Category Archives: Events & Museums

Fashion Contrasts: 1770 and 1815

DK Costume Book by Rowland-Warne

Vintage Hats & Bonnets by Langley

Apparently it’s not a particularly modern practice for fashion designers to make yesterday’s clothing look dated and outmoded.

Even though the time gap (from the 1770s – 1815) shown here spans 45 years, the changes were huge. It’s doubtful that many women would be wearing the same apparel for all those years (despite the superior quality of fabric then as opposed to now), but it is possible that women who wore the 18th century styles when they were young may not have wanted to change with the times and would have looked extremely outdated even to a casual observer.

Albeit that we are discussing clothing, a comment about hair styles comes to mind. I read once that a hairdresser said he could tell within 5 years when a woman graduated from high school by her hair and makeup – no matter her age.

The difference in hair styles between 1770 and 1815 were at least as striking as the change in clothing: from massive powdered wigs to ringlets and close to the head buns.

Guild Hall, Windsor


The DK Costume book by L. Rowland-Warne was one that I bought in 1999 in Windsor. Every Sunday morning vendors were set up under the portico at the front of the Guild Hall – built around 1687 under the direction of Sir Thomas Fitz then Sir Christopher Wren. There were a couple of book sellers and I was able to get this costume book from one and a vintage Penguin Agatha Christie novel from another.

Vintage Hats & Bonnets by Susan Langley was bought on a trip to Massachusetts a few years ago. While Joe attended a class for his job, I drove over to Lowell and had an absolutely marvelous time at a hat exhibit at the American Textile Museum. Well worth the time if you’re ever in the area.

Fashion Museum, Bath


V & A


The V&A was the museum which Mr. Thackeray’s (Sidney Poitier) class went to for their field trip in To Sir, With Love. Remember the girls in their mini-skirts looking at the wide-skirted dresses?


At the Museum of Costume in Bath (in 2007 the name was changed to Fashion Museum) and then at the Fashion exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum, we saw the false hips that women wore under their dresses to make their hips so broad.

No, I can’t imagine it either.

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Filed under 1700s, 1800s, Antiques/Vintage, Clothing, Dresses (Including Formals), Ephemera, Events & Museums, Fashion, Femininity, Hairstyles, Hats, History, Jane Austen, Jane Austen, Shoes

Guess Who I Saw at the Grocery Store?

Hulda, Grace and Sophia Quebe (photo from their website)

On Sunday afternoon, Joe and I ran in Central Market to pick up a few things for a cookout at our son’s. It’s always (always) crowded in there and as I was threading in and out of customers in the produce department, I noticed a young woman and her mother (I think).

The first thing I noticed was that they looked like they’d just come from church, which is a little unusual for C.M. customers. Usually they look like they’ve just left the country club or the museum or something highbrow, so it was really nice to see ladies in church clothes. (Yes, yes. I know. I came of age in the early 70s and I know you can go to church in something other than dress clothes. But the older I get, the more traditional I get and the more I understand my mother.)

Very quickly after noticing their clothes (and remember this is only seeing them from behind), I noticed the younger woman’s hair. It was really beautiful. Probably long, and put up, but not an up-do. Kind of a roll or something but it was very unusual.

Then I hurried on to the fish counter to get a piece of salmon cut. As I was turning to put it into my basket, I looked up and saw the mother and daughter again – and I recognized her!

I said “Are you a Quebe?”

She smiled very sweetly and said “Yes”. Her mother smiled, too. If I had a daughter like her, I’d be grinning from ear to ear.

So, then I acted like a typical starstruck fan and gushed and told her how much we enjoyed their music and watched them on youtube, etc.

And I told her that their version of that Ray Charles song (the title having slipped my mind) was my favorite version. She said “Georgia On My Mind”. Yes! Of course.

Who are the Quebes? Go here for their website (and a link to their performance schedule).

They are a fantastic sister trio who play fiddles and sing. We first learned of them from an article in the Texas Power Co-op magazine.

She told me that they’re playing at the Levitt Auditorium in Arlington (Texas) next Saturday night – May 28th. It’s an outdoor event and free.

And you know how people sometimes look a little different in person than they do in photos?

Hulda is even prettier in person.

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Filed under 1970s, Events & Museums, Femininity, Internet links, Music, Texas

The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947 – 1957

While we were in Nashville a few weeks ago, Joe took me to the Frist Center to see The Golden Age of Couture Exhibit, organized by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. The Frist is the only place the exhibit will be shown in the United States.

Postcard of Evening dress in silk taffeta by Crisobal Balenciag;, Paris, about 1955

Below are a few of the first pages of the Guide Book, giving a brief overview of some of the features of the exhibit. (Clicking on the pictures will enlarge them enough to read, and clicking on the magnifying glass will increase the size even further. Please excuse the notes I made.)

