In each family, every few generations, there comes along an individual who has a predestined path.

Known as The Memory Keeper this person is a family member who gathers and combines together photographs and stories from our present day lives and those of our ancestors, saving and recording memorabilia that would otherwise become lost or forgotten.

Memory Keeper of the Present

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my family I am this generation’s Memory Keeper.

Memory Keeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several generations before me there was Margaret, my Grandfather’s sister. Through her son now passed many of the stories and photographs she shared with her only child, he passed down to me.

Margaret carried a memory book with her wherever she went, recording daily events as they transpired.

Memory Keeper with Bear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They say every picture tells a story. What do you think this one says about Margaret with this young park bear?

I think she looks more innocent than brave and that the bear appears as young and naive as she; happily enjoying the attentions of such a lovely girl.

Gordon Highlander Dingmans Ferry, PA   Gordon Beattie, Summer 1906 l - Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret kept a collection of photographs that have become family treasures, such as this one of Gordon Highlander, her brother during a visit to Dingman’s Ferry in Pennsylvania standing proud before tall Hollyhocks.

It is expected and required that every Memory Keeper create a sacred vessel in which to house their family’s stories. This vessel is then cast with an enchantment by fairies to become a unique one of a kind register of a family’s tales.

Memory vessels are sacred for they carry the dreams, wishes and memories from previous generations to the present day. Passed down from one generation to the next they can serve as inspiration, offering guidance for those seekers that come after, so they know they are never alone, their ancestors are always by their side.

memory keepers book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret created two sacred vessels, a leather bound book she carried everywhere recording as she went and an embroidered box which held photographs the previous Memory Keeper passed to her.

Memory Keeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my turn came for making a sacred vessel of my own I waited until the evening of the first Full Moon of Autumn; then called upon the fairies and my ancestors for guidance and inspiration.

 

possibilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fairies whispered, “use what you have at hand”.  All around me I saw an abundance of discarded cardboard and so with the remains of several large boxes I set about to construct my own unique memory vessel.

Being a Fairy Seamstress it seemed a natural choice that I might create some article of clothing, and so I decided upon a dress, a dress made entirely of cardboard into which I would place my family’s memories.

 

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I collected large boxes from my basement; I stomped up and down happily hopping on them to flatten and then carefully cut them into large pieces. Next I painted each piece of cardboard with three coats of fresh white paint on both sides.  As I worked I noticed fairies arrived, sparkling and whispering at my side.

a bodice appears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I  began to sketch on the cardboard as a bodice appeared. I cut out the bodice and manipulated the cardboard “fabric” into a three dimensional shape which I glued together with a hot glue gun..

painting hues of pink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fairies in their excitement began sprinkling fairy dust on every piece of cardboard I’d painted in soft shades of pink.

Petals are cut

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I was cutting and painting cardboard petals.,

butterflies

 

 

 

 

 

cardboard butterflies…

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and cardboard leaves which I painted a gentle shade of green.

petals for fairy dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was so inspired that I worked all through many days and several nights as a dress took form.

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The fairies whispered,”wings”, and I was happy to oblige.

 

Memory Keepers Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cut and glued together one large cardboard rose,  flowers followed.

Memory Dress

 

 

 

 

 

Before me a lovely cardboard fairy dress had taken form. Inspired by my ancestors and encouraged by the fairies I had created my own unique vessel in which to hold my family’s dreams, stories and memories.

Memory Keepers Dress acquires wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wings enchanted with fairy dust, came to life on a dress made of cardboard inspired by fairies and ancestors who lived before me.

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Every Memory Keeper must present a book of their own; the Fairies whispered to me…”Cardboard, cardboard, it’s in your bone, make a book to house those stories that are your family’s all alone.”

And so I did.

 

Memory Keepers Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I cut and bent more cardboard, I painted, I drew…and a beautiful book began to emerge filling with the stories of ancestors past.

Memory Keepers Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A moth a Sacred Luna Moth”, the Fairies whispered and I complied adding the finishing touch.

The Memory Keepers Dress

 

 

 

 

 

On the eleventh day the dress and book were done, a welcome vessel in which to contain all my families memories, past, present and yet to come.

memory keepers dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look about yourself at the material you have at hand to create your own memory vessel and you too can turn the ordinary into the extra-ordinary.

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