Monday, January 17, 2022

Charlotte Shoe Buckle - more colors!!!!

      Just wanted to make a quick post of the new colors I have in the shop of my Charlotte shoe buckles.  I am able to make small runs with my manufacturer as we have a great working relationship.  These new colors are gorgeous, and I have of course kept one of each for me!  So many colors, so many buckles!  I have choices, which I absolutely love.

Lavender on silver/gunmetal shown on American Duchess Dunmore shoes

Topaz on Kevin Garlick custom shoes using silk/wool Renaissance Fabrics on gold metal

Aquamarine on silver/gunmetal

Clear on gold metal

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

New Item - Hat Pins!

      I introduced a new product at the end of 2021; however, I haven't written about it and felt I needed to.  Some of my friends have said FINALLY! 

     When I first started my business, I found a person in California that made really strong 14-16 gauge hat pins.  I liked them so much, that I purchased 200.  As I got low in stock because they were very popular, the maker stopped making them.  There was no reason, no response, nothing.  My usual source of the 20-22 gauge hat pins that I decorate also went out of business.  I have had to really be creative in order to still offer a good hat pin.

     That is when I decided to have a hat pin manufactured to my specifications!  It took several months to get it coordinated, but it was finally done and all in my possession.

     This new hat pin can be used for anyone that wants to secure that hat - living history, reenactments, live action role play, costuming, equine shows, Red Hat Society, theatre, etc.  It is made of steel, is 7-1/2 inches long, and 1mm thick!

     These pins will be sold in my Etsy shop with select sutlers - currently Samson Historical!

     I am responsible for what I do and say as well as how I treat others.  Do unto others as I would have them do unto me.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year!

      I want to thank everyone for their support for me and my horses in 2021!  With all going on in the world, it is greatly appreciated.  We could not do it without you, and never take that for granted.  I think God rescued me by giving me the most amazing creatures to care for, and they get someone dedicated to their care.  My business is for them! 


 Me in the Paca House and Gardens

     May everyone reading this be blessed, have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!  May 2022 bring new friends, acquaintances, opportunities, peace, and love to all.


Nelson (December 2021)

Friday, December 10, 2021

Media - Muzzleloader Magazine

      Very appreciative of Muzzleloader Magazine The Publication for Traditional Blackpowder Shooters for mentioning my new fourth style watch in the November / December 2021 magazine!  You can see the article on pages 9 and 10 - in the Prime Possibles section where they review products.  I also included that section below! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

18th Century Reproduction Masonic Shirt Buckle / Pin / Brooch

     A couple of years ago, I was able to purchase the mold for a reproduction 18th century Masonic shirt pin from William Hettinger, III.  He had hand made jewelry for the reenactor/living historians prior to me starting my business.  His work was exquisite, and I own several of his pieces as well.  He also is selling several things from his own personal collection of original items - not the Masonic pin unfortunately as I would buy it! - but other items.  So do check out my shop in the Antique section.

     With that said, several men have come into my shop asking about my carrying a Masonic shirt pin.  I know that there are several silversmiths that do make them for those who want "trade silver" and the like for reenactors; however, I decided to make mine in several colors in the mold that was William's.  It is a cut steel type of look.  Mine will come in an antiqued and plain form in silver, gold, and gunmetal which is plated over copper.  This is perfect for any gentleman to wear today or for their living history needs.

Reproduction Masonic Shirt pin

     One of my best sources for jewelry when I am researching is "Jewelry in America 1600-1900" by Martha Gandy Fales.  Within her book, she discusses Masonic “jewelry.”  My newest piece offered in my shop is based upon the Master’s square and one that we see on George Washington in his portrait by Charles Willson Peale dated 1772 and commissioned by Martha Washington ( and I also found a copy by Rembrandt Peale painted in the 19th century sold at Christies.  The item itself is closing his shirt, which we can surmise that it was a buckle or shirt pin.  In the time period, they called them "buckles."

     Within the book, Ms. Fales states the following –

     “After the Revolution, fraternal societies such as Freemasonry which had been introduced into the colonies about 1730, began to flourish.  Due to the ritualistic nature of Freemasonry, a whole body of symbols was selected and was basic to the organization and teachings of the order.  These symbols appeared on their membership certificates, their regalia, the walls of their meeting places and on their medals or jewels.  At the same time, these emblems helped popularize concepts of the Enlightenment and played a part in the dissemination of the ideals that led to the Revolution and the establishment of a new form of government based on  natural rights and equality.

     Because Freemasonry developed out of craft guilds, many of its symbols represented the tools of the stonemasons, such as the trowel used for spreading the cement to unite a building; the square representing virtue; the level, equality; and the plumb, uprightness.  The chisel, which represented the benefits of discipline and education, could be explained with a gemmological simile:  ‘The mind, like the diamond in its original state, is rude and unpolished; but as the effect of the chisel on the external coat soon presents to view the latent beauties of the diamond; so education discoveres the latend virtues of the mind and draws them forth.’

     Architectural principles were used to explain truth, beauty, nature and reason through lasting examples of stonemasonry, such as the images of pyramids, temples and cathedrals, and reflected the current interest in classical architecture.  The ionic, doric, and Corinthian orders symbolized for the Masons the attributes of wisdom, strength, and beauty.  The entrance to King Solomon’s template was suggested by a pair of pillars supporting globes, and the floor of the temple was represented by black and white tiles symbolizing good and evil.  Mathematical and scientific principles contributed to Masonic devices such as the letter G for geometry.  To all of these were added religious, heraldic, and philosophical symbols, providing a rich panoply for the jewels that were part of the Freemason’s regalia.

     In 1762 silver brooches set with stones especially for Freemasons had been imported from London and offered for sale in Annapolis, Maryland.  However, the jewels were more often made locally.  The sale of a freemason’s medal was the subject of the first entry in Paul Revere’s extant account books.  At first, only the Masters and Wardens of each Masonic Lodge were adorned with jewels suspended from white ribbons, but gradually each officer acquired a different jewel.

     By the end of the 18th century, Paul Revere, himself a Mason, was making complete sets of jewels such as those made for the Washington Lodge in Roxbury, Massachusetts, charted in 1796.  The Master’s jewelry was in the form of a square.  A level was the emblem worn by the senior Warden and a plumb by the Junior Warden.  The Treasurer was represented by crossed keys, the Secretary by crossed pens, the Chaplin by a Bible, the Stewards by cornucopias, and the Tyler by crossed swords.  After the Revolution, the American Lodges began to develop their own vocabulary and devices.  Revere added to the Masters’ and Wardens’ emblems a sunburst of sixteen rays pointing to the sixteen oval links in the surrounding chain, symbolizing the new nation of sixteen states.  Tennessee having been admitted as the sixteenth state in the same year that the Washington Lodge was chartered.

     Former Masters of Masonic Lodges were given the Past Master’s jewel designed with a quadrant conjoined with an open compass.  These were often embellished with elaborated settings made of pastes or precious gems.  An example with a green paste at the top of the silver compass had an additional medal suspended between compass legs.  The medal part, probably imported from France, was cast ormolu with a bowknot at the top and set with green, blue, white, and yellow pastes.  The American made quadrant supporting the medal was veneered on to with gold and marked on the back with the maker’s name, Jenkins.

     During the Federal period, Masons occasionally had personal jewelry made, often to commemorate their initiative, and designed to suit their owner’s preference.  In the mid-eighteenth century, faction developed within the Freemasons with degrees of the Mark Lodge and Royal Arch Masonry.  This gave rise to Mark jewelry consisting of an individualistic design.  The Mark jewels were usually round or shield shaped and were engraved with the initials HTWSSTKS, referring to the Hiramic legend which was part of the ritual.  Samuel Cabot, a Boston merchant, became a Master Mason while he was in Paris.  His gold Mark jewel presumably made in Paris was engraved on one side with his name and the designation of the French Lodge.  On the reverse was his personal rebus, the arms of Cabot, three chabots (sculpins) with a scallop shell crst.  Lockwood N. DeForest, a member of Jerusalem Chapter No. 13 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, had a silver Mark jewel engraved with his emblem, a three-masted schooner under sail flying a pennant and an American flag"

     I believe that the "jewels" or pendants described in the above article were to wear for the meetings and ceremonies of the Mason.  The shirt pins in the paintings are being worn in civilian or military dress as a sign of their being a Mason.  However, I am not well versed in this.  My father was a Mason but he seemed to have skipped the meetings or kept his oath of secrecy, and I was a Rainbow girl but was not in it for very long.  We had meetings and rehearsals.  My mother was in the Eastern Star as well and equated it to more of a social club than anything else.

