The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 8 (November 1, 1937)
Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints
Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints.
The show girls know how to do it. Even though they have the advantage of footlights and distance, the members of the ballet would not dream of scamping their preparation and giving a few last-minute dabs to their complexions. How much less can those of us who receive close scrutiny in street and office, afford to be careless with make-up.
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Of course, those who belong to the sporty, open-air, down-with-frills-and-furbelows school can get by with the aid of a three-minute patting in of vanishing cream and dabbing of powder—or not even that. But those who believe appearance is important don't usually begrudge time spent in producing an effect, and are willing to learn from the girls whose calling requires artistic appearance as well as artistic talent.
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The first essential, as most of us know, is a healthy skin. Make-up cannot be successfully applied over skin blemishes. The “beauty” girls, therefore, diet and exercise for the sake of complexion as well as of figure.
Back-stage, the ladies of the chorus are supplied with good mirrors and lighting. Half-an-hour is adequate for the application of make-up, and the girls would not dream of skimping the time.
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First comes a thorough cleansing of face and neck with plenty of cream and a generous use of face tissues. The foundation cream is well smoothed in. The rouge, applied high on the cheekbones and away from the nose, is blended so that it fades naturally into the whiteness of the cheek. Eye-shadow, necessary on the stage, is an exotic in every-day life, though many women use it effectively for evenings. Never apply shadow below the eye, as it gives a pouched and elderly look. If eyes are not as wide apart as could be wished, add width by applying shadow only to the outer edge of the lid, and remember to lengthen the eyebrow.
Powdering is an art in itself—first a lavish dusting, and then a gentle patting and brushing until the surface is satin-smooth.
Mascara application requires time. Each lash should be treated separately and curled upward.
Study lips. Over-full ones can be restrained, and thin ones pencilled a little wider.
So, with time, care and the hand of an artist, the perfect picture is painted. And the most important ingredient is time.
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The Compost Heap.
This is not a dissertation on Dusters, disposal of, but on Weeds, non-wasting of. My spring-cleaning this year extended to the garden, the house, on warm days, being left severely alone. After the usual weeding, working-up of the soil and preparing of seed-beds, my eye ranged round in search of further tasks. The brown pile of lawn-clippings near the back gate occupied ground I coveted for a lettuce bed. Refuse from the corner cleared for hydrangeas was pushed back, untidily, near the hedge, where I now wanted to raise cinerarias. But what to do with the rubbish?
I asked John. John, my friend Celia's brother, is a busy and solemn young man. You get nowhere with him in ordinary conversation, but if you hint that something is wrong with the carburettor or that a board in the verandah needs replacing, he sparks up immediately. If you haven't the necessary tools, John sprints home for them, and you and he become quite friendly as he works and you admiringly watch.
Yes, John likes being asked things, so I asked him. He took a long look round and a gleam came into his eye. “What you want,” he announced firmly, “is a compost heap.”
“A compost heap? You mean a rubbish heap? But I've got those, two or three of them.”
“No. A compost heap is a means of making use of your garden refuse; kitchen refuse, too. How about those planks under the house? Do you want them? And the space by the wash-house. You won't be using that, will you?
I gave John the freedom of the garden, and went in to prepare lunch.
When I went out again he had knocked up a neat, oblong wooden frame, and, with a spade, was marking out the area it covered. Removing the frame, he proceeded to dig a neat grave by removing the sods and then the loam, down to the subsoil.
“Now, where are your rubbish heaps? Those woody hedge-clippings will have to be burnt. Put them separate. That heap of weeds, the dead leaves and the grass clippings can go in now—about six inches of them. Hey! Not that one. You pulled up that plant because it was diseased. Add that to the bonfire. Now several cans-full of water. Yes, the hose is better. The stuff will rot quicker if wet. Throw the sods on now—turn them up. Help me put the frame over. That's it. You haven't any chemical decomposer, have you? You'll want some; it's a help. Now the loam goes on”—and John patted it down and stood back to survey the job.
“And now we'll have lunch,” said I. page 59 “Here's a towel and there's the bathroom.”
In the midst of his salad John fixed me with an accusing eye. “What did you do with the outside leaves of the lettuce?”
“Rubbish-bin,” said I.
“Waste!” said John. “All your kitchen peelings can go on the compost heap. Over each new layer of refuse, garden, lawn and kitchen, sprinkle a little chemical decomposer. Remember to wet the pile—liquid manure if you like. Scatter a little lime and super-phosphate occasionally. If your heap grows too high just add another frame; some of that timber is left; or ask me, and I could add it for you.”
“Thank you, John,” said I.
