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Bride the Celtic fire goddess and St. Bridget patron of Ireland, share both a feast day (Feb. 1) and the patronage of fire which translates into the inspiration of writers and poets.

We had plenty of inspiration on Friday night when we hosted our annual Chatauqua party.  This party grew out of our desire (my husband and mine) to take advantage of our friends talents and while away a long winter night in song and entertainment. Much like people used to do in the days before television.  This party also gave us (me mostly!) an excuse for digging through my party clothes closet, encouraging attendees to do the same.

Chatauqua attendees

Chatauqua attendees

The original Chatauqua was a self-improvement/education movement started in the 1870s with a connection to the Methodist church.  But religious instruction was not the driver for the movement – founders believed you needed to have an “educated electorate” in all matters.

Chatauqua went “on the road” so to speak in the latter 1800s and early 1900s when  traveling Chataquas began to visit the towns and rural areas all over the country with speakers, poets, music and opportunities for erudition.  It’s in this spirit that we named our party a Chatauqua.  Friends come to share their talents, poems, lectures and music.  This year we had songs ranging from opera to Broadway to the blues, folk duets, poems written by the speakers or recitations of major poets, poetry duets, a brief talk about icons and painting icons (with visual aids) and more.

Performers

Performers

So here I am in my party duds.  This outfit was re-formed just this year.  I have had this beloved dress in my closet since 1989! purchased at the Nordstrom in San Francisco.  Through the years, my hips have expanded (a bit!) and, with more singing, my ribcage. Alas, the dress no longer fit.  If I could detach the skirt part from the top, I could alter both to fit my current configuration and allow me to wear the peplum top with other skirts, adapting to future size changes. So that’s what I did. Then I took out the zipper from the peplum top and put in lacing.

In the blue dress

In the blue dress

Peplum top from the back

Peplum top from the back

I love being able to keep favored things in circulation.  For an interesting article about the art and craft of refashioning see this article

Whoops, too late for me to catch up with Visible Monday but not for you to see what Patty has served up this week Here.

til next time,

Linda

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