Rawlings Conservatory

At the tail end of Winter, we decided to visit the Rawlings Conservatory to get a shot of Spring into our system. This winter was particularity long and cold and seeing beautiful flowers really perked us up.

This is the second oldest conservatory in America. It opened in 1888 and it really is a stunning building. It has 5 different greenhouses and they host several wonderful events throughout the year. Last year they hosted a Seersucker and Sundress Garden Party, I hope they do this again as I would love to attend.

flickr-5836175946-original

2-21-14 IMG_1124 IMG_1125 IMG_1126 IMG_1127 IMG_1128 IMG_1130 IMG_1133 IMG_1135 IMG_1136 IMG_1139 IMG_1147 IMG_1151 IMG_1157 IMG_1160 IMG_1199

IMG_1222 IMG_1237 IMG_1246 IMG_1247 IMG_1254 IMG_1256 IMG_1264 IMG_1267 IMG_1288 IMG_1293

2:21:14 - 2

IMG_1458 IMG_1460 IMG_1474

Billie Holiday Festival

My affection for Baltimore waxes and wanes on a daily basis. However, when I heard that there was to be a Billie Holiday Festival this weekend, my heart swelled with pride for my adopted home. The Facebook page said there would be live music, vendors, food, children’s games and more. I of course had my own ideas of what this event would be like…fantastic jazz music, maybe a dance floor or even professional dancers offering lessons. Great street food (we do have some amazing food trucks in Baltimore), local vendors selling jazz related/Billie Holiday items, or maybe even some vendors selling vintage items and people on hand to talk about her time here in Baltimore and the history of her career. And last but not least fabulously attired patrons.

Well, once again Baltimore broke my heart. It was 2 blocks of random vendors including at least three booths for city council candidates, one booth which  looked like a yard sale, a few artists selling their wares, (maybe) two food vendors – hot dogs and ice cream – and a hardware store.

The only people there that I was pleased to see were two animal rescue groups (I am biased as I am a foster for one of these). There were several dogs which is always fun and NO ONE was dressed well….except for myself, my husband and my friend Bowtie Bob that we ran into.

Very rarely do I actually FEEL overdressed for an occasion, even if I am. But I actually felt it today. I felt as though people were looking at me as if I was in costume. I specifically wore a 1940s style dress and shoes and a white flower in my hair in honor of the lovely Billie herself. I didn’t see anyone enthusiastic about the theme of the festival as it was honoring such a wonderful jazz icon.

There were two shining points in this event, however. There was jazz music – as promised – and the band and singer were really great. The other fantastic thing was the beautiful artwork down Durham Street (the street the Billie lived). The artists who have created these amazing murals and painted screens are truly talented and have made this little alley a beautiful homage to Lady Day.

I can only hope that this festival gets better each year (I believe that this was the first year).

4:5:14 - 2

4:5:14 - 4 IMG_3778

4:5:14 - 3 IMG_3672

IMG_3619 IMG_3622 IMG_3636 IMG_3637 IMG_3638 IMG_3641 IMG_3679 IMG_3668

IMG_3647 IMG_3657IMG_3649 IMG_3653 IMG_3661

 

Journey to Winterthur for the Costumes of Downton Abbey

thumbnail

Yesterday was pure heaven for me! Since being introduced to this wonderful period drama, both Will and I have been hooked. I adore all of the characters and stories of this show and I’m constantly intrigued at the idea of peeking into the daily lives of the Crawley Family and the servants that keep this massive estate running smoothly.

And then of course there is the fashion! The first season starts off in April of 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic. With its stunning display of Edwardian fashion with large hats, long gloves and intricately beaded dresses, the show moves through time with this most current season ending in 1923. So now we have 11 years of fashion trends to witness. With season 4 we are now starting to see the fabulous 1920s styles of hair with finger waves and pin curls, sometimes with beautiful silk scarfs tied around the head or a lovely cloche hat. Jazz has also come to Downton Abbey this season and we see brightly colored fabrics and lowered waistlines capturing the quintessential 1920’s style.

