Thursday, June 28, 2007

For Young Ladies

This is an excerpt from the December 15th, 1894 issue of The Ladies Home Companion, and was written by the Editor of that magazine, who was a man.

"In these days, when the women of America are taking place in the front ranks of affairs, the girls are probably the better half of the population- of course they are. But girls and young ladies are not always without faults; they are like all of us, liable to blunder, and it is important that they set before themselves splendid ideals.

To be mothers of men, if men were only more godly, would certainly be the grandest mission intrusted to any of God's creatures. We are largely molded and shaped by our mothers, our sisters, and our sweethearts.

If the girls only knew how much we craved their smiles, their confidence and esteem, and how we look upon them as being our superiors in all that is good and true, they would be more guarded in their words and acts.

We think a pure, sweet woman the best of all God's creation. We want to see in you only what we can admire, adore. We don't like to see you flirting, or rude, laughing, loud or whistling. We don't' like to see you out of temper, or spiteful. We feel hurt when we find you in even little things untrue to yourself, or other girls. We never like to hear you speak in unkind tones of any one, especially of other girls; it so brings you down to earth, you know, and makes us think that after all we are most as good as you are.

When you are good and kind, we strive to be like you, and to be worthy of your love and best regard."

Editor's Note: This was written in 1894, I wonder if any of it is still true in today's society? Do girls really have that much influence on the men and boys around them? It is something to ponder.
Also, though laughing and whistling in public are no longer taboo, being flirtatious, rude, and overly loud is still offensive behaviour in polite society.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

An Easy to Make Fan

A few years ago, my family made hand-held fans to keep in the church house here, as it was without air conditioning. These fans were very simple in design, inspired by the "olden days" when folks had paper fans to keep them cool at summer services, usually with an advertisement from the local funeral home on the back.

I have seen some that have very beautiful pictures printed on them, which one could do with a computer and heavy card stock. We used rubber stamps to decorate our fans. Since it was for church, we put a scripture on each one.

We often kept the doors open at the church house in the summer, this made for some interesting memories. Our Beagle and our cat both tried to attend church, and one Sunday I believe more people were paying attention to a big fat bumblebee zooming over our heads than to what the preacher was saying.

Here is how to make the fan (My example is the one that my mother keeps handy in her Bible):

Use stiff cardstock (we used file folders) or thin cardboard. Trace the shape you want, circle, heart, oval, etc. and cut it out. Decorate as desired. Glue a wide craft stick to the lower half of your shape, about halfway into the shape (or what is needed for stability).

photos and some lovely examples and ideas here:

This site sells fans that are for weddings, what a good idea!

An Inspiring website
This is a beautiful website! I just oohed and ahhed over what this family has done. They have books about writing and keeping a nature journal, as well as a magazine for girls, and it all looks very beautiful.
I picked out this page to share:!.htm
It so reminds me of when I was younger, and the nature notebooks we kept. I remember on one car trip we took our notebooks and stopped various places to pick up "samples" to glue in, including a piece of cotton we picked from the side of the road! Besides what we could put in our notebooks, we had rock and shell collections, and several books to help us identify them. One of my favorite books was a guide to wildflowers.
Later on, my mother had us keep a notebook in which we wrote a scripture and a sketch of something we saw outside every day.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Can you find the Keys of Heaven?

image from (this site tells how to grow it)

(reprinted from the June 1994 Pleasant Times)

"Around the church of Christ building there is a flower called "Keys of Heaven." Mrs. Sherman has some around her house and she says that they're eternal. Anyway, they are a tall plant with pointy leaves in sets of two on the stem, and a globe on top full of very dark pink flowers. You may find some around your house, but of course the real way to find the keys of heaven is found in the book of Acts, chapter two."

Editor's note: Thanks to an overzealous weeder, the Keys of Heaven (which are known as Centranthus ruber ) disappeared from around the church building several years ago (I think it was Tim E. Thanks a lot. ) and from the garden by the church house. But now Mrs. L.B. has kindly donated more, and the garden again has the keys of heaven blooming in it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How do I make this cape?


I've been fascinated with this cape (seen in the movie Sense and Sensibility) and it's construction.

hood detail ( This is a great site for stills of the movie gowns:

I am using a piece of calico to make the pattern out of.

shape from it looks like this when worn (how do I get the pucker out of the back? )

Marianne's cape had a sort of shawl over the shoulders cascading to the front, and it was triangular on either side of the I unpicked some of the back seam... folded it over....

and the front looks like this.

