Friday, September 28, 2018

A try to start my blog afresh.

I have been busy but there was to much depressing stuff to go around to write anything.  But, I'll give it a go again.

I started a new project at the Patterson House at Ardenwood Historical Park in Fremont, CA.  I took on the Costume Closet.  No one has paid atte
ntion to it for about 15 years and it was really in bad shape.  First of all furniture had even been pushed into this small room, so once the furniture was out and a person could actually walk in was quite a change.  Once in, there were soooo many clothes hanging and on the shelves there was no way to find a particular outfit without several coming out at the same time.

So far, all the costumes have been wash and pressed whether they needed or not.  Some of the clothes were given away because they were not appropriate for costumes of our time period, 1850-1915.  Since the Master bedroom dressing room is not on tours, a clothes rack was put in there.  Almost all the costumes were put in there and then moved back to the costume closet as they were mended as needed and sized.  

Size rings were put on the clothes rod in the closet so people can easily find something their size.  Also, the rods were divided up for aprons, blouses, petticoats, skirts, dresses, shawls, etc.  

Hats were another problem area.  A photo was taken of each hat and it was pasted onto the outside of its hat box.  
The guy's costume closet/dressing area was even worse that the gal's.  They had about 2' of hanging space and they to could hardly get anything off the rod without 2 other thing coming off too.  That dressing room was and actually still is storing a lot of stuff that needs to be archived.  The 3' side of the closet were shelves with all kinds of stuff. 

The shelves were removed and now the guys have the whole closet, room for their costumes and their hats and suspenders, etc.

The rest of the dressing room still has a bunch of boxes in need of archiving.  
Then there is the old hall closet.  This is a small closet but tall with shelves and no hanging rods.

There were lots of maps, posters, architectural drawings, big flat things and lots of big rolled documents basically on the floor.  

This picture is looking down at the floor.

So after straightening this closet, it looks like:

I even had some space on the shelves to put some textiles that need to be archived.  They are the ones with tissue paper on them.  Now to archive it all.

The large boxes at the top have texiles in them, including several wedding dresses.  Once we get to go through them we are hoping they will be in good enough condition to exhibit.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The "Bee Dress"!

This is what started it all.  Then sent me an ad with their "Bee" fabric.  Of course,  since we have a bee family in the back yard I had to get it.  Then I thought, Yah, I will make the pink plaid bustle dress out of the bee fabric!

1875-1878 Pink Plaid Bustle Day Dress

I started with drafting the skirt.  I used the TV

I had decided to use my fluffy bustle petticoat under this skirt.

Then I cut out the skirt lining.....if it didn't come out right, it could be fixed without showing.

Then came the skirt and adding the ruffle on the bottom.

The draped apron was a bit more tricky to get the drape just right.  Here it is in the drafting stage.

Then, like always, I forgot to take pictures...but here is me in the middle of creativity all around, working on the bodice.

 And here is what I ended up with:

Since I will be wearing it for the first time at Sheep Shearing on March 17th, I had to add some glitz and green for St. Patrick!

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Start of Ardenwood's 2018 Season!

Today I spent dusting the Victorian mansion "the Patterson House" in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fremont to be exact, in the middle of a Victorian Farm at "Ardenwood Historic Park, Fremont, CA.

We will be opening one day, Sheep Shearing Day, March 17th which is before the actual season starts.  It was so warm this time last year that the sheep were stressed to have to wait until April 1, out opening day.  So, they moved the haircut day up a couple of weeks.  The sheep are ready! so we had to have the house ready too.

We are going to have more "exhibits' this year with the basic idea of making the house more "Lived In".  In this vain, I took the silk dress I had started back in October but forgot about when I when to visit my sister.  The skirt is a burgundy velvet 1989 draped skirt.  It has an overskirt of my burgundy/gold plaid.  The skirt and overskirt are finished and I put the on the Victorian dress form in the sewing room at Ardenwood.  The bodice outside layer is cut and sewed together.  It is on the dress form also, pinned front edges together.  The sleeves though are not cut out, but are pinned to the plaid silk to show that step of putting the bodice together.  The lining is partially together and is on the treadle sewing machine like it will be sewn.  As weeks go by, I plan to have the dress slowly become finished.  I will try to remember to take pictures.

There was a little talk about our possible September tea theme...Clara Patterson did tons of traveling around the world so we may do something with that in mind. Possibly with a fashion show in mind.

I will be wearing my latest project "The Bee Bustle Dress" for Sheep Shearing Day.  It has a bit of a train on it and is a little dangerous to give tours in.....modern people to not know how to walk behind a dress with a train.  Sheep Shearing Day will be a flow through so I will be able to stay in one room.  I think I am assigned to the Guest Bedroom.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ben's Tux

Ben has decided he would like a tux with tails and a top hat.  He wants to go to Grandma's as a gentleman.  Wow!  Wouldn't that be nice if ALL men and boys want to act as gentlemen!

So, I started this project yesterday and decided I would post pictures for him to see the progress.

First the sewing table was all cleaned off.  Patterns were pulled out.  These patterns are from Reconstructing History.

These are the fabrics I will be using.  Casa dull satin poly, poly lining, and a new patterned fabric with a Japanese touch for a vest, all from Joann's fabric.

 All ready to trace and cut out the pattern pieces.  And look!  Another use for the weights!!!  They work perfectly!

Next I found an old sheet for a mock-up.

Ben knows pretty much what he wants.  The tails need to be in this shape, but without all the buttons and cuffs.
We have no idea where Ben came up with idea.  Maybe from Beauty and the Beast.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

This year after the drought.

We spent the summer defeating the weeds, an all out war!  

I quickly took these pictures to remember all the work we did.  We put down cardboard, weed barrier and tan bark.  So, take THAT, weeds!

Of course because we have two pet chickens and so I have to have fences around the flower beds so they don't kick out all the mulch into the paths and chew on the plants.  Our darn chickens don't like snails so they are no help on that score.

Look what they did with the tan bark, any how.  pulled it out through the fence holes...

Waiting for my persimmons to ripen!

More and hopefully 
better pictures later!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A break from the real world - Pacific Grove

A couple of wonderful, beautiful days in Pacific Grove earlier this week.

This painting started out as a value study in sepia tones.  Yesterday I added the color.

This painting was done at Point Lobos, south of Carmel.  Another gorgeous day!  The sunlight was flowing down the cliff and hitting the rocks below.  By the time I finished the details the water had risen and the cliff looked entirely different, no sunlit spots.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Jan 21, 2017 - Women's March

Friends and I got big and brave.  We all feel the need to stand up now and voice our views.  None of us has done anything like this and we did have to overcome some fear.  But, we did it.  We went to the Women's March in San Francisco.

The Bart was crowded and our train had to wait at places for trains ahead to make space.  There were so many people that it took them longer to get out of the trains and to be able to move on the platforms.

We stopped for a snack before going up to the street.  We had gotten off at Powell which is as far as the trains were going because of the crowds at the other stations.  After snack we went up to the street level and the March was just passing.

We joined the March as it was not scary at all.  Everyone had each other's back, and no rabble rousers.  The parade filled all of Market street and the wide sidewalks too.  At each of the intersections we did a special little cheer.  Everyone was is such a great mood.  It was raining but no one cared.  It was about 56 degrees so not cold.  We had dressed for cold and wet.  The city was absolutely beautiful!

It took us about an hour and a half to walk down to the ferry building which had been in the middle of our view as we walked.  When we got to Justin Herman Plaza we started back on the sidewalk.  There was just enough room to walk the opposite direction of the March.  Instead of going down to the first several BART stations we decided to walk all the way back to Powell.  We were enjoying the full street of marchers.  Hundreds and hundreds....  We got back to Powell and we still couldn't see the end of the March.

We had taken this very seriously but we had found it so much fun too with all our supporters!

Hopefully we won't have to do this again, BUT we will if we find it necessary.

100,000 marched in San Francisco!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

I Promise.

"I listened as they called our President a Muslim.

I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.

I listened as they said he wasn't born here.

I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could

I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.

I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.

I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog.

I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.

I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.

I watched as they did just that.

I listened.

I watched.

I paid attention.

Now, I'm being called on to be tolerant.

To move forward.

To denounce protesters.

To "Get over it."

To accept this...
I will not.

I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be.

I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get.

I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country.

I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice.

I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them.

Them. The people who voted for him.

The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win.

I will do this so that they never forget.

And they will hear me.

They will see it in my eyes when I look at them.

They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them.

They will know that I know who they are.

They will know that I know what they are.

Do not call for my tolerance. I've tolerated all I can.

Now it's their turn to tolerate ridicule.

Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day forward is now Trump's fault, just as much as they thought it was President Obama's.

I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to 

Author unknown. (Copy and Paste Everywhere)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Post Christmas

After getting a terrific head cold right after Christmas I am now getting back my energy slowly but surely.  Just about everyone I know had this bug before me and I wasn't surprised when I got it.  At least it wasn't the flu, I've had the shot.  This only lasted about a week but was a real duzzy.

Today the weatherman has said it will rain all day and heavy this afternoon.  We will see.  The SF Bay Area has so many micro environment that the general weather predictions do not follow in may areas (especially ours).

I hope to get over to Ardenwood to un-decorate the sewing/sun room that my daughter and I decorated for Christmas.  So far the rain hasn't started so if I get over there quick enough I might miss it!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A sneak peek fromthe Patterson House Foundation Preview Open House

Tonight was the Patterson House Foundation Preview Open House!  We were all excited to find out how all the rooms were decorated!  We knew it would all be beautiful!  The pictures really do not do it justice.  The flash made it look to hard, but with that in mind . . . . 

The Foyer:

The Guest Parlor:

From staircase looking down

Guest Bedroom:

 The Victorian Air Conditioner! above the stairs.
Master Bedroom:

Henry's Room:

1915 Bathroom:


Nanny's Room


Butler's Pantry

Dining Room

Smoking Room

Sun Room/ Sewing Room:


Original Stairs:


Family Parlor:

Now wasn't that fun!