Friday, June 15, 2018

Elegance is Everything: A Pink Saturday Post

   I'm one known for elegance, and I love to add it everything! My handwriting, my clothing, hair and even my bedroom.
   I thought that it would be fun to show you a few of my elegant 'pink' decorations that I have scattered in my room.


   Starting with my cream curtains, I love adding these white and pink flower garlands, that I made, to add a little spring touch to them. My room is full of flowers, and you'll be seeing a few pics with flowers in them. :)


   Next comes this fun little section, on my bedside table. (I've had the table since I was a little girl). The basket was my flower girl basket for my cousin's wedding. I added bunches of white and pink flowers, from my graduation, inside.
   Next to it, is a garnished box, that held a sweet smelling soap. It's a music box as well, and plays Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy'.
   In front of the two, is a little box, from India, that a sweet friend gave to me, while I was in England two years ago.


   This flower fair box, I've had for as long as I can remember. It was kept in a room, that my grandmother had for me, in her house.


   This adorable little, jar frame was given to me, as a graduation gift, from my brother. I added more graduation flowers to it, and mounted it above my bedside table.


   Next, would be this ballerina (from a ballerina set my grandmother gave me), with a lovely pink rose on her tutu.


   This is one of two teacups, from a tea set that my mother gave me. It's a lovely set, with pink garnishes. In front of the cup, is another ballerina, this time dressed in a full pink tutu.


   This beautiful, fairy light switch cover, I have had for as long as I can remember. It has been in my room in every single house that we have moved into, again for as long as I can remember.


   This antique Victorian pillbox, I found in an antique shoppe, while me and Mom were in Washington last month. I've recently started putting pills and mints in this adorable little box, and it fits perfectly in my purse. It's a fun, little thing to carry.


   This shell is a part of a collection, that I have had for years. They came in a tea box, that my Mom would buy every payday. And, of course, I've found a few in an antique shoppe as well.


   This last thing is a few fun little decorations that I put on my windowsill. The mirror in the jar, I painted pink. I also added the garnishes on the jar. Also, the pink flowers on the packet is a vintage flower packet that I got for my graduation.
   Pink, as everyone can see, is one of my absolute favourite colors, and who knows.....you may see more!.
   And...of course, if you wish to see more pink, than please visit Beverly's Pink Saturday post, (http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/my_weblog/2018/06/anything-goes-pink-saturday-june-16-2018.html)  and the many who have joined behind her.
   Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

"My Lady Caprice" by Jeffery Farnol (1912)


Hello, ladies.
 I've enjoyed posting the first chapter of "The Royal Line", from the American Women Magazine, and decided that I will also post a chapter from a copy of "My Lady Caprice" (dated 1912) as well.
 I hope that y'all will enjoy.



                                                        "My Lady Caprice"
                                           by Jeffery Farnol

                 
                                                                            I
                                                                 Treasure Trove

