Monday, May 30, 2011

Steampunk Historical Tour

On Sunday I attended a Steampunk tour of the Dalnavert museum. The Dalnavert Museum is a house in downtown Winnipeg that was built in 1895. It was owned by Sir John Hugh Macdonald, the son of the first prime minister of Canada - Sir John  A Macdonald.

The tour was organized by the Winnipeg Steampunk group on Facebook, in particular a very talented Steampunk jeweler named Randy -check out the link to his online store in the links category and here Thorgrid Jewelry .  (I am so coveting the rings).
We met out front first and I had a few photos taken and took some myself of the amazing outfits. I have to say I really admire the DIY of some of the attendees. I wish I was more of a DIYer.

Check out the hat and bustle made by the lovely Athena!
I thought this fine lady Emily also looked amazing.
 Me

Assorted Steampunks, including the talented Randy.

I'd been to the museum before, but I enjoyed seeing the place again. Plus, our tour guide was very witty and I enjoyed that he pointed out various oddities around the house. Take for example this tea cup with a mustache guard! Because you wouldn't want to get that giant handlebar mustache wet I guess.
I also enjoyed the Victorian medicine cabinet. Basically it's mostly liquor and/or opiates. You'd feel pretty good, but wouldn't actually be getting any better.
He also did a great job tlking about the differences between the lives of the servants and the family that owned the house. For example, the servants kitchen was wallpapered with newsprint, while the family's quarters were ofcourse covered with proper wallpaper.

Wallpaper for the servants.

The house is supposed to be haunted, although the tour guide said they are not supposed to officially talk about it. I've heard stories of people walking by on the street outside and seeing faces peer out the windows when there's no one in the museum. There's also apparently a photo a ghost hunter took with a motion sensor activated camera, which shows a ghostly foot walking up the staircase.

Overall, I found the tour to be very inspiring and enjoyed meeting other people that also enjoy Steampunk. I will definetly be writing about some of the interesting Victorian items I saw yesterday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Petticoats

I would like to thank everyone for following me while I was on holiday. I know I diverged from the Neo-Victroan theme of this blog during the past few weeks, and did not post as regularly as usual. I'm getting back to my daily routine now, including posting.

While I was on holiday I of course went shopping, and picked up some new clothes. (I'm so glad I only packed my suitcase half full initially, as it was stuffed full with clothes and souvenirs I bought on the way back). One of the items I bought was a knee length petticoat. The underskirt is red with a black skull pattern, then a layer of black crinoline, and a third layer of black mesh over top. It's my first petticoat, so like a nerd, I'm a little excited about it. It didn't photograph the best, but here it is.




Detail



Petticoats were a standard undergarment during the Victorian period. In the early 1800s women wore several layers of petticoats, to provide warmth and give volume to their skirts. It was also so the contours of your legs didn't show through your skirts (too sexy I guess).



When crinolines were invented in the 1850s women often wore a petticoat underneath and one over the crinolines and hoops for a pouffy all around look, but a smooth outer texture to the skirt.



Then during the 1880s and 90s petticoats were worn with bustles instead of hoops, as the style changed.



In the early 20th century, they went out of style as women's skirts became smoother to the frame, and more practical. Petticoats made a brief comeback in the 1950s, but then largely disappeared from mainstream wear.
These days petticoats are found in square dancing (the horror), some bridal wear, and of course The Gothic, Lolita, and Steampunk subcultures. Personally. I'm really enjoying my petticoat!



Love this one.



And this.

What are your thoughts on petticoats?


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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Last Week of Vacation

I'm sorry for not posting the last few days! I have been visiting relatives and friends, and generally enjoying myself. I did get some shopping in on Monday. I got a poofy dress, a petticoat style skirt, a couple of t shirts, a corset, a corset style top, and a couple of touristy things (a messenger style bag that says London on it, and an umbrella with the Union Jack on it).

I promise to put pics of the outfits up when I get back home. I will also return to my regular posts then. Thanks for continuing to follow this little blog while I'm on holiday.

Here's a few photos from the past few days.

Friday I went to Tate Britain and Hyde Park.


At the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain



Saturday - Attingham Park



Sunday - Oxford



Monday - shopping and taking photos in Shrewsbury


Today friends came to visit. This is the vacuum I used to clean up before hand. Isn't it the cutest?



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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cemeteries, Cathedrals and weird food

I apologize for not posting the past couple of days, as I have been busy enjoying my time in the countryside. On Tuesday I went to visit my Uncle and Aunt. They live in a tiny village in central Wales. There's not much there, but there was an old churchyard and the scenery was lovely.












Yesterday I went to Chester, sand visited Chester cathedral, the Roman amphitheater ruins and did a little shopping.















Today it was more shopping and a trip to the Roman ruins near Shrewsbury, Wroxeter.







Also I noticed some strange food here today - baked potatoes with tuna and mayonnaise? And meat flavored crisps? Are these actually any good?




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Monday, May 2, 2011

Flowers and cemeteries

Yesterday I arrived in Shrewsbury, a medieval market town in the Midlands of the UK. I was pretty tired yesterday, but today I walked around the town and took photos and enjoyed the sites. So again, just a few photos from the day.

First, some photos from Quarry Park. Considering it snowed yesterday back home, I had to take these photos and put it on Facebook just to rub it in. I'm obsessed with azaleas and rhododendrons, though I get them mixed up. We don't get them at home as it's too cold in winter, and I've never seen them before.











I also discovered a cemetery behind St Chad's church. The last time I was here I totally missed it. There is one fake marker in it, that was used in a version of a Christmas Carol. It was hard to photograph it clearly, but you can make out the name.















I realized the irony of wearing a t-shirt with a cemetery on it, in a cemetery, after I took this pic. :p


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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Women Vote!

I'd like to diverge a little bit from my holiday posts, and talk about something a little more serious - voting. The federal election is tomorrow in my home country Canada, so for all you Canucks, please remember to exercise your right to vote tomorrow. I am out of the country, but did vote before I left in advance polls.



It bothers me is when people say they are not going to vote because it doesn't matter, or that it takes too much effort. It does matter. This is your chance to have your say. While politics and politicians are not perfect, if people don't vote, they won't be represented. I'm also from the school of thought, that if you don't vote, you can't complain.
Even if you live in a riding that always votes a certain way, in Canada your vote is still worth $1.75 to the party you vote for. So it is not wasted.
It also bothers me when people say it's too much effort. People are still struggling, and fighting and dying in other parts of the world to get this basic right.
I'd also like to remind all us women that it wasn't even 100 years ago that women in most countries obtained this basic right. New Zealand is the exception, granting women this right in 1893. In Canada it was 1917, the US 1920, and in the UK women age 30 got the vote in 1918, though this changed to 18 years of age in 1928.



So ladies, remember, your great grandmothers protested, faced public ridicule, starved themselves at times, and were arrested all so you could take that 20 minutes or so out of your day to vote. So go forth!
I will get off my soap box now.



If I lived then I so would of been a suffragette with a fab parasol.


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