Monday, November 22, 2010

Misi's Display Chain #9

The display challenge this week was from a suggestion I made on Misi's blog at *~1890~* Gable House Musings. As a Living Historian I wear a lot of hats,...literally! I wear simple cotton day caps to vintage black wool knitted hoods to blue silk 1860 bonnets and all in-between. In everyday life I don't wear a hat at all. Oh, I've got one of those old slouchy toboggans that I throw on in the Winter when I bring wood inside or when I want to stroll in the yard and I have a straw sun hat that I wear while weeding the garden in the Summer, but for everyday I do not wear a hat.

Here is a picture of my last year's Christmas gift from my husband. It is a Civil War spoon bonnet covered in beautiful silk with silk ties for under the chin. It features cotton lace around the brim and on the bevolet in the back. I love it because my hubby thought of it, searched for it and bought it all by himself. I plan to make a silk gown later this Winter to go with my Best Bonnet.

The picture above is a small part of my hat/bonnet collection. I keep them on this quilt cabinet in my guest bedroom. It is picturesque to see all of the hats in different hues and different heights. Reminds me of all the personalities I have met through blogging and our picturetrail site. Some are more colorful than others, some are more quiet but they are all friends with their unique personalities.

The oldest bonnet in my collection. It is called a coif and comes from the late 1600's or the early 1700's. It is a beautiful linen bonnet with cut velvet designs and wonderful golden metallic embroidery around the brim of the bonnet. I love to wonder who wore this and when. I can see a young woman drawing water from the stream or another young bride preparing herself to meet her groom. Or perhaps it is a spinster sitting in the window with her flax wheel~ clippity-clop, clippity-clop. Whoever wore it was one lucky girl and now I am the lucky one to own such a treasure.

Old black bonnet of tafetta was made for me by my grandmother in the early 1970's. I loved old country things even then and asked her to make me a bonnet reminiscent of what she wore as a girl. This ruffled crown is what she presented. It is the style she wore in the field to pick feed corn, or into the large chicken houses on a cold Winter's day to collect eggs, it's what she wore to town i south Georgia on Saturday in the rickety old wagon and what she wore to church on Sunday morning when she praised the Lord. It is simple, quilted with the stitches of love of a granny for her granddaughter and I cherish it.

Pictured above is the most important hat to me. In 1997 I had a major double brain aneurysm to erupt above the brain plate in the center of my head. None of us thought I would see another week of life but God had the different plan. I underwent the surgery to clip the bleeders and received an incision on my scalp from the center of my forehead across the hairline to below the front of my right earlobe. It was ghastly and I was somewhat embarrassed but thankful to be alive after the ordeal. My husband bought me scores of hats and turbans to wear so that I could hide the ugly scar reminder until my hair grew back in.

Well, after 9 weeks of ICU in the Neurological section of the hospital I was able to go to church, a 'day' date with my husband after weeks of pleading with the doctor and hospital personnell. The church knew we were coming. I was so glad to be off that hospital bed and on the way to my Father's House. We arrived just as morning service started. I think the sun shone brighter, the trees were greener, smiles were warmer, life was good. When I walked into the sanctuary on my husband's arm, every woman and girl in the church was sitting there wearing hats! Every color and style you could imagine. I found out later that they didn't want me to be intimidated by wearing a hat to church since I never wore one and this is the hat I wore.

At the end of service the altar was rich with praise for my well-being and everyone came around me and brought money, fives, tens and twenties and began pinning the money to my hat and my dress. I began to cry at such an outpouring of love and compassion and I sat on the front pew of the church holding my face which was burning hot with the tears of joy. Suddenly, one by one, the women and girls came to me, bent down and tenderly hugged me an kissed me and expressed their love for me and presented their hats by laying them at my feet or beside me on the bench. Each had purchased new hats for me and wore them that day so that I could feel their special love for me.

I will never forget that covering of love that day and I feel it even today though I am no longer at that church and no longer wear a hat to cover my scar for I feel the covering of God's Spirit on my life,...His banner over me is love!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Misi's Display Challenge #8 'You Light Up My Life'

Misi's latest challenge was for us to show ways we display lighting in our homes, especially now that it is getting darker earlier.

We use a mixture of electric and natural lighting in each room. If we are more 'history heavy' we light up the candles and lamps. I have to admit it is funny to be watching television with candles burning though! I love the smell of beeswax candles lit on a cool Fall day and the burnt smell that exudes from Granny's old oil lamp.
This is an Oil lamp on the dining room table. Above it hangs an antique iron candelabra that we use often, always on birthdays. One day I lit it for no special occasion and my grandson said, "Nana, who's birthday is it?"

Battery powered candle around all the old wood. I love those candles that you dip in scented wax and then dust with clove or cinnamon. So easy but breathtaking,...literally!

Whalers lamp with electricity to keep the sheep happy. I love the star pattern on the wall from the piercings in the tin. I could stare at this for quite a while.

