Seven Things I Love (5-24-2021): History Edition

  1. 1. This Patent Drawing – Which finally puts to rest the question over or under. I don’t mean to gloat but I KNEW IT and my Mamma never lead me astray.

From My Modern Met:

Over or under? This is the question that has plagued the Western world since the invention of modern toilet paper. It was in 1857 that New York-based inventor Joseph C. Gayetty developed the first packaged variety to be made widely available in the U.S. However, it wasn’t until 1871 that perforated rolls of toilet paper were invented. Seth Wheeler filed a patent for his innovative design for the first time that year, and he filed another for a refined version of his invention again in 1891.

The illustrated diagram from Wheeler’s 1891 patent sheds some light on how the toilet paper roll was originally intended to be used. According to the image, it appears that the dangling end was designed to hang over—rather than under—the roll. This may be a crippling blow to those who are of the persuasion that under is the way to go. Even so, if hanging your toilet paper roll under is wrong, they probably don’t want to be right.

Original Patent Drawing Puts an End to the Great “Over or Under” Toilet Paper Debate” by Arnesia Young; May 13, 2021; My Modern Met

2. These Videos about Women’s Clothing in History – They are all just too good. The first talks about how women’s clothing may actually have been created to help protect. The second gives the history of how standard sizes came to be and the motivations behind doing so (hint, it’s always money.) The third video is a fascinating history of why men traditionally wear pants and women traditionally wear skirts (or did they….)

And last but not least (and this is a a wee bit of a stretch but I’m including it) a video about the clothing in the show ‘The Nevers‘ – my current favorite television show, which can be seen on HBO Max. They’ve already aired the first half of season one (8 episodes) and will be airing the second half sometime in the fall I believe (another 8 episodes.) As the vlogger mentions, the show is extremely historically accurate with their costumes (and she should know, it is her area of expertise.) She takes the opportunity to bust the myth that clothing from that era was extremely restrictive. There have been anti-corset campaigns for some time. Certainly the extremely boned corsets that reshape the body are not/were not good, but for women of this era most weren’t wearing the tightly drawn or heavily boned corsets (like Scartlett O’Hara). Unless a woman was from a wealthy family she would have been quite active and probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of having a ladies maid.

3. This Article about the New Version of the Game ‘Oregon Trail’ – A fascinating essay where the author, who is a black historian, is in a battle between his longing for childhood nostalgia and truth-telling in history. Is there really any correct way to make a game about colonialization?

John Gast, “American Progress” (1872), oil on canvas, 12 3/4 inch x 16 3/4 inch
(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, painting in possession of Autry Museum of the American West)

4. This Article on Book Curses – In medieval times, because books were handmade, written by scribes, and took a long time to make, they were rare and had great physical value. Most scribes and book owners did not have the financial means to protect their libraries with armed guards so instead they used words to fend off would-be thieves. Fortunately for them, most people believed in curses so it worked fairly well.

What I want to know is why don’t we use book curses today? They would look so nice on a bookplate. Even if most people don’t believe in curses anymore, at least it would remind them to keep their paws off of things that aren’t theirs.

I looked up some more and found one [here] that I am going to make into stickers so I can put it inside all my books:

Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.

From a 15th century manuscript owned by Count Jean d’Orleans.
12th century Hell. Herrad von Landsberg/Public Domain.

5. These Articles about Coco Chanel and Her Nazi Connections – I’ve always been a huge fan of Coco Chanel so when I first read about this it made me extremely sad. The first article was from nearly a decade ago and appeared on MessyNessyChic. It was written about eight months after the book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan was released. This was the first book to really include details about her involvement with the Nazis (not just that she was dating one) such as her code name, agent number, that she was included in nazi missions and worst of all, that she had taken advantage of her “Aryan rights” (meaning the seizing of Jewish-owned property and businesses.)

The second article was equally interesting. This one appeared on Forbes last year. The author is trying to determine if we can justify overlooking such a horrifying past in someone like Coco Chanel, whose left such a legacy. It’s an interesting question. I think this might be a good analogy – what if there was a building built by the nazis and after the war, all that remained was the foundation. So the French come and build a ground floor and the English build a 1st floor and the Norwegians build a 2nd floor (I’m doing the european counting of floors) and the Danish build a 3rd floor and so forth. And each floor is filled with beautiful things. But ultimately that base was built by nazis – should the entire thing be torn down and rebuilt? Should it be moved? I don’t think so.

BUT what I do think is that Chanel should stop avoiding Coco Chanel’s horrific history. I know that they think it can’t be good for PR but what they need to do is use it to help and get ahead of it. Just admit – we realize that our founder was a nazi sympathizer, possibly a nazi collaborator and our response is that we are appalled by the information as much as you are. Our founder was a talented woman and we cannot deny that Chanel wouldn’t exist without her genius but the nazi atrocities were unforgivable and that she was involved is a huge black stain on the origin of our company. They could put their money where their mouth is and contribute to a Holocaust organization.

My believe is that we should not be completely erasing bad history but instead we should be making it accurate and using it as a teaching opportunity.

