Ag. Fair 2014, pt2

My hands are pretty cold. So, these might be short descriptions…
This is mom’s soap. It is a lavender.

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This is mom’s butter. Plain. Hand-churned in one of the churns.

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This is Mom’s pickled beets.

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Um, I know this I mom’s. But, I’m not sure what other than sweet pickles.

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Mom’s corn bread. There were several entries.

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Here are Lily’s entries. I’m pretty sure I missed 2 photos.
This was a favorite. The cows really stand out in person. Nice!

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Here is Lily’s pocket, like mine.

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Lily’s apple and cranberry pie with crumb topping.

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Lily’s white bread.

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Here are two of her other photos. I need to get her out for the blooming spring colors.

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Published in: on October 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ag. Fair 2014, pt 1

“Brrrrrr…….”
That is me as I sit here bundled up, trying to warm up and sharing the entries from this year’s.
This as a light entry year for myself, and it appeared in general. One of my goals is to get someone new to enter each year. This year, my friend Sheryl entered some tasty goodies. She won a blue and a red ribbon. Yeah, Sheryl!
My first entry is an embroidered pocket. I realized Lily & I both need new pockets. Her’s needs to be bigger. I need to not ruin the one made for me. So, embroidered pockets. (Her’s is in the other post.) The needlework categories are all 21st century. I still stuck to pulling the design from an original.

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For the sewing non-corded garment category, I entered my sheer soft crown straw bonnet with the scallop edge. I would have actually given the blue ribbon to Melanie’s beautifully done, hand-sewn Regency dress.

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This photo didn’t come out well. This is a work pocket based on an original in the Winterthur Museum. When I first saw it, I thought it would be silk. But, it was a cotton print. The front center lifts up to show needle pages. The fullness is gauged onto covered pasteboard. (I’ll likely do a post just on this piece. Hopefully soon.)

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Remember how I said one goal of mine is to find new entrants? The other is to enter a new category. This was quite the new category for me – A wood project. I made a ribbon spool holder. This will help me display my faux ribbon rolls when doing demonstrations. The faux rolls look like full spools of ribbon, but are just a few inches. I had no idea how bad my arm was going to hurt after several hours of sanding by hand without a sanding block. I was so unsure of how it looked, I almost chickened out of entering it. I was floored to find out I got a ribbon. Granted, I was the only one who entered.

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Then there is the problem child…. shrub. Last place again. This was the shrub I made at the begining of the summer, a Cherry & Mint. It was very tasty & refreshing at the summer events. Ya, well….. I was able to taste the winning Black Raspberry Shrub. A-Mazing! It was so good. I could smell the vinegar but could not taste it. When I got home, I popped the cork off mine. Um, ugh, ack!!! The vinegar took over. It was knock you on the floor strong. I am so embarrassed I didn’t double check it. It was awful. Lesson learned.

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There was one more, last minute entry. I had not planned to enter my Worden Grape Jam. But, when I mentioned (okay, ecstatically exclaimed) I tried my hand at jam, Marie said to bring it in. There were so many jam/preserve entries, I didn’t expect to place. But, now I can say I entered.

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Published in: on October 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm  Comments (1)  
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Learning & Living History at The Genesee Country Village & Museum

Check out the Genesee Country Village & Museum’s new video showing how they help children learn about history.

(The link does go to the video on Facebook.)

GCV Educ promo video screen shot

Published in: on September 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This Year’s Fair Favorites

This year’s Agricultural Society Fair had several entries that fall into my “Favorites” category.

The tiniest entry was actually smaller than the display tag that went with it. Look at this little doll. She is adorable! I was hoping to meet the person who made this doll, but I missed her. I’m pretty sure she is made entirely leather, with a painted face. I’ve been thinking about making a nice little doll for Mea. This would be perfect.

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This is my tasty favorite of the event.

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Of course, I always enjoy the hooked rugs. This one is so very pleasing to look at.

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This piece of tineware is just nice. I would love to be able to request one for Dan.

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I can’t help but wonder what this piece of crewel work is going to be. It is so pretty and well balanced.

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Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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How Lily & I did

I’ll start with how Lily did at the Ag Fair.  Because… let’s be honest, this pig is just too cute:

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This pig, one of three photographs she entered in the adult categories, won a blue ribbon. She also entered a really nifty fungus photo and a black and white architecture photo. For some reason, I just couldn’t get a clear shot of this photo. My apologies for this shot:

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Lily also received a blue ribbon for her candied flowers. I can tell you they were tasty.

