Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back From A Pioneer Day

I'm going to make this post fast. There is a family issue happening and as much as I would love to sit here and play all day, I don't think I have the leisure.

First for the fiber enthusiasts: Pictures of my friend, Donna's, work. (Donna is Baby Anna's grandmother.)

Donna at her wheel.

Shetland waiting to be spun up.
Homespun: The grey skein is from the grey roving above.

This skein is plied from the green above with silk.Her favorite shawl.

Close up of the color change.Goregeous lacework that I want to say was her daughter-in-law's wedding shawl.

The artist modeling another shawl. Love these colors.Spindle, plied, and original roving.
Anna watching her mother make butter.
Anna with me.
FH carving a Celtic design onto a piece of leather that will become the sheath for my camp kitchen knife. If you biggify the picture, the knife in question if sitting on teh bench next to him. For the record, I made the knife, not him. The bag I made him is on the ground next tothe bench. He's using it for his larger leather tools.
That's all for now. I have to scramble to do some laundry and possibly pack. Not sure yet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Mini!

I did work on a mini yesterday before I packed the trading post into the office so I could use the kitchen table for sewing. I made Petunia "sassy!"

I think she looks pretty good in her bling-covered collar.

Now I just have to get through the bag sewing and shirt altering so I can get back to minis.

When I say I'm altering shirts, that's what I mean. We bought some cheap shirts that are over-sized and in colors that work from Goodwill yesterday. I've been taking off buttons and pockets today. Next will be to sew closed the fronts and shorten the cuffs. Then I'll put on either bone or wooded buttons with loop catches. Pics once I actually get somewhere with them! ;-)

Costuming Men for the 1770's to 1860's in America

Sans asked why we weren't in costume over the weekend, but we in fact were. FH whinges about his face being seen on the internet, so I've blacked it out to make him happy... but I digress.

This blurb is a bit like Pulp Fiction, the film. I'm starting in the middle (1820's), will move to the end, and then hop back to the beginning. Also let me just say that I will end up leaving things out as I don't have an entire semester's worth of time with three hours a week of lecture time available for me to give information. But it's out there if folks are interested in reading more.

In a Rendezvous camp setting, we are depicting a fur trading camp in the time frame of 1770 to 1860. We stop at the Civil War (War of Northern Aggression, War Between the States, etc..) because generally the only activity for female reenactors is the role of "camp follower." I'm certain you can figure out what that means. Needless to say it's not very flattering for most women and while wouldn't mind portraying it for a historical documentary once in a while, we don't want to be in that role constantly.

Now the time frame gives us about 100 years of garment history to "play in" and it also gives us melding of several cultures and their clothing styles. In the picture below FH is wearing a Cherokee Ribbon Shirt without ornamentation. The ribbons are quite handsome, but not very practical for everyday wear when you're hunting, chopping wood, etc. The fabric is a lightweight cotton, which fits for the 1820's and 1830's. If you look closely the color is a faded green and white, and is a simple checkerboard pattern. Commercial weavers in Europe were already producing checked and plaid patterns by this time.

Keep in mind that shirts during this time were considered underwear. But when you're on the frontier and your waistcoat falls apart, not to mention kept getting in the way, you don't replace it easily. And some men ceased caring about them altogether given that they were living and trading with Native Americans on the frontier.

[Side note, the Cherokee and other tribes in southeast had adopted European customs and modes of dress. There was a good deal of melting pot action going on... until the American government started playing dirty.]

His belt is typical of the time: wide and buckled to the side. It's actually his kilt belt, but it serves for this nicely. He made the knife in his belt years ago but only just threw together a sheath for it over the weekend. He's going to add a loop to the sheath so it can slide onto the belt. He's also lacking a belt pouch still. FH really needs to dig out the leather tools and get moving. ;-)

The strip of cloth looped around the belt is very important. It's a strip of "patch," thin linen or in this case cotton fabric that is used to load the firearms. When you load a muzzle loading firearm, the little chant you say over and over until you can do it without thinking is "powder, patch, and ball." The fabric actually gets loading into the barrel as part of the shot. It's kept in a strip about an inch wide and tied to the belt. When you need a strip, the hunter sets the butt of his firearm on the ground, loads his powder, than sets the strip over the barrel and cuts about an inch off the length while setting the ball in place. This keeps tiny bits of fabric from flying thither and yon.