6. This Article about How Women in the UK/Ireland Were Duped into Believing it was Bad to Drink Tea – Though it’s me who is saying that the women were actually duped. The article implies it but doesn’t come right out and say it. Neither does this one.

Here’s the situation – first and foremost, tea was considered expensive back then. So was sugar if you wanted to sweeten it (because milk and honey in tea just doesn’t work.) Right away men (husbands and fathers) were going to say that women shouldn’t be drinking something as expensive as tea.

Then there were the wealthy, who liked to feel that drinking tea was something the gentrified did, certainly not the poor.

And of course, there was concern that women who sat around drinking tea would have time to talk to one another and that could lead to anarchy.

Even without social media, the “powers that be” managed to get messages out that women shouldn’t be drinking tea – said it was “unhealthy”, it made you lazy, etc. And the worse part is that the poor, uneducated women were the ones that bought into the lies and helped spread it. Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.

c. 1900 The Glencar Tea House in County Leitrim

7. This ‘Self Portrait’ by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston – I was thrilled when I finally found out who this photo was of and what it was about. I’ve loved it for years! Taken around 1896 by the photographer herself, it is supposed to represent the “new woman.”

Here’s a great article about the photo and the photographer from Smithsonian.

Frances Benjamin Johnston could be both ladylike and bohemian, which abetted her career as a photographer. (Library of Congress)

Word of the Day


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Seven Things That I Love (5-17-2021)

  1. 1. These New Quarters – Can you believe that these are the first U.S. coins with women on them? Now I know what you’re going to say, you’re going to say, but wait, there was the Susan B. Anthony silver dollar but come on, that wasn’t really a serious coin. How many people use silver dollars? They just did that to placate us.
Coins celebrating the writer and poet Maya Angelou, left, and the astronaut Sally Ride will be issued next year as part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program. Credit: United States Mint

2. This Documentary about Rita Moreno – I’ve always loved Rita Moreno. She reminds me a lot of my Mom’s best friends but I also think her time on The Electric Company, well, she’s one of those celebrities who you feel like is part of your family, do you know what I mean?

I watched this as part of the Milwaukee Film Festival (you could still buy a ticket, it’s virtual and goes until May 20th). There will be several options for you to see it in the future:

  1. On June 19th the film is going to be shown in theaters nationally
  2. PBS is going to be airing it as part of its current (35th) season of American Masters (probably in the fall or early next year)
  3. And it will be available to stream on the PBS app once it airs (the PBS app is free)

So, depending upon how badly you want to see it (and whether you are already vaccinated) you can seen it next month or you will have to wait a little bit but either way I highly recommend seeing it.

3. This Rental Property – It’s the home of The Royal Tenenbaums! One of the best of Wes Anderson’s films. $20,000/month is a lot of money but there are six bedrooms so if you got five of your friends to join in, $3333/month for a place like this in NYC would actually be kind of a bargain.

As found on Curbed:

Set on the fictional Archer Avenue (real address: 339 Convent Avenue in Hamilton Heights), the 1899-built Flemish-meets-Romanesque-Revival house was built by Jacob D. Butler (who’s also behind the Neo-Romanesque Lincoln Building in Union Square). It’s roughly 100 feet wide (on the side facing West 144th Street), with large bay windows on one end and a turret on the other. Inside: 6,000 square feet cover five levels (the bottom three of which have elevator access), with six bedrooms, six gas fireplaces, and over 50 windows. Plus an inordinate amount of original character: antechambers, stained-glass transoms, closets with skylights, and ornate mantelpieces carved with urns and flowers. It’s renting furnished for $20,000 a month.

4. This Video for the Song ‘Pretty’ by Ingrid Michaelson – Michaelson is a big fan of the show ‘Stranger Things’ and each of the songs on her album ‘Stranger Songs’ is inspired by something from the show. I think this is (IMHO) the best song and I love the video – so empowering.

5. This Anti-Smoking Sign from 100 years ago – Sadly it shows how difficult it is to fight against major companies who have access to politicians. Think about the fact that there actually were people 100 years ago who knew that tobacco was bad for us (not that you needed a rocket scientist to figure it out) and the tobacco industry and even members of the medical profession would promote smoking as being safe. The first warning labels didn’t show up on cigarettes until 1965 with the “The Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965.”

6. This Instagram – Illustrator Mauro Gatti believes that positive attitudes are the key to reducing anxiety and good mental health. After the year that we all want to forget he started “The Happy Broadcast.” In addition to his Instagram he has a website and a podcast. Check it out for a daily dose of positivity!

[Found via The Modern Met]

7. This AMAZING Video of a Gorilla Mama Watching a Human Mama Holding Her Baby – I LOVE THIS!!! (The ongoing commentary is both entertaining and annoying… LOL.)

Word of the Day


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Seven Things I Love (5-10-2010)

  1. 1. This Little Girl Who Got To Meet Her Hero, Rey from Star Wars – This shows how important it is that we have more strong, female lead characters in films. I LOVE Rey. I wish we had role models like her when I was a kid. “Younger” Leia was okay but nothing like some of the women girls have today, even “older” Leia. Still, it’s only a start.

