Friday, August 7, 2009

Setting the Scene

Like many other of her generation and older, Yours Truly grew up watching that particular phenomenon of Southern Identity, Gone with the Wind. Although the pivotal panoramic of the train depot with thousands of wounded soldiers always causes Miss Elodie to choke up, her Favorite scene takes place at the charity bazaar dance in which Miss Scarlett refutes Dr. Meade's assertion that as a widow, she won't dance. "Oh Yes I Will!" she cries as she heads out onto the dance floor to lead the Virginia Reel in her trailing ebony weeds.

Miss Elodie has had the great pleasure of opening the Virginia Reel on several occasions, sometimes even dressed in black. However, this past month she not only danced her favorite dance in this flattering shade, but she did so in a ballroom decorated not unlike the charity bazaar from the aforementioned Epic Motion Picture.

In Chapter 9 of her novel, Margaret Mitchell described the scene:

“...[E]verywhere amid the greenery, on flags and bunting, blazed the bright stars of the Confederacy on their background of red and blue...At the other end of the hall from the platform, the ladies had eclipsed themselves. On this wall hung large pictures of President Davis and Georgia’s own “Little Alec” Stephens, Vice–President of the Confederacy. Above them was an enormous flag...The two faces looked down on the scene, two faces as different as could be possible in two men at the helm of so momentous an undertaking: Davis with the flat cheeks and cold eyes of an ascetic, his thin proud lips set firmly; Stephens with dark burning eyes deep socketed in a face that had known nothing but sickness and pain and had triumphed over them with humor and with fire—two faces that were greatly loved."

While Miss Elodie does not have any great insight into the accuracy of Miss Mitchell's descriptions of the characters of the Confederate states executive officers, those folk who labored to decorate the ballroom at the Arlington Hotel did a bang-up job and portraits of these two famous men were given prominent display. Alas, her photographs do not really do justice to the setting as they were taken while the dance attendees were partaking of well-needed refreshments.

As for Your Truly, she was, indeed, attired in black, though not in widows weeds but in tribute to her Francophone ancestry. Miss Elodie dressed rather more in the style of Ingres' portrait of Mme. Moitessier than Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton therefore she was able to grace the dance floor and lead the Virginia Reel with far less scandal and perhaps even more delight than her more famous literary counterpart!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Having waited and waited...

inally! Dear Reader, Yours Truly can say
"I could have danced all night" and have it mean more than just lyrics from a Broadway musical. After a rainy, phlegmy spring, the summer heated up to include not one but two dances and one formal ball. Miss Elodie was able to trip the lights fantastic without actually stumbling. More on this to follow soon...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fascinating and Compelling

Could this be an entry NOT centered on the life and activities of Your Own Miss Elodie? Perhaps so! She invites you to read the first of a fascinating series of articles written by film auteur Errol Morris and published by the New York Times concerning the life of a fallen Gettysburg soldier identified only because of the ambrotype of three small children he clutched in his dead hand...

Whose Father Was He? (Part One) - Errol Morris Blog -

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This Spring has been a Wash - Literally and Figuratively

Oh, Miss Elodie had such hopes for this reenactment season: the battles, the balls, the opportunity to wear a low-cut gown...but my gracious, it has been raining, and raining, and raining! Indeed every event has been either cancelled or severely curtailed by the Second Flood. Altho' Miss Elodie understands that this region is under severe drought, can't the rains begin after 5pm on Sunday? Made worse was the fact that her Lungs were not functioning At Their Best and so going out into the sometimes chilly spring rain was not an option.

Alas familial obligations will curtail attendance at most other events this year, though Miss Elodie does hope to see friends Dressed for the Occasion soon....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Old Fashioned Malady Prevents High-Tech Update

Miss Elodie would like to apologize for not updating this site as she is recovering from pneumonia. She is glad to say that she has not been afflicted with the Swine Flu and has yet to emit an "oink" with her "achoo."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Diversion Courtesy the BBC

Altho' Yours Truly is still terribly busy sewing not only a wrapper but a corded petticoat and refinishing a purchased silk dress, she still sometimes is able to find something to distract her. Today's discovery is an online game courtesy of the British Broadcasting Company. Try your hand at dressing up a figure in the costume of either the Tudor or more recent Victorian times. You have your choice of both female and (gasp!) male forms!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quite the Sew-n-Sew

Miss Elodie is pleased to announce that in less than two weeks she will be attending a delightful weekend filled with learning and laughter with other ladies of the same temperment. With only a few days left, the burning question on her's and everyone else's mind is, of course, what to wear? Daytime and dining are two events of concern, but foremost on Miss Elodie's mind is what to don in that time no longer so formal between dinner and bedtime...why of course, a Wrapper!

Alas, such an article had not yet made it into Miss Elodie's wardrobe and so what does an enterprising young miss do? Why sew one--and--rather ambitiously, without the aid of a machine. Will it be wearable (brava!) or a disaster (quel d'hommage!)

