Sunday, October 30, 2011

18th Century Market Fair: 2011

Yesterday was blissful!  The weather was a perfect, crisp 65 degrees, with a breezy, and puffy cloud filled sky.  It was also the annual 18th c. Market Fair at Locust Grove in Louisville, KY, which meant that I got to experience that beautiful weather in the context of the sights and sounds of an 18th c. market.  Even better...I spent the day with my daughter Jane, my dear friend Laura, the lovely Natalie and her two adorable boys, Noah and Christopher. 

Even though we ended the day watching the mock Revolutionary war battle, I will begin my pictorial journey with the skirmish.  Here you see the (diminished) Kentucky frontiersmen (aka - the Rebels) holding their own against...du-du-dun...

...the dreaded British!! (and Scottish, and Germans, and...)  Somehow, even though the British (and friends) outnumbered the Rebels 2 to 1 and owned a cannon (and bagpipes), the "Americans" triumphed.  Of course.

Seriously though, it was all very educational, (and yet I can't remember the name of the battle being portrayed).  It seems like such a "slow," and legalistic way to battle...nothing like today's wars.  Jane loved it, but asked many questions, in a very concerned voice, about why they were shooting at each other, and why people were falling down.  I explained to her that it was a pretend battle, and that they were just acting, which seemed to satisfy her.  It didn't satisfy me...

There was one area where the kids could learn about 18th century toys (without bringing out thoughts of war and death).  They sincerely enjoyed this discovery time.

Jane met one little girl her age.  They enjoyed playing Graces together.

Of course, since it was a market fair, there was a boucou amount of goods to see and buy (or, sadly, not to buy).  Jane begged and pleaded for one of these adorable little wool sheep.

I mean, seriously...who wouldn't!  Aren't they so cute!?

I saw the Crown Point Bread Co. pull up their horse and wagon, and almost before they could set up their shop of rustic bread and creamy white cheddar cheese...

I was begging and pleading for some.  What is it about hearty bread and rich cheese that makes me go weak in the knees?  Do they do that to you too?

I can't pass up this shop, the 96 District Storehouse. 

One step inside, and I'm in 18th century fabric heaven.

At one point in the day, we sat down to drink some hot cider and watch a group of dancers learning a new 18th century dance.  They called out to the audience, inviting anyone to join them who would like to learn the dance too.  Guess who raised her hand?  (Hint: It wasn't me.)

Yes...Jane wanted to join in the dancing.  She stayed in the dance for a good 10 or 15 minutes, led around by the young lady in the striped skirt.  I couldn't have been more proud.

I purchased a couple of bars of organic, scented soaps from Simple Soapworks.  They are one of my favorite soap makers ever...seriously.  If you don't get the chance to see them in person at a market fair, you can purchase their products on the web.  If photographs and computer monitors had scent capability, you would know why I'm in love with this soap.

Another gorgeous, handmade item that I bought...a silk, hand-block-printed scarf.

From the 96 District Storehouse, I bought this salmon colored linen to make into a new dress for Jane.  She's already outgrown the white one I made for her this past Spring.  Jane picked the color out herself.

I also bought this sheer, linen/cotton blend for myself.  The color is gorgeous, and the airy feel to it will be perfect for next year's summer festivals.  Now, if only I could figure out the gown it wants to be...more on this later.

Jane's wool sheep...
It is the simple things in life that make us happy.

Here's a little clip of Jane dancing.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Snowshill Quilted Jacket: Construction, Completed

Happy October, my friends.  I do hope you are enjoying weather as mild and crisp as we are.  It's fabulous.  The trees have been turning colors for the past two to three weeks.  I love this time of year.'s finally interpretation of the Snowshill Jacket, that is.  Last weekend I ventured out into this beautiful Autumn weather to a local historic landmark called McConnell Springs, wondering around the trails.

I thought the setting rather appropriate for taking photos of my new jacket, considering the Springs were discovered when our city was founded in the mid to late 18th century.  The history of the Springs is rather fascinating, and you can read more about it on their site.  I'm wearing my jacket, of course, with modern clothing...which was the goal. 

I'm extremely happy with how the jacket turned out.  I will say, though, that it isn't the most ideal for wearing over modern clothing.  The bottom of the false front hits at the natural waist, and unless I'm wearing a skirt/shirt combo, or a dress that does the same, it looks a little silly (like in the these pictures of me wearing jeans and a t-shirt.)  Also, (and this is my stupidity coming into play here) I didn't take into account how thick modern, winter clothing is, and didn't put enough ease into the jacket.  It is extremely snug and hard to get on and off over my clothing.

