Thursday, April 12, 2018

The American Woman: A 1911 Women's Magazine

  I went vintage shopping with my mother today, after a disappointment of not passing my permit test, and I found this amazing package.
  Inside, folded every so gently, was a women's magazine, dated December 1911!
  As many of you know, I have recently been diving deep into the era in which King Edward VII reigned, known as the Edwardian Era. And this find is the second authentic item that I now own for my Edwardian collection.
  So, I thought that it would be fun, to type up an article from this magazine, for each week, for all of you ladies to enjoy.

The Royal Line
By Grace MacGowan Cooke
Author of "Return" "The Flight of Robert Sevier," etc.

  Chapter I
    A Queen

  The long room was nobly proportioned, as magnificently adorned as any you would find at St. James or Versailles. Indeed, architects and artists from the countries of both these palaces had contributed to its beauty. Through the wide windows the air came with a scent of tree-blossoms on its wings; for it was a delicious spring morning, spring in the mountains. Men and women lounging about the walls of the room, bored, expectant, clad in the latest folly from Paris, began to glance uneasily at the great door through which relief would come. They broke into little groups at one window or another, and indulged in low-toned conversations.
"If it is a trying thing to be mistress of the robes," murmured a fat, elderly man, with painfully small patent-leather boots to a woman's face like a horse, but the most beautiful gown in the room, "how much harder is it to be queen herself?" 
"Is that a riddle?" asked Madam Bovard, rasply (?). "Because if it is (?), I know  the-----never." (?)
"(If it is a?) riddle, by all (means), then--it is to me," returned the chamberlain, suavely.
" And the answer is," supplied she of the gown, shrugging a perfectly fitted shoulder, "that when it is spring in Waldavia and one is young, it is no trouble whatsoever to be queen. We can always pretend we are a shepherdess, you know, and go strolling with--with whom we choose--while the audience cools its heels and waits."
  Herr Scharff raised his brows, pursed his lips and played with the ribbon of his eyeglass.
"You will see," the mistress of the robes persisted, "Look. Listen."
  The great valves in the archway at the farther end of the room swung apart. Everybody came to his feet.
  But instead of revealing the figure of Elfrida, maiden queen of Waldavia, the opening showed a slender woman in black, a tall functionary behind her.
  Great, sombre eyes, with the passion and pathos of vassalage, looked out at the world from under a brow whose delicate modeling should have been madonna-like, yet whose lines somehow carried out a hint of jealous twisting in the overslender contours of the lower face. A touching aspect to the thoughtful, yet a countenance of great, if hidden, power.
"Her Majesty begs your indulgence this morning," said the newcomer in a soft voice, "The queen is indisposed for audience. The north garden and the wood are reserved exclusively for royal use."
  She bowed humbly, this woman born a slave, bought in the markets of Constantinople. Countess Lenkoran they had made of the Greek child Kassandra. She had no high official statues, but her position about the person of the queen more than one in Waldavia envied.
  The doors closed. The mistress of the robes turned with sparkling eyes to her companion.
"What did I tell you? We are not to intrude on the north garden because--well, Adam and Eve met in a garden, by the way."
"And there was a serpent, if I remember rightly. Let me lead you down."
  The two joined the stream that was hurrying from the room, released for the day, each now intent upon his or her own pleasure.  

Monday, February 19, 2018

Practically Perfect in Every Way

  So, I am pretty certain that many who know me, deep down inside, ever wonder why I dress as if I was a living Gibson Girl.....right?
  It is perfectly fine if any of you answer with yes. I sometimes wonder, myself, why I do this? 
  I would like to answer those questions....even for me. 
  For as long as I can remember, I started out as a very girly girl. I loved barbies, dressing up, and ballet. Two of those ended up becoming a dream come true for this little girl, (ballet and dressing up)
  About the time I started sports (being soccer, basketball, swimming lessons and softball) my looks started to change from girly, to more sporty. I remember not enjoying wearing dresses at certain ages. I never wanted my hair curled, and would hardly brush it either. It got to the point where I had to have my long hair chopped off, and taught to brush my hair. 
   I then slowly saw myself going back to a more girly girl.