He pants aren't precisely period in this picture. There was denim fabric then and it was being made into pant. But the pants would not have pockets. That's why his shirt is long. It covers the pockets nicely. I have to make him some pants soon, but for now this works.

Longer pants were being worn in the 1820's, especially along the "frontier" in western Virgina and Kentucky. The handsome knee length trews with extremely tall stockings didn't work well in "uncivilized" parts. They were easily torn and didn't protect well from certain natural elements... like brambles and thorns. If I had thought quicker, he would have gartered his pants at the knee with strips of leather. I will be getting some small buckles in the near future to make him "proper" garters... at least from a "white man's" view of proper. Native men just tied leather strips at their knees to hold leggings in place. And speaking of leggings...

Another option was sometimes adopted from various Native American tribes. The breechcloth and leggings combination.
If you click on the picture to make it larger you can see the leather legging detail. The breechcloth is designed to cover one's privates and behind, while the leather protects your legs. Mr. Aday is wearing an apron panel, which is beautifully decorated in the front. However I don't have a picture of his front. FH took these. There was no way on this Green Earth I was walking to the rifle range in a skirt. Remember what I said about brambles and thorns? Yeah.

Foot wear depended heavily on what you could afford, what was available, and if you had to make it yourself. Back east there were more cobblers and if you could afford boots, you could get them. On the frontier once your boots worn out, you might switch to moccasins. The style of moccasin varied by region.

As time progressed through the 1840's to the 1860's there was a westward migration of white Americans. As "civilization" became easier to reach so did fashion. Actual boots were easier to get, as were wool trousers and fancier clothes, like proper frock coats. The styles from Europe from that time were adopted here, albeit slower. It did take time to bring the latest fashions over the water.

Jumping back in time to the American Colonial and Revolutionary periods, we see men's fashion still similar in the frontier areas. The example here is a painting depicting the capture of Quebec's governor, Henry Hamilton by George Roger Clark. The military uniforms of the time versus frontier clothing make an interesting contrast. Do you see the different hat styles too? Oh the coat that Clark is wearing is called a hunting frock and was worn up through the Mexican-American War. It's a variation of the typical frock coat of the time. But it's sturdier and made so ice and rain don't hinder your movements.

Mainstream clothing in the colonies (places near actual cities) are what most people think of when pondering this period. If you look here and here you can see some great photos that I don't have the rights to, but illustrate men's fashion nicely.

I think that's about all I have the time to blog about. I really need to actually get going with the sewing or else I will never get done.

If anyone is interested, click the following links to see some more clothes.

Jas. Townsend and Son, Inc section on clothing
Crazy Crow Trading Post

Oh and one more thing, when FH has to dress nicely in period he will eventually have an outfit that looks like this:
But there's no way I'm letting him run through the woods with embers from muzzle loaders flying around and tearing my hand sewn work on brambles. No way, no how. These will be for indoor and formal occasions. The rest of the time he gets to run around like the Cherokee-Scott-Irish man he is... leather, canvas, and cotton. ;-)

Welcome Michelle!

Hello and welcome to my newest follower, Michelle! Michelle doesn't seem to have a blog, but her profile says she enjoys various crafts including miniatures and cross stitch. Michelle if you start a blog, let me know and I will send folks over to say hello. :-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pictures from the Weekend

It rained lots yesterday, but happily it didn't start until after the Memorial Day Service was over. Most of these pictures were taken Sunday.

Row of camps. The tents are canvas, held up with wooden poles.
Most awesome kitchen pavilion ever! We were staying in a tent adjacent to this pavilion. The benches are actually storage boxes and all the furniture breaks down for easy moving and storage.
Cooking set up. I love how AM* has her cooking fire set up. FH is supposed to make me a similar set up once he gets to a forge he can use.
Aday* watching LittleD* shoot in the men's muzzle loading shotgun competition.
He took 8th and had never used a firearm before. No they didn't have eye protection and hearing proection in the 1800's, but we do now and we require it for everyone under 18 years of age. The adults can take all the chances they want. FH, Aday, BigH*, and the other men we tend to run around with don't. They carry their safety equipment in period style bags to and from the ranges.

