Friday, April 26, 2013

Great Hair Fridays - Beautiful Daguerreotype

It's been a while sense I posted for Great Hair Fridays. I get side tracked sometimes or just plain forget. Are these posts something you all enjoy? If they are I promise to be better about sharing them! :)

I saw this beautiful daguerreotype on Facebook today and knew I had to share it. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the lovely lady in the photo or where it came from. My guess is maybe Ebay? I believe it dates to the late 1840s or early 1850s based on her hairstyle. Her lace mitts are an accessory that was also very popular around that same time period.

Daguerreotypes were first invented around 1837 by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. This type of photography was very popular until the 1850s when other processes such as ambrotypes and later tintypes replaced it. Daguerreotypes were produced on a polished silver surface so they are very reflective, like a mirror. The process make them very fragile so you often see them in small protective cases.

For additional information take a look at The Daguerreian Society's website. The society has a large searchable database of daguerreotypes. And for fun, although they are not all daguerreotypes, check out the site My Daguerreotype Boyfriend on Tumblr. You'll be glad you did. ;)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Ella Fitzgerald!

Happy Birthday to the "Queen of Jazz," Ella Fitzgerald! An amazing, beautiful, and incredibly talented woman. She worked with many jazz greats, including Chick Webb, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, and Benny Goodman.

Photo by Carl Van Vechten, 1940

 During her 59-year recording career, Ella sold 40 million copies of her 70-plus albums, won 13 Grammy Awards. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Answer to My Photo Quiz

So I was hoping to have a few more guesses about the photos in my last post. But that's ok. Those of you who guessed photo 3 are correct. If you guessed photo 4 you are also correct! Yes, it was sort of a trick question. :) Both photos were taken during my 2010 trip to Gettysburg, PA at Rob Gibson's Wet Plate Photography Studio. You can view the online press kit for the studio here.

The first is a tin type and CDV copy of me. The pose is a little awkward I admit. The dress is one I made years ago. It's made from a small red, green. and white plaid cotton. I found it in the homespun section of my local fabric store. The black waist, added to give a little more contrast to the photo, was an accessory that belonged to the studio. It's hard to see but I'm also wear an original 19th century cameo that Cori bought for me when he was in Italy.

The skirt was box pleated and sewn to a narrow waistband. It the other picture you can see the black velvet belt I made to go with the dress. The bodice was drafted from an original I own.

Here is the tin type and CDV copy of Cori and I. The coat I'm wearing and all of Cori's clothing belongs to the studio. The coat Cori is wearing was made special for Rob for his role as John Wilkes Booth in the TV documentary April 1865. The cane, which is almost identical to own owned by Booth, is an original 19th century cane and was also used in the film. Cori looks great but I'm not crazy about how I look. Mostly I think because of the jacket.

The process Rob uses to create his tin types is the same process used in the 19th century. He even using an original camera. In making the CDV copies of the tin types the image is flipped. I had the opportunity to visit Rob's studio again this past March. I will be sharing photos of that visit shortly.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quiz Time - Proof I Lived 150 Years Ago

Before I share my construction progress and finished photos of my 1860s plaid dress, (you can read a little about here and here) I would like to share some other photos. Do you ever think you were born in the wrong time period? Have you ever wondered what you would have looked like had you lived during another period of time?

Since the invention of photography, there have been many advances in the technology. Producing one single image used to be very time consuming and required the use of some rather nasty chemicals. Today it only takes a matter of seconds to point, click, and upload your images for the world to see. Photography is a wonderful art form that allows us to see into the world in which people were living 25, 50, or 100 years or more. It also allows us to recreate it. :)

And now for a little quiz ... Can you guess which is the real me?

These photographs were taken around 150 years ago. Or were they? ;) All of them were produced using the technology available in the 1850s and 1860s. Can anyone guess which of these photographs is actually of me and which are my 100+ year-old look-alikes? (Yes one of them really is me.)

Hint: Those of you who are familiar with a certain Civil War era photography book will probably be able to figure this out. ;)

Photo 1                                                                            Photo 2

Photo 3                               Photo 4

Photo 5                                                                               Photo 6


Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Trip to Gettysburg, Pa

Hello all! I hope everyone had a good weekend. I finally got around to downloading some of my pictures from my trip to Gettysburg last month. This was my third trip to that fantastic little town but I think it's a site I will never get tired of visiting. There is always a new place to visit and something new to discover. I may have mentioned before but I do a lot of volunteer work at my local historical society. I'm also one of the intern coordinators for our student intern program. The interns help with research, cataloging, and when funds allow, we go on field trips to other museums and historic sites. Three of our seven student interns will be graduating from high school this spring so we wanted to our last big trip to be something special. Washington D.C. was just a bit too far and too expensive so we chose Gettysburg instead! Only four students were able to make the trip but we had a great time. 

This is the monument near the railroad cut (just to the right in the picture) where fighting on the first day of battle took place. I forget now which regiment that monument is dedicated to.

The interns and myself sitting inside the stump of one of the witness trees near Reynold's Woods where John Reynolds was killed on July 1, 1863. This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

Monument to the Vermont Sharpshooters.

Below is one of my favorite monuments, and not just because its for Vermont. It depicts Brig. Gen. William Wells and marks the area of the South Cavalry Field where the 1st Vermont attacked the Confederate right on July 3, 1863.

The bronze relief on the 1st Vt. Cav. monument has been stolen couple times. There is so much detail and movement in this relief.

It was so cold and windy on Little Round Top that we only stayed a short time. I didn't take many pictures there. We didn't make it to Devil's Den either but that's ok as I've been there before.

