keeping up appearances…

Last summer while cleaning out my aged father’s home I happened across my mother’s manual for life…Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette published in 1954.  I grabbed a spot on the sofa and began to leaf through this treasure of civility.  Not too far into this tome and I was laughing till the tears came. Much like watching old 50’s re-runs on TV this book is a living testament of those very proper rules  so important mid-20th century that today are often comical, ridiculous and/or surreal.

It was then the idea began to ferment about doing a narrative series on the etiquette of my youth.  This spring I created a few screens and began to screen-print vintage linens  with these stories. The first piece Keeping Up Appearances #1  is now up on my website. I incorporated dye-painted & screen-printed dinner napkins, dishtowels and hand-woven samplers in this piece that speaks to women chain smoking in the office and discreetly eating candy  at one’s desk. Within the text collage is also wisdom about how to properly show interest in a prospective mate.  We would never want to be improper!

I have just finished designing the second piece of this series with more in the works.

4 Responses to “keeping up appearances…”

  1. Gerrie says:

    You are bringing back memories I would rather not have!! LOL

  2. Gay Ousley says:

    I found a book at the library sale entitled A PERFECT LADY. I have been thinking along the same lines that you are. It was truly a different world then.
    I see no need to bring those days back!

  3. Love it!!! You’re really onto something!!! I think I learned a lot of this growing up, but just as I reached the age to use it, all the rules changed!

  4. I love how you blend yesterday with today mixed liberaly with a big wink! You’re on a roll.

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