Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Forgotten Era



Period costume and feminine fashion through the ages have always fascinated me. This oil paining of an era past, high lights a time when hats formed an integral part of every women's wardrobe.

Except for a few brand labeled caps, used for protection from the sun I don't have a hat in my wardrobe any more and certainly cannot remember when last I wore one as a true fashion accessory, I think it might have been my daughters wedding 20 years ago.

Anyway I just loved this picture, the original was a black and white photo of who knows, so I decided to add some colour and see how it turned out. I hope you like it.

The move to NZ has been a bit more difficult than I thought. On the way over some thief decided to open my suitcase and steal some of my belongings. We are advised at Oliver Tambo airport (the new name for Johannesburg International Airport) to shrink wrap our luggage so the thieves don't get their grubby paws on our belongings.

I knew there was a lot of theft going on at the airport but assumed as I was not flying SAA this would not happen. It seems SAA handle the baggage for all the airlines though, so if you are flying in or out of SA then you need to make certain your baggage is adequately protected.

It was wonderful to re-unite with my daughter and grand children after an absence of two years, it was also very sad to leave my mom behind but I know she is in good hands with my sisters.

Coming from Durban we are used to an almost perpetual summer, Auckland so far has been freezing, wet and miserable, apparently their worst winter in about 30 years. Fortunately all my clothing from Ireland came across when my daughter immigrated here 3 years ago, or I certainly would not have had the sort of winter clothing needed to cope with this weather.

On my first visit to NZ the South African Rand exchange rate was about R3.80 to one NZ $ which seemed to me like the cost of living between the two countries was similar. Now the rate is 6 to 1 and I find myself comparing prices by converting to rands first and thinking how expensive everything is here.

Having looked at the negatives it is just wonderful to be in a country where to my mind the crime is low. We don't have to worry about locking up everything, switching on burglar alarms and looking over our shoulder for muggers when you take a walk down the road. People are not living in self imposed prisons and the streets and suburbs are clean and neat.

I finally have my own adsl connection and will hope fully be able to do posts more and answer mail and comments regularly. Thankfully I have been able to use a friends Internet to do my card drops since I have arrived. It would have been too much of an imposition to do any more than what was absolutely necessary from day to day while finding accommodation and getting settled.

To all you entrcard droppers I must say a huge thank you for your loyal support during this time. Thursday was a record for me with 515 drops, my dilemma now is how to cope with all the drops, I feel awful when I cannot reciprocate all on a daily basis. I try to make certain I get to each one at least every second day as I don't work from a list or bookmarked sites, I simply rely on my inbox and support those who drop on my site.

21 comments:

Waterrose said...

What a beautiful picture. I love hats too, but I have never found one that looked good on my head...The last time I wore a hat (other than a baseball cap) was when I wore my Easter hats as a child.

Artbeat said...

Waterrose thanks I am not sure I could find one that would do me any good either and just maybe dropping hats was all part of women's emancipation from an era when wearing a hat was expected of women.

Mizé said...

Hi. I´ve been visiting your blog trough Entrecard and decided to drop you a line to say I enjoy your blog and I´ll keep visiting to see the news.
I have a blog about Glass Art in Portuguese. If you´d like to visit me I´m in: http://arteemvidro-mevaristo.blogspot.com
Regards. Mizé

South African said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I never thought about that it must be more difficult for Durbanites to emigrate, because of the sunny weather they have...I feel slightly better about the fact that it's hailing in Cape Town today. Do let us know if the weather improves - I've also got NZ on my radar screen!

Craft Junkie said...

This is such a beautiful piece. You always do fabulous work but this one really is one of my favorites of yours. Love it!

As for EC's, don't worry...you have good friends and fans that will continue to drop even when life gets too busy for you. That's the beauty of making friends on EC...they keep us afloat even when we don't have time to reciprocate because it will always come back around.

I, for one, will keep dropping and hope you'll keep me afloat when I have a period like this, too.

Anna Blanch said...

Great post! I hope that NZ is not too cold for you. I transited through only a couple of weeks ago on my way back to the northern hemisphere from oz. I loved you picture of the hats. I have been musing lately on the beauty of hats and trying to find excuses to add vintage hats to my wardbrobe without looking like i am wearing a costume!

Tink said...

I’ve given you an award!
http://tinkerbell-nl.blogspot.com/2008/09/awards.html

Margaret said...

I love this picture, Caroline! I know you don't think your people works are among you r best, but these are stunning! It makes me wish I had walls and walls and more walls to hang pictures on.

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durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Caroline,

The painting is beautiful! You've captured the exotic quality of the period, and the lightness of the colors exude gaiety and merriment, something like the simplicity of life in those days.

It's both sad and embarrassing to admit that in your own country, theft of luggage occurs. I can understand what that feels. years ago,when my country was under martial law, that same thing happens very frequently, and there was hardly any recourse since soldiers were manning the airports. Today, at least luggage are safe from theft but scammers exist.

Sorry to hear that you haven't adjusted to the weather, but you'll get there. As to the exchange rate and prices, my rule of thumb is just to live within the dollars your money can be exchanged for. Having to compute and re-compute will hinder enjoyment of the place. Where I am right now, we can live like kings but we are forced into rural living since we are working in the remote areas. The weekend trips are a blessing, but the relationships we've built in the villages gives a feeling of guilt sometimes - like we are rejecting the place. We decided to go in two's from Monday to Saturday rather than all of us on a weekend. That way, we are always present at the site. I still go Saturdays till Sunday, but sometimes I leave in the afternoon of Friday to get some sort of extension.:-)

Adapting to a new place can be difficult. The mind keeps reminding us of those we left behind. My method is to find the fun where I am, who I'm with, whatever I do; treat is as an adventure and a learning experience; bond with whoever I can relate to; take lots of notes that could provide insights into culture, norms, and attitudes of the populace.

