Vintage Hats and Some Family History

elen wearing vintage hat
Vintage Dior hat

About two years ago my mother-in-law passed away. She was a little over 100 years old and had seen a lot of change in her life. She came from a poor family, borrowed money to go to nursing school during the tail end of the Great Depression, and became a Registered Nurse just before the beginning of World War II. She loved clothing and dress and always looked “like a million bucks” as my husband’s Dad used to say – able to indulge herself as she climbed the economic ladder. When we went through the house after her passing, there were three large bedroom closets filled with clothing sorted by style, and at least 10 full bags hung in the cellar from the steel floor joists. There was a lot. A lot. We sorted through the items, assessing each as to its wearability, style, etc., donating or trashing as required. I kept a few of the items. The hat I am wearing in the photo above is one of them, along with the mink stole (a little harder to see). The stole is comprised of two mink skins, face, paws, and all. I am sure that any PETA person would have fits, but those little guys were dedicated to a life of fashion. They also have been dead a very long time. The hat has a DIOR label in it, though I am not sure it is an original. I’d like to think it is.

My mother-in-law, Anne, found a lot of joy in being well-dressed, and was lovely to look at. When I go to the wholesale shows or other places where I shop, I am inspired by color, line, fit, and all the things she loved about fashion. In that way her spirit lives on.

June 30 2018 High Vibe Art & Music Festival

The Awaken High Vibe Art & Music Festival at Delaware Valley University was a success despite the high temperatures! We spent a happy day in the cool of the theatre arts building, along with about 50 other booths full of great merchandise and interest. Along with several readers, there weredrums, soap, essences, and natural products, art work, and handmade jewelry. We heard several impromptu music sessions and were entertained by people-watching the unusual and the  arty garb worn by people walking by. Definitely a repeat for next year!

My setup
My setup featuring Laurel Burch and Catori bags and scarves.







View from my seat
View of the vendor room from my perspective.






Another view
Another view of the room from my perspective






ceiling banners
Ceiling banners: various clubs and groups at Delaware Valley University

Season of Fun! We Go to a Christmas Bazaar!

This past weekend we participated in An Old Fashioned Christmas: 13th Annual Christmas Bazaar and Craft Fair, presented by Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Hilltown, PA.  Food, flowers, a bake sale, Santa’s Attic, Gems & Jewels, Book Nook, Raffles, lovely crafts, and Santa, and us! We brought some boutique clothing, Laurel Burch bags and scarves, winter scarves, unique jewelry including our magnetic pins, and some odds and ends. Attendance was high with many families – great for people-watching. We saw a number of new, interesting crafts, including painted enamelware and small Christmas hats that soon everyone was wearing. And, best of all, we won a gift basket of coffee supplies!

Bark ‘n’ Bacon: We go to yet another Pet event!

Bark ‘n’ Bacon festival at Logan’s Heroes Animal Rescue in East Greenville, PA. A lovely Fall day. While it was warm, there was a refreshing stiff breeze to keep us cool. The wind sometimes blew things off the tables and tried to lift up the canopy, but we appreciated it anyway. The only sour note was the presence of Spotted Lanternflies – a new imported pest which has invaded parts of Bucks and Montgomery counties. We did our part by stomping on a few (we hate to kill things, but still…) and sent an email to PA’s environmental department. They probably know the bugs are there, but we wanted to make sure this pest doesn’t get a foothold in the area. Our house is in the woods, and we love our trees.

Here are some photos from the event.


September 2017: Refresh and Restart

We don’t know where the year has gone. Here it is September, kids are back to school, the air is cooling (hopefully), and vegetation is starting to change color and lose leaves. Pumpkins are ripe, tomatoes are pretty much past it, the sky is very blue, and we feel a part of the bustle of squirrels and other animals getting ready for winter. We have lots of logs ready to split, homemade jam and pickles on the shelf, and lots of flour in stock to bake bread. Lining it all up, getting ready to hibernate, we guess.  We always sleep in when the sun rises later and later.

Last weekend (Sept. 16-17), we had a booth at the MUM (Metaphysical Universal Ministries) show: the 25th Fall Spiritual Holistic Expo.  A busy weekend: we saw many of our old friends and some new ones, too.

MUM Booth Fall 2017
Our corner setup at the show.






The following day (Monday, Sept. 17), we went to the fashion wholesale show NY Women’s) in New York City at the Javits Center. The name for this show (held 4 times a year at the Center) keeps changing. Originally it was the The Accessories Show. Counting back, we are pretty sure this is the 11th year we visited this show. Each time we wonder, can they keep coming up with new fashions and accessories, and each time we are not disappointed. Always something new to buy. This time, the trends are big, clunky jewelry, stars everywhere on just about everything, a definite western design trend, and bright colors. Below are several trend displays.

