Mrs Victoria Woodhull

I have a small carte de viste that was sold as a collectable originally.  People not only bought and gave away carte de visites of themselves but they bought ones of famous people.  There was often an advertisement on the back.  img_20161211_182217717

I have one of Mrs. Victoria Woodhull who was a suffragette and the first woman to run for president. img_20161211_182154973

Originally, I had no idea who she was so I Googled her.  The first hit was the full name Victoria Woodhull.  Which led to a description of her life as well as a picture that “could be her”.  I Google search images and got this page with this photo.51mg8c658xl-_sx331_bo1204203200_It is the same photograph.  I haven’t read the speeches to I don’t know if she was or was not a eugenist.  I wouldn’t be shocked though.  Nellie McClung is a well know suffragette in Manitoba but she only wanted white, upper class protestant women to have the vote. The rest were not capable of understanding politics according to Nellie’s thinking.  After getting over the shock of learning that, I wouldn’t be surprised by a eugenist being in the mix of suffragettes.

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They know me and love me

I got many good gifts this year.  Here are some of my highlights.

Old clothes and coloring!  Double hit!img_20161225_170734214.jpg

Inspirational quotes and coloring-double hit again!img_20161225_170757949.jpg

A 3D puzzles that looks like my dog.  It was hard so it is never being taken apart! EVER!img_20161225_170515575_hdr.jpg

Be still my Trekkie heart.img_20161225_170617191.jpg

I didn’t know what this was until the hubby explained it.  You put balls of wool in it.  You are supposed to hang it near where you are working so that it dispenses easily but really it is to keep my dog, who thinks she is a cat, from playing with it.img_20161225_171507294.jpg

An elephant watch and necklace.img_20161225_170918842.jpg

There were many more fabulous gifts but less photogenic.  Who wants a picture of a bag of coffee and gift cards?  I hope your haul was equally wonderful!

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish you all a fabulous Holiday!  I’m enjoying what works out to be a 4 day weekend and  I intend to spend most of it in my PJ’s!  Woot Woot!

I thought you might enjoy some inspiration that I got from the local house museum Dalnavert.

The Origin of the Christmas Tree by Heather Mousseau

In 1841 Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Victoria, imported a small Christmas tree from his homeland and the fashion quickly caught on. Called German trees at first, they generally stood about 4 feet high and were placed on a table as we have done in the study at Dalnavert. They were decorated with small presents, sugared fruit or candy as we do in the cornucopias on our parlour tree, little toys, and other tiny items. Children might string garlands of cranberries or popped corn to trim their tree. They were lit by small wax tapers and must have looked quite lovely when all lit up.

As often happens, after being overwhelmed by the prep for an event, I find inspiration to add to my stress level for next time!  The above paragraph inspired me to have a bit of Victorian Christmas in my home.  This would mean having a 3rd tree!  I have my big tree with ornaments purchased or given over the years…many with sentimental meaning behind them.img_20161224_090726691.jpg

Then I have a little tree of elephant ornaments because I love elephants.img_20161224_090807821.jpg

This is the latest acquisition.

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Now I want a Victorian Tree.

To have this Victorian tree, I will need to find a 4 foot artificial tree. (1 step away from authentic but no need to kill a tree every year). I will scan the shelves this Boxing Day and see if the stores can produce one for a decent price.

The tree needs to be on a table, which I have.  The trouble is, that table already has decorations on it.

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These decorations will have to find a new home next year or be pitched into the donation bin.  Then I may have to move the table because the 4 foot tree might be a bit much on a 2 foot table in the middle of the room.

The small presents would be easy enough to do…make some ornaments with small doors in them to put small things in. I think I’ve seen a blog that has instructions for Victorian ornaments like that. The candied fruit…well I could learn to do that but likely I’ll take another step away from authenticity and by the fake ones.

I could give the cranberry popcorn chain thing a try again.  I did it once…and hung it up outside for the birds and squirrels.  (Don’t tell the hubby I feed the squirrels.  He hates them.)  The waxed tapers seems a bit like a fire hazard so I will take another step away from authenticity and see if I can find the battery operated kind and then come up with a way to attach them.  Perhaps glue some alligator clips on them…very authentic!

Then I will put the gifts for my costuming chums under it.  All wrapped in brown paper or tissue paper and tied with ribbon or lace.

Now the pragmatic part of me is saying, “yes, that seems like fun but, you didn’t put out all of the decorations this year (or last) because you didn’t feel like it.  What makes you think you’ll want to put out more next year?  And where will you put it hmmm?  And if you can’t find places for it all without resorting to little used rooms and step ladders…”

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“…what makes you think there will be room for it all when you DOWNSIZE in a year or two? And the idea of starting to collect those little Victorian buildings and creating a town is stupid.”

Oh shut up pragmatic side.  You are spoiling my muse.giphy

 

The missing outing

I have gone over and over my blog trying to find the outing that I wore my 1860’s Silky Skies dress.  I can’t find it.  So I’m hoping I am showing you new material and not boring you with a repeat!

According to Facebook, this event happened days after I started my new job which may explain the total brain fart that seems to have happened.  And according to these photos, I wore Silky Skies and Lottie wore her 1880’s ensemble.

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Shirley wore an 1850’s ensemble.

