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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Baby names, baby wipes and my beauty secrets

Very significant post this morning. All infant related.

Part one: 

I have started teaching a new course this month and am learning the names on a new class list.

My biggest challenge is, as always, the curse of the creative speller.

If your name is Megan why is it spelled Mheghaan?

Why is Cassidy, Kasidee?

Why is Britanny now Brit-anee?

Judy is Joodee?

I have taught Tifani's, Tiffany, Tifanee all in the same class.

It makes my head explode.

Listen I have a last name that requires spelling out every time I say it, and over time that is a nuisance. Why send your child out in the world with that handicap over what is an ordinary name? Why have teachers say "you're kidding" every time your kid says what the creative spelling stands for.

If you want your baby to have a cool name choose a cool name. Don't try to do it with creative spelling. It's making my class lists a nightmare.


I personally have some favourite names I was never allowed to use. Chester and Imogene are two. I also have tried to persuade my son-in-law that if he has a boy Woody, Skip and Dash (short for Dashell) are great boys names. He sort of likes Frank.


At least he wouldn't spell it weird. The spelling weirdness seems to be reserved for girls names.

Part two of baby themes:

If any of you are along SR A1A the next couple of weeks and feel like doing a few straight seams, I have a chair waiting. 

This is my baby wipes pile for the next momentrepreneur fair my daughter is doing. The last time she sold out and she is too busy with more elaborate projects to get all these done:

A daughter who sews and wants to go fabric shopping.

You know I am thrilled.

Part three of baby stuff:

This is my beauty secret section.

Now I know many of you have looked at the pictures on this blog and wondered how I do it. So I am going to go public now.

Over the last couple of years my beloved dermatologist has been burning off little cell change spots on my face that are the result of sun damage. All those readers in Australia in particular (where I probably acquired same spots) know exactly what I am talking about.

At one of our sessions I asked him about all the anti-aging products on the market and he said to me, doesn't make any difference at all.

Sadly soon after this this very nice man dropped dead (now there's a medical term from my childhood you don't hear much any more, along with the famous "they opened her up and they just closed her up"). I will miss our visits.

Anyway I did try some of those things that "dramatically reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in 98% of all women tested within three days" anyway, which by the way cost me about 2 yards of cashmere wool.

Within three days I noticed absolutely no evidence that 58 was the new 28 but I did notice that some of my little areas where we had been burning stuff off had flared up. I decided this kind of cell change I did not need.

I also remembered my grandfather.

He was a druggist and had one of those old-fashioned drugstores where there was a soda fountain where a full time person made ice-cream sodas and we used to get ice-cream cones with sprinkles. He also had a lady who sat on a stool in front of table of glass jars and custom mixed face powders.

Despite this lucrative part of his business I remember my grandfather, who knew a lot about making things, used to tell me that the cosmetic industry was a racket "I can make a lipstick for 4 cents" he used to say. And he usually didn't dis suppliers. In fact my dad was named after an executive at Modess.

Back to my beauty secrets. 

So this memory of my grandfather's view of cosmetics and my flared up face made me rethink things.

 This is where I am:

I wash my face in oatmeal baby cereal - works like a charm and my skin has never been better, although I have to tell you 58 is the new 58. I have also started to use baby cream and a sunscreen stick from California Baby (so easy to use) with nothing in it I don't want to be absorbed in my skin. I had forgotten that the skin also absorbs, but people I know on "the patch" for smoking, or Mr. Rascal who had a big pain killer patch on his side after his surgery last year, have reminded me.

Oh and the cost per day? About 4 cents.

OK now you have heard everything. 

At least for today.


LinB said...

"Phraaaankh." There, I just modernized "Frank" for you. For anti-aging cosmetics, I got a tip from a woman who was very chatty while we mutually shopped at a thrift store. She (eventually) asked me to guess her age. I was honest: I guessed 75. She cackled and said, "Honey, I am 96 years old." She was white-haired, but hardly wrinkled at all, with soft, pink, smooth skin. Her secret was to take a little dab of petroleum jelly and mix it thoroughly with water in her hand, then apply it to her face twice a day. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

You know the creative speller used to be known as someone who couldn't spell correctly. My how things have changed? :)

I like Imogene for a name. That's different and memorable.

Live a Colorful Life said...

