Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Victorian Ball at Twiggs Surrender in San Antonio

Saturday February 12, 2011 will be the 150th anniversary of General David Twiggs surrender of Federal forces to the Texans just prior to the Civil War.  It happened near the Alamo which was the headquarters of the Department of Texas.  This is a wonderful event which takes place on the Alamo grounds and draw very large crowds of people from everywhere in the world.

Later that day, a ball will be held in the Saint Anthony hotel.  The ball is coordinated by Becky Noone.  Reservations are required and can be made at 281-528-9788.  This is one of the highlight events of the season.
---Ann Dixon

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Victorian Beadwork Display in Odessa, TX

The Ellen Noel Art Museum in Odessa, TX is featuring another Victorian art display.  The display runs from Nov. 16 through Jan. 16.  It is another of the fabulous exhibits assisted by Stephen Porterfield, an internationally known collector of vintage clothing and Victorian Era specialist.

"The Ellen Noël Art Museum announces an exhibition featuring over 50 objects from the 19th Century Victorian Beadwork collection of Sandra Bassett of Dallas, Texas. For over 20 years, Ms. Bassett has amassed a collection of fine English beaded items, including tea stands, fire screens, purses, benches, pictures, trays, and other items created during the Victorian Era. "
Visit the musuems website at
http://www.noelartmuseum.org/Exhibits/Britishbeadwork.html for more information.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Submitted by Cathy Roach

Friday, November 19, 2010

Extending your dress budget

Living historians create their dresses as authentic as possible but after a while the dress seems to become rather blah from wear.  I wonder if women from that time had the same issues especially given their limited clothing supply.  What would they do to revive an old style or change the look?  Just like ladies today they added accessories.  One accessory that was popular was the pelerine or a woman's short narrow cape with long pointed ends that met at the front.  It could be worn for extra warmth on a cool evening or embellished to add decoration to a gown.  From my research, most pelerines of high fashion were worn from 1830-1850's.  In the 1860s and 1870s, some women continued to wear capes and pelerines but these seem to be mostly older women who, just like women of today, had developed a style they liked and they were sticking to it.
I did not think that the pelerine went much past the 1860's until I saw this original black velvet pelerine from the 1890s.  The dating comes from the lace with which it is decorated indicating the 1890's.  This was a piece from the Brooklyn Museum of Art. 

So if you need to update your dress, consider adding a cape, fishu or shawl.
Other versions of perelines and fishus for changing the look of a dress. 

Victorian Craft Sites

Two new Victorian craft and embroidery sites have been added to the Living History Links.

According to the site's intro this site is  "Where today's Victorian minded embroiderers and crafters meet!
If you love the Victorian age and all the beautiful embroidery and crafts produced during that era, this is the site for YOU! Here you will find how to produce beautiful household items just like they did in Victorian times.

The second site is a ribbon and silk supply with some free Victorian projects.  http://ribbonsmyth.com/
Check our these sites  for some great ideas.
---Ann Dixon

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Mexico History Museum

The New Mexico History Museum is a brand new museum in Santa Fe near the Governor's Palace. I had the opportunity to see the fashion display that are featured in these videos.

The garments were lovely and spanned from early settlers to the 1950.

The museum website is http://media.museumofnewmexico.org/index.php  It's media page http://nmhistorymuseum.org/podcasts.php has a podcast on the Women of the Camino Real which is very interesting.

New Mexico Civil War Ladies League

Pour a cup of tea and take a minute to visit the website of the New Mexico Civil War Ladies League. http://pages.swcp.com/~nmtrooper/LadyLeague/
For me, it is like a visit with friends. A treasure found at this website is their page of Victorian Etiquette for both ladies and gentlemen.