Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Green Robe a l'Anglaise by Doll Clothes of Yore

The Elizabeth's Best Outfit is on sale at Doll Clothes of Yore. The cotton fabric is similar to the copy I have at home:

You can see more colonial outfits in my Picasa Album.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ice Pops - Frozen Drink On a Stick

According to Wikipedia: "In 1905 in San Francisco, 11-year-old Frank Epperson was mixing powdered flavoring for soda and water out on the porch. He left it there, with a stirring stick still in it. That night, temperatures reached a record low, and the next morning, the boy discovered the drink had frozen to the stick, inspiring the idea of a fruit-flavored 'Popsicle'. Eighteen years later in 1923, Epperson introduced frozen pop on a stick to the public at Neptune Beach, an amusement park in Alameda, California. Seeing that it was a success, in 1924 Epperson applied for a patent for his "frozen confectionery" which he called "the Epsicle ice pop". He renamed it to Popsicle, allegedly at the insistence of his children."

More fun facts at the Popsicle website. For example, I didn't know the double popsicles were introduced during the Great Depression, so two kids can share popsicles together for a nickel.

The following ice pops were made by Pippaloo. The ice pops look almost translucent like real ice.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pawns Stars!

Last weekend, I visited my friend Christine and her boyfriend in Worcester, MA. They showed us the Worcester Higgins Armory Museum which was pretty awesome. It included medieval armor, 18th century guns, and even Turkish and Japanese armor.

We also stayed overnight and watched hours and hours of Pawn Stars from the History Channel. It's so addictive! It's about this family owned pawn shop in Las Vegas, and their customers bring them amazing objects. The show is the more down-to-earth, hilarious, kind-of-naughty version of Antiques Roadshow. You also see the family members negotiate and bargain with customers, and even restore things for resale--which appeals to me because I love collecting American Girl and finding top notch bargains. The main narrator is Rick Harrison (the bald fellow) and wow, I want to be his friend! I love the glee on his face when he talks about history.

Some of things they've found are amazing--such as buttons commemorating George Washington's inauguration, Edison phonographs (I've never seen a wax record played until I saw this show), and an East India merchantmen's bell. I never thought I could learn so much from a bunch of big, foul-mouthed dudes. I'm generally not a gun fan, but sometimes they come across blunderbusses, Winchesters, and cannons and they bring in an expert to fire them off. The coolest one I've seen so far was when they fired off a signal cannon that looked like a pewter mug. Signal cannons were literally pint-sized cannons that sailors filled with gunpowder and fired off when they were nearing port, to signal that they needed their ship inspected for diseases and piloted into harbor.

Here are some clips. You can see the show on Netflix streaming. A word of warning though--they swear a lot.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 1 - American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery

Day 1, April 30. On the first day of our epic trip to Washington DC, my fiance and I headed to the American Art Museum and the adjoining National Portrait Gallery. Both museums were gorgeous and filled with beautiful art and fascinating information about historical figures. The American Art Gallery had a few Copley paintings and a great deal of American Indian portraits.

In the National Portrait Gallery, I saw various plaster face molds of Abraham Lincoln. If you compared the mold made before he became president and the one months before he died, you can tell the terribly toll the Civil War had taken on his health by the worry lines all over his face. When I was in fifth grade I was obsessed with Abraham Lincoln because I saw this great movie called Tad, told from the perspective of his little son.

Not my original image, but the Kogod Courtyard in the American Art Museum was impressive:

The marble lady looks like she's wearing draped fabric. Yes, she had a perfectly impossible tummy. -_-

Victorian ladies:

Breath-taking silver!

LaForge stained glass peonie and peacocks

Joan of Arc wood carving - reminds me of Musa.

American women during the federalist/regency period

I have a similar gown!

An award for those of you who read the entire blog entry:

Mr. Willoughby Gets His Comeuppance

from Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters Amazon Book Trailer

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Back from Washington and Williamsburg

Sorry I dropped off the blogging scene. My fiance went on a business trip to Washington DC, and I tagged along all week. So while he was "working" I got to see many great national museums. We also took a weekend detour to Colonial Williamsburg, which as a kid I wanted to go to more than Disneyland (yeah, I was pretty strange child). Of course, this week I've been in History Buff Heaven. I'll write about the details later.

But yeesh, the return trip was a real pain. We could have gone straight from Williamsburg, VA to Boston using Amtrak (10 hours of boredom), but my fiance's plane ticket was paid for, so we switched transportation modes. So we took Amtrak, Metro subway, airplane (with a lot of wait time and delays), and then the Boston bus shuttle and subway to get home. The trip took us 12 hours! I was especially shocked to find that stretches of Amtrak Virginia only had one railroad track. So we had to wait for CSX to go by first...which made it almost four hours just to travel 114 miles! Boston's Logan airport was also congested, so we had to sit on the DC runway for an hour waiting for the go ahead from Boston to takeoff. O_o

At Union Station in Washington DC, I saw an exciting concept display about the new high speed rail train that would go through the Northeast corridor. Within 25 years, they are hoping to build rails that could support trains that can go as high as 220 miles an hour. Wow. Boston to Washington DC in 3 hours instead of 10 boring hours on the train or having an hyperventilating episode on a fuel-heavy plane. Trains also produces 5 times less carbon emissions then a car or plane. Wow. Maybe we can catch up to Japan and Europe.

I admit, I never wanted to buy a car (have you been in Boston or New York during rush hour?!), but this funny 18th-century inspired commercial almost made me reconsider...