Geneseo Antique Show (pt1)

The past couple weeks have been rather millinery light. My mind has wandered to Christmas ornaments and Christmas gifts. (You’ll get to see some posts on that soon.) Also, with the weather turning cold, I’ve been nesting, which means organizing. (How my poor husband hates my organizing because that also means cleaning and sorting.) In addition to this transition of focus, I’ve had this ridiculous coughing cold that makes focusing difficult at best. With nearly 4 solid weeks of feeling miserable, this weekend I had a little bit more energy to actually do things. Granted, the plans for the weekend didn’t really go as planned, starting with sleeping through the performance of Little Women at school.

After that extended nap and a decent night’s sleep, we went to the Geneseo Antique Show Saturday morning. This year, there was an abundance of crocks and wooden bowls. I took oodles of photos for mom and to share. (I’m going to split these up into a couple posts.)

This is a crock I hadn’t seen in person before. It is a cake crock. At first glance, my thoughts were “no? really?”. Then I remembered the price listings in the book I gave mom for Christmas last year. Those had cake crocks. This was very neat. I would say this is between 10″ and 12″ across.


I wish this photo hadn’t come out blurry. It was a difficult angle to shot with so many people around. It has a CW era date on it, which we can not see. ūüė¶ When I saw this, I thought it would be good for the Commemorative & Memorial Project. (If anyone is particularly good at pen and ink, this is a good option. Maybe Lily?)


This next piece just fascinated me. It is a complete, or nearly complete salesman’s sample case. Or, atleast that is how the dealer explains it. I loved it both for what it was and the ideas for other displays that popped into my head. Each piece is numbered. I would have loved to read what each numbered item was in the words of the salesman. Number 1 is in the upper right corner, with numbers one through five being marked on a piece of wood or spool and a fiber. The numbers then proceed top to bottom, right to left. Okay, technically, I took the photo from the side. So, if shown from the front the numbers would proceed left to right, top to bottom.

The ideas this case sparks makes me want to find a similarly sized case. I am envisioning a millinery materials display with neatly rolled/coiled and numbered pieces inside. This could include structural materials and decorative materials. Hmmm, maybe two cases; one for structural and one for decorative. I would want to show the different types of ribbons as well as the silk. Those could take up a lot of space. It would bee so convenient to have such display cases together for talking with guests.



Published in: on October 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

This Year’s Fair Favorites

This year’s Agricultural Society Fair had several entries that fall into my “Favorites” category.

The tiniest entry was actually smaller than the display tag that went with it. Look at this little doll. She is adorable! I was hoping to meet the person who made this doll, but I missed her. I’m pretty sure she is made entirely leather, with a painted face. I’ve been thinking about making a nice little doll for Mea. This would be perfect.


This is my tasty favorite of the event.


Of course, I always enjoy the hooked rugs. This one is so very pleasing to look at.


This piece of tineware is just nice. I would love to be able to request one for Dan.


I can’t help but wonder what this piece of crewel work is going to be. It is so pretty and well balanced.





Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Lily & I did

I’ll start with how Lily did at the Ag Fair.¬†¬†Because… let’s be honest, this pig is just too cute:


This pig, one of three photographs she entered in the adult categories, won a blue ribbon. She also entered a really nifty fungus photo and a black and white architecture photo. For some reason, I just couldn’t get a clear shot of this photo. My apologies for this shot:


Lily also received a blue ribbon for her candied flowers. I can tell you they were tasty.


On to me. I can say this was my worst Ag Fair. I knew leading up to the fair that I didn’t have the entries I wanted to enter finished. Okay, in some cases even started. I also knew I was going to try some categories I hadn’t entered before. Then, the week before came this stupid cough that turned into a nasty cough accompanied by muscle exhaustion and a fever by the time of the fair. So, here I am at the fair on Sunday as the humidity crept up and the temperature crept up, utterly over heating. This makes for a cranky me.

As far as those new entries go… I tried pickles. They turned out to be strong enough to knock one on their bottom with just one bite. So, these did not get entered. This was much to my husband’s delight, as he started taking them for lunch as soon as I said they weren’t going. (I suppose I could have taken a photo of the half eaten crock.)

