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Directed Reading: Living History Museums

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Directed Reading: Living History Museums


I did this directed reading as part of my minor/certificate in Museum Studies. I was studying how a museum was run along with the various aspects of a living history museum including theory, reasoning, and a few of the nuts and bolts like clothing and cooking.

1. A Living History Reader by Jay Anderson
This is a fantastic resource, unfortunately the only volume of its kind with no recent updates, but still very valid today just the same (Published 1991). This book is a collection of articles written by various people in the living history field organized under a selection of topics:

Introduction - Living History
Beginnings
Forts
Farms
Villages
Experimental Programs
Concerns
Afterword - Serious Play

Just as a side note, this book is a serious commitment to read. The layout is in double-columns. Whew! It took me awhile to work my way through it, but it was so fascinating. It was definitely worth the time commitment.

2. Confederates in the Attic b…

Become a "Rocking Chair Historian!"

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Continuing in the education vein, I had planned on posting a picture of a book that I had read in college:
I normally enjoy reading cookbooks, but it got me thinking of why I really read it in the first place - it was for a 2 credit directed reading with one of my professors, Jay Anderson (I've heard he's considered the "father of living history" and is quite the pioneer!). I wanted to study about living history museums and so he required me to read one book that he suggested and then I could choose 6 other books myself, the above book was one of them.

As I was trucking along in this vein of thought, it occurred to me that there are a lot of others out there, moms especially, who aren't able to go to school at this stage in their life like me, but who still really enjoy studying history. I realized that I could create some "directed readings" for you readers out there along different historical topics of my particular interest.

If you have a particular …

Education

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Lately I've been thinking a lot about my education. I've always loved school and learning, but ever since graduating from college I've kept my learning to more domestic topics - food preserving, keeping a more organized home, homeschooling, sewing, nifty ways of getting all my cleaning done, healthy eating, expanding my cooking repertoire, etc.
After awhile though, my love of book learning and history tugs at my heart and I go back to thinking about going for a master's degree. I'd really like to do research and write articles, scholarly papers, and books and in general contribute to the field of my interest - namely food rationing during the World Wars. Unfortunately they don't take you seriously in the History field unless you've got a master's degree. I've even made it a matter of prayer and I keep feeling like I need to prepare myself, i.e. reading, studying, and making notes. The great thing is this kind of studying is free, it just takes time…

Merry Christmas!

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I'm sorry it's been very quiet around here lately. My husband has been overseas for a few months and will be home in a few short days. Hooray! It's amazing how much work (and recuperating!) it takes for one person to run a household, do homeschooling with two kids, teach at church, run errands, fit in some girl time, etc. Whew! It doesn't leave much time for blogging.

However, we've survived the long separation and I'll be glad for things to settle back down and have my sweet husband home.

With the coming holiday, I thought it would be fun to post a few WWII Christmas cards I found here and there online.







Have a wonderful Christmas!

Regency Bonnet

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Oh dear! I'm afraid I haven't been very attentive to my blog lately. I apologize.
We've been busy with homeschooling and housekeeping and other things.

I finally finished trimming my Regency bonnet, though, and wanted to post some pictures!



I also found this gorgeous gold Indian-inspired cotton. Unfortunately, the gold is more muted in the picture. It's actually a delicious, rich gold/orangy/yellow.


Happy Defender's Day!

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My kids and I attended the much anticipated Defender's Day in Baltimore, Maryland at Fort McHenry on the 14th. Defender's Day is Maryland's oldest holiday and celebrates the new United States' victory over the British attack from the harbor on the Fort in 1814. This is also the same battle where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner... and it was where they were going to fly the hand-stitched replica wool bunting flag that I blogged about awhile back!


It was the perfect time to wear my new Regency dress. I definitely put it through its paces! I can also tell that I slouch way too much. The straps of my short stays dug into the front of my shoulders by my underarms like crazy! I even have the marks to prove it. I also learned why they wore a scarf around their shoulders and tucked into the top of the bodice - the back neckline is low and I got a nasty sunburn even though I put on sunblock! So going on my checklist of things to sew - a neck sc…

A Vintage Dilemma

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I grew up reading what we in my family called "the white books". They are really a set of books called "My Book House".


