Friday, October 19, 2007

So Many Posts....So Little Time

A FRIDAY POST!! I don't know that I've ever had a Friday post, but there is so much to tell you that I just have to get a few extra in for you. This one is about my PRH Secret Sister!

Look what she sent me.....for no reason. It's not my birthday nor an anniversary. I've not been ill or lost a loved one recently. This is just for me, because she thinks I'm special. How Gracious!!

The box was very big but didn't weigh much and I was puzzled when it arrived. What I had forgotten that I ordered? (I do this often lately) Inside the box, among the packing peanuts, was another box. Inside that box was the most beautiful shade of pink tissue. Inside the tissue was a bag with bubble wrap in it and inside the bubble wrap was this little shoe. I love its worn leather look, the beautiful bronze bow and the dried floral arrangement. I ponder for a moment about the child that struggled to take his first steps wearing this little shoe.


Now, I don't know if my secret sister painted this beautiful hankie or if she purchased it like this but it will be a forever cherished treasure. The painted detail is just incredible. Even the gold edging is painted. I don't think I'm going to blow my nose on this cutie!

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful secret sister! Thank you, my dear, dear friend, whoever you are!

Another PRH friend, Dolly, has so graciously given me the "You Make Me Smile" Award. This is a real honor from Dolly as she is the one that makes me (and everyone that knows her) smile.

Her blog is always a ray of sunshine and a delightful escape from any negativity. She also takes the best photos! Dolly has a very unique way of viewing the everyday, ordinary things that most of us take for granted and making them special with her photographs and her thoughts. Thank you Dolly for considering me your freind!

I think I'm supposed to pass this along. So if you've already been awarded, consider yourself twice blessed. Stephanie, Sharon, Connie, Vickie, Ele and Rhea .

More about my talented, fabulous PRH Sisters in the next post!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Victorian Dining

More from my favorite era... Victorian Dining

Dressing for the Occasion
Imitating the wealth and adopting the social patterns of the English were fashionable among the comfortably off middle class in the closing years of the 19th century. Formal dress was expected for any occasion after 6 p.m. Ladies wore low-necked, short sleeved gowns (and gloves - until they were seated at the table). At larger dinners, matrons appeared in satin, silk or velvet with spangles or embroidered laces. Young ladies chose daintier sheer muslins or chiffon. Etiquette books advised gentlemen to wear dark broadcloth and "fine linen."

Dinner Escorts
As soon as he arrived, the male guest was told by his hostess, or by a card on the hall table, whom he would escort into the dining room. After stilted preliminary conversation, the host led his guests into the dining room with his companion "on his left arm." According to custom, the honor of first seating went to the oldest or most distinguished lady, a stranger in the community, a recent bride, or the wife of the most prominent guest in the house. The hostess entered the dining room last on the arm of her husband or her husband's partner.

The Lavish Dining Room
The Victorian dining room was a large and heavily decorated room. The Social Mirror, stated that it "should be furnished with a view to convenience, richness and comfort." It suggested walls of bronze, maroon, or black. Pompeian red or deep olive, with designs, dado and frieze in old gold, olive or moss-green, and wainscoting on the walls and ceiling. Pompeian red and soft olive were recommended for draperies. Dark woods should be used. A buffet may stand in a corner for the display of ceramics, or decorated china. The sideboard should be of high, massive style with shelves and racks for glassware and china. A cage of stuffed birds, a few large pots of tropical plants and a fernery are in keeping. A folding screen should not be forgotten. But it was the lavishly appointed table that riveted attention.

More about the food and table settings in the next post. Stay tuned......
For today's version of the oppulent linens and tableware used by our Victorian ancestors, visit Aunt May's Cottage.

Monday, October 8, 2007

This week's treasures!

While antiquing with my daughter last week, I stumbled upon a couple of things that I could not live without! This $40.00 find....

It still has the original horsehair stuffing in the seat! Not very comfortable, but lovely to look at. The fabric is in excellent shape for its age and is made of a very light peach colored wool with a wool crewel embroidery in cream. Even though it is in great shape, I think I will need to reupholster it to a color more my liking. I just love the shape of the back, don't you?

We also found this beauty at the same shop.....

I was unsure what it really was, but my friend, Rhea, says it is a candle holder or vase. That sounds good to, that's what it is. See how the glass bulges out around the metal bands? It must have been blown that way. It is very large, standing about three feet tall with the opening of the "vase" about 11 inches in diameter. It weighs about a ton and cost me ten bucks.

I was going to paint it white, but Rhea pointed out that the inside of the metal bands are black and would show through the glass. It was a real "duhhh" moment for me. I didn't even think of that! Looks like it will remain its present color and that will fit in my home perfectly anyway.

New listings on my web store today are....pew bows, satin pumpkins, goblet covers and a new catagory....EMBELLISHMENTS. I'll be adding to the new catagory every day this week. Go check it out at and see if you can find something you can't live without.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Medallions were used extensively in Victorian decorating as elements of elegance added to many items in the home. They hung on picture frames, tablecloths, draperies, chair covers, mantle scarves, pillows, slipcovers, etc. Placed adjacent to items of importance, they were the “bling” that drew the eye to that area on the Victorian table, piano, shelf, or curio cabinet.

Used also on clothing, the smaller medallions could be pinned on a blouse at the neckline, on the sleeve or on the waist or belt. They were used in formal attire to pull up an overskirt to show a lovely lace underskirt. You would also see them adorning hats and bonnets (both over and under the brim) or parasols that were so popular at the time. Look at an antique purse and you will probably find a medallion attached.

Some medallions were strictly floras, made by the women of the household by hand from ribbon or cloth. They often showcased beautiful hand beading with pearls, imported beads and jewels. Of course, modern times forbid the use of expensive jewels and real pearls, but we have the advantage of many faux imitations of the same beautiful embellishments.

Other medallions were made in the millinery shops by women and men trained in the art of making fine florals, hand made ribbon work, hand beading and lace work. This was a vocation usually taught in early childhood by a grandparent or older relative of the middle and lower classes.

Usually on a backing of stiff material, the Victorian Medallion would always be hand crafted. Women of the household would sit and do handwork on these beauties to add to their already exaggerated decorating. Many had a pin attachment but most were just sewn on to the item of choice with a heavy quilting thread, and then removed for cleaning or to put on a different element of décor. You would often find several matching medallions throughout a room on different items and in several sizes.

Because medallions are so versatile, you can use them anywhere! Think of how special a gift package would be with one in place of a bow. Imagine one lying next to a beautiful bar of hand made soap in the powder room or pinned on the side of a hand towel.

Wouldn’t dinner be extra special with one holding your table scarf up in one corner or on a ribbon tied around your napkin?

Aunt May’s Medallions are made using popular colors and embellishments. They are of heirloom quality meant to be passed down through generations as reminders of the owner’s beauty, grace and elegant good taste. Each medallion is carefully hand made and intended to be an item of art on its own. We still do hand beading and make ribbon roses just as the Victorian ladies did. A heavy backing with a Venice lace appliqué overlay is used for the base of all of our medallions. Each one has a 1 ½” pin on the back for easy attachment and removal.

All of Aunt May’s Medallions are on sale at half off this week only!!