It’s Not Your Grandma’s Shawl, Deary!

Hi to all my Gal Pals,

How do you like my crabby grandma picture? Do you think it is a foretelling of things to come? I was taken aback when I saw it. My sister definitely got my best side. I thought I would try to depict my favorite cartoon characters of crabby Maxine and Aunty Acid. I think I nailed it! Actually this picture reminds me of something Aunty Acid said, “I am not saying I’m old and worn out but I make sure I’m nowhere near the curb on trash day”. I’ll be sure to remember that!

Before we get into the fashion portion of the blog, I thought I would get up on my soap box. I am starting to go through my clothes closets and purge. I get stressed and angry when I have to try and cram my lovely clothes into a tight space knowing how wrinkled they will get and I might have to actually iron something. That reminds me of something Aunty Acid so profoundly said, “Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel but you know what that means…more laundry”. The best thing for me is to part with some of them to lessen my stress and anger but I have a difficult time parting with things I love. It is for that very reason that it saddens me that I had to unfriend some of my Facebook friends because doing so was the best thing for me. When I first joined Facebook it was because I wanted to let all of my friends know when my blogs would be posted. I soon realized that I enjoyed my Facebook time because I was able to stay in contact with co-workers after I retired, reconnect with high school friends and be uplifted with inspirational and humorous quotes. Now, I am really climbing high up on that soap box and I hope I don’t lose any more Facebook friends. I am going to, for the first and last time, talk about politics but it has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats. It has to do with political decency. I applaud those who are politically passionate and I believe in a two party system. As a school psychologist, I worked with students on conflict resolution and coming to a win-win outcome. I tried to get the students to listen to each other but I also tried to make them understand that if they resorted to hurtful retorts, no one wins. Groucho Marx once said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies”. In some circumstances he may be right. I did not mind political postings even though I thought there might be a better platform for them. What I did mind was the nasty tone some of my friends took in their postings. When you have to resort to making fun of a candidate’s facial appearance or promote vengeful acts, you have lost the argument. These types of posts made me saddened and confused. It was some of the same people who were posting beautiful Christian, inspirational quotes who were posting some of the most vicious attacks on candidates. It was because of the stress and anger that I felt due to these posts that I had to take control of my emotions and purge the source. I just want those friends to know that I value our friendship outside of the political arena but I would ask my Christian friends to ask themselves one question before posting something so hateful: What would Jesus do?

Ok, let’s talk fashion. In the past, when someone would talk about shawls, I used to think of the knitted or crochet type older women would wear to keep warm. However, in the mid to late 1990s the pashmina created a resurgence of the decorative element of the shawl. I love to learn about the history of fashion and I think the history of the shawl is interesting. Fiona Anderson wrote an article about the shawl and said the shawl, as an item of female fashionable dress, derives from the Eastern Indian word ‘shal’, which is a male garment that consists of an unstructed length of material with woven or embroidered patterning. The first shawls worn by Europeans in India were worn by men. However, in the 1760s when female dresses were made from flimsy, lightweight material typical of the draped elegance of Ancient Greek and Roman dress, they were perfectly complemented by the warm and gracefully draped shawl. So, todays blog will feature shawls of different types which enhance monochromatic outfits. What I like about shawls is that you can find some beautiful ones that are inexpensive but make an outfit look like a million bucks.

I usually put a garden picture here that has something to tie in with the topic but today I wanted to show you what I see when I look out my front door.

I love living in the end unit of the townhouses but this is what happens at the end unit in the winter. I am 5’9” and this mound is at least 9’. Any guesses on how long this is going to take to melt if we don’t get anymore snow? I am thinking middle of May. My neighbors are always complimenting on my outside decorations but I don’t think they will get to see my Easter or spring decorations this year.

Oh, well, let’s look at some things that I think are nice and we can look at them inside the townhouse.

