Friday, November 2, 2018

Miller-Cory House Museum in Westfield, New Jersey

     I had the pleasure to work with the Miller-Cory House Museum, in Westfield, New Jersey to coordinate and provide some jewelry to their newest exhibit, "From Aprons to Wigs - 18th Century Finery."  Several of my pieces now grace the lovely ladies (displays) in the house.  If you are in the area, check it out!  

Duchessa necklace with drop handmade by me

Glass Double Strand Pearl necklace handmade by me

Photos courtesy of the Miller-Cory House Museum. 
The authentic period clothing was part of a wonderful display at the Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield, NJ, called "From Aprons to Wigs - 18th Century Finery."  They represented a portion of the private collection of Ms. Cathy Thek.  The Miller-Cory House Museum, listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, is a circa 1740 farmhouse offering tours and special programs to the public.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

George Washington's Birthplace National Monument - 20 October 2018

     Every year now since 2014, I have spent a day cooking in the hearth at George Washington Birthplace National Monument.  I had just witnesses the surgery on my horse, Mindy's hoof the day prior, and felt that I needed a day to "relax?"  Ha Ha  I had promised to cook for the Marines, and did not want to disappoint the site either.  I am also late in posting this, but wanted to show off the fabulous meal that we made.

Photo taken of me by Krista Jasillo

     This may be the last year that that takes place, as the site is changing their format to focus on the 1930's revival when the site was saved.  Sigh...we had a good time while there!  I was scheduled to hearth cook at Patrick Henry's Scotchtown on 10 November; however, the Mother Nature kept us very wet this past year, and the Mount Vernon Market and Craft Fair was rescheduled from September to 10 November!

Krista peeling apples for her Coddling Tart

     I have some awesome photos of the event - as usual - we outdid ourselves!  This year, it was just Krista Jasillo and I doing the cooking - and boy were we busy!  Kerry McClure and Lynn Price were in the house interpreting two Washington ladies - Mrs. Anna Washington and Mrs. Betty Washington Lewis.

     Pictures speak a thousand words - so here you go!

Bread Pudding and a Coddling Tart in the works!

Krista peeling apples 

Putting the Bread Pudding in the dish

Selfie time!  We had such a great time.  It is very hard to talk to the public and create the meal that we did, but we did it! 

Main meal - Fried cauliflower, stewed mushrooms, coddling tart, baked ham, pickled red cabbage, fried sausages and apples, corn relish, rotisserie chicken, bread pudding, roasted carrots/potatoes/ onions/turnips, and stuffing

 Kerry, Captain McGaughey of the British Marines, and me offering the Coddling Tart.

Dr. Lynn Price as Mrs. Betty Washington Lewis

Dessert - Spice small cakes, cheddar cheese, grapes, cocoa almonds, sugared cherries, plums, sugar small cakes, glazed walnuts, provolone cheese, and candied ginger
To drink - apple cider, lemonade, and water

Every year we provide all scraps (not meat) to the pigs on site!  It is our contribution to making them happy little oinkers

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sign of the Gray Horse Challenge - What are You Thankful For?

     With so much to do this Fall, I usually do not have time to participate in the month long challenges of posting, hashtagging, sharing, etc., and it can get a bit time consuming and tedious.  However, I have decided to do my own Challenge that is only for a week.  Much more manageable, and you do not have to be in "dress, "costume," etc!

     It starts on Sunday, 4 November and ends on 10 November 2018.  The idea is for you to start on Sunday, 4 Nov, with a picture of family you are grateful for, describe a bit about why, and hashtag #signofthegrayhorse and #thankfulchallenge.  That's it!  Then on Monday, post friends you are thankful for, etc!

     Can't wait to see what YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR!

