100th anniversary.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery held its 100th Anniversary this Saturday and Victorian at Heart was invited to wander through the gallery in costume as sort of ghosts of the past.  We spent most of our time wandering around the gallery with the Victorian era paintings.  We also hung around the main lobby and allowed people to pose with us.   I love that part.  I think I’d make a good movie star as I love to schmooze with my “fans”.  I wore my 1895 dinner outfit as it was the “youngest” outfit I have and the best suited to a visit to an art gallery.  Drat it all!  I forgot to put the memory card into my camera and don’t have one photo to show for it!  Hopefully, I will get copies from someone elses camera!

I spent the rest of my Saturday with my aching feet up and my over heated body in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.  Now let’s see what Sunday brings.

Did you ever see the movie “Night at the Museum”?

I love that movie…it appeals to my child-like imagination.  If you haven’t seen it, the movie is about a night watchman at a museum that discovers that all the displays come to life at night.  He realizes his job is not just to keep them safe from theft at night but also help keep their secret.  But, first he has to win them over.  Love it.  Actually, I really wish it were true!

I was thinking of that movie a few weeks ago when I went to the museum.  Our museum has a little diorama of Algonkian camp that looks like it could just start moving and living.

Here is a close up….

The scene is really quite large….Did you notice the mother changing the baby?Another family scene.And for some reason…this little grannie is my favorite.Have a good Saturday folks.  Dream some child-like dreams!


More from medical advice from the 1880s

I’ve been reading a bit more from my 1886 medical book.  I have a few excerpts for you.  Let’s see if you can discern why this next bit made me clap my hand to my forehead and say “Duh!”

The London Medical Times relates a curious experiment, tried in Russia, upon some murderers, showing the force of imagination.  they were placed, without knowing it, in four beds where four persons had died of cholera.  They did not take the disease.  They were then told they were to sleep in beds where some persons had died of malignant cholera, but the beds were in fact new, and had not been used at all.  Nevertheless, three of them died of the disease within four hours.

For your enlightenment, you can read this page on cholera, but the important fact is cholera needs a few hours to five days to incubate.  The book does not say how long between these beds the criminals went.  I suspect they didn’t die of imagined cholera but a longer than expected reaction to being exposed to the contaminated beds!

Here is a sign that they may not have understood allergies either.  He was writing how some people would think one medicine did not work but if the doctor lied and gave it a different name and/or a different form, there would be a different reaction.

I knew a lady who could not take powdered rhubarb without it producing a disease of the skin (like a rash), and that a moments after she had swallowed it, and yet she could take it in the form of an infusion without producing the effect.

As per Wikipedia an infusion is: the outcome of steeping plants that have desired chemical compounds or flavors in a solvent such as water or oil or alcohol.  In this lady’s case, the chemical compounds of the rhubarb wasn’t the problem but the structure of the rhubarb that she was allergic to.  Another explanation may lie in the fact that many people with food allergies can’t eat the raw or unprocessed version but can eat it if it has been cooked.  The chemical break down of the cooking process alters the allergen.

Here is a couple of quotes to illustrate the idea that doctors would over prescribe medication to the point of causing more damage than good.  That doesn’t happen today thank God 😉

The epitaph of an Italian count,…. “I was well-I wished to be better. Took physic and died.”

The Emperor Adrian deliberately prepared the following as an inscription for his tomb: “It was the multitude of physicians that killed the emperor.”

And finally, is this the first description of “burn out”?

I do not know that this disease has ever been described before by any medical writer.  I allude to that wear and tear, or state of body and mind, intermediate between that of sickness and health, but nearer the former than the latter, to which I am unable to give a satisfactory name, although it is hourly felt by tens of thousands in the world.  It is not curable by physic, although it makes much work for the doctors, and in the end, by dosing and drugging, a profitable business for the grave-digger.  It is that wear and tear of the living machine, mental and corporeal, which results from over-strenuous labor, or exertion of the intellectual faculties, or rather corporeal powers – for rest assured that vivid excitement, and tempestuous mental emotion, can not last long without destroying the physical fabric…..