I can see John mowing my lawn and weeding my garden to feed the compost heap, which he assures me will supply me with marvellous loam next spring, when he has promised to mix it up and perhaps sieve it for me. Yes, my garden in future will be swept and garnished, not to mention trowelled and raked, in the interests of refuse collection, with tidiness a close second. I most ask John about that bonfire.
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Did you have your first swim during Labour Day week-end? And, if so, did your swim-suit appear far more faded than it did when you put it away at the end of last season? Also, last year you thought it fairly skimpy, but find you are surprisingly well covered for the new season. All of which has decided you to invest in a new suit. Anyway, as you tell yourself, two are really necessary.
In New Zealand, when you swim you sun-bathe, and usually vice-versa, so your swim-suit must be for the water. Therefore, a wool jersey fabric is advisable. Perhaps you don't remember the days of cotton bathing-suits? Well, wool feels ever so much better. And nowadays it is produced in so many weaves. Your swim-suit may even have a cloque effect.
If you are slender and well-formed, choose a gaily-patterned jersey cloth. Some of the most charming fabric designs I have seen this season are those used for swim-suits. If you are not so young, and (or) not so slender, a more conservative fabric will be your choice. As to style, choose one for comfort. To secure adequate length and well-fitting shoulder straps, it is advisable to try on a suit before buying.
Styles vary greatly from brassiere and trunks, to the complete suit with skirt. Most suits this year have the brassiere front fitting. A charming style has a detachable skirt that forms a capelet for protection when sunbathing.
Did I mention tartans? A diagonal tartan gives a fluidity to the young figure.
Of course a swim-suit alone is not enough. Cap, yes, and shoes, yes, and even bathing-bag, yes. But most important is a wrap. Of course it depends on your kind of holiday. If you are expected to dress up (a little) and be respectable (fairly) for lunch, come up from the beach at the last minute and pull on a loose-fitting linen blouse and slacks (dusty pink, and butcher blue formed one unusual combination) or slip into a frock, short-sleeved or sleeveless, and wide-revered, of cretonne or printed cotton. Button it down the front, and there you are!
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Most of us are looking forward to the summer months with pleasurable anticipation. Old and young have their own ideas of what constitutes the enjoyment obtainable during the hot weather, and there is probably not one person here who would like to sleep through the summer and come out as a Rip Van Winkle next June.
The winter games are put aside and the young folk are all ready to indulge in tennis, swimming, etc., while the older ones seek less strenuous forms of enjoyment. The housewives—old and young—are glad that there are no more fires, cooking is easier, and life generally seems to have taken on a brighter outlook. The children are looking forward to the longer days for outdoor play and also to the holidays which are coming alarmingly close for the adults.
How are we at the end of the season? Have we taken too much advantage of the hot weather and been reckless in regard to sun-bathing and games during the hottest hours of the day? Are we tired and languid and looking forward to the invigorating winter days to build up our depleted vigour? Have we benefited by the wonderful climate that New Zealand enjoys, or have we been reckless, and all our swimming, sun-bathing, etc., been a liability instead of an asset? Adults must balance their own accounts, and if we come out at the end of the season with a deficit in the matter of health, well, we ourselves have to draw on our own reserves—if we have any—to settle the account.
It is a different matter with the children. They are not in the position to realise that it is dangerous to go out in the sunshine without their hats, or to play around during the hottest part of the day. Summer sickness, sunstroke—or even the dreaded infantile paralysis—can be attributed to the effects of the sun's rays on the unprotected skin. We need a “Hats On” brigade, and it would be a pleasing sight to see the youngsters fully protected against any possible harm that could come to them during the forthcoming summer months.
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“The Scrap Book.”
If your hair is lifeless and uninteresting, don't depend on a tricky coiffure to conceal its shortcomings. Get busy with the hairbrush, shampoo and tonic, and cajole it into condition.
Study the back of your hair as carefully as the front. A frowsy-looking neck can very easily spoil the whole picture.
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A tidy gardener never leaves the tools out overnight, but cleans them carefully (wipes them with an oily rag if necessary) and puts them where they belong.
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For elbows which have become discoloured, take the pulp from half a lemon, place it in the palm of one hand, and “cup” the elbow of the other in the palm.
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A little talcum powder sprinkled into the feet of stockings will protect the feet from over-tiredness.
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To keep the curtains fresh and new-looking, use the vacuum tools regularly on them, even on the washing ones. If you haven't a cleaner, take down the curtain rods occasionally and shake the curtains in the open air. This takes only a few minutes as there is no need to remove the curtains from the rods.
