Anyways, without the internship journal, I've missed recording and sharing my favorite memories from the museum. So, tonight, I just thought it would be fun to catch up on some of the highlights from the past few weeks!
Starting with Civil War Weekend...Saturday, July 18th, shots rang out once again during Mumford's annual Civil War battle & encampment. I was so happy to be asked to work the day - running around and helping wherever needed. From reenactor registration, to soapy fun with the children's laundry station, to battlefield crowd control, it was definitely a long & fun day. Topped only by the evening's ball, of course! Ava was so very kind to lend me her pink-striped sheer gown - it was so ruffly and twirly and gorgeous that I felt oh so pretty!
|Photograph courtesy of Pat Mead.|
|Hair shot! Yes, that is all real...|
A gathering before the ball. It's the only picture I can find of Ava's pretty, pretty, dress. It had tiers of ruffles along the skirt hem & open pagoda sleeves:
|Photograph courtesy of facebook|
Sunday, July 19th, was day two of Civil War weekend. I had the chance to have my tintype taken with my museum "twin," Ariana, which was super exciting!
For the day, I was the substitute at George Eastman's boyhood home, which is also now the home of the village quilters. I have come to really enjoy interpreting in there, especially when I can send children on scavenger hunts. I usually ask them to look for five items: a bathtub (in the kitchen), a picture of a little boy (a copy of an original daguerreotype of Eastman at age four), a chamber pot (with its matching applique quilt), and two pieces of "transformer" furniture (a rocker that also serves as a baby cradle & a side table that becomes a ladies' writing desk and seat). Not only does this fun interpretive strategy capture the attention of all ages, but it also serves as an effective tool to launch into the greater stories of Eastman's biography, the building and its furnishings, as well as 19th century life in general.
|A few Berlin work pincushions!|
|Muslin backs with view of decorative cording.|
And, after a couple of hours of stitching, here is my first attempt at Berlin work! It's so much fun and even easier than counted cross stitch. Judy showed me some clever tricks for avoiding making knots and keeping the back as neat as the front. She's so sweet, and I definitely see more Berlin work in my future...
In the mean time, we interpreters celebrated our mid-year party, signifying the half-way mark of the season! Already. We could not believe it. Despite being there just about every day, it seems like the season had just begun! My museum friend, who I fondly call Lady Mary, and I brought a cake that nicely summed up what we're all about:
|Museum interpreters...Valid Victorians since 1837!|
A turtle rescue also happened. My sister and I stumbled across the cutest, little painted turtle that needed to be rescued from our land of concrete and returned to a more hospitable pond...live long and prosper, little turtle!
Back to the museum events with the second annual Christmas in July theme day held on Saturday, July 25th! It was my regularly scheduled day in the Foster-Tufts House with three exciting activities scheduled: a make-your-own sweet bag station, me (supposedly) making pin cushions as Christmas gifts, and dyeing with onion skins in the backyard.
|Yours truly working on Berlin work pincushions at Foster.|
Photo credit: Sarah Ledke
Because the sweet bag activity was such a hit with visitors, the pin cushion making turned into a static exhibit of my in-progress projects and sewing supplies!
|Photo credit: Ruby Foote|
|Whole & crushed oris root with lavender oil -|
to serve as an activator and fixative for the sweet-selling scents.
|Cloves, lemon peel, cinnamon & lavender.|
|Photo credit: Ruby Foote|
Speaking of Foster and regular interpretation days, it has been such a pleasure to interpret in there as the home of the spinners. While I am unable to demonstrate spinning, I have been able to put to use what I learned during the "experience days" of my internship by talking in depth with visitors about flax and wool processing. And now, with the wedding display, I am having so much fun talking about 1830s fashion inside and out!
|Did you know that it was Queen Victoria who popularized "white" as the color of choice for wedding gowns? Otherwise, a bride's gown was historically a best dress in a more practical color.|
More close-ups of the wedding gown display:
|The Timely Tresses bonnet I wear quite often in Foster.|
|Look at those gorgeous, intricate details on the silk stockings & petticoat!|
Beautiful, hand-stitched long stays! In fact, I will be making a pair of my own later this month - much more on this fun to come!
|Corded, long stays - front.|
|Corded, long stays - back.|
First, the wool squares (for rug hooking) and yarns had to be prepared for dye in mordants. The "dingy" colored skeins were simmered in a chrome mordant:
Some of the skeins were dyed with cochineal for a deep purple. Interestingly, the dye bath required about an ounce and a half of cochineal to be extracted.
|Green or blue?|
|The day's dye results!|
Wow! Sometimes I am just amazed by how much can be done within just a few weeks...See what fun interpreters at the Genesee Country Village have? If you're ever in the area, make sure to come visit us! And, feel free to shout "hi" if you see me around the village!