Sunday, April 6, 2014

Little Finds

I love visiting small museums in little out of the way country towns. There is one particular museum that we have been planning to visit for a few years now. Today we were finally driving past while it was open. It was a wonderful little wattle and daub house from the 1870s that had been converted into a museum. Inside it was a treasure trove of Victorian and Vintage items.

Of particular interest to me was some amazing shell art and hair art.

 Floral Shell Picture
 Floral Picture made from Human Hair

The museum was set up like a house with items relating to each room. In one of the bedrooms there was a large collection of vintage and period garments. Some were in an open wardrobe where you could touch them and others were hanging on the walls and on mannequins. 
This beautiful circa 1850 orange pleated fan front dress was hanging against a lime washed wall on a normal hanger. It is beautifully made and in amazing condition (for now, unfortunately I hate this type of treatment of original garments. They had it labelled incorrectly as an 1887 wedding dress for a particular lady whose name I have forgotten).
 This dress was also labelled as 1887 going away dress for the above 'wedding dress' (It looks Edwardian to me). It was also unfortunately stored in the same manner and is of almost perfect quality. I could not spot any visible damage. It really is a shame. 
The back of the dress. It had a plain panel down the back of the skirt and visible white stitching creating detail down to waist. 
This was a bodice made in the same ridged silk fabric as the dress it was next to, but it is of an earlier design. I was curious as to whether the dress was altered into a later Edwardian design to extend its life? The decoration was a beautify braid with paste stones stitched on. The center panel is a beautiful gold silk brocade.  The collar is a very stiff mandarin collar.
 The cuff detail
 The three garments hanging on the wall. They were really an amazing find and I am glad that I was able to photograph and document them. I just hope that they get preserved better in the future as they really are in amazing condition. Unfortunately, there is a black lace evening cloak next to them which was is a very sad state.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Safari Adventure

After last weeks fun at the zoo, a few of us who live near Murray Bridge decided to take up the half price offer of attending Monarto Zoo. This was a last minute decision, but it was still great fun. Nic and I decided to dress in 1860s. This meant that Nic was able to research which type of pith helmet we should wear. It turned out that the tall ones were first used in the 1840s. In the past I have always linked pith helmets with the Edwardian and Late Victorian Period. While they were army issue, Nic believes that they would also have been available to civilians travelling in areas requiring them. Jessie was in 1890s and dad in 1920s so they wore the later rounded style. We also had Theresa and Andrew to keep us company in modern clothing. I think we are blessed to have so many interesting places that we can go and visit. We are looking forward to more fun adventures in the future.

 Monarto Zoo has an interesting set up. You drive into the park and park in a visitors center. At the center you get on a bus. The buses go ever 20 minutes. The buses take you through the enclosures. At a few locations you can get off the bus and follow walking trails to amazing lookouts over the various enclosures. These lookouts gave some of the most amazing views.

 Nic looking for a new trophy at the waterhole lookout, which looks out over the giraffe, ostrich and some types of antelopes. 
 Nic lent me his telescope to get a better view.
 Dad, just enjoying the day.

 Dad and Nic looking for the elusive cheetahs. It was a warm day and we found them sleeping under a tree on the far side of their enclosure.
 The footpaths to the lookouts were really nice. Volunteers have been planting a lot of local native plants to re-vegetate the area. 
 We had a picnic lunch at the Visitors Center (not very period I know, but I have been very busy with sorting out work this week).

 We ended the day at the Chimpanzee Enclosure. They were amazing. We were able to watch them go into their night quarters for dinner. Wow they are scary when fighting over food.
 On the walk back to the Visitors Center we saw this amazing Yellow Tail Rock Wallaby. So Pretty.
 To end the day we had a group photo. Left to right Jessie, Paul (dad), Nic and Me.
The group photo was taken near the Meerkats. This little guy was fascinated by the size of my skirt and came over to investigate.