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Wash blankets before putting them away for the summer. By the way, if any of the family will be going camping, leave the washing of dark blankets until after the Christmas vacation. The easiest method I have discovered for blanket-washing is the cold-water process.
Cut up good laundry soap (two or three cakes for four or five blankets) into a fairly large pot of cold water page 60 and boil until dissolved. Half fill each tub with cold water, and add half the quantity of soap jelly and about two tablespoons of Scrubb's ammonia to each. Knead the blankets in the first tub; wring them through a loose wringer into the second tub and again knead. Rinse in at least two lots of cold water until the water is clear. Wring again and hang on the line. When dry, brush lightly with a soft brush to raise the nap slightly.
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Creamed Onions Espagnol.
Onions in Spanish fashion provide a splendid dish, easy to make and cheap. First peel enough onions and cook them till tender in good white stock, then drain and keep hot in a vegetable dish. Add a little milk to the stock and thicken it with cornflour blended with milk. Boil for a few minutes, add seasoning and a lump of butter. Pour the sauce over the onions and send to table sprinkled with chopped parsley. This can be served with thin brown or wholemeal bread.
French Onion Au Gratin.
Grease a pie-dish, then fill it with alternate layers of cooked onion, grated cheese, and white sauce. Season well and sprinkle the top with grated cheese. Bake in a sharp oven till nicely browned, then serve as quickly as possible.
Danish Onion En Casserole.
Put about a pound of small onions in a casserole with a little butter, then add pepper and salt, and cover closely. Cook very slowly until tender when touched with a fork. Shake the onions now and again during the cooking process to prevent sticking. Serve with a white sauce.
Norwegian Baked Onions.
Peel and slice thinly, say, four large onions, then line a pie-dish with breadcrumbs, put in a layer of onions, pepper and salt, and a little chopped parsley, and continue until the dish is full. Now pour over a teacupful of milk, cover with breadcrumbs, and a few pieces of butter here and there, and bake until nicely brown. Serve at once.
Breton Onions in Batter.
Take 2 small onions, 1 oz. dripping, 1 egg, ½ lb. flour,½ pint of milk, with pepper and salt to taste. Peel the onions and boil for an hour in salted water. Now strain and put into a fireproof dish with the dripping, and bake for thirty minutes. Put the flour and about a-quarter teaspoonful of salt into a bowl with the egg in the centre, then gradually stir in half of the milk. Beat well before adding the remainder of the milk. Pour the batter around the onions, then bake them for about three-quarters of an hour in a moderate oven. Serve quickly once they are cooked.
German Stuffed Onions.
Take three small onions, peel evenly so as not to damage the outer skin, then scoop out the core. Blanch them in water for five minutes. When blanched enough remove and fill up the cavities with minced kidney or sausagemeat. Now put in a piece of short paste over the hole to prevent the juice escaping, and bake in a tin containing some stock. Baste frequently to prevent burning. Remove when you can run a meat skewer through each onion and its contents.
Spanish Marrow Casserole.
Half pound tomatoes ⅓ lb. onions, 1 marrow, 1 teaspoon marmite, 1 oz. butter, salt and pepper to taste, 1 or 2 egg yolks. (Two green olives, garlic, green pepper and two tablespoons olive oil may also be added to procure the genuine Spanish flavour).
Slice the onions and tomatoes, mince the garlic and fry them slowly in the oil. Add the sliced green pepper, and the stoned chopped olives, the butter and half a cup of water. Peel the marrow, halve, remove the seeds and cut into pie pieces. Add these and let simmer gently for forty-five minutes. Strain off a little of the liquor, cool and blend with the beaten egg yolk. Return to the pan. Heat gently without boiling and serve.
The onions and tomatoes may be fried in the butter (2 ozs.) instead of the oil, and the olives, etc., included or eliminated, according to taste.
Cottage Cheese Croquettes.
One pound cheese, 3 eggs, 6 ozs. wholemeal breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon ground almonds, milk to moisten, pinch of salt, sugar and ground nutmeg to taste, flour. Butter for frying. Cream the cheese with a little milk. Add the beaten eggs, seasonings, breadcrumbs, and sufficient flour to make a workable paste. Roll into pieces the size of a walnut, flatten these into little cakes, dip in flour, and fry brown in hot butter. Serve hot, garnished with parsley, or cold, with a salad.
1 cauliflower, carrot, turnip and onion, 4 oz. lima beans, chopped parsparsley, seasoning, sauce—curry or plain—flaky pastry.
Cook the vegetables until tender. Cut into dice and arrange in a pie-dish with the sauce poured over. Cover with pastry and bake in a hot oven until golden brown.