Once again the Maryland Historical Society created an amazing event, this time it was for the opening of the Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit housed at the fantastic Winterthur Estate in Delaware. I went with my dear friend Cheryl and my business partner Rachel and her husband Tim. There were 42 guests in all, and we loaded a big tour bus at 9:00 am to head out to the Hotel duPont for a lovely brunch. Then we were off to Winterthur for an exclusive tour of the exhibit and then a tour of the house and estate. It was a long and wonderful day.

I of course wanted to dress for the occasion, I chose a 1920’s inspired outfit. It was quite cold so I was so happy to be able to wear my new butterscotch velvet coat. Once again I was “overdressed” for the occasion, however I was not the only one. Cheryl and Rachel both looked wonderful. I was asked a few times if I worked at the exhibit and one lovely lady on the bus asked if I was hired to attend so people could take photos with me. I thought that was funny and would have gladly taken that job if offered.

3:1:14 - 1

3:1:14 - 2

Butterscotch Velvet Coat ~ Victorian Trading Company
Front Tie Sweater in deep rose ~ Myrtlewood purchased at Modcloth
Maroon Skirt ~ Lands End
Cloche Hat ~ Hats in the Belfry
Cream Gloves ~ Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes ~ Bait Footware purchased at Modcloth

So our first stop was at the Hotel Du Pont for a champagne luncheon in the historic Green Room. The hotel lobby and restaurant were so beautiful, I could have spent hours taking photos of all the amazing woodwork carvings and the ceilings.

IMG_2001 IMG_2002 IMG_2003 IMG_2005 IMG_2006 IMG_2009 IMG_2010

And I even get my very own room at the Hotel!

And I even get my very own room at the Hotel!

IMG_2018 IMG_2019 IMG_2020 IMG_2021 IMG_2024

We had a great lunch in the historic and amazingly beautiful Green Room.

red_dining_roomIMG_2040 IMG_2047 IMG_2049

After our lunch we loaded back onto the bus and headed down the road to the Winterthur Estate for the Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit. This exhibit will be held until January 4, 2015 so if you have a chance I highly recommend seeing it. I would love to go back in the Spring/Summer and spend more time in the Winterthur gardens as well, it really is a beautiful estate.

**Fun fact** All of the mannequins were carved out of a special foam, and are of the correct size, shape and height of each of the actors/characters to showcase the costumes the best.

IMG_2156

IMG_2062

Mrs. Hughes’ dress. The check detail and lace on the bodice is wonderful. And I adore those keys on the chains hanging off her belt.

IMG_2068

Thomas’s livery. The buttons are the Crawley family crest. Sorry I couldn’t get a closer shot.

IMG_2061 IMG_2067 IMG_2069

IMG_2070 IMG_2071 IMG_2075 IMG_2079 IMG_2081 IMG_2082 IMG_2084

IMG_2085 IMG_2088 IMG_2092

IMG_2097 IMG_2095 IMG_2096

Lady Edith’s Wedding

IMG_2103 IMG_2134

IMG_2133

Lady Mary's dress for Lady Edith's wedding

Lady Mary’s dress for Lady Edith’s wedding

Lady Sybil's dress for Lady Edith's wedding

Lady Sybil’s dress for Lady Edith’s wedding

Daisy the kitchen maid

Daisy the kitchen maid

IMG_2105 IMG_2109

IMG_2111 IMG_2110

IMG_2138

IMG_2119

IMG_2120 IMG_2128 IMG_2129 IMG_2130IMG_2126 IMG_2135 IMG_2137 IMG_2136

IMG_2124

Of course Rachel and I had to have a photo with Carson.

Of course Rachel and I had to have a photo with Carson.

