coraa: (happy hogswatchnight)
Today (well, sunset tonight, which at this latitude isn't that long from now) is the first day of Hanukkah. It's also the day I get to open the first window on my Advent calendar. Mmm, chocolate.

We're going to see [livejournal.com profile] jmpava's mom today, whereupon I will make salmon and couscous and green beans and salad.

My mom sent us a bevy of cards: Christmas cards for me and [livejournal.com profile] jmpava's mom's partner (who are at least nominally Christian), Hanukkah cards for [livejournal.com profile] jmpava and [livejournal.com profile] jmpava's mom (who are Jewish). Since my mom is a fairly conservative Christian, I'm touched whenever she makes that gesture, since it's especially meaningful in that context. (She also sent us Rosh Hashana cards, earlier this year.)

Happy holidays, whatever you celebrate. (Even if it's "I guess it's December now" and/or Hogswatch.)
coraa: (history)
I know a number of you are knowledgeable at fabrics, fabric preservation, and textile history, so I pose this question to you:

One of my wedding presents, from my mother's parents, was a vintage crazy quilt. This quilt was made in 1887 by my great-great-grandmother: it's a beautiful crazy quilt, decorated with embroidery. (Among the embroidered flowers, leaves, butterflies, and abstract patterns, there are a cross, a Star of David, and a crescent moon and star. I guess great-great-grandmother Anne Eliza was an early multiculturalist, or something! Or, well, she copied the patterns from somewhere—still.) I am very honored and very lucky, of course, that my grandmother chose to give it to me, and it's very important to me both as a piece of family history and as a beautiful old quilt.

Anyway. The quilt is in excellent condition, apart from some small sections of shattered silk (which I understand is pretty common for silk of the period). It's not badly faded or falling-apart fragile, and can be gently handled. It's also very clean, so I don't need to worry about that.

I would like to keep it in that condition! (Ideally, I'll be able to pass this on to my own children/grandchildren.) So that's my first question: what should I do to keep this quilt in good condition? I'm going to assume that protection from humidity, UV and moths are high up there on the List of Things to Pay Attention To, but I'm no expert.

Second: if possible to do so without badly damaging the quilt, I'd love to be able to display it. I was thinking of displaying it on the wall in the bedroom, which is a fairly dim room to begin with (it's positioned such that it gets almost no direct sunlight) and which has a section of wall that's high enough up that it would be safe from cats. This is secondary because, if displaying it in a way that will protect it is beyond my budget (for instance, if I'd need to get it framed with UV-protective glass, which I imagine would cost a pretty penny), I'll store it in a way that protects it less expensively for now, and save up for the display in the future.

I am more than willing to do research of my own—I just know nothing about the subject and don't know how to start. Pointers to resources are more than welcome! (And if the answer is 'take it to an expert,' then help figuring out how to find a reputable expert would also be welcome.)

I'll take pictures of the quilt to show later (I want to get it in natural light), but I wanted to get the ball rolling on figuring out the best way to preserve it now.
coraa: (frances the badger)
I was taking to my parents this weekend, a little about wedding stuff, and my mom shared an anecdote that I'd either never heard or had forgotten.

See, my mom's side of the family has a family tradition of eloping. My great-grandparents eloped. My grandparents eloped. My aunt and uncle eloped. My other aunt and uncle eloped. My parents didn't elope, but they got married in West Berlin in 1981, so no family could make it to the wedding anyway. I think there are miscellaneous great-aunts and -uncles and cousins that also eloped.

The part I hadn't remembered was that apparently my grandfather's sisters had kept, for years, the telegram my grandfather sent from Reno:

"Married Connie. See you soon. Love, Bill."

(That's the grandmother I was named after, of course.)
coraa: (me (cartoon))
Watching "Top Chef" -- the challenge for the one I'm watching is for the chefs to make food for military personnel.

