26 July 2012

teaching: Charlotte Moss

With another book coming out in the Fall-Charlotte Moss could teach us all a thing or two about getting things done. She is busy-but not so much that she couldn't share a few stories about her days being taught.

Different teachers , different reasons, all together make an education rich and memorable. At the time however, some of them I would not have foreseen as being memorable for any reason other than the aura of terror that announced their presence.

Mrs. Baldwin was my home economics teacher, you know-the one with the piercing look! 
When my biscuits were less than perfection, Mrs. Baldwin graded me down for having "tunnels" in them.
No, Mrs. Baldwin, it was not the end of my life! 
But I could whip a zipper into a skirt and make a dress in an afternoon thanks to Mrs. Baldwin!

Then there are the teachers whose kind faces you remember. 
Mother Juliana , my seventh grade teacher at St. Bridget's, was soft spoken, rosy cheeked and she seemed to glide along. She had a kindness, a gentleness that set her apart. We were relaxed in her class, we laughed there. Everyone loved her. 
When I transferred from private Catholic school to public school Miss Frances Raine was my eighth grade teacher. She had the same gentleness along with the neatest handwriting. I was jittery and self conscious about the change in schools and all that went with it. I had been wearing a uniform my entire school life, now I was in real clothes, at a new school, the new kid on the block. During the first week of her class another teacher walked into our classroom and I jumped out of my seat and curtsied. Literally, in a nanosecond I realized what I had done when everyone else was still seated and now looking at me. Sitting down immediately and feeling  like a fool, Miss Raine said something that made me feel at ease and I was loyal fan thereafter.
I won the Science Fair that year while in her class....maybe a subtle way of saying thanks .

I'm eagerly awaiting the book-Charlotte Moss:A Visual Life.
In the book, Charlotte invites women of style to share their Visual Life.
Along with her own scrapbooks and her collection of scrapbooks kept by women with the same passion, she introduces us to the Art of exploring and learning-a new-age old way to know ourselves .
...to my mind- it sure beats "PINing."

portrait of Charlotte Moss from the Century site here.
about Charlotte here
original Art by my mother Betty Cushwa Tapp

here new line of furniture from Century here



  1. I love your memories of private Catholic school. For me the memories of life in a convent school would not be complete without including the deep full (dare I say "royal") curtsy reserved for Reverend Mother and Priests. This particular skill was used once more when I was asked to teach my daughter's debutant class how to curtsy for their presentation....one just never knows. Thanks. Mary

    1. A proper curtsy-one never knows-can always come in handy! PGT

  2. Hi there!
    I am always so excited to see a blog post from you!
    How delightful!

    You; of course, are totally visual. So is Charlotte. Really very few people are totally visual....and they somehow find their way to the arts....and especially the decorative arts!

    What a wonderful post!

    we are sure lucky to have Charlotte!


    Come back and visit!

  3. Oh what a beautiful post! can't wait for that book!

    But my FAVORITE thing I may have ever seen in my entire LIFE!!!??!!

    Your mother's drawings around your picture! Holy cow!

    Honestly; it took my breath away. And it has every time I have gone back to look at it again!

    How lucky you were to grow up with a mother who could do that......and feel that! It sure seems like she encouraged your creativity.......and guided you eye (mine did! and I am so grateful!)

    Yikes! What a treasure!


    1. Penelope, thank you. it's very true. My mother did inspire many ways-she made drawings and paper dolls for me, lots of cute clothes too-she was a cracker jack seamstress.

  4. The cover at her new book is so beautiful! I have her last book, but I think my very favorite CM book is Winter Home. I can look at it over, and over again.

    1. You know-Emily-I love that book too.My mother and I keep that close at hand. I think this new book is going to be wonderful can't wait!

  5. Hi,

    This series has been a total JOY to read!


    1. thanks- Always interesting to put the question to people. We all have at least 1 story.pgt

  6. Charlotte is one of my favorites right now--I hope that doesn't make me fickle. Any rate, I love her feminine designs: the flowers, the florals, and the over the top accessories. Shiree'



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