I decided to use the rocking chair as a prop to remind me to celebrate the fact that I can still stand on my own two feet. The monochromatic outfit in this picture is an off color of white. The nice thing about the shawl is that you cannot see that the off white color of the top is not exactly the same color as the cream colored pants. I love how this shawl drapes in the front and back and hides all those protrusions called love handles and my 3 tier tummy. This is a square shawl that can be worn many different ways. I always wear a pin of some sort to keep the shawl in place. I try to always wear the same color shoe as my pant color because it makes me look long and lean instead of squat and chubby (which is quite a feat!).

I love my feathered pins! I have many of them and wear them whenever I have the right outfit. Typically I choose my accessories based on my choice of necklace but when I wear a shawl I base it on my choice of decorative pin. I love the brown and cream colors of the feathers on the pin and how they go beautifully with the outfit. So here is my thought process for picking the rest of my accessories which for some reason reminds me of an Aunty Acid thought, “Sometimes I wrestle with my inner demons. Other times, we just hug and dance”. I guess that describes how I make my choices. First, when I think of brown I automatically think of gold jewelry. I love gold jewelry! Since the middle of the pin contains rhinestones,I am going to try and pick accessories that contain faux gems to match. First, the brown bracelet is hand painted with gold vines and off white leaves. I wear the gold color watch and bracelets together. I then pair those with the gold rings, one decorated with a topaz brown heart and the other with a cluster of rhinestones. The earrings are made up of synthetic brown stones, rings of rhinestones and off white faux pearls. Voila!

An oblong shawl can be worn over both shoulders but it can also be draped over one shoulder. Since shawls originated in India I decided to wear this one like a sari and pin it at the waste. I love the beautiful colors in this shawl and as an extra bonus the other side of the shawl has the same colors but they are in different places. For example, the large area of dark rose at my shoulder on this side would be black on the other side. I wore this colorful shawl over a very monochromatic black outfit with a pair of black pumps.

Again, I build from the Indian elephant pin (staying with the theme of the outfit) which is made of a clear acrylic with beautifully painted lines and a rhinestone belt. I paired it with antique frosted acrylic earrings that have a ribbon of rhinestones and they are clip-ons. At work I loved to wear clip-ons because I wore large earrings and it was easier to take them off when I was on the phone. Because the acrylic took on a purplish cast when paired with the shawl, I wore rings that also had purple stones. The ring at the top is one of my favorites. I bought it at an antique store in Michigan and each stone is a different color purple. The bracelet with its purple and pink colors matches the colors in the shawl as does the olive green band of the watch.

This lovely flowered, triangular shawl would probably not keep me warm but it is so pretty that I don’t really care. In case you haven’t noticed from past blogs, I really like fringe on my clothes. The navy blue monochromatic outfit would be bland without something to spice it up. I think this cinnamon colored shawl does the trick. Again, I have matched the shoes with the outfit.

I said I loved feather pins and this one is so colorful. The feathers are brown, black, purple, pink and olive. There is navy ribbon with pale blue polka dots near the center and a rhinestone decoration in the center. I decided to highlight the rhinestones in the rest of the accessories. The leaf pattern rhinestone bracelet that takes on a feathery appearance and the beautifully cut glass earrings belonged to my mother. The earrings are the screw backs you find on antique earrings. The bracelet watch is a beautiful copper color adorned with rhinestones all the way around it and it also seems to have a ribbon running through it to match the ribbon on the pin.. Both rings also have rhinestones on them.

Well, that is it for this blog. I typically talk about diets in this section but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so I think we should all wear red, eat chocolates and watch our favorite love story. Mine is the movie “Holiday” with Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Jude Law and Cameron Diaz. There are not many movies I would watch over and over but this is an exception. So there is no dieting for now and Valentine’s Day is just one more excuse that I am using. Actually, I think I am going with Aunty Acid’s excuse, “I’ll tell you why I can’t lose weight…I’ve got metal fillings in my teeth and my refrigerator magnets keep pulling me into the kitchen”.

So, until next month remember, God loves you and so do I.

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