 I sat fishing. I had not caught anything of course--I rarely do, nor am I fond of fishing in the very smallest degree, but I fished assiduously all the same, because circumstances demanded it. 
 It had all come about through Lady Warburton, Lisbeth's maternal aunt. 
 Who Lisbeth is you will learn if you trouble to read these veracious narratives--suffice it for the present that she has been an orphan from her youth up, with no living relative save her married sister Julia and her Aunt (with a capital A)--the Lady Warburton aforesaid. 
  Lady Warburton is small and somewhat bony, with a sharp chin and a sharper nose, and invariable uses lorgnette; also, she is possessed of much worldly goods.
  Precisely a week ago Lady Warburton had requested me to call upon her--had regarded me with a curious exactitude through her lorgnette, and gently though firmly (Lady Warburton is always form) had suggested that Elizabeth, though a dear child, was young and inclined to be a little self-willed.
  That she (Lady Warburton) was of opinion that Elizabeth had mistaken the friendship which had existed between us so long for something stronger. That although she (Lady Warburton) quite appreciated the fact that one who wrote books, and occasionally a play, was not necessarily immoral--still I was, of course, a terrible Bohemian, and the air of Bohemia was not calculated to conduce to that degree of matrimonial harmony which she (Lady Warburton) as Elizabeth's Aunt, standing to her in place of a mother, would wish for. That, therefore, under these circumstances my attentions were--etc., etc.
  Here I would say in justice to myself that despite the torrent of her eloquence I had at first made some attempt at resistance; but who could hope to contend successfully against a woman possessed of such an indomitable nose and chin, and one, moreover, who could level a pair of lorgnette with such deadly precision? Still, had Lisbeth been beside me things might have been different even then; but she had succeeded in wringing from me a half promise that I would cease my attentions for the space of six months, "just to give dear Elizabeth time to learn her own heart in regard to the matter."
  This was last Monday. On the Wednesday following, as I wandered aimlessly along Piccadilly, at odds with Fortune, and myself, but especially Duchess of Chelsea.
  The Duchess is familiarly known as the "Conversational Brooke" from the fact that when once she begins she goes on forever. Hence, being my than frame of mind, it was with a feeling of rebellion that I obeyed the summons of her parasol and crossed over to the brougham.
"So, she's gone away?" was her greeting as I raised my hat--"Lisbeth," she nodded, "I happened to hear something about her, you know."
  It is strange, perhaps, but the Duchess generally does "happen to hear" something about everything.
"And you actually allowed yourself to be bullied into making that promise--Dick! Dick! I'm ashamed of you."
"How was I to help myself?" I began. "You see--"
"Poor boy!" said the Duchess, patting me affectionately with the handle of her parasol, "it wasn't to be expected of course. You see, I know her---many, many years ago I was at school with Agatha Warburton."
"But she probably didn't use lorgnette then, and---"
"Her nose was just as sharp though---'peaky', I used to call is," nodded the Duchess. "And she has actually sent Lisbeth away--dear child--and such a horrid, quiet little place, too, where she'll have nobody to talk to but that young Selwyn---"
"I beg pardon, Duchess, but---"
"Horace Slewyn, of Selwyn Park--cousin to Lord Selwyn, of Brankesmere. Agatha had been scheming for it a long time, under the rose, you know. Of course, it would be a good match, in a way--wealthy, and all that,--but I must say he bores me horribly--so very serious and precise!"
"Really!" I exclaimed, "do you mean to say--"
"I expect she will have them married before they know it--Agatha's dreadfully determined. Her character lies in her nose and chin."
"But Lisbeth is not a child--she has a will of her own, and---"
"True," nodded the Duchess, "but it it a match for Agatha's chin? And then, too, it is rather more than possible that you are become the object of her bitterest scorn by now."
"But, my dear Duchess---"
"Oh, Agatha is a born diplomat. Of course she has written before this, and without actually saying it has managed to convey the fact that you are a monster of perfidy; and Lisbeth, poor child, is probably crying her eyes out, or imagining she hates you, is ready to accept the first proposal she receives out of pure pique."
"Great heavens!" I exclaimed, "what on earth can I do?"
"You might go fishing," the Duchess suggested thoughtfully.
"Fishing!" I repeated, "--er, to be sure, but---"
"Riverdale is a very pretty place they tell me," pursued the Duchess in the same thoughtful tone; "there is a house there, a fine old place called Fane Court. It stands facing the river, and adjoins Selwyn Park, I believe."
"Duchess," I exclaimed, as I jotted down the address upon my cuff, "I owe you a debt of gratitude that I can never---"
"Tut, tut!"said her Grace.
"I think I'll start to-day, and---"
"You really couldn't do better," nodded the Duchess.
                                                        **************************
 And so it befell that upon this August afternoon I sat in the shade of the alders fishing, with the smoke of my pipe floating up into the sunshine.
 By adroit questioning I had elicited from mine host of the Three Jolly Anglers the precise whereabouts of Fane Court, the abode of Lisbeth's sister, and guided by his directions, had chosen this sequestered spot, where by simply turning my head I could catch a glimpse of its tall chimneys above the swaying green of treetops.
  It is a fair thing upon a hot summer's afternoon within some shady bower to lie  upon one's back and stare up through a network of branches into the limitless blue beyond, while the air is full of the stir of leaves, and the murmur of water among the reeds. Or propped on lazy elbow, to watch perspiring wretches, short of breath and purple of visage, urge boats up stream or down, each deluding himself into the belief that he is enjoying it. Life under such conditions may seem very fair, as I say; yet I was not happy. The words of the Duchess seemed everywhere about me.
"You are become the object of her bitterest scorn by now," sobbed the wind.
"You are become," etc., etc., moaned the river. It was therefore with no little trepidation that I looked forward to my meeting with Lisbeth.
  It was at this moment that the bushes parted and a boy appeared. He was a somewhat diminutive boy, clad in a velvet suit with a lace collar, both of which were plentifully bespattered with mud. He carried his shoes and stockings beneath one arm, and in the other hand swung a hazel branch. He stood with his little brown legs well apart, regarding me with a critical eye; but when at length he spoke his attitude was decidedly friendly.
"Hallo, man!"
"Hallo," I returned; "and whom may you be?"
"Well," he answered gravely, "my real name is Reginald Augustus, but the call me 'The Imp."
"I can well believe it," I said, eyeing his muddy person.
"If you please, what is an imp?"
"An imp," I explained, "is a sort of an--angel."
"But," he demurred, after a moment's thought, "I haven't got any wings an' things--or a trumpet."
"Your kind never do have wings, or trumpets."
"Oh, I see," he said; and sitting down began to wipe the mud from his legs with his stockings.
"rather muddy, aren't you?" I hinted. the boy cast a furtive glance at his draggled person.
"'Fraid I'm a teeny bit wet, too," he said hesitatingly. "You see, I've been playing at 'Romans,' an' I had to wade, you know, 'cause I was the standard-bearer who jumped into the sea waving his sword an' crying, 'Follow me!' You remember him, don't you?--he's in the history book."
"To be sure," I nodded; "a truly heroic character. But, if you were the Romans, where were the ancient Britons?"
"Oh, they were the reeds, you know; you ought to have seen me slay them. It was fine; they went down like--like----"
"Corn before the sickle," I suggested.
"Yes, just!" he cried; "the battle raged for hours."
"You must be rather tired."
"'Course not," he answered, with an indignant look. "I'm not a girl--an' I'm nearly nine, too."
"I gather from your tone that you are not partial to the sex--you don't like girls, eh, Imp?"
"Should think not," he returned; "silly things, girls are. There's Dorothy, you know; we were laying at executions the other day--she was Mary Queen of Scots an' I was the headsman. I made a lovely axe with wood and silver paper, you know; an' when I cut her head off she cried awfully, an' I only gave her the weeniest tap--an' they sent me to bed at six o'clock for it. I believe she cried on purpose--awfully caddish, wasn't it?"
"My dear Imp," said I, "the older you grow, the more the depravity of the sex will become apparent to you."





