Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things (and a giveaway!)

I hope you're all enjoying the slow settling of fall into winter! Here in Minnesota, it has gotten pretty chilly, and I'm cuddled up with sweatpants, slippers and a mug of tea right now. This is probably my favorite time of year, for a lot of reasons, the cuddling-up-slippers-and-tea part being part of it. I like feeling as if the whole world is being covered up with a blanket, and up here in the frozen north, that blanket is white, and it comes pretty quickly. We've already had our first snow accumulation for the season!

With all of that, I get in the holiday mood pretty early up here. I love everything about Christmas, so that's not a hardship for me. I also work in retail, and we've been talking about the holiday season since the last one ended, so there's no escaping. I was thinking just yesterday that I ought to haul out my tree so that I have plenty of time to set up and decorate. And I may or may not have enjoyed some Christmas songs already. Don't judge.

Another reason why I like this time of year is because it's when I was born! I celebrated another anniversary of my birth last Monday. In honor of that, my trusty Subaru Outback, which hauled me and my gear to so many adventures and reenactments, decided to end its long and storied life in a blaze of glory. So, for my birthday, I got a "new" car (a 2010 Subaru Forester, with the same amount of cargo space as the Late Great Outback - more adventures!) and a heap of debt.

Yeah, but isn't she purdy?

I also got a family heirloom from my grandmother (a cigarette box she was given for a wedding present, with the admonition not to take up smoking), a gift certificate to my favorite antique shop (transferware ahoy!) and lots of other nice things.

I'm actually not very attached to things - or at least I try not to be. For the past year's holidays (Christmas and birthday, to be precise), I have asked my relatives not to purchase me gifts, and to instead donate their money that they would have spent on me to a charity of their choice, or to spend it on their own children or grandchildren. I don't need things - I have plenty of them, and they're not so important in the long-run.

HOWEVER - I am a reenactor, so I like shiny pretty things, and I definitely have my own list of my "favorite things". In honor of my birthday and the glimmer of the holidays on the horizon, here's a few things you may be tempted to put on your wish list*.

A Valise from Merrick's Custom Leather.
 I have been drooling over these puppies for some time. If one of you wanted to send me one, I wouldn't complain.

Image from Merrick's Custom Leather

Fabric from Renaissance Fabrics.
So many drool-worthy fabrics on this site! The changeable taffetas are to die for, and would make some very cool quilted bonnets or a stunning ballgown.

Shoes from Robert Land.
Do I even have to explain? A pair of walking shoes. The end.

Image from Robert Land Historical Shoes

This Dress, and This Crown. It's on my list of to-sews for some day, and maybe one day I'll be wealthy enough to have a replica of that crown (a girl can dream, right?). Many of you probably know why, but I plan to explain fully in a future post...

Empress Eugenie of France by Franz Xavier Winterhalter honor of my birthday and the start of the holiday season, I'm doing a giveaway! It's my first ever giveaway! I've got two things to send to a lucky reader...

 A decorated hairnet of brown and white plaid ribbon on a black net, plus a paper punch book marker, both made by yours truly! The book marker was made for a fancy fair (and sorry southern friends, I don't have a Dixie book marker stashed away - this girl bleeds Union). The hairnet is meant to be worn indoors, at home or at a social occasion indoors, and with a nice dress - it's no substitute for a bonnet, and isn't suited to manual labor but it looks swell on an at-home middle class impression!

To enter the drawing, simply respond below and answer one or more of the following questions. Make sure you leave your name so I can contact you!

  • Do you have any reenacting "shinies" on your wish list? What are they?
  • What are you particularly thankful for as this year draws to a close?
  • What events are you planning to attend this winter?
  • What should I name the new car? Bonus points for historical reference, and keep in mind that she's a girl.

I'll draw for the winner on November 17th! Good luck!

*None of these businesses offered me any compensation for these mentions. If they find out about it and want to send me something as a belated birthday gift, I wouldn't turn it down. Wink wink.


Liz C said...

Haaaiiiirrrneeeeetttttt.... :) Brown and plaid and that's pretty much ME.

Shiny things on my list are whitework based; I have a "thing" for Ayrshire and other whitework styles.

Sadly, there aren't any events I'm planning to make it to; there are a few fun things going on with friends down in Utah, but once the snow comes, the passes get icky.

What about Sacagewa on the car? Or Narcissa, though everyone will think you've named her after a Harry Potter character, and not Mr Whitman's adventurous wife...

kim miller said...

