Saturday, March 22, 2014

SFO International Terminal Lace Exhibit

On my way back Into SFO I stopped by the rotating exhibit in the International Terminal to look at some fabulous lace. I missed 2 BART trains after a long flight, but it was worth it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Introduction to the Marmotte Carnivale costume

Another post in my series on costuming for the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild Bal di Carnivale.
Last year I read The Dreamstress's post on "Marmottes and the Savoyarde Style", which said "In the 17th & 18th century peasants from the alpine region of Savoy would train marmots and dance with them as street entertainment." and had some fabulous research on both peasants and noble women dressed in the savoyarde style.
Savoy peasants from Petits métiers, cris de Paris
 (Street vendors of Paris), Claude-Louis Desrais (1746-1816)

She has a hurdy gurdy, he has a box to keep his marmot in.  How cute!
yellow-bellied Marmot from Wikipedia
I adore marmots.  As an ecologist I'm sure the wild ones are cranky and bitey but they are so incredibly adorable I would really love to snuggle them!  My local species is the yellow-bellied marmot, found in the Sierra Nevada and easily observed at Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.  Occasionally found hitch-hiking to the City.  Many years ago I was at Yosemite hiking in the High Country and we stopped at the Tuolomme Meadow visitors center and I purchased a yellow-bellied marmot plush.  It has been hanging out on my bookshelf ever since, occasionally dressed in medieval hoods and other fine attire.
As soon as the event was announced for the GBACG Bal di Carnivale (tickets still available!) I knew I wanted to dress as a Marmotte.  But I also knew it was a swanky event and I didn't want to be a peasant.  Fortunately Leimomi had a couple paintings of Nobility dressed as marmottes, including one with the actual props of a hurdy-gurdy-playing peasant.

Countess Christina Margareta Törnflycht Augusta, Countess Wrede-Sparre of Sundby (1714-1780) dressed as a marmotte, 1739, Gustaf Lundberg, sold at auction via The Dreamstress
I like the Countess' props, this is probably a hurdy-gurdy and not a box to keep you marmot in. But I prefer a mid-late century costume for this event.  I was thrilled to see this fashionable Savoyarde style on the Dauphine of France.  She doesn't have the propos

Marie-Josèphe of Saxony in the Savoyarde style, 1750-51, Jean-Marc Nattier. Palace of Versailles. via The Dreamstress

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Acrostic Jewelry

I recently came across a fabulous informational blog, Regency Redingote. Written by a former curator, it has fantastic in-depth articles on many facets of English Regency life. One post was on Acrostic jewelry, a type of sentimental jewelry where the first letter of a gemstone name is used to spell a word. This type of jewelry became popular in the early 1800s and continued to be made throughout the century.
For instance:
R - Ruby
E - Emerald
G - Garnet
A - Amythest
R - Ruby
D - Diamond

Common English acrostics are REGARD, DEAREST, ADORE and LOVE. Acrostics were popular in France as well. Napolean commissioned acrostic bracelets for his family commemorating at least one of his conquests. 
Acrostic ring REGARD
To make my acrostic jewelry I used glass flat-back rhinestones (4mm) and modern metal findings. It was difficult to find round settings with 6 places, so I was limited to spelling Dearest for round settings.  I also tried a couple of straight line settings glued to plain bands.
Acrostic jewelry making supplies
Rhinestones spelling DEAREST lined up and ready to glue
DEAREST - Diamond, Emerald, Amythest, Ruby, Emerald, Saphire, Turquoise
Adjustable ring back glued on
DEAREST in prong setting with Topaz instead of Turquoise
Selection of acrostic jewelry
From left to right: DEAREST, REGARD, LOVE, and DEAREST