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Let's do a bit of catch-up on my life (with pictures!).

I know, you're all waiting with bated (or baited, but then you should probably brush your teeth) breath to read my rambling update that has no actual coherence apart from being in vaguely chronological order. But it's my birthday tomorrow, so I'm feeling self-indulgent.

Like that's anything new. My picture is in the dictionary next to Self-Absorbed. My name is also there:

Laura loahw-raaah (noun); Someone who is utterly convinced that everyone around them is
fascinated by all aspects of their life and inner thoughts. See also: Egotist

See?

(Possibly unrelated note: I clean up at Balderdash.)

So let's start with Halloween, all these many entries ago. I had Bob take pictures of my outfit, since it had a couple of cool vintage bits. I found this great 1920s comb for very cheap (they're usually a bit pricey, so as much as I've wanted one, I hadn't put out the cash) because it was a bit broken (but easily mended by someone not collecting for investment value):


It's bakelite tortoiseshell, with blue rhinestones (you can see the blue sparkly a bit better in the second one). The comb part was broken, so I got it for $5 (once they're broken, their value is pretty much lost, much like porcelain figurines), and I glued it back together. It's very pretty.

I also wore my 1950s prom dress - I don't know where it was originally worn, but it's pink eyelet with a butt bow, so I'm assuming prom or bridesmaid - and my newest acquisition, a really awesome petticoat that appears to be from the 1970s:


I have a fatal love for pink and orange together. It makes me happy. So, I dressed up and went over to pinkleader 's house, where we hung out with theodorad and Alan and Rob, handing out candy to kids, and eating sushi. I like Halloween.

I wrote about Mousehole, and I will write about the cruise, but that's a special post, and will be realized soon (I will attempt comedy, something I have not done in a little while, and I'm rusty).

So, bringing us up to this weekend past, we hit Jamestown and then the farm, not quite in the literal sense, though I feel today like I have been going a few rounds with a punching bag (with the punching bag mostly hitting me).

Fortunately, I have lovely friends, and we had lots and lots of help interpreting the Governor's House, so I wasn't at threadbare rug (flat and worn) status by the end of the two days at Jamestown. Many thanks to stringmonkey and cathgrace , as well as my darling Bob, who all took turns in the house so I could get out in the sun and warm up.

I think I did very well with the Governor's table this year:




I did rabbit and quail roasted with purple and yellow carrots, a very pretty little cheese pie, smoked oysters (smelly!), bread, butter, cheese, eggs, and of course, the inimitable Banbury tarts. I also had the usual sugar, dried fruit, and spices on the table for the kids to investigate. I finally have a decent amount of silver and pewter dinnerware, so I think it looked pretty good. I still need to make a wool under-tablecloth (Hardwick House studies seem to indicate that tables were frequently covered with a wool twill cloth - green gets mentioned a bit - which was then covered with linen for eating), and get a couple more serving dishes, but overall, I'm liking the look.

It should be even more impressive when the new Governor's House is finished:

(Bob, looking handsome, even before switching out his glasses, in the foundation of the new building.)

The new building is based on actual archaeological evidence from the dig site, not conjecture (the old house is based on one from an English colony in Ireland from the same period). It's very exciting.

I did not get the new outfit I had planned done for Bob (I admit, I haven't even started it), but I did get to wear my new striped wool petticoat:


It's not entirely hand-sewn - the long seams were done by machine (it's a wool with a teeny bit of nylon blended in, so I wasn't as fussy, plus I was short of time, since I made it for Mousehole) - but it's hand hemmed and pleated using the double-sided waistband pleating method that has the same look as cartridge pleating, but is more secure:


The skirt is pleated to the waistband on one side, using the same pleats as if one were cartridge pleating, and sewn down on that side, then the waistband is folded over, and sewn down to the outside of the other side of the pleats - in other words, the stitch never goes all the way through the fabric. This prevents the pleats from being flattened, so they stay springy. Note: Keep the pins in the whole time - this helps to keep the pleats in place as you're sewing.

(Second note: Make sure the pin heads are on the open side - do not sew the pins in permanently. While you want the pleats to look nice and sharp, you shouldn't take that requirement literally.)

I initially did tapes to fasten it, but the waistband never sat properly, so I removed the tapes and put in lacing holes, and the petticoat now ties with points to the bodies. The fastening is now laced through the front lacing of the bodies, keeping the front from sagging down. It's just the most efficient way I can get the petticoats to stay in place, while still being able to adjust for size changes (I shift sawdust regularly, and my waist measurement can vary as much as three inches over the course of a month).

All that being said, I just really dig stripes.

We did our two days at Jamestown, then went to the farm - and it was quiet and lovely as always, but probably uninteresting to anyone else (I sewed and gazed out of the window). However, we got an interesting visitor on Saturday:



It's a Barred Owl, apparently quite common to the area. They sometimes come out on overcast days, and it was about 4pm. It's sitting on the old clothesline post near the house. Beautiful creature, and quite large.

Now I know what's been making owl noises in the woods. :)

Finally, in the most immediate news, I got a promotion and a raise at work (they love me!), and I have finished outlining the front pieces of the jacket. I have the two back pieces to outline, then I'm moving on to the fill stitches. Progress!