An old porch screen candle stand my husband made for the guest bedroom. Very primitive lighting that we use often for guests. They love the ambiance that old, rusty screening creates in the bedroom.

Electric oil lamp in guest bedroom. Another one of hubby's grandmother's lamps and I have it fitted with an electric 'burner'. It adds such a romantic glow to fresh linens.

Paul Revere Old North Church lantern in the hallway with an original glass plate photograph of a Confederate artilleryman. I have two of these lamps that were official 1975 Bicentennial fixtures and they are beautiful! The picture is someone's son, maybe a Georgia boy who gave his heart to the Confederacy he loved.

Our bedroom mantle! Ooh-la-la! This is the way it is displayed year round. I love the soft reflective glow of the candles in the mirror. The fireplace surround is carved oak and original to our home. The Staffordshire dogs in the center are original and, yes, I burn a ton of candles!

The tilt top table in the hallway corner is a perfect place for a candle display. It is out of the way and convenient if I want to pick up a candle and travel to another room that is unlit.

An old make-do in husband's office made from ancient Georgia heart pine. Simple but effective design that my husband came up with. It always amazes me at the amount of light that comes from just one simple candle.

My hands doing nimble fingerwork sewing by the light of the dining room Betty Lamp with oil and a braided cotton wick. I braid the wicks from cotton sheeting and place them into vegetable oil. Colonials sometimes used precious paper twisted into a tight coil and whale oil. It works very well and we use it at nearly every Living History event we attend. The folks just love seeing its simplicty and effectiveness. I am working on another quilt right now. It will be 100% cotton in vintage prints and every stitch will be done by my hands and with a great deal of love.

The most important light in our home is a battery powered candle that sits in the window over our bed. When my daughter left home in the mid-nineties for college, I lit a candle and place it in the window and told her there would always be a light waiting for her if she ever needed to 'turn her heart t'wards home'. It applies to our two sons, too, and remains lit even today. Through many moves to different states and townships in ministry the candle always finds a prominent place in a window in the front of our house as a reminder of our commitment to our children.

You know, Jesus is the Light of the world! I thank God for His Light that shines on the path before us. I have stumbled, I have fallen, I have walked as one in total darkness but with God in my heart I walk a straight path, I get knocked down but not knocked out and I walk with sight, using blind faith. He can be your Light, too.

Pamela and Frank

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Misi's Challenge

Well, it's Tuesday and time for Misi's *~1890~* Display Challenge #7. I thought I would just post pics of some of the things I am working on for this Christmas and something dear to me that I made for last Christmas.
Cinnamon Spice Balls. Wonderfully fragrant bowl fillers made of applesauce, cinnamon and cloves. Easy and great! I have the receipt posted at A Primitive Path site.

Poinsettia Ornament made of Dried Cayenne Peppers. Simply glue dried peppers onto a cardboard 'doughnut' and string it up with a cotton twine and hang on the tree.

Mr. H. made the base for the Noah and Co. Tree. I added an artificial tree to the wooden base and made the animals of plaster of paris poured into a candy mold. Tiny 'hay bales' are raffia tied off with cotton twine.

Close-up of my tree topper angel. She lives on a secretary in my bedroom throughout the year but I place her in a prominant place on the tree. She is completely handstitiched from vintage linens. Her wings are hand quilted cotton. The face is embroidered and penned with Black Walnut ink. She holds a bouquet of ceramic flowers and silk ribbons. Her hair is white Alpaca fur. She is such an angel to me and I call her Gloria.

Full shot of Gloria with her damask overskirt.
Handmade and prim Christmas is really what keeps us in touch with the simplicity of the season. A time to celebrate our Lord with simple things.
Thanks Misi for making me think again!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Civil Folks Living History Guild

What a fun way to spend an evening!
Our Living History Guild meets at our home and we prepare period meals on the wood stove, learn a bit about English Country Dance, sing and play instruments sometimes and just give updates about our lives, the simple things that we love and our experiences with Living History.
These pics show the cookhouse and fires being prepared for the cooking, wife dancing and chopping wood.
We dined on Swamp Stew (Vegetable Beef Soup) homemade cornbread (My wife is the BEST cornbread baker in the South!) and Fresh Sweet Potato Pudding. Everyone agreed that having a Guild is Good!
Blessings until next time,
Frank and Pamela

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Peek-A-Boo Display

Misi did it again, but this time she solicited help from Robyn at Primlish to present the Display Chain.

This week it is about peek-a-boo, or hiding your everyday life items behind something prim.

The picture I have chosen is my coffee pot. It hides underneath a vintage grain bag from Ohio. I left top and bottom open, slid over pot then tied off the top with a cotton cord. Works great except for the blue digital numbers on the machine. Solved that problem by turning machine sideways.

I use an old grain sifter as my cookie cooler board and hide extra rolls of toilet tissue in an old crockery churn. The 'in use' roll sits on the dasher handle. Telephone? Well, it hides in a big beautiful round bottom basket. The only other thing I hide sometimes is my hubby, he blends in with the old wrinkled leather sofa! :)