Friday, November 30, 2012

I've done something!

It isn't much, just a small sort of crate of tea but it is something.   It feels good to be working on a mini-project again.
I have started on the 3 washstands (one is shown here) which I planned to do this past summer but lacked some popsicle sticks.   Just this very morning I began gluing a bit on each so they are finally going to be done maybe by the end of this coming weekend.

These washstands are being made to a pattern from Christiane Berridge's Victorian Dolls House book and will be very utilitarian, probably even in servants quarters.

The first picture is with no flash, long exposure, the second is with flash.  I think I like the one with flash better but the other one has more "romance".

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Life, Mississippi & Emily Sinkler

SO, one might think I have been busy doing other crafts and to that I can say yes and no.
          Between work, taking care of a parent with dementia & a marital crisis I have been busy working on real life since summer. 
          Ariel is stuffed with items I have been dropping off in there, all mini-related, and it looks almost as abandoned and neglected as an antebellum southern mansion.   I have just begin to clear up some and hopefully something will happen over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

         And speaking of antebellum southern mansions; lately, while rearranging books (a massive effort since I have many hundreds) I got back into my huge fascination with antebellum mansions.   When I was a teenager this book simply engrossed me (and it still does):

I found it at the public library back in the 1970's and later in the 1980's got a copy of my own.  This picture from looks just like my copy, dust cover repair and all.
           Ghosts Along the Mississippi is sitting on the dining table this very morning as I am reading in in Marc Mantrana's book Lost Plantations and referencing back to Ghosts occasionally.  
          The picture on the cover of Lost Plantations shows a curved pair of stairs going up to the front doors of a home (I forget the name of that one) long gone but which were covered in marble in their day.   I have been thinking of something like that for the front of Ariel but I can't see how to build it just yet.
           I just recently read about Goat Castle which is the most interesting story.  This link will tell it all with a small photo or two.
           I so very much want to go to the Spring Pilgrimmage in Natchez, Mississippi and also to drive down the River Road and stay at some of the antebellum mansions which are B & B's now, it is my dream nursed since my teenage years.
           Hubby actually  found the most gorgeous steamboat which is called the American Queen and has cruises up and down the Mississippi.   It was decommissioned in 2009 and has just been put back into glorious service and we very much want to take a cruise - but they are not cheap.  Just look at this - if you are a Victorian Era lover this will delight you.  This is their dining room, the grand staircase and one of the staterooms.

          Actually, my hubby found out about this and I just sooooo want to take a cruise on this boat!   Imagine creating such a beauty in miniature!
          Also, on my recent birthday we finally entered the 21st century and bought a wide-screen TV, High Definition.   I had no idea how gorgeous and detailed it would be!  I am having to re-watch just about all my DVD's because of the detail I can now see.
         Downtown Abbey just about blew me away in HD widescreen.   I am currently going through Manor House and the Wedgewood china, the silver, the lace on the dresses of Mrs. Oliff-Cooper and even the dirt of downstairs, it all can now be seen and I am quite thrilled.
         My current breakfast-book (besides the 2 mentioned above) is a re-reading of this book.  I recommend it highly if you are into such things.  There are such details of life back then.   For example, Emily Sinkler lived on a plantation in a place now submerged under a massive lake created in the 1930's.   She married and moved there from Philadelphia in 1842 or so and to get from Charleston to her plantation home she mentions taking a train to a point where it ends and they have to then go by carriage and boat.  The train went 25 miles only and took about 2 hours to do so - talk about SLOW!   To get from Charleston to her home was an entire days trip.   She yearly went back home to Philly which was no small journey then.  
There is even a second book published with her receipts (recipes) which is delightful too.
For large dinners she always served 3 desserts which isn't a bad idea - I'm sort of aiming for this day after tomorrow.   It may end up only being 2 though, I don't have help in the kitchen besides hubby and he is roasting the turkey.  
           I'm also getting out some of my own silver collection and even though there will only be 3 at the table (alas) it will hopefully look worthy of a Victorian Era board.             
           Thank-You John E. of Merriman Park for inquiring about me, it was just the little nudge I needed.   I am awfully glad to be able to see others mini-worlds.