Tuesday, December 20, 2011
So now you know how I spend my idle time whilst its blizzarding outside..... I love this little girl, she is so precious to me. I found her a while ago, quite a while ago actually, and she has been more than patient, content to reside in her unmentionables, until I had time to make a quaint little gown that agreed with her
This is how she was when I got her~ poor girl clad in c1890 dress and bonnet~ not at all anything like her original 1820-30 wardrobe would have resembled. She was extremely happy to be free of them! Her replaced skin wig, tho cunning on the 'right' doll, looked, well, unbecoming on her, to put it nicely. Besides being to small it washed out her pretty features...and ghads, whats up with the widow's peak in the front! AKKKK! She spoke to me tho, I could see her for what she is, and once was, a wonderful first quarter 19th c wax over mache precious~ dollys like these are English, she is on her original body~ the feet pointing inward are a distinct feature of these dolls, as are the red kid leather lower arms with individually stitched fingers. Later 1830s you see the slit heads where wigs were rooted, and some with wire sleep eyes~ this one tho, she is an early early girl with very well done painting and those wonderful blue glass eyes
Just a whisp of hair~ I love this picture~ you can appreciate the skilled tinting of her cheeks, precious rosebud lips and those wild eyebrows!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Merry Christmas! I will be off doing a bit of my own Merry~making at the childrens Christmas program, so will be updating my page on the mercantile about an hour later than normal tonight~ hope you all will join me and say hello!
Friday, December 09, 2011
I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday season, whatever you celebrate! Keep kindness and love in your heart, give a smile to someone you have never met before....realize that every second of every day, is a precious gift. One of the things I really love about Christmas time, is the tree as most know! We have a tree up in the house, and another I keep in the gallery, with my most special, prized ornaments on it. No, they're not solid gold or diamonds....but they are priceless none the less, each keeping a special memory of my life within it. I have made alot of them, at school when I was young, with my Mother, with my own children now~ some have pictures, some dear Dear friends have made for me. I love this tree, and one of my favorite things to do is sit at night beside it, and just stare at them~ they're so magical on the tree.
Some I have had since my earliest memories~ like the Raggedy Ann in the center my Mother painted for me nearly 40 years ago~ she has been with me EVERY Christmas! Tressa crochet me the little wee red stocking hanging beside her, and look, you can see one of my little Wedgwood tile angels near the bottom :)
I have a glass bee on a skep to celebrate our own honey bees, I found it the first year we harvested Honey~ such a special memory with the children all taking turns to spin the combs. My Son made the green Popsicle stick reindeer at school in the first grade, and put his picture in there~ I LOVE those ornaments~ they are sooooo special! Down low, next to a Queen Anne dolly I made, is a glass lobster & trap~ my husbands personal favorite, remembrance of when he once worked on a Lobster boat when we lived in Maine.
Santas and popsicle frames of toothless grins~ so much fun to hunt them on the tree. And center, MY real egg my Mother made for me with Raggedy Ann & Andy within~ I can remember her making them, so careful to blow out the eggs, we simmered the paraffin on the stove to coat the insides with, and glitter....I can also remember having to fenaggle this one from her for my tree. I guess with 4 children, I need to make more ornaments...if they're all going to want them for their own trees when they grow up~ AKKK!!! And finally, my Christmas would not be complete without one of my most favorite paintings from a Dear artist friend, Jane DesRosier. I am lucky enough to own 5 of her gorgeous paintings, but this one is my most favorite of all~
Friday, December 02, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Dear Father, thankyou for this life you have given me. Thankyou for my family, and for letting me be a Mother. Thankyou for my husband and for his company, Pioneer Natural Gas, and for giving me the oppertunity to share what I love, thru art & history, with all who will listen. Help me to be a better person, more loving and giving, more compassionate and more patient with others. Amen
I hope each & every one of you has a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving, with Loved ones and their Memory to keep you company. Thankyou for stopping in to say hello~ know that the dollys & I are thinking of you!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Such a rare what~not. Just think of things that you take for granted, and use every day, but never actually keep. I can think of several things that get worn, clothing wise, until they are worn OUT, and then tossed out. I shudder to think of how much of early everyday life has been lost this way. Every now and again, we get to peek into the past thru treasures in an untouched box, or perhaps an original diary when it comes to our attentions. I am so thankful for the big attics in the North East, and the fact that 'things' could just get stuck in a box, crammed up there, and left...not for years or decades even...but generations!
