I showed my Hermes scarf last week and had emails from some of my readers telling me I should have ironed it! Quite right! The reason I did not was I was scared my old steam iron would spit out rusty deposits, or heaven forbid, I might scorch it! I took my courage in both hands today, ironed out the creases, and took another photo. Quite by magic, you will now see the lead photo to FANTASY if you have another look, with nicely ironed scarf. Thanks to my art editor Ella who can make these corrections.
I took great care pressing my scarf for today’s blog as it is a fine chiffon. I had decided to show an American scarf at the beginning of the week before the onslaught on the Capitol, following encouragement to protest from the outgoing President, and now I have had to change my memories. I don’t like to discuss politics or religion, but it is hard to lead into my blog without the obvious reference to a man who is completely NUTS!
My original intention was to tell you about the best of America through my Vera scarf, a simple chiffon square showing walnuts and leaves. Vera Neumann was born in 1907 to Russian immigrant parents and lived to 86 years, building a successful business from small beginnings in New York with her Austrian husband. She was a fashion illustrator and textile designer, setting up with a small silk screen on a dining table and curing her products in the kitchen oven. She started with place mats and in WW2 when linen was in short supply, she bought used parachute silk in an army surplus store which led to her producing scarves. I have memories too of my mother buying pale aqua parachute silk to make underwear after the war. They were awkward triangular pieces, difficult to fashion into knickers! Back to Vera....she was the first scarf designer to use her signature on her products along with her ladybird emblem. Look closely and you will see them on my scarf. I understand that the last photoshoot done six weeks before her death revealed Marilyn Monroe in one of Vera’s gossamer like scarves. I am having my first Covid 19 vaccination this weekend so hopefully that will give me protection for a bit longer than poor Marilyn!
By now, you will know I also have an extensive collection of earrings and decorative baubles, so whilst my memory has taken me to America, I would like to lessen the effect of ugly scenes this week in Washington and go West to Sausalito in California for a happy reminder. In the Seventies when I lived there, it was fashionable to sport a medallion on a gold or silver chain. You will see in my photo a gold walnut, bought impulsively in one of America’s first goodwill shops, set up in Sausalito under the banner Bundles For Britain during WW2 to send second hand clothing, blankets, etc to the needy across the Atlantic. By the time I lived in California, I was not needy, but loved to find treasures in this little shop raising funds for local charities. I never actually wore the golden walnut around my neck, but it has since hung in my ficus tree along with other little sentimental trinkets. I show another nut, I know not what, from China fashioned into a pendant encased in silver filigree and finally a pair of earrings and matching bracelet made entirely from nuts and seeds from South America. I wear these a lot and will be wearing them today with my Vera scarf, as their soft greys and brown complement my walnut scarf. No, I have never been to South America. They were bought in a local market in Cazals in France from a talented craftsman who also had a posh shop in Monpezier in the Dordogne. I love these French markets...... much more fun to shop there than in a store. So, my walnuts today have led me from the opportunities America has given to immigrants, flying with my magic carpet to a beautiful spot in France, another jewellery purchase from Nature’s bounty of seeds, a simple lunch in the Auberge de la Place, followed later with a visit to the small Fantou vineyard and a walk along the Lot collecting fallen walnuts. These scarves get me around.
I will treat myself to a glass of excellent French wine tonight. Instead of dessert, I will have a handful of walnuts with a piece of Morbier cheese bought for Christmas and, through changed circumstances, not eaten. Even my imagination lends no clues about the next American saga. I wish them well.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!
Series 2, Blog 27.