Easter Baskets and Bunnies

Long before Christianity celebrated Easter, and with it the spring equinox, it was a pagan celebration in almost every culture. As Christianity moved from the east to the west, it was easier for the church to rearrange their calendar to fit traditions that might date back a thousand years than to force new religious traditions and beliefs on a resistant populace. 

Originally a celebration of the equinox, signaling a new beginning to the year of growing things and the end of winter, the holiday became what we now celebrate as Easter. 
 Baskets would have been used to transport offerings from one place to another, or to shared meals, or just as a means of moving goods. wicker and grass baskets are after all lightweight and easier to carry and make than either clay or wood.

They  resemble nests in their shape and they are made of the same material as a bird's nest. What could be more natural than putting eggs in them as a logical vehicle to celebrate  season and shape together.

Eggs were…

From Christmas to Krampus

Here it is almost the holidays again. If Halloween is in the rear view mirror, Christmas is coming head on at 90 miles an hour. In deciding what to write for the holiday and then some, blog, I  looked up Holidays that fall in November, December and stretching into January.

 Who knew there were so many celebrations from so many spiritual belief backgrounds in the winter season? No wonder we say Happy Holidays, Christmas just covers one of them!

I found: November 7th, Diwali, the Festival of Lights, a Hindu holiday;  November 21st, is the Prophet's birthday, a Muslim holiday; Hanukkah, December 3rd to the 10th, a Jewish holiday; December 21st, the winter Solstice; Christmas, December 25th, a Christian holiday; December 26th, to January 1st,  Kwanzaa, an African American holiday. My personal favorite will always be Saint Nicholas Day, December 6th.

It has deep joyful roots in my life going back to my childhood as a California kid, age 8, transported to a life in Germany, in cold  No…

Tupperware, Nostalgia That Works

Way back in 1938, Earl Tupper figured out a new way to store food, in plastic. His stuff was a hard uphill slog to success until Brownie Wise fell in love with a piece of Tupperware and went to work for Tupper in 1946 and Tupperware was truly launched.
In 1946, the world was changing fast, the war was over and women were looking for new products as the atomic age approached. Enter Brownie's concept of the Tupperware “Party”, the great grandma of direct marketing that is still working today with a Tupperware party taking place every two seconds around the world. 

The company is now headquartered in Orlando, Florida and still coming up with new products.One of their strengths has always been the ability to figure out what the market needs and then respond to it quickly. First, they brought unbreakable food storage to the table, changing colors and shapes to fit each era. Microwave ovens came along and they invented microwavable plastics, they came up with drinking glasses and pitchers…

In the Land of Luggage

Luggage as we know it today, has only been around since the end of the 19th century, right about 1890. Before that if you went on a long trip it was a major undertaking, requiring a heavy metal bound trunk which was wood and waterproofed and required a couple of people to move it, which meant you were probably wealthy and planning on more than an overnight jaunt.

Those who were not rich and had to travel more than a few miles, most likely went in a horse drawn stage coach (called a stage coach because the trip was accomplished in stages and horses had to be swapped for fresh ones, restrooms had to be used, food had to be procured and lodging for the night had to be arranged). Stage coach passengers had wooden boxes, baskets or soft sided bags made of rug material called guess what? Carpet bags. 
Stage coaches vanished with the advent of trains, and trains were followed by cars and buses. They were much faster than a coach and an efficient way to travel.This meant people who were not wea…

Women's Hats: Fun or Fundamental?

American women have historically loved hats; but that love comes and goes between the issue of balancing common sense and fashion sense. Baseball caps, cowboy hats, and winter wool have become wardrobe staples, but except for special occasions we have lost sight of the hats that were, and what they were called. Their shapes actually each had a name.

A little history: Hats for more than any reason beside the absolute necessity of protecting one’s head, didn’t roll in until the Middle Ages when the Catholic church demanded that women cover their hair as part of their religion.

Women shopkeepers rose to the challenge, creating a new industry, making or providing the needed head covers. After a few centuries, those simple hat makers became milliners, named after Milan, Italy, where the very best straw hats were made. Hat makers graduated to the grander term milliner by understanding the opportunity to put more than a head scarf on their wealthy clientele. The milliners of the distant past w…

Vintage Inspiration in the Garden

It’s that time of year! Buds are popping tulips and daffodils are blooming, the birds are singing and the gardens are waiting for us to get out there and grow things!

 For me, half the fun besides the growing part is the decorating part. I regard my garden spaces as outdoor rooms and I love finding fun objects to tuck into the plants and to dress up my living spaces.
I’m lucky to have a husband who builds whatever I can dream up, although he is not allowed near any plants. He’s a builder not a gardener as we have discovered. Thanks to care and work we have a mature yard that has taken several years of work on hardscaping and landscaping and planting and pulling and pruning. 

Wait a minute, that planting and pruning and weed pulling never quite goes away. My advice to those just starting on their garden odyssey? Don’t stint on the underpinnings of your garden. Take the time to put in walls, and beds and paths and ponds first. 

Your garden won’t look like much for a couple of seasons but th…