These are mid 18th c "sleeve links". They are just one of several pair that still reside in their original undersleeves. I guess to compare to something current, they are the ancestor to the common cuff links we know of today. They are very simple, and very utilitarian. 2 mother of pearl shirt size buttons, joined together by a linen thread.
Linen thread has been wound around the connecting threads, to reinforce the link between the two buttons, and to regulate the width to allow for the thickness of the materials they are to hold together. The bulk of the threads have shifted to one side over time and use.
I thought this very interesting, that the original buttonholes in the sleeves have been 'narrowed' by overstitching, to accommodate the smaller size of the sleeve links.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I'd started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood."
Saturday, October 29, 2011
I wish there would have been photography in the 18th century~ don't you? If there was, just think of the wealth of knowledge that could be gleaned from looking beyond the focus of the image....like everyday things sitting beyond on a table or in a windowsill. It is sometimes hard to remember that early paintings were almost as accurate as a photograph, but they were.
If we see a ladye, such as Maria Christina, above~ painted by Johann Zoffany in 1776, wearing these jewels, we can most definitely count on the fact that they did exist and she was wearing them...weather or not she actually owned them or not is another story, but we need not get into that here and now. Wouldn't it be grand, to see what , say, her bracelets could have actually looked like...in the flesh?
Just a peek of what is within... Imagine yourself now, a Ladye of much means, with a beaux of even more, wanting to show his romantic intentions with a trifle of affection....
John Stedman was a jeweler and patent buckle maker who worked and lived in London~ he has documented residence at No 2 Prince Street, Leicester Fields, Middle Temple Lane and 36 New Bond Street among others. What is so very interesting, and most likely the patent feature of this set, is the placement of the prongs~ see above here~ where my fingers are, the prongs are actually attached to the back side of the buckle itself, and not the center of the chape
Monday, October 24, 2011
The Museum was really blessed earlier this year with the opportunity to acquire an entire trunk of early clothing, all from a single, Pennsylvania family. I was both amazed and elated that when it arrived, it was a virtual time capsule of mid to late 18th every day common working folks wear~ both ladies & gentlemans, and I am super excited to share it with you all, little by little over the coming winter months :)
Included in the trunk were several, 5 if I remember correctly, pair of undersleeves. I love undersleeves~ and have several pair, but they all date from the 1820s to 50s, so was a bit puzzled, just at a glance, as to why they were included when everything else was in the 1740-60 era dating. There was so much to go thru, I set them aside and came back to them...and whoa what gems they are indeed!
The above is just one of several pair, but the only ones still connected at their tops. They have been tacked together with linen threads, most likely for washing, as they most definitely have been worn.
This is yet another pair. All are constructed basically the same, a tube of cloth, gathered both top and bottom~ the top bands wider with tabs for pinning to the bodice sleeves, these of which always numbered in weensie cross stitch numbers. The cuff edge is narrower, with 2 button holes for sleeve links, and these are shaped~ the same shape that bodice sleeves of the period are cut with. The sleeve on the left is showing the back facing up, and the sleeve on the right shows the inner arm up, note the curve to allow for the bent position of the elbow
All are stitched by hand in fine cotton, which, actually was a sign of wealth this early in the 18th c~ linen was more readily available. The cotton gin had not yet been invented, and cotton was very expensive to produce and procure. This picture shows nicely the cuff shape
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
to rest your weary head,