Saturday, April 18, 2009

18 April 1955 “News, TV, Beauty, Transference, and Bunnies”


Here is a movie life magazine from April 1955. It is interesting that the main image of the the star (Marilyn Monroe) is actually artwork and not a photo.

The first large-scale Asian-African conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, took place between today April 18 thru April 24, 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia. It was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, which took place between April 18 and April 24, 1955. The conference's stated aims were to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism or neocolonialism by the United States, the Soviet Union, or any other "imperialistic" nation. In later years, conflicts between the nonaligned nations eroded the solidarity expressed at Bandung. [I guess these areas of the world were just not meant to be aligned. Though they saw we western cultures as imperialists, and I am not defending all our practices, it is interesting to note that these areas in this conference certainly did no better at managing their own countries. That is not a judgment good or bad, merely a fact. An interesting one. ]



One of the conferences concerns was over the trouble and conflict between the USA and Communist China. [again, isn’t this funny, considering our current state of affairs with China?]



mr wizard This is an interesting ad for the children’s program Mr. Wizard’s World. It looks really interesting and it seems the level of science he explained to young children is very high. Are any of you old enough to know this show? I know they redid it on Nickelodeon in the 1980s, but am told it was not as advanced as the 1950s version. Here is an episode:







going up 1 I found this little mini article interesting on three points: 1) The talk of a woman in a career outside the home and her chance for advancement. 2) the beauty tips and advice 3)The use of an Asian-American model. Three things one would not ‘expect’ in a 1951 magazine. Interesting stuff and the models hair is darling, I like this cut, only with really short bangs. And, honestly, this is just good advice that no one gives anymore. I mean, look nice. Take a few minutes and comb your hair and put on lipstick, it costs very little time and you ARE better received by those around you and it could help your career, as it shows you are put together and are able to manage your time to be both on time for work, as well as looking good. Subtle cues, that even if they are looked at as old-fashioned, still trigger a subconscious response in all of us. Something to think about.



I have been worried of late that my finding comfort in living in the past might become me merely hiding from the reality of the day. It would be so easy, for me at least, to just slowly meld into happy days of homemaking, gardening, petticoats and sewing. I thought I would miss the ‘outside’ world more than I do and have found I am even more self-sufficient even in entertaining myself.



It is true, then, that I can and could continue to live comfortably in a world of my own making, but there is a part of me that feels a pull towards sharing this joy with others. To somehow touch those who may feel the same way, or merely feel lost or unhappy or just a modern ennui and not know why. For, really, that was me. I wasn’t depressed or unhappy with anything in particular, I just sort of felt as if life was going along and I was caught in the current of it. Now, the simple direction of planned days is like a canoe and paddle: I can manage and navigate the eddies and currents of Life’s river. You see, I feel caught between happily slipping into my own little comfortable shell of self-discovery where I could slowly slide into a quiet contentment and yet I feel impelled to share my findings and to help other’s see the glory of such simple things. That is the balance, for sure. Or, perhaps, in my sharing it makes the doing of the new ways, the scheduled days, the continued learning of long forgot skills, more enjoyable. Although, I do have to say it would be so easy to just slip happily into my little cocoon I am building in my home and garden and happily hum away to myself for my remaining days, petticoated and gloved, snipping roses from the garden, cleaning, cooking and baking and entertaining. I can see how Tasha Tudor did it. Yet, I really feel that these skills, this very valid area of education IS important and COULD really help a lot of people. So, on some level I feel a responsibility to share that knowledge I am gaining. To let others know how sometimes it is the ‘new Prozac’.



Now, I know that homemaking is not for everyone. Yet, I really think a lot of homemaking skills can help anyone even if you are in a career and full time job. Saving money on home cooked meals prepared ahead of time, having clean and well cared for clothes to look nice and not have to buy more, all of these are good for anyone in any walk of life, even if you are rich enough to have a house full of servants, you would want them to have such economy and skill to make your life nice, so I honestly believe that the Homemaking Skills really do touch a part of all of our lives.