Now, because I can’t stand having a posting without a photo I want to show you one of the little surprises I found inside the book…a bonus prize if you will.This really old and crumbling book mark was in the book.  I have no idea how old it is but it is old.  I imagine some young girl (American?) made it for a parent.  I have to figure out how to store it so it doesn’t get any more damaged.

Flip side…

Last week I was telling you about pages from an old photo album that I picked up at a flea market.  To start us off, I showed you the pretty little teen from one side.  She is the one who had her photo taken in France but I was not able to date the card.Today I will show you the flip side.

She is an older woman…40ish I’m guessing.Sorry about the flash…I took these photos later than I normally do and there was no getting around using the flash.  Out side of the page sleeve you can see more detail on the dress.  It is LOADED with buttons!  The fabric looks to be a velvet, does it not?  There appears to be a sturdy chain running between her hands.  I would guess it has a watch, tucked into a pocket, on the end of it.  She is also decked out in a lace collar with a brooch and earrings.  And she is holding a little posy.  I wonder if it was a photographers prop or if it had meaning to her.   You can’t see to much of the silhouette for the dress for dating.  Is it a bustle from the 80s?  Is it a fairly straight skirt from the 70s or 90s?

On the back of the card we have a small photographers stamp.

John Fergus, Largs

It was common for cards to have small print on the back of the card between 1866 and 1879.  Our subjects hair style could be from that time frame.  The bodice looks more like the natural form of the late 1870s.  Have a look at this pattern from Truly Victorian and tell me if you think they look very similar.

I did a quick google search on the photographer himself and the best information I found for him was a mention in a photographers book from 1882 (page 183).  The description in the book would lead one to believe that he was fairly well established by that time, which works with my idea that this could be a late 70s card.  But truth be told, the card could be older if our lady was terribly out of date and the photographer chose to use an old-fashioned style of advertising.

Must have accessory a la 1880s

Every elegant lady needs a “statement” cape for evening wear.  I doubt this lovely will keep to much of the cold off but it sure looks good.  I only wish I could reproduce it!

I love all the lacey dangly bits with the red peeking through at the top.

Here is the side view.

Not bad eh?

Ok, logic dictates that I show you the back now…


I just wish these photos showed the red like this next one does.If you’d like to see this in its original site (with more photos) click here.


Procrastination….Thats me.  I had all kinds of energy Sunday morning and I knew I was gonna get things done.  I cleaned the house and walked the dog before church, went to church, had lunch with the in-laws and then I was chompin’ at the bit to get home and start my next sewing project.  But, first I had to sit with my poochy and give her some attention.  Two hours later…(the length of one movie)….I had done squat and it was time to cook supper.  After supper I watched another movie….

I did work on a knitting project that I put away when the heat of summer got to be too much for me.  I’m working on a shawl from an 1870s pattern.

Only about 50 more rows to go…

Then I have to knit the trim.  The pattern may be from the 1870s but it may be the 2070s before it gets done….


Victorian at Heart does a tea and a promenade in the gardens.

I had a lovely day today.  I met up with a co-worker at work and I dressed her in one of Shirley A Victorian’s ensembles-the 1850s one that her sister wore the Victoria Day Tea at the Fort.  We met up with Shirley at the Kennedy Tea House (aka Maple Grove Tea House).  Shirley and I were both wearing our outfits from the Prairie Dog Train photo shoot.  We also met up with the “Mac Leods” who had joined us for the picnic.  How’s that for a summary of some of the highlights in the past year!  Here are some of the highlights of the garden walk.

Group shot.

10 minutes later the damsel was tied to the train tracks.

Nice shot if I do say so myself!

My favorite of Miss Dear Heart

Shirley and I having a good laugh!

It was a fabulously good time and we are all excited to be getting out again together!





Yeah…I’m a bit of a fool.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the museum by myself.  For some people, that is odd behavior.  I’ve been to restaurants and movies by myself too.  I’m basically good with my own company.  I also love my own jokes.

I saw the photo of the forest fire and felt the need to flee…

My family would likely be ashamed to know I’m such a dork!  Lol!  I can see my oldest kids face in my mind!  A cross between the eye rolling and that moment of panic as he wonders if the Alzheimer’s Disease has begun!

Have a fun Saturday and be sure and laugh at yourself!