FH took first in the men's muzzle loading rifle competition. He picked this candlestick for our lodge off the prize blanket.
He did also get some shooting stuff for himself. But I really wanted the candlestick. Flashlights are a no-no in camo, except for emergencies. Have to stay in period.

LittleD working on his bow on BigH's shaving horse.
The strange looking cloth covered thing behind him is a gatorade water cooler covered with an extra large pillow case. We haul our own water out for cooking, washing, and drinking. There's a basin for washing and preventing mud puddles under the spout and a tin with a bar of soap on top.

This is what happens when lemonade mix is liquified with rum and served over ice. Deer targets get stuck into someone's bedroll and then get moved to the next guy's camp. DaddyT* stuck his head out of the lodge and did a double take. I was luckily there to get it on camera.

The cutest part of the whole weekend.Baby Anna. The one I stitched the birth announcement for. She's in her little cradle, on a sheepskin, tucked in her flannel blanket. I am seriously considering making a miniature of this...well one for her mother, grandmother, and myself. ;-)

I will catch up with all your comments soon, I promise. I have to go find a pot of tea or else I'm not going to stay awake for long. The weekend drained everyone.

*psuedonyms, but you probably figured that out. ;-)

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Greenleaf!

Ok folks. I ended up spending the night out at the Rendezvous and didn't get a lot finished. More on that later.

Here is the Greenleaf building so far. Lots more accessory work needs doing and a bit more structure work is in the works.

I chose to make the building in to a trading post, like the ones I grew up going to in the southwest.


needs: trim on window and door, the door, baseboards, more stuff "for sale" price tags, two rugs, old fashioned mailbox similar to what was used in general stores, old phone

Some of the stuff that's going in soon:


needs: mattress with bedding, window trim, roof!, baseboards, bookshelf, different nightstand, other random "guy things"

That's all for now.

We're heading out for a quick dinner, bunny greens, and a couple other things. Then we're feeding beasts and crashing again. Not a lot of sleep last night. Too much singing...

Anyway, I'll catch up on all the blogs tomorrow and get pics of the weekend put up. :-)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday's Progress

Well I have installed 3 of the 4 lights for the Greenleaf. The tiny screwdriver needed to get my hanging light adapted to the ceiling fixture is nowhere to be found. Quite vexing.

I should have given up looking for it and finished painting the trim for the windows and door.

Tomorrow I will be sewing a cover for the mattress. The original one I made is too long for the bed frame, despite checking the measurements in the book versus the finished mattress. Also vexing, but at least easily remedied.

I did find some solid material to make bedding with. So I will probably make that and a pillow as well.

My final Hobby Builder's Supply order came in, which was a surprise. Apparently it was small enough for them to send via the regular mail.

Regardless of completion for the contest, I will post pictures on Monday.

FH forgot he had the camera with him, so there are no pictures. There will be some tomorrow since it's supposed to be cooler and I'm feeling better.

Fun Filler

FH is off to the Rendezvous without me. I'm not feeling the greatest and didn't want to be "roughing it" today as a result. He did take a friend's so with him... along with the camera. To be fair I told him to take it and made sure he took extra batteries too. So I can't take any new pictures until tomorrow or Monday, dependent upon the possibility of them going back tomorrow.

However I did come across some pictures of things going into the BD (big dollhouse for any new readers) that I hadn't shown off yet.

Some frilly and feminine things for the master bedroom.
Bathroom fixtures.
Pieces for the Library.
A closer look at the butterfly case.
I will be working on the Greenleaf today. I need to put the trim on the door and windows, get the baseboard finished, sew a mattress, cut another rug...

See you later! :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flowers for Hannah

I can't do much from the midwest, but I'm hoping these will bring a much needed smile to Marsha's face.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday and Thursday's Work

It's time to relax after running errands and making minis. I've got a pint of stout and an interesting concoction for rice, ginger, sweet onion, beef heart, and Thai sweet chili sauce that tastes like an Asian version of haggis. I like it.

