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Showing posts from January, 2013

DIY History

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I love the name of this very cool project my step-mom told me about - DIY History. It's a project out of the University of Iowa transcribing cookbooks, diaries, and letters. Anyone can participate. You don't have to have a history degree or be affiliated with the university either. It's a fun and easy way to be involved with history even if you don't have a lot of time and especially if you're at home a lot like me or have a lot of free time with access to the internet. Give it a try! They still need lots of help!

Another way to be involved with history is another very important project - indexing. Indexing is where thousands of volunteers transcribe documents such as census records, immigration records, military records, etc. to be free and searchable online. Documents like these are especially used by those doing genealogy research about their ancestors. Making them available online makes it a whole lot easier for those doing the searching and you can help! I ju…

Treasures! and From the Archives: "The Common Cause"

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Here's the link for this video.
A friend of mine told me of this amazing bookstore that I would love to visit in the next big town over from us. So, on Saturday I went to check it out. Her recommendation was right on - it was used/antique book heaven! I spent a happy half hour or more wandering the aisles full of that lovely dusty old book smell and also spending a great deal of time in the awesome World Wars section. (of course!)

I was thrilled to find a few treasures! One is called Our Mother's War: American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II. This is right up my alley! It's about a true story of a woman who discovers journals and letters of her mother's who served in the Red Cross in the Pacific during WWII and from there the journalist author (Emily Yellin) goes on a journey to find what life was like for the women of her mother's generation.

My next two treasures no doubt sound very dry - a pamphlet called "The Common Cause - Britain'…

Colonial Projects

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I posted this in my homesteading blog, but I thought I'd post it here as well.

We homeschool, and right now my son and I are doing a unit on the American Colonists. We started reading about the Jamestown settlement and now we're reading about the Mayflower. As a historian, I am very careful about what we read when it comes to history. History is a tricky thing because primary sources are often very biased, and reading secondary sources can be even worse! It is very difficult to find neutral accounts of history, so sometimes it proves to be rather difficult to find just the right books to read. (Don't even get me started on Christopher Columbus!) For now we're using Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage done by the Plymouth Plantation. We will also be taking a look at 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving also done by the Plymouth Plantation. Their books look very impressive, with photos of reenactments of the events, and I love that they really seek to bring an equ…

A New Little Sewing Corner

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I finally sat down last night with a needle and thread to continue work on my Regency chemise. I've decided that it will be my project for the Challenge #1 (a project ending in the year __13) for The Dreamstress' Historical Fortnightly Sew. I have been looking for opportunities to improve my hand sewing, so this will be a perfect project. My hand sewing leaves much to be desired, but at least I'm improving in being able to sew a straight line! I really need to learn some new stitches and historical sewing vocab too.

Also, I ordered something very exciting! Or rather somethings. I went on ebay and found a few original 1940s dress patterns and got them! I have 3 total, I think, maybe 4 and I got a little girls pattern too so I can try my hand at a few dresses for my daughter. I absolutely adore WWII era (it was my first history love), especially the fashion. One of the patterns is in my size, the rest I'll need to adjust. That will be a fun experiment! I'll get some …

The Historical Sewing Challenge

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Happy New Year! Sorry for the long silence. Holidays will do that to ya!
I heard about this interesting challenge called "The Historical Sew Fortnightly" over at The Dreamstress. Every two weeks there is a different themed challenge regarding sewing a historical item of clothing, accessory, etc. Challenge #0 started two weeks before the end of the year. The theme was "Starting Simply" and to just do a simple project. I was a bit late and posted my project yesterday.


What is it?: It's a corded round reticule for the Regency period. 
The Challenge: Starting Simple. 
Fabric: An embroidered cotton/poly blend outer, gold silk lining (remember my gold corset? Same silk!), gold generic tassel, and floral embroidered cream-colored ribbon. 
Pattern: I totally winged it on this one. Sketchy measuring at best and fudging when it didn't work out. 
Year: Made to be used for Regency-era things.
How historically accurate is it? Umm... Well, the only one I've seen was the o…