June 2, 2016

Recalled to Life: Summer in Full Swing!

He opened it in the light of the coach-lamp on that side, and read—first to himself and then aloud:  "'Wait at Dover for Mam’selle.'  It’s not long, you see, guard.  Jerry, say that my answer was, RECALLED TO LIFE." 
~ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The morning of opening day - Saturday, May 7, 2016.

Aaaaand we're back after a long, six week hiatus!  Time flies.  I can hardly believe it's already June...where did May go?  There's certainly a lot to catch up on, and the blog post backlist is several pages long from Pittsburgh, to theatre, to sewing (yes, actual sewing!) stuff...it's a little overwhelming.  But, in the mean time, let's focus on the beginnings of the 40th anniversary celebration at Genesee Country Village and Museum!

A happy reunion!

It is such a joy to be back home and around the village and people I hold so dear.  I am so fortunate to work with such wonderful coworkers, who are really more like a second family!  

Some highlights from the month of May:  This 2016 museum season, which will be my third official season as a historical interpreter, is off to a running start! 

Rainbow villagers.

Opening weekend & Mother's Day:  

I had the opportunity to assist our expert spinner and dyer, Dawn H., both Saturday and Sunday at the dye pots behind Foster-Tufts.  Tasked with dyeing silk neckerchiefs for costuming, it was both a learning experience to work with the silk and a whole lot of fun!

Have you ever seen such brilliant colors?!

Day one involved indigo and black walnut hulls for various shades of blues and a  coppery brown befitting the chocolate themed weekend:

The results of indigo (left) and walnut hulls (right) on silk.

Black walnut hull dye in the pot. 

Day two was very colorful with cochineal and weld, natural dyes that produce reds and yellows, as well as fun with over-dyeing!

Silk neckerchiefs in cochineal.
(The purple scarf was the result of indigo & cochineal).
We also tried a yellow weld-dyed scarf in the cochineal for an apricot-colored scarf.

Silk neckerchiefs in weld.
(The green was the result of indigo & weld).

The results of the weekend were so surprisingly vibrant!  (Look for our village interpreters sporting these newly dyed scarves this season.)  

The results of four natural dyes: indigo, black walnut hulls, cochineal & weld.
(Note: the deep navy scarf was the result of indigo mixed with the walnut hulls.)

Historic Dinners at Hosmer's Inn: 

This year we are offering a Mount Vernon experience complete with a new and improved menu.  I've had the chance to play both hostess as well as tour guide again this season, and look forward to serving you!

Photograph by Ruby Foote.
(Image via: Facebook - Hosmer Inn Dinners)

A Blend of the Old & New: 

I'm a time traveler this year!  From the early-1800s down at Kieffer, to the 1830s at Foster-Tufts and Hosmer's Inn, 1850s at the D.B. Munger Confectionery, and 1870s at the Hyde and Hamilton Houses, you'll find me all over the village.  They've regularly scheduled me in mostly new (though not unfamiliar) buildings this season; but I am always up for the challenge and enjoying every minute.  Hope to see you in any of the 10 buildings and counting I interpret haha!  

A visitor turns the camera, unbeknownst to me at the time!
Photograph by Bob Cornish of Bob Cornish Photography
(Image via: Facebook)

The familiar: Foster-Tufts, home of the spinning, dyeing and cyclic life (birth, marriage, death) themes.  

Naturally dyed skeins of wool (for sale as part of our crafts-in-the-village initiative) -
Just look at those vibrant colors!

Have to love those large poke bonnets!

Berlin work pincushions.

The new: Kieffer, Hosmer, Confectionery, Hyde & Hamilton...Lots of research to be done!

I am loving the fashionable dress & hairstyles of the 1870s!
Bring on the Natural Form!
I want this hat so badly!
(Mary, you're never getting it back haha!)

Just look at that perch...best hat ever!  I am sold on the 1870s...

This is going to be a fantastic season! 

Photograph by Richard Deverell.

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