Monday, November 26, 2007

A Paper Chandelier

This glittery chandelier was made by my mother, Mrs. Sherman, for her Christmas decor. This would be nice on a Christmas tree or just a sparkly winter ornament to cheer up gloomy days.Mrs. Sherman will allow the public to copy this original chandelier pattern, as long as you make it your own by changing the pattern slightly (put the bumps in different places!)


Here are the materials: glue, glitter glue, large glitter and gold glitter.

Using the edge of a piece of paper, the pattern is drawn and cut out.


The pattern is then is traced on a folded cardstock for a pattern, and cut out. Make three of these from cardboard cereal boxes or from poster paper. It has to be heavier than cardstock, but cardstock will do. This one is 5 and a half inches high and 5 and a half inches across. You can make whatever size you want, and you can make it more simple, if you like. For example, maybe just make it curved with no humps in it. Cut three from poster paper or heavy cardstock, or some kind of box of the same weight as cereal box, and glue them together back to back to make three "arms."


Here is what it looks like with the three pieces glued together.


Spread the silver glitter glue (with a paint brush) on the chandelier, leaving the "candle tips" bare. Shake silver glitter over the glitter glue. These two coats of glitter really make it sparkle!

Paint the tips of the arms with gold glitter glue to imitate the lights. Use the silver glitter glue over the edges of the paper to finish up. To dry, place in a jar like this. Punch a hole in the top and tie a thread or glittery string through it for hanging.

The Flower Seller

The Flower Seller

The Flower Seller
Art Print

Mulready,...
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I hope my readers will notice the bright blue sky in this painting, and that the colorful flowers and summer weather in the scene warms you up! Personally, I do not mind a gray sky and bitterly cold weather if it brings snow. That would be quite a reward for enduring the dropping temperatures!
For those of you interested in the poster store at the bottom of the page: there is a 25% off sale going on now until Thursday.
Let me also direct my reader's attention to the links again, as I will be updating them with some "creative crafting ideas" that are fun to look at.
-The Editor

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Advertisement

Dear Readers,

Let me humbly direct your attention for a few moments to our Affiliations with AllPosters and Christian Book Distributors. At the bottom of the page you will find our hand-picked advertisements for these companies, please feel free to click through the links and see if anything tickles your fancy (or gives you the idea that it might be a suitable gift for a friend).

Thank you for your kind attention.

The Editor
(and the poor church mice that live around here.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is Sewing A Lost Art?

Some thoughts on sewing, and some links introduced by the Editor of The Pleasant Times.
Antique Dress in the Fort Dalles Museum



The Needle

"The gay belles of fashion may boast of excelling

In waltz or cotillion, at whist or quadrille;

And seek admiration by vauntingly telling

Of drawing, and painting, and musical skill;

But give me the fair one, in country or city,

Whose home and its duties are dear to her heart,

Who cheerfully warbles some rustical ditty,

While plying the needle with exquisite art:

The bright little needle-- the swift-flying needle,

The needle directed by beauty and art.

(In Love by Marcus Stone, from Eras of Elegance,)
Be wise, then, ye maidens, nor seek admiration

By dressing for conquest, and flirting with all;

You never, whate'er be your fortune or station,

Appear half so lovely at rout or at ball,

As gayly convened at a work-covered table,

Each cheerfully active and playing her part,

Beguiling the task with a song or a fable,

And plying the needle with exquisite art:

The bright little needle-- the swift-flying needle,

The needle directed by beauty and art."

-Samuel Woodworth, 1784-1842


Is Sewing a lost art? Perhaps some may say it is at least a dying art, but this Editor thinks that ladies are still interested in making their own clothing, home decor, and gifts, and that sewing may be more popular than it was a generation ago.


The employee at the cutting counter in the fabric department of Wal-Mart told me that she gets many requests from people asking her to teach them to sew. It seems to me (or is it seams to me?) that if sewing was a lost art, that the fabric counter lines would be shorter at Jo-Ann's, the pattern-book table less crowded during a sale, and that those expensive quilt shops in small towns would have gone out of business long ago.




Perhaps there is a conspiracy going on, though- it does seem harder to find decent fabric at a decent price, and the Wal-Mart phasing out their sewing section and rumors of fabric store closures make me wonder. Maybe they don't want us to sew. Maybe the people in power that own all the stores have made a deal with the fashion designers so that we have to wear their off the rack monstrosities, as there will be no other choice! Of course, in that case, the resourceful seamstress knows how to use sheets and curtains for her yardage. Let us hope, however, that it will not come to that (by the way, here is a handy chart if you find a great sheet sale).






Of course, Sewing will be a lost art if we do not pass the needle to the next generation- and I think that it is a great favor that someone will take time out to teach a little girl (or an adult) to sew!

Sewing Circle



My mother has taken on a sewing student, holds weekly lessons for her and is teaching her basic hand sewing. Mother's little student has made a skirt for herself and her doll, a hemmed cloth to go under a tea set, and a simple bag. She uses gingham fabric to make the projects simple- a built in grid helps when you are learning to cut and sew an even seam. The light weight of the fabric helps, too.