2. This Essay by George Orwell on How to Make a “Nice Cup of Tea” – Originally published in The London Evening Standard on January 12, 1946, the essay includes eleven rules that Orwells says you need to be follow to make a good cuppa. The text below is rather small so if you click on the graphic it will take you to the Orwell Foundation website and the full text (which is owned by the Orwell Estate and Penguin Books and why I’m not reprinting it here.)

3. This Swedish Street Food: Tunnbrödsrulle – Tunnbrödsrulle is mashed potatoes, sausage or hot dogs, lettuce, shrimp salad, mayonnaise dressing, onions, ketchup and mustard all wrapped up in a thin piece of flatbread. Anthony Bourdain once said that one particular Swedish street food was, “…the most disgusting thing ever…and I love it.” I know that I want to try it! I May give it a go this summer if a few other people are game to try it with me…

(By the way, I found out about Tunnbrödsrulle from Beryl Shereshewsky who is one of my most recent obsessions. She did a video on how people [around the world] eat hot dogs. Here it is.)

4. This Image that Shows How the Athenian acropolis may have looked with its original paintwork back in the 5th century BCE – I LOVE these sort of then and now images. I wish there were more of them.

5. This NYC Ballerina with Alzheimer’s Listening to Swan Lake – no explanation necessary.

6. These Virtual Origami Classes through the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago – Lasting only 30 minutes, they are held every Wednesday and Saturday. It’s just the right amount of time to do one project. Loads of fun and by doing it every week you can improve your skills.

The classes on Wednesday and Saturday are the same so choose which day works better for you; the class is at 1 pm on both days. The cost is a donation – recommended amount is between $5-10 per class. You can sign up for a free trial class here.

I made this on Saturday (my first class.) In case you can’t tell, it’s a table and chair. The thing I think is great about these items is the first several folds for these are used for many other origami pieces.

7. This Photo of LeVar Burton and Patrick Stewart – Two of my most favorite people on the planet. (By the way, Levar did a new ad for Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin and not surprisingly it was a hoot!)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Three good friends went for a swim.
The one who was fat wished she was thin.
The one who was curvy wished she was clever.
The one who was clever wished she swam better.
The really great swimmer wished she was witty.
The one who was witty wished she was pretty.
All three friends thought the other two were just fine.
If only they could let their own bright light shine.
So throw on your swimsuit if you’re fat or you’re thin.
Enjoy fun and friendship …. love the skin that you’re in!


Seven Things I Love (5-3-2021)

  1. 1. This New Rollin’ Wild Video – The first new ‘Rollin’ wild’ film short in THREE years. And was it worth the wait? I think so…. I laughed my buttootie off! Have watched it about a dozen times so far, laugh just as hard every time.

2. This Perfect Man – He really does exist! The White House decided to rebrand Doug Emhoff as “Douglas Emhoff. Apparently they believe the formality is more suited to his position and sounds more “grown-up.” I’m going to guess that all the adult men who go by the name Doug disagree with this assessment. As one late night comedian pointed out, Bernie goes by Bernie and not Bernard and no-one dares to not see him as grown-up and serious. Let’s just hope and pray that the White House doesn’t tell “Douglas” he has to cut back on the PDA! (The Vice President is SO lucky!)

[Thanks to Ann for this one.]

3. These Breathtaking Still Life Photographs – it’s hard to believe they aren’t paintings. If you click on the photos it will take you to each photographer’s website. Or click on the link below to see the original story where I first ran across these works of art.

[Found on ChristieRealEstate.com]

Italian Plums After G.G. 2015 by Paulette Tavormina of New York
Pronkstillife With Pheasant by Jeroen Luijt, who is inspired by the Dutch Old Masters found in his home town of Amsterdam
The hyper-natural yet accessible Reviviscere, part of the Azahar series by Julija Levkova

4. This Podcast about Florence Nightingale – It checks all my boxes: a woman fighting against the patriarchy, British history (particularly the Victorian era), nerds, how information is power – check, check, check and check.

Recently I’ve read about several people/historical events where I thought, why isn’t there a movie or best-selling book about this?!? Then I’d think, wait, maybe there is and I just don’t know about it. And I’d look up the person or event and find out that yes, there was a movie but it was filmed 40 to 50 years ago or it was a made-for-tv special or there was a book but it’s for children or by some author I’ve never heard of.

That’s what happened when I looked up Florence Nightingale. There actually are a ton of books but none that are by well-known historians (there are loads of kids books about her). There is an autobiography called Notes on Nursing.” I’m sure is interesting but doubt it’s all that readable (after all, she could do many these exceedingly well but writing wasn’t one of her talents.)

