Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Tea with Mrs. Martha Washington at Mount Vernon

     Every year it has become a tradition for me and a few friends to attend the tea at George Washington's Mount Vernon that is hosted by his lovely wife, Mrs. Martha Washington.  It is held in the Inn, and consists of sitting with Mrs. Washington for a spell while she talks about the latest going on at her home, and then we go in and have a small bit of refreshment.  

L-R - Kerry, me, Elizabeth Keaney (Mrs. Washington), and Gema

     This year, despite the light snow and call for sleet in the afternoon, we made it there and enjoyed the couple of hours in her company.  I look forward to possibly going again in the fall, but will sign up again next year!  I love supporting Mount Vernon.

L-R - Shane, Kerry, me, and Gema

A wonderful snack with Bohea tea

My book in the gift shop next to a huge tea cannister!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Historic Annapolis - 7 December 2019 Christmas Program

     On 7 December, the group that I organize came together again at Historic Annapolis to bring the Paca House and Gardens to life!  Their amazing volunteer photographer - Ken Tom - took our photos again and I was given permission to share some of them.

     The assembled company included Mrs. Ann Mary Paca, her family, friends, His Excellency Governor Robert Eden and Mrs. Eden.  The local dance mistress was also there to lead everyone in English Country dance!

     The year was 1769, and the Pacas are having a small get together discussing holiday plans, the house being built next door, balls in town for the season, and some political news slips in here and there with the men.

Mrs. Ann Mary Paca (Gema) and Mrs. Charles Carroll the Barrister (Charles)

     As part of our program, we spoke about the taxes imposed by the Townshend Acts and how they were a big political issue of the day.  William Paca was serving on the Committee of Inspection charged with enforcing the local non-importation agreement, and several newspaper stories and advertisements made note of the fact that goods coming into town had to be cleared with the Committee before they could be sold.  As publishers of the Gazette , Anne Catharine Green and her son included many stories of other American cities enforcing similar non-importation pacts, which undoubtedly helped strengthen local resolve and the idea that all the colonies were standing together on this anti-taxation issue.  Even if the Pacas and their guests are trying to steer clear of political talk in December 1769, there was no way to avoid the fact that political matters were affecting what one could or could not (or should and should not) buy in local stores.  Even as Governor Eden builds social ties with the local elites, he’s most likely thinking of how this will also help bolster his political position.

Mathias Borley, Mr. John Beale Bordley (Jim), Mrs. Eleanor Hall (Marie-Louise), 
Mr. Brice Beale (Michael)

     So much fun was had by all.

Mrs. Margaret Bordley (me) and Mrs. Caroline Eden (Krista)

Mrs. Caroline Eden (Krista) and Mrs. Margaret Bordley (me)

Mr. Charles Carroll the Barrister (Charles) and Mrs. Caroline Eden (Krista)

Mr. Charles Carroll the Barrister (Charles) in the Hall

Mrs. Margaret Bordley (me), Mrs. Bersche (Elizabeth), Mrs. Margaret Carroll (Michelle), Mrs. Wood (Victoria), and Mr. Charles Carroll the Barrister (Charles)

Mrs. Margaret Carroll (Michelle) and Mr. Charles Carroll the Barrister (Charles) 

 Mrs. Ann Worthington (Robin), Mrs. Margaret Bordley (me), Mrs. Caroline Eden (Krista)

Mr. Charles Carroll the Barrister (Charles), Mrs. Ann Worthington (Robin), Mrs. Bersche (Elizabeth), Mrs. Margaret Carroll (Michelle), Mrs. Wood (Victoria)

And we were joined by Mrs. Morgan (Karen) 

His Excellency Governor Robert Eden (Harry), Mrs. Caroline Eden (Krista), Mrs. Ann Mary Paca (Gema), Colonel Horatio Sharpe (Shane), Mrs. Margaret Bordley (me), and 
Mrs. Ann Tasker Ogle (Kerry) 

 Some libations for the guests

Mrs. Morgan (Karen) and Mathias Bordley

Mathias Bordley and Mr. John Beale Bordley (Jim) 

Mr. Charles Carroll the Barrister (Charles), Colonel Horatio Sharpe (Shane), and His Excellency Governor Robert Eden (Harry)

Amazing music by our musician Jeff Steinberg 

Bridgerton - A New Series!

     Last year a movie production company purchased loads of shoe buckles from me, but I was not told the show that they would possibly be worn in.  I often do not know who purchases for what or where my items will be worn.

    Well, just this week, the same company purchased a collet necklace and earrings - my kisses and hugs version!  They named the costume department as "Bridgerton."

     Well, I have a source can I talk with in order to find out just possibly what show or movie it was.  When I explained the name and whereabouts of this company, they told me that the series by Julia Quinn was going to possibly be filmed and then shown on Netflix.  

