Monday, July 21

Día de Muertos

Greta Garb-oh!
Living in the Southwest, Momma has become a fan of many Mexican and Hispanic traditions.

One of her favorites is the calavera (Spanish for "skull"), a sugar or clay model of a human skull which is used in the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead and the Roman Catholic holiday All Souls Day. 

So she went a little nuts when she spotted this fabric decorated with colorful calaveras. (Momma decided that My Dear Friend Josefina's Feast Outfit was the perfect pattern for this outfit.) She chose a sparkly, white calico for the camisa to mimic the sugar skulls.

The China poblana (or Chinese Pueblan) is known as a traditional dress for women in the Mexican Republic, although it was only worn in some urban areas in the middle and southeast of the country, before it disappeared in the second half of the 19th century.

The China poblana is made with a white blouse, with fringing and embroidery in geometric and floral designs in bright colors. (The blouse was sufficiently low-cut to allow part of the neck and the bosom to be seen.)

A castor skirt (or "beaver"), named after the material it was made from, was decorated with sequins and camarones (literally, shrimp) that formed geometric and floral shapes. 

A white slip with the lower hem criss-crossed with zig-zagged lacework would peek out under the skirt, and served to keep the form of a woman attired in the china dress from showing in silhouette.

Clementine loves her new outfit! Don't you?



Sunday, July 20

This week in the Civil War: July 20, 1864

Fighting near Atlanta

Union forces led by Maj. Gen William T. Sherman continued pressing toward Atlanta, bidding to capture the key Southern city 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. Union forces fought it out with Confederate rivals on the outskirts of Atlanta July 22, 1864. At the time, Confederates led by Gen. John Bell Hood sought to attack a Union column east of the city. But the Southern attack quickly lost momentum as fighting escalated. Sherman, in the end, positioned artillery on a hilltop, halting Confederate advances and inflicting high casualties on the Confederates at the gates to Atlanta.


Sunday, July 13

This week in the Civil War: July 13, 1864

Life and death in the trenches near Petersburg, Virginia.

The Boston Evening Transcript of Boston, Massachusetts reported July 15, 1864, on the death of a beloved Massachusetts officer fighting for the Union in Petersburg, Virginia, when it came under siege 150 years ago in the Civil War. The dispatch said Col. P.S. Davis was "mortally wounded in the trenches near Petersburg." War dispatches gave an account of his death: "One of the rebel shell entered his tent on Monday, and after rolling under the chair in which he was quietly seated, reading a newspaper, exploded and wounded him in so shocking a manner, that he expired within an hour." Just 40 years old, Davis left behind a wife and three children in Massachusetts, along with a business selling books and stationery in Boston. The Boston paper reported that under Davis' command, his regiment had flourished and "was frequently mistaken for regulars, from their admirable bearing and discipline." It added Davis was deeply missed by many: "Beloved in all the walks of private life, his public career as an officer of the union army has been honorable to himself and the State which claimed him as one of its most patriotic citizens."


Saturday, July 12

Fez-o-rama!

Sorry for my absence lately, but Momma and I have been insanely busy.

Not only have we been insanely busy, but it appears that most of my blogs about Phoenix Comicon have been absorbed into the æther!

The Shame! The Horror!

Looking back, other than having my photo taken with Nathan Fillion, Fez-o-rama was one of my PC14 highlights.

A fez is a traditional felt hat of two types: either a cone or a short cylinder, both usually with a tassel attached to the top.

Fez-o-rama LLC has produced thousands of fezzes since it began in 2005. Fez-o-rama is a unique small business that produces fine hand-made, embroidered velvet fezzes and caps, fez accessories, and original art. What makes them a truly unique company is not only what they make, but also the fact that they are artist owned and operated. 

Momma and I have loved Fez-o-rama for years, so imagine my delight when we stopped by and saw they had not one, not two, but  four mini fezzes in my size!


Sadly, the $30 mini fezzes are not available online at this time, but if you contact them you should be able to order one. 

Tell 'em Steampunk Addie sent you.

Fez-o-rama LLC gets my Gear of Approval!


Sunday, July 6

This week in the Civil War: July 6, 1864

The Battle That Saved Washington, D.C.

Some 15,000 Confederate troops under the command of Jubal Early* surged northward into Maryland in the summer of 1864, reaching the outskirts of Frederick, Md., hoping to slide around toward the lightly defended nation's capital. The Confedreate surge northward came amid a bid by Robert E. Lee to pressure Washington, D.C., even as the Union was plunging deep into Virginia. But Northern railroad agents, detecting the Confederate incursion, quickly alerted federal authorities. By July 9, 1864, the rival sides were battling each other fiercely along the Monocacy River in Maryland, the Union throwing some 5,800 fighters into the fray. It would be the final time the Confederates took the battle to the North. "INVASION!!" a headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer blared. "EXCITING NEWS FROM WASHINGTON. THE NATIONAL CAPITAL IN DANGER." Fighting raged for hours that day, but the Union pressure on the Confederates gave the Union time to reinforce defenses around the nation's capital. The fight subsequently became known as the "Battle That Saved Washington." And an Associated Press, in a dispatch July 12, 1864, confirmed the Confederates had been driven out of Frederick, Maryland. One smaller outcome, AP noted, Frederick residents complained hungry rebel foraging parties had rounded up their livestock and horses. "At times the main streets of Frederic were literally filled with horses and cattle, all of which were driven down to the fords and sent across into Virginia," AP noted.



*Did you know that actor Nathan Fillion says he is a descendent of General Jubal Early? In the final episode of Fillion's short-lived series Firefly, "Objects in Space,"  the bounty hunter was named Jubal Early after Fillion's ancestor. Early was played by Richard Brooks (who is, ironically, an African-American).