Romantic Tie for the Weekend Date

This is your tie today, boy. It’s romantic without being girly. (According to me). This weekend we would be attending my Grandfather’s memorial party. I think a nice charcoal suit, a shirt some shade of grey (very pale) and this silvery rose tie. Top it off with a hat, in the style of the 1930’s. Dress shoes.

This tie comes from McDade.

When Women Carried Swords

Hat pins were not a joke. If women still wore hat pins there would be a hat pin fetish.

Being stuck with a hat pin would not make a good fetish. Too dangerous.

Some of them were 12 inches long, sharp and not used as a medical instrument traditionally.  I’m sure there would be a lot of accidental deaths by hat pin.

On the other hand, they may have been better than pepper spray at keeping the mashers at bay. 

In March 1910, Chicago’s city council ran with that idea, debating an ordinance that would ban hatpins longer than nine inches; any woman caught in violation would be arrested and fined $50. The proceedings were packed with curious spectators, men and women, and acrimonious from the start. “If women care to wear carrots and roosters on their heads, that is a matter for their own concern, but when it comes to wearing swords they must be stopped,” a supporter said. Cries of “Bravo!” from the men; hisses from the women. Nan Davis, there to represent several women’s clubs, asked for permission to address the committee. “If the men of Chicago want to take the hatpins away from us, let them make the streets safe,” she said. “No man has a right to tell me how I shall dress and what I shall wear.”

Despite Davis’ impassioned speech, the ordinance passed by a vote of 68 to 2. Similar laws subsequently passed in several other cities, including Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and New Orleans. Ten thousand miles away, in Sydney,  Australia, sixty women went to jail rather than pay fines for wearing “murderous weapons” in their hats. Even conservative London ladies steadfastly refused to buy hatpin point protectors.

Via smithsonianmag.com

The Train Not Taken

Originally posted: November 17, 2006

He was on the train again. The guy with a shaved head, charcoal grey suit this time and a red silky looking scarf. No hat, he never wore a hat no matter how much it snowed or rained. I always watched him, shy, from my seat. Sometimes he noticed me, sometimes he didn’t.

I hadn’t seen him this past week. One whole week of commuting without seeing him. I had nearly cried on Friday night, thinking he must have moved or changed jobs and I would never have the chance to meet him now. I regretted not doing something, even something really dumb.

But, there he was back again. Same shaved head, same suit and that same smiley face. He was just one of those people who seemed to smile easily. Sometimes he had conversations with the people around his seat. He laughed easily too and it was a laugh that made me smile, even on the hardest days when I felt worn down to a stub of myself.

I had to meet him tonight, finally. I couldn’t let another day pass by. Maybe he had moved and today was one last trip on the old commuter train. My palms were slick and my stomach in knots but I just had to do something this time.

I knew I looked ok, not one of my better days for looks but it wasn’t too bad. Hopefully I didn’t get too wind blown while I was waiting at my stop for the train. I couldn’t quite dare reach up to pat my hair, he might look over at just that moment. Continue reading The Train Not Taken

Pincushions: Make Them, Collect Them and Use Them

teacup pincushionPincushions are functional, decorative and the best way to keep your sewing pins from winding up in various odd places around the house. If you don’t sew you could collect hat pins and use a fabulous pincushion to display them.

The first pincushion I remember using was my Grandmother’s standard tomato-strawberry pincushion. It was red with green embroidery, Made in China. Hers had two strawberries, hanging from the side.

That pincushion design started in the Victorian era. It probably came from the idea of having a tomato on the hearth for good luck in the home. When tomatoes were not available families would use a red ball stuffed with sawdust. At some point it became used to hold pins while the ladies were sewing. (There was a lot of hand sewing in those days).

I don’t know if my Grandmother’s pincushion was stuffed with sawdust. But the old way was to stuff the tomato with wool roving to prevent the pins from getting rusty. The attached strawberry was filled with abrasive to clean and sharpen the pins.

Pincushions are one of the pretty extras you can use when you sew. You can sew without using a pincushion. Just as you don’t really need a thimble, but the pincushion is tradition, adds history and elegance to the event. I don’t wear an apron when I cook, but I still like to look at patterns for sewing them and embellishing them. It’s not about what you need but more about what you want.

The pincushion needs to be the right size to not get in the way of your work, yet it has to hold a good load of pins as you work. It should have stuffing which is tightly packed so your pins don’t wobble around or sink right through up to their heads. I’ve seen very pretty pincushions which would be decorative but not very functional. If you buy a pincushion make sure it’s more than just a pretty face.

See More Pincushion Designs

I Know I Left it Somewhere…

Forgive me Diary, it’s been…. a long time since I’ve written. Not that I’m Catholic and guilty of anything in particular, I’m just using being busy with nothing much as an excuse.

I wonder what stuff is playing in your head as you read this? Do you have show tunes, oldies, or something entirely different? I’m hearing big band (I think that’s what it’s called). Earlier it was Rainbow Connection by Willie Nelson but that was because I heard it earlier (outside of my head but now, of course, it’s inside my head). Before, or somewhere between, I was listening to an orchestra and watching Fred Astaire dancing in a ballroom. His partner had a long, white glittery dress. But, it was all in black and white so in fact the dress could have been another colour entirely. These are the days of my head. A lot seems to be going on in there. Any time I stop to watch there are usually dancers of some sort. I like the Irish dancers and the fiddle music especially. Do other people have all this in their head usually? These are the things I wonder.

Now I’m thinking about that white gown and redesigning it. It’s starting to have a beach theme, there is a pattern like gentle waves along the hem, about five inches up the skirt from the bottom. Still all in white though. Sleeveless, just white straps at the shoulders, not those spaghetti straps (this is a dress she has to dance in after all, it wouldn’t do for her to have it falling off due to a strap breaking).  A hat would be kind of nice but impractical for the dancing. Still.. it’s my head and I can have her wear a hat if I want to. Something that looks like a partially squashed top hat, a bit informal like that. No veil this time. But it’s white and has the same snow-like glitter as the dress.

You’ve probably seen enough of my head now. About two days later and I still feel a bit weird headed after the clunk from the bow window. I must not have a concussion or anything to worry about. But maybe something is wobbling around up there. At least the headache isn’t very noticeable today. I can still spell my own name and I know what day it is (I looked at the calendar).  So I’m not worried about it, just keeping a check on myself till it all feels right again.

It is a lovely day today. The kind I like anyway. Just a non-weather kind of day. It’s a bit breezy and cool. My Mother the snowbird and gardener doesn’t care for it. But, for me it’s just about perfect. Not hot or humid. I could just about talk myself into going back to bed to enjoy it properly. It helps that I’m actually tired and would love to have an hour nap, or so.

Enough useless babbling. I do have stuff to do. I know I left it somewhere…