Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I always get choked up if I have to say the Blessing, its hard for me, because I really mean what I say, and love my family more than life itself. So ... I make my husband say it :) But I certainly can type what I would say, and what I am thinking every moment, of each and every day~

Dear Father, thankyou for this life you have given me. Thankyou for my family, and for letting me be a Mother. Thankyou for my husband and for his company, Pioneer Natural Gas, and for giving me the oppertunity to share what I love, thru art & history, with all who will listen. Help me to be a better person, more loving and giving, more compassionate and more patient with others. Amen

I hope each & every one of you has a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving, with Loved ones and their Memory to keep you company. Thankyou for stopping in to say hello~ know that the dollys & I are thinking of you!
xoxoxo rachael

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rare 18th c Sleeve Links

Such a rare what~not. Just think of things that you take for granted, and use every day, but never actually keep. I can think of several things that get worn, clothing wise, until they are worn OUT, and then tossed out. I shudder to think of how much of early everyday life has been lost this way. Every now and again, we get to peek into the past thru treasures in an untouched box, or perhaps an original diary when it comes to our attentions. I am so thankful for the big attics in the North East, and the fact that 'things' could just get stuck in a box, crammed up there, and left...not for years or decades even...but generations!

Earlier this year, I had the absolute honor and pleasure, of being able to acquire such a trunk for the Museum. It was literally like the drawer of a dresser had been taken out and put in a trunk, and forgotten. Everything dated from the mid 18th c up to the 1820s for the menswear. Everyday things ready to serve their master, just waiting to be used again!

These are mid 18th c "sleeve links". They are just one of several pair that still reside in their original undersleeves. I guess to compare to something current, they are the ancestor to the common cuff links we know of today. They are very simple, and very utilitarian. 2 mother of pearl shirt size buttons, joined together by a linen thread.

There is a bit of frugality to them as well~ you will notice that the more expensive carved mother of pearl button is to the OUTSIDE, the inner link that wouldn't be seen, is totally plain. The linen thread is passed thru 4 times each, and not knotted, but wound round itself several times to the outside of the inner button, as seen here

Linen thread has been wound around the connecting threads, to reinforce the link between the two buttons, and to regulate the width to allow for the thickness of the materials they are to hold together. The bulk of the threads have shifted to one side over time and use.

I thought this very interesting, that the original buttonholes in the sleeves have been 'narrowed' by overstitching, to accommodate the smaller size of the sleeve links.

Done on both sides, as you can see. I know my living history readers will very much enjoy this post~ an easily made period correct detail that should be incorporated into your wardrobe. Just think how much money one could save, having a single pair of sleeve links, instead of a pair of buttons sewn to each and every sleeve, collar and breeches.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;

I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.

So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,

Straight around till I was come
Back to where I'd started from;

And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood."

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

I had this poem, and thoughts of my beloved Maine home and the rocky beaches in my mind as Shannon was created~ she has kept a very special seashell from a cherrished beach combing to fasten her kerchief~ she would love to meet you Monday next, at 7pm on the TDIPT Mercantile~