Party at the Patterson ~ Lipstick

A few weeks ago Will and I attended a great event with the Creative Alliance with our friends Jaclyn and Dusty. Called Party at the Patterson ~ Lipstick, it was a 1940s themed party with music by Bosely a very talented band with influences from 40’s swing to 60’s R&B. The Creative Alliance is an artist co-operative that provides support to area artists, promotes Baltimore as a center for creative production, acts as a positive force in the community, and advocates for cultural expression rooted in a sense of place.

Everyone was encouraged to dress in 1940’s attire and there was even a hairstyle contest for the best 40s style hair, which I did not win 😦

The event was held at the Patterson Theater, which the Creative Alliance renovated and reopened in 2003.

A little history of The Patterson Theater:

The Patterson Theater opened in 1910, primarily as a movie theater with a dance hall on the second floor. The Patterson Theater was managed by the Grand Theater Company, an affiliate of Durkee Enterprises who built most of the movie houses of the ’20s and ’30s, and who also operated the Grand Theater on Conkling Street. A fire in November 1958 damaged the interior architectural features of The Patterson. The building was twinned in 1975 and the theater closed in 1995. The Creative Alliance has done such a wonderful job giving new life to this historic theater.

I chose to wear my custom navy blue and tan dress from Eshakti.

2:7:14-2

2:7:14 - 5

IMG_0589

 

I was so pleased to meet a local celebrity Bow Tie Bob. When I asked if I could have a photo with him, his reply was “I’d be offended if you didn’t”. Such a dapper gentleman, I hope to see him around town soon.

2:7:14 - 3

IMG_0730

I wanted to capture Bow Tie Bob’s entire outfit, as he was dressed so wonderfully!

Our friends Jaclyn & Dusty

Our friends Jaclyn & Dusty

There were so many fashionable people at this event. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many beautiful people.

IMG_0625

The lovely ladies from Hat in the Belfry

IMG_0679

Our very own Charm City Roller Girls

IMG_0677

And the band, Bosley, were also very stylish

IMG_0658 IMG_0665

 

What a lovely day in Ellicott City

We spent the afternoon in Historic Ellicott City this past Sunday, as neither of us really cared about the Super Bowl (we did however set the DVR so we could watch the commercials of course). Every time I go to this charming part of Baltimore, I love it more and more. We are always drawn to historic places and love when Main Streets retain the charm of yesteryear.

A brief history and a few interesting facts about Ellicott City from Wikipedia:

  • It was founded by a Quaker family from Pennsylvania in the 1770s, known then as Ellicott Mills for the flour mills, it soon became one of the largest milling and manufacturing towns on the east coast.
  • In 1830, the first Baltimore & Ohio Railroad terminus outside of Baltimore was built. Created from huge blocks of locally quarried granite, it still stands today.  This living history museum and National Historic Landmark is the oldest surviving railroad station in America.
  • In 1958, The Goddess, a film loosely based on Marilyn Monroe’s life, was shot on location in the city.
  • The Ellicott City area was home to the fairy tale-themed amusement park known as the Enchanted Forest. The park has been closed to the general public since the early 1990s, and a shopping center (called the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center) was built on its parking lot. Many of the attractions have been moved to Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City, where they are being restored. The Enchanted Forest was featured in the 1990 John Waters-directed film Cry-Baby.

Tea on the Tiber

Ellicott City is known for it’s amazing antique and vintage shops and is home to a beautiful Victorian Tea House called Tea on the Tiber. The Tiber Creek runs behind and actually underneath the building. Last year, my friends and I celebrated the season 3 of Downton Abbey with a traditional victorian tea at this charming tea house.

3035401_original

On May 24, 1830 the first railroad -- drawn by horses -- in the United States arrived in Ellicott City from Baltimore, thirteen miles away. The Baltimore & Ohio station in Ellicott City, pictured here c. 1905, was in continuous use for many years until it was converted into a museum.

On May 24, 1830 the first railroad — drawn by horses — in the United States arrived in Ellicott City from Baltimore, thirteen miles away. The Baltimore & Ohio station in Ellicott City, pictured here c. 1905, was in continuous use for many years until it was converted into a museum.

llicott City is the seat of Howard County government and its principal banking and trading center. Main Street follows a narrow ravine, and some buildings on the south side are constructed over the Tiber Creek. Many of the older homes and stores are made of local granite.

