Tuesday, April 29

Where Florida begins

I. Am. So. Jealous.

My Big Sister got to go with her class to St. Augustine, Florida for thei annual Big Trip ... and I wasn't allowed to go with her!

St. Augustine is a city in Northeast Florida and the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States.

San Agustín was founded in September 1565 by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, and subsequently served as the capital of Spanish Florida for 200 years. It remained the capital of East Florida as the territory changed hands between the Spanish and British, and remained the capital of the Florida Territory until it was moved to Tallahassee in 1824.

If I can't go to St. Augustine with her, I'll just go by myself.

St. Augustine was under Union control for most of the Civil War. Its Confederate history was exceedingly brief. One Union general and one Confederate general were natives of the Ancient City. 

Many black Union soldiers either came from St. Augustine, or settled there after the war. Many of the city's old cemeteries feature the distinctive marble tombstones marked "USCT" for the United States Colored Troops.

Sunday, April 27

This week in the Civil War,: April 27, 1864

Fighting in Arkansas

Union troops who had been backing a failed federal Army and Navy incursion up the Red River into northern Louisiana found themselves bogged down in fighting in neighboring Arkansas this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. The troops under the command of Union Maj. Gen. Fred Steel were crossing the Saline River at Jenkins’ Ferry in Arkansas when Confederate forces arrived and began to attack on April 30, 1864. The Union fighters fended off several attacks by the rebels and managed to cross the river with their supply wagons. Ultimately the Union force would regroup at its base in Little Rock, Arkansas, successfully in slipping away from the Confederate force bent on destroying the Union force.

Friday, April 25

The Emperor Penguins Strike Back

I thought today would be a good day to introduce my Empire of steampunk Emperor Penguins.


Because April 25th is World Penguin Day!

Thanks to Momma's friend Jessica I now have 15 of these Captain Pennys.

Like Oz, my army is all Captains. (Well, Oz is all generals and one private but you get the idea. I hope.) 

My goal? World domination, one penguin at a time.

Mwa ha ha!


Wednesday, April 23

Holy Comicon, Batman!

Oh. My. Goodness.

The upcoming Phoenix Comicon 14 is shaping into a Doozy.

Not only are actor Nathan Fillion (swoon!) and author Charlaine Harris scheduled to appear, but now the cast of the 1960s television classic, Batman!

That's right kids, Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar are scheduled to be there!

Batman was a 1960s American live action television series that aired on the ABC network for three seasons from Jan. 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968.  It was based upon the DC comic book character and starred West as Batman, Ward as Robin, and Newmar as Cat Woman.

I hope they like my Super Suit!

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na, Batman!

Tuesday, April 22

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Momma was busy sewing for my Big Sister and her cousins last week (matching Peeps dresses!) but she finally remembered Me.

Knowing I wanted to visit Felicity in the 18th Century, Momma made a steampunk version of a 1770s Sacque Back Gown and Caraco Jacket, by Thimbles and Acorns:

The Sacque-Back Gown, as it was commonly known in England and the American Colonies, originated in France as the robe à la française as an undress fashion. Undress meant that they were informal articles of clothing that were presentable enough to wear inside one’s home while entertaining, but not something one would wear in public. It’s most notable feature was the box pleats which fell loose from the shoulder to the hem. At its most informal, this gown was unfitted in both the front and back and called a contouche, or robe battante. The style was not limited to gowns, but also carried over into shortened jacket forms that were called caracos or pet en l’air. The jackets were originally knee length, but shortened to just above the hips as the century progressed. Toward the middle of the 18th century, the Sacque-Back had emerged as one of the most fashionable gowns, and by the 1770s, it was second only to court dress in its formality. As these gowns gained popularity, the artist Antoine Watteau captured their elegance in many of his paintings which later led to them being referred to as Watteau Gowns.

Momma knew immediately what to make when she spotted the black-and-white version of this Midnight Pastoral Skeleton Toile. Toile, or "Toile de Jouy," is a type of fabric with a white or off-white background with a repeated single-color pattern (usually black, dark red, or blue) depicting a pastoral scene such as a couple having a picnic or an arrangement of flowers.

Momma completed My Look with her newly designed Summer Corset. Her childhood spent at the Gulf of Mexico collecting fossilized teeth convinnced her teeth and bones were black. Hence my black "Addie's Rib" summer corset.

A version of this should be available in Momma's Etsy shop within a week.

Monday, April 21

She Died (of Embarrassment) with Her Boots On

© 2014 Greta Huls and Greta Garb-oh!
I have never been so Mortified in my entire life: Past, Present, or Future!

(Now I know how King David felt.)

Momma saw a photograph a few weeks ago from the Victoria & Albert Museum of a Lady's Summer Corset.

Genius has burned since then and Today she created her prototype.

Little did I know she was going to photograph Me in It and Publish the Photograph.

I am Certain this is in Violation of the Mann Act.

Sunday, April 20

Hail thee, festival day!

This week in the Civil War: April 20, 1864

Confederate ram at battle of Plymouth, N.C.

Confederate forces, in a joint operation of ground troops and an ironclad ram CSS Albemarle, attacked the federal garrison at Plymouth, N.C. near the mouth of the Roanoke River on April 17, 1864. The Confederacy — 150 years ago in the Civil War — was weary of Union forces using the garrison as a springboard for raids into easternmost North Carolina. Thousands of Confederate troops pressed toward the outnumbered Union fighters holding the fort at Plymouth. By April 18, fierce shelling had erupted, threatening U.S. warships there along the river. On April 19, 1864, the CSS Albemarle reached the area and promptly sank one Union ship and badly damaged another, driving away other U.S. warships defending the garrison. A heavy Confederate bombardment ultimately forced the federal garrison to surrender on April 20, 1864. Flush with victory, the Confederacy would hold the area until late 1864 when it returned to federal control for the rest of the war.

Sunday, April 13

This week in the Civil War: April 13, 1864

Forrest’s Confederate raiders capture Fort Pillow, Tenn.

Confederate raider Nathan B. Forrest attacked Fort Pillow in Tenn. on April 12, 1864 — 150 years ago during the Civil War. The fort located some 45 miles up the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tenn., was manned by hundreds of Union troops, including more than 200 African-American soldiers. Forrest’s cavalry of about 2,500 fighters seized the outer defenses and surrounded the fort. Union forces, after withering fire, refused to surrender and the Confederates waged an all-out attack and seized the fort. Only 62 of the African-American soldiers on the Union side survived amid high casualties and Union complaints of atrocities that the South denied. After the fight was over, Confederate raiders withdrew quickly and the Confederate battle victory did little strategically for the South to disrupt federal forces operating in the region.

Friday, April 11

The Amazing Momma the Great

Momma and I are featured today in Karen Mom of Three's Craft Blog!

If you are new to my blog and the doll world let me tell you its a great community. Recently I became friends with the wonderful and creative lady behind the spectacular Steampunk Addie!

Greta is also one of the newest members of our Dolls For A Cause group and I am so very excited to have her join us!

Want to read more? Go to Karen's post, The Amazing People You Meet In The Dolly World- Greta and Steampunk Addie!

P.S. A little secret? There's a coupon code for Momma's Etsy shop at the end of Karen's post!

Wednesday, April 9

Birthday suit

Greta Garb-oh!
Shh, I now know Queen Victoria's secret.

Under her austere widow's weeds and resting on top of her birthday suit, lurked a lively Lolo Lobster Tail Bustle!

(Yes, Momma is having way too much fun making these!)

Momma has three of these lively Lolo Lobster Tail Bustles in her Etsy shop, but hopes to add more soon.

Speaking of birthday suits, today is My birthday!

Happy birthday to Me and my doppelgänger, Addy Walker.

To celebrate, today you can receive 10 percent off in Momma's Etsy shop. Just use code BIRTHDAY2014.

But hurry, this offer expires April 10th!

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me....

Tuesday, April 8

Suit yourself

Greta Garb-oh!
Momma and I are proud to present the second outfit in her Greta Garb-oh! Collection: a two-piece 1870s Super Suit PLUS a coordinating Lobster Tail Bustle and Petticoat. Both are based upon patterns by Thimbles and Acorns.

Momma's Super Suit is as wild and crazy as a day at ComiCon. Not only does it feature Supergirl, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman, but it has the bold onomatopoeic words (Bam! Pow! Wham!) associated with comics, and the coordinating petticoat and bustle has the stars seen in cartoons after a stunning blow to the head.

