Thursday, November 28, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #20

Just one more post about my Victorian dinner party, and this one is about the head gear.  Naturally there were top hats in attendence for the gents.

This was a hat that I made for one of my guests to go with her outfit, and suited her to a T!

It was a conglomeration of velvet, silk, ribbon and feathers.

I think it looked great from every angle!

 And these last photos show the headpiece I made to go with my outfit. A combination of silky fabric, black netting and a brooch.

The fabric was actually the leftover ties from the dress that I used to make a bustle for my skirt. It is a wonderful teal colour.

And that, dear blog readers, is my Victorian dinner party, from head to toe!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #19

I thought it was about time that I showed you what I wore for the Victorian dinner party. This amazing blouse was given to me by a dear friend when I was a teen and probably dates back to the 40's or 50's. It has the most amazing ruffled and lace trimmed jabot and cuffs.

The fitted tapestry jacket with black trim was a thrift shop score just a week or so before the party.

The skirt too was a thrift-shop find.

I found a dress that had a ruffled skirt that I made into a sort of bustle. Luckily the colour in the top stripe matched the teal of the jacket.

I padded the bustle to make it stick out a little.

A view from below.

And underneath the skirt was a pair of real vintage bloomers with lovely lace trim.

And lacy tights, because you can never have too much lace!

And to complete the outfit, a pair of lace-up leather boots that I have owned for over ten years. They were perfect for the occasion.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #18

The decor for my Victorian dinner party extended to the main bathroom of our home. I hung a makeshift clothesline over the tub and hung a collection of vintage children's clothes.

Airy white cotton embroidered baby and toddler's chemises and dresses were hung with old fashioned clothes pegs.

Lots of exquisite embroidered details are there for those who take a closer look.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #17

After dinner, but before people stood up to move around, I brought out this reproduction set of of a Victorian-era game called "The Comical Game of Who?"  Cards are divided between the men and women and ridiculous questions are asked in numerical order and the response is given by the holder of the next consecutive card.  It is an innocent game with wording that provides a sense of Victorian attitude. With everyone feeling relaxed and well fed, all got into the spirit of the game and was actually great fun, resulting in lots of laughter, mostly as there were several hams in the room and because of the game's silliness factor.

After the game of Who?, the men retired to drink cognac or brandy, and the ladies with their liquers sat down to have a tarot card reading and a reading using special flower spirit cards, both in keeping with the spiritualism that was sop popular in Victorian times. It also worked very well with the Halloween timing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #16

This lovely two-volume set of  Le Marchand d'antiquites, the French version of Charles Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop was published in Paris in 1942. It was a hostess gift given to me by friend R. at my Victorian dinner party. How wonderfully appropriate was that, and I pressed into service as part of the decor immediately.

A stamp on the title page reveals that it was part of  the "Location de livres francais et anglais" in Paris at one time...

with its location on the shelf marked by the consecutive nos. 523 and 524 on labels affixed to the spine.

There are lovely marbled covers clearly showing a well worn patina...

as do the covers' edges and wavy pages. All of these signs of its age come together to make a beautiful artifact, which exudes the feeling a past time. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #15

Several weeks before my party I was in Mont. St. Hilaire, Quebec and visited a farmer who had pumpkins for sale, including the grey pumpkin atop the urn in the photo above, and the large grey Hubbard squash pictured below.  They were the perfect addition to the evening with their fascinating and somewhat eerie colouring.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #14

Pteridomania, otherwise known as fern mania, was a craze that swept Britian during Victorian times. Specimens were brought back from journeys to far-away places by botanists and eventually grown for cultivation in Victorian homes. People also roamed the countryside for specimens for their collection.

With that in mind, I decided to transplant my one fern into my black iron urn and decorate it with peacock feathers for added Victorain flair.

A collection of umbrellas and walking sticks were plalced by the door.

And some giant tassles that I found in a thrift shop and kept just in case one day I might find a use for them, were hung from a hook in the ceiling so that we could summon our non-existent servants throughout the evening.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Victorian Dinner Party #13

Lighting was key to providing atmosphere at the dinner party. As mentioned in a previous blog post, I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow an iron chandelier from a friend, which I hung over the centre of the dinner table. Lit with ivory candles, it was a beautiful touch and tied in with my tumbling leaves motif in with my china pattern.

 A view from above... and a view from below, which shows the pair of blackbirds perched there.

And another larger blackbird who has alighted on this lamp, covered in black lace.

Bits of black lace were strewn about or strategically placed by friend A., who was a god-send, helping me with last-minute decorating and preparations. Thanks for the help A!

A pair of black gloves joins a blackbird and black lace.

Along the dinner table were votives with a silver mercury glass feel to them.

And in the corner of the room, were some dollar-store lanterns whose motif looked the part, and when lit with batteries, were surprisingly effective.

Above, the lanterns shining in the dark, and below, how they look in a lighted room.

And here, looking very handsome when placed in front of this appropriately themed painting.