Monday, May 29, 2017

Kilmory Oib: Part One

Standing in the ruins of the village 

Earlier this month I was able to return to the UK for a two-week trip. It has been almost three years since I graduated from the University of Glasgow, and I missed my home of four years, and all my friends.

I also took the opportunity to travel around to places I'd not managed to see whilst a student. In my last year of uni my father died and I needed to raise money in order to pay for the rest of the school year. I did a Go Fund Me campaign, but I didn't want to ask for too much, so was unable to travel around for research on my dissertation, and I've regretted that since.

My dissertation was on holy wells in Scotland, and one of the places I researched was the deserted village of Kilmory Oib in the lush and beautiful Argyll. There are some signposts, but it was somewhat difficult to find, and would have been impossible to visit without a car.

I was lucky, in my travels this month, that my good friend Rachel (who was my flat mate when I lived in Glasgow) was able to accompany me. The area around Kilmory Oib is so beautiful that I might save the well pictures for a second post!

We walked beside a loch on our way to finding the deserted village. Here I am posing in a kissing gate. Lovely!

There were bluebells everywhere


Approaching the village. 

The ruined 16th century houses

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

1930s Pyjamas

1930s pattern. Very similar to mine

This past weekend I visited a lovely vintage clothing shop in Salt Lake City called Decades. They have a stunning selection from the turn of the century up to the 1970s. There were several things I wanted to buy, but resisted. However, when I found these fabulous 1930s pyjama pants, scenes of Miss Fisher flashed through my head, and I couldn't resist them. I hunted about for a top or bed jacket that matched, and found a top that definitely matched. I'm surprised that they didn't sell it as a set!

A detail of the tag and the lovely scalloped detail. 

An advert for pyjamas and nightgowns. 

Look at those trousers!

Putting on my B├ęsame lipstick with my vintage mirror. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Live & Learn: Vest Pocket Camera

Trying out my Vest Pocket Kodak - in vain!

I'm not sure if I've said much about this on my blog, but I am a writer as well. I've written several novels, and several drafts of certain novels, and hope soon to get at least one of them published!

Whilst researching for one of them, I discovered the Vest Pocket Kodak, which was widely used by soldiers during the First World War. So, I found an affordable one online and, well, I bought it. I then asked my cousin (who is a photographer) if she knew where I could get obscure film, and she pointed me in the right direction. I also found an old manual PDF online, so that I could load the film properly. I carefully chose, over the course of a few months, the eight exposures I would take. In January I took the film in to be developed. Unfortunately, all the exposures turned out nearly black, and not even one could be developed.

This shows the date. Mine is from the early 1920s. 

An old advert I found. 

Isn't it a lovely thing?

I was very disappointed, but at the same time, a little relieved, as processing and developing would have cost nearly $50. Some day I may try to figure out what went wrong, but for now my handsome, wee camera will be used as a prop for special occasions.

No joy! Black as night! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fellow Historical Costume Blogger giveaway

There is a huge world out there of amazingly talented women (and men) who make stunning and accurate historical clothing. I still consider myself a novice among them. From my small online encounters with them, however, they are knowledgeable, friendly and very willing to share their knowledge.

One such lady is having a give-away, so I thought I'd enter that giveaway here. Please check out her lovely blog Beauty From Ashes.

That's all for now. Have a good day!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Joy, Health, Love and Peace

Christmas is a crazy time of year. There are always so many things I want to get done, that not even a portion of which is possible.

I really wanted to make a traditional British Christmas Pudding for dinner, and despite the requests for Sticky Toffee Pudding (which I also made from this amazing BBC Recipe), I also made the pudding, and it turned out quite well.

I used a recipe that a friend of mine posted online, and now I don't remember where I found it:

I made several changes to it, however. I used butter instead of suet (which is trickier to find in the States), and instead of raisins & candied peel, I just used currents and dates (which I had on hand to make Sticky Toffee Pudding).

I also made another change in the steaming method. I've tied up puddings in cloth before when making the Scottish 'Clootie Dumpling' for Robert Burns night, but I always burn the cloth. So this I just steamed in a greased pudding basin covered with tin-foil, which worked beautifully.

 It turned out really well. I love old-fashioned steamed puddings.