I would like to introduce my readers to the links on the left, which I have updated to include a sewing section. These are websites and blogs that are either all about sewing, have a bit of sewing in them, or else are places that I go for inspiration. They are just a small sampling of the sewing sites and blogs on the web. I hope the ambitions of others will inspire my readers to keep their sewing machines out!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bon Voyage!

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Giclee Print

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We wish Ms. Newton a safe and happy journey to England, where she will be on a whirlwind tour of the houses and haunts of some of her favorite writers!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Girls and Their Influence

By The Pleasant Times Resident Etiquette Expert


Note: For this article, the "girls" I refer to are ages 10-30.


Do girls know that they have an influence on the society around them? Either they do, and they are trying to make the world a worse place, or they do not know how powerful their influence is and are throwing away many opportunities of making their lives more comfortable (and safe), as well as the general population. Consider the following items which have come to my attention recently:

I was listening to a man relate what he heard on a bus the other day. The young woman (he said she was very young) sitting ahead of him was clearly flirting with a fellow whose only claim to fame was that he had been on parole since he was ten. This girl said was happy to have recently rid herself of a job because she was taking drugs while working. She mentioned that she had a hangover.

I heard a fellow complaining about the girls in his school. He said they made themselves very annoying, acting very immaturely, and seemed determined to distract anyone they could from the work at hand. Even some of the older (and supposed to be wiser) students, he said, will get pulled down to the level of these girls by their constant silliness.

The girls talk about things that they ought not to, including their drunken revelries, and there is constant swearing. They giggle and laugh at things that are meant to be serious teaching, they flirt with everybody, and dress skimpily in the middle of winter. They interrupt classes with their goings on, and most of the ignorant comments in class were made by them.


It was so bad, that this fellow said he wished the girls were not there.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is sad. In this day and age, when every girl has right to be out in society and go to schools and colleges and places of employment, that because of their conduct a fellow student should wish them elsewhere, and consider them the thorn in the side of his education, this is indeed a pitiable state for girls.

Even at our liberal colleges, where everyone is supposed to be accepted and tolerated, you will find annoyance with foolish girls who do not seem to be there for serious reasons, but only to have a good time and waste their parent's money, or the government's.

And don't you think that I am going to let girls in Christian private schools and colleges off the hook. I have heard stories of the same behaviour (and worse) coming from girls in these places. They may sit still in a pew at church but in other places their conduct is not befitting those who claim to be following a Christian walk. In my own experience, girls are flirtatious and immodest and distracting even in children's Bible classes.

I have heard (worldly and church girls) girls talk about things that are quite private in front of boys, degrade femininity in front of boys, and seen them try to be one of the boys themselves. I have listened to the most idle, useless foolish talking coming from girls who are trying to impress or attract a young man.

Girls, let me tell you something: the meek and quiet spirit, the shamefaced girl, will always attract the proper amount of attention, and she needn't resort to these aforementioned antics for it.


My Next-Door Neighbour, 1894
My Next-Door Neighbour, 1894
Giclee Print

Leighton, Edmund...
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If only girls knew the power of their influence, and used it to regulate the conduct of others around them. If only they would think about what it does to the boys they are trying to impress (and most of the antics of a loud and silly girl are to show off to men). Boys will pull themselves up in conduct to impress the right sort of girl. If he knows she does not like swearing or slothful dress, or bad habits like smoking or chewing tobacco, he will do his best to quit, just to win that girl's favor.

Young Man's Fancy
Young Man's Fancy
Art Print

Rockwell, Norman
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A little girl early on realizes that she has some power- over Daddy. Yes, Daddies are easy to manipulate around those little fingers. But most Daddies have their limits, which are somewhat like brick walls, and so girls learn that Daddy loves them and would give them the moon if he could, but he will not let them get carried away in other areas of life (and wise is the father that will check his daughter's behaviour from babyhood until she is married!).

The dress-maker's account by Henry Stacey Marks

Girls have an influence over their brothers (and boys over their sisters- but that is a subject for another time) which they may not realize. If a sister refuses to do something that she knows is wrong with her brothers, be it play, companions, movies, disobedience to parents, etc., her stand will make an impression with her brothers. They may still go on and do the dreaded thing, without their sister, but taking a stand will create in them a respect for her. If a sister is careful in her life, someday her brother will look to her as someone with good advice, and value her opinions.

A sister's influence can work the other way, too, and cause much trouble and pain.

A Nibble, 1914
A Nibble, 1914
Giclee Print

Leighton, Edmund...
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A girl has great influence over her society. It may be hard for girls to influence other girls who are determined to be wild and flirtatious (one might want to re-evaluate who they spend their time with in this case), but girls really do have quite an influence over boys. Girls may not feel this power of influence if they are not used to self-control, ruling their spirit, reigning in their feelings or guarding their speech. But if they do know how to do these things, they will find that they can be the rudder in conversations and activities with the boys.