There is always a trade-off to anything. The prices may be high, but look at the peace, order, safety, cleanliness, and fresh air that you get which gives you more value than ant commodity discount you may be missing.

Where we are, food is cheap, but there are hardly any goods or commodities we take for granted in freer cities and societies. And, the danger of soldiers going crazy after they drink at night does not provide any peace of mind. But I guess that's the adventure on this trip.

Keep painting and keep posting. You're better off there than being in Bifar in Nepal or even Louisiana and Florida in the USA. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Caroline,

The painting is beautiful! You've captured the exotic quality of the period, and the lightness of the colors exude gaiety and merriment, something like the simplicity of life in those days.

It's both sad and embarrassing to admit that in your own country, theft of luggage occurs. I can understand what that feels. years ago,when my country was under martial law, that same thing happens very frequently, and there was hardly any recourse since soldiers were manning the airports. Today, at least luggage are safe from theft but scammers exist.

Sorry to hear that you haven't adjusted to the weather, but you'll get there. As to the exchange rate and prices, my rule of thumb is just to live within the dollars your money can be exchanged for. Having to compute and re-compute will hinder enjoyment of the place. Where I am right now, we can live like kings but we are forced into rural living since we are working in the remote areas. The weekend trips are a blessing, but the relationships we've built in the villages gives a feeling of guilt sometimes - like we are rejecting the place. We decided to go in two's from Monday to Saturday rather than all of us on a weekend. That way, we are always present at the site. I still go Saturdays till Sunday, but sometimes I leave in the afternoon of Friday to get some sort of extension.:-)

Adapting to a new place can be difficult. The mind keeps reminding us of those we left behind. My method is to find the fun where I am, who I'm with, whatever I do; treat is as an adventure and a learning experience; bond with whoever I can relate to; take lots of notes that could provide insights into culture, norms, and attitudes of the populace.

There is always a trade-off to anything. The prices may be high, but look at the peace, order, safety, cleanliness, and fresh air that you get which gives you more value than ant commodity discount you may be missing.

Where we are, food is cheap, but there are hardly any goods or commodities we take for granted in freer cities and societies. And, the danger of soldiers going crazy after they drink at night does not provide any peace of mind. But I guess that's the adventure on this trip.

Keep painting and keep posting. You're better off there than being in Bifar in Nepal or even Louisiana and Florida in the USA. :-) --Durano, done!

Amy Lilley Designs said...

I LOVE this painting...you did a beautiful job of interpretation from B&W to the gorgeous colors you have chosen!!!

Census (aka Cen aka June.S) said...

I love the picture, you've done a great job colouring it!!
I cannot believe the bit about having to shrink wrap your luggage!!That is so bad.
Enjoy NZ even though it's cold and wet...sounds a bit like our weather!!

Artbeat said...

Thanks Amy that's just the way I imagined the vintage colours to be all matching. I think dressing daily must have involved a bit of thought and can you imagine shopping???

Hi Durano

as always you say things better than I can. The weather is much improved with a week of sunshine making me feel more at home

Thanks Margaret sometimes the sheer enjoyment of letting ones imagination run wild brings out the best.

Thanks Tink Awards are always a pleasure to receive but I feel bad that I don't always have the time to sit down and respond as i should. I will do my best to take care of the necessary

Hi Anna
I think it's just been a case of adapting to local conditions, I remember why I left Northern Ireland a few years ago I simply missed the sunshine and just could not get used to the perpetual cold.

I suppose in the modern era hats are only worn by ladies on special occasions and yes!! Vintage would compliment every ladies wardrobe,

Artbeat said...

Craft Junkie thank you for the kind words and your support I always look forward to visiting your site

Hey South African, I think its just us Durbanites we run for a Jersy if the temp goes below 20 deg. The weather has improved and spring is here with sunshine for the past week. Its not as hot as Durb's but pleasant.

Mize thanks for the support I will certainly pop along to your site for a visit

Artbeat said...

Thanks for the nice comment June

Sadly the luggage story is true and their is no price difference between hand luggage and large cases, they are making a killing as everyone is having their luggage wrapped.

I think when you get to your destination customs think you have something to hide and make certain they search your luggage.

The Mommy and Me Boutique said...

I love the pictures. My mother , as a young woman, actually made hats for a large department store. She was born in 1898 and made hats in her early twenties. In every picture that I have of her as a young woman (even in her bathing suit) she is wearing a beautiful hat that she made. So, needless to say I love this period of time.

Your work in coloring the picture is quite beautiful! I am happy for you that you are starting to get a bit settled.

Chronic Chick Talk said...

I love your art on the header and your art in general. I love to see such creative spirit.

Chronic Chick Talk

KAT said...

You did a wonderful job and breathed new life into a dated picture. The colors you chose could not have been more perfect!

This Makes My Day said...

Wonderful picture and story. I love this.

jodapoet said...

Great post. Loved the artwork. Hats are very much back in style again. I remember when I was very young and I would accompany my Mom downtown we had to dress up and always wear hats and gloves. Of course things have changed now but it does dress up the outfit.

dday said...

lovely painting. i don't really know how to criticize paintings but i know how to appreciate them.