Sunday, August 25, 2013

Passion for Parasols!

I have a passion for parasols!
These handy contraptions were an integral part of Victorian and Edwardian ladies wardrobes.
Women of the past avoided extended time in the sun to preserve their delicate complexions.
The parasol protected porcelain skin from damage should a woman have to spend time in the outdoors.
This copper colored silk parasol (c. 1870s) has a new cover of lace.
Two black silk folding parasols, c.1860s.
The one to the left is a carriage parasol.
 Folding parasol extended.
 Carriage parasol (the silk is rather frayed) open.
 A carriage parasol can fold flat at the top to be used while in a carriage.
Kramer decided to check it out:).
 Close up of folding handle.
 Just slide the brass piece over the joint and, voila, the handle is held at full length.
 Silk parasol with lace trim and wood handle, late 19th century.
 Small muslin parasol with fancy handle (probably c. 1870s).
A lace doily covers the muslin.
 Close-up of handle.
 White work trim on a large parasol probably early 20th century.
 Size difference between the three parasols.
 Lace parasol, c. 1870s.

For more parasol pictures visit my Pinterest page:

Monday, August 19, 2013

White Work

White work has been around for centuries.
"The most basic definition of Whitework embroidery is embroidery of a single
color, typically matching that of the base canvas, where design and skill is
defined, primarily, by texture. The effect is low-key, representing a purity and
demanding close scrutiny to experience
its beauty. It is this demand for detail that
requires the highest skills of the needle
Below are some vintage examples.

This past weekend I was blessed to learn this beautiful art form from Lynn Bristow at our annual PSRS workshop.
Below is the hankie I completed during the workshop.

 A pair of under sleeves that I am embellishing.
White work is rather simple yet creates a simplistic elegance that would add beauty to any home:).

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Emma joins YouTube!

Well my dear friend, Richard Darby, has made a short video clip of Emma Victoria Brown, main character from my novel, Truer Words.
Hopefully, this link will work:).
Happy viewing!



Monday, August 12, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hair Work-Table Work

Today we will focus on table hair work.
Table work creates the three dimensional pieces often seen in jewelry.
All of the hair work featured in this post are love tokens.
The table below is a new weaving table made and used by a friend of ours, Thomas Tear. 
This collection of hair jewelry has examples that Thomas has created along with some antique pieces.
Can you tell which is old and which is new?
An antique weaving table is part of the Charleston Museum collection.
A watch fob made of hair with gold findings and locket.

Hair bracelet with gold findings and crystal center.
Cross with gold tips and seed pearl.
 Hair bracelets showing different weaving designs.
Hair brooches in a bow pattern.
The hair weaving patterns were found in books of the era while the gold findings could be purchased from catalogs.
I hope you have enjoyed this series about hair work from the Victorian era!
Happy collecting!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hair Work-Pallet Work Love Tokens

Today's post focuses on pallet work for love tokens.
Often these pieces are mistaken as mourning because of the hair work involved.
 Generally mourning pieces have a setting with some sort of black enamel or jet and/or date of death.
Other indications are the mourning scenes as shown in the previous post.
This piece is a love token with the hair work of two people, the darker woven for the background with a love knot in different hair on top.
The reverse side is a photo of a handsome gentleman most likely the provider of the darker hair.
This decorative piece has finely woven hair beneath the glass.
The hair design in this brooch is fairly popular and is known as the prince of Wales curls.
Gold thread and pearl beads embellish the design.
 Hair weaving can be intricately woven for rings as seen in the center of this piece.

This piece has an unusual pattern utilizing hair from two people and a pearl bead as an embellishment.
Variation of a prince of Wales curl design.
Tomorrow I will focus on table work for love tokens.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hair Work-Mourning

Hair work jewelry dates back for several generations.
These little gems were created using pallet work.
Pallet work was for flat surfaces usually to be used in jewelry.
This post focuses on mourning hair jewelry made to memorialize a loved one.
These miniature works of art are a combination of hand-painting and hair work which was then placed beneath glass for brooches, rings, and pendants.

Sometimes personal information such as date of death, name or initials were included in the design or may be engraved on the back of the piece.
All of the above pieces are property of the Charleston Museum.
More on this amazing art form to be posted soon!
For additional pictures visit:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hair Work

Hair work was a popular pastime for ladies in the Victorian era.
Hair was collected from family and/or friends to be woven into wreaths, bouquets, and jewelry.
Contrary to popular belief not all hair work is for mourning, it was also used as love tokens.
 Most hair wreaths were placed in shadow box frames while other hair work was displayed beneath glass domes.

The hair work of American women slowed during the civil war being that creative time in the parlor was replaced by the work duties usually performed by men who were now off fighting in the war.

 Some women embellished hair work with beads.
For mourning pieces a photo of the deceased might be included.

This book is a reprint of the original which provided hair work patterns.

Hair work jewelry will be discussed in future posts!
For additional pictures visit: