Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!

LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Big Hair of the 1770s – Maintenance and Style



by Denise Weimer

 As a researcher of mainly 1800s fashion – whose Colonial writing so far has focused on the frontier – I confess to harboring a curiosity of ignorance on the subject of 1700s high court fashions. Chiefly, the opulent ladies’ hairdos. Anyone else willing to admit the same? Let’s explore this quirky topic together, and for those experts among us, please feel free to add interesting tid-bits in the comments section. This post will focus on maintenance and basic style, while my April post will delve more into decoration.
My initial survey on big hair of the 1770s uncovered some pertinent basic information. As expected, fashion tended to flow from France to England. Simpler 1750s fashions like tête de mouton (“sheep’s head”) with tight curls in rows on top gave way to more egg-shaped creations in the 1760s. By the next decade, a much taller, pyramid shape prevailed. The opulence of style served to balance the wide paniers of the skirts. While men of the 1700s often wore full wigs, women employed partial wigs or false hair heaped on padding or toques constructed of fabric or cork. These forms might be shaped like a heart or spear.  

Maintenance of the tresses included irregular washing with just water or soap. The drying effects of the soap sometimes required pomade for shine. Mostly, pomatum (animal fat plus fragrances – one recipe called for mutton fat, pig lard, essence of lemon and clove oil) was worked in, then power was added. A wealthy person might use finely ground starch of beef or sheep bones plus orris root for scent (The Toilet of Flora, 1772), while a poor person might make do with corn or wheat flour. Professional powder application included the use of a bellows and face mask and smock.
While stories of careless hussies sleeping in their ‘dos using large pins and night caps for days on end gave rise to rumors of mice and vermin invaders, a conscientious lady probably did her hair daily. With a good ladies’ maid or coiffeur, this process should have taken no more time than a modern application of blow dryer or curling iron.
Some online sources consulted: Démodé: Historical Costume Projects & Research Sources, Specializing in the 18th Century, “Women’s Hairstyles & Cosmetics of the 18th Century: France & England, 1750-1790. Two Nerdy History Girls Blog, “The Truth about the Big Hair of the 1770s,” August 18, 2015. On Pins and Needles Blog, “Le Pouf: Fashion and Social Satire in the 1770s-1780s,” by Landis Lee, February 1, 2012.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Women's Hats and Accesories in Colonial Times

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

In Colonial America, well-dressed women had a variety of accessories.


Head-coverings: One of the main accessories was the hat. No decent woman would be seen in public unless her hair was up and she had some kind of head covering. Later in American history, women's hats become elaborate, but colonial hats were simple. Colonial women wore three types of head coverings.





Caps: Caps were practical colonial head wear worn by women and children. Caps kept hair clean so it didn't have to be washed as often, and it covered the hair so women didn't have to worry about styling their hair. The cap was made of linen, cotton, or lace and had lace or ruffles sewn on the edge for decoration. If a woman went out in public, she would wear a hat on top of her cap.


Mob Caps: Mob caps became popular in the 1730s and were worn in some form into the next century. A mob cap had a puffed crown placed high on the back of the head, a deep flat border surrounding the face, and side pieces carried down like short lappets, which could be left loose, pinned, or tied under the chin. The flat border usually was frilled or had lace.

 Hats: Every colonial woman had a hat to protect her head out in the sun. It was also considered improper not to wear a hat in public even if she had a cap on her head. The fancier hats were very shallow, and had a flat crown and a wide brim. Most hats were usually made out of chips and straw and would sometimes be covered with cloth.

Riding Hats: Women's riding hats were often made out of felt and would be made similar to a man's riding hat.

Mitts: Mitts were elbow length fingerless gloves worn summer and winter. Winter mitts were made out of wool or heavier fabric. Summer mitts were usually made out of cotton. They were usually embroidered for decoration.


Muffs: Muffs were used to keep the hands warm during the winter and were made out of fur, cloth, or feathers, and were usually padded.

Shoes: Shoes were made of silk fabrics, worsteds, or leathers. Sometimes they would have a small heel. They would fasten by buckles, clasps, or ties.


Sleeve Ruffles: Sleeve ruffles, either plain or lace, were attached to the end of a woman's sleeves. This protected the ruffles for when the woman went out in public so they wouldn't be damaged in daily housework and chores. Some ruffles had lace on the edge.