I also have noticed, somewhat, among some of my female friends a sort of ‘oh, well that’s not real work’ feeling. They are not coming right out and saying it, but honestly I feel that they somehow look at my project sometimes like I am a darling little child or an interesting pet, ‘Oh, that’s cute’, I can almost hear them think. When, honestly, does serving food to strangers somehow have a greater value because it gives you actual money? Isn’t it actually easier to just get up and go somewhere where you are told what and how to do something and then just go through the routine of it? You are tired from it, but you can just sort of zombie your way through it, without too much thought, collect your paycheck and go. Homemaking involves constant thinking and really no money (except what you are saving your family of course)I find it amusing that many people think housework is mindless drudgery, when in fact you make the schedule yourself and can change it up how you like to become more efficient. Now, if you are middle management, a receptionist, or a cafe worker, how are you going to do that? You HAVE to do what your boss tells you and you have to run a business the way someone else says. The ability to run and manage a home, create and design a world in which you and your family dwell, plan, shop, prepare and serve meals on time, these all require brains, talent and skill. Yet, so many people, ESPECIALLY women, seem to think it is mindless as they stand behind counters handing out food or sitting at desks typing into computers. I am not saying that they are not skilled, and I know work is hard and challenging, I have been a working girl but I also see Homemaker as a real career. One is not better than the other, but they are both valid. I have been a business owner and being a homemaker is very akin to that in personal management, creativity and guts.



Then, again, maybe my own modern thoughts on homemaking are still similar to these and I am merely transferring my own feelings onto them. They probably aren’t thinking like that at all and I am just trying still to show myself, to prove to me, YES this is real work. And you know what self: IT IS! Perhaps I need to start each day with an affirmation. Maybe between getting the coffee on and the frying bacon I should stand outside and breath in the morning air ( a homemaker is often the first to breath the fresh lovely morning air) and herald the day with my ‘creed’; outstretched arms in my dressing gown I shall call out to the great homemaking spirits of the world, “I am Homemaker, HEAR ME ROAR!” Well, if the petticoats and white gloves don’t make me the crazy lady of the neighborhood, that might. So, again, the very problem I may have found with what I think others perceive of me may, in fact, be my own coming to terms with preconceived ideas and norms. Another layer of change and personal development from time-travel. Maybe university kids should take a year of time-travel as part of their education as well as a year abroad, not a bad idea, huh?



Vintage friend and I were taking a Gardening break yesterday, when Gussie got home. She ran in, rather excited, to announce that if I wanted, we could have three new additions to our family. Three baby bunnies! I guess Easter did come, after all!



She works on a local farm and they were discovered and were going to be ‘destroyed’ I guess the story of Farmer McGregor is true, Farmers DON’T like bunnies. So, we rescued them. I bought some bottles and kitten formula ( I am told that is what is used) from our local pet store (we are lucky to have two local pet stores on the cape) to take care of our new young ones. They did not take the milk right away and we were worried. We then used an eyedropper and they liked that but prefer to lap it up from our hands, so darling.



I can’t help feel a little like the mother in this situation, as I love the idea of we getting to raise them, vintage friend Gussie and I , but can’t help see it will be mostly Me doing the work, as I am the one home and will most likely not lose interest as fast. It did make me think that I would definitely be the ‘type’ of mother that would not scream if my child brought home a wounded or lost animal (well, I might scream for joy). Perhaps, I just remember my own joy as a child with such finds. The countless baby mice, birds, frogs, tadpoles, turtles etc that marched through my childhood years are too emblazoned in my memory with joy, happiness, and sorrow that I would not want anyone, child or otherwise, to miss that opportunity.



I am sure there are some that would say it was ‘cruel’ to take in some wild baby bunnies, but not as cruel as their being drowned or whatever ‘famer McGregor’ would do to them. I think the experience of contact with a wild animal is a wonderful thing and a part of our human experience. Another element that is not a part of our modern world, we are so very disconnected from everything. Certainly, there is that in all of us, as a species, that which makes us curious to know and understand the animals around us. Somewhere in the deep ancestry of humans burned a desire to capture that wild animal, love it, and care for it and eventually we had cows and chickens etc. I can’t help but think of ancient pre-history days of ancestors huddles around caves decorated with paintings of great hunts flickering in the orange glow of their fires, while a small wild dog pup or orphaned fawn curled dutifully at their feet. The connection of human to animal is too deep for me to just ‘put the things out’. So, I will let you know how they survive. It is true they may die, but that, too, is part of life. We could raise them and set them ‘free’ but I have a feeling my wild rabbit is going to be as ‘wild’ as Beatrix Potters pet rabbit.beatrix potter and her pet rabbit It is funny that I somehow always manage to feel akin to odd women who were somewhat loners (Beatrix Potter, Tasha Tudor etc) Admonish away, I can take it.