There was a tv movie with Jaclyn Smith playing Nightingale. I’m sure THAT was historically accurate. There’s a 1915 British Silent film about Florence. And there was a British film made in 2008 with not a single name in the cast I recognize (which never happens) and the one review it got on IMDB gave it one star and wrote, “One of the worst costume dramas I’ve seen in years! The acting was terrible. the script was terrible, the screenplay was dull and the characters seem like they had been plucked out of the 21st century and thrown back in time! Laura Fraser was useless, good looking, but useless. She plays the strong modern woman type which is totally out of context for the time, and all the male characters are weak.” (By the way, the review ends with “Americans will love it!” I’m not joking!)

I came across which is that Elizabeth Moss is supposedly working on a new film about Florence Nightingale. I hope this isn’t one of those projects that gets announced but never happens but the article I linked is from 2018 and I couldn’t find anything past late 2019. Well, we’ll see what happens. Maybe they’ll be a resurgence of Nightingale-mania!

[Thanks to my friend Kathy for sharing this with me!]

5. This Book about the Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee – This is a bit niche for a general blog, but I think the majority of my followers will appreciate it. Talk about a trip down memory lane! My only complaint is that it wasn’t physically bigger (it’s only 6″ x 9″) because I wish that the photos were larger and frankly I’d like to have seen more restaurants included. But it’s an Arcadia Publishing book and this is the standard size for the majority of their titles. But I suspect it’s the only way to get a book like this published anymore. Sigh. Anyway, I enjoyed reading it immensely.

6. This Reboot of Leverage with the Original Cast (minus one) – I know that people who didn’t watch Leverage won’t be as excited about this as I am (in fact, you probably won’t give a hoot) but I’m over the moon about this news. I was super bummed when they ended the show in 2012. They did tie everything up, but in the four years it aired it built up quite a following and I know we would have been happy for the show to continue for several more years.

But it’s back with the entire cast, except for Timothy Hutton. (I had no idea there had been accusations made against him too.) I’m a bit surprised, although thrilled and relieved, that Aldis Hodge is returning as Alec Hardison. I mean, he’s hit the big time with ‘One Night in Miami’ and he’s also been on ‘City on a Hill.’ The addition of Noah Wyle to the cast must also mean that a return of ‘The Librarians’ is not in our future. Oh well. You can’t have everything.

7. This Miniature Round Bookcase – If you love miniature things you’ll enjoy perusing the entire Instagram for the Daily Mini.

Word of the Day


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Seven Things I Love (4-26-2021)

WOO HOO! Received my second Pfizer shot two weeks ago so I am fully ….

I hope you are too! Be sure to get your vaccination if you haven’t.

1. This Lebanese Artist Who Turned the Tables on These Sexist Vintage Ads – I love this guy. His name is Eli Rezkallah and he’s done much more than this series, but I’m highlighting this because it delights me so. His intent is to shock and I think he’s done a good job. I wonder if there are any sexist men though that will get it. Sigh.

Here’s one more he did that I loved. So sassy!

2. This Food Vlogger – I am OBSESSED with Beryl Shereshewsky! This woman is my soul sister (she includes links to the sites where her earrings are from!) Beryl is actually a television producer. She was making micro-documentaries but then, well, you know. So she decided to use her time during isolation to try something that combined her love of cooking (and eating) with film making. Thus her YouTube Channel was born. It primarily covers her cooking and trying out a certain disk/item made several different ways from around the world. For example, she recently did this one on instant noodles… (this one made me a little verklempt when they started to all eat together.)

What I love about Beryl is how much information she shares about everything, the history, the culture, etc. She really seems to know her stuff – she clearly has traveled a lot (I think from her previous gig.) And there is a true sense of community on her channel. She even has a book club and shares “other stuff” as the tagline of her channel indicates.

I must admit though, she had me at toast recipes… (and she’s done THREE episodes on toast!)

3. This Hand & Nail Treatment – yowzah! For most of my life I had fabulous nails and then, boom, around the time I turned 45 they started getting brittle and breaking and the drop of a hat. I couldn’t grow them long anymore and my manicures were lucky if they lasted more than a couple days.

Eventually I discovered shellac manis and that helped a little but even those were lucky to last a week and I had to keep my nails short. It didn’t bother me, I told myself, this is how women wore their nails in movies in the 40s – short and red. But it was expensive getting a shellac mani every week (and not good for my nails I’m sure)!

During the pandemic I thought that maybe not wearing polish would give my nails a break and they might get better. I even tried all sorts of products – creams, oils, lotions – in the hopes they might help. But nothing.

Around two weeks ago I started using this product and my nails are already longer than they’ve been in years. I wish I had thought to take some before and after photos.

4. This Artwork by SNL Actor Melissa Villaseñor – I’ve said this a million times, it’s SO WRONG when someone is incredibly talented in one artistic field (acting/comedy) and then ends up being incredibly talented in a second area (art/illustrations.) But for once, I actually am okay with it. Melissa is someone that I love so much and I’m good with her being so blessed. Plus, we get to enjoy her art! (And if you hang out on her IG you’ll soon discover that she’s a bit of a depressive.)