This next picture may not seem very exciting but it's a location that has special meaning to me. This is the area where the 16th Vermont engaged Perry's Brigade during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863. My great, great, great uncle fought with Co. H. of the 16th Vermont. He was one of the lucky. He survived the war and returned home. We have pictures of him later in life taking part in soldier's reunions and memorial day services in our home town. He was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) the veterans organization for Union veterans. We also have his GAR cane. He received an honorable discharge and to my knowledge was never wounded in battle.

Do any of you believe in ghosts? Ok, most likely those orbs are from the sun but hey, you never know. :)

Day two of our trip was to Antietam Battlefield. It should have only been a 45 minute drive from Gettysburg but after we missed our exit it turned out to be closer to an hour and 45 minutes! Ooops! We ended up traveling a winding, and very scenic, back road. Turns out this was the route the Confederates took on their forced march from Harpers Ferry to Sharpsburg. Along the way we saw the remains of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Antietam iron furnace.

We needed to get out and stretch our legs so we walked the loop around the cornfield were some of the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War took place. The area to the left in the picture is part of the East Woods. All those little white things you see are new trees protected by plastic tubes. I was very impressed at by the amount of work and dedication being done at both Gettysburg and Antietam to restore the battlefields to what they wold have looked like in the 1860s.

Even on a bright sunny spring day the Sunken Road, or Bloody Lane, was a bit eery.

Does this photo look familiar? It looks peaceful now but this is what it looked like shortly after the battle.

We ended our tour of Antietam with a visit to Burnside's Bridge.

I made a side trip to the Needle and Thread while I was in Gettysburg. I splurged purchased one of their crinoline cage kits. I've wanted one for a while now and have heard nothing but good things about them. I also couldn't resist leaving the store without some mustard yellow wool for a new 18th century gown. :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blog Awards and Give Away Thank Yous!

I'm feeling a bit behind on my blogging! I finally finished my projects for the Sew for Victory challenge, which ended on Sunday. I had put those projects on hold for a bit so I could work on the gown for my trip to Gettysburg. Now sure how exactly, but I managed to get it finished. Minus the buttons and trim of course. I used straight pins to close the bodice. Let's just say it was a good thing I had an 8 hour car ride to work on it! So, yeah that's two blog post. Well three actually because I'd like to post about the trip itself. I'm dreadfully slow at uploading pictures from my camera which is the main reason most posts get delayed. Sigh....

Anyway, today I have some overdue thanks. The Choll at Thread-Headed Snippet and Cait at Curse Words and Crinolines have both nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. That you ladies!

To accept the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, one must:
- Display the award and link back to the person who nominated you.
- State 7 facts about yourself.
- Nominate 15 bloggers for the award.
- Notify the winners.

1. I'm getting married next year! I've started looking for a dress (just online for right now, going to try and visit some shops soon) but so far nothing strikes my fancy. I'm beginning the dress debate - to make or not to make?
2. I'm starting a collection of vintage and antique tea cups and saucers to use as wedding favors. :)
3. I'm working on creating my very own shop on Etsy! More on that later. :)
4. The last time I had really short hair I was 6.
5. My least favorite color growing up was pink.
6. I'm a descendant of a Union soldier from the Civil War. I could technically claim to be a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) as well but I've never bothered to go through the hassle of applying for DAR membership.
7. The last time Cori and I were in Virginia we visited the Maritime Museum. The docent gave us an awesome tour of the Monitor exhibit, pointing out a number of cool things and telling us a few stories regular visitors don't usually get to hear. The ironic part of it all? She is a direct descendant of the captain of the CSS Virginia and I'm a (not quiet direct) descendant of Admiral Stringham, Commander of the Union blockade at Hampton Roads. A few good natured jokes were exchanged. :)

And now the 15 blogs, in no particular order, that I would like to nominate for the "Very Inspiring Blogger Award."
1. Tickety Boo Tupney
2. The Costumers Closet
3. Jessica of Chronically Vintage
4. Mary Nease of Young Broke and Fabulous
5. Marianne of Esme and the laneway
6. Sew 18th Century
7. Sarah Jane of Romantic History
8. Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones
9. My Vintage Vogue
10. Anna Depew at A Few Threads Loose
11. Shona at In the Hey Day
12. Charlotte at Tuppence Ha'penny
13. Solanah at Vixen Vintage
14. Hallie at At the Sign of the Golden Scissors
15. Ginger at Scene in the Past

I would like to thank Ashely and Rebbecca from The Fashionable Frolick for awarding me the "One Lovely Blog Award."

The criteria for accepting the "One Lovely Blog Award" is:
     - thank the person who nominated you;
     - add the "One Lovely Blog Award" image to your post;
     - share seven things about yourself;
     - pass the award on to seven nominees;
     - include this set of rules; and
     - inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

And now the 7 blogs, again in no particular order, that I would like to nominate for the "One Lovely Blog Award."
1. 1940s Style for You
2. Jessica at Chronically Vintage
3. Porcelina at Pocelina's World
4. A Girl in Winter
5. Cait at Curse Words and Crinolines
6. Nessa at Nessa's Place
7. L. R. Stern at Plaid Petticoats

Last but not least. Much belated thanks to the following people for their Sew Grateful Giveaways.
Porcelina at Pocelina's World for the eyebrow palette and red nail polish. Chris at Cuada Design for her PDF clutch pattern. And finally, Laura at Chiral Craft for the sewing booklets. I never win giveaways so you can imagine how excited I was to win three!
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