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Sylvia Olsen's Blog

From drop-out to doctor

Posted by Sylvia Olsen on

In 1972 I dropped out of school after completing grade eleven and married my best friend and love of my life. “What did your parents think of that?” people ask. I was a good student and had my eye on going to university. But I was also a girl and my parents were fundamentalist Christians who expected Jesus to return to earth before the end of the century. So getting married was not only what they wished for their daughters, they didn’t think there was much use in a worldly education. And besides, getting married was a better fate for...

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Slow down. There's time.

Posted by Sylvia Olsen on

I’m not the first person to say, “Slow down. There’s time.” But if I’m truthful I don’t believe myself when I say it. “Slow down. There’s time” is like one of those posters on Facebook printed in pale green italics on a peaceful scene of wild berries waiting to be picked. There really isn’t time to write the books I want to write. Each one will take three or four years and that puts me into my eighties before I write them all supposing I don’t think of even one more story after today. Not only is that unlikely but people...

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Ella inspired

Posted by Sylvia Olsen on

My mother taught me that moderation in all things was the goal in life. Skirts not too long and not too short. Eat until you’re full but never too much. Don’t raise your voice. Stay calm. Keep your opinions to yourself. Don’t let your emotions trump your better judgment.  My mother, Ella and me Even as a little girl I thought her approach to life was boring. “If we all live like that,” I would say to her, “nothing new will ever happen.” Someone had to go screaming past moderation and bust into excess or I would die of suffocation....

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Celebrating creativity

Posted by Sylvia Olsen on

I am asked...will you ever run out of designs? No. Not when there are Christmas boots for teddy bears to make.

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A short history of Coast Salish knitting told through the sweaters that made it famous.

Posted by Sylvia Olsen on

The title is a mouthful but a lot has been written about the Cowichan…Indian…Coast Salish sweater and I want to show the story so people can read the sweaters as well as the words that I write about them. The tangible, visual objects themselves have so much to tell knitters, history buffs and people who are interested in the currently topical issue of cultural appropriation. The sweaters are ambassadors. They are threads between cultures. If we look hard at them they show us about the things we share, the things we love, the things we have in common. I love them...

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