Saturday, January 28, 2012


MAMA (AKA: Mama Kate)!!!! This is unbelievable because she is legally blind.

My niece had a baby shower and one of the games was to estimate how big around she is at almost nine months pregnant.

Before the party began one of the ladies took a yellow roll of tape (without inches) and measured her. So, the tape was passed around and everyone measured off the distance they thought it was around Liz's belly. When it got my Mom I asked her how much tape she wanted measured off. She said, "give me the tape." She took the tape and measured a length from the tip of her nose to the end of her out-stretched arm and told me to add eight inches.

If you extend your arm out full-length it is approximately 36 inches from the tip of your nose to the end of your finger. My grandmother always measured fabric and string this way because she didn't have a yard stick.

Back to my point. So the lady started comparing every one's tape to the tape measured around Liz. Most people had over estimated the measurement by as much as a foot. When they got to my Mom, who is the great-grandmother, her tape was only 1/4 of an inch short of the actual measurement of my niece. She won the prize!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


We love 18th century American history. This is the century in which our nation fought and won their independence from England. Since the early 1970s we have participated in Revolutionary War (Rev War) living history. We have managed to acquire (make) more than just a few pieces of period clothing to facilitate this unusual hobby. In the past we have participated in reenactments in some of the original colonies, to include the surrender at Yorktown, VA in 1982 which was the granddaddy of all reenactments. There were over 4,000 participants and was a really big deal. In addition, we have had the privilege of speaking to school groups, church groups, scouts and senior citizens about the role of the American soldier (and his wife) during the American Revolution. Along the way we have learned a great deal about our country's early history and the unbelievable odds and hardships that faced the men, and in some cases women, fighting for America's independence.

So. Hubby decided he wanted an all black hat. He has two hats trimmed in white, but decided he wanted the all black. I don't have a clue what uniform requires an all black hat. Anyway, these hat blanks are expensive and we are known for being frugal, so he had been shopping for a hat blank. We were in Target, of all places, and he found a black wool felt hat for under $20, so he bought it. It is a woman's hat, but it met all the requirements to be made into an 18th century military hat.

He had all these grand plans to turn that hat blank into a military style hat. Some how I managed to get involved in yet another one of his projects.

The first step he needed help with was putting wire around the edge of the hat so when it was cocked it would keep the desired shape. Then ribbon had to be hand sewn around the edge of the hat, a band placed inside to allow a perfect fit to his head and then a cockade made. All of this had to be done by hand, because using a modern sewing machine was just not appropriate for this particular project.

As I finished each phase of this hat project, I kept thinking he would complete the next step, but that didn't happen. I finally finished all the required hand work and he was ready to cock the hat, which I refused to do, because I didn't want to mess up the hat if I punched a hole in the wrong place, so I deferred that task to sweet Hubby. So he ties the hat in place and I thought the project was finished.

Oh no, now he wants a cockade to place under the cording on the hat. I didn't have a clue how to make a cockade, so Hubby Googles that subject and found instructions on the internet. He produces four pages of instructions consisting of mice type print with a few photos and expects me to follow the steps necessary to produce a cockade. It took me a couple of tries, but I did manage to made the cockade. It wasn't easy, but I did conquer that spool of black ribbon.

He now wants me to put one of my sewing tags in the hat, THEN the hat will be complete.