Pockets: Colonial pockets were two pouches strung on a waistband, and tied around the waist, and worn inside the petticoat. They were not sewn into the dress. Skirts and petticoats were sewn with side slits to access the pockets. Although some women carried handbags, most would keep their valuables in in pockets.



Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and was a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. Her novellas Resurrection of Hope and A Christmas Promise are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Cap - Most of the time women wore a simple cap made of linen or cotton. The cap was easy to manage and kept the woman's hair from getting dirty. Caps were sometimes very simple, but could also be dressed up with lace. Women wearing colonial era hats Three styles of hats (the cap is shown in the middle) Photo by Ducksters Hat - Women almost always wore hats when they were outside in order to protect their skin from the sun. Hats could be made of straw, silk, or felt and may be decorated with various items such as ribbons, flowers, and feathers. Mob cap - A mob cap was a larger version of the cap that covered the hair and had frilly edges that surrounded the face. It was sometimes called a "bonnet."

Read more at: http://www.ducksters.com/history/colonial_america/womens_clothing.php
This text is Copyright © Ducksters. Do not use without permission.
Cap - Most of the time women wore a simple cap made of linen or cotton. The cap was easy to manage and kept the woman's hair from getting dirty. Caps were sometimes very simple, but could also be dressed up with lace. Women wearing colonial era hats Three styles of hats (the cap is shown in the middle) Photo by Ducksters Hat - Women almost always wore hats when they were outside in order to protect their skin from the sun. Hats could be made of straw, silk, or felt and may be decorated with various items such as ribbons, flowers, and feathers. Mob cap - A mob cap was a larger version of the cap that covered the hair and had frilly edges that surrounded the face. It was sometimes called a "bonnet."

Read more at: http://www.ducksters.com/history/colonial_america/womens_clothing.php
This text is Copyright © Ducksters. Do not use without permission.

Monday, February 13, 2017

This Month In Colonial History: February

Tadeusz Kosciuszko
Second month of my overview of colonial history! Enjoy!

February 4, 1746 - Thaddeus Kosciusko was born in Poland. Engineer who not only built the first fortifications at West Point but managed the siege of Ninety Six, South Carolina, during the summer of 1780. After the American Revolution, he returned to his homeland and fought against a Russian invasion.

February 6, 1788 – The U.S. Constitution was ratified by a sixth state ... Massachusetts!

Aaron Burr
February 6, 1756Aaron Burr
was born in Newark, New Jersey. Most famous for the death of Alexander Hamilton in 1804, but have you heard of the Burr Conspiracy? Or that he's the great-grandson of Jonathan Edwards? Neither had I!

February 13, 1635 – The first public (taxpayer supported) school in America, Boston Latin School.

February 22, 1732 - George Washington born. Commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and first U.S. President.

George Washington, age 40
A few additions! “This month in Revolutionary War history,” with a catch-up for January ...

January-February 1779 – After taking Savannah, Georgia, the British prepare to move on Charles Towne.

January 17, 1781 – The Battle of Cowpens: definitive defeat of British and loyalist forces under Tarleton by Continental regulars and militia under Daniel Morgan in upstate South Carolina. The most important win of the Southern Campaign after King’s Mountain.

February 1-14, 1781 - Race for the Dan: literal race between the Continental army (under Greene) and British army (under Cornwallis) to get through North Carolina into Virginia, which would give either army a strategical advantage.

January-February 1782 – The Siege of Charleston in reverse: after more than a year of thoroughly wearing out the British army, Greene’s forces press in on Charles Towne to effect a complete pull-out (not accomplished until Dec 1782).

With thanks to The History Place for their excellent lists, and Patrick O'Kelley's Nothing but Blood and Slaughter, Vols. 1-4.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Scarlet Coat - Book Review




Book review by Trixi Oberembt


From Amazon:

Surrounded by the musket fire of the American Revolution, Rachel Garnet prays for her family to be safe. When the British invade the Mohawk Valley and her father and brother don't return from the battle, she goes in pursuit of them. She finds her brother alive but her father has been killed at the hand of the enemy. Amidst the death, how can she ignore a cry for help?

My review:

Set among the American Revolution, this story of hