly have YOU lived in Nord Rhein Westfallen?

    Comment by Miki | January 11, 2008

  14. Miki, my Dad was in the Göttingen University Hospital for a couple of years. He had major complications from war wounds that finally caught up with him. I remember going there with my Mom every weekend after her work was done.
    We lived in Kreis Herford/Osnabrück, near Bünde. I went to Kindergarten in Bünde, but then we moved to Rödinghausen, a little village. I went to school there. More than 30 years later I met my teacher again and we corresponded until he died a couple of years ago. I still have connections over there.
    Ist doch eine kleine Welt, nicht wahr??!

    Comment by Bonny | January 11, 2008

  15. Es ist eine kleine welt, das ist richtig,bonnie! my hometown of Derby in the UK is twinned with Osnabruck, and i have played many times both there and in Herford. somewhere ive got pics of the band larking about in Osnabruck, I will try and find them and post a couple on here.

    Comment by kevmoore | January 11, 2008

  16. Oh Kevin, if you find them, I would love to see those photos!

    I didn’t know that Derby and Osnabrück are twinned with each other. I have been to London a few times but never outside of there. If I remember from TV shows Derby is a really beautiful country area.

    Comment by Bonny | January 11, 2008

  17. Es ist so wahr, Bonny, es ist eine wirklich kleine Welt! I know of course the Göttingen Uni Hospital, in fact I think we called it “Die Uniklinik”, I guess you mean the same place. I had some medicine students friends working there…
    Have you been back in Göttingen since that time?
    I havent, since I left, but I want to go back there with Kevin, one day, because I really loved this little town, the student life there was fabulous!!!
    I was studying there in the “Maths Institut”, many famous scientists, mathematicians and physicians, had been there before, sat on the same benches as me,,, so touching somehow… the atmosphere was great in that Institut!

    Comment by Miki | January 12, 2008

  18. Ja genau, die Uniklinik, das war es. Ich war damals noch jung. Jeden Samstag fuhren wir mit dem Zug um Papa zu besuchen. Das war schon lange Jahre her.

    It’s great you studied there! I think even today the Göttingen Uni has a really good reputation. I haven’t actually been back to that town since then, but I’ve taken Rob just about everywhere else I remember from my childhood.

    Neat that you and I have this small connection to a part of Germany! It has beautiful areas that I remember well.

    Comment by Bonny | January 12, 2008

  19. Yes, it is wonderful that we have that place together in our memories, it is almost as if we are really there together, right now, when we speak about it. The “feeling of reality” is such a strange mix of real reality, of memories, of imagination, of dreams, of wishes…!
    Yes, the Uni had a great reputation… and it was a great Uni!
    When we will go to Göttingen, I promise, Bonny, we will send you a postcard from there!

    Comment by Miki | January 13, 2008

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: