Sunday, May 26, 2013

Greenfield Village

Greenfield Village had their annual Civil War Remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, so of course I had to go. Although it's a good two hours drive for us, it was so much fun and I'm glad we went. I had been there before when I was little (around eight or so), but I didn't remember any of it, so it was nice to go back.

The majority of this post is going to be pictures, just for your information. I apologize in advance if it kills your computer. :) I'll make them small, but you can click on then to enlarge them.

First we headed over towards the Town Hall to see the fashion show. We were a bit early, so we watched the soldiers drilling on the Village Green while the stage was set up. Then the fashion show started!

I enjoyed learning more about clothing for men and children. It's not really my area of expertise. After the show was finished, Mom and I walked over to a building in which a large collection of clothing was being nicely displayed.

I'm pretty sure the green outfit in the center is a wrapper, based on the ties down the front of the skirt. Anyone else know for sure? 
Edit: The green dress, though similar looking, is not a wrapper. It's from the 1840's-50's.

The blue winter bonnet on the table is my favorite of them all! Doesn't it look so cozy?
My favorite of the ball dresses.
They also had a few mourning dresses, which I love, but somehow I didn't get a picture of those. After that, we walked around the village and saw as many of the buildings as we could.

The 1832 Ackley Covered Bridge.
They had Model T's driving around the village. Mom and I came to the conclusion that someone should make modern reproductions of old cars like these. 
One of the flower boxes.
I believe these were some sort of mulberry trees Henry Ford planted in hopes of getting silk worms growing on them.
Aren't they neat looking?
Near the mulberry trees was the civilians' camp. There we had the pleasure of meeting Becky from The Victorian Needle as well as Ken G. from Passion for the Past and some of his family. It was nice to finally see them in person, after following their respective blogs for quite some time. (Go check them out!)

After talking to them both for a while, a visit to the train yard was in order!

I also found a convenient step to model my split-skirt. :) Firestone farm was next on the agenda.

I wish I could live there year-round. Without all the people though. :) Just me, my sheep and my chickens! There were two ladies in period dress making cookies inside, which smelled delicious!

The lovely organ in the parlor of the Firestone farm.
After seeing the working farms, we went back towards town and saw the rest of the buildings, like the Wright cycle shop and one of my favorite places, the millinery shop! The two ladies there were wearing two-piece outfits from the 1890's. (Big shouldered-sleeves) We talked reenacting and corsets for a while, which was fun.

Beautiful thimbles...
I had a very nice time and I can't wait to go again! I just wish it was a bit closer. One of these weekends I'll have to take the family to see one of the historical baseball games they have.

Have a safe Memorial day weekend!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gilmore Car Museum

First off, just a quick note. I got my shorts cut out. Now just to draw all the lines on them for the pleating... Also, my corset has about 3/4 of the boning casings on it.

---- ------- ----

This Tuesday, we took a half day in school and went to go visit the Gilmore Car museum. Our membership is going to run out in June, so we decided to go one more time. It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for walking around the grounds. I realized when I got home I took more pictures of flowers than I did cars. :)

Look at this wheel! Why don't we have pretty wheels like this anymore?
Can you tell I like wheels? :)

As our family, (at least the girls) are quite in love with the show Downton Abbey, we were walking around trying to figure out what kind of car people from the show might have driven.

I believe this one is a 1908 Packard.
I forget what year this car was. 1920's? It's my favorite.

Who doesn't want a car that's Super Charged?

I don't remember the year on this one either. '40's maybe?
 My favorite spot on the grounds is the Shell gas station, set up like a gas station from the 1930's. Everything in it is Shell-related.

'Our restrooms are certified for your health, cleanliness, safety.'

The pretty lilacs outside one of the buildings.

My favorite of the ads from old magazines. 
The cool thing was, since they are going to open a new exhibit on the Model-A, they had clothing from the 1920's on display as well, which of course, was my favorite part. :)

The dress on the left was divine. Some sort of patterned velvet.
Wedding dress of a lady I can't remember the name of. After her honeymoon, it was put in a box and forgotten about until recently, so it is in excellent shape.
A tulip that was on the grounds...that doesn't really look like a tulip.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Walker Tavern and Corset update

I was going to make this post and the flower-language one a single post, but it was too picture-heavy and the formatting couldn't take it, so I split it up. :) Read on for part 2!

Today I went to Walker Tavern. It's a bit of a drive, but it was a lovely day, so I didn't really mind. The weather was just perfect, just windy enough to keep the sun from being too hot without it being to chilly.

Just a reminder, you can click on the pictures to see them bigger.
The grounds

The Tavern itself!

Part of the civilian camp

Unfortunately, the Tavern was closed. I'm not sure why. Renovations maybe? Or perhaps, since it was built in the 1840's, it was simply too delicate to let large hordes of people come tramping through. I'll have to look up why. I would have liked to see inside.

---- ------- ----

On another note a busk and the boning for my corset came in the mail Saturday! Yippee! It was so much fun to open, all wrapped up in tissue paper and a red ribbon. It was almost like a present. :) I decided to go with spiral boning all the way around except for the two 1/2" bones in back nearest the grommets, which are plain steel. Now just to get some two-piece grommets... 

I can't wait to sew on my corset again. I haven't sewn anything lately because I've been on a stand-still with my corset and with my pleated shorts I'm at the cutting out stage. Cutting out involves laying the fabric on the floor and pinning all the pieces to it before you can even think of cutting it. The aforementioned floor is one half of a much-used bedroom, which certainly doesn't help. When I get my own house someday, I'm going to have a room set aside for sewing, and sewing only. :)

Also, thank you all kindly for the 1,000 page views! Wow! I feel very honored.

Lily of the Valley is for Happiness

This Thursday Mom and myself went up to Byron Center to a program in their library called Lily of the Valley is for Happiness. It was about the Victorian language of flowers and was quite fascinating! You can learn more about Wendy, the lady who gave the talk here.

Young Victorians, especially girls, studied entire books on the subject. They would carefully pick apart (maybe even literally!) bouquets from their friends and lovers to find the hidden meaning.

One of my favorite stories she told was of the Titantic. As it was customary for friends to send a bouquet of flowers on your departure, (most likely sweet peas, meaning departure) the ship became overloaded with flowers. They ran out of vases to put the flowers in, so they had to dump the excess overboard. I wish I could have seen that! Anyways, here are some common flowers and their meanings.

Most meanings were positive:
Baby's Breath - innocence, purity of heart

Dandelion - happiness

White lilac - youthful innocence
Phlox - proposal of love, sweet dreams

But some were bad:

Lavender - distrust

Geranium - stupidity

Marigold - cruelty, grief, jealousy

Tansy - I declare war against you!

I also thought it was interesting how different colors of the same flower changed the meaning. (See the example with roses below.)

Red rose - love

Generally, a red flower means love or passion, a white flower means innocence or purity, and yellow flowers are not usually good.

There was also meanings in how many flowers you received and how they were positioned, but I won't go into that.

pink rose - grace, beauty

Yellow rose - jealousy

Dried white rose - death preferable to loss of innocence

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." - Abraham Lincoln.