Here are some photos of my dogs (who adore the bunnies) and the new babies. I made them black and white, as I feel they are more keeping with my vintage theme.









sophie and bunnies1 Here is my Italian Greyhound, she has been a mother in the past ( a good one) and I think her motherly instinct (despite her now being fixed) kicked in. This is my little Chihuahua who is never not entertaining.monty and bunnies He loves all things smaller than he (Napoleon complex, I believe) For example, my parakeet will often fly down next to him and they will hang out in his little bed. The bird sitting happily on the edge of it, while Monty sits down and stares at him as if he is Elvis. You can see how intent he is on them. They recieved many kisses form the dogs. monty and bunnies 2 Aren’t they adorable?!



Oh, by the way, they are called ‘Winken, Blinken, and Nod”



bunnies



Having these little darlings around even got me to take out the old drawing pens and pencils. Here is a quick pen and ink of two of them.bunny drawing 1 Of course, you cannot help but anthropomorphize them. Here is one as a little girl in her petticoat.bunny drawing 2 Then, of course, I had to have a hep cat modern man in his dungarees relaxing in his atomic chair with his pipe. moderne bunny drawingThey look more like mice, but that is because the little bunnies ears are so small! No wonder I didn’t get my blog done yesterday! Now I will have to schedule in some drawing time to sketch the new babies! I will have to add bunny photos and sketches to a section of my Flikr site.



Well, I promised myself to get to the point that I can at least move the dining room table and rug and dishes into the new dining room by this Monday, so I have a big weekend ahead. The weather is also nice, so I have to get more vegetables into my garden. I will show some progression pictures of that project as well. Now, I am off for my Saturday hair washing and setting. Teru mentioned pin curls, which I find hard as my hair is so long, but I am going to try them today. If it turns out nice, I will remember to get a picture. Have a great weekend, everyone.



And, as always, Happy Homemaking!

28 comments:

  1. Vintage gal, even if you do slip into a personal cocoon of happiness, why would that be bad? It would be great if your project brought enlightenment and happiness to others (which it already has, by the way), but would it somehow be less if it were personal? I think that if everyone pursued a similiar journey to their true passion, the world would be a better place, one person at a time

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  2. Hi Again!

    I wouldn't worry about retreating into your own world, because it's your life and if it makes you and your family happy then I think that that's amazing.

    Also you've inspired me to make changes in my life, which is affecting Mr Vintage and in turn other people. It's a huge web with you and this blog as the centre. Be proud of that.

    I'd love to see more pictures of the renovation project!

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  3. What's wrong with sinking into a quiet contentment in your own little happy homemaking world? It might only be for a season, it might not. But if that meant easing away from sharing and teaching via the blog world, well I'm selfish enough to beg you not to.. :)Thank you for freely enlightening us with your findings so others can discover and bask in the joy of simple everyday routines, validing us who have already been delighting in this journey and inspiring others to commence it. What you do IS important in your beautiful cared-for home and then blessing others by sharing your work.

    Homemaking is a valid career and much of society does seem to consider work real, only if one gets a paycheck for it. But we know to run and manage a home well takes great skill and commitment.. oh the joy and fulfilment.

    Living creatures need a woman's mothering and all your little warm fury or feathery 'pets' are very lucky to have you. You certainly do accomplish a lot because animal care takes up a huge amount of time (even more so when you have some tiny charges that require regular feeding.)