Tune in to see what creation falls off her needle using Past Patterns Wrapper #807 and this lovely brown print.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Passion for Fashion (Plates)

Those close to her know that Miss Elodie is an ardent follower of fashion. Now, when she refers to the word, she doesn't mean Fashion as in Fashion Week or Fashion Magazine. Oh no. Miss Elodie's mood for the mode is satisfied by the exquisite format of disseminating style: the Fashion Plate.

The magazine Godey's Ladies' Book is a particularly famous resource for Miss Elodie's obsession, but others such as La Mode Illustree and Pariser Moden are a delight. Recently she spent a splendid afternoon perusing a collection of plates. Soon dresses began to dance before her eyes and an entire wardrobe was inspired. Oh My!

Then the constraints of time and talent, not to mention her empty coin purse brought Miss Elodie back to reality. Alas, the wardrobe must remain locked and the dresses must need dance in her mind rather than on her figure. Nonetheless, Dear Reader, please enjoy some of these visual treasures and imagine the possible confections to be created!

Fashion Plates

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sweet Surrender!

Sometimes Miss Elodie's ramblings turn beyond her own small world. Today she encountered the journal of a very busy lady who is also interested in making everyone's day a little brighter.

Mrs. G. at Pastoral Symphony Farm has taken on the challenge of harvesting and processing her own maple sugar and has even announced a contest in which the winner will receive a pint of her home-brewed confection.

Oh bliss!

What, ask you? How could it be that a sugar-cane-ophile be a devotee of syrup derived from from genus Acer? Simply this: fresh maple syrup is heavenly; besides, despite her family's two hundred-fifty years in Louisiana, they did spend a good century and a half settling Canada first.

Á La Douceur de Vivre!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mad about the Menger

This past week Miss Elodie had the honor and privilege of attending a Valentine's Day Ball at the historic and beautifully appointed Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

While most visitors spend most of their time at the San Antonio de Valero Mission, also known as the Alamo, located just next door, Miss Elodie must confess that the surroundings of the Menger are more to her liking.

Here in the Victorian Lobby The Party gathered for the Parade into Dinner.

Later, the doors to the Ballroom were opened and Miss Elodie and her Partner were second in line for the Grand March. The evening would have been perfect had not History Repeated itself again when Miss Elodie made one misstep during the infamous Virginia Reel and made more contact with the ballroom floor than she would have preferred. Nonetheless, the Dance takes precedence over any personal Discomfiture therefore she completed the Reel and enjoyed the remainder of her evening.

It was a wonderful Valentine's Day that will be enshrined in her memory. Miss Elodie hopes yours was as special!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Remembrance

Miss Elodie would like to extend to you her best wishes for Valentines. The day has special meaning for her for several reasons not the least being that she was baptized on that date by her clergy father in his tiny Episcopal parish in Opelousas, Louisiana. Now Miss Elodie does not wish to divulge the exact date of the occasion, but her memories of the occasion are only through photographs.

Another reason she celebrates is because so many of her French-Canadian and Acadian ancestors chose to marry on February 14th. This seemed so romantic to Miss Elodie until her mother pointed out that the Date was one of the last available before the beginning of Lent. So, perhaps the 14th was chosen more out of the wish for the newlyweds to stay warm until spring!

Lastly, she remembers the occasion because of the propensity of her ancestors to be named "Valentine" Her great-great-great-grandfather Valentine Cunningham was the last of these, though he and his descendents continued the practice with "V" names. Although she is a lover of traditions, particularly those familial, Miss Elodie is rather happy she was left out of this convention.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

All that shines isn't necessarily silver **but Miss Elodie certainly enjoys seeing it on her table!

Miss Elodie has been on a collecting spree and silver is what is on her mind. Is she hoping to corner the market then hoard the metal until it's value goes up? Why yes, but only if it is in the shape of a lovely tea set or serving piece. (Note: she has no intention of ever selling them!)

Her love affair with l'argenterie began at a tender age when her beloved Godmother began her collection of demitasse spoons. Every Christmas for the first twelve years of Miss Elodie's life she received another ornately engraved spoon.

Other gifts and purchases followed which were added to family pieces including place settings for twelve, bought in the depths of the Depression, which had once belonged to her maternal Grandmother.

Miss Elodie dreams of actually using her treasures beyond displaying them and relishes in the idea of having a full banquet. Ah, were but her dining and drawing rooms a bit larger...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Catch the Ball!

It's no secret that Miss Elodie loves to be invited. To what may you, dear reader ask? Why to almost anything, but particularly to an event that involves dressing in her finest and dancing well into the night.

With the économie in its current state, some have had to cancel due to a paucity of responses.

Quelle tragédie!

Will this be the end of grand evenings and intimate suppers?

What will the kid glove makers, fan repairers, and petit-four decorators do to survive?

My dear readers, we are on the verge of collapse of an entire industry
-- le Bal Grand is in danger of extinction!

Please, take heed!

When the invitation arrives in the mail, search your pocketbook as well as your heart. Give in to the lilt of the music and attend. So many people, including your author, are depending upon you!