Opera cape

Note the pineapple motif on the shoulder.

Last weekend during Doors Open I ran into a woman with this fabulous opera cape. It was so lovely I had to take a photo or two. While chatting, I discovered she is related to my costume pal Lottie! (Sorry Lottie, I meant to tell you about that but I forgot!)

Have a good week all!

Too cold for that: how to meet your neighbors!

It’s one of my days off so hubby arranged to have one of our cars tuned up.  We each drove our cars to the mechanic (me with the dog in the car).  We left one car and the three of us drove towards home.

Hubby had to work so he dropped me off a few blocks from home and the dog and I walked home.  It was fricken cold.


The dog has done her “thing” and I’m freezing and we are now home.  I punch in the code on the garage door…several times…but it refused to open.  (Apparently, older batteries stop working in bitter cold.) I looked down at my purse.  I know I have no keys for the front door.  Never had.  I always go through the garage door if the house is locked up.  And I know I locked up before we left.  I also know my phone is not in my purse.  I forgot it on the couch.

I was thinking about how the dog and I will die in the cold when I saw a neighbor.  Apparently, I ‘m not the only one on the street that didn’t go to work on a Thursday morning!  (Thank God for other people’s vacation!)  I have waved at them a few times, exchanged pleasantries on nice summer evenings but I wouldn’t say I know them.  Hubby is more extroverted than I and he knows them fairly well, but I don’t.  Anyway, the good souls let me use their phone to call hubby to come back and let me in.  And while I waited on their couch, I got to know them better.

Good thing the neighbors are warm when the weather is cold.


Unintended comedy!

I recently came into possession of this book.


The cover is in sad shape (missing the back cover and the front cover is completely detached) but the interior is in good shape.

It was written by Marion Harland in 1889.


I have started reading it and I’m getting some surprising enjoyment out of it.  Her language is not too formal (Victorian books can be very hard to read for that reason) and she is unintentionally funny.

The first chapter is about the difference between a house keeper and a home maker.  The house keeper is described as a person who keeps an immaculate home.  She dusts and cleans every nook and corner everyday, including the hanging pictures.  And once a week she takes the pictures off the wall and dusts the hooks and cords.  She describes this woman as a person who makes her friends feel inferior and who drives her children out because of exhaustion from cleaning.

Here is the funny part.  A home maker is not so anal. She may only dust her picture hooks and cords only every 6 weeks but her family is happier in this chaos!  Hahaha!  My family must be in bliss because my pictures may get dusted once a year and I have never in my life dusted the hooks and cords!  Not even when packing to move!

Sorry, that struck me as hilarious!

Making my free time mean something

The reduced hours at work are starting to take effect and I had a day off this week.  I used it wisely.  I cleaned out 4 cupboards.  One was just a mess and now it is sorted. One opened up space so all of my candles can be stored in one spot. And two are now empty (future plans for them still in the works).  They used to hold unfinished projects.  I moved them into my son’s old room.  I got real with myself about 2 of those UFO’s and unraveled them.


Some of that crap is just nasty and will get donated to charity.  Some of it is less nasty and it might be made into toys.  Not sure yet.

My dog got a hair cut “a la mommy”.  Cute alert.


It is the dog version of a bowl cut.  Uneven ears, stray strands hanging out.  I’m on a budget and she wont sit still.  Better than letting her become like a sheep that missed shearing day.

I also made some progress on the dark modern version of the counterpane I saw at a local museum.

Museum version.


My version.


The above photo shows where I left off.  I made 4 more blocks.  I think the blocks are lovely.  A bit hard to see the detail but still nice.

I’m proud of myself!




Cool gift

I got some awesome gifts this year but one might be one you would be interested in.  It is a soft cover book.IMG_20190107_173619804.jpg

It has a lot of information in it about the Victorian era in the British Empire.  Some I knew some I didn’t.  It has a lot of pictures in it but this is my favorite.  It is full page and I have to resist the urge to rip it out and hang it like a teenagers poster in my room!


The colors are loosing some of their punch here but it is lovely!

I hope you all got gifts that you are wild about!

Godey’s Lady’s Book Jan 1859

As a little Christmas treat for you, I photographed some of my favorite pages from the Godey’s Lady’s book I got a few months back.


