Tag Archives: old pictures

Excellent problems, it’s all about perspectives

Posting bum, here. But… I have been designing and pattern making and fabric selecting, sewing, ironing and writing.

Ironing spilling over into the study!

I HAVE TOO MUCH LIFE!
What an excellent problem! It’s really a luxury problem now isn’t it?
I am so very blessed.

I look at these and think "Wow, thank god I don't have to spin & weave this stuff" like my ancestors just 4 generations back!

I look at these and think "Wow, thank god I don't have to spin & weave this stuff" like my ancestors just 4 generations back!

Spring is almost here and so is faire season. Pictures coming for that in about a week, is my guess. Selling off all my old stock for Faire and going through them all has been interesting. I have lot’s of memories in those boxes . I still have people I met back then in my life. It was a wondrous time to remember, being just 40 and newly married to my soul mate. Living just for the day and the time when he would get home. Uhmmm, memories!

Well, Faire cloths never change! They are historic replication and it’s just not possible to change history. They are timeless. You know…Good quality fabric lasts for years . I still have my original Chemise and my daughters origin chemise for then. Washed and softened so beautifully. Practical, practical, practical.

Gaffed chemise now called smocking

Designing for “fun and pretty”, is challenging for me. This is a time of growing for me in so many ways. A time of reflection and adaptation to the world around me at my age where it comes to just about anything, clothing or fashion in particular. We are all a collective of experiences now aren’t we?

I’m the kind of person that thinks you should only have to buy cloths and tires once and they should last. Never the mall shopping gal when young, I always went for the classics.

Oh there was a time when I went very fashionista back in the 1987 and then again in 1992. The cloths were such beautiful styles and cost enough to require credit (which I knew better than to DO), and then, I had to watch them dwindle away in my closest. I have 3 classic suites that Lady Iris Jean and myself shopped for back then, out of about 7 that we bought. I can STILL wear them and get comments on them.

Classic wool suit now 25 years old

I don’t know if the “classics lean”, came from Lady Iris Jean or my practical Taurus personality. But it’s there and I am glad. So is my husband. I think his experience with paying shopping bills of his ex’s left him quiet relieved when he met me and noticed I had the old time tenants of :

1 – You get what you pay for and
2 – Quality over quantity always.
3 – Take care of your things and they last
4 – Be grateful for what has been given you and
5 – Pretty is as pretty does not as pretty wears

They sewed those cloths folks! That's 1952.

Mediating on it all I think it came from growing up with Grandmother Vi during the school breaks. No electricity, no air conditioner, hauling water and bathing in a trough in the kitchen or dressing room, lined up from cleanest child to dirtiest. Hmmm how about, using kerosene lamps and cleaning/trimming wicks and (my all time favorite) trekking to the outhouse in the middle of the night and removing the chickens so you could pee. My fathers side thought it atrocious. Mother was ashamed but WE thought it all great fun! Damned but KNOWBODY took a picture of the outhouse! What memories that brings!

I have only met one person in all my years that even talked about it all and had the same views. A 60 year old Colonel from Puerto Rico got deployed with me a couple a years ago. We had to live “rough” for 4 days, for several interesting reasons I shall not go into at this time. Our upbringing made us very “seasoned”. We both LOOKED rather delicate bu, we both of us ended up looking rather fantastic compared to our compatriots. Now this was in the 1960’s for me and him, not 1910 folks. The media magazine and movies are very glamorized. The statistics for 1942 in many rural areas of the USA show that only 15% had electricity or running house water.In the 1960’s it was still just 50%!

The camping rough is what the sporty folks do for a weekend or week at a time. Actually “living” that way…, well, it has a way of “growing you up” different. This man and I, who would never have been friends actually bonded. Shocking to say the least…. We were both operating and interacting in the old way. As only one raised in “it takes a village” theology can do.

Great Granmommy May at GM Vi's house

My dear hubby trained for his war and was left in swamps to survive for weeks, and weeks. He has a different seasoning. He left home at 14, and different “camping places” in the 1960’s and improvised hygiene in gas station bathrooms. It’s sort of the same type of planning and logistics to get all THAT done and get to work on time, now isn’t it. He is very proud of his “seasoning”. You have to have a work ethic, and some ingenuity and hudspa to live, survive and prosper like that. I think my favorite story he tells is of not having a car jack and rolling his truck up on a downed log to change a tire. I wouldn’t have though of that in a million years.

