March 10, 2009

how does it feel to be charmed?

What's happened to charm in the world? I've been thinking lately that it's the reason I'm so fascinated with the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's. It seemed that is what is lacking today in the world of instant gratification - a lack of grace and charm.

I long for the unfolding and revealing of a story instead of the "just add water" version of the world. I'm tired of "what's in it for me" and "what about me" instead of how can I help you. As Gibran said, "You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."

To me, that's why I see this renaissance of crafting, knitting, sewing, and love of retro/vintage fashions. We all want to be charmed and some may not be in touch with my epiphany, but I think that's part of it. We want to go back to doing and being able to say, "I did that." And believe me, I know it's usually easier just to buy it or discard it. It will be a learning experience for me.

This week, I bought the things to take up embroidery like I did as a girl. I think it will bring me some delight in knowing what I've done. This week I plan on giving of myself somehow - not money (which I don't have anyway), but time and effort. I'm going to bring back charm to my life. I may be seen as a crazy lady. Some may say I'm not modern or forward thinking. But...I see nothing wrong with it.

and a quote from an old favorite song (Charmed by My Friend Steve)
"Brilliance comes and brilliance goes
but you're the only one who knows
'Cause nothing draws them in like sympathy
And as for all the broken ones who make their ways with poison tongues
The pillow they sleep on is misery


  1. When I feel like I need a charm infusion (which is often), I listen to Glenn Miller or watch a Fred Astaire film. I can't knit or sew but the music and dancing makes me happy.

    Be sure to show us what you create.

  2. Fred Astaire - there is a man that is truly charming.

  3. hmmm. interesting. my parents are both very interested in making things (woodworking and furniture building for dad; stained glass for mom), and they always emphasize how important craftsmanship and pride is -- how it is nice to leave something behind that you (they) made. i am trying to do the same, but it is a struggle to find the time.

  4. good points, I too would love a time when all is not about instant gratification or me me me

  5. i've been thinking about this a lot lately too...why we're going back to these handmade things we can do ourselves. the charm angle is interesting. and to me, very southern. in a most charming way. :-) good luck with your charm offensive! :-)


  6. charm....yep, it's missing alright !

    but I do believe that there's more of it in the south than anywhere else !

  7. If all you women want is charm..they why do y'all date so many Prince Uncharmings or PU for short. I mean it is a generalization of course, but it seems to me you say you want charm, but your actions say you want just the opposite. Know what I mean?

  8. I'm not talking about men...I'm talking about the world in general - another generalization if you will. And yes, it's probably true that some women send mixed messages but being unclear in their wants and needs. But even that could be applied to both genders. But...not to get off on a male/female standoff.

    what I would like is a simpler time and pace. in a world that is me, me, me - I want a world that is what about everyone else too.

  9. As a child of the 40s and teenager of the 50s, I think what is wrong is that the young people today ( a lot of them but not ALL of them) do not have manners. That goes so much deeper than "charm"... which can be superficial.

  10. good point, but it's not just teenagers either. I've had people my act be rude too.

  11. I used to really enjoy embroidery and I actually don't know why I stopped. It was very relaxing. I did take up knitting for awhile and even though I sold the scarves and everyone told me how beautiful they were, I could only knit one stitch. Well, one was enough. I've got a lot of pretty scarves!
    I can't agree more with you about the lack of charm anymore. And the whole "what about me" syndrome is just too much.

  12. sometimes i think i'd like to escape to some southern seaside town

    perhaps i'd find charm there ..?

  13. How fun! I can't wait to see pics of what you do. I've really been enjoying crocheting and sewing. It is charming and nostalgic and beautiful!

  14. Love the quote...and I feel we mostly receive what we portray to the outside World...if we dress with honour and dignity we are treated differently to when we are sloppy...if we give charm to those around we will surely honour it the quote says"but you're the only one who knows" as long as we have done our part...we may reflect on our neighbours and it may be returned,but if not...we know we were as dignified and polite just as we wished to be.
    Have a great reading your posts!

  15. I think that is also why I am fascinated with all things vintage, clothing, movies. etc. Its timeless and yes today we have lost time because everything is so rush rush.
    I am ready to catch the clock and slow it down a bit. We have to appreciate the moments and help others more as well.

    So I wish you a wonderful rest of the week darling:)

  16. What a lovley post! I always say I would much rather give than receive. Why don't people want to give to themselves... why do they always expect... hmmmm
    ENJOY your day of embroidery and GRAND photo taking too!

  17. i love the new look!!! WELL DONE!!!

  18. A good aspiration it seems to me :)

  19. I completely agree..i have been watching so many pre 20th century epics..

    love this! reflects what i have been thinking!

  20. I'm a lover of days past too Char, and love and charm is definitely missing from today's fashion, behaviour, work, household, public every sector... lovely to hear your taking some retrospective action :-)

  21. I think that this economy is teaching us all the virtue of re-using and making our own things... we are also gravitating to the days when things seemed slower, simpler, more comforting and more gracious. Maybe that is the silver lining in all this.

  22. I love this idea. I think you are right - a light bulb moment. It is charm that many of us are missing. The kind of men who tip their hat when you pass through the open door they hold. The kind of parents who teach their children please and thank you, and a whole lot besides. The kind of people who smile at strangers, without flirting. Charm. I love it.


i feel as if each comment was between us as we sat and sipped something warm....i love to hear what you're thinking.