Friday, June 12, 2009

Victoria Magazine June 1990, 1994

The first few years of the original "Victoria" magazine showed household objects in an artistic light. The detailed photographs made you look at ordinary things a little differently. Things of the past were showcased in color families, making nostalgic pictures of things everyone probably already had stashed away in a box. It made you want to get it all out and look at it; appreciate it.
The birdcage, on the right, was a preferred emblem of the Victorian people, who viewed it as a sign of domestic contentment. Practically every home had one, even if there was no bird in it.
I liked the buttons in the upper left hand corner of the above picture. I have a collection of unusual buttons, and I take buttons off worn garments and store them in a canning jar with a lid. ( I have many favorite kinds of buttons.....including the delete button.....)

These photos from the 1990 June issue can be clicked on for a full view. In the back of each magazine was a detailed list of where every item in the picture came from or could be purchased.

Here, a herbal bouquet was a suggestion for a bridal bouquet, with the names of the herbs in the sketch below.

This is lovely, isn't it? It gives you ideas for what to do with a few things to make a pretty setting outside, even if you only have a small space.

This is one of my favorite pictures from June 1990; a wedding at home. Here, the living area is created for guests, and the dining table is set with an exquisite tea set and cake. I like the idea of a wedding and reception at home. It is not so expensive, and money can be used for important things that are more lasting.


Mrs. White said...

I love these ideas. I never would have thought of doing a small wedding reception at home like that. It is possible that my oldest daughter will have a very small wedding and then just come back home. This may just be what we need to make it special.
Mrs. White in Vermont

Mary said...

Oooh, I love Victoria. I bought it's very first issue back in the 80's and have always read it. By about the year 2000, though, it had taken on a "country" look due to a new editor, and soon folded. However, it is back again, very much like it was in teh 80's, and I subscribe again.

I remember some of those pictures you showed. So beautiful!

Anonymous said...

This was interesting. I remember a comment from some feminist source that stuck with me when I was first married, when I was suprised to find how "tied down" to the house I was going to be - it said in so many words that the author realized that the home was a beautiful place to be, but no matter how gilded it was, it was still just a cage. Just a gilded bird cage that women were trapped inside. I remember how that made me bitter, thinking, ya, it's just a gilded cage that I can't get out of at the end of the day!

Even though I was so ready to be domestic, it hit me really hard to learn just how much work it actually was going to be. I went through a period of feeling like the books like "Fascinating Womanhood" that I optimistically absorbed prior to marriage, weren't trustworthy in the reality of married life.

It took a few years until the Lord really confronted me with all the beautiful scriptures about femininity in the Bible, and filled me with a peace that I could trust him in this area, and trust the KJV Bible (I had read a lot of bibles that explained these scriptures away).

I didn't realize that the birdcage was a symbol of domestic happiness for Victorians. That is why the author must have used that reference, it was a very effective twist of symbolism to drive home a point. I don't remember who it was, but it was an early feminist, and I think it is a pretty famous quote.

Now I repent every time I remember thinking that all I was was a trapped bird. I am so thankful now for everything I have, and that my husband makes it all possible. It is a life that requires a lot of work to make happen, and that is OK. Would I rather have "nothingness"?


Anonymous said...

Have any of you a subscription to Tea Time magazine? i was thinking of ordering it but I don't want to waste our money if it's mostly advertisments.

Lydia said...

Zulielew, Your friend may have been referring to the popular song of the mid-1800's called "The Bird in the Gilded Cage," which was about a young woman who married a man just because he was rich. People thought she was so blessed to have such a fine house but she was not happy.

A century later, some women referred to the home as the "gilded cage" in response to those who said they were too confined, that if they were confined at all, it was a very fine place to be confined I personally do not see how an office or a factory or a working place outside the home is any less confining or less comfortable or beautiful.

Emily said...

Lady Lydia, my husband and I were married in his parents' back yard seventeen years ago this August. We had a shoestring budget so did everything ourselves and with the help of family and friends. The old Victoria magazine was my inspiration! I picked wildflowers all summer and dried them to make my bouquet as well as corsages and boutonnieres. My father-in-law built us an arching trellis on which I hung a wildflower wreath. We stood in front of a beautiful flower garden which I had planted filled with old-fashioned flowers. An old wire tea cart held our homemade wedding cake, covered with rolled fondant and pressed wildflowers for decoration. Classical music was enjoyed throughout the afternoon with the aid of a tape player, and guests were treated to a buffet of tea sandwiches and cookies made by my mother-in-law and me. It was a day of beauty and delight for all, and the cost was minimal. Even my gown was purchased from a thrift store. Do you remember Gunne Sax dresses? It was a long, lace confection with a lace-up bodice. Just gorgeous.....and only $75! It is hanging in my closet waiting for daughter (hopefully) to wear some day. Sorry to go on and on but the wedding at home picture brought back so many happy memories. :)

Marqueta (Mar-kee-ta) G. said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Thank you for sharing the old Victoria Magazines-They're endlessly inspiring!



Anonymous said...

What a lie to call a home a gilded cage! I feel like I'm in prison when I work in an office. I can't imagine what it's like to work in a factory day after dreary day like so many women do.

I get to work from home for now, thank God! It's not the same as being a full time homemaker but at least I make my own schedule and can do little cleaning projects when I need a break from the "office work".

Anonymous said...

I, too, find such enjoyment in the beauty of everyday objects. Sometimes the weave & texture in fabric, the grain in wood furniture, the way dappled sunlight looks on the floor....all these please my sense of sight. I am thankful that God has blessed me to be able to see & appreciate!

The idea of a wedding at home is something I've allowed myself to imagine (although rather loosely, as my daughters are still quite young). I've been quite shy for a number of years about entertaining, but finding myself slowly becoming braver about it. Like many things, I guess it just takes practice. :o) Thanks for posting such pretty pictures, Mrs. Sherman.


Anonymous said...

This may be an odd question but i was wondering-where do you keep all your old magazines? I have been sorting thru mine and hate to part with them but I live in a small house and hate clutter. Thanks, Dee

Anonymous said...

I subscribed to the magazine in those years and I must say... it was the most beautiful magazine created! I finally took my favorite photos, cut them out and creatively glued them in a notebook so I wouldn't have to tote so many magazines for the rest of my life :o) I even named my daughter "Victoria" because I was trying to think of a name for her and saw how beautifully it looked on the beautiful magazine resting by my bed!!
Then ~ they changed it. I think they even stopped printing it for a few years. It's just not the same as it was then!
Thanks for posting those pictures. Brought back good memories.

Anonymous said...

I too was married in my church and then had my reception at my parents home ~ it was lovely and so affordable! I remember the fun my mother and I had planning and making the food and decorations for the wedding!

Mrs. J~

Anonymous said...

Oh I love a home wedding! I actually, with a dear friend, "put together" my daughter's wedding reception to be held at my friend's little shaded yard/lawn. It was beautiful, with a special table just for the wedding cake (my friend made along with the tiny bride and groon dolls on the top!!!)....and I hired a harpist to play at the side of the yard. So heavenly!
Lynn M.