     It is interesting that this is another historical romance author's book that my jewelry will be seen in or on.  The first was Donna Thorland, the second Lucinda Brant (and I sell her line of jewelry in my Etsy shop), and now Julia Quinn!  Wow.

     I am looking forward to seeing the photos that will start coming out for the show, and if they will purchase more as there are eight episodes being shot according to this Town and Country Magazine article written last year.  The IMDb site shows the cast and crew, one of which is Julie Andrews of The Sound of Music fame.  Double wow!

     Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

     The Gray Horse wants to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a Prosperous and Healthy New Year!

Nelson - dressed for the season!

Mindy - doing well

Mallory - dirty as usual but happy!

Diablo - naughty pony and a good boy.

Haddy - gorgeous, stubborn, and opinionated!

Friday, December 20, 2019

Midnight Marriage - Historical Romance - Lucinda Brant - Jewelry!


Gorgeous new book cover!

     Lucinda has come out with the second updated cover of her new book Midnight Marriage!  I must say it is wonderful!  You can watch the making of the cover - here - and read all about Julian and Deborah's story - here.  Lucinda's character also have a family tree!  I really love the Roxton stories, and if you haven't read or listened (yes they are also available via audio) you should!  They immerse you in the time.

Emma Fried as Deborah Cavendish - just gorgeous!

     The collection this time is PEARLS!  I adore pearls, and was able to put together earrings, necklace, and bracelet with Swarovski Crystal pearls.  The necklace and bracelet come with the Roxton Jewelry collection tag so you know it is officially from Lucinda's brand.

The set - available in my Etsy shop 

Earrings are Swarovski Crystal and glass pearls with a  clear Swarovski Crystal 
to give it a bit of sparkle

 In this photo you can see the front and back of the Roxton Jewelry collection tag

     Deborah's (Emma) gown was inspired by the portraits below.  Wow.  Pearls throughout time have NEVER gone out of style - favor yes - but style no.  

     The Roxton Jewelry Collection - Antonia and now Deborah's jewelry - are at this link.  They are very popular, and you can wear these with regular clothing to work, an evening out, a party, or just because.  For those wanting to wear them with historical dress, they are perfectly acceptable - and if you do not want someone to see the tag take it off or cover it with ribbon to hide it.

Portrait of Mrs. Cardoux (by an unknown artist), 
and the Portrait of a lady, 1768, by Francis Cotes

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

New Watch!

     Yes, you read that right.  The third watch that I am selling is an exclusive to my shop!  The actual body of the watch was developed by me, and the face is after an original owned by a friend.  This is truly a Sign of the Gray Horse unique item.

         "Keep me Clean and Use Me Well and I to You the Truth Will Tell"


     Many have asked who would have had a watch in the 18th and 19th centuries?  I often have people come in and think they would not have owned one.  We see runaways with a watch and they were not always stolen.  Soldiers and civilians had them as well as shop girls!  So many variables with impressions, but this watch would be good for most of them.  

 Original with the first prototype to show size and face - which I felt was too yellow

Second prototype - face much better and more gold

     This watch was made to be big and heavy, just like the watch fusee in the 18th and early 19th centuries.  When looking at the center decoration, you can see my logo hidden within it.

     Watches obviously changed as we move through time, with many (even today) using earlier versions.  Not everyone got a new watch, some used a family heirloom, and others didn't.  All depends who you were.  I also offer watch chains and equipage in my shop that I make.  I hope to develop a ladies cut steel watch chain after an original that I own next year as well.  So many projects, so little time and money!

A view to see the sides 

 The thickness!  Oh my!

     These watches are currently offered for sale at a pre-order price of $35 in my Etsy Shop.  They will retail for $45.  They should ship the week of 16 December 2019.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

     It is already that time of year where we start the holidays here in the United States - Thanksgiving is coming up next week!  

     The Gray Horse wishes everyone a wonderful start to their holidays, and a time of relaxation, celebration, quality family time, and eating wonderful foods.  My Book of Cookery by a Lady can help with SO many wonderful receipts, ways in which to set the table 18th century style, and celebrating the holidays in style!.  

Samson Historical

     It is with great pleasure to announce, if you have not seen it on social media, that Samson Historical is now selling a few select items of my jewelry - pearls, Swarovski Crystal, and Czech glass!  Abbie looks amazing with the red coral on in her 18th century attire.  

Swarovski Red Coral necklace and earrings

     Samson Historical also offers a magazine, Reliving History Magazine, of which my book, Tea in 18th Century America, was featured in the Fall 2019 issue.  If you don't subscribe, I highly recommend that you do as it is chock full of information that is useful for the history buff, the living historian, reenactor, or costumer.  I hope to be a featured contributor.

Gorgeous Emerald Czech Glass necklace and earrings