5. This Tweet – At the bottom from ‘The Lone Apple.’

6. This Toast Art – Japanese Artist Manami Sasak uses TOAST for her canvas. PINCH ME!

7. This Remake of One of the Most Famous Musicals in History – HOLY SHIT, STEVEN SPIELBERG REMADE WEST SIDE STORY!!! I was watching the Academy Awards last night and they showed this trailer and I almost DIED! And Rita Moreno is in this version TOO!

Word of the Day


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Have you seen The Miniaturist?


Seven Things I Love (4-19-2021)

  1. 1. This Cover of VOGUE Magazine – The world was given Amanda Gorman in 1998 but so many of us were unaware of this gifted woman until January 20, 2020. Thank goodness President Biden chose her as his Inaugural Poet! Good job Vogue – keep going – let’s see scientists and artists and teachers and healthcare workers and activists and environmentalists and small-business owners and single Moms and… on the cover.
May, 2021 Cover of VOGUE Magazine

2. This Graphic Showing what “Reasonable Police Officers” said as the Trial of Derek Chauvin Regarding Use of Unreasonable Force – I can’t say I love this but I appreciate that someone put it together. I have listened to a good portion of the trial and happened to turn it on today right at the point where the defense attorney was discussion this specific topic in their closing arguments. It was infuriating listening to him try to manipulate and twist his words to make it sound as though what Chauvin did was at all reasonable, even after so many officers had said it wasn’t. I only pray the jury sees through his legal speak.

3. This Comic Book Artist – I actually saw these a few years ago but ran across them again and needed to share. The artist’s name is Francois Schuiten. He illustrated a series of comic books called Obscure Cities, written by his longtime friend, writer Benoit Peeters.

As you can see, the artwork is magnificent. For years the only way to get them in the US was in black and white and in the original French but the good news is, just this year, Penguin began releasing them in English and in full-color! I’ve ordered one already from my local bookshop.

[found on MessyNessyChic]

4. These Selections of Brahms – Famous individuals from the music world choose their favorite five-minutes of Johannes Brahms. A fantastic way to become accustomed to Brahm’s music if you are unfamiliar or reacquaint yourself if it’s been a while. [From the New York Times]

5. This Television Series from a Series of Novels – The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life) were published between 2011 and 2014. This series is based on the three books with each season covering one of the books. Two seasons have been aired so far, the second season only recently becoming available. I was able to watch it via Prime with my AMC subscription but if you have a Sundance subscription that is another option.

People have often compared this series to Twilight and Harry Potter, the former because of the vampires and other creatures in the story and the latter because of the literary aspects, and I can see why they would, but as a friend of mine said, these are more mature, grown-up versions of the stories – more complicated, more clever.

And I don’t think I mentioned that there is time travelling. The second season is spent mostly in Tudor London while the first season is mostly in modern day Oxford (or Venice or the French countryside.) The entire show is a treat to watch.

6. This Email from Kitsch Regarding Mother’s Day Promotions – I’ve never received anything like this before and I really wish more businesses would follow suit! There are a multitude of reasons why Mother’s Day is difficult for me. Being bombarded by ads and promotions (not just in my inbox but on television and radio too) for nearly the a full month before the actual holiday, makes it all the more difficult.

Email from Kitsch

7. This Sneak Peak of a Bourbon Street Chemist (with Products Made Entirely in Felt) – I love Lucy Sparrow’s art. She works primarily with felt and wool and often creates life-sized recreations of everyday objects.

Her latest exhibit is at the Lyndsey Ingram Gallery and you can see a nice overview at the video below. You can purchase the items at the NFS (or National Felt Service, which is Lucy’s spin on the UK’s NHS or National Health Service.) As they are pieces of art, they are not inexpensive.

Here’s another exhibit she did in a deli in New York with seafood.

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Seven Things I Love (4-12-2021)

  1. 1. This Gilded Age Gown – I love the art, the architecture, the decor, the jewelry and especially the dresses of the Gilded Age. Of course one can’t overlook that there was so much wrong with the era. But like so many times and places where there is tremendous inequity and obnoxious wealth, breathtaking beauty often is born. One has to wonder, would such beauty have been possible if not for the inequity? For example, the Taj Mahal; it is extremely unlikely that it would have been built if the emperor Shah Jahan hadn’t been an emperor and didn’t have all the wealth of his kingdom.

Anyway, as usual, I’ve gotten off topic. Let’s get back to this dress. There are several clothing designers of that era that I like but my absolute favorite is Charles Frederick Worth. His House of Worth spanned over a few eras and his designs were exquisite.

I’m not sure who designed the dress below, it could be a House of Worth, but the garment appeared in a painting by one of my favorite painters, John Singer Sargent. Everything about it is perfect – the color, the design, the fabric. C’est magnifique.

And here is the John Singer Sargent painting (sadly it’s not a full-length portrait):

Mrs. Charles E. Inches (nee Louise Pomeroy), painted by John Singer Sargent

And while we are on the subject of the Gilded Age, Julian Fellows, the creator of ‘Downton Abbey,’ has a new series coming out called ‘The Gilded Age’ and they’ve started filming!

