Canada Day 2021

Last Thursday was Canada Day…The equivalent of the 4rth of July for Americans. For many, it is just a day off of work. For some it is working for time and a half pay and a banked vacation day. May be it is the launching of summer holidays. To some, it is an excuse to get together with friends and family…COVID messed that up last year but it is slightly better this year…at least where I am.

Some people actually take the time to consider why we like Canada. The land itself is lovely with loads of scenic variety. We have plenty of resources: water, farmland, and oil to name a few. I’m pretty fond of our democracy and our health care system. We are known world wide for being fairly decent humans as a whole (but I’m the first to admit that not everyone is the stereotypical polite Canadian. We have our share of “butt orifices” too.) By enlarge, Canada has treated me and mine well.

But this year Canada has been forced to look at our butt holeary in a historical sense. We have to face the fact that in the not so distant past, Europeans sailed over here and looked around and thought “this is a nice place…I can use this.” And they started taking things: pelts, land, women…. And they abusively used the land, the people, the plants and the animals for their own gain. To the indigenous peoples, the colonizers were cruel, even when they thought they were being kind. Trading can be a nice thing…except when you are ripping people off and dealing in things that was ultimately harmful (alcohol for example). Sharing of ones culture and faith can be a nice thing if it is a mutual sharing but not when it is rammed down someones throat!

The ultimate example of this “ramming” was the residential schools which were started in the Victorian era (1890’s I believe) and continued into my life time. The idea was the Europeans weren’t going anywhere and in fact they were moving in like cockroaches. The indigenous would benefit from an education that helped them adapt to the Western way of doing things. Nice concept…NOT! The residential schools ripped children away from their parents-often under threat of incarceration if they did not comply. The children were stripped of their home, family, community and then stripped of all reminders of that. Their clothing, hair, adornments and mementos were removed. They were punished for speaking their own language. The treatment in general was neglectful at best and commonly it was abusive.

My ancestors were here for the start of this. Were they actively engaged in this? I don’t think so. Were they unaware of this process? Possibly. If they were aware of this, there is a good chance they thought this was a good idea. And that idea is unsettling. But, we Canadians can not say, “this was the past. Don’t hold our fore father’s past sins against us”. We can’t say it because this was going on, to some degree, in my life time. There are still people alive today that had to go to residential school and now are living with trauma. There are people alive today that were raised by people who were ripped from family only to be abused. How do you learn to parent in those conditions? The negative repercussions have rippled across generations marking the people even when they themselves haven’t been to residential school.

So why are Canadian’s thinking about this now? Because unmarked graves are being found at these residential schools. Some are saying “don’t automatically think they died from abuse and neglect”. That may be true but the questions remain: Why unmarked graves? Did they get an honorable burial? Were the people that loved them there? Did their loved ones get satisfactory information on the life and death of this child? Did the family get the opportunity to bring their loved one home for burial? Did they get the opportunity to set up a grave marker? And the ultimate question…why weren’t they safe at home in the first place?

So in their grief and outrage for these children and in the relived memory of their own trauma, the indigenous community spent Canada Day saying out loud that the creation of this country has not been a good thing for them and theirs. Colonization has not been a blessing. And the symbol of colonization…Queen Victoria…got knocked off her pedestal in front of the government building in my location.

Honestly, I’m surprised she has stood as long as she has. People around the world have begun to look at statues celebrating people and victories and realizing that not everyone is happy about the results of these memorialized events and people. The confederate statues in the States are the most obvious examples of this.

I don’t know the long term plans for this statue. I hope it isn’t destroyed. It is part of history. But have it displayed in a museum with perhaps the paint still on her (because that is now also part of the history that shouldn’t be lost).

The name of my blog is a play on the words “I want to be Victorian.” But in actuality that isn’t true. They health care then was dreadful. Though I would be part of the “in crowd” (white, middle class or better, and Protestant) I’m still a girl and therefore would be little better than property. If I lived in the Victorian era with my current world views I’d be even more horrified by the crap I would see in the 1800’s than I am seeing now! And I’d likely be put in a mental institution or jail for my radical thoughts. If I were Victorian, I’d have no internet (heaven forbid!), Netflix, electric sewing machine with dozens of stitch options, and no car.

I just like the clothes, furniture and architecture. But these things didn’t come about in a void. The clothing styles demanded top hats for men, which demanded beaver pelts, which demanded the fur trade which demanded the colonization of North America, which demanded the native population “problem” be dealt with.

