Thursday, May 24, 2012


Today was Harvard Commencement. I am thoroughly graduated. This is just not as exciting as kittens...
For anyone super curious, I concentrated in Molecular and Cellular Biology (with a secondary in Archaeology). Now I'm on to the next thing - a PhD program in microbiology at Tufts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meet Thor and Loki

I haven't been posting. I haven't been doing important things. What have I been doing? Playing with my new kittens! Meet Thor and Loki (and thank Adrian for getting them).
They do a lot of sleeping
And some rolling around
But then some more sleeping
This is Thor, who has the bluest eyes ever
This is Loki, who is the most purr-suasive speaker I know
They are so tiny!
Just for the record, the names are not just based on their coloration. Thor's hobbies include climbing tall things, going on crazy adventures, falling off of tall things, and posing majestically. Also picking fights.
Loki is the smart one. Although he doesn't like loud noises or flushing toilets. I think he's not overly fond of lightening, either... hah!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More Stockings

I think I have been selling myself short. For years I've relied upon plain tall white stockings for historical events, occasionally switching to black or perhaps even simple striped stockings. No longer. I think I need a wardrobe of really eccentric stockings for doing historical events. Starting with this first and most ridiculous one...
OH MY! These socks are so wild. I wish I could find real information about them, but they claim to be from 1900. I wonder if they were part of a fancy dress outfit, or just a fabulous secret under some woman's skirt. I have never understood toe socks and think they are awfully silly, but I would totally wear normal socks with a sequined appliqued snake wrapped around my legs! Yes, I really would.
1810. Fabulous yellow color, insane Easter pastels for monster clocking. I haven't the patience for this, but they would be awfully cool with a nice regency dress.
1830, sweet and simple, but still quite interesting.
1846. It is a bit hard to see, but these have interesting lace stuff going on at the bottom. Just a little something extra!
1860, I like the pink!
1865, fabulous blue with yellow or gold.
1870-80, extra fabulous red! With sparkly gold!
1880-89, the two tone blue is interesting, with little designs even more so.
1885-89, with bird embroidery!
1890-1910, I am not sure I even really get the two-tone-ness of these, except as a devotee of red dance boots I do understand the need for a flash of red under one's skirts.
1900-1915, plain little polka dots, something you might actually find in a store.
1900, cherub lace inserts look really cool!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Vintage Edwardian Stockings"

I wonder about pinterest sometimes. It seems super cool, certainly, but then I find something wonderful (on this pinterest board) and cannot discover anything more about it. For example, I am in love with these stockings. I wish I could see a picture of the rest of them, I wish I knew who owned them or why they are sure they are Edwardian, and I also wish I owned them. I don't do much embroidery, and I even so I'm not sure I could afford to do this much embroidery that won't likely be seen. But oh, they are lovely. And here are some printed examples of fascinating stockings to go with them. Wonderful.
"Vintage Edwardian Stockings"
"French Printed Cotton Stockings, 1870"
"French Printed Cotton Stockings, 1873"
"French Silk Stockings, 1865"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Posing on Window Sills - Nadejda Mikhailovna and Me!

I love this picture of Nadejda Mikhailovna de Torby. Why? First of all, because she has a lovely dress, which kind of reminds me of a less-ruffly version of my new tea dress. I might need a plainer one, perhaps with a darling dangling sash like hers! Second, that hair bow ROCKS MY WORLD and I intend to make a giant one soon, now. When I was a little girl I frequently wore giant hair bows for events (even though they hurt my hair! I was not yet making the wardrobe decisions...), but I never thought of them as a fabulous look for older girls. That said, I think she doesn't look any younger than I am currently. Third? This is a girl who knows how to pose in windows! Obviously this is one of my favorite pastimes (second, perhaps, to posing in trees!). Clearly we are time traveling sisters.
OH WAIT. You say she had a sister? Obviously Julia's going to need a Countess Anastasia dress. With a cute headband! Yes. I think so.
This is us, for comparison.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Busam is Yawning for Jools!

I was just reading a fun article (for a somewhat less fun assignment) called "Embodying imperial spectacle: dressing Lady Curzon, Vicereine of India 1899-1905." Although most of the article has fabulous and interesting details about her clothing, there is a small section that discusses jewelry. Here is the important chunk:

Among the jewellery that Mary brought with her to India were her tiara, strings of
pearls, and a large sapphire necklace that was in fact a piece of costume jewellery,
with stones painted on the back to give the appearance of a sapphire. Mary wrote to
her mother in 1900, indicating she needed ‘a brooch or some stomach adornment’,
telling her ‘my “busam” is yawning for “jools” – paste not scorned!!’

Isn't that the most wonderful thing? I have claimed it for my new catch phrase - my bosom is yawning for jewels! Every time I get a sparkly brooch or necklace, that is what I think. And indeed, I've been just as inspired as Lady Curzon for some brooches or stomach adornments - which I'm calling corsage ornaments. I saw that one at the MFA, and Olga Paley's, and now here are some more! I am especially drawn to and impressed by the really large or long drippy ones, but they are all quite pretty. I'm often surprised by the dates on these - they are something I would associate with the late 19th century, with the South African diamond mines and the silver rushes and all. But that doesn't mean I haven't found several 18th or mid-19th century whoppers!
1900 Vever Cherry Blossoms (29 cm long)
1850 Diamond Spray (V&A)
1900-10 Tiffany (14 cm long)

1905 Chaumet
1906 Cartier (29 cm long)
1915 Tiffany (9.5 cm)
1920 Tiffany
1923 (Met)
1925 French
19th century - what a monster of a bird brooch! He is nesting in your cleavage!
Or maybe I spoke too soon... this one is pretty impressive too.
19th century Garrard
2nd half of the 19th century
A bodice ornament action shot!
1760 France, with unusual use of colors
1850 France
1800 France
Early 18th century, Germany
1860 Spray
Tiffany Rosebud
Another action shot, for a very long bodice ornament. That looks like Queen Maud to me.
A Romanov Russian imperial eagle brooch - this one is totally for Julia.
1850s Spanish Opals
1880-1900 Tiffany (Met)
1889, and I think the birds are just hilariously cute
1890-1910 American, I particularly like these swags!
1890, bodice ornaments as two articulated foli
18th century Italian
1680-1700 Dutch (V&A)
1760 (V&A)
1770 Portuguese
1790 Portuguese, in a later brooch fitting