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For Your Chateau

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Apologies for the drive-by post, but things have been a bit hectic of late. I should have some exciting news to share soon, as well as an actual informative post; but in the meantime enjoy this week's curated selection of some of my favorite Etsy finds for your chateau and French-inspired dreams.

October 15th, 1786

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There is exciting news! My very dear friend, Elizabeth de R-, writes that she is delivered of a daughter and wishes me to come to Paris to meet the child and stand as her Godmother! I am in raptures and the Chevalier laughs at me in good humor as I make plans for the trip and all of the gifts I wish to acquire or bring with me for the child. Second to having one's own, a godchild is best. Or perhaps a niece or nephew, as Maman and I are ever waiting for from Andre and his wife Sonya. My poor sister-in-law is plagued by some troubles and Andre, true to his nature, is in no hurry though he should be, as Sonya is not much younger than I. Time is slipping away from me in that matter. Emilie has been informed of our intention to return briefly to Paris before the weather turns and will, instead of journeying back alone, travel with us all the way. I've instructed my maid Marianne to go in search of some of my own long-stored baby things of which to make a present for my goddaughter…

For Your Chateau

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I am almost done collecting all of the blue and white tiles that I will need for the mantle project, which is getting another round of sanding today since the paint and putting from its previous owner was flaking and uneven. Just one more tile, and the one featured in this week's picks is the one I am thinking I will purchase eventually.I also did finally acquire that new bookcase I so desperately needed for the piles of books in my home. Oh there are still piles of books, despite the now four bookcases (it was five, but one collapsed last year), however now there are fewer piles and one very nice and convenient display in the sitting room. I've been familiar with the Sapphire and Sage supplier for many years, as I spent time as a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), but I'm out of the game and was surprised to see this vendor crop up in my Etsy recs. I probably wouldn't be considering the ring shown, except that it is inspired by Queen Elizabeth I'…

October 7th, 1786

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The chevalier has returned! I note that Emilie has crept out of her room more now that he is here, but he allays all of my fears by showing me great affection and preference. Even the dog seems to rejoice in seeing him again and spends as much time as she may be allowed curled up on his lap. He has also brought with him many delights from Paris; chocolate and silks, and a little silver clock that has figures which dance with the hours. I am at times overwhelmed by his generosity. Moreover I find him gentle with my servants, which is to be noted as I had observed on some occasions that he spoke harshly to his own, but I know not the temperament nor the history of those individuals. Perhaps it was warranted. I've informed him of my intent to winter in Riom at Portaberaud, and invited him to join me as well, but his demeanor suggests that he will prefer his own family even as his words do not deny my suit. Two nights hence we conversed on the subject of marriage, but each find the ot…

Clever Quilting and Other Ingenious 18th Century Clothing Hacks

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The upper classes may have been able to afford the nicest things in the finest materials, but even they at times found ways to be frugal with their attire. Take for example these quilted petticoats. They each exhibit signs of smart textile engineering through the additional fabric added as stripes. Petticoats like this, with their quilted material, would have been most popular in colder regions such as Sweden, England, and even the American colonies. The red one comes to us courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, and that orange band at the top no only lengthens the petticoat, but more to the point it provides a less bulky fabric that can be gathered to fit a small space like a corseted waist. If you try to sew a channel in quilted fabric you end up with something really thick that does not gather or pleated down smoothly. The other petticoat, with its wide white stripes on the yellow, is a way of extending a petticoat that otherwise would be too short so that the extending fab…

For Your (Georgian) Wardrobe

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I thought that this week, instead of focusing on items for your home, we'd shift to looking at some 18th-century appropriate items for your wardrobe. I used to have the beginnings of a fan collection, but found it an expensive hobby without much intrinsic use and was forced to abandon it in favor of more practical things. Like books, as evidenced by the new bookcase that arrives tomorrow. Still I can't help but put a few of these gorgeous examples on my wishlist for the day when I can be just that little bit frivolous again. Happily, not all of the purchasing I've done in the past has been for me, and we were originally scheduled to do an 18th century show this year at work. I spent two month of the summer working on it, only to have it Covid-cancelled. Sad panda. However, I had already ordered two absolutely stunning wigs from DecorumetBagatelle all the way from France. Someday we will do that show, and in the meantime they will be great examples for my students.

September 28th, 1786

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I fear my desire for my own company has been made clear to my guest, as Emilie begins to suggest that she will depart rather sooner than originally planned. It could, of course, also be due to the intended arrival of the Chevalier at the beginning of next month, or the changing weather which is always more keenly felt here than in Paris. In truth my hospitality may be somewhat lacking. I have not the means nor the local society in which to entertain in a fashion familiar to the residents of Versailles, so I may hardly blame them for preferring the town to the country. I myself am reveling in this peaceful solitude, which the Chevalier continues to assure me he will well-enjoy in my company, though I know him to enjoy society life far more than I. The re-pointing of the chateau may not be able to wait after all this winter, as water damage has made its way into one wall on the northern side. The gardeners are keen to point out as well that the slope on which we sit is falling away more…