A Wet Sunday Morning, 1896
A Wet Sunday Morning, 1896
Giclee Print

Leighton, Edmund...
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A boy or man worth being friends with will be vexed by a loud and obnoxious or flirtatious and giddy girl. He will be embarrassed for the immodest girl, and grieved for the immoral conduct of a girl. However, boys are taught to be polite to all, and some boys are so beaten down by the world that they think they are supposed to be accepting, sociable and friendly with anybody no matter what they do or say. Therefore, they may be easily pulled down to the level of whatever foolishness is going on.

There are boys that are not worth being near, and a girl who uses her influence will be able to tell what kind of boy she is dealing with. If she is "hanging around" with a boy who is not changed by her moral influence, then she had better get away from the parasite (that may seem a harsh phrase, but wait until I write about manners for boys).


If a boy is swearing, and a girl will gasp in shock and horror at it, she may be made fun of initially, but watch and see whether or not the swearing tones down and ceases (if it doesn't, that girl better not play with him anymore). Of course, if the girl is used to swearing herself, it will be harder for her to regulate her companions.

If a boy is fond of joking and jesting foolishly, and the girl does not partake in it, but rather looks disapproving and disturbed, or tries to curb the talk into something more to her taste, he will take note of it. Later on, you will notice a difference in the way he will converse with this girl, and the way he talks to other girls.

Would You Do Us the Honor?
Would You Do Us the Honor?
Art Print

Outin, Pierre
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If a boy is flirtatious with a girl, and she is rather cold towards him, he will be more careful around her.

If a girl objects to the loud obnoxious music a boy is playing, if he has any politeness in him he will turn it down or off. Only if he is used to the girl's sweetness and innocence in conduct towards him, will he have the respect towards her to change his behaviour.

If a girl dresses decently and modestly, a boy will have different conduct towards her than with other girls. Even if he is not acquainted with her, he may speak differently to her, use a more serious tone with her, be more sincere in conversation with her, than he would with immodest girls. Immodestly dressed girls are assumed to be immodest in conduct as well, so a boy will be inclined to take more liberties with his words and mannerisms and foolishness with her. He thinks she will like this kind of thing, whereas the girl who is modest and serious would not approve of any conduct less than a gentleman's.

In Love, 1907
In Love, 1907
Giclee Print

Stone, Marcus
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Girls should start out all new friendships in a serious and modest way, and their influence with others will be easy and pleasant. A girl who is used to unchecked merriment and foolishness will have a hard time convincing her friends that she has changed and why, and will have the sorrow (but hopefully it would rather come as relief) of losing some friends. She will have to endure their sickening and stupid ridicule for every change in her behaviour, and will have to have great control and be steadfast in her purpose so she does not weaken and fall into their silliness again. If she can do this, if she can stick to her goals of being a better influence, she will see that she has accomplished it eventually, and her friends will look up to her and not down on her.


A girl who is friendly and cheerful, modest and sweet, chaste and dedicated to living a Christian life, will always have friends, good and bad. Good friends who value her like mind, and other friends who have no idea of changing themselves but like being with someone who isn't going to hurt them or be unpredictable or wild in their behaviour. Of the latter friends, a girl must be careful.


The girl who is perceived to be more serious in life and is a modest, quiet sort of girl, will find that her influence will make her life better. If she is distressed by the place her friends want to go for fun (a bar, a bad movie, or any other place that a girl SHOULD feel uncomfortable), her objecting to it and providing a smarter alternative may win the day. If it doesn't, then just remember "it is better to be alone than in bad company."

A Source of Admiration, 1904
A Source of Admiration, 1904
Giclee Print

Leighton, Edmund...
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The girl I am describing will have a better time in life than the wild and unchecked girl. Boys will be more cautious not to offend her, and are more inclined to treat her right. Folks old and young will curb their swearing or idle talk when she is around. People will come to her for advice, or know she can be relied upon for certain responsibilities. She will secure men's good opinion wherever she goes. She will find doors opened for her in life, both literally and figuratively. She will find many friends to value, and who value her, and would not want to drag her down in the mire.

The girl who scoffs and scorns at all this and who most likely has the tendency to scoff and scorn anything of true value, will always be surrounded by those who want to do that sort of thing, and who will not be above scoffing and scorning her too. After all, her influence is great even if she is not a good girl, and as people have tended to look up to girls and women for centuries (thinking they will find something pure and good to respect), they will be guided by her example. Therefore, if a girl scoffs, swears, drinks, smokes, is immodest and immoral, etc. She will convince others that those are neat and cool things to do, and she will always be surrounded by those who want to do these things. Or, she will find that she will attract those who already have such scurrilous habits, and see that since she allows such things in her life, they will feel free to come to her circle of friends to practice them and use her until she is all used up.


Girls, wake up and seriously analyze your conduct and look ahead and see its consequences. Please use your influence for good, and see what great changes in society may come from it!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Calling All Sewing Blogs

The Sewing Class




The Sewing Class

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The Editor wishes to add a "sewing blog" list to the links at right during the next week. Any beautiful, inspiring, instructional and reputable sewing blogs may apply, or may be recommended by readers who have found a favorite. Though not all blogs are about sewing, any blog with a sewing section will also qualify. Please send your favorite for consideration to the email address above right. Thank you!
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