Color TV didn’t come to our home until 1972. Our 10 inch black and white was the family prize in 1968! And Grandmother not only did not have a phone until the late 1970’s but also didn’t have a color TV until the late 1980’s.

My mother made our cloths until I was 13 years old and she went to work. We got new cloths for birthdays, school and for Christmas. We got toys from relatives who lived in the city, or hand me down cloths and toys from neighbors.

An actual toy for a Birthday or Christmas? Why that just wouldn’t be practical now would it?

We got dolls and doll bed that mother and an uncle picked up from a second hand church bizarre and were repainted and re-clothed for Christmas when I was 5. When I was 6, I got a store bought Walking Betsy. She died 3 weeks later and I remember the discussion my parents had about the practicality of the money spent only to have my heart broken.

(Damned program says THOSE photo’s aren’t allowed due to a security risk? Well there had to be some computer issue now didn’t there!)

I remember how quiet is was at Grandmother’s house, and hearing Mrs Mackbeth coming over the cow catcher and down the road to knock on the door to tell us that Daddy had “rung up” at her house to check and make sure we had made it safely. The only sound we heard was what I thought was thunder for years. laying in be one night, hot with the cool night air billowing the curtains I again saw the flashes and the rumbles. It rolled over and asked Grandmother Vi why it rained every night at her house. She became very still, “Honey, that’s the boys at Fort Hood. It’s called artillery practice.” That was 10-15 miles east of her place, it was on the land that used to hold our family safe from 1858-1942. I remember her stillness. I understand now.

A REAL old problem, How to get the mule to keep moving to grind stuff!

I can’t really think of any place THAT quite since that time. Even when we pack it in or “biv-wack” in the wilderness, the sounds of the forest are so loud and are really all I hear. We only see maybe 3 people in a weeks time, and it’s not the same calm quiet like living far off on a farm even now.

120 miles in looking at a Million acres of Peace

We lived on a farm when we got married surrounded by goats, cows, chickens and lots of horses and cats and dogs. It was a huge place, with 3 houses full of people who worked the place. There were hired folks coming in by the droves to work, vets to check animals, sales folk to sell stuff…. Late at night, it was quiet but never during any day of the week or on the weekend.

Oh did I mention wild Turkeys outside the windows?

No, that quiet is gone. I think the only place that I have seen it written about or described is in the book Harder than Hardscrabble: Oral Recollections of the Farming Life from the Edge of the Texas Hill Country (Clifton and Shirley Caldwell Texas Heritage Series)

I read it because my family is in it, including pictures. But there is a place in it were it talks about the lose of actual sounds. Ahhh, Sounds that will never be heard again. I think that quiet sound I am talking about is like that what he describes,… things change. Lady Iris Jean grew up hearing a trendle sewing machine at work. I grew up with the sound of a Singer buzz. My little work shop has the hammer sound of a serger or the hum of a fancy German piece of work!

All that's left of the trendle machine

A hum or a hammer, depends on what I want to do! Luxury problem.

Yes, we have luxury problems these days. Problems like, the dogs are in our yard pooing again and eating the daisies, and the cable company is thinking of not carrying our favorite station…. OMG well THAT just needs a petition!.

Or my cell phone wont’ hold a charge, I’m going down to that phone store right now and making them fix this or else! Or how about we forgot to pick up batteries for the remote control and one of us must get up, walk to the TV and change the channel! Urgh, it’s just AWFUL and we are so put upon!

No, seasoned folks don’t think that way ….much. We laugh, find another way, don’t plant daisies in the front yard, put in a movie instead, and have a cup of tea with the water from the microwave! Ha! Never daunted much, I just pick up a piece of hand work or a pad and paper and get busy.

Pink 1930s sketch

Butterfly pocket hand work

New modren meets Old Battenburg! now how to incorporate that , what an excellent diversion!

I am a bit lazy compared to the last 5 years of go-go-go, but I am enjoying it. It is hard to slow back down without coming to a complete stop. It is an adjustment that I am sure my soul has needed. And it means change in pretty much all areas. To somehow piece my practical side into a whimsical side just for the fun of something is…
Uncomfortable. Oh, poor me!

Yes, life and luxury problems are remarkable and our current perceptions are astounding. So much LIFE! So many options, and not enough time in a day to write a blog about it all. How silly.

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Filed under classic, handmade, ladyirisjean, old timer, sewing