Ellicott City is the seat of Howard County government and its principal banking and trading center. Main Street follows a narrow ravine, and some buildings on the south side are constructed over the Tiber Creek. Many of the older homes and stores are made of local granite.

I found this photo of Dr. Edward and John J. Norton  outside their pharmacy in Ellicott City. I wonder if the actor Edward Norton is related to them, he is from Columbia Maryland......

I found this photo of Dr. Edward and John J. Norton outside their pharmacy in Ellicott City. I wonder if the actor Edward Norton is related to them, he is from Columbia Maryland……

Since it was a bit chilly out I wore my new wool double breasted houndstooth dress with a crepe tie pin tuck blouse underneath for modesty (the neckline is a bit low). I recently changed my hair color and I’m still getting use to it. As I was putting on my lipstick in the morning I realized that I looked a bit like the Black Dahlia!!!!

While my husband was taking these photos, a woman yelled from across the street “Excuse me! Can I take your picture?”, so I said yes and she runs up and starts taking photos of me, saying how great I looked and she loved how I was”dressed up”. During another part of our impromptu photo shoot, someone in a minivan pulled up and the sliding door slams open. A woman in the back seat pulled out her camera and just started snapping away. It’s always a strange feeling when strangers do this. It’s nice to have my efforts recognized and appreciated, but on the other hand I don’t know what these photos will be used for. I do appreciate it when people ask to take my photo as opposed to just doing it. At least that way I can hand them my card so they can refer to who I am and I can talk to them a bit. Anyway, here’s my outfit.

2:2:14 - 1

2:2:14 - 2

IMG_0470

IMG_0491

Doublebreasted houndstooth dress ~ Eshakti
Crepe pin tuck tie blouse ~ Lands End
Vintage hummingbird brooch ~ Etsy
Black & White handbag ~ Target
Mary Jane shoes ~ Hotter
Magnolia hair flower ~ Made by me

We stopped in a cute bistro for lunch before our shopping adventure. The food was’t fantastic, but it was very beautiful, so I took a quick shot before we ate.

Will had the ruben sandwich on a pretzel bun with Williamsburg cole slaw (vintager base, no mayo)

Will had the ruben sandwich on a pretzel bun with Williamsburg cole slaw (vintager base, no mayo)

I had the seared Ahi tuna on spinach with a soy sesame dressing. They didn't have many gluten free options, so I was limited. I of course didn't eat the crackers.

I had the seared Ahi tuna on spinach with a soy sesame dressing. They didn’t have many gluten free options, so I was limited. I of course didn’t eat the crackers.

And now for the wonderful items we picked up. I think we went into at least 5 different antique and vintage shops along Main Street and saved the HUGE antique mall for the end.

A beautiful crystal blue bouquet of flowers with small rhinestones in the middle of each, this brooch is so unique and stunning. The stamp on the back says "West Germany"

A beautiful crystal blue bouquet of flowers, this brooch is so unique and stunning. The stamp on the back says “West Germany”

I've been looking for larger brooches and this was is just stunning. It measures just over 3 inches long.

I’ve been looking for larger brooches and this was is just stunning. It measures just over 3 inches long.

IMG_0466

This was in the window of the Antique Depot ~ a huge antique mall on Maryland Ave. ~ that we saved for last. We spent hours inside. Ever since we’ve discovered these antique malls we have been obsessed. We love perusing through each and every stall and finding some real gems.

IMG_0531

And of course Will found some things for himself. A few tie clips, a tie bar and below are some fun tie pins.

IMG_0529

IMG_0554

Last year, Will started collecting straight razors. He has amassed a nice little collection and we are always looking for new ones. For Yule I made him a beautiful display case for them. Looks like I’m going to need to make another one with the addition of these beauties.

IMG_0559