  I loved having fancy handmade dresses, made by my wonderful mother, and many of them were for dances and piano recitals. (Yes, I took piano at the age of eight, and now am at ten years of playing.)
  About twelve years old, I was introduced to Lord of the Rings. At that moment, and I am being completely honest, I did not enjoy being a female. I made myself believe that men were better than women, and had much more to do, while women stayed home and did all of the boring work. I even remember telling my Mom that being a housewife was boring, and that I wanted a job, and to go to college. I wanted to be a smart, successful, educated person, to never be tied down to housework. (But, of course, all of that has changed. I am more than excited to become a housewife once I am married.) 
   I imagined myself as all the male characters from my favourite shows, and would try to dress as close to them as possible. 
   This went on for a few years, but then about a year and a half ago, I left the idea of trying to be cool, and accepted myself as a woman. 
    Now, a new hard adventure began.
   This past summer...things got a little crazy.  I wasn't aware that my womanly figure was quickly growing in. I thought that I was eating too much, and needed to exercise. to get fit and thin. What I didn't understand, was, no matter how hard I try, I will never be stick thin. I found out, that my body type was curvy. I then became very self conscious about myself. I started going through the awkward stage, that I wish that I had as a younger girl. 
    I tried desperately to find a sense of fashion that would fit my body type. My jeans became to tight, many of my once slender shirts that fit a more slender body, became tight in the wrong places. 
    I tried covering my acne face with makeup (which obviously makes it worse). 
    I believe that you could just say, that I tried to look like a gorgeous model. And this has been going on for the past few months. 
    All of the famous women that I tried to dress like, were very tall, very slender, and very thin. I, in every way, wasn't and will not, fit that category. 

   I never really felt beautiful in my own body....until recently.
   I am a very curvy girl, (as I said before) and through all these hard trials of fashion, I have finally found the one fashion type that fits me perfectly. What is known as the Gibson Girl. 
   A Gibson Girl was known to be very tall (I sadly do not fit that, though), and to have a very small waist. And the only way to achieve the body type of a Gibson Girl, you either have the aid of a corset (which, will soon be in my closet. I am very excited), or to have the borne body type. 
   I, without knowing it, was borne with the Gibson Girl look. It just hit my very quickly, when I least expected it. 
   I studied hundreds of photos of Edwardian women, and the art style of the Gibson Girl. I fell in love with the fashion, because it was finally something that I could wear, that would fit my body type. 
   Now, with all that said, here is the other reason why I dress this way. 

   For me, personally, I cannot be happy, or even beautiful dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, (though I am not saying that no one looks beautiful that way. I, deep down inside, feel that I cannot pull that off happily). It feels like a mask to me. As if I am hiding who I truly am. 
   Yes, I do get lazy and end up wearing jeans, but I am finding that that is slowly fading away. 
   I even felt that my costumes, for the longest time, were a mask, but it was because I didn't know myself. I tried to be so many different characters, because I was afraid to be myself. And I was very unhappy about the way I looked. 
   But, as for instance, when I put on this yellow dress for prom last week, I felt like me. I only wore a minimal amount of makeup. When I looked in the mirror, I saw me. 
   In the past, I hated looking at myself in the mirror, because I thought that I was ugly, or weird and out of place. 
   I am out of place, but in the most wonderful way. I was and am beautiful. I didn't cover myself up that night. I walked and talked as me, dress, hair and all. 
   I try to go back and dress like the world says that I should, and I am even wearing a pair of pants now, as I type this. But, deep down inside, I wish that I had an Edwardian day dress on now, with my hair styled the Gibson Girl way, and a delicate pair of heels on my feet. 

    People will still ask me why I dress like this, or why I'm dress like this in my Senior pictures. They will try to convince me that there is no reason for it. 
    As the song goes, 
"When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me" 
 The Greatest Showman

      I am me, and there is no other way that I would rather be. 
    And with that, I'd like to conclude to all of you who feel the same way. Don't let people brake you down, and tell you who you should be. You be who you want to be, as long as it lines up with God's word. Believe in yourself, and let your dreams fly as far as you want them to go. 


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Oatmeal Banana Cookies

  I love oatmeal banana cookies, and it's a healthy snack to have with a cup of tea.
  The sweet taste of bananas with the spice of cinnamon is delicious.

Recipe: (From the Taste of Home's Complete guide to Baking)

1 cup butter-flavored shortening (I used normal butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flower
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3 medium bananas, mashed
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (I skipped this one)

1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the bananas, oats and chocolate chips. (I mixed by hand, with a wooden spoon)

 2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Immediately remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 4 dozen.


The American Woman: A 1911 Women's Magazine

  I went vintage shopping with my mother today, after a disappointment of not passing my permit test, and I found this amazing package.   I...