Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Civil War Living History Weekend, Confederate Reunion Grounds

This past weekend I attended the Civil War Living History weekend at the Confederate Reunion Grounds in Mexia Texas. This is the annual fund raiser for the site's friends group. The site is one of the Texas Historical Commission's historic sites so I attend as an employee of the THC.

Since I was participating in the school day on Friday, I arrived in Mexia on Thursday. Every year I have attended I have stayed at the Hamilton House bed and breakfast. I and another staff member were the last bed and breakfast guests for the house. It has been sold and the new owners plan to use the house as a part time residence and will only accept long term renters. Bummed about this as I really enjoyed this house and the innkeepers. This year there were a few long term residents at the house so I was given the third floor attic apartment. This is such a cool space with a front room, kitchenette and bedroom. I could have lived here!

Friday was school day for the area schools. My learning/activity station was on wallpaper envelopes. I made the glue using gelatin and vinegar. A co-worker ordered reproduction wallpaper from Bradbury and Bradbury and cut out the blanks for me.

The site had tables and a fly set up for me, which I shared with another THC employee from Caddo Mounds that demonstrated woodworking.
Another THC employee spoke on cotton and provided a carding activity.

Other learning stations included buffalo soldiers, archeology, camp life, military maneuvers, and animals.

We had a little rain but not enough to cause any big problems. The kids were all gone by 3:00 so I went back to the house and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

Saturday started early as the site opened up at 9:00 for the public. I again manned the envelope activity station. The day started with a parade to the flag poles to raise the CSA flags and the US flag.

 The rest of the day was spent talking with the public. We also had music throughout the day provided by the Sweet Song String Band, who also provided the music for the ball, and Heritage Brass Band. The Heritage Brass Band also provided accompaniment to the battle on Saturday and Sunday.

Stephanie Hilgert Ford gave a talk during the ladies' tea on Lilly Martin Spencer. The ball on Saturday night is also used by the local homeschoolers as their prom.

I was pretty well done with by evening so I didn't stay long at the ball.

Sunday was casual day for me; I didn't dress in period clothes and visited friends and took pictures. Watched Sunday's battle as I didn't see Saturday's.

So ended the event. More pictures can be found on Photobucket.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The next two weekends will find me in the 19th Century. First I'm assisting one of our historic sites, the Confederate Reunion Grounds in Mexia, with their annual Civil War Living History event. I'm going to man a station on wallpaper envelopes. A colleague ordered wallpaper from Bradbury & Bradbury (not sure which one, will get photos at the event) and today I'm making the glue. Friday is the school day, which will be the majority of the envelope activity. Saturday and Sunday, if there are any left, we'll have it available for the public. I picked up little craft brushes to apply the glue and small paint bottles to put the glue. This way we can accommodate several at once. I'll take some rubber cement in case we run out of glue. The envelope blanks will already be cut out.

Since I will be gone next weekend I need to prepare some things for The War at Home event the next weekend. I'm taking on the store and post office. I plan to have some pickled eggs, anti-bilious pills, and writing supplies. As the eggs were boiling I started making the anti-bilious pills.

I found the label online. I had planned to use Mentos, but believe it or not, I couldn't find them at my grocery store. Have they stopped making them? So I used lemon drops instead. I found the paper mache boxes at Hobby Lobby.

I used white craft paper to wrap them, rubber cemented on the label, and used cotton string to tie the wrapping.

Then onto the eggs. The recipe is from Hal Simon.

I only made one jar as Hal is bringing some for the community dinner Saturday night.

 To add to the event some of the participants of the Independence Village event in Illinois have sent letters and a telegram for some of the War at Home participants.

So I purchased some writing items so that partipants can write return letters. The little bottles I bought for ink wells.

I also have postmarks from Vicki Betts. The year is left blank so that it can be used at other events.

Other things I intend to have at the store include jerky and bags I'll fill with beans, rice, flour, and corn meal. I also have some buttons a friend didn't need any more. These might go in the dress makers shop.

I still have to wash and starch petticoats, decide which dresses to take but I'll have half of Wednesday and all of Thursday of each week to pack and pick up the last little things for each event. Busy two weeks.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Clothes for the farm

I am making clothes for use by the volunteers at Pioneer Farms. But starting with the one paid employee, the part time manager. I'm using Laughing Moon's pattern 109.

And using the left over conference fabric.

With these buttons

Once the vest is done, I'll work on trousers, some slat bonnets and then we'll see what next.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

CDVs on Zazzle

A moment of self promotion. I've opened a Zazzle store with items highlighted with images from my CDV collection. Only a few items there right now from only one of my images, but will have more soon.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Website down

My website is down, or at least all the pages but the front page. Not sure when it will be fixed. Working with hosting company to fix it but little movement since it started going haywire before the weekend. I'll post again when fixed.

This is exasperating as my website is the portal for the event in April at Pioneer Farms. And I have to say part of my ego is tied up in it. So if anyone is needing information usually found on the website, let me know and I'll get it to you.

Back up! Ego back intact :)