Spring at Crystal Cove

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“May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day.” – Native American Proverb

Happy first day of spring, y’all! We celebrated the changing of the seasons at Crystal Cove Beach and Historic District. They are currently featuring en plein air paintings by local artists. This charming beachside village has an eclectic and fun past. People used to camp every summer on the beaches when Pacific Coast Highway was completed in 1926, connecting Corona del Mar to Laguna Beach. These days, you can rent a historic cottage. You can enjoy local dining options such as The Beachcomber and Ruby’s Shake Shack. Don’t forget to shop small at The Store at Crystal Cove. Their proceeds benefit the local alliance that preserves the land and educates the public.

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Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving from Chisme Chick! Don’t you love this adorable 1941 cover from The Saturday Evening Post? We hope you have a memorable day with loved ones.

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Flashback Friday

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This U.S. Navy WWI recruitment poster illustrated the personification of freedom. She is manifested in the form of Lady Liberty.

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This Day in History

This day in history: On September 27, 1905, Albert #Einstein published his three page paper on physics which accounted for a new dimension, time. He included his famous #formula E=mc2. Albert changed our perception of the #universe. In honor of his accomplishment, we are releasing a new Bibliophile Bookmark, made available on our website.

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1940s Hay Ride

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Have a great Monday! These 1940s ladies are wearing some stylish everyday dresses. This hay ride was likely due to wartime gasoline rationing. Don’t you love this sustainable, alternative transportation?

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Flappers

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Flappers challenged social standards with their short, bobbed hair and their new fashion sense. The roaring 1920s ushered public bathing practices. The historic Pavilion in Newport Beach, California, was built in 1906. It was designed as a bathing house for individuals to change into their beach attire.
The beach culture developed with more revealing swimsuits. Nationwide, police often cited women without conservative standards. Yet, these women created a more relaxed, anti-corset look that influenced women’s everyday style.
This photo was taken on June 20, 1920 for the Bathing Girl Parade at the Balboa Pavilion in Newport Beach, California.
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Del Mar

“The ocean is a mighty harmonist.” -William Wordsworth

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We attended an oral history conference in Del Mar to learn new methodology, present our research, and enjoy the natural splendor of the area. Bing Crosby wrote the song “Where The Turf Meets The Surf” for the local race tracks. It’s certainly a charming town with a Hollywood history. We recommend that you visit the 1928 Powerhouse Community Center which is on the Historic Highway 101.

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You can learn more at the local historical society and listen to the resident voices with their ongoing oral history project.

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Women’s History Month

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Today marks the start of Women’s History Month. Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said in the 1970s, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” We are mesmerized by the incredible ladies who paved the path for future generations as trailblazers.

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Retro Objects//Hidden Narratives

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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

― Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

Vintage styled images can be mnemonic devices to help us recall our past. A single object can generate a flood of memories. It is a shared collective past. These textbooks may remind you of your own academic journey. The titles are the following: Modern Business English, Democracy in America, and High School English Grammar. They are relics of shared classroom experiences.

This photo, taken at a recent shoot, is a throwback to the past. History is a rustic land filled with mystery that antiquarians desire to preserve. This image is a perfect desktop or tablet background. We hope you, too, share our sentiment that we can rejuvenate the past by interacting with its objects. Perhaps you can share this photo with a fellow bibliophile.

Here at Chisme Chick, we have curated collections of objects that connect to history and literature. From our fiber arts to handcrafted jewelry line, each object contains a unique story. We believe that you, too, also have a hidden narrative that can be coaxed with objects. This is why we commission quality, handmade pieces that aid your daily conversations with friends and even strangers. Why not purchase a product that contains a fascinating story? Life is an adventure. Let’s celebrate it by selecting goods that represent us as we share what we cherish.

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Mary-Shelley_Female-Fright-Writer_HD_768x432-16x9Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein shaped my adolescent curiosity with science and technology. The powerful creature in the novel represents an era in which she lived. England transformed into modern times. Machines increased efficiency and replaced men in factory settings. Shelley noted these changes with her book’s alternative title, The Modern Prometheus. Society feared that the rapid development of technology, although first appearing benign, may be overcome by its own precarious power. Shelley’s monster reminds us of the potential pitfalls with advancing medicine without knowing its side effects.

Frankenstein was first published anonymously. Her manuscript’s preface was written by her well-known husband, P.B. Shelley, who was a part of her writing circle. Mary developed her story when her literary friends started a competition. She penned this story after she had a frightful nightmare about her creature. She eventually would take credit for this story which would be her most successful piece. Her successful writing career could also be attributed to her literary line by whose name she also bears. Her mother Mary Wollstonecraft, a pioneer in feminist theory, wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Both mother and daughter would be known for their writing in an age when women’s roles were limited.

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Lavender Body Mist

wpid-20141209_003501-1-2.jpgAfter a long day, nothing soothes the senses like a splash of lavender. Egyptians also used oils as a base to create perfumes.[1] The pleasant aroma saturated rooms. Oil was placed in a pomade which was shaped into a cone.[2] They put it on top of an Egyptian’s head mainly at banquets. Throughout the event, the cone would melt and release fragrance. By the end of the night, scented oil would have been dripping down the sides of one’s face and was absorbed in the clothing. Perfume was an integral part of Egyptian society and was used by all classes.[3]

Inspired by this history, we created a simple homemade body mist. Mix 4oz. of water and 24 drops of lavender essential oil. You can purchase the oil at specialty grocery stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods Market. We spruced up this fragrance by adding a sprig of real lavender and created a hand-drawn label.

[1] A. Lucas, “Cosmetics, Perfumes and Incense in Ancient Egypt,” The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, May 1930, 41-53.
[2] Miriam Stead, Egyptian Life (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986), 47.
[3] Ibid., 51.

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Life Blanket

Homestead Throw

Everyone has a story. A life blanket is stitched with a hidden narrative based on the color combinations. As featured in the picture, the array of color charts the various stages in life. It can commemorate momentous occasions to the beauty of everyday living.

In modern commercialism, many times we don’t ask the following questions when purchasing an object:
-Who made this item?
-Why did someone make it?
-When was it designed?
-What was its purpose?

A skilled artisan who has been crocheting for decades will complete this project rather than an unknown weaver. Commission a crocheted blanket that charts your life by designating a color for particular time in your life. You would select the colors and the order in which they are stitched. For instance, your story could begin with you being born in America and you would select red, white, and blue yarn. Then you could share that you loved your childhood home which was constructed out of brick and select brick red. You can add your school colors, etc. Share your vision and we will design a made to order blanket. It measures 5ft. W X 6ft. H.

This heirloom gift will be a conversation piece. According to historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “In the early republic, a homemade blanket was worth displaying.”[1] Women especially prized these homemade goods since it was viewed as “movable property” which could be passed down generationally through the maternal line.[2]

We prize our array of handmade throws which were even featured at a local museum. These timeless pieces are cherished by their owners. A life blanket will be a wonderful addition to any home. It can become an heirloom that will be shared for many generations.

[1] Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth. New York: Knopf, 2001), 335.
[2] Ibid., 129.

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“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

-Helen Keller

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“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”

-Corrie Ten Boom, Holocaust survivor

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“Miss Carlyle & Miss Clarke, The Gibson Girls”

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Women’s volleyball match, early 20th century.

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Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, Civil War civilian surgeon who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for Meritorious Service. 

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Greenhill Ladies Orchestra, c. Early 20th Century

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