I want to be respectful to the trauma of the original peoples. I’m not sure that the respect of that trauma wont taint my enjoyment of Victorian costuming. That’s were I’m at. Wondering how I fit into this fu*ked up world.

Saturday night

It is Saturday night before a costume event and I can’t get my butt off the couch and get things organized (lunch made, picnic basket emptied of UFO knitting so I can get the lunch packed in it, petticoat hooks checked, costume pieces gathered and ironed….)

I’m too tired.

I was out on an outing with my seniors on Friday.  It was a fun but tiring trip to the park.IMG_20170707_135438339

Followed by a wild night of tummy troubles for me and the dawning conclusion that puppy may not be feeling well herself (vet booked for Monday).  Crap crap expensive crap.

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On top of all that, I watched my kid start moving his junk out of my house into his fiancés home (which he will be moving into at the end of the month after his wedding).  I’m feeling nostalgic.  (Cried at home movies last night because I missed my babies).

So, is it my fault that I am procrastinating by writing a blog post about procrastinating?  Tomorrow I will be writing about how much fun I had but I’m tired because I was up at 6:00 am trying to get everything done…. Oh stupid me….

Don’t I wish!

I’ve been having car drama…dealing with the insurance company…. You know how they are.  Quick to take your money at renewal time but their fist closes tight when it is time to cash in on the “service” they claim to provide.  Rightfully so if the claimant was loaded to the gills and speeding but mean when the claimant is the victim.  So I get high blood pressure and I cry in their office.  Damn.  Would that I could sail into their office looking like this lady!img_20161211_182245003

She  looks like she doesn’t take crap from anyone.  I’m willing to bet she’d have the insurance adjuster crying. She reminds me of the dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey.

I have her in my collection.  I’m drifting away from head shots because they don’t give me much information about dresses and how they were worn but she came in a grouping and I’m rather pleased to have her.  I’d put this around the mid to late 1890’s.  She is covered in jewelry and jet beads so she obviously has money.  Love the little curls on her forehead.

Side projects=dreams

I need side projects because I have so much time and I brilliantly sail through major projects with no issues and my mood is always set on “high productivity”.  Yeah, right.  If I really believed that, this past weekend would have destroyed my illusions.

I have a new job so I have no vacation time.  This means the past couple of weeks of long weekends is the closest I have come to having time off since August.  So oodles of time is not something I have.

I tried, yesterday, to finish my leather gloves for the final challenge in HSF 2016 but it resisted all efforts to progress. In fact, I may have buggered it up enough that it may have to be wadded up and tossed.  Definitely hitting the UFO pile and for the first time since I started HSF, I will not have an entry into the challenges.  Lets scratch brilliantly sails through major projects with no issues.

This goes back to what I said in my last post about not touching a project when the mood is off.  I’m having some car drama…long story.  Which means I’m swinging between fury and depression with 30 second bursts of optimism.  It was that 30 seconds that urged me to face the gloves and attempt to finish them.  MISTAKE!giphy

So someone tell me why I started a Pintrest board for housewife/sewing kits with dreams to make “historical” ones as an accessory and modern ones for my knitting needles, crochet hooks and all the junk I store next to my “spot” on the living room couch?  My only theory is: when the creative juju evades you, you can at least, dream and what is Pintrest but a record of peoples dreams.

Flat Earther

This is a thing.  I spoke to someone yesterday that saw a documentary that caused him to doubt every thing he has been taught in school.  After I removed my palm from my forehead and got my mouth to shut I Googled it and it is thing that actual groups of people believe.  I despair for the world.  I like lots of things Victorian (and the belief that the world is flat got its main momentum in the Victorian Era) but this is silly!  800px-orlando-ferguson-flat-earth-map_edit

Now, I don’t blindly believe everything I’m told-even what I was told in school-or see on the internet.  In a debate, I do my best to see both sides of a coin.  (Notice: above I posted a link to a video that claims to prove the world is flat then a link to an article that explains where that assumption comes from with some reasons why it is wrong.) I do my best to avoid re-posting other peoples posts on Facebook if I haven’t at least checked it out on Snopes or checked to see if it is still current information. I like to think that I am at least a little discerning.  I AM struggling with allowing this person I spoke with, to form his own opinions based on his own exposure to information and to not roll my eyes into the back of my head (my eyes are truly in danger of stiffening up and getting stuck there!).  This is my own arrogance and over confidence in my own intelligence.  The struggle is real folks!

What do you think?