Yesterday I stained pieces for a small bed to put in the Greenleaf and added more accessories to their final destinations.

Today I assembled the bed.You can see my pint behind it. After I'm sure the glue is dry I will hit it with spray varnish... probably tomorrow.

I also found a second dog for the Greenleaf. Her name is Petunia.
I decided it was hard to tell see was a she, so I gave her a bow. I thought of Marsha while I was doing this, so I chose pink! ;-)
Isn't she pretty? :-)

I might still give her a collar. Not sure. If I do I'll use a strip of black leather leftover from covering the Poe project and put sparkly bits on it. Aren't you proud of me, Marsha? ;-)

Tonight I'm looking for solid color fabric that isn't yellow to dress the mattress with.

Tomorrow I need to finish the baseboards and get the rafters in place. Then maybe I can finish the outside of the building, since there isn't much left to do for it.

Saturday I'm gone all day to a Rendezvous. No minis for me. Sunday I might start trying to make Patch and Petunia's owner...maybe.

That's all for now. I've got quite a bit to get done before Monday's deadline. I haven't even dug through the garage for a base to landscape and set the building on. Ugh. I will probably do that tomorrow too.

At this point if I get it presentable to enter the contest, cool. If not, at least I've got a good chunk of work done straight on one project. That's a rarity around these parts. ;-)

Even More Welcomes!

Hello and welcome to my newest followers!

Mirja's blog is called Happy Little Muffin and features wonderfully made miniature foods. She makes a wide variety of things from fresh produce to delicately make pastries.

Teresa's blog is called Inside the Mind of a MiniMad Woman and showcases her collection of miniatures and current projects. My favorite is 'The Swan House.'

Please pay these lovely ladies a visit when you can. You will be glad you did. :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An Award from Julie!

I learned today that I brighten wonderful doll artist Julie Campbell's day regularly. To that end she's given me this beautiful award. Well I suppose that's fair given how often she brightens mine. :-)

Actually not only does she brighten my days, but she inspires me to ponder sculpting the dolls floating around in my head. I keep thinking about it, and then turn into a right wuss over it. But Julie's dolls are gorgeous and fun... and she's got such a nice tutorial for the scary bits (hands). But I digress... ;-)

Thank you, Julie for brightening my day even more than usual. And thank you for being inspirational. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

So now I will pass this onto to a few blogs that both brighten my days and inspire me.

Pamella Terry and Edward at From the House of Edward - they remind me that art is everywhere. :-)

Casey and Tessie at Casey's Minis - they reminded me how to actually play again instead of just creating. :-)

Kat the Hat Lady - is responsible for the idea of a witchy department store just to show off my hat collection. ;-)

Marsha at Sassy Mini Dolls - has taught me pink can be fun in small doses. ;-)

Katie at Katie's Clay Corner - helps me smile even when I hurt. :-)

Michelle at Boulderneigh - reminds me to take time and be thankful for the wonderful things in my life.... like my friends. :-)

Thank you again, Julie. I hope I've passed the bright spot on to others.

From My Stash 5-20-09

As promised, I am back with this week's nose into my stash. Quite a few of us are addicted to Kat's hats. But I have another artist specific addiction. I love the violet themed painted porcelain by IGMA artisan Nancy Duden. This week I'm showing off the pieces I'm lucky enough to own. I treat myself to one or two pieces every time I see her at a show.

These were the first two pieces I ever bought from her. I used the last of my money for that show.
The cookie jar was next, about six months after the first two. The juicer is actually the most recent purchase. Isn't it fabulous? The top comes off too.
The clock was sometime between the cookie jar and the juicer.
I don't know what I'll get the next time I see her. It's all so lovely. She does little birds and other flowers as well. But I just adore the violets!

Hey Casey!

So after trying and failing to get these pics resized enough for Casey to see them emailed, I'm throwing them onto the blog.

We were trying to figure out a way for the outsides to possibly get covered, or even painted so they don't look the same.

Any ideas would be welcome. :-)


Stash post will happen when I get back fro running with my girl-friends. They want to hear about the face bashing in person. I think it's so they can "laugh with me"... yeah right. ;-)