Notes from Windward: #61

Making Memories: Celebrating Mothers and Daughters Through Traditions, Crafts and Lore

From the March 19, 2001 issue of Publishers Weekly:

    "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. (Simon & Schuster, $14 paper, 250p, ISBN 0-684-87264-1)

Publisher's Weekly is the industry trade publication that bookstores use to decide which books to order. Being reviewed there is a "big deal" for an author.

Review from the Editors of Barnes & Noble:

Making Memories: Celebrating Mothers and Daughters through
Traditions, Crafts and Lore
Joyce Marlow
ISBN: 0684872641
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Create new memories and traditions while preserving the past with the wonderful ideas in this book. Gracefully combining two basic truths -- that strong bonds are formed though the act of creating something and that women typically show great aptitude for initiating and maintaining family traditions -- this lovely guide proposes a broad range of activities that will strengthen family ties by enhancing the simple pleasures of everyday life and adding new meaning to holidays and special occasions.

Projects range from the simple (compiling a photo album or keeping a diary) to the elaborate (quilting or putting together a trousseau). But all are grounded in the idea that family traditions, regardless of how long they have been in practice, are a perfect way to commemorate our own lives, honor the lives of loved ones who are no longer with us, and contribute to lasting happy memories for our children and their children.

While Marlow relates tales of holiday traditions spanning generations, heirlooms rich with history, and genealogies full of descriptive detail straight from the mouths of family elders, she is consistent in her assertion that it is never too late to start a tradition or designate an heirloom of your own. You may not have grandma's antique china, but why not frame her old lace handkerchief in a shadow box for a lovely keepsake to pass on to your own daughters? If the holidays feel like they've been taken over by the frenzy of commercialism, try instituting a family- oriented tradition, such as having your children make the star to top the tree. You may not have kept a diary of your own schooldays, but you can start compiling a special scrapbook of your child's school achievements, art projects, photos, or report cards, which you will both treasure.

There are so many ideas from which to choose, it is impossible for readers to come away without a handful of projects suited to their personal tastes and lifestyles. This treasure trove of ideas will inspire readers to initiate meaningful traditions and form lasting bonds with their mothers and/or daughters, creating cherished memories all the while. And the recipes sprinkled throughout the book will provide even more incentive to embark on a new tradition with family and loved ones.

(Karen Burns)