Ah, life

I wish I could say my life is solely what I write here but, alas, it is not.  In between my volunteer work at the museum, family parties, sewing, knitting,collecting cabinet cards and romping around in pretty dresses, there is the rest of my life and it can get in the way of “blog life”.  I wonder how many bloggers wish that blog life was the only life they have?  Most of us put a pleasant shine on it.  The only negative is a little self depreciation, “oh, look how I screwed that sleeve up….”

But in reality there is drama that I don’t bore you with.  There are stresses that need dealing with, changes that I’m opting to make and changes that are foisted upon me, and there is work.  So sometimes there is no time or inner oomph to crank out another post (that 14 people will read).

I try to have a post go up Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with pictures to break up the print and help you figure out if you actually want to read the print.  If I miss a day, it is likely due to real life.   Forgive me?

Transforming the ugly bag tea gown

Third time is the charm?  I had made a tea gown and was not pleased with the results.  It hung like a sack (I had left out optional darts so it would be more comfortable and added space to accommodate the “girls”-not good ideas!) So after shunning it for a length of time,  I re-did it.  See post here.

I still wasn’t pleased with the results.SAM_1619

Costume College is having a Tea and since it is in MY hotel, I could justify wearing an “at home tea gown” but not with it looking so blah! The fit was better after the first renovation, but the piddley little scrap of lace just wasn’t breaking up all that print!   So off it came.

I’m half way through this third incarnation and I hate it less.IMG_20160706_212645358

More lace does seem to break things up a bit more and the cream color instead of the white doesn’t look so weird. I’m hoping the placement doesn’t look as crooked on me as it seems to on the table.  I’ve not noticed that before…please let it only be in the picture!  Wahhhhh!  I don’t wanna do it again!

A little steampunk

Gads, I hate trying to get anything done when I have a headache.  I had 4 projects I hoped to put some time into today and my success rate was minimal.

One project was changing some hooks and eyes into real buttons and button holes on an older project.  Nah.  Didn’t feel like it.

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I want the buttons to be functional, not just decorative

One was getting some knitting done on my Canadian cloud which will be my offering for this months HSF challenge.  It may still happen but don’t hold your breath…the wool is too fine and my eyes are sore…especially the right one.img_20160619_181345106.jpg

I did get some work done on last months really late offering for HSF but I probably should have stayed away.  I corded and attached a ruffle on a skirt but I had to take the ruffle off and reapply because the base skirt was wadded, bunched and pleated under the needle and I essentially shortened the skirt by 1/4 to 2 inches in a very random fashion.  I blame the migraine.  It alters my reality.  tv242colorfin

The second ruffle from the bottom was the devil that got me. It is on now but the whole skirt will sit idle until next weekend.

I had more success on the project I wanted to complete for Costume College.  They are having a Steampunk event and I am basically going to take an existing outfit and punk it up.

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I will shorten (temporarily) the skirt, petticoat and bustle.

You will be able to see my feet so I will finally have a use for these things.

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I will use the “book bag” from my son’s old costume as the purse.

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I bought a “bag o’ gears” from the craft store and tacked them onto the hat I will use.img_20160619_134817522.jpg

They will come off easy and not mess up my Victorian hat much.  There were a few gears left over so I made a down and dirty set of earrings to go with it.img_20160619_163512.jpg

My headache day wasn’t a complete bust.

Cut cut cutty cut

Why do I always think “the next step is cutting my fabric…that will take a half hour tops”.  So stupid!  I spent over two hours cutting out my skirt.  I cut out some where around 32 pieces…5 of which I had to cut twice because I cut out the wrong material.  Really, how does one do that?  That cost some wasted fabric…grrrr.

There is actually 6 pieces I didn’t have to cut because I planned on using wide lace instead.  I bought tons of that thinking there would be left overs for cuffs FOR SURE! Not.  I didn’t buy enough length and the lace I bought is too narrow so I will need 50% more to piece it together and make it wider. I will need 6 meters more to do what I want! I went from having plenty left over to needing 6 more meters.   Please God, let there still be some in the store!

It is just a “simple” skirt?  How can it be so much work to cut it out?

Update

Car: not dead and not expensive. One faulty oil filter=one totally free repair! Yeah!
Computer: dead. Hubby is talking to a guy who is talking to a guy who might
be able to get me one on a discount. But if one is not on the way by Saturday, I am going rouge and I’m buying one in a store known for expensive stuff. Just saying… Then I got to get my computer guy to do the autopsy on the dead one and get my files out. What voodoo is it that these computer wizards perform? I understand not.