Western design fashion trend display.
Go West! Western design influences many accessories.
Star power fashion trend.
Star Power. Twinkle everywhere.
Navy Days fashion trend display.
Navy Days. A great neutral which pairs well with red and white. Crisp.

And we did spot a couple of Fashionistas!

Photo of woman in white dress.
This Fashionista gracefully posed for us in her lovely white ensemble.
KikiRiki dress model
A KikiRiki exotic fashion, modeled by a lovely salesperson.

The next show is in January 2018 and we will be there, weather permitting.




Enter 2017

footprints in the snow
Footprints give away unseen visitors.

The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.

—John Updike

Well here we are, a month into 2017 and I’ve given up on my New Year’s Resolutions. Actually, I didn’t make any. I know myself only too well. However, I did decide on a couple of things to put into practice. One is the practice of release. I have far too many things and the clutter is making me tired. I also need to release the cluttered thinking I’ve been doing and substitute instead helpful affirmations for the coming year: health, prosperity, love. I know I will find this far easier than trying yet another diet. And, in the light of the past few months of political unrest, my practice will be focusing on a world that works for everyone. What we need now, today, is love, and I am there. And I hope you are, too.




June 2016: We go to a Pet Fair!

On June 4, we set up at the Quakertown Veterinary Clinic’s Annual Pet Fair with our Laurel Burch bags and other animal-related items. The day started out cloudy, threatening a shower, but then cleared away into warmth and sunshine. (I got sunburned even though I thought I was careful to stay in the shade.) The fair was a mix of people, animals, food, contests and demonstrations, and pretty stuff to admire and buy – a pleasant way to spend a late spring day.

May 2016: Steampunk World’s Fair

I have a great love of costume, fabric, texture, collage and layers, and oddities, and this has led me to many places and events: belly dance expositions, the Society for Creative Anachronism’s Pennsic War (and other events), museum exhibitions and displays, craft shows, and similar occasions. This past weekend I was able to attend the Steampunk World’s Fair in Piscataway, NJ on the weekend of May 13-15. Music, a fashion show, booths with all thing Steampunk, from clothing to artifacts, and the best part, people dressed in wonderful costumes and characters strolling around the grounds shared by the two host hotels gave me a wonderful day. Here are my favorite photos of the event. (Oh, and I was not particularly notable, dressed in “protective coloration” – maybe next time I’ll go full out and get into true character.)

April 2016: Festival!

One of my favorite shows to do is the Lansdale International Spring Festival. Held yearly the 3rd Saturday of April at North Penn High School in Lansdale, it features exhibits about different countries, ethnic dance troupes, music from around the world, many different exotic foods, and much more. Many people attend wearing their national costume, and many of the exhibitors do also. Lots of commotion, noise, and fun. This year was no exception. Here are some selected photos of the event. I took these while I was setting up. By the time the Festival officially started, it was too crowded to walk around much, and I needed to be at my booth anyway. I plan to go one time just to walk around, see what there is to see, and sample the food and fun, and not be stuck in my booth.

April 2016: April Showers


white crocus
White crocus

Spring has sprung
the grass has riz.
I wonder where
the flowers is.

Favorite poem when I was a kid. But I do wonder what’s going on what with the snow and cold weather we’re experiencing. Will spring ever arrive? Last Saturday I had a booth at the Souderton-Telford B(usiness)(and) P(rofessional) W(omen’s) (BPW) Club Luncheon and Fashion Show.

My booth at the BPW Fashion Show
My booth at the BPW Fashion Show

I unloaded in wet snow around 10 am and when I came back out at 3pm, it was still snowing, though it wasn’t sticking to the paved areas. Just wet and cold.

Fashion show by Chicos
Fashion show by Chicos

The event itself, held at the Indian Valley Country Club, was a lot of fun. A very nice lunch, lots of door and raffle prizes, and a fashion show kept the group energized. The fashions for spring and summer and in light colors, reminded everyone that there was something besides the snow falling steadily outside.

Roaring 20's Dress Contest
Roaring 20’s Dress Contest

With a Roaring Twenties theme, a number of women dressed in ’20’s fashions and later participated in a contest for the best costume. I had not realized how becoming that silhouette is to most figures, if proportioned properly. The woman standing in the middle of the line wearing the black-and-silver dress won the prize.

I really enjoy going to events such as this one, with all the lovely costuming. I think maybe I’ll have to look into a ’20’s dress for myself, but no doubt there’ll be a different theme next year.