The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947 – 1957 will run through September 12, 2010. According to the Frist website, the exhibition broke all records when it opened at the Victoria & Albert in 2007. It was a wonderful exhibit and if Nashville is at all accessible to you or you are especially interested in fashion history or beautiful clothes, it is well worth the trip.

One added bonus was getting to “people watch”. It was an interesting mix of attendees, and I did notice that several of the younger women were more attractively dressed than most of us who can remember this time period.

Over the next few days, please check back to see photos from the lovely book I bought in the gift shop.

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Filed under 1940s, 1950s, Clothing, Current Events, England, Events & Museums, Fashion, Femininity, Fun, Gloves, History, Internet links, Jewelry, Purses, Tennessee

Updates, January 2010


Things have been pretty quiet around my blog for a few days, but not quiet around our lives. My sister came down from the way below freezing temperatures of Oklahoma to the way below freezing temperatures of north Texas so we could go to the rubber stamp convention in Grapevine. Ouch. We moved here 27 years ago and I don’t ever remember it being this cold. Out here in the country it’s been down to 10 degrees F, maybe lower. NE Oklahoma still has a lot of snow from before Christmas.

We had reservations for a couple of classes on Friday, one on Belts and Buckles in card making and the other was making fossil type objects from a crafting compound. There was also going to be an ATC (artist trading cards) contest and swap. So on Thursday night we worked on ATCs, and again on Friday morning before we left for the classes.

The classes were fun. Fran graciously paid for both of us. She’s taken lots of different paper crafting classes over the years. I’m the cheap sister and I’ve only gone to one other, so it was nice.

When our phone rang early on Saturday morning and Joe saw on the caller i.d. that it was my brother, I knew it wouldn’t be good news. Our mother had fallen a couple of hours earlier and broken her right hip and had been taken to the hospital from the nursing home. In March 2008, she had fallen and broken her left hip and collar-bone and had healed amazing well for a woman over 90 years old.

So Frances packed up earlier than planned and went back to Oklahoma to be with our mother (they live in the same small town). She asked me to take her ATC cards and submit them to the contest and swap. We did but not one single other person showed up for the swap. I gave a couple of cards to some women who were interested, and bought some stuff for Frances (she had given me an envelope of money to buy “interesting stuff” for her).

Joe helped me shop for her, which was fun. Maybe I can post photos of the items later.

Fran made it back to Oklahoma okay (it was snowing there again).

My brother told me that Mama came through the surgery just fine, but that the break was worse than the previous one.

When it rains, it pours. One thing I forgot to mention was that 3rd and 4th gears had gone out of the transmission on our second car and it was in the shop, so I’ve been afoot. And Isuzu has a really bad design key design on their ’91 pickups, a very narrow place which tends to break off in the ignition; our older son was using the truck and it broke off on him this week. This is the second time in 4 years.

Our son got the key out of the ignition without damaging it (Hallelujah – last time it ended up costing a bundle to replace the tumbler).

Today we’ll pick up the car and then go get a couple of loads of wood. Our wood stove has been consuming mass quantities of oak and whatever else we’ve had available.

But first Joe needs to sharpen the chain saw and put the chain back on.

And we’re having computer woes again, so this afternoon I’ll have to try to upload photos onto the laptop until the pc is up and running again. I took pictures of all the ATCs we made. **Update on the update: I posted them above.

I’m ready for a quiet Monday.

Thanks be to our Father in heaven who sustains us!

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Filed under Aging, Crafts, Crafts - Paper, Events & Museums, Family, Fun, Internet links, Shopping, Texas

Candlelight Home Tour

We don’t live in a Victorian mansion, a Craftsman cottage, a Prairie house or a 1920’s bungalow.

But I can dream.

Rose Cottage Garden B & B, Weatherford, Texas


And that’s what I do this time of year when we go on one of the Candlelight Home Tours in the towns around North Texas. In the past, we’ve attended ones in Fort Worth, Decatur, Cleburne, Waxahachie, Granbury, Keller, and most frequently of all – the one in Weatherford, which is sponsored by the Parker County Heritage Society. We try to make it to theirs every year but have missed a couple of times.

The houses are usually old (although Decatur had almost all new houses in 2001) and grand; some a little too grand for me. I’m not a grand person – probably more Jane Darwell than Joan Crawford.

The owners decorate for Christmas, some lavishly, some just a few accents.

Opulent decorating (like Traditional Home magazine) is not my cup of tea, although it’s beautiful. What draws me is the cottage look, very vintagey; country style kitchens, old family photos, rocking chairs on the porch and as few changes from the original as possible. I don’t know why, but more often than not, there’s just one house each year that stands out among the rest.