It stars Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon and many other top actors. The show follows “young Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Union general, who moves into the New York City home of her thoroughly old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. Accompanied by Peggy Scott, an accomplished African-American woman, Marian inadvertently becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old money set, and her stupendously rich neighbors, a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife, George and Bertha Russell.”

HBO Filming ‘The Gilded Age’ In Central Park, Written by Downton Abbey Creator‘ from Westsiderag.com, posted April 8, 2021

Here are several photos from last week (click on the image to go to Instagram so you can scroll them all)…

And here is a video…

The show will be aired on HBOMax and there is an official page though there isn’t a lot up yet. It’s clearly a work in progress.

Someone posted screenshots of the first posts on the “Gilded Age Society” Facebook group that I belong to and you aren’t going to believe how many fruit loops made comments about how they “shouldn’t be wearing masks” because it isn’t historically accurate or they could have at least worn historically accurate masks. And then people (for the most part) would politely reply back – they aren’t actually filming in these photos, this is while they are on break, but they are still in costume. (Are people really this stupid or are they just looking for things to be pissed about?)

2. This Youtuber – this young man makes me happy. I want to be his friend.

3. This Cover of the Beatles’ Song ‘Blackbird’ Sung in the Indiginous Mi’kmaq Language – this is beyond beautiful and I prefer it to the English language version, by far! Her voice is so lovely and soothing. I would love to listen to an entire album of songs by her!

To raise awareness of her native language, 16-year-old Emma Stevens sang a version of The Beatles’ 1968 classic “Blackbird” in the Mi’kmaq language, an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by nearly 11,000 in Canada and the United States. A member of the Eskasoni First Nation, the Nova Scotia student sang lyrics that were painstakingly translated by Katani Julian, a teacher who works in language revitalization. Julian told WBUR. “My language is very different from other ones.” “There’s a lot of syllables in ours. And there’s a lot of long words that translate into something really easy in English.”

[discovered on Open Culture by way of Kevin Bacon’s facebook page.]

4. This Muse of Gustav Klimt – I’ve been a fan of Klimt’s artwork for decades but it turns out I may actually have been a fan of Emilie Louise Flöge all these years, or at the very least the combined effort of their work.

Flöge was a friend of Klimt’s for decades. There are rumors that they were lovers but there is no real evidence, though apparently he was a womanizer. I suspect that they weren’t lovers and that is why they stayed friends for so long.

The clothing and fabric designs of Emilie Flöge were extremely unique for the time. Unlike the traditional, more fitted clothing, she preferred dresses that were looser, more smock or caftan-esque, with big flowing sleeves. Her designs sometimes would have a bit of an Asian influence and often she incorporated her own native Austro-Hungarian decorative design. I would LOVE to have some of her dresses to wear now.

Klimt used Flöge in her own dresses as a model for many of his paintings. So the question is, was it Klimt’s painting that I was drawn to, or was it Flöge’s designs within the portraits?

Emilie Floege in a Reform Dress. Weissenbach. Lake Attersee. Photography by Gustav Klimt, 1906.

5. This Article/Blog Post on Maximalism – This is probably my favorite art movement. I’m never been one for the minimal thing. In fact, a friend of mine used to describe me as a Victorian-era woman living in the late 20th century.

Click on the image below to go to the blog post and you’ll see many more maximalism paintings. I find them all so interesting and inviting.

Marie-Desiree Bourgoin – Sarah Bernhardt Sculpting in Her Studio

[via MessyNessyChic]

6. This New Series on HBOMax, The Nevers – It premiered yesterday, April 11th and they will be releasing a new episode every Sunday through May 16th (at least that it what it says on the IMDB.) I’ve only seen the first episode but I’m completely absorbed!

Starring Laura Donnelly (Outlander and Brittania), Ann Skelly (Vikings), Pip Torrens (The Crown and Poldark), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark), Olivia Williams (The Halcyon and Counterpart), Amy Manson (White Princess and Once Upon a Time), Ben Chaplin (The Dig and The Letter for the King) and a zillion other people.

7. This Cornucopia of Art in the Form of Portuguese Sardine Labels – I suppose 50 years from now people will look at packages of things like ziplock bags or Keebler cookies (if any survive that long) and think they are quaint. Naaaaaaaaah.

You can find hundreds more at this website.

[Discovered via Hyperallergic]

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By the way, today is (was) …

If you didn’t get a chance to celebrate Drop Everything and Read Day today, do it tomorrow. Or better yet, do it every day!

Seven Things I Love (4-5-2021)

  1. 1. This Comedian’s Solution to Gun Control – So simple. I’ve only recently discovered Steve Hofstetter and he’s hilarious. I start watching his videos on YouTube and end up watching for hours.

By the way, I bought a small portable (annotated) version of the constitution which I carry with me. I’ve been surprised at how often I refer to it. Originally I got it because I wanted to be like RBG – but I never thought I’d actually use it. Turns out there’s a very practical reason for carrying one around and it’s no surprise that Justice Ginsburg would know that.