     More on Freemasonry in America can be found in a great article, Freemasonry in 18th Century America by Jim Peterson

      In 1772, the Reverend Boucher asked Charles Willson Peale to accompany Jack Custis home to Mount Vernon from Annapolis, Maryland.  Peale had met Mrs. Washingotn in 1771 in Williamsburg, Virginia when he painted miniatures of her two children.  Meeting her again at Mount Vernon, the artist arranged with her to paint her husband's portrait as a companion piece to her earlier portrait by John Wollaston.  Mrs. Washington prevailed upon the Colonel to pose for Peale, and thus began Peale’s long friendship with Washington and the first of the seven sittings that became the basis of his many portraits.  The portrait, now in the Washington and Lee University, shows him in the uniform of a colonel in the militia, with the orders of the day showing from his pocket.  No mention within Peale’s papers of the pin closing his shirt.  I do believe it is a Masonic pin.  Taken from The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale, Volume I, by Lillian B. Miller.  

 Detail of George Washington by Charles Willson Peale, dated 1772

      When searching for examples of 18th century “jewels,” medallions, or brooches, I came across this one ( from Peter Cameron’s archives that is unmarked dated circa 1770, of the George III provenance. They were probably worn on ribbon around the neck during a ceremony as this one is missing a ring or bail, and you do not see any type of brooch attachment on the back.

     I have also come across another portrait with a similar pin as Washington above, in the An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump dated 1768 by Joseph Wright of Derby.

Detail of An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump
     These are now in my Etsy shop available for sale!  I will also sell them wholesale for any business that is interested.


Monday, September 27, 2021

Fall 2021

      It is already Fall!  The horses are starting to grow in their winter coats.  I know this just by watching the white parts of Haddy, my Tobiano Paint.  It starts to fluff up more than her other hair.

     I wanted to post some photos of my last show at George Washington's Mount Vernon near Alexandria, Virginia.  It was a big success with over 8300 visitors on Saturday and Sunday, close to 50 sutler/vendors, and a few reenactment units!  George Washington also made an appearance!


Photo by Krista Jasillo


     Participating in this event is a highlight of my year.  So many come to visit, and it has a wonderful atmosphere with the sights, sounds, and smells of a reenactment but with funnel cakes!  That is at least what I smelled as I was just catty corner from the food vendor - which has its advantages.


Shenanigans with Krista


      It has been awhile since I posted on my blog, and I hope to be more diligent with announcing new products, where I will show up next, and just general research!  I also have a newsletter that I send out quarterly or with special updates to those who have subscribed.  It often times announces sales, new products, or just to say hello!  I love hearing from you, so please go to my Facebook or Instagram pages and like and comment on the posts!  This will increase my research and help with sales.  All of this helps support my beautiful horses care.


Portrait with the shop merchandise shown - well not all of it - on Sunday since our outfits are different


Krista (with me in the background peeking in - she doesn't know I'm there - ha ha !!!)


My American Duchess Dunmore shoes in green with Charlotte Peridot shoe buckles from my shop.  The Dunmore are my favorite 18th century reproduction shoes that they make.


A great photo in front of my shop!


More shenanigans with me trying to make sure Krista didn't fall!

Krista and Gema looked back and saw me peeking in!  This is what our events are like - so much fun, laughter and camaraderie.  


Check my page of schedule and services to see where I will be next!


Thank you to Jennifer Higgins of Chadds Ford Floorcloths for taking the above photos!  You always catch the special moments.  

Monday, June 21, 2021

Important Information on the Handling of the Exclusive Watches from my Shop

     Good Day everyone!  A public service announcement.

     I have had a few clients come directly to me regarding their watch and its use. I have created a diagram of the watch so that you understand exactly what I am talking about below.


     These watches, as well as any others on the market, are NOT indestructible.  They are heavy and hardy, but depending on how they are handled, they can be broken!  Please do not blame me and the quality of the watch if you break it (yes, I have had insults and threats which just isn't cool).  If you are honest and let me know, I can work with you on a discount for another. 

     1.  IF you purchase your watch from another company that resells them, do not come to me and insult me if you break your watch - especially months and years after purchase.  Please go back to that company and they will work with you (and me) on the issue.  Also, honor the return policy of an item.  Guarantees are not in perpetuity even if I wish they were.

