Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Final Greenfield Village Preparations

I've posted about Greenfield Village preparations in the past, but even though I know EXACTLY what needs to be done, I'm still running all over the place to get things dones. Despite organized lists, dedicated prep time, and even an extra pair of hands, I still find myself wondering why the heck do I do this?
Yes, I'm drinking my father's drink while he parks my trailer...

The answer is of course that I love living history. And to do something you love, sometimes you have to prepare. This year, one thing that took up a bit of my time was preparing my trailer.

I bought the trailer a few years ago, and my parents have graciously allowed me to store it on their (awesome) property, under a covered part of their pole barn. My father is meticulous about storing things properly. Also, he is a fanatic about safety.

If there was anywhere to be a fanatic about with safety, this is a good place. We check my breaks, the tires, lights, add grease or WD40 where needed, and toss in the spare tire/lug wrench. Then we carefully balance to make sure the whole thing won't tip when I hit the road. Between the poles, canvas, chairs, and tables, it's pretty heavy. He typically stands there with a beer in hand, making sure I do the whole thing the way it's supposed to be done.
If you had told me five years ago that I would own/service a trailer, I would have laughed. But it's serious stuff, and if you're planning summer events, please go check to make sure everything is in place. Make sure have insurance, your AAA card, or whatever you need to travel. Reenacting goes so much more smoothly when you do. Happy (safe) reenacting my friends!


Friday, May 10, 2019

Spring Cleaning

'Tis the season for spring cleaning! Time to scrub down the windows, organize the shelves, and slides into the domestic goodness that is my womanly virtue.


I am many things, but as most of my family and close friends will tell you, completely neat and organized is not one of them. Now sure, my classroom where I teach everyday is certainly put together. But alas, my poor car and parts of our house are a complete and utter disaster at times.

Probably the worst spot is my craft room. Here my 19th century jewelry business meets my modern business meets my reenacting closet. Between a chewy puppy and two sneaky cats, something had to change. Here, gaze upon the terrible mess that is my space.

*These pictures were taken after we had already done a huge clean up. *Sigh

Apparently I am not alone in my cleaning endeavors. Many 19th century publications offer advice to housekeepers and ladies wishing to find the pinnacle of cleanliness.

Godey's Lady's Book; May, 1859
So homely a topic as house cleaning has its charms, as well as royal beauty, and we know that at this season young housekeepers are glad of any hints on the subject. Many people have their general house cleanings in the warm November days, which we call Indian summer, when the flies have disappeared. The carpets are shaken, walls whitewashed, and the idea is that the house is more shut up, and will keep clean, with a little rearranging, through the summer. Where families go to the country, the town house certainly needs but one upsetting, and that is just before their return in the fall; but where the house is occupied the year round, our own fancy is to have everything fresh and clean with the spring, to do away with the dust and smoke of the winter thoroughly.

I will post pictures of the room once it is complete. Hopefully I will find a bit of inspiration in the 19th century ladies and their "shaken carpets." I certainly fancy a fresh and clean apartment!


Friday, May 3, 2019

Post Conference Recovery

Typically it takes me about a month to recover after the conference. I spend the time visiting family, catching up on my shows, spring cleaning my craft supplies...after three years of The Citizen's Forum, I've created a recovery period to survive for another year. Burnout is real!

The unfortunate part of this time of relaxation is that I'm not prepping for Greenfield Village. As an event, it requires MASSIVE amounts of prepping, even after years of attendance. I've written other blog posts about clearing out my car or crafting to prepare.

An added preparation for me includes my shop. Every year I try to add new items with research, whether it is using a new stone or re configuring a different design. Maybe I'll use a different color combination, add another display piece. It really takes several months to get ready to sell items at Greenfield Village. Even considering the time and effort, I usually cram it into one!

This year was a bit different. I tried picking up new projects, ones that keep me interested. I've attempted a tumbling blocks ribbon sachet. Luckily I've only poked myself a few times, and the amount of profanity about fidgety silk ribbon has been kept at a minimum. Hopefully the dog doesn't repeat what he hears...

Give me the %&8!@*% doughnut...

I've also been playing around with new colors and designs for beadwork. I'm having fun just sitting in front of the tv with bags of beads around. This also helps prepare for Greenfield because I'm finishing projects, even if it's slow. Right around mid-May I start my mad dash to the finish. It's better to spread out the work, plan ahead.

Also, we celebrate Russian Orthodox Easter with part of my family the week after Catholic Easter. It's relaxing and the food is awesome! My Russian is pretty non-existent, but it's a beautiful family tradition that marks the end of the school year for me.

And my nephew Reed! He was born on a THURSDAY, just as we were setting up for the conference. I imagine that little stinker is going to time things perfectly for the rest of his life. Also, he is not stinky right now, he still has that fresh baby smell.

That's pretty much what I've been up to since March. I'm hoping to make it to more summer events this season, as well as post more on the blog. We'll see what new twists life will throw at us :)


On My Bookshelf: December

December has been a really rough month. Between what happened in Oxford (not far from where I live...) and just the general pandemic issues,...