I am most thankful and blessed for all the wonderful people that God has brought into my life this year. I have met the most wonderful man ever and realized that the rest of my life won't be just me and my son. He introduced me to re-enacting and enjoying learning about the history of our nation. Through him I have been introduced to a whole new family that took me under their wings and taught me the do's and dont's, so that I am period correct. They have become my mentors and my family! I now have things to look forward to (next spring when the events start again) and take pride in the items that I craft for the events!

Chandra said...

I have wanted a pair of Robert Land shoes for years! I would also like a new dress, but I have to sell the one I have in order to afford a new one. If we are talking fantasy, I would like a wool dress, a sheer, a silk, AND a cotton print!

Brooke said...

I want another pair of Robert Lands....side lacers...

I am most thankful for a very very awesome best friend I met thru reenacting - that I've had the honor of growing closer to over the past year...

Jackie said...

I am thankful for all the good times I have had meeting new people in the re-enacting community. As to the want's, I really don't need things for myself but would love for the troubles in this great country to get fixed so the American people are not wondering where the money is coming from to make ends meet.
How about "Clara" after Clara Barton for the name of your car.

Mary Warren said...

I am thankful for my reenacting family. I have no blood nieces or nephews, so I dearly appreciate my reenacting ones.

My shiny would be to have a quaint historic village as a place to play with all of my friends.

As far as the car, would it be wrong to call her Eugenia? You could always just call her empress for short.

Michelle Hamilton said...

Hurrah for the Union! I love the punch work. I am grateful this year for the publication of my first book. It took a lot of hard work and at times I felt that I would never complete it, but it was God's plan that I completed it. There are always re ennactor shines on my wish list--usually jewelry and silk dresses. I am attending the Moorpark event outside of Los Anegles tomorrow to sell my book!

Keturah said...

I want one of those valises, too! They are gorgeous. And fun leather boots for the girls. And I just bought cockades....

I am thankful that our family is in good health and that we have the opportunity to be living in Peru with technology to keep us connected to home.

Because we are in Peru, I can't attend any events. But I can research and dream!

I think you should name your car Prudence, as I believe that is what Bill Kepler named his GPS. Sometimes she was Prudent, and sometimes not. Either way, you can blame things on her.

I hope I win! :)

Ashley A said...

Thankful - I survived my first official "year" of reenacting!

Shinies - my own brand new pair of Fugawee boots, a cage, some new dresses (a fancy day dress is next on my list), a paletot, & a hood!

No events for me this winter :(

Car - Cleo - Cleopatra (not Civil War, just something fun!)

stringsattached said...

Thankful for being able to be with family this year for Christmas - it has been a while.

Shinies - Robert Lands side lacers.

Car - Mary Todd!

Adi said...

Hi there! I just found your blog and have read every single post already. I absolutely love your swiss waist repro (and thanks very much, by the way, for showing pics of the original! I am definitely going to use that pleated trim on something... not sure what yet... but something).

Lessee, I would really like a pair of shoes (did you see that American Duchess is coming out with a new 1860s shoe soon? She's calling it the Gettysburg and its just lovely). I am thankful for my family, because each one of them is my best friend and they are all really supportive of my hobbies. Unfortunately, no events for me this winter because of school and my area just doesn't have many Civ War events in the winter. I am excited for June, though, because I will be attending my first full immersion event. Name the car Sarah Marie. I don't know why and it has no historical significance to my knowledge, but it's a nice name. Humble, but sophisticated.

Sorry this got really long. Happy belated birthday!

Elaine said...

So many things to be thankful for that I will narrow it down to reenacting. I am so grateful for good health and the ability (time, functioning vehicle, and finances) to travel to various events in the past year. Those events have brought the blessing of friendships - meeting people I only knew through the internet and those who grew to be reenacting family.

If I focused my "want list" down to somewhat realistic/useful items (I have been a mom for too long), I would start with a new hoop. I am on my second cage and each time I have one I seem to slam it in the car door, resulting in a permanent 90 degree kink. I would dearly love a Needle and Thread cage. Second, SILK!!!! I have no silk dresses - no silk stash - do I need to say more? Third, shoes. I don't know why I want them - I feel guilty with more than one pair - but, yes I do!

This winter promises to be fun - Christmas at Wade House, Christmas at the Clarke House, various balls, a conference, lots of planning for a future event (soon to be announced), and I hope time with reenacting friends -either sewing or just being together.


Sara said...

On my list is a carpetbag from The Carpetbagger (I really hope Santa is bringing me one for Christmas), and I also would love a pair of Robert Land walking shoes.

Unfortunately, my unit is pretty much done for the winter after Remembrance Day in Gettysburg. Our first event will probably be a living history again in March.