It always catches me by surprise, how purely nostalgic I feel whenever I see army folk in camo -- I mean, full camo, with nametag and everything, not Some Dude On The Street With Camo Pants On Who Thinks He's Tough. I grew up an army brat, on army bases, until I was nine, and I was a happy kid, I was happy on base. I have mostly good memories of that part of my life. I used to hug my dad's camouflage-clad leg every day when he left for work. My knee-jerk association with people in uniform isn't 'scary,' it's 'Daddy.'

And I always forget that, until suddenly I'm looking at a bunch of TV chefs feeding food to enlisted personnel, and then suddenly I'm tearing up. Once upon a time I would have been one of those kids in line, holding her army dad's hand and acting shy in front of the people serving food.

Culture is culture, I guess, wherever you find it.

(Fun fact: my parents were liberals when they were in the army. It's true. People aren't the stereotypes one might expect.)
coraa: (key faerie)
[From LJ, the Question of the Day: "Are you an oldest, youngest, middle, or only child? How do you think it has influenced your personality?"]

Oldest, by sixteen months. And... not at all, that I can tell. Everything I've read has said that eldest children are supposed to be the responsible ones, but unless my brother is hiding some really big secrets, I'm the family rebel. So I don't give it much credence.

Indeed, if I were to draw any conclusions from my sibling relationships, it would be that the biggest influence on me was having a sibling who was almost the same age as me. For as long as I can remember -- I have no memory of not having a sibling -- there's been someone else who had as much claim to my parents' attention and affection as me, someone with whom I had to negotiate, someone who I learned to fight, someone who I learned to ignore when it suited me, someone who could keep me company if I wanted it. Someone with whom I played "My Little Ponies Meet the Ninja Turtles" on the living room floor. Someone who was both my friend and my rival, and who I couldn't run away from even if I wanted to. Someone with whom I had long heated arguments about whose turn it was to use the computer. Someone who was my best ally, with whom I'd plot complicated strategies like "How to convince Dad to take us to the theme park next week" or "How to explain that, oops, we broke the CD-ROM drive." And someone who shared a lot of interests with me -- someone to go to the midnight showing of Star Trek: Nemesis with, and someone to go "OMG WORST THING EVER" with on the way home, and someone to say, "Hey, wanna stop at Wingers for buffalo wings and hot fudge?" at three AM and continue dissecting the Star Trek franchise over snacks and root beer.

Someone who was the right age to be my peer -- which sometimes meant cat-and-dog fighting, granted, but which also meant we were the right age to be friends.

I think that has a lot more to do with who I turned into than the specific order he and I were born in.

...I need to call my brother.
coraa: (key faerie)
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Oldest, by sixteen months. And... not at all, that I can tell. Everything I've read has said that eldest children are supposed to be the responsible ones, but unless my brother is hiding some really big secrets, I'm the family rebel. So I don't give it much credence.

Indeed, if I were to draw any conclusions from my sibling relationships, it would be that the biggest influence on me was having a sibling who was almost the same age as me. For as long as I can remember -- I have no memory of not having a sibling -- there's been someone else who had as much claim to my parents' attention and affection as me, someone with whom I had to negotiate, someone who I learned to fight, someone who I learned to ignore when it suited me, someone who could keep me company if I wanted it. Someone with whom I played "My Little Ponies Meet the Ninja Turtles" on the living room floor. Someone who was both my friend and my rival, and who I couldn't run away from even if I wanted to. Someone with whom I had long heated arguments about whose turn it was to use the computer. Someone who was my best ally, with whom I'd plot complicated strategies like "How to convince Dad to take us to the theme park next week" or "How to explain that, oops, we broke the CD-ROM drive." And someone who shared a lot of interests with me -- someone to go to the midnight showing of Star Trek: Nemesis with, and someone to go "OMG WORST THING EVER" with on the way home, and someone to say, "Hey, wanna stop at Wingers for buffalo wings and hot fudge?" at three AM and continue dissecting the Star Trek franchise over snacks and root beer.

Someone who was the right age to be my peer -- which sometimes meant cat-and-dog fighting, granted, but which also meant we were the right age to be friends.

I think that has a lot more to do with who I turned into than the specific order he and I were born in.

...I need to call my brother.

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