Year in review.

I’m still not feeling up to par but I think I can manage a year in review post.  It looks like I didn’t do too badly.  I wonder what next year will bring.

For historical costumes, I managed to finish a project I had started in the previous year.

1895 dinner gown with cape

I made a dress to wear for Victoria’s birthday party at the fort…and a dress to wear on the old train.I made my 1895 summer outfit as well.I’m realizing how prolific I was this year!  The next dress was done in a week!I got a few accessories made for potential or existing projects.

A bottle of medicine for my purse and a necklace.I also made a shawl…

and a better hat for my 1895 walking outfit.And I made some storage boxes for some of my accessories.For modern use I made a shirt.

A scarf.

And a bracelet.

Not bad…not bad at all.

I don’t wanna be a birdie babysitter!

I was walking by the budgies at work this morning and they were…ummm…ahem…doing the….ahhhhh…wild thing….the funky cold madina…the hoochie coochie.  They were gettin’ their freak on.  Having some public fun.  Making whoopie.  Yup.  I was a tad embarrassed.  I told them to get a room but they were too busy to listen.

At first I thought, “Oh, some baby birdies! How cute!  My seniors will love watching the natural path of life!”  I resolved to go home and research this making birdy baby business so I can be as helpful as possible.

Now I’m thinking “Nay!  Say it isn’t so!”  This is going to be a lot of work!  Did you know eggs can get stuck?  Did you know that if the babies aren’t done when mom is done her cycle she will suddenly go nuts and beat them up?  (There are times I have been capable of understanding this but I have never acted on it.) Did you know that if the nest or food is not just right the babies can be deformed or the mother can get sick?  Did you know that they can have up to three sets of babies, one right after another and they don’t recommend more than two sets because it is hard on mom?  How do I prevent the third set…little condoms?!  And let’s get into the dead babies, the more babies than I need or know what to do with, and hand feeding the little blighters if mom and dad don’t know what to do!  I hope dad is shooting blanks.

This reminds me of the gerbil scenario when the kids were young.  We decided the kids could have gerbils and we did our research, bought the supplies and then went out and bought our gerbils.  I told the clerk to” pick 2  females”.  On the car ride home the kids were peeking through the box holes, naming them (“Brownie” and “Tippy”) and falling in love with them.  When I took them out of the box, I knew I should not have picked the pre pubescent clerk.  Anyone past puberty would have known those bumps under Brownies tail were not just decorative.  I could not bring myself to return “Brownie” because the kids already loved him.  I decided this would be a good circle of life lesson.

The first, second, third and forth batch of babies went well.  No blood and guts.  When the babies were old enough, I just gave them to the store who then sold them to new owners.  Win/win in my books.  But, by the fifth batch, the store had more than enough gerbils and they were not interested in my gift.  Then I went to an animal rescue who wanted me to pay to drop them off.  That was not something I was interested in.  So mom and dad were separated into different cages and all the sons moved in with dad and all the daughters moved in with mom.  Extra tunnels and cages were added so they’d have room and we had a half-dozen gerbils for quite some time.

If it turns out that the Daddy budgie is not shooting blanks, I will do the same with these guys and separate the girls from the boys.  Anyone have any suggestions on how to keep two budgies together who love each other but at the same time keep the bird population down to a reasonable number?

Ooooo look at me…my first award!

I can’t believe it has happened!  I have received a blogging award!  Wow!

sisterhood award


The rules are:-

1.  Thank the person who nominated you

2.  Post 7 things about yourself

3.  Nominate 7 others for the award

So to start with, I want to thank A Wee Bit Random for nominating me.  I started following her recently because she just seems like a person that I would like to meet.  She likes to knit and so do I, but what really caught my attention is that I can “hear” her Scottish accent in the way she writes.  You know I love all things Scottish.

Seven things about myself.

1) I am ridiculously pleased that I’ve gotten an award!  I never thought I’d get one as my interests are a bit on the obscure level and doubted anyone would actually read this blog never mind follow it or honor it with an award!

2) If it were not for the restraint of Mr Victorian, I’d be a multiple pet owner.  One husband away from being a crazy cat or dog lady.

3) I’d love to go to Scotland one day.  Actually, I’d love to spend at least one night in a Scottish castle….moat and all.

4) I’m frequently attracted to clothes that are a minty green in color but I can not wear it…I look like death warmed over.

5) If I could speak another language, I’d like it to be sign language because then I wouldn’t have to worry about my accent.

6) I don’t know why I worry about having an accent because I like them in others.  Another thing:  I once had to memorize a few phrases in Chinese so I could work with a woman who only spoke Chinese.  I was told I had a pretty good ear for sound.  And Chinese sounds are NOTHING like English.

7) I think I have misophonia.  Misophonia is when certain sounds make you crazy.  I hate the sound of the word “moisture” and the sound my dog makes when she is licking herself…speaking of which…”Ginger! Stop licking!”

I will nominate in no particular order….

1) Who Were They.  She posts some wonderful cabinet cards that I’d love to add to my collection.

2) Time Traveling in Costume. She is what I want to be when I grow up.  Lovely work!

3) Viewing the Past.  A new cabinet card blog.  Seriously lovely cards!

4) Pretty Grievances.  She sews modern clothes which gets me to think I should make a few more modern clothes.  And she does it with a killer sense of humor.

5) The Fashionable Past. Mercy! This girl can sew!

6) Adventures of a Costumer. A husband and wife team with the wife in school to learn sewing/costuming.

7) Costume Diaries. A Costuming Blogger from the Netherlands.

Lots of work but a joy and an honor to do this!



1890s Grad

I have a cabinet card of a young girl holding a rolled paper that could be a graduation certificate.


Her dress is cute with a little bow at her hip, huge 1890s sleeves and what appears to be a large white collar that drapes over the sleeves.  It is hard to tell, but I think she is wearing long white gloves and she has cute little white shoes peeping out from beneath her hem.  All in all, a lovely little dress for a young girl.

The photographer is Townsend, Gray and Knapp on 256 Main St. Patterson N.J.  According to this website, these photographers were working at this studio during the years of 1893-96.  Ta Da!  We now know that this young girl had her photograph done between the years of 93-96!

Christmas Rocked!

On Christmas day, my family has what we call “no rules day”.  Basically, we don’t get dressed, we watch TV or play video games till our head spins and we eat what we want when we want.  Example…this was my breakfast.SAM_0218

It’s OK, it was after 1 pm.  I’m still trying to get the grease to uncoat my mouth.

Santa was good to me.


I got a lot of things that I shall enjoy in the coming days.  But, the ones I like the best were the ones my two boys gave me.  They got me some dishes for the dish set I have from my childhood.  (Actually, they were old when I was a kid, they come from 1932-45.)


They got the bread and butter plate and the cup and saucer.  This makes a complete place setting for one person.  I also bought one as a gift for myself.


It is the small oval serving platter that matches the huge one from my childhood (that is currently holding a huge cake.)SAM_0217

This is my set thus far.  I’m such a geek to enjoy these so much!

I take up the challenge!

My Monday posts are supposed to be about sewing or project accomplishments.  I could say I have nothing today as I was too busy with Christmas this weekend but that would be a lie.  I was pooped after the family thing on Saturday and I just wanted to flake out on the couch all day Sunday and that is what I did.  I had a session of mental down time.  (I did finish that striped scarf but it turned out to be too short…not enough green.  I’ll sew or pin it into a circle and pass it off as a neck warmer.  I’m not excited enough by it to take pictures of it.)

Honestly, there have been many sessions of mental down time since this summer.  I’ve only managed to start one dress project and start and finish one hat and one shawl in all that time.  Procrastination, thy name is Wanda B Victorian.

This is why I am taking up the Dreamstresses challenges this year.  Every two weeks she challenges us costumers to complete something and post photos of what we have done.  She posts the challenges ahead of time so you can prepare in advance.  Let’s face it…many projects need more than two weeks to get them wrangled together and done!  The nice part of the challenge and knowing them in advance is if there is a huge project you want to include in the challenge, you can work on it in advance and you are not obligated to participate in all of them.  The two weeks of a project you wish to skip can be put towards a bigger project.  I’m hoping that sewing with other costumers, having a goal and having a dead line will help with some of my procrastination!

The first challenge is sort of a practice run…anything quick that can be done by New Years Eve.  I have been crocheting black fingerless gloves and have one done.  I think I can get the second one done by New Years Eve!

So with that in mind, I wish you a Merry Christmas Eve!

Creative thinking and my job.

My job allows and, in fact, requires that I be a creative thinker.  It doesn’t always pan out well though.  Last year my co-worker and I were trying to come up with a craft project for our seniors to do that would use up supplies we already had.  This is what we came up with.

The Holy Whos

The Holy Whos

They were a fail as far as a craft projects because almost the entire thing was put together with hot glue-something our seniors can’t use.  But, they were too cute to toss out.  They hang out in our office and they remind me of fun times with my co-worker.