Monday, September 30, 2013


Well, I spent my first weekend here prostrated with a flu virus. I looked like death warmed over and felt like I looked. It was pretty nasty. Mr. and Mrs. H were away with family, so I stayed home in bed while confusing numbers of teenage girls came and went.

This week I hope to have fully recovered and be able to work. We hope to visit Charleston on Saturday, and then it seems we face an invasion of the Navy on Sunday. Being so sick I haven't had much time to learn about this new place, but I have noticed that down here in the south, everyone is so shockingly southern. It makes me feel positively Victorian, and rather old. Two things I learned this first weekend: everything you need is never all in one kitchen(there are four kitchens), and random people come and go here without warning.

A job for today: conquering laundry.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Taking Flight Again

Of course there are no accidents. Last year while I was in Russia I was planning ahead, composing an email to a specific ministry with some questions. I meant to save but clicked send instead. Mr. H replied promptly, and except for a deal of paperwork it was an open door. Now I'm in SC for just over a month. I bought my tickets for this trip back in June, but with the FEW, PHF and SEW, it's been weeks since I had a chance to focus on this trip. I feel like I'm plunging in with less forethought than usual. It was difficult leaving so soon after such a wearying past month, but I expect I will settle in quickly.

The H family is made up of Mr. H, Mrs. H, one H girl(there are others elsewhere) one H boy, and another lady volunteer. All that plus one of the calmest dogs I've ever met(Thank you, Lord, he's nothing like Dog Evil). The Hs are very welcoming and the bed is very comfortable. I'm thankful.

Because you asked for pictures: The front lawn.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Second Ever Wedding

The Second Ever Wedding is finished. We are now the tired owners of forty black tablecloths, twenty-odd silver trays, and countless pitchers, plates, and utensils. Not to mention buckets of chicken salad. Forty black tablecloths! There ought to be a tragic ballad about how long it takes to wash and dry so many tablecloths.

I didn't take a single picture all weekend, thus the random photo of a set of books I bought at a sale for just $5. Antique fluff! Corny, happily-ever-after, with the most hilarious vintage slang.

Andrew got a cold before the wedding, but we managed to hide it from Jen(who was just a little paranoid at that point) and Jeremy got the flu afterwards, but thankfully on the day-of we were all in reasonable health and spirits. There were no horrible accidents or misplacements, and all events seemed to flow smoothly. The bridesmaids' dresses were very comfortable, Grandma didn't embarrass anyone by talking during the ceremony, and the ring-bearer(who wasn't actually trusted with the ring) was adorable. The bride and groom saw nothing but eachother from picture-taking on, remembered their vows, melted in eachother's arms at the dance, kissed willingly whenever cups were clinked, and left tired and emotional in a very neat car.

Now I'm recovering and reorganizing and packing for my trip down south which is to commence on Thursday. I love my room(Epic echo: my room, my room, my room....) It's big and clean(Jen always was messier) and now I have TWO closets plus a whole dresser. People have been asking if it makes me sad to have the room to myself, and I think no way! I'm supposed to feel guilty about this? Enjoy the small things in life!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dominos of Drama

Like a row of dominoes falling over, I recovered from poison ivy in time to participate at the Annual PHF, and then promptly got the 24-hour flu bug going around. All these painful happenings the week of the wedding! At least they're happening to me and not to Jen, though I think she's suffered more mental anguish over the thought of possibly being sick than I have actually being sick.

Costume racks at PHF: while the actors looked great in the costumes, it was a whole lot of work for a short amount of time!

I spent my Monday morning at the local DMV, otherwise known as the Dark Hall of Agony. I spent forty-five minutes waiting(in the Dark Hall) to spend ten minutes renewing my license, pay the state $26.50 for it, and received a truly horrible(really, really terrible) photo of myself on a card which I must carry around for the next five years. The DMV always drives me nuts!

I was so busy before and after the Play that I didn't get any good photos of the costumes being worn. Here's the brown dress fresh off the stage. It's for sale!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Buttons for Historical Sewing

Since I had to stay home from Church today, on account of my lopsided swollen face and throbbingly blistered hands, in the midst of my poisoned daze I got to thinking about buttons. Historical sewing requires a constant hunt for at least semi-appropriate buttons. Here are some sources I've used in the past year:

Fabric-covered buttons from Hancock's. While Hancock's is the largest local fabric store with the best selection of materials, I really don't like their website set-up. However, it's usually easier to order cover buttons in bulk online. There are all sizes, from bridal-gown size(those are a pain) to large coat sized buttons. These are totally the cheapest way to get a historical look.

MJ Trim has a section of decorative and plain metal buttons, like the "potato chip" button. The also sell real silk ribbon, an expensive but delectable historical item.

Pewter buttons in bulk or sometimes there's a "damaged" option; from Jas. Townsend and Son. Basic and good for all sorts of things.

Amazon also carries a lot of the metal buttons that Hancocks' does, along with some more options.

Companies I haven't used but have drooled over:

Burnley and Trowbridge: a small but decent selection.

The Tudor Tailor: gorgeous tiny buttons. Someday!

Friday, September 6, 2013


Urushiol: God created it; it must have a purpose. Maybe humans weren't susceptible to it before the fall.

Poison ivy, oak, and sumac: "It's sap is of an extremely poisonous character, and in many persons the slightest contact with the leaves causes a rash of a most distressing character, the hands and arms and sometimes the whole body becoming greatly swollen from simply touching or carrying a branch of the plant, the swelling being accompanied with intolerable pain and inflammation, ending in ulceration."

Somehow, even with all her running around in the woods and her propensity for getting poisoned, Snow White never gets poison ivy. I'm almost as jealous of that as I am of her lovely costumes.

Due to some yard work earlier this week, my brother and I now have such a rash of that most distressing character, all over my face and all over his body. It's been so long since I've had poison ivy, mostly due to my very real fear of the plant. I had an extreme case of poison ivy when I was younger. I was painfully sick for weeks with blisters that almost scarred. Now, with two weeks to the S.E.W., bring on the medications.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.
 Hook: I do love his coat.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day 2013

This week I'm wrapping up projects before I go home and the craziness starts. This past week I've finished a two skirts, started a blanket and a pelisse; made a waistcoat and trousers; painted the front deck; planted parsley;  had a friend to tea; nannyed three crazy boys; etc. Tomorrow I'll pack up, clean the house, and go home. The PHF and the S.E.W. are both mere weeks away and we're all starting to feel it.

My scrap blanket. All the strips are linen, cotton and wool leftover from my projects. The blanket is more than six feet long and about as half as wide as it will be eventually.

This past week I also had a lesson in welt pockets:

Don't ask why all the welt tabs are on the top, instead of the bottom of the pockets. Just call it artistic license. The vest is made from some old vintage wool and lining from my Grandma K. All it needs now is buttons!