Here was my favorite this year. It had been a full day by the time we even started the tour. We had driven over to Mesquite to have lunch with a really lovely Christian couple, then drove back home, went to the radio play production “It’s a Wonderful Life” by the Off 380 Players in Bridgeport then on to Weatherford. (That’s almost 200 miles of driving by the time we started the home tour.) My joints were protesting and I was fairly fatigued. Joe asked me if I wanted to skip the last house and go on home, but I said why didn’t we first drive by and see how it looked.

Wow.

We were greeted at the door by a gentlemen in an 1800’s striped suit and top hat. He was the father of the husband and very cordial. The owners were a fairly young couple who had kept the house as original as they could, but it looked like a real family lived there. They said their goal was to show that a normal family could live in an old house without it being museum-like.

The wife had wonderful taste and a very good decorating eye. Joe struck up a conversation about the antique piano with the docent in the parlor, and played Silent Night for them.

Ceilings were the original height and soaring. Over the tops of the kitchen cabinets, the lady of the house had displayed her collection of old children’s domestic toys (like stoves and cooking equipment); on a narrow wall, a bookcase held a large collection of cookbooks. The window overlooking the back yard was curtained with a vintage tablecloth.


Upstairs the younger girl’s bedroom was like something out of a story book; there was a very low closet that had been outfitted kind of like a hidden playhouse. My guess is that it was originally a suitcase storage.

The wife’s sister was the docent in that room and she pointed out the cloud ceiling and the small hand painted mural of the Parker County Courthouse. What a fun room for a little girl.

And out in the hallway, were framed pages from the oversized Dick and Jane readers that teachers used.

A lovely home and gracious people.

I’m already looking forward to next year.

To see more photos of another beautiful, old restored Texas home , click here to go to Hill Country House. This link is for that particular post, but her whole blog is interesting.

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Filed under Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Cozy, Events & Museums, Fun, Local Shopping, Texas, Theater

Southern Gospel Singing Convention

The only time I had ever heard of a singing convention was when Joe talked about his grandmother going to them. Then 2 years ago our friend, Patti invited us to the one which is held every October in Decatur.


What an experience!

Unlike my husband’s family, I’m not very musical. I wish I could sing, but I can’t really. My voice is too low to sing soprano and alto is a little difficult to learn. But I enjoy listening.


Singing conventions are centered around shaped notes music, 4 part harmony, Southern Gospel and incredible pianists. A brief overview of shaped notes: each of the 7 shapes tell which tone of the scale it’s on. People who are familiar with it can sing parts (bass, tenor, alto, soprano) music they’ve never seen before and change keys without a problem. Heavenly Highway Hymns is a shaped notes book.

That’s about all I can grasp. For more in depth information, you can go here for a History of shaped notes in Southern Gospel.

Very talented musicians are still writing this style and publishing new books about every year. Texas Legendary Music lists some of the publishers and also has the 2010 schedule of events all across the U.S.

Several of the attendees were songwriters. And the pianists are incredible. One man, Cecil is 90 years old and it’s a joy to hear him play. When I get permission to post the other songs, I’ll upload them to youtube and do an updated post.

Click here for a youtube video of the Decatur convention. The song is “Vacation Bible School”, a very clever, catchy tune by one of our talented local musicians, Blake Boyd. The chorus incorporates lines from several of the wonderful old songs we learned as children.

Meetings are still conducted very much like the description in the link above. Anyone who desires to sing, play or lead the congregation is given the opportunity. It isn’t dinner on the grounds anymore, but there’s a covered dish lunch on Saturday.

Admission is free, but an offering plate is passed to cover expenses.

I highly recommend it.

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Filed under Events & Museums, Faith, Free, Fun, Music, Texas

Pumpkins

Sidewalk, Dallas Arboretum

Sidewalk, Dallas Arboretum

These photos were taken by our daughter-in-law when we went to the Dallas Arboretum last October. The pumpkin photo in my banner was taken then, also.

Us at the Dallas Arboretum Oct 08

Pumpkin house, Dallas Arboretum

Pumpkin house, Dallas Arboretum

From the photos on their website it looks like they’ve changed the displays slightly from last year’s.

We’re hoping to take our grandsons. Maybe we’ll stop at the Root Beer Saloon (Saturdays and Sundays through November 1). Certainly we’ll go to the playhouse exhibit. There are 14 playhouses based on children’s books, such as One Fish, Red Fish, Two Fish, Blue Fish, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, etc. This exhibit will run through December 31.

A Harvest Tea is offered from September 19th to November 25th 2009. Reservations only. $35.00 per person. Ouch. But at least it’s a meal (high tea) and not just an afternoon tea. I don’t think we’ll be taking the boys to this one. This sounds like a grandma and drag-grandpa-along event.

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Filed under Autumn, Events & Museums, Gardening, Texas