The next picture goes with a story later on in the magazine.


These seem to be patterns for beaded purses.


I love the color plates! The red dress is so pretty!


Another line drawing.


Then a series of fashions.






Here is the floor plan for a cottage.  Nothing like any cottage I have ever been in.  Mansion, yes; cottage, no.


A vague sewing pattern for a nice bodice.


Then a sock pattern that I got all excited about…


until I realized that it doesn’t seem to tell you anything about wool size or how many stitches to cast on.  They don’t seem to say anything about the ribbing…I guess they assume that is obvious.   A couple of the abbreviations are a mystery but I think they are indications to wrap the wool around the needle to create the lacey holes.  The look is pretty but I doubt these will become socks in my lifetime.

Last years goals

Last year I posted my non-resolution goals.  I use the word non-resolution because New Year’s Resolutions have a negative connotation to me…things that cause me stress and then later disappointment.  Goals are things to strive for.  If you achieve them-GREAT, if not, oh well, try again next year.  Even a slight amount of progress towards a goal is a win.  Slight progress on a resolution feels like a loss to me.  Yes, yes, semantics….tomato-tomahto.

Anyway one goal was to reduce the stuff in my house because the amount is overwhelming.  I have been pretty good about ditching old clothes that don’t fit or I don’t like any more.  In terms of my blog topics, I have reduced my UFO pile.  My Olive dress is the best example of that!


I had hoped to start/finish the corset and pink and blue dress but that is a no.  But I did at least decide on what the purple fabric Lottie picked up for me in the States would be.

In terms of my knitting hoard, I have managed to finish a few projects and I did unravel one that I have no desire to finish.  The unraveling started in the past few weeks. Two things happened. My last born moved out so now I have a holding ground (his old room) for things that I have gone through and want to keep but need to store until I clean out their new storage place.  The second thing is my hours at work got cut in half. I have been starting to reduce stuff during this new spare time.  (It doesn’t take effect until January but I have to use up some vacation time first.)

So not a blazing success but progress and that is a win.

Now as I look around at some of my Christmas crap that I have put up, I realize there are some that I just don’t love any more and I think they are hitting a box for donation…perhaps today.

Not dead

I’ve been neglecting this space and I am sorry.  Life is just…well life.  This past week for example has been overwhelming to say the least!

A week ago Friday, I tripped and hurt my knee which made me struggle with walking for about 3 days.

Then last Monday, my first born and his wife left the country to travel for 7 months.  When that 7 months is done, they will decide which country they will live in.  That same day, my youngest son took over my oldest son’s apartment.  He moved out and I have an empty nest.

Last Tuesday, I found out the reason why my mother did not come to the airport to see her oldest grandchild off…she was in Emergency with a racing heart.  Sigh.

Last Wednesday, it was confirmed (what I feared) that come January my work position will be cut in half because of budget cuts.  Work saves money and I loose money.  Suddenly, I will have way more time so may be this will mean I will finish projects I’ve abandoned and start projects I’ve been dreaming of.

I’m trying to focus on silver linings.  The oldest boy perhaps moving to another country will expand my opportunities to travel.  The youngest boy moving out means I have succeeded as a parent and launched two functioning adults.  My knee healed after only 3 days.  The hospital was able to settle my mom’s heart and she is now being followed by a cardiologist.  And soon I will have time to finish projects, prep my house for downsizing, take care of my own health, and look at other types of work that I have been wondering about.

Anyway, thanks for hanging out and waiting for me to get back to work on this blog!


Little Library time

The Costume Museum is setting up a display of some its books for the public to flip through.  We have set up the display like a library so folks can sit down and flip through the selected books.  It didn’t take long to create the selection so once done, we sat down to flip through some of the books ourselves.  I found one on crochet that seemed to be from around the turn of the century (though I couldn’t find an actual date on it.)

I found a couple of patterns I’d like to try and this blog seems like a good place to save it.  I often think of my blog as a kind of “cloud” for saving photographs and ideas in the event of a computer crash.

so here goes…a lace with a matching insertion.







I haven’t tried this yet but I anticipate some struggle to comprehend vague instructions.  Sigh….