Photo by Paul A. McClintock

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Indifferent Dreams - My Horse Mindy Lou

     Those who follow me on social media, know that my horse Mindy Lou (registered name is Indifferent Dreams) has had trouble with an abscess since 6 October.  I have been off-line a lot, taking care of her, meeting with vets who examined her three times and took x-rays twice, until it was recommended that an MRI was needed as she still was not better.  She had the abscess come out, but it didn't seem to be enough.  That didn't include working my full time job -  had to take time off for this - filling jewelry orders - seeing my other horses - and trying not to freak the heck out.  Mindy is my second horse of all time.  Southern Belle, the first.  She is the matriarch of the herd now, large and in charge in her field - lame or no.

Mindy still wrapped at the farm - still not comfortable

     I had help taking my girl to the Virginia Tech Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia - a premiere and state of the art facility with the right machines to get a look at Mindy's hoof.  

This was how uncomfortable she was - almost folding over her hoof

     Mindy settled in, albeit not very well as she had not been confined to a stall for many years.  The staff were quick, efficient, and so very personable.  Mindy hit the lottery as Dr. James Brown was on site that day.  They took my girl in without having more than my name, and I called them immediately to give my information.  I let them know they had THE PRINCESS in residence, a true great-great granddaughter to Seattle Slew.  If you do not know who Seattle Slew was - a legend - you can read about him here.

Can we go home now?

     An MRI was scheduled for the next morning, it was reviewed and consulted, and exploratory surgery done in the same day.  Dr. Brown had also just come from doing a colic surgery for another horse, and I am grateful that Mindy could be taken in so quickly.  The good news was that the abscess and infection had not traveled up into her coffin bone, muscles, tendons, or navicular area.  That meant she had a chance of full recovery.  So we went for it!

Mindy being wheeled into the operating area

     I watched while Dr. Brown, Dr. Benjamin DuBois, and other technicians and staff took the greatest care of Mindy during surgery.  It was mesmerizing and horrifying all at the same time, but God put these people on the earth to perform these miracles so that we can have our animals a bit longer with us.

Dr. Brown taking out the infection while Dr. DuBois holds onto Mindy's hoof

Mindy going into recovery to wake up from the surgery

     Mindy came through her surgery just fine.  They were very happy with her recovery, and plans are now being made for a hospital plate type shoe made and put on by Paul Goodness, one of the best farriers on the planet - or the best - to cover the area taken out of her hoof that was diseased.  I have no idea how she got the infection, and that it was so bad that it required surgery.  

Today looking outside

Mindy has lost a lot of weight since she was in pain and not eating well, but she will enjoy the very best of food to put it back on

Weight on both hooves today!

     She should be home this week, and then the healing begins in a stall for about 2-3 months while her hoof grows back.  Don't worry, the hoof walls are still there, but half of the inside is gone, and that requires stabilization, antibiotics, some pain management meds, and lots and lots of love (and peppermints - her favorite treat).

     Thank you all for your prayers, your wonderful thoughts, and for supporting my business.  I will need to sell a lot of jewelry to cover this expense, but that is what the business is for, so keep those orders coming in!  I hope to see many of you at my next show.

     As a note - since I am so into history, I am grateful to Marion DuPont Scott for her gift to Virginia Tech which made this place possible to take care of so many horses, including my own.  This is what money can do, this is what being born into privilege can do for those with the right intentions - to give back.  It gives those of us without the same opportunity to have a chance to save, in this case, my horse.

     Finally, this is the second surgery that I have sat through for one of my horses, the first was for my Southern Belle during her colic surgery.  I did not think about taking photos of that at the time.  I watched the entire thing, and at that time she was at The Piedmont Equine Practice where Dr. Sarah Dukti performed the surgery.  Dr. Dukti had actually worked at the Virginia Tech Marion DuPont Scott Equine Center prior to going to Piedmont, and I watched an angel that day performing something I'd never even thought possible.  I, at least, had her four more months afterwards.  Well worth every single minute and every single penny spent to be with her.

     The link to my Etsy shop is here (SignoftheGrayHorse) if you would consider purchasing some of your gifts for the holidays this year from it.  It would go to off-set the over $6K bill I have received so far.  Yes, I know horses are expensive, and yes this is my burden to bear - but my shop helps me care for all of my horses - and it is greatly appreciated to those who support them and me.