Comments

( 19 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
chargirlgenius
Dec. 1st, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
Ooohhh... Adore the stripes. I've got to make some striped clothing - it's so droolworthy.

You look lovely! And the table is very impressive. I like the idea of putting wool under the linen. I think it would help protect the table, as well (and keep the linen from sliding about).
christianet
Dec. 1st, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
My grandmother had a ton of combs like that; I have one of her smaller ones, but I have no idea what happened to the rest. :-(

Love the owl. :-)

About the green wool cloth; I thought I saw the table in the governor's drawing room at Pennsbury Manor with a green wool cloth under the coffee service; they're much later than Jamestown, of course (1690s), and my memory can be serving me false. I'm planning to visit for some holiday shopping in the gift shop anyway, so I can take the tour and recheck. They're always changing around things based on the most recent research.
raventhourne
Dec. 1st, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
Wow, awesome. All of the food looks absolutely delicious!
I would not have thought of wool on the table under the linen but I bet it kept things warmer (plates etc) than a cold table and protected the surface of the table as well. I adore stripes! The outfit looks marvelous!

We have been members of Colonial Williamsburg for years and still have yet to make it out to see it. I'd like to pick yours and anyone else who reads this's brains on places to stay while there. We are hoping either this spring or next fall to go if folks think that is the "right" time to go. Any thoughts?
pinkleader
Dec. 1st, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
The good times to plan to visit Jamestown are either March 20th for Military Through the Ages, May 15th for Jamestown Day or Thanksgiving, as those are when the Fort is more fleshed out with volunteers. The weather *can* be icky-rainy-cold for MTA in March and sometimes sweltering for May, or nice for both. Not sure of Williamsburg activities around those times though.

We've taken to staying at the Powhatan Plantation (on Hotels.com) as the rates are good, and the condos come with kitchen/living/laundry facilities for lengthy visits. It's close to Jamestown and not far from downtown Williamsburg, but certainly not walking distance either.

Just some options.
holygrenade
Dec. 1st, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
I love Military through the Ages
I went once in about 1992 or so. Do they still do it every year? Where can I get the info?

It's a long trip from Florida, but I know that my family would love, love, love it.
pinkleader
Dec. 1st, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)
Re: I love Military through the Ages
Jamestown Yorktown Foundation have an event calendar on their site: http://historyisfun.org/calendar.htm that has MTA on it.
laurensa
Dec. 1st, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of that waistband technique.
lorebubeck
Dec. 1st, 2009 03:28 pm (UTC)
I L O V E your user pic. You look so cool!

Oh, and does the Laura thing translate to the German Lore /loora/? =)
(Deleted comment)
(Anonymous)
Dec. 1st, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
wool table cloths
My mother told me that it was common to have an under tablecloth that stayed on the table all the time; then the linen one was put on for meal times and removed again afterwards. This led to an unfortunate incident in that one of her aunts, whilst cutting out a blouse on the table, went through the under cloth as well and ended up with 2 'blouses' cut out instead of 1. She used one herself on the 'pembroke' table in the '70s to save it from scratches.

Posy in UK.
reasie
Dec. 1st, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
All very lovely. I am in seething jealousy over your darling hair-comb.

And stripes! Woot! And the table spread is lovely!

How very nice, all around. Go you! Dressing up for the win!
cathgrace
Dec. 1st, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
Hooray! Your work sounds like they just figured out what we have always known, you are super important and worth a lot! (they just can't afford to make you rightful ruler of the world so they did what they could.)

attack_laurel
Dec. 1st, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
Shh - you'll spoil my world domination plans if people realize them. :)
hsifeng
Dec. 1st, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the catch-up lady, and happy early-birthday! Love the new petticoat (need to make one myself for an upcoming January event), and the table settings - Oh-La-La! *grin* As someone who regularly sets up a board for folks here on the West Coast, I would be interested in any information on the 'every day' tablecloths you might run across.

*jealous of your spice box!*

My spices for display are stored in a number of glass and ceramic vessels, but I drool over wooden segmented spice boxes. Someday I will have one of these:

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/hsifeng/Bildindex/Spice.jpg
aliskye
Dec. 1st, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
I love your new petticoat!

I used your method for a silk petticoat last month (my very first all hand-sewn garment) and was very happy with it (even though I was working with a remnant and it wasn't as full as I would have liked.)

nusbacher
Dec. 1st, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
I'm so pleased for your work news! I'm in an Active Learning Set of women and minorities working together on promotion, and we find that hearing about success buoys everyone.

After leaving Elizabethan things behind years ago, I seem suddenly to be co-sponsoring an Apician feast (read: Elizabethan toga party) next summer in a Tudor hall in Ware (where?) and that means not only thinking about keeping Abigail in sweet little girl kirtles, but making something Elizabethan and Roman for myself.

Suddenly, after focussing on slinky 14th Century stuff I need to say close attention to pleating techniques - so, thanks!
theceridwen
Dec. 2nd, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
I love those stripes on the petticoat!...
That owl is way cool!
Congrats on the raise and promotion!
Happy Birthday!
saraquill
Dec. 2nd, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
I'm having trouble understanding the pleating technique. Are the pleats encased in the waistband? If so, that seems rather bulky.
holyschist
Dec. 5th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)
Love the skirt, and love the owl pictures!
( 19 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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