2. This Roundabout Mural in My Hometown of Dubuque – I’ve never seen this myself but then I’ve not been “home” for a few years because, well, you know why. I was curious to see if this was a thing, if maybe artists were doing this around the US or even around the world but I couldn’t find any others (admittedly I only did one search.) I did, however, find that public traffic sculptures are a thing.

3. This Video Clip from Sesame Street – most of you who grew up on Sesame Street will remember John John. Be sure to watch all the way through and see if you don’t have a big smile on your face when this is over.

4. This Video from 1949 about a “Step-Saving” Kitchen, from the Department of Agriculture – Created for farming families, the video is pure vintage delight. Set aside for the moment the whole housewives (only) do all the cooking thing, and focus on the design aspect. There are actually many things I wish were standard components in today’s kitchens. The cookbook holder on the inside of the cabinet and the garbage hatch were two things I was most impressed by.

I also loved the counter height analysis. I wonder if they still make “pull-out boards”. As a taller person I find most counters are usually too low for me.

A few last thoughts… the video made me miss the “olden” days, just a little bit. Things like having a landline in the kitchen and the little desk you’d sit at while taking a call. I also thought it was interesting that they chose to have a woman narrating the video even though it was about architectural design. It’s a little bit of a relief to know that in 1949 they didn’t feel it would be necessary to have a man present the plans. I realize it was for something considered a “woman’s world” but it would have been the man making the decisions and paying for it.

5. These Hand-Painted Wallpapers – Anyone who knows me knows that I’m wallpaper junkie. And chinoiserie wallpaper, especially hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper, well, it makes my heart go pitter-patter. When I bought my current house (it’s my Golden Girls’ Dream House,) I knew I absolutely had to have wallpaper put up in a few of the rooms. And so I did and in my opinion, the wallpaper I chose is magnificent. But admittedly, none of it can compare to these.


Chinoiserie (or China Style) “is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and other East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music.”

From Wikipedia

The story of how de Gournay began could possibly be movie-worthy:

Started in 1986, founder Claud Cecil Gurney started de Gournay following an unsuccessful search for experts to restore the antique Chinoiserie wallpaper in his family home. His passion for art and Chinese history brought him to China where he investigated the possibility of working with local artists to replicate the pieces he longs for in his home.

Once in China, he quickly discovered the government’s preference for mass design, making traditional hand painting of wallpaper a dying art. In an effort to save the vanishing tradition, he widened his search and eventually located artists whose parents, grandparents and ancestors had been trained in these specific techniques and who shared his wish to continue the traditions.

De Gournay || The World’s Most Beautiful Hand-Painted Wallpapers; Pendulum Magazine; April 30, 2018

Swoon.

6. These Peeps Sandals – My friend Leann made these for Easter. I think they are adorable! Full disclosure, she said that it’s a bugger to work with marshmallow (even marshmallow that you’ve allowed to harden) and a glue gun.

7. This Training Video for Wendy’s Employees – Only in the 80s. It was a simpler time. MUCH simpler. (Still, this brought me much happines.)

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Quote of the Day

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


It’s….

Do you have a library card?

Seven Things I Love (3-29-2021)

  1. 1. This Incredible Photo of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II – Honestly, when I first saw this I thought it must be photoshopped by the person who posted it sent me to this link on the NASA website.

The photo was taken on February 12, 1984. Are you surprised, I was! I actually thought it would have been more recent. According to the website, it was the first ever untethered space walk. “Astronaut Bruce McCandless, ventured further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut had ever been. This space first was made possible by a nitrogen jet propelled backpack, previously known at NASA as the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU.”

The photo below, which I discovered on social media, is a little more photographic/dramatic than the one found on NASA. I’m not sure if that is because there was more than one camera taking photos and this took them at a higher resolution or if someone has tweaked the “original” version, either way, the photo is amazing.

Here’s a few more photos…

2. This Door that Converts into a Ping Pong Table – Genius, no? There’s only one eensy weensy problem. It costs nearly $15,000!!!

3. This AWESOME Tweet that Includes a Video of the Celebration that Ensued After the Ship Stuck in the Suez Canal Finally Started Moving – EPIC! It brings tears to my eyes.

4. THIS Seven-year-old Boy Who Dressed Up as Amanda Gorman for “Dress as Your Idol Day” – well done!

Poet AMANDA GORMAN at the Inauguration of President Joseph Biden on January 20, 2021

5. This SNL Video from this Past Weekend – People who actually think of themselves as the “greatest generation” are NOT the greatest generation. Just sayin’.

Man, Boomers suck! Please God, don’t let us turn into them! Too late, it’s already happening…

6. This Gorgeous Apartment in Covent Garden that you Can RENT – it’s about $900 per night but if you shared it with two other people it would be completely worth it!

7. This WONDERFUL Art Teacher – EDUCATORS ROCK!

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Seven Things I Love (3-22-21)

  1. 1. This VACCINATED Menopausal Broad – pardon my hair, I forgot to fix it before the photo. You can’t see it but I’m both a little teary-eyed and overjoyed.