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On to me. I can say this was my worst Ag Fair. I knew leading up to the fair that I didn’t have the entries I wanted to enter finished. Okay, in some cases even started. I also knew I was going to try some categories I hadn’t entered before. Then, the week before came this stupid cough that turned into a nasty cough accompanied by muscle exhaustion and a fever by the time of the fair. So, here I am at the fair on Sunday as the humidity crept up and the temperature crept up, utterly over heating. This makes for a cranky me.

As far as those new entries go… I tried pickles. They turned out to be strong enough to knock one on their bottom with just one bite. So, these did not get entered. This was much to my husband’s delight, as he started taking them for lunch as soon as I said they weren’t going. (I suppose I could have taken a photo of the half eaten crock.)

I also tried my hand at shrub. To me, a shrub needs to do its job of keeping someone hydrated and have a strong fruit flavor. I don’t like super sweet drinks in the summer heat. The sweetness just turns my off. So, my shrub is a cherry & peach done with red wine vinegar and honey. A tablespoon to a glass of water works nicely for me. It did not win a ribbon though. I was able to taste the blue ribbon shrub. It was light and sweet, almost like candy. I think it would make a nice winter, holiday time drink with more of a 1:1 ratio of syrup to water. She used the recipe on the museum’s blog. (btw – Mom called Sunday night saying I forgot my shrub in her canned goods box and hoped I didn’t mind that they were drinking most of it.)

imageThe other category new to me was one of the non-clothing quilting projects. This piece is part of the memorial & commemorative project I’ll be coordinating over the next year or so. This memorial applique is taken from the center of a memorial quilt. Now that the fair is over, I’ll be adding the initials of family members in the open space. (I hadn’t thought about it until I was there on Sunday; but it is interesting that the first quilt project I enter is a memorial one while Grandma had been a quilter there.)

imageI entered a drawn bonnet in the “non-corded clothing” category. This is the “Peppermint” bonnet I was working on at the end of the summer. I guess the advantage of it winning a red ribbon instead of a blue is now I won’t feel bad about selling it. (btw – It is available on Etsy right now.)

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I entered Dan’s wallet in the sewing “Domestic article” category. You should see the very awesome tiny piece that won in this category. (It will be in my favorites post.)

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I wasn’t going to enter a needle-book this year. But, skipping the story, I entered one.

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Published in: on October 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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Mom, Swimming in Blue

With being under the weather and the weather being heavy, this was not my favorite Ag Fair. Though, I did realize I entered my first Ag Fair entry 30 years ago.
This year, Mom was swimming in blue. She did really well. I think we counted 7 blue ribbons and 1 white.

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Butter was one of the categories new for Mom. She joined a dairy coop this summer, which supplied her with an ample amount of local milk. She separated the cream and fats herself. The quest for a butter churn started in May, if I remember correctly. She found a nice reproduction piece. Then she found an original bottom in nearly the identical shape. They look nice sitting next to each other in the living room. I’m not sure when or where she found her butter press. It sure is pretty. (So is the pineapple) She was worried the butter would get stuck. But, out it came.

 

I won’t even try to get the names of the preserves right. I really should have written them down. I know there is a pickle, corn relish and a jam that won.

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Here is her pumpkin pie. She also did an English gingerbread which is very heavily molasses. I happen to love molasses. So, I enjoyed the uber-darkness of the bread.

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Mom decided to enter two plants this year. The first is a scented geranium. It smells wonderful. The other is a rosemary.

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I missed a photo somewhere of her 4th blue. I have no idea what that was.

Published in: on October 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm  Comments (5)  
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Book Signing at GCV’s “Mumford” Event

I want to thank everyone who visited me and had their books signed at the Genesee Country Village and Museum this past weekend. It is so nice getting to meet those who I have corresponded with online as well as meeting completely new people. I met several wonderful people including some brand new reenactors that I am sure will have great futures in the hobby.

This past weekend was absolutely wonderful. From the doorway of my favorite pink building, the Dressmaker’s Shop, the weather was perfect. Saturday morning it rained and rained and RAINED! Everyone and everything was soaked. But, this was very welcome after a week of incredibly hot days.

The Dressmaker’s Shop is both a fun building to interpret and a pleasant place for a book signing. The interior of the front room is has just the right colors for a lively yet calming environment.