I also tried my hand at shrub. To me, a shrub needs to do its job of keeping someone hydrated and have a strong fruit flavor. I don’t like super sweet drinks in the summer heat. The sweetness just turns my off. So, my shrub is a cherry & peach done with red wine vinegar and honey. A tablespoon to a glass of water works nicely for me. It did not win a ribbon though. I was able to taste the blue ribbon shrub. It was light and sweet, almost like candy. I think it would make a nice winter, holiday time drink with more of a 1:1 ratio of syrup to water. She used the recipe on the museum’s blog. (btw – Mom called Sunday night saying I forgot my shrub in her¬†canned goods box and¬†hoped I didn’t mind that they were drinking most of it.)

imageThe other category new to me was one of the non-clothing quilting projects. This piece is part of the memorial & commemorative project I’ll be coordinating over the next year or so. This memorial applique is taken from the center of a memorial quilt. Now that the fair is over, I’ll be adding the initials of family members in the open space. (I hadn’t thought about it until I was there on Sunday; but it is interesting that the first quilt project I enter is a memorial one while Grandma had been a quilter there.)

imageI entered a drawn bonnet in the “non-corded clothing” category. This is the “Peppermint” bonnet I was working on at the end of the summer. I guess the advantage of it winning a red ribbon instead of a blue is now I won’t feel bad about selling it. (btw – It is available on Etsy right now.)


I entered Dan’s wallet in the sewing “Domestic article” category. You should see the very awesome tiny piece that won in this category. (It will be in my favorites post.)


I wasn’t going to enter a needle-book this year. But, skipping the story, I entered one.





Published in: on October 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm  Comments (4)  

Mom, Swimming in Blue

With being under the weather and the weather being heavy, this was not my favorite Ag Fair. Though, I did realize I entered my first Ag Fair entry 30 years ago.
This year, Mom was swimming in blue. She did really well. I think we counted 7 blue ribbons and 1 white.


Butter was one of the categories new for Mom. She joined a dairy coop this summer, which supplied her with an ample amount of local milk. She separated the cream and fats herself. The quest for a butter churn started in May, if I remember correctly. She found a nice reproduction piece. Then she found an original bottom in nearly the identical shape. They look nice sitting next to each other in the living room. I’m not sure when or where she found her butter press. It sure is pretty. (So is the pineapple) She was worried the butter would get stuck. But, out it came.


I won’t even try to get the names of the preserves right. I really should have written them down. I know there is a pickle, corn relish and a jam that won.




Here is her pumpkin pie. She also did an English gingerbread which is very heavily molasses. I happen to love molasses. So, I enjoyed the uber-darkness of the bread.


Mom decided to enter two plants this year. The first is a scented geranium. It smells wonderful. The other is a rosemary.



I missed a photo somewhere of her 4th blue. I have no idea what that was.

Published in: on October 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm  Comments (5)  

Millinery at Mumford

Here is Lily’s green silk caned¬†bonnet trimmed out in pale pink satin and pink & white flowers.

??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? Here is my pearl silk caned bonnet trimmed out in rosey pink and paper roses with a silk bordered veil.

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What’s for Lunch

Today I’ll start with something completely silly. Eggs in a tin. Yep, I told you it was silly. I picked up a bunch of matching tins for Dan to take food to Gettysburg a couple weeks back. To my delight, I found one dozen large eggs fit perfectly in the tin. I’ve never been a ‘cooler at events’ person. But, when I saw what those compressed paper pulp cartons do in melting ice, I knew there had to be a better way. So, this is how the eggs traveled to the event. I took my eggs out and sent the rest of the tin via little sister currier to Dan. I have yet to see how the tin did. I do worry it may have rusted. Next up, pickling or a crock.


I do love crocks.

For this event, we had a crock of cherries. You can see it on the right hand side of the table. We also had a crock for pickles. That is the smaller center one that should next to the eggs. The brown and red pieces are the museum’s pieces that were available for me to use in the Dressmaker’s Shop. The salt glaze pitcher is the one Lily bought for me on Friday. I have been wanting a large pitcher for a good while. I was so surprised when she handed it to me. It holds a half-gallon of water.


In the large center plate is some of Lily’s tasty goodies from her Confections class this past week. (I’ll be putting up another post bragging about her goodies)


In the back, you can see a homespun bag sitting in a crock. That has the bread in it. Need to research the proper bread containers they would have used.

Published in: on July 24, 2013 at 6:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Lily’s Confections

This is totally a brag post. My little sister took the confections class last week. Take a look at the goodies she made:


Clockwise from the top:

 Coriander Cookies
Candied orange peels
Currant tarts
Lemon cake with rosewater icing
Mollasses cookies
Maids of Honor (tarts)
Benne brittle
Maple fudge
Published in: on July 24, 2013 at 6:30 am  Comments (2)  

Dressing for Summer

I know you want to know about the clothing from this weekend. As the event approached, the week of high temps, humidity and scorching sun the concern over keeping cool was rising. Luckily, the temperature dropped Friday night as an enormous storm rolled through.

Here is my little sister, Lily, in her well worn dress.  This is a light weight plaid cotton shirting. Her short sleeves and shallow V neckline work very well in the Village kitchens. As this dress is several years old, it has  survived both growth spurts and cooking classes. It is time for a new dress, making this her wash dress. Her cage was pieced together the week prior from my old work cage. It is designed with a good back shift for the later part of the war. (I anticipate by the time the new cycle comes around, the cage will need to be remade for her mid to later teens.) The cage does need another petti with the fullness in the back. Her new dress will also be set with more fullness in the back.