      2.  The manufacturer puts in a new watch battery, and I turn the watch off when I receive them to preserve the battery.  If you receive it and it stops a few months after purchase for whatever reason, replace it.  They can be purchased via Amazon, your local drug or grocery store, etc., in quantity for very little, and why I created the watch so that we can change it ourselves.  If you are not sure how to do that, take it to a place that can change it for you.  No, the watch battery should not stop after a few months of purchase, but it has happened - once - to my knowledge.  The watch battery is "SR626SW" or "Energizer 377."

     3.  If you drop it, it can break.  If you drop something on it, it can shatter the crystal (glass). 

     4.  If you pull too hard on the crown, you can loosen it from the stem.  It is not a winding stem or winder, it is just used to set the time, turn it on or turn it off.  Yes, it will just spin as if it was.  It is battery operated, and a gentle pull to where you feel the "give" UP will turn it OFF and set the watch hands (push gently DOWN to turn it on) and again to turn it OFF (pull gently up).  Don't yank it needlessly.

     5. If you wear your watch in a pocket as most men do, and consistently yank it out by the ribbon or chain you have it secured to, it can affect the bow and stem and possibly either break it or come loose.  I recommend putting your fingers around the watch and pulling it out of the pocket as is proper. Respect the piece.

     6.  Do not over turn or over twist the stem itself as it can break or break things on the inside as well. 

     As with anything we own, proper care and handling is needed. 


Back of the watch - twists off and the battery is in the very center of the case.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Fort Loudoun Market Fair

      My next show will take place from 24-27 June 2021 at Fort Loudoun in Pennsylvania (west of Chambersburg).  I'll have the full tent, and all the things!  


Photo taken at Mount Vernon Market Fair in 2019


     This event will feature over 50 - 18th Century artisans, demonstrations, artisanal food, a blanket trader flea market, early American and Celtic music, a chance to shoot at marks, and a glimpse of frontier life during the 18th Century.  Sponsored by MUZZLELOADER Magazine and the Franklin County Visitors Bureau.

If you decide to attend you will not be sorry.  The address is 1720 N Brooklyn Rd, Fort Loudoun, PA 17224, and it shows up on Google Maps for directions.

Admission will be $5 for adults, 17 and under are free.  The list of Artisans attending are -

18th Century Arms
Acorn Forge (Blacksmith)
At the Sign of the Black Bear (Artwork)
At the Sign of the Gray Horse (Jewelry) <---------------- !
Bentwood Boxes
Bickenheuser Basketmaker
Blackpowder Pouches
Blue Cat Button Works
Chadds Ford Canvas
Claus Jackware
Craftsman to the Past (Silversmith)
Dan Eisenhour - Horner
Dan Hrinko Boxmaker
Dave Morris Cabinet Maker
Donna Selfridge Spangler Fraktur Art
Early American Tin
Fashions Revisited
FEW Cooperage
Fire, Hammer & File
Fort Vause Outfitters
Gen-Nis-He-Yo Trading Company
Gilson & Sons (Glassblowing)
Gossville Shoes
Half Crown Bakery
Historic Reproduction Lightshop
Hussar Saddlery
J&S Gier Artificers (Horner)
J. Foster Historic Signs
Jason A Cherry LLC (Historian)
Kauffman Fine Furniture (Cabinetry)
Lady Aimee's Fine Sewing Sutlery
Leather from the Past (Hunting Pouches)
Millicent Hughes "1777"
Old Dominion Forge
Scott Baylor Tinware
Steinhagen Pottery
Stonehouse History (Weaving/Spoons)
Tim Sanner Powder Horns
Tim William's Flintlocks
Tin Man Roy (Tinware)
The Joiner Shoppe (Cabinetry)
The Shortbread Exchange
The Village Weaver (Textiles)
Village Restorations
Warrior's Path Knives (Joe Scott)
Westminister Forge (Copperware)
White Historic Art
WKD Longrifles
Wm. Booth, Draper (Textiles)

Across the Pond (Celtic Music)
Sons of Liberty (Early American Music)

Food Vendors:
Zaks Snacks & Hazardous Goods
Uncle Eddie's BBQ
Shuman's Concessions
Antietam Dairy
Ed's Kettlecorn

Franklin County Visitors Bureau
Goldfish Barn Event Center
Mt. Parnell Cabinet Shop
Mercersburg True Value
Mountain View Sawmill
Whit Lane
Waste Management
Nitterhouse Masonry Products


See you there!!!!