    Thanks again for taking the time to inspire us. From, Linda

    P.S. What would the words of the 'creed' be? :)

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  4. P.S. I forgot to say how great your drawings are. You are a very gifted woman. How your home and family will continue to benefit from such talent! From, Linda

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  5. I want to encourage you to continue to build your life as you see fit. And why not? Do we all not take a life time to find such peace among the crazy world it has become? Amish have their own way, Mormans, Jehovah W., Catholics, Jews, not to mention those that follow for cultural non religious reasons for what they do and live among our real world. You almost sound like there is some guilt in your "voice" to want something that brings you such happiness. Do not go there! I love everything you are doing and only the stress of life pulled me far from it myself. You have reminded me of what is truely important, I already knew, as I was home most of my married life with family, but drifted away from things that brought me such hapiness and in turn bringing happiness to others.
    Modern life tells us not to be frumpy, to care for oneself and yet have home and business. Many today see we are foolish to try to have it all and usually our relationships suffer whether it be at home, work, or social.
    There is NO reason why you can not live life as you see works for you, after all you said yourself you are not crawling under a rock.
    My Grandmother use to belong to a Home Demonstration club 1940's-50's. Looking up that info. I see it was 4H related. The women got together monthly and each shared recipies and home skills, crafts etc. Why not have such a club that could go nation wide? A place women can share, talk over tea and help solve their community problems? I am not talking stepford wives here but start in your own back yard. If it happens to be dress up vintage day so be it! More fun! There can never be enough support among friends. Why not have a group that helps bring dignity back to the home whether worked part time or full time? You already have a little group going and at the end of the year grow on it.
    My friends and family already know I am different and should be living in the "old days' as they cal it, but I am no means under a rock either. People who home school (and I did that) want a better life too. Is this not what your truely going for?
    If your blog ever ends I would truely miss you. Thanks for reminding this old gal it is still ok to be happy.

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  6. Wow, just taking a break between gardening and basting my turkey and thought I'd pop on to see who stopped by. What great comments, and don't worry I am not going anywhere. I mostly was discussing with myself but on this blog, as usual, right?, about the things I now enjoy and also enjoy sharing with you. I honestly do feel a repsonsibility (and I like it) to continue to share with all of you and to try and do so even more. I almost feel sometimes, oh, the gals on the blog would be proud of me if I attempted that etc, so it is a good feeling and really to have a guage of excellence and to really expect it of yourself and to want to do so for both yourself and to inspire others IS a wonderful way to be.
    Well, back to my projects and my garden, it is just starting to rain here (how is that for timing, I just got the last of my kale and snow peas in the ground!)and I need to move my tools inside to start work on the dining room. I will post more pics of that tomorrow or monday and also pics of my ongoing vegetable garden. It has also started as basically a leaf filled weed pit and I have so far put up some fence (not all yet) and such and today got in some of my cold crob veg. Have a great day and I am sure I will 'pop' on again later.

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  7. Gorgeous bunnies. Every home needs a tiny meagerie. Great drawings too.

    Go ahead and live your life the way you want, don't let society's or your own prejudices stop you from leading the life you want. Truly it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks as along as what you are doing isn't harming anyone.
    Life is supposed to be about joy, often quiet joy from a job well done or time spent in thoughtful industry or from sharing an evening with loved ones. It's a by product of a life well lived and so many people are searching for it - if you have found it don't feel guilty, you were meant to find it. You have found your bliss.

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  8. I forgot to put up the second part of that going up article, so I just put it up. It lists the things to do in order to help your chances in your career.

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  9. Your drawings are wonderful.

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  10. Those bunnies are so tiny! I'm sure they would rather be looked after by you than dead, so don't feel guilty at all. And they have each other around so it won't be so strange for them. I love you drawings, you are so talented. They have a lot of life and movement in them.

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  11. I agree with Design Junkie, there; why does it matter if others agree or disagree with what you intend to teach yourself? No one, that I know of has ever stopped reading a textbook because someone said, "Why are you reading that? Don't waste your time learning!" Sometimes friends and family members don't understand why their loved ones do/say/practice certain things. But what a humdrum world it would be if we all buzzed around doing the same things! Among other things, we wouldn't have anything to talk about! It's still early in your project, and going against the "norm" is never easy. Stick with it, but stay true to yourself.

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  12. 50s gal, you have every right to be happy at home! Homemaking is a real career, even though it is not valued today. And you do influence others, through your blog. There is nothing wrong in living a quiet, peaceful life at home.