I just found you because my etsy shop name is "sewing on the edge"--because I'm selvage obsessed.And I was wondering if I could grab it for my blog name. Um, no...

Anyway, we are nearly the same age. Loved today's post! Will be working my way through your archives.

shams said...

Fascinating! I agree on the name spelling thing. My kids have slightly unusual names, spelled very normally.

I love Chester, Imogene, and Dash!! My grandfather was Chester.

That is very interesting about the beauty products and how your skin reacts to the expensive stuff. I have also wondered if the expensive "scientific" stuff really works, so I may come back to check your comments to see what others share.

I am very surprised about the petroleum jelly secret. Lots of people (my ex, for example) react badly to petroleum jelly on their skin. It can clog the pores, though maybe the water helps with that. Very interesting.

I saw that your great post yesterday inspired other bloggers. :)

sewingkm said...

Yet another fun and interesting post, Barbara!

Mary said...

EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)is one thing I have tried. My skin felt great, but I missed the scent in beauty products and soap. I have made my own lotion with Vit E oil, Vaseline and generic lotion. It is perfect for feet etc...but too heavy for my face.

The oatmeal must help rid your skin of the surface layer of dead cells...I use AHA when I am looking dull. Thanks for the info on skin care.

LinB said...

Petroleum jelly is not heavy at all when combined with enough water. I take a tiny dab -- about the size of an English pea -- with my right index finger and put it in my left palm. I cup my palm and fill it with water, then blend the water with the petroleum jelly until I have a VERY light lotion to apply to my face. It is so fluid that much of the resulting lotion runs down my arms and neck. I rub all that in, too, as moisturizer.

Branka said...

Thoroughly enjoying your posts EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Digs said...

Sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 60 every morning of the year, and random heavyish moisturizer every night. For emergency repair, Bag Balm works wonders (also on hands destroyed by an undisciplined gardener's gloveless gardening!) And for the body, plain lightweight vegetable oil (Canola), with a drop of rose oil for fragrance. I love olive oil too, but it smells too much like dinner for me to wish it on me rather than in me.

Gail D. said...

I agree with you completely about cutesy name spellings. However, "Dashell" is actually properly spelled "Dashiell," as in Hammett. Gotcha! LOL

Gail D.

Bunny said...

I guess I can share a beauty tip or two. This s--t really works. It is alpha hydroxy 12 % solution. If I run out and don't use for two weeks, I swear my face looks five years older. I also scrub with sugar and coconut oil once a week for exfoliation. Any thing else I have tried, expensive or cheap, has done nothing. I have been so unimpressed with Loreal, Olay, etc and their top "pro" lines. My acid works much better. Same stuff used in peels, from what I understand.

What a thrill to have your daughter making some cash from her sewing business! That's enough to pop a button or two!

Jane M said...

Always fun and educational to read your posts....and now some beauty tips to consider. I generally rely on the aging eyesight in others to improve the looks of my skin. Seriously, though, I'm a sunscreen junkie (decades too late) and tried retinol but couldn't see the difference. Hmmm, might have been an eye problem more than a product problem.

Ellen said...

I recently discovered your blog and have been thoroughly entertained and enlightened by your writing style and perspective on life!

I can relate to your "frustration" over creative name spellings, but a friend of mine tells the story of a child that she had in elementary school whose Mother called her to set her straight on how to correctly pronounce her young daughter's name. The child's name was spelled Le-ah on the roster, so my friend pronounced it as "Leah" or "Leeya". The Mother informed the teacher that the correct way to pronounce the name was "LeDASHa!

patsijean said...

My favorite aunt was named Ima Jean, hence my middle name and internet moniker, patsijean (which is what my mother called me you know when).

I started using Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on my face and neck when I was in my late 20's. I don't mix with water as my face is still a bit damp from washing; I just rub the Vaseline between my hands until warm and more fluid. I am now 67 and, although my face is not dewey fresh any longer, it has about 3 little wrinkles and my neck none. About 5 years ago, a dermatologist told me to apply Extra Virgin Olive Oil on my face before cleansing with a gentle cleanser (I use Cetaphil which he also recommended) and to use EVOO as a body lotion after showers. I asked him why and he told me it was because of the natural chemicals. Cetaphil cream goes on my face during the day. I also use St. Ives almond facial scrub for exfoliation a couple of times a week. I do have to admit to using Eclos plant stem cell serum after exfoliating.