Thursday, February 11, 2016

Medieval and Renaissance Jewelry

     I have been delving into portraits and prints of earlier times to find inspiration for pieces as well as offerings for those who interpret the Renaissance or participate in Ren Faires.  I have been successful with finding - MORE PEARLS - but I have also found designs that I often see in the 18th and even 19th centuries!  As I continue my research into these time periods, and also for a blog post on necklaces that I am writing, so many things come to light just in portraiture on how designs came in and out of fashion. 

     Looking at the above example, you can see red coral or possibly carnelian.  She also seems to have a flower sprig in her hair that could also possibly be a carved piece.  This was popular again in the late 18th and into the early 19th Century.  You can see the full portrait on my Pinterest page.

     Henrietta is wearing earrings that we also see in the 1780's with the long hoops and large pearls, a portrait miniature, and pearls.

     You can check out my Pinterest boards to think about certain looks you want to achieve in your historical, costume, or living history dress and then my Etsy shop to buy it.  I also assist with providing advice and assistance if you aren't sure.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

REVIEW - My Historical Coral Jewelry Set by K.Walters at the Sign of the Gray Horse

I've never been much of a jewelry girl....until now. I've been thinking more about jewelry as important accessories to historical costume, both day and evening, but my collection is sparse, to say the least. Time for some shopping - oh darn!

There are a couple fantastic historical jewelry makers, one of whom is K.Walters, At the Sign of the Gray Horse. I'd seen her creations online, but never ordered anything, not being much of a jewelry girl.

But as I get more into accessorizing, I thought a couple coral pieces would be a good "starter" set, since coral jewelry is *so* historical, and *so* versatile. I asked Kim, the proprietrix of Gray Horse, if she could create a graduated coral bead necklace and bracelets. She encouraged me to also try the earrings with clip-on findings, and now I'm really glad I did!

Since the jewelry was made for me, the bracelets fit my spindly wrists perfectly - not too loose and not too tight.

When the set arrived, I was impressed by the beauty and quality of it. The photos online donot do the Gray Horse jewelry justice! The beads are Swarovski crystal red coral beads. The findings are delicate silver - the bracelets and necklace have a slide/snap fastening that's makes it really easy to get the jewelry on and off, especially the bracelets. Kim also included a ring as a surprise, and let me know that she is working on bringing tiaras to her shop (which I will definitely be getting, to complete my very first parure).

As for the earrings, I have to say I've never worn a more comfortable clip on. These have a screw-back for adjustment, and I could not feel them when they were on. They didn't hurt my sensitive ears at all, and they stay put all day without incident.

One of the things I really like about Kim is that her work is full of love. She enjoys making the jewelry, she makes an effort to get to know her clients and create items they'll love, and the profits from her craft go to support her rescue horses (hence the name of her shop). Supporting small businesses with heart is important to me, and I couldn't be happier with supporting At The Sign of the Gray Horse.

If you are interested in historical jewelry, check out Kim's online shops. She can make just about anything, so be sure to contact her for information on custom jewelry creation:

For more on American Duchess - you can follow her on the following:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Shrewsbury Press Writes...and my Dutch Ancestry

      The Shrewsbury Press recently released the following:

     "Here's a fun story of period fiction inspiring reality - The Dutch Girl, the latest from Donna Thorland, author of page-turning Revolutionary War romances, features a tasty & sexy cookie.  So Kim Walters, accomplished hearth cook and author of the 18th Century A Book of Cookery, developed a cookie to go with the story and baked it in the Gunston Hall period kitchen!  Pictures coming next - and stay tuned for the video!"

Gunston Hall

Mixing some of the ingredients

Enjoying the cookies and having tea

Finished product

     This was a very special project for me.  I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and my Dutch ancestor Nicholaas Hogle was a patriot.  I descend from a host of Dutch families that leased land on Rensselaerwyck and were some of the first settlers in Albany.  My family names include Hogle as mentioned, van den Burgh, van Valkenburg, Lansing, Ostrander, Waldron, and van Hoesen to name a few.  Genealogy is another passion of mine as it is family history.

Washington Mourning Buttons

     For those who are not following me on Facebook, I have been able to purchase a rare pair of George Washington Mourning sleeve buttons (or cuff links).  I won these at auction.  The story is they were found near Sackets Harbor, New York.  The village of Sackets Harbor was the site of two battles during the War of 1812.  The original buttons would have been made at the end of 1799 and early 1800 to memorialize Washington - many things were made for that purpose.  Someone lost these possibly during that battle but we will never know.  Fate has it that I now have them, and have sent them off as I will be making reproductions for you.

     A pre-order listing is now available in my Etsy shop for those interested. They will be made in brass ($50) and sterling silver ($70) for a set (which includes two pair).  Make your order now to be some of the first to have these amazing buttons.  If interested in just loose buttons, please e-mail me.

     There are LOT of new items in stock, so please stop by my Etsy shop to take a look with a cup of tea and a few cookies to make the experience even more pleasurable!

     For historic sites, museums, and gift shops, I do have an affiliate program!  Please e-mail me for more details.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Colonial Williamsburg's American Girls

Colonial Williamsburg's American Girls - Felicity's Surprise Blog Post with A Christmas Story, Book 3 shows Mrs. Merriman (Samantha McCarty) wearing the Gray Horse pearl necklace and earrings!  

Newest Book Review

Sunday, January 17, 2016

British Brigade & Continental Line Annual General Meeting

     Thank you so much to all who supported me at the British Brigade & Continental Line Annual General Meeting!  I did not have many items with me, but you all helped the horses so much!  Will be there again next year with more things.  Hope to see you at the Fort Frederick Market Fair at the end of April!

My VERY limited offerings focusing on the MEN for this one - American Duchess Shoe Buckles, Antique Hat or Sash Buckles, Georgian Watch Chains, Regency Watch Chains, Watch Seals, and Georgian Sleeve Buttons 
(Georgian Cuff Links)

Jim McGaughey and I at the General Warren Inne, Malvern, PA

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Making Reproduction Jewelry

Reproduction Jewelry

K. Walters at the Sign of the Gray Horse
By Kimberly K. Walters

     Recreating Georgian Jewelry is not an easy task.  There are a multitude of wonderful portraits that are available now on-line, and many that are coming available everyday!  There are so many things to make - so what do I choose? 

     I do try to do my best and select those types of things that I see that are common.  Pearl or pearls with crystals are the most common that I see.  Then I figure out how I can make them.  Some are easy, some take a day or two to figure out!  I do hope that my efforts are worth while.  Check out my Etsy shop for the latest available. 

Also follow me on Pinterest!