Friday, October 31

Queen of Summer

Naifi, a rewigged Josefina with knee-length braids, is a Syrian girl who moved to Deep Valley and was befriended by Betsy-Tacy and Tib in Betsy-Tacy Go Over the Big Hill.

When they first meet Naifi "her (Syrian) dress had a long skirt, like a woman's, very full, made of faded flowered cloth. She wore earrings like a woman's too. A scarf was tied over her head. From a rosy-brown face very bright brown eyes darted from Tib to Betsy and Tacy . . . her hair hung in long black braids tied in red at the ends. Her shoes were red too, and under her dress she wore (blue) bloomers down to her ankles."

Later they save Naifi from a group of taunting boys. When they next see her "... At first they did not think it was Naifi, for she wore quite an ordinary short dress like their own and ordinary shoes and stockings. ..."

Naifi has both traditional Syrian clothes (based upon the book's descriptions and illustrations) as well as contemporary 1904 clothes. Momma found handmade Afghan costumes for American Girl dolls at a local coffee shop and got two for Naifi since they are very similar to what she wears in the books.

When they discover she's a Syrian emeera (princess) they crown Naifi the Queen of Summer and she arrives in formal Syrian costume of "soft rich cashmere (skirt), purple in color and embroidered in gold, ... the short jacket was gold- embroidered too. Bloomers were tied at her ankles above little slippers of gold. ... and she was laden with jewelry ... bracelets, rings, earrings.... " Momma has the fabric and will make this for her someday.

Thursday, October 30

Isn't that just like Tib?

Tib is tiny and dainty. Tib is the wealthiest of the three. Big, blue eyes and short, fluffy blond curls, but no freckles. Her mother makes all her clothes and they are the most elaborate. Tib is based upon their friend Midge.

Tib's a blue-eyed Pleasant Company doll (probably brunette from the traces left on her head) Momma got her wearing Tacy's wig. She has nice brown lashes which she wanted with Tib's pale blonde curls. Tib wears Sam's Spring Party Dress in the illustration by Lois Lenski in Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown.

Wednesday, October 29

When Irish eyes are smiling

Tacy Kelly has big blue Irish eyes, 10 red ringlets (the wig isn't perfect but it will do), and freckles. (She's a re-wigged Kit.) Tacy is painfully shy. She has a huge family so she doesn't have as much to spend as the other two. Tacy is based upon Maud's best friend Bick.

Momma thought about re-wigging a Kit since she has the blue eyes and freckles she wanted, but had purchased a re-wigged doll thinking she was Tacy. However, when Momma got her she knew she wasn't Tacy, but Tib wearing Tacy's hair! Thankfully, that wig peeled off.

Tuesday, October 28

Ray of sunshine

Betsy Ray has brown hair, freckles, and hazel eyes. Momma got an American Girl #23 for her and swapped the blue eyes for #21s hazel eyes!
Before high school Betsy wears her hair in short, perky braids and her "teeth are parted in the middle." (Think David Letterman.) Betsy is based upon Maud Hart Lovelace herself who was born April 26, 1892.

Monday, October 27

Betsy-Tacy and Tib

Momma has been Frightfully Busy lately and I have been Terribly Ignored, so Momma told me to publish some back stories.

Here are my dear friends Betsy-Tacy, and Tib - dolls Momma created, based upon the wonderful books by Maud Hart Lovelace.

Momma used this illustration from Betsy-Tacy Go Downtown as a basis for the three girls: Betsy got Samantha's Middy Dress with Tam, Tacy got Samantha's Play Dress, and Tib got Sam's Spring Party Dress. All three got Samantha's Lacy Whites, as well as Addy's black Meet stockings, and either Addy's or Kirsten's black lace-up boots.

Oh, and you'll love this. The real-life girls that inspired Betsy, Tacy and Tib went to Pleasant Grove School!

Sunday, October 26

This week in the Civil War: Oct. 26, 1864

Confederate ironclad sunk, fighting near Richmond, Virginia

A Union vessel sunk the Confederate ironclad Albemarle at its berth in Plymouth, North Carolina, 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. The Confederate ironclad had menaced Union warships since it was commissioned in 1864, sinking the USS Southfield on one occasion and damaging or driving others off in a subsequent encounter. Later, when Union forces gained control of Plymouth, the ironclad would be refloated and taken in 1865 to Norfolk, Virginia, before being sold off. Fighting continued in late October in Virginia as Union commander Ulysses S. Grant launched a double-pronged offensive near the Confederate seat at Richmond, Virginia, and the neighboring city of Petersburg. But the attempt on Oct. 27-28, 1864, to cut off Confederate supply lines was repulsed by the Confederate defenders at Burgess Mill in Virginia and Union fighters were forced to retreat to their earlier positions.

Sunday, October 19

This week in the Civil War: Oct. 19, 1864

Sheridan’s Ride: Fighting at Cedar Creek, Virginia

Confederate forces, though far outnumbered and ill-equipped, attacked sleeping and encamped Union soldiers on Oct. 19, 1864, at Cedar Creek in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The Confederate charge swept over Union fighters during the fog-shrouded hours before dawn — not far Belle Grove — shaped up early on as a disaster for the North. But the battle this week 150 years ago in the Civil War was not yet over. Sounds of fighting drew the attention of fast-approaching Union Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, who rode into the fray with reinforcements after a trip to Washington, D.C., to confer with authorities. Amid Sheridan’s rallying cries, the Union counterattacked and drove off the Confederates in what would be one of the bloodiest battles in the Shenandoah Valley. At a cost of thousands of dead and wounded soldiers on both sides, the Union muscled its way to victory and smashed the last major Confederate resistance there. The outcome, following the Union capture of Atlanta weeks earlier, provided another morale boost to the North weeks before its voters would sweep Abraham Lincoln back into office for a second term.

Sunday, October 12

This week in the Civil War: Oct. 12, 1864

Chief Justice of Supreme Court in Dred Scott case dies

The fifth chief justice of the United States, Roger Brooke Taney, died this week 150 years ago during the final months of the Civil War. Taney had issued the majority opinion in the Dred Scott decision of 1857 that found a slave under Missouri law had no constitutional right to bring suit in federal court. The highly controversial ruling had helped to stoke tensions between North and South leading up to the war. The Associated Press, reported Oct. 15, 1864, on mourning over Taney's death three days earlier. AP said from Washington that President Abraham Lincoln had turned out to bid farewell to the chief justice. "The remains of Chief Justice Taney were accompanied to the railroad train to-day, by President Lincoln and several members of the Cabinet. The body will be conveyed to Frederick, Maryland, for interment," the AP dispatch added. AP also reported the same day that the fighting in Virginia along front lines was in somewhat of a lull. "Accounts from the Army of the Potomac continue to represent all quiet along the lines, with the exception of occasional picket firing," according to The AP.

Sunday, October 5

This week in the Civil War: Oct. 5, 1864

Fighting in Georgia

Confederates after the fall of Atlanta waged harassing attacks on Union forces northwest of that major Southern city 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. A Confederate force moving northward around Atlanta clashed with Union troops for several hours on Oct. 5, 1864, near Allatoona Pass. Union forces held their ground behind an earthen defense work until Union reinforcements could arrive and the Confederate attackers retreated. Elsewhere, The Associated Press reported intermittently heavy skirmishing in Virginia along the north side of the James River only miles from the Confederate capital of Richmond. AP said the Confederates had extremely stout defense works, “a very formidable line of works was found, behind which the enemy were posted in heavy force.” Shelling took its toll, sometimes erupting with little warning. Said AP of one burst of fighting, “A shell from one of the enemy’s battery’s grazed General Meade’s boot leg to-day; took a piece from the tail of General Humphrey’s horse and entered the ground.”