I've put in a series of pictures of the jacket on my manikin, so that you can get a clearer look at the details from every angle.

I didn't place any boning in the jacket, and the false front, instead of being pinned like it would have been, is held together with very large hook and eyes. 

One issue I'm having (and feel free to chime in here if you know of any solutions) is with the lapels.  They stick out, like you see above, and no amount of ironing can get them to lay flat. This bothers me more than a little.

I didn't put any pleated ruffles on the cuffs of the sleeves.  I love the way they look on the original Snowshill jacket, but in modern life, they look a little too theatrical for me.  Besides, I was working with limited "recycled" wool, and didn't have enough for two cuffs.

The back of the jacket is most definitely my favorite part of the whole thing.  From the billowing hood, to the trapunto quilted feathers, to the deep is all such a striking combination.

Well, it's been a long uphill battle with this jacket, but in the end I think it was worth it.  I could probably hand quilt in my sleep now.

Now...any ideas for what could be next?  I think I've lost my Muse, because I can't think of anything.


Saturday, October 15, 2011


Does anyone else hear crickets around here?

I'm so sorry for the silence on my blog lately.  I said it would slow down once school started back up again, but I didn't expect it to slow quite so much.  I do have excuses though...of course.  Let me count the ways.

In the sewing arena, I'm nearly finished with my Snowshill Jacket.  No, really, I am.  The only thing left to do is to sew on the front closures, which I bought yesterday.  I will finish this today, and weather permitting, try to get some pictures of me wearing it outside.  The weather is beautiful around here right now, and the Autumn foliage is gorgeous.  I'm hoping to have the pictures up and posted by the end of this coming week.

I've also been concocting some interesting Halloween outfits.  I'm waiting until the big night to reveal what we will all be wearing though. 

But to wet your appetite, here's a peak at Jane's "candy" bucket. (Thanks, Natalie, for the idea!)

In other news...
For the past week and a half, Jane and I have both been battling head colds turned nightmare virus'.  Jane's turned into croup, and mine (I'm suspecting) has become laryngitis.  We sound like we are coughing up half a lung, we have gone through more tissue boxes than can be counted, and our throats feel like someone has them in a vice grip.  My voice is barely coming out as a squeak...not good when ones profession is teaching.  I'm trying not to talk today, hoping this will help.  Easier said than done, right...

A little bit of good news though...
I've always grumbled over working out and going to the gym.  No time, injured back, too expensive, etc., etc., excuse after excuse.  But, over the past year, I have put on a lot of weight, and while I'm all for being comfortable in your own skin, and totally believe beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, I wasn't feeling like myself.  I'm a fairly healthy eater, but I haven't been very active.  The older I get, the slower my metabolism seems to get.  So, I knew it was time to make a change.  About two months ago, our family joined the local YMCA.  It was a complete blessing that we qualified for some financial aid there, and we were able to join for a discount. 

Pretty much the ONLY "sport" (yuck...I don't like sports) I've always excelled in is swimming.  My mom tells me I started swimming on my own at around 18 months old.  Years ago I was on the swim team even.  Thankfully, our YMCA has a fabulous lap pool and aquatics program.  Since joining the Y I've been working out 4 to 5 times a week, for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour each time.  I've been alternating between swimming laps and participating in an Aqua Zumba class.  Aqua Zumba is a blast.  The Latin, African and Indian rhythms are so much fun to dance to.  Returning to the water is like returning home for me.  (Maybe I'm part nymph or mermaid! Ha!)   There is just something so relaxing about being surrounded by the cool, tranquil water, with nothing but your thoughts to keep you company. 

All that being said, I feel healthy, stronger, my thoughts are clearer, and I've lost 8lbs.  Not bad, huh?!

(The view of the sunset from our living room window...on my birthday.)
Last week, was my birthday.  I didn't really do anything special.  But I did buy myself a pair of boots similar to these.  (Mine are lighter brown.)  I bought mine from Target, but apparently they don't have the ones I bought on their web site anymore.  I also picked up some tights and boot socks.  Stocking up for colder weather.

And the final update on Living with Jane...
My daughter's Transitional Kindergarten(TK) class went on a field trip this week to a local farm.  The farm had pretty much everything you can think of, including a corn maize, hay ride, pumpkins, cider, goats, chickens, bunnies, llamas, peacocks, and many greenhouses full of Fall flora.  Here are some images taken from that day.  Jane had a lot of fun, as did I.

Reaping a harvest in quintessential Fall weather.

Perfect pumpkin.




Best Friends.