I had fond memories of reading them (at least volumes 1-4). Unfortunately, when my siblings and I grew up, my older brother who got married and had kids first somehow claimed them as a birthright or something and I was a little ticked off. 
Then I got married and I spied a set at an antique shop and drooled over them. They're the same cool vintage 1960s edition we had when I was a child with delightful artwork. My wonderful new husband surprised me and gave them to me for our first Christmas that year. I was so happy I finally had my own set! (Take that big brother!) ;-)
Well, fast forward nearly 8 years and I've still only read in books 1-4. Isn't that silly? I've been trying to declutter, especially our bookshelves and am trying to keep only the books I love and have finally come to the conclusion that I need to get rid of books …

1942 McCalls

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My husband left two weeks ago to spend 4 months overseas on a temporary job assignment, so things have been a bit crazy with ensuing drama after he left. (like insane car problems, dryer problems, computer problems, etc.) I feel like things are slowly calming down and once the kids were tucked in bed tonight, felt I could finally devote a little love to the blog.

A friend of mine has been graciously letting me borrow her 1940s McCalls women's magazines and boy have they been fun! Here are a couple images from April 1942:












Add a Little Trim...

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Here's a peek at what I've been adding to my Regency dress. The bottom gathered/rouching (sp?) type trim was inspired by the popularity of trim on the hem of the dresses in the 1810s. Below is a fashion plate with an example.





Are You Smarter Than An Eighth-Grader...?

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Are you smarter than an eighth-grader... from 1912?
Most of us might think - yeah, sure. Of course. Especially if you happen to have a college degree.
Well, that's what I thought at first too.

I was talking on the phone with my mom this morning and she excitedly told me about how Bullitt County, Kentucky recently found an 8th grade exam for Bullitt County schools from 1912 and posted it on their website. You can see the exam here and test your knowledge!

So, I took a look and started skimming the Arithmetic. Uuuuhhhh.... Okay, then I moved on to grammar. I'm pretty good at English and spelling and whatnot.... Ooohkay, I couldn't even answer the first question! Moving onto Geography, I did pretty well. That's another strong suit of mine - as long as you don't ask me about modern Eastern Europe, I'm good! Physiology, not bad. Civil Government... eek! And History. I totally thought I would have that one considering my degree is in History, but NOPE! I totally bomb…

Sleeve Update

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I have been thrilled with how easily my Regency dress went together. The drawstring look is not the most flattering on me (it poofs out at the belly from the gathers - a really bad place to poof!), but I am happy with it overall. I fixed the sleeves with a gusset-type insert and was so excited that they turned out perfectly and fit so much better! I was even able to get the dress on and off without assistance. Hooray! I'm going to be working on the hem next. I'm thinking of putting in a tuck and then try adding a gathered something at the bottom as the hem needs some weight. To do that I'll need pinking shears though.



Also, I just found out about a free 1812 event happening east of D.C. at the Riversdale House Museum at the end of August. I think I'll take the kids and go! I don't have Regency outfits for them yet, but do you think people would notice if I put them in their 1860s clothes??? My daughter's Boone dress spans quite a few decades, but my son's o…

Regency Dresses on Exhibit at the MHS

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I must admit that I am not a sign-reader at museum exhibits. Unless it's a topic I'm completely enthralled with, I just look at the artifacts and occasionally skim the reading. This is, at times, unfortunate because I don't get the needed information for pictures I take. I remember looking around for a sign about these dresses, but don't remember seeing much. The first two dresses were in the War of 1812 exhibit, so I'm pretty sure they are from that time period, though I don't know who they belonged to. The last two dresses were from an exhibit on Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, who I believe married Napoleon's brother and was divided between life in Europe and her life in Baltimore.

I'll be putting a selection of photos here, but I put them all up on Flikr - I'm still new to that photo venue, so I hope the link works. Click here to see all the photos.








Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte gown:




 Some beautiful Regency paintings: