The Story of the Owl Shawl
Sometimes the things we cherish are beautiful not only in appearance but also in memory. Annie and I each received two vintage inspired beaded shawls from a coworker named Marie when we were around 15 years old. Marie worked at a lodge where Annie and I were also employed as maids and waitresses. She worked out in the laundry facilities and Annie and I loved to chat with her each morning (like magpies) while she pressed the sheets and washed the guest towels. Marie gave us the shawls because she liked us, as simple as that. I had packed mine, disregarding its beauty, until now , when I rediscovered it tucked away in a storage box. Seeing the owl shawl again,made me sad. When I had quit the lodge and gone off to work in Tobermory, I had lost touch with Marie. Teenagers after all, are heartless self absorbed creatures...and all I cared about was making money, boys and getting ready for college. On my last visit home from Toronto, I asked about her. My mother told me she had passed away last year.
I remember when she gave me the gift. I thought it was old fashioned and didn't think I would ever wear it...now having it in my hands and enjoying the intricate beadwork again, I'm glad it was forgotten until I was old enough to actually appreciate it's 1930's inspired vintage glamour. I love how unique it is. I doubt anyone has one like it. The beauty lies in the pieces noir netting decorated with black seed beading, silver seed pearls and black sequins. If you look closely you will see the owl's face..and the bird's wings, taking flight, branching out to adorn my shoulders. Some day soon, it will be the magnificent focal point to a black evening dress..and I plan to wear it proudly in honour of her thoughtfulness.
Close-up photos of the shawl's detail.
If you would like to purchase your own vintage shawl, I suggest checking out the website Etsy.
Some versions I found.. on Etsy are below. The beaded shawl or caplet has been instyle since the Victorian era, but was extremely popular in the Art Deco, 1920/30's and 40's.