19 Oct 2009

...and I'm not even surprised!

So while I was on my way home after work today, a question just popped up and demanded an answer:

"Hey! I wonder if someone has made the French Revolution with LEGO?"

Ten minutes later and a quick google search sufficed: Someone sure had!

As a matter of fact, there were several LEGO re-enactments of this event only on Youtube and I'm going to feature this one:

But, please, don't demand those 9:04 minutes of your life back from
me if you watch it!

14 Oct 2009

A post about shoes

I have been felling tired and stupid for the last few weeks and haven't done much sewing or anything of importance really.

But even a woman with half a brain can talk about shoes, so here it is: A post about shoes.

I bought these shoes at Lidl, of all places. Cheap and replaceable, I figured they'd make a good first re-covering project. I bought some black faux leather that I was going to use and started with one shoe but when I found the Red 80's Leather Jacket of Doom! on sale in a second hand store, I quickly changed my mind.

The jacket was absolutely grotesque and should probably have been burned or sent to the bottom of the sea in a sealed iron chest but it was a very nice and smooth leather, and very red, so as of now it' still in my home, slightly mutilated but still recognisable.

However, here's the result. They're RED (I read somewhere that red shoes were mostly worn by loose women. Is this true?)

I will have to work out something to hide the raw edges, and find some shoe buckles.

The flaws are plentiful, because I messed a few things up, but for once I won't point them out to you. I'm mostly done with them but hopefully learned a few things for my next project...

...which will be this pair.

I'm not too crazy about them so I don't care if they blow up. I will use scraps of grey silk taffeta that I have (actually a pair of half-finished mitts. That blew up).

Then I have these.

They will become my Sensible Shoes, for when a lot of walking and standing is to be expected. I want them to remain black so maybe I can use the faux leather for them.

Another pair of Sensible Shoes that I don't know what do do with yet, I just bought them.

These are the shoes I have used until now.

They're exactly as when I bought them and I don't think I will do anything about them. They're not really very pretty (or accurate...) but they will have to do until I've made something shiney. They're uncomfortable to boot (bad pun intended) which is another reason for not bothering with them.

But finally: the completely unworn 70's(?) beauties that I will save for later, when I've learnt to master the art of shoe re-covering.
There will be silk involved, that's all I know for now.

Well, that was a post about shoes all right. What shoes do you wear yourself when in costume? Pics and links please!

3 Oct 2009

Illustrations from poetry book

Swedish 18th century poetry isn't my cup of tea, with a few exceptions.

One of them is Anna Maria Lenngren, a female poet who lived 1754-1817.

She was married to Carl Petter Lenngren who was an editor of the Stockholm newspaper Stockholms Posten which became an outlet for Anna Maria's works. She also translated poetry and theatrical plays.

She was widely read and liked in her own time, and has continued to be so because her poems has aged so remarkably well. Her style was witty, satirical and humorous and one of her subjects was not seldom the overly proud and ridiculous nobleman or -woman, why I sometimes amuse myself with thinking that Anna Maria and Jane Austen would have liked each other, had they ever met...

But to the point: Anna Maria's poems weren't published in book form until 1819, after her death, but it has been re-printed again and again ever since, and I have the great joy of owning one copy published in 1890.

Besides the pretty cover, it also contains many illustrations by none other than Swedish artist Carl Larsson. The illustrations are late 19th century interpretations of 18th and early 19th century and, I think, quite lovely in their own right.

I left the poem here so you can see the lovely font! The girl has fainted upon learning that her parrot has been killed by a cat, who's being kicked out in the top left corner.

The subject of this poem was the "mutton dressed as lamb" thing...

This poem was written in the memory of Kellgren, a fellow poet and friend of Anna Maria, who passed in 1795. It is he who receives an embrace from the young woman (he did love the fair sex) and Gustaf III, who had died three years before, watches with some amusement from the background.

An old, right honourable and proud couple. But not even the finest pedigree will save them from the reaper...

A proposal scene. But is the young lady so virtuous and innocent as she looks? unfortunately, the man won't find out until after the wedding...

"My late wife"...

Mademoiselle Lisa is quite accomplished. She makes tolerable bobbin lace and no less than four heels on each stocking!

Young Lise marries a count! But all is vanity - in the end, she only becomes the subject of a poem!

"To my dear daughter, if I had one". This poem is still disputed among critics. Anna Maria tells her "daughter" to stay away from the pen and look to her household duties instead. But was it meant satirically or not? The debate goes on.

Is it Lady Catherine and Anne de Burgh? No, but it almost could be! Juliana is raised to think herself above most other people (in "the old ruins of the manor") but eventually marries below her birth, to her family's horror.

"Every age has its customs"... The young lady is told to care a little less about her respectability - it will come with age anyway!

His grace is fast asleep and won't get up for at least another hour, much to the dismay of his creditors who are waiting upon him.

"The Old Woman"

The countess and her daughter honour the vicar with a visit. His wife and daughter kiss the countess' skirt hem (a custom that wasn't abolished until 1809) and soon turn the house upside-down in an effort to make the visit agreeable to the honourable guests, who still remain rather unimpressed... Again I feel an Austen reference. Anyone else?


I just learned that Anna Maria Lenngren's poems have been translated into English by a man called Philip K. Nelson and published in 1984. One of his translations are available on the Swedish Anna Maria Lenngren wikipedia page, and I think it works very well compared to the original:

The Man's Last Wish
My dear wife, listen now
And promise while you tarry,
That when I die you'll vow
That you and Per won't marry.
My last wish you'll obey now, won't you?
For otherwise I'll come and haunt you.
The wife:
Dear husband, die in peace.
This promise I am making.
Your worrying can cease.
This vow I'm never breaking.
I swear that Per and I won't wed,
For I have promised Sven instead.
A little info about the book on Google books (it's not available there, though).