Not surprisingly, I’ve been reading everything I can on the vaccines and post-vaccine life and I found this excellent article in the Washington Post. WashPo has a paywall, so you may not be able to read it but here’s my favorite part, where the authors, Emily Heil and Tim Carman, talk about keeping a coronavirus budget. I think it’s a brilliant idea:

“There’s no such thing as zero risk, and nothing is 100 percent risky,” says Leana Wen, a visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and contributing columnist at The Washington Post. “It’s a spectrum.” She has long urged people to think about their risks as expenditures from a “coronavirus budget,” and says the budgets of those who have been vaccinated just went way up. “You still have to think about how to spend it, and if your priority is seeing grandchildren and going to church, then maybe you’re not going to restaurants all that often.”

With encouraging headlines, springlike temperatures and our collective covid fatigue at an all-time high, it might be tempting to throw caution — and another round of takeout — to the wind. But experts agree that now is not the time to lower your guard, but instead to maintain your vigilance so we can return to something like normal by the fall.

From: ‘As vaccinations increase, you may want to dine indoors again. Here’s what to consider.‘ by Emily Heil and Tim Carman; Washington Post, Mar. 19, 2021
  1. 2. This Photograph of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs – I became obsessed with the Crystal Palace dinosaurs after reading the children’s book ‘The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins‘ by Barbara Kerley (illustrated by Brian Selznick). The book won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 2002 . I was still a Children’s Librarian at that time. It has everything I loved – London, the Victorian Era, paleontology/innovation/science and the illustrations are fantastic. Here’s a video of a reading of the book that is charming.

I thought – it would have been amazing to be there then and see the dinosaurs in person. Honestly, I didn’t realize they still existed until a couple years ago. I learned many moons ago the Crystal Palace had burned down, twice I believe, so I assumed that nothing had survived. But the dinosaurs did and I got to see them in May of 2019! Here are a few of my photos… (the guy in the photo is my London pal Rob.)

2. This Story about the Golden Tickets in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate FactoryCharlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl was my all-time favorite book as a kid. I’m not sure if I’ve already told this story but one year, I think around when I was in second or third grade, I got a hold of a copy of the book. I read it and loved it so much that I re-read it over and over and over again. Around the twelve time my Mom started getting a little concerned that I was so obsessed with just one book so she bribed me with my first Nancy Drew book. That wasn’t such a bad thing, it led to a whole new world of my favorite teenage sleuth, but I always loved Charlie and his family and Mr. Willy Wonka.

I also loved the movie with Gene Wilder. To me he will always be the one and only Willy Wonka. I was actually excited when I first heard that Tim Burton was going to give the book a try and that Johnny Depp was slated to play Wonka, but I think I’ve spent to many years visualizing the candy maker as Gene Wilder.

I stumbled across this story while searching for something else and thought it was very interesting. For fans of the story, it’s not a major thing but curious nonetheless.

For some reason the book originally had it say on the golden ticket that the visit was to in February but in the first movie they changed it to October. Here is a brief post on Roald Dahl Fans.com where the person who runs the blog received an email with a question about this difference.

Here is what it says in the book:

“And now, here are your instructions: The day I have chosen for the visit is the first day in the month of February…”

“The first day of February!” cried Mrs. Bucket. “But that’s tomorrow! Today is the last day of January, I know it is!

The person who runs the Roald Dahl Fans blog has one theory that I think is most likely/logical and that is that the filming schedule was from August to November and so it simply didn’t look like February outdoors (and it would have been too expensive to make it look like February back then.) I think that this is the most likely explanation but one has to wonder if there might be some other reason like, is October 1st someone’s birthday or anniversary?

3. This Instagram Post by 99 year-old Betty White – how is it that I have only just thought to follow Betty White now???? So many shows like this that I would love to watch – thank goodness they aren’t available to stream because I don’t have enough time in the day! (If you haven’t watched the Betty White documentary on Netflix yet I highly recommend it. Ill be posting my ‘Menopausal Broad’s Guide to Netflix’ soon, hopefully within the next week.)

4. This Number from the 1957 Movie, Funny Face – Pink has always been my favorite color. I’d like to think it would have been even if I wasn’t born a girl, but in the 60s in Iowa there were only two options – girl or boy – and it wasn’t kosher for boys to like pink. Having said that, you just know that at least half of the guys in those white painter jumpsuits wish their suits were pink too. But they still look like they’re having fun! Aren’t the clothes fabulous?

5. This 360 Degree Van Gogh Painting – you may want to actually visit it on Facebook to so you can make it bigger.

6. This Website that Lets You Create Your Own Bayeux TapestryThe Bayeux Tapestry is made up of seventy-five scenes depicting events leading up to the Norman Conquest in 1066. It has a very distinct style and has been studied in depth (in fact they even know that there are 93 penises, not all belonging to men, included in the art piece.)

Here’s my first attempt…

And here is an artist named Andrew Swainson’s clever version of the Bayeux Tapestry in a tribute to Monty Python…

Andrew Swainson’s Pythonesque take on the Bayeux Tapestry
Photograph: Andrew Swainson/Monty Python

7. These “Personless Protests” in Myanmar – human ingenuity knows no bounds.

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