Before going any further – I just love this photo that Robin, the museum’s guest and shop guru, took on Saturday morning.  I was so excited to see she captured just how I felt.

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Right across the street from the Dressmaker’s Shop is the Village mercantile, one of the Museum’s gift shops. Here Fanciful Utility was available for purchase. Samples of sewing cases and needle-books were on display in the case where the pottery is usually on display.

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Here is a look at where I signed guests copies of Fanciful Utility. The table gave me just the right space for showing off some of the sewing cases and signing. As the day progressed, this also became a great space for designing pretend dresses with young guests. (Let me tell you that was an absolute hoot of a time.)

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The millinery table happened by accident. I needed a place to put my bonnet when I was inside. Bevin needed a space for her bonnet when the rain came bursting from the sky. Robin wanted to see my winter hood. The sunbonnet was just incase I needed to go out in the rain. As it turned out this was a great assortment for talking to guests about types of millinery. We could talk about what they were made out of, how straw was comfortable in the summer, how the quilted hood was warm in the winter, how they sunbonnet helped shade the face and so much more. This also gave us the opportunity to talk about the differences between a dressmaker and a milliner. I just loved some of the questions people were coming up with.

 

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One more photo. What do I do after the Museum closes and the visitors have left?

Find a shady spot….

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I’ll share more photos of the event this week.

Published in: on July 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Red Day” at GCV

Today was such a lovely day. This was the first time I’ve dressed in mid-19th century clothes for the whole day in almost a year. It felt great.
This is where I spent the day:

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This cute pink building is the Dressmaker’s Shop. It has two rooms and a half story above. With the front & back doors open, the breeze was wonderful and made the day quite comfortable. This is where I sewed for the day as I talked with visitors. This green chair is almost the right height for me.

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Here is me trying to get a nice photo with the mirror. It doesn’t work so well by myself with a camera phone.

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Today was the first of a series of book signings the museum will have this year. (I’ll get a list to share.) The author of Stitches in Time, Elizabeth Davis signed 3 books for me. As this was the quilting project Grandma was involved with, I wanted Mom & Lily to have one. (This is the dress I was working on this week. I am thinking of adding red or pink to the inside of the self fabric trim that goes around the neck, around the sleeves, and will eventually be in circles on the skirt.)

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Next time, I need to bring more sewing. I thought this pair of sewing cases would take the whole day. They were done, sans wool pages forgotten at home, by 11:30.

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I have to say, after getting so sick the last few times I dressed, I was very worried about whether or not I could make it through the whole day. I think it went just fine and I felt good. The only time I felt a little funky was after back from the gallery in the afternoon sun without a parasol. So, I just have to stay out of the sun. Considering the car said it was 86 degrees at 4:30, I think this was a pretty good me test.
I am really looking forward to spending the day in the shop again. I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. (A certain someone knew it was just what I needed.) I made myself a list of things to bring next time to show and talk about with visitors.
Now, hopefully Dan and dinner will arrive soon.

Published in: on May 19, 2013 at 4:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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Mother’s Day at Genesee Country Village & Museum

I was very pleased when mom asked to go to the museum for Mother’s Day. Here are some of the highlights. (I will save you from my inablity to take runway photos. But, I assure you the fashion show was wonderful.)

 

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First stop was the gallery to see the Green Collection. It was neat to see that mom had to open every drawer and read every label. While mom got her first look at the collection, I took a closer look at some of the men’s Regency clothing. I also decided I simply must find some horsehair braid. Silly, fabulous 80s.

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Mom particluarly enjoyed the kerchiefs. Her favorite is the upper left.

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Of course the quilts in the lobby caught our attention. Grandma spent so many years quilting at the museum. She enjoyed working on the “A Stitch in Time” project.

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If you are in the area, come out the the museum next Sunday for Red Day. I’ll be finishing up my dress this week, so I can volunteer on this fun day. I am going to get a few copies of “A Stitch in Time” signed.

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Each time we stepped into a village kitchen we could smell chocolate and get a taste. Heritage Chocolate is available in the gift shop and on the museum’s website (www.gcv.org) If you haven’t had a chance to taste this chocolate, I highly recommend it. If I have to pick, the small balls of chocolate with a hint of orange at Livingston was my favorite.

It was off to the fashion show after a stroll by all the animals.

 

Published in: on May 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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