Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Half-Edwardian Ensemble

Today is Hallowe'en, and this week on the Sense and Sensibility board it's "Week in Historical Dress". So today I dressed in an Edwardian-inspired mode. Curte and I lunched at the Ashland estate, home of Henry Clay, Kentucky's hero and our nation's Great Compromiser. Afterwards we took a few pictures. The first shot was taken in Ashland's formal garden, which is walled by 7-foot hedges, and arranged into beds of perennials, topiaries and shrubberies, lime trees in pots, and statuary.

About the outfit: The 5-panel herringbone wool skirt and underlying flounced cotton petticoat were drafted from a 1911 pattern. My locket is from my mother's family and is inscribed for Christmas, 1911, while the gold bangle dates to somewhere in the same period. The turtleneck mimics the high neck and tight sleeves popular during that age, as does the loose bun hairstyle. The belt is appropriate for work wear, although its dimensions mayn't be right. As is typical with these types of outfits, my shoes aren't appropriate; I am wearing loafers. I have some heels with a basically proper look, but they are too high, so that the skirt length goes off: it should be around the shoe tops or so.

The second image was taken on the piazza at the back of Ashland house. Ashland was built in the 1850s, and is such a friendly place. It sits on 17 acres in the Ashland Park neighborhood of old Lexington; that neighborhood was developed in the 1920s from Ashland farm and neighboring Woodland Farm (I believe), under the design guidance of the Olmsted brothers. What a rich farm it had been; we live in Ashland Park and the topsoil in our back garden is thick, dark, earthworm-riddled loam. Here it is October 31 and a local strain of phlox, from a family in nearby Versailles, is still blooming, as it has been since June.

It seems that most Ashland Park residents treat Ashland as home and a sort of extended back yard. We lunch there at the Gingko Tree, an outdoor cafe that offers traditional Kentucky lunch dishes, loaded with cream and good things, we picnic there, walk, jog and play frisbee there, we help in the gardens and volunteer in the house, and each Labor Day we attend a jazz concert there. I like to hope that the Clays would be pleased that we love their old home so well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Christopher and Noah, in Motion

Summer passed, and fall is passing. Outside the bedroom window I hear a heavy breeze, heavy with rain, and cold to boot. Yes, it's 50 degrees; so says the thermometer. Goodbye, warm weather!

It's beginning to be the time of year for more indoor activities, and pulling together family pictures and videos is just one of those. Of course, we've been inside most of the warm months anyway. The twins needed so much care, being preemies, and the drought brought dog days to Lexington from June onwards, with few breaks. There weren't many evenings cool enough to plop the boys in the stroller and take them outside.

Left: Christopher in an arty shot, burrowed into his blankets.

Despite the heat and all the work, we had time to enjoy our new little family, and so this evening I have a few videos and pictures to share. The videos are short, but, well, we enjoy them. Perhaps you will too.

And no, I haven't forgotten sewing. I have pictures to share of several more pieces of vintage clothing I've come home with and studies, and several new online sources for vintage fashion information.

The Twins' First Videos

Here is Christopher trying rice cereal for the first time.

Here's Noah's first solid food experience, and yes, it's rice cereal, too.

Here is a slice of a incandescent Sunday afternoon, with babies and cats, on the front porch.

Finally, we record Christopher's private language. Is he a soprano chipmunk?

A Few Still Pictures

The boys of a sunny morning, watching their mobile. Noah is to the left, while Christopher, at right, works on turning over. Getting himself from back to stomach is his primary activity these days.

Noah at the dinner table.