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  13. 50'sgal- I love the bunnies! You are a kind soul to take them in. And feed them by droppers. My, they are lucky little ones.

    I also had a dog named Monty- as a child. He was such a Monty too.

    I think your friends may not get what you're doing. Housework is so fleeting- you do it once and then have to do it all again. (From someone who has to sweep the kitchen floor multiple times a day. No, I'm not a neat freak, just have a messy family.) Using your example, a waitress does the same things- serving food, cleaning up the table, the floor, etc, but she has specific hours and gets paid. This makes it seem more legitimate because it can be quantified in hours and income. The housewife is always on call and unless she's on a household allowance it's hard to see her in terms of economy.

    There is a glorified idealism so housekeeping that I think people, especially women respond to- either negatively or positively we have an emotional response. When I stopped working to stay home with my children I got a similar reaction from some people. Like it was so sweet I got to stay home and clean and feed my babies. Never mind that it was also an economical decision based on the cost of childcare.

    You are quite an artist. I love your bunny portraits. In another blog entry your dining room drawings were amazing.

    All the best!!

    S

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  14. 50sgal,

    It almost sounds like you haven't found an answer that you have accepted for yourself yet, otherwise, why would this same conversation continue to play in your mind? Is there something in particular that keeps nagging at you that keeps the question/conversation going in your mind? I completely agree with what everyone else has said. We each choose how we live our life. Why would it even be a question? Nobody else can tell you what makes you happy and what works best for you, dare I say, not even you. We can be our own worst enemy if we let ourselves. If we don't do what instinctively and knowingly is best for ourselves and instead let outside voices scramble our knowledge, we get in our own way. I think many of us understand that being a "loner" is tough because it's more enjoyable to share our journey in life with others who are like us, but it's not more enjoyable than being who you are instead of someone you are not just so you fit in. I may feel lonely at times when I'm feeling like there's no one else around that thinks like me, but I'm still happy being who I am because I'm being true to myself.

    If you're wondering who you really are, you are who you decide to be according to what your core beliefs about life are. Who we are is not a random chance. I think that's why so many of us are responding to you by encouraging you on the path that you are going, not so much because we want that for you (although it is nice having someone like-minded in our corner :)), but because of what you have shared of yourself; the beliefs that you have shared, etc. The things you have shared with us tell us what to tell you..."Keep going. If the person you have shared with us is really who you are, then what other honest option do you have than to continue being who you are and continue on the path you are on?"

    As far as you feeling an obligation to share with the world what you are learning, I don't necessarily agree that you need to do more than what you are doing, unless you really want to. How we live our life is sharing what we believe to those around us, and the ripple affect of that can spread of its own accord. I'm not saying that it's not worth it to spread the knowledge farther and faster, I'm just saying that you don't necessarily have the obligation to spread the knowledge in that fashion. I'm just going to assume that you know what I'm saying. :)

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  15. I love your blog. I am a empty-nester who spent years as a homemaker when my children were small, then worked for many years outside the home, and now have happily chosen to be a homemaker again. My mother always worked outside the home, but it's nice to see what things would have been like for her when I was a little girl (I'm 52).

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  16. PL- I think right now I feel more true and happy to myself than ever before. It is just hard sometimes, as my friends were my friends BEFORE all of this. It is not that they do not want me to do it, but sometimes I feel they think they need to leave me out due to misunderstanding what this project is actually about. I do feel an obligation to share but I like that feeling, So, therefore, I do want to keep blogging and maybe one day I can do more (like podcasting etc) as I think I would really enjoy it and if others responded and liked it, then it would make it that much nicer for me. I am really happy right now and I have always been a loner, anyway, so nothing new there. Thanks for your comments, everyone.
    Anonymous, I am glad you can return to the home. It is lovely, isn't it?