NOTE:  Posting this on 1 November to also recognize Haymarket Veterinary Service who worked with me to help diagnose Mindy's issue.  The veterinarians Dr. Linda Neimeier, Dr. Jenny Alonge, and Dr. Sarah Jo Luby were instrumental in helping me get Mindy to the next step of her recovery.

Martha Washington Earrings

     I'm very behind in my website posts, and wanted to share a wonderful project that I am finishing.  Martha Washington, as many know, loved garnets.  One such item that she owned were a pair of drops that were later modified to be made into earrings. 

     Per the Mount Vernon website, "In 1760 George Washington recorded the receipt of an invoice dated December 26th, detailing his latest purchases from London. Therein he listed "A pair 3 dropt Garnet Earings" bought from a jeweler named J. Grymes to grace the ears of his wife, Martha. In the eighteenth century, "dropt" earrings referred to earrings with removable dangling pendants. As garnet jewelry remained popular throughout the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, few pieces survive in their original state. These drop pendants were later altered into a pair of earrings."

     So I have done my best to recreate the front as close to the original as I can as an inspired piece.  I do not know what the back of the originals look like, so decided on an earwire just a bit lower on the back so it sits beautifully on the ear.

     The originals were made from 25 beautiful round and oval cut garnets in a gold washed silver setting (vermeil).  The overall pieces in a pear or teardrop shape.  They may have been pendants that attached to this set.  

Originals worn by Martha Washington
(Photo Courtesy of Mount Vernon Women's Assocation)

My Reproductions - gold plated earwires with garnet rhinestones

My Reproductions - silver plated earwires with garnet rhinestones

     My reproductions measure the same as Martha's - 1-1/8 inches long by 3/4 inches wide.  They truly are just lovely!  Keep a look out for them in my shop next week, and will be in the Mount Vernon Gift Shop next spring.

~ Kim

Monday, October 15, 2018

Colonial Williamsburg Video

Absolutely love to see my Nelson in this video short about Colonial Williamsburg.  So thought I would share it here!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Early American Life Magazine Christmas Advertisement

     So excited to see my advertisement in the Christmas edition of Early American Life magazine!  It hit mailboxes and newsstands today!  Check it out on page 73!!!!

     My friend, Krista Jasillo, was very kind to model the jewelry for me.  She is wearing one of my Martha garnet colored crystal necklaces made exclusively for George Washington's Mount Vernon and which made the 2018 Early American Life directory!  A great honor.  The necklace and matching earrings are sold in their gift shop, and on-line.  You can find them here, and here!

Earrings pictured are different than what Mount Vernon currently is selling as I thought it would be fun to add a rosette above the teardrop to match the necklace.

     Also shown in the photo is the reproduction Forget Me Not turquoise ring that is also sold at Mount Vernon, and within in my Etsy shop and is gold flash plated over brass - an affordable alternative to real gold.  It is also appropriate for the 18th century as they did have faux gold or plated items after a specific time in the century.

     The link for my being in the Early American Life directory can be read here!  


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Most Perfect Georgian Bow - Now Available with Paste!

     Have been very busy with thinking up new products to offer to my client base, and these have turned out so well!  The possibilities are endless in putting together earrings or even a pendant with these.  They are based upon my regular Georgian Bows that I offer here and here for those who may not need the extra bling for day wear or any time really.  

     You can order these in my shop here.  All of the links above get you to my Etsy shop in which to order.  

     Will let the photos do the talking!  More colors are on the way - so stay tuned!  These match very well with my Charlotte and Dandridge shoe buckles - hint hint.

These are inspired after originals using a Rosette Forget Me Not Cluster at the top

George Gordon Byron in a Garnet Rhinestone Frame with Garnet Bow

Historical Hottie John Mortlock of Cambridge and Abington Hall by John Downman, 1779 
on a pearl necklace

Garnet Rhinestones

Clear Rhinestones with South Sea Shell Pearls

Clear Rhinestones in Silver Plate - Earwires are Sterling

Gold-Plate with Clear Rhinestones - Earwires are Gold-Filled