Here is my Saturday dress. This is the green plaid I made in May. This is also a light weight cotton shirting. For accessories, I’m wearing a reproduction gutta-percha¬†buckle from Elizabeth Aldridge and a repro¬†gutta-percha¬†mourning broach from The Civil War Lady. This dress is made with my favorite gathered V neck bodice and open sleeves with a funnel shape. There is self fabric trim around the neckline and down the front of the bodice as well as around the sleeves. The trim on this dress is evolving as I have several ideas for it. ¬†While May was just two months ago, fitting issues have developed with this dress. My corset now closes closer to how it used to close, meaning I’ve lost a couple inches¬†around my ribcage. (The bust has done some odd fluffing¬†on the other hand) As my ribcage has shrunk, the length of the bodice has dropped in the front. In a side photo, I can see how bottom edge, and thus the waistband, angles down from the back to the front. This half inch to inch in the bodice has resulted in a drop in my hem, the hem that I stepped on over and over and over again. Solution? The front of the bodice will come off, be shortened and reattached. At the same time, it will be brought in as well. I’m hoping the latter part will not require a complete skirt reset.

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This is Sunday’s dress. This is the knock me right over fabric that was gifted to me from a dear friend. I wanted a white fabric with a floral print in just this size for so long. The fabric is incredibly light weight with a green block print. I just love how this turned out. It feels amazing to wear. I used the gathered bodice with V neckline bodice that I love so much. The sleeves are simple open sleeves with a slight funnel shape. These are a tad shorter than those for Saturday’s dress. A self fabric box pleated circles the neckline. I left the sleeves without trim for now because the fabric is so light, I don’t want to hinder the soft, airy feel the sleeves have when I wear it. I have the same belt on as a the day before and a small jet broach.


Ignore the vacant stare in this photo. Each of this set came out that way while I was attempting to go for serene. This is the veil Bevin made me when I first got to New Mexico. It was very helpful with the sun on Saturday when it was overcast. It wasn’t as helpful on Sunday when the sun was brighter. The white made the sun glare. I am thinking about dying¬†this veil green since I know the green veil I wore for the Museum’s travel program helped nicely with the sun.


Published in: on July 23, 2013 at 6:30 am  Comments (1)  

Book Signing at GCV’s “Mumford” Event

I want to thank everyone who visited me and had their books signed at the Genesee Country Village and Museum this past weekend. It is so nice getting to meet those who I have corresponded with online as well as meeting completely new people. I met several wonderful people including some brand new reenactors that I am sure will have great futures in the hobby.

This past weekend was absolutely wonderful. From the doorway of my favorite pink building, the Dressmaker’s Shop, the weather was perfect. Saturday morning it rained and rained and RAINED! Everyone and everything was soaked. But, this was very welcome after a week of incredibly hot days.

The Dressmaker’s Shop is both a fun building to interpret and a pleasant place for a book signing. The interior of the front room is has just the right colors for a lively yet calming environment.

Before going any further – I just love this photo that Robin, the museum’s guest and shop guru, took on Saturday morning.¬† I was so excited to see she captured just how I felt.

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Right across the street from the Dressmaker’s Shop is the Village mercantile, one of the Museum’s gift shops. Here Fanciful Utility was available for purchase. Samples of sewing cases and needle-books were on display in the case where the pottery is usually on display.


Here is a look at where I signed guests copies of Fanciful Utility. The table gave me just the right space for showing off some of the sewing cases and signing. As the day progressed, this also became a great space for designing pretend dresses with young guests. (Let me tell you that was an absolute hoot of a time.)


The millinery table happened by accident. I needed a place to put my bonnet when I was inside. Bevin needed a space for her bonnet when the rain came bursting from the sky. Robin wanted to see my winter hood. The sunbonnet was just incase I needed to go out in the rain. As it turned out this was a great assortment for talking to guests about types of millinery. We could talk about what they were made out of, how straw was comfortable in the summer, how the quilted hood was warm in the winter, how they sunbonnet helped shade the face and so much more. This also gave us the opportunity to talk about the differences between a dressmaker and a milliner. I just loved some of the questions people were coming up with.



One more photo. What do I do after the Museum closes and the visitors have left?

Find a shady spot….


I’ll share more photos of the event this week.

Published in: on July 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm  Comments (1)  

Faniciful Utility Book Signing!!!

Come visit me at the Genesee Country Village and Museum. I will be signing Fanciful Utility in the Dressmaker’s Shop.

FanU GCVM book signing July 2013

This is the adorable pink building I enjoyed spending the day in a couple weeks ago. It is just off the village square. Directly across the road is the Village Merchantile where Fanciful Utility will be available. Stop in to say ‘hi’ and get your copy signed.