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  17. Oh, I see. From what you have said about your friends, I had assumed that most of them were a lot like you and thought along the same lines, except those few you had mentioned feeling different around now. So, it's not so much whether or not this is the right path you are on, but what will become of you, your life, and your "pre 55" friends as the future unfolds and the fears that come with those unknowns? I guess with any core life changes come core lifestyle changes as well. I'm sorry you are going through this. I know it has to be really tough to feel your way through it all. You have our support. :)

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  18. As far as your feelings of obligation to share what you've learned with others, I understand better what you were saying. Just the fact that you used the word obligation confused me. I thought you were feeling a sort of "guilt" obligation to do that, but it doesn't sound like that's what you meant. And, of course, if you're more than happy to share so much of yourself with us, we are more than happy to accept your generosity. :)

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  19. PL-thanks, I really feel that part of my life this project, is tied into my blog. I suppose it is like sharing your diary with your friends or writing a little article for a local 'ladies magazine' and I thoroughly enjoy it. I do have a few friends that are my 'vintage' friends, but they somehow thought that they needed to not have modern fun around me. For example, my vintage friend said to me, "well, I would like to do the vintage club in the future but I am not sure, as I only really like the clothes" to which I replied, "well, the club will really be like minded people, so someone who likes vintage clothes may learn and or teach someone who likes vintage cooking or someone who likes the vintage ideal of community etc. I think, vintage friend in particular, had got really into the whole idea had even wanted to think of becoming a homemaker one day as her career, her boyfriend didn't like the idea and she went through a period where she said, "Oh, well I guess I like my job" and has recently not been as excited about her cleaning routine which has began to fall on the wayside since she discovered 'rock band'. She used to not like video games at all, but she is OBSESSED, so now she feels that we cannot do as many things together etc. IT can be complicated, but honestly, I know what I want and love and where my desire is. IF people grow apart due to different lifestyle changes, then I just think that new people with similiar views will step in. It isn't ending things, but sometimes we learn different things from different people. She has even not read my blog for about a month, so I am not sure if she just doesn't like the idea of it anymore. That was really my sad friend tale. However, I am fine and happy and really still comitted not only to my project but to my new life.

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  20. Your bunny drawings are darling, wonderful work!

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  21. Hey, we have two pregnant bunnies chez domum atm. They're due around the beginning of March time, and we all love those preggers ladies very much.

    Hmm, about your passionate response to homemaking, I have a pet theory that not only is committed homemaking a bonifide career choice for any individual, but that it serves an important societal function. Ahh, I haven't got time to elaborate on my grnadiose theories, but I just wanted to say that you're not the only woman who feels this way.

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  22. “Oh, that’s cute’, I can almost hear them think.” – I don’t! I envy you SO much!
    Congrats on the bunnies! :) You’re having quite a farm by now. LOVELY drawings, you’re the new Beatrix Potter. :)

    If you don’t use pin curls, what do you use then? I’ve just learned to use curlers and want to learn every trick about it.
    Have a lovely Sunday, dear! :)

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  23. I use rollers, as my hair is far too long for pin curls, at least for me to do them. Today is was so hot, unseasonably so, and it made me realize how I need my hair cut short SOON! The rollers work really nicely, but my hair is SO thick that it takes forever to dry, so shorter hair with curlers will be nicer.

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  24. It has taken me 53 years, and your blog, to finally admit that I am happiest when I am cocooned inside my home, puttering around with my dust cloth and mop, and doing "homewifery" things. I have worked outside the home and worked in, and I'm much happier in. Somehow I never felt so guilty for being a homemaker when I had children at home (The children need me) but now that they are grown and out on their own, I feel guilty about being home, just wanting to do this. I have bought into the "I'm not valuable unless I contribute a paycheck" hype, and it's just not true. I like having that hot meal on the table when my husband comes home as much as he does. I thank you for making me realize there is no reason for guilt or excuses. You do help a lot of people with your posts, including me. Kathy

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  25. Kathy-What a darling thing to say, you almost made me cry. I really think that the value of simplicity has been co-opted by the corporate world. We think we have to have or be buying something to enjoy life. I am finding that is not the case. Last night for my 'reward' after dessert and dinner dishes were done and we all went to our various private eveing tasks (hubby to study, Gussie to room) I took time arranging and rearranging my dishes in my new shelves in my dining room. I found an hour had gone by and I was really enjoying stacking and moving things, taking time and looking to see the effect. Then I thought, well, I can always change it around another day too. This was simple moment that others might think is silly, yet they would sit and watch movies they had seen a hundred times or reruns of shows over and over again. I think I had more fun! I am glad you have discovered your happiness.

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