January 27, 2016

Downton Abby Fashion

my lady in aqua stripe with
matching bejeweled scarf

Ah.  So you think I misspelled the name of the wonderful period soap opera on Masterpiece Theatre, as referenced in the title of this blog. It is not so because, you see, this post is about our singing Chihuahua, Abby, who is a big fan of the show.  Her choice of clothing is  sophisticated and elegant.  Thus, we present our Amelia Island tribute to Downton Abbey with our regal:

Downton Abby

Abby family plaid

jingle collar

pretty in pink and lace

olive and white hoodie 

muscle shirt beachwear

puffy sweater

rain gear with hood

the throne 

in regal robes

(wink wink)

January 23, 2016

Another Book Title

We've all heard the colors red, white and blue represent the United States.  Along those rhythmic lines, I've thought of a romance novel entitled:
Bed, Night and You.  
Now all I have to do is write it.  As my brother, Bob, always says, "Add it to the list..." 

photo courtesy of www.canva.com 

January 17, 2016

Peeper's Egg Trick-Goodbye Lie Diaries

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Grandmother Peeper
Peeper writes:  Folks is always wantin' my elixir fixers.  Here's one.  After yur eggs is boiled hard, the best action ta take ta get them shells off is this.  Find a glass jar with a lid.  Aunt Noreen always has extree jars cause she don't never can nothin' anyways. She's secretly afeared she's gonna poison her whole family.  I got ta give her credit fur facin' the truth, this one time. So, put the hard shell egg into the jar, cover it with water, screw on the lid and shake it fur a bit.  When ya pour off the water, the cracked shell will come away in near one piece.  This is a fine and fast aid ta peelin' them eggs.

Present Day
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida

Jane Marie writes:  Hi Peep,  There is a song, from 1974, called Everything Old Is New Again.  By this I mean, your egg trick is something I saw on our magical internet that allows you and I to communicate through time with the world.  I had never tried it until I saw how well it works for you in your day. Please see the photograph to the left of my egg with, as you said, almost the entire shell beside it! I don't know who first thought to try this, but work it does.  It's just one more thing we have in common!

Peeper is a favorite player in The Goodbye Lie historical series.  Having adopted the Dunnigan family, she is an integral and fun part of the clan, offering advise, wanted or un.

January 10, 2016

Picture Hat + Goodbye Lie Excerpt

Large, wide-brimmed garden hats, later called picture hats because they framed the face, were very popular in the  late 1800s and into the new century. Decorated with silk flowers, ribbon, lace, tulle, etc, their detail was appreciated by both men and woman, and, I dare say, they were sometimes the subject of talk, kind and unkind.  
Excerpt from The Goodbye Lie
      ... "Breelan, answer me! I said open this door!"
     Trip shook her and mumbled callously, "Tell him you're fine. Tell him, or the next time you'll get more than a little slap from me. Tell him!"
     Coming around, Breelan knew Waite would break the door down if she couldn't convince him of Trip's lie. She didn't want to involve him any deeper in her misery. "Yes, yes," she said breathlessly. "I'm fine, Captain... Leave us. Please." 
     Unconvinced, he called again, "Bree?" 
    He has to believe me for both our sake. Trip is capable of much cruelty, and I fear for Waite even more than for myself. "We'll be with you in a moment. We're both very hungry. They are still serving breakfast, aren't they? It isn't too late, is it?" The more she spoke, the more composed she commanded her voice to become. "See you in the dining salon soon."
     "If you're not on deck in fifteen minutes, I'm coming back!  Understood?"
     "Yes, sir!" she said, forcing a jovial lilt to her tone.
     Trip smiled at her. "Very good. Very good," he whispered through gritted teeth. "I'll remember how readily you lie. I'll remember, too, just how trustworthy you are. And you remember, Breelan, I'll be watching you!" His malice filled the beautiful room and turned it ugly. 
     "Dress at once. We wouldn't want your friend, the captain, bothering us again when we're so in love."
     A heavy dusting of powder and a wide-brimmed hat tied with blue tulle hid the light lavender bruise rising on Breelan's right cheek. The white silk gardenias on her chapeau cascaded around the edge of the brim, so she cocked her headpiece to conceal and distract...

Make Your Own Picture Hat:
Although much less pain-painstakingly created than the original hats, it is easy and fun to make your own hat for a costume or play.  Find a large beach hat you have or go to the thrift store and, as I did in the photo, twist and tie ribbon and tulle around the base of the crown.  Stick in flowers and a bow, fluff, and you're done, no glue or stitching needed.  Quickly remove and you have your original hat back and ready for the beach, gardening or vacation.  If you want the decorations to stay permanently, use hot glue (keeping a glass of water close to dip in your fingers in the event you accidentally touch the glue) or baste with thread.

January 4, 2016

Fort Clinch Jollification

Bruce and Jane Marie
Once again, we enjoyed the Jollification of Fort Clinch, here on Amelia Island, Florida.  The now annual Christmas celebration was postponed last year from mid-December to January 2016 over concern the high winds might spark a fire from the big bonfire on the parade ground, or the lanterns and candles lighting the fort. Entrance fees were waived in lieu of one canned good per person for the local food pantry.

popcorn and paper cones
The fort's store with candy and handmade items for sale, the prison, complete with a drunkard behind bars asking for food, the bunks with reenactors'/soldiers' gear strewn about in semi-orderly fashion, 1,200 cookies and hot cocoa for the visitors and a fife playing in the dark of night, carried us all back to 1864.

My husband, Bruce, and I were greeters at the fort's entrance, wearing our version of 1864 costumes, that looked suspiciously like our Victorian garb, sans my picture hat, recently worn for the Dickens on Centre Street event here in December, last, as well. (If you love history, our island is proud to share it with everyone.) 

I took the photos below with a flash in order to make out the images in the dark.
Note the handpainted checker board


This soldier told me the gold decoration on the front of his uniform shows he is a musician and not carrying a weapon.

Fort Clinch, at night, is a dark place...   
PS A reenactor said the term jollification goes back to 1810 and means, simply, celebration and merriment of any sort. It isn't just for Christmas.

January 2, 2016

Fun Discovery-Hollywood Hearts

Eagle Eye, that would be me, does it again.  Look at the picture above.  There is Bette Davis on the left and Miriam Hopkins on the right in Old Acquaintance from 1943. It's about two frenemy-type authors competing for more than book sales. (Being a writer, I especially enjoy movies about writers.)  It was during the final scene from this film I made my discovery.  Examine the photo more closely now to see a physical representation of the occupation of these women.  Find it????  Look at the coffee table in front of the couch.  It seems to be two huge books, one atop the other!  I am proud of my powers of observation.

Writers, like set designers, add so very many tiny details to a story/movie to flavor it up, just like this book-table.  And how many of those tiny details are more often missed than seen?  It's a bonus when the audience finds our efforts.  That's why we all never tire of rereading-rewatching favorite books and movies. Each time, we can uncover a new something in the words or pictures to treasure. 

P.S. Do a search and you can find free versions of Old Acquaintance to download or pay $2.99 for it.  

By the way, I read where Bette and Miriam disliked each other immensely.  With a little research, that is a future blog...