Thursday, June 17, 2010


A few words from the 18th century to entertain and amuse.

Noodle- A silly, naive person. The next time you call a person a noodle I guarantee you will get a very strange look.

Nicknackery- A petty contrivance or trick. I like this word. It's fun to say and I bet no one will know what you mean.

Cripple- A swamp. OK then....Definitions have really changed over the years.

Crowdy- A thick oatmeal. This sure does NOT sound appetizing and I think children would cringe upon hearing they were having crowdy for breakfast.

Slur- To conceal. I can kind of see this one.

Valetudinary- Sickly or weak. Boy if you use this one you will sound quite well educated.

Go forth and have fun and dazzle your friends.

P.S. The phrase "tickle your fancy" came from England from around the 1750's.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Yep, I'm going on the road again. I guess I can't sit still for very long. This time I'm headed for Richmond, IN which is on the Indiana/Ohio border. I will be exhibiting in the:
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This is a wonderful antique show that has something for everyone; Country, Tradional,
Fine Folk Art, Architectural & Garden.

Hope to see some of you there!


Monday, May 17, 2010


Life sometimes gives you an opportunity to become a part of something that is truly wonderful and special. I was afforded just that type of opportunity this past January when I met Jill Peterson. She is the creator of a lovely magazine "A SIMPLE LIFE". This magazine reflects Jill's soul and essence; home, heritage, antiques, and a unyielding respect for living a simple, country life. A SIMPLE LIFE is a fantastic magazine that is not only informative and a visual feast for your eyes but connects with the reader on a very personal level.

If you have been following my blog the one thing you can tell about me is my love of early, original clothing. Jill asked me to write an article for her magazine reflecting my passion. Of course I said yes. To be associated with such an endeavor and labor of love would be a privledge. So my article "A SIMPLE DRESS" was born,( I would be so very humbled if you would check it out. Jill said she wanted "something from the heart" and that is just what it is. From my heart.

"A SIMPLE LIFE" ( well worth your time and subscription money to be swept away to a simplier time. Well done Jill! And thank you for the opportunity to be part of something special.



Sunday, May 16, 2010


On the way home from Sainte Genevieve my husband and I came across an antique mall. It caught our eye not because it was supposedly filled with antiques but because what was situated in their parking lot. Need I say any more??????

Friday, May 14, 2010


A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of doing both an exhibition and two lectures on 18th century clothing in the historic town of Sainte Genevieve, Missouri at the 23rd Ecole de Soldat presented by The Milice de Ste. Famille. What a weekend! The town of Sainte Genevieve, on the banks of the great Mississippi River, has the largest collection of 18th century French houses in the country. Who knew? I didn't. It was settled in the late 1740's and was one of several important French towns that was known collectively as the "Illinois Country". The surviving buildings were done in the "French Colonial"style. They were constructed from huge logs that were hand hewn and set vertically to form the walls of the structure. These buildings were mortised and pegged and their massive timbers supported hipped roofs covering both the houses and the porches. Examples of this type of construction and architectural style can be found in Quebec and Normandy. Sainte Genevieve is simply a wonderful historic gem.

As for my exhibit and lectures I could not have asked for a more appreciative and warm audience. The majority of the audience was comprised of re enactors from the The Milice de Ste. Famille. Their reproduction clothing was wonderful and they all had a great eye for detail. After my lecture, most of the re enactors stayed for about 2 1/2 more taking pictures of my exhibit and asking really good questions. What a fantastic bunch of people.

If you ever get a chance, go to Sainte Genevieve which is about one hour south of St. Louis. You definitely will NOT be disappointed.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I have a fascination with 17th and 18th century wigs. Especially men's wigs.

The women's were extravagant, lavish, excessive and an outlandish expenditure. Many wives nearly bankrupt their husbands by trying to keep up with this fad. The men's were somewhat more reserved. To a degree they served a purpose but mostly they were a fashion statement, a measure of wealth and class status. In the 17th and 18th centuries there was an extreme preoccupation with one's appearance that resulted in the excessive attention to clothing and hair dress. Vanity, thy name be MAN and woman. Men's adherence to current fashion was followed as faithfully by them as by women. Wig wearing was hygienic in nature. Heads could be shaved and then be washed to prevent lice. It was not common to wash your hair very frequently in the 17th and 18th centuries so wearing a wig solved this problem.
King Louis XIV of France started to wear a wig when his hair began to fall out. This started a fashion frenzy in his court. Guess poor Louie didn't have Rogaine, Propcecia or Bosley's Hair products to help him with his fallout. Anyway,the fad eventually found its way to England. Of course King Charles II in 1663 had to be fashionable so he began to wear a large black wig. Leave it to France to start all our fashion trends. Apparently Queen Elizabeth I owned 80 or more auburn, orange and gold wigs. You go girl! Some thought that after the plague no one would dare buy any hair for wigs. It was feared that the hair would have been cut off the heads of plague victims. Yuck! Apparently that did not matter because the fashion thrived better after the plague than before it. Wigs peaked under Queen Anne's reign. Men's long curls covered their shoulders and backs and flowed down their chests. The cost could be staggering. A man could buy himself a hat, coat, shirt, breeches, hose, and shoes for almost what his wig could cost. In the 18th century women rarely wore wigs but instead wore a coiffure (to arrange hair) supplemented by artificial hair or human hair. The French woman usually had an elaborate and often themed hair designs such as the boat poufs. Wigs were powdered with men's predominately white or off white. Wigs for both men and women could be colored: violet, blue, pink or yellow. Wig powder was finely ground starch that was scented with orange flower, lavender or orris root. In the 1727 the French Encyclopedie Perruquiere listed only 45 wig styles. However, in 1764 it listed 115 styles. Wig making was a BIG business. Wigs were made from human hair or they could also be made from horse or yak hair or from even hemp. During the 18th century men's wigs became smaller and more sedate and even some professions adopted them as part of their official dress. Then in 1795 the English government levied a tax on hair powder(1 guinea per year) and this started the end of the "fashion of the wig". By 1800 it had mostly disappeared.

I know that I prefer to wash my hair daily and periodically go to the hair salon to get it cut and dyed. And maybe if I ever get up enough nerve I might even have it dyed blue. But THAT is the extent of my own personal hair adventure.


I thought it was time to share with you some more lovely 17th and 18th century words. You can use these to dazzle your friends.

ROUT- A clamorous party. In 1772 Anna Winslow: "went directly from it to Miss Caty's rout.

POT VALIANT- Brave only when stimulated by drink. In 1696 Gordon Saltonstall wrote, "Foolish if not pot-valiant firing and shooting off guns."

PORTMANTEAU- A bag for carrying apparel on a journey, especially on horseback.