Getting closer?

I changed shapes. By the time I am done trimming down and experimenting the cape will fit the baby!
Not so sure about it, but it does fit really well, no puckers. Now on to the hood...

An experimental shape, a basic hood shape allowing for the front fold-back (see top photo of cape) and back pleats:
It worked pretty well. I basted it to the cape today.

Hee hee, the cape shrunk but the hood is the right size... I really like it.

Now to work on the triangular piece that goes over the cape front and behind the shoulders. Looking at S&S again, I am sure it is sewed on and the seam is visible in front covered in decorative braiding or something. (Update: upon a clearer and closer look, it is just the seam stitched down with a running hand stitch... I think... am I right? But the rest of the edges have some sort of trim/fringe--can't quite tell what or how!)

My piece of experimental fabric is running out! Next experiment will have to be closer to the real thing, with a lining. Maybe I'll make one for the baby!

I wonder what the cape was made out of. I wonder what I should make it out of. I think rose-colored crushed velvet with pink satin lining sounds delightful! I wonder what trim would be used with crushed velvet?

UPDATE: Used pattern and costume fabric to give it a try.

The rose-color material wasn't my thing after all. I went with black and pink. I suppose it is not what Marianne would have worn unless she was in mourning! But perhaps it modernizes the cape somewhat.

Had trouble with the hood for a while, and ended up trimming a lot off... after it was all sewn together! I figured if I made a mistake, it didn't matter. I would probably be consigning this to a dress-up box anyway. But after a while I came to like it quite a bit. It is very fun to wear!

As you can see I left off all the triangular effects. Especially on the hood (I did not want to look like a big black kittycat with pink ears!), and the material was too stretcy to fool around with too much. I just made two layered capes and sandwiched the hood inbetween. I think next time, I'll make the front ends squared instead of tapered (if there is a next time).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

How British were they, anyway?

Picture from "Queen Victoria: Images of Her World"

Queen Victoria is one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) characters of History. Every once in a while I like to share a little tidbit about her.

I was re-reading a book on Queen Victoria, and also found a book of the kings and queens of Britain, and paid a little more attention to where these monarchs came from. (Note: this is a little like Jane Austen's History Of England, I am going to try to be accurate but this isn't a scholarly articles and there will be "very few dates".)

Royal Families have always tried to marry into other royal families to make alliances and keep that royal blood amongst themselves. This makes for some intersting history, such as King William of Orange, who was the Dutch king before became the King of England. Or, in the case of Victoria, her ancestors from Germany.

George the First was from Germany, and became the King of England through some kind of blood connection. George didn't speak English well, and apparantly wasn't really liked by his subjects. The British royal family was called "the house of Hanover" for a time (as George was born in Hanover, Germany and that was sort of like the last name for the family). While the Georges were reigning in England, they were still princes over Hanover.

King George the third's sons married German Princesses. Queen Victoria's mother was a widow of a German prince, and Victoria's half-brother was a German Prince. Victoria herself didn't even speak English until she was 3 years old! She spoke German!

Queen Victoria married a German Duke ( Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ). As a matter of fact, that became the royal family's "last name", when Victoria died. The royal "house" was the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. It wasn't until around the first world war that the royal family changed its name to Windsor.

But back to this British-German Queen. Not only did she marry a German Duke, but Queen Vicoria's many children married into various european royal families: German, Danish and Russian. Thus Victoria, as many of you are aware, was called "the grandmother of Europe."

Of Ship Logs and Blogs

Photo: The Lady Washington sails out of Newport last month.

The other day I was asked what a blog was. Of course most folks know it is short for Web-Log. I explained that a log was a sort of diary or journal to record things in. The captains on ships keep Logs.

Wouldn't you know it, in this day and age, I actually went to the bookshelf and pulled out an encycolpedia "L" book. I am told very few people do that anymore! It is sometimes faster than "firing up" the computer. What I found there was very interesting.

The Ship's Log was actually a record of the ship's log. There was a piece of wood, called a chip log, that they would throw over the back of the ship in the olden days.

The log was connected to the ship by a rope, and that rope had knots tied in it at intervals (that is where the nautical speed measurment "knots" comes from).

The rope with the knots was attatched to a reel on the ship, and however many "knots" were unreeled indicated how fast the ship was going.

That speed, along with the wind direction and other weather and sea observations, was recorded in the book of the ships' log. The Captain would often record other things that happened, battles, births, deaths, sightings of other ships, etc.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

meet the staff

Elizabeth Humphrey, Editor