Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tree shadows

Tree shadows
Originally uploaded by ozimanndias8
Makes me think of Plato's cave for some reason, but shadows are lovely in their own right, separate from the thing casting them.
Especially when they are tree shadows lingering on the green.

Now for the other outfit

As J. is accompanying me to the Jane Austen Festival, I have to come up with an outfit for him.  You wouldn't think this, but men's outfits from the early 19th century are surprisingly complicated to create.  With a woman's gown, once you've got the top part fitted, it's pretty easy (relatively speaking) to whip up the skirt and be done.  A lot more goes into the man's outfit.  There's the frock coat, the waist coat, the under shirt, and the drop front pants.  LivingwithJane is determined to create outfits for both her husband and mine, bless her heart.  This on top of figuring out my round gown.

While researching an outfit for J., I came across this portrait of Rubens Peale, who bears an uncanny resemblance to J.

For color combinations, I'm thinking a dark green for the frock coat (the equivalent of suit jackets today), a neutral dark grey/khaki for the pants.  I'm not sure what I want for the waistcoat (the vest worn under the frock coat).  If I can't make up my mind, I'll use the old standby, white.

I'm wishing I had the 2009 Emma to watch, as I liked Mr. Knightley's outfits.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I've beenvaguely immersing myself in all things British (or imagining that I am) as we gear up for our trip in June.  My preparations and research are not at all in-depth or serious, as I really don't know what constitutes British-ness.  Great Britain is so like, and yet not, America that it's hard to pinpoint where the fault-lines fall.  The interstitial differences between the two countries are so narrow, more on a molecular level rather than something that can be discerned with the naked eye, that deliberately thinking on it tends to cloud comprehension even more.

My unorthodox research involves reading books such as:
and wandering the PR range at the library.

Watching movies and TV shows (which we all know are as close to real life as Harry Potter is a true depiction of British boarding schools) such as:
Browsing the Guardian and the Times Online.

It's all quite serious and objective, you know.

Pleats and pins

LivingwithJane is making progress on my round gown. Here's her latest post.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The gown is round

My seamstress friend LivingwithJane has taken to sewing like a fish to water.  I've joined the period sewing group that she is a part of, even though I have no intentions of ever making a dress, and it's been quite fascinating to observe the learning process as she and ZipZip, the head of the group, figure out how to make a round gown (see this picture for an example).

The round gown is for me, for the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville this summer.  I've gone in for two fittings thus far and when I say I've observed the learning process, I mean I've literally, intimately, watched the process.  I've stood in my chemise and short stays with my arms extended while ZipZip chewed her lips and fiddled with the dress form and discussed the shape of the armholes with LivingwithJane.  It was a dance of sorts, as I raised and lowered my arms as needed while they moved about with me with needle and marker.

Salad from our garden!

Salad from our garden!
Originally uploaded by ozimanndias8
Our garden has actually been productive so far.  In spite of the fact that flea beetles have been helping themselves to the greens, our plants are thriving. If you look closely at the picture, you can see the holes left behind by the flea beetles.  A small price to pay, though the pessimist in me is amazed that our garden has not been decimated by rabbits or bugs.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ben Nevis on the mind

The countdown begins in earnest: 10 weeks until our trip to Great Britain!

On my thoughts today: Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands.
The range of mountains around Ben Nevis

There will probably be lots of cloud when we're there.

I've started increasing my time on the stairclimber in preparation, though I think climbing Ben Nevis will be easier than the stairclimber, simply because the experience will be so much more enjoyable, owing to the incredible scenery. We will be in the open for most, if not all, of the ascent, and the views alone will be plenty of distraction from the burning in my legs.

I have always found that I tire more easily while hiking up a hill under tree-cover, because the view becomes monotonous: you see one tree, you've seen them all. But if I have a view while climbing, I don't feel so fatigued. Your mental state really does come into play during physical exertion.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

First a garden

 We have a garden!
Staking out the garden
In the beginning.

Cutting up the sod for the garden
After the first tractor came through, cutting up the sod.

We had another tractor come through to till the earth and break the sod up as much as possible.   Grass is extraordinarily resilient.  We are finding pockets of green grass here and there, where clumps of sod were turned under and not completely broken up.

We've planted onions, radishes, carrots, kale, and lettuce--
stuff we'll actually eat if it all turns out.

Radish row in the garden
The seeds have sprouted, in spite of our best efforts and worrying and dithering.

Radish seedling

Now to see whether these seedlings will turn into full-fledged plants...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Holy Saturday

Artist: Fra Angelico

"Come, let us see our Life lying in the tomb, that He may give life to those that in their tombs lie dead. Come, let us look today on the Son of Judah as He sleeps, and with the prophet let us cry aloud to Him: Thou hast lain down, Thou hast slept as a lion; who shall awaken Thee, O King? But of Thine own free will do Thou rise up, who willingly dost give Thyself for us. O Lord, glory to Thee.

Today a tomb holds Him who holds the creation in the hollow of His hand; a stone covers Him who covered the heavens with glory. Life sleeps and hell trembles, and Adam is set free from his bonds. Glory to Thy dispensation, whereby Thou hast accomplished all things, granting us an eternal Sabbath, Thy most holy Resurrection from the dead."
~Hymns from the Anoi


Cousin R. reading "There's a Monster at the End of this Book" to her niece and nephew.