New Antiques!!!!

  Since a little after my birthday, I have slowly transformed my bedroom into a more vintage/elegant/Edwardian/antique bedroom, with authentic antiques, and my favourite color combination....powder pink, white/off-white and gold. 
  And for my decorations.....antiques. 
  I decided to show off my newest ones, and finally....my first antique book collection. (I only know a few of the antiques original time eras, but not all of them...sadly.)
  I hope y'all will enjoy. 
  We're starting off with a 1909 Kodak camera. I was so excited and happy to have this find, and it is the only camera that I have seen in every single antique shoppe that I have been to. And, the bonus is, it's from my favourite time era, the Edwardian era. 
  And amazingly enough, it's still in very good shape, and still has the original film inside! (Though, it is damaged after hundreds of people exposing it to the sunlight, myself, including.) I found this in one of my childhood favourite antique stores, the Red Door, in Mount Vernon, Washington. 


  Next, is this beautiful hat pin holder. I've been in need, for a while, for hat pins, and was recently given one from my mother (the pin in the holder). We made a quick stop at an antique store, in Mount Vernon as well, and my mother noticed this adorable little holder. 


  Next, comes this beautiful postcard, from a C.M., to a Mrs. H. Bishop, describing how the Mrs. Bishop will be "thoroughly pleased with your new hat". The back dates 1908.


  Next comes a graduation present from my family. A 1904 jewelry box. It's such a beautiful piece, and the necklace, beside the pearls, is also an antique necklace, at least from the 1890's. 


  This vintage hair brush and mirror set I've had for a few months. My mother gave it to me as a special gift, and I have used both thoroughly. The brush is much softer, and better for my tresses than any other brush that I have ever used, And the mirror, of course, is quite fun to use. 


  Next, comes a whole stack of books, which I will gladly give the dates of each of these copies. 


  This first stack are two McGuffey Readers. I grew up with the Second Eclectic Reader, with my favourite story in there titled "The Story-Teller". 
  The dates of these two (starting from the top) are: McGuffey's Eclectic Third Reader (1879...I believe) and McGuffey's Fifth Eclectic Reader (1879. (So the first one maybe older.))


  Next stack. Starting from top: 'My Lady Caprice' (1912) and 'The Way Beyond' (1933). Both are by Jeffery Farnol.


  From top to bottom: 'Kindred of the Dust' (1920) by Peter B. Kyne and 'Treasure Island' (a personal favourite) (1905) by Robert Louis Stevenson.


  Top to bottom, once more: 'Monsieur Beaucaire' (1902) by Booth Tarkington and 'Christmas Stories' (unknown) by Charles Dickens. 


  Last, but not least, my antique, original edition of The American Woman Newspaper, dated December 1911. 
  I have been writing up a blog post, of 'The Royal Line' story from this newspaper. You can read the first chapter here: https://eleganthomemaking.blogspot.com/search/label/TheAmericanWomanMagazine
  Also, I am working on the first chapter of 'My Lady Caprice', and that post will be up very soon. 
  Happy Summer! 

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.



   Enjoy!

Elegance is Everything: A Pink Saturday Post

   I'm one known for elegance, and I love to add it everything! My handwriting, my clothing, hair and even my bedroom.    I thought tha...