After making my Super Suit, Momma decided to add gold lame to the cuffs in homage to Wonder Woman's bulletproof bracelets. A gold lasso of truth is attached at the waist, but can be removed if desired.

(I'm jealous. I want bulletproof bracelets, too!)

Sunday, April 6

This week in the Civil War: April 6, 1864

The Red River Campaign

Union forces in the spring of 1864 launched a joint Army-Navy incursion up the Red River in a bid for control of western Louisiana and Arkansas. It would be the last major campaign by the Union’s so-called Mississippi Squadron. The aim was to penetrate deep into the Confederacy and shut off a key Southern supply route from Texas. Thousands of Union soldiers marched inland from New Orleans toward northwest Louisiana with plans to join up with the naval fleet steaming upriver. The Union gunboats began gathering on the lower river in mid-March 1864 and moved upriver over coming weeks. But Union commanders encountered problems with low river levels and could only move 12 of their gunboats north of the falls near Alexandria, La. On April 8, 1864, Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor attacked federal forces at the Battle of Mansfield in Louisiana. Though outnumbered, the Confederates assaulted Union fighters on two flanks, pushing them back until a fresh Union division met the Confederate attack. Attempts by the Union to regain momentum failed and federal forces under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks were forced to retreat, ending the Red River Campaign and handing the Confederates a decisive strategic victory.

Friday, April 4

Honey, where's my Super Suit?

One of the things Momma and I really like about pop culture conventions is watching cosplay.

Cosplay (short for "costume play") participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or concept.

Anything that lends itself to interpretation may be used as inspiration ... and it is not unusual to see women playing male roles, et cetera. 

So when Momma saw this fabric featuring Supergirl, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman, her mind wandered.

My Super Suit is as wild and crazy as a day at ComiCon. Not only does it feature female superheroes, but it has the bold onomatopoeic words (Bam! Pow! Wham!) associated with comics, and my petticoat has the stars seen in cartoons after a stunning blow to the head.

And guess what? Your 18 inch Vinyl American friend can have her very own Super Suit, too! Momma will be listing one in her Etsy shop in the next few days.

Stay tuned for the next exciting development - same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!

Wednesday, April 2

Open for business

Momma and I are proud to present the first outfit in her Greta Garb-oh! Collection: a two-piece 1870s Bustle Dress PLUS a matching Lobster Tail Bustle and Petticoat. Both are based upon patterns by Thimbles and Acorns.

From her Etsy page description:

Dresses in the 1870s were typically made in two pieces - what we now think of as suits. If desired, the petticoat can be worn alone or with other pieces for mix-and-match potential.

For this outfit I chose to use both the green Victorian Dream Gears and a tea-stained muslin. I accented the outfit with a coppery piping which picks up the subtle shades of brown and rust in the green fabric.

All FOUR items (my doll and mannequin are NOT for sale!) are made by me in my smoke-free (but not pet-free!) home from pre-washed 100 percent cotton, except for the piping and thread which contains polyester. All exposed edges have been serged EXCEPT for the raw edges on the two bows AND the selvage edge on the bottom of the petticoat and Lobster Tail Bustle. I loved the color and finish on the tea-stained muslin selvage and incorporated it into the design.

This outfit will fit all American Girl dolls including the earlier, plumper Pleasant Company versions. While it looks floor-length on Peggy (my mannequin and Steampunk Addie's one-legged friend) it is the same length as Steampunk Addie's.

This dress does contain small buttons and metal hooks and eyes so it should not be given to small children. It is intended for the serious doll collector who is 14 or older.

These items can be washed, but I would recommend removing the two bows prior to washing so the raw edges do not fray.

I have been sewing for 37 years, but have only recently started sewing for my dolls. (Steampunk Addie says it's about time!) I plan to make two versions of most outfits: one for Steampunk Addie (or her Vinyl American friends) and one for sale. That means each outfit will be a limited edition of TWO unless stated otherwise. The main difference in these two outfits is the buttons on the outfit you will receive are smaller than Steampunk Addie's.

I love quirky things which is why I love steampunk. (Think of steampunk as Victorian science fiction.) While this outfit is pleasantly restrained, watch for upcoming outfits in patterns and fabrics that will surprise you.

Shipping is for the contiguous United States. I also ship worldwide, but PLEASE contact me for a shipping quote if you live outside the contiguous United States.

Wait until you see the next item!