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It was a lovely summer day, perhaps a bit bright, so we took a lot of photos outside.

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It is cold and white out there so I am missing all those flowers!28

Before going inside, a nice fellow passed by and offered to take a group photo.39

Then it was inside to view all the pretty things.65

And learn a few things about our local history.51

I always find staircase photos fun!71

Perhaps I like them because I know how challenging it is with our modern stride to look graceful on stairs!

Year in Review: costumes worn

I had big plans to wear all my dresses this year but that didn’t happen.  I blame my new job…not having vacation time, Shirley and I were not able to go to Saskatchewan for the Dickens Festival.  That trip alone would have had at least 4 dresses out and about.

But lets see how well I did.

1838-40 Queen V dress.  Check. That was worn at the Coco Gala.172

1845 Atessa dress was worn for Halloween.

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The 1860’s  Silky Skies dress got put on for this photo but I can’t figure out where I wore it.  I wouldn’t have put all that on for a chance to try on the apron!IMG_20160807_121745

Oh, wait!  Good ol’ Facebook!  According to Facebook I wore Silky Skies to the 7 Oaks Museum.  For some reason, those photos didn’t get posted here!  I will remedy that next post!

1861 Senora dress was worn to the St Boniface Museum this year.

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1872 Basque in Blue was used during Coco’s Steam Punk Tea.  200

My 1872 Lilac dream was worn to a play (I had almost forgotten about this fun event!)SAM_3652

1873 Purple Polonaise went to Little Britain Church.53

1880’s Half Grand Surprise Dress was used during the Circus themed social at Coco.

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My 1880’s travel outfit was chosen for our annual ride on the Prairie Dog Central Train.

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The 1882 Tea Gown finally got a real wearing during the Sunday breakfast with the artists at Coco.  I still don’t love the gown but I no longer loath it.189

My 1890’s swim suit was worn by the pool Friday night at Coco.29

My 1895 Summer Ensemble made an appearance at the Steam Punk wedding.img_20161022_130710981_hdr.jpg

1900 Widows Weeds got worn twice.  Once by myself at a celebration and fashion show at work…img_20160930_153444423

…and once by another person at the Vaughn Street Jail event last spring. (Serious nip tucking needed on the dress for this event.)

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Four dresses didn’t make the cut this year: 1840’s Copper Penny, 1850’s Tea Dress, 1895 dinner gown, 1895 Walking outfit.  It is probably best that I have only one dress on the docket for 2017.  If I can’t get them all worn, then I have to slow down production.  Or I have to part with some of them (gasp!)  Trouble with that is, if I am disenchanted enough to be willing to part with one of my babies, I am disenchanted enough to feel that no one actually would want it!  Then factor in size…nah.  I’m just going to have to find more times to wear them or set my goal to “wear once every two years”.

 

Big success, little success.

I attempted the leg lamp cookies.  They were a little success.  They tasted fine and my “older guests” recognized the reference but I’m not totally happy with them.  Problem one, I couldn’t find black pre made icing nor black food coloring so that I could make my own icing so I settled for blue.  Meh.  And when I iced the fish net stockings, I forgot the garter.  So here is my “nailed it” photo…what it should have looked like and what it actually did look like.

I also made Grinch Popcorn.

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It turned out PERFECT!  I even found the EXACT Grinch doll to display it with.  And I was sure I took a photograph of it but it seems I didn’t.  Drat.  You are going to have to believe me when I say it was PERFECT!

Leg Lamp

My two favorite Christmas movies are not in the Victorian genre.  Go figure.  Number one on the list is The Christmas Story.  My favorite scene is when the father gets his leg lamp.  Slays me every time! So as an homage to my muse, I am taking one of my Pintrest Pins and attempting to recreate it.  See the site here.

The first step is printing up the recipe and the stencil for cutting out the leg. For some reason, my printer printed up the stencil way too small.  Not only would they be annoying to try and make and disappointing to try and eat, visually the lamp shade (made from Resses peanut butter cups, would be out of proportion.img_20161214_095846827.jpg

My printer wont enlarge and I was unable to free hand the sketch so I just enlarged around the printed stencil.img_20161214_094221464.jpg

I traced that onto clean paper and cut it out.  I then used that shape to trace out a stencil in cardboard.  Much better proportions.

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I followed the recipe and added half cup of flour to store bought sugar cookie dough.  I have no idea why they wanted that.  I can only assume the straight dough is too soggy.

I rolled the dough out and pressed the cardboard into the dough.  I wanted 24 legs because I had enough peanut butter cups for 24 lamp shades.

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Then came the tough part…cutting the shapes out with a paring knife and then smoothing and shaping once they were transferred to the baking pan.

They baked up fine, but did take longer than the recipe suggested.  Is my oven not hot enough?  Did I make them too thick?  I don’t know.

The next step is cooling.  Dangerous in my house.  So I took the left over dough and baked that up and left this behind before heading off to work.img_20161214_102008847.jpg

I taped my cardboard stencil and the icing diagram onto the recipe for future attempts.  The cardboard got greasy so my plan is to use it to make a new cardboard stencil for the next batch.  Seems the best way to avoid food poisoning in the future.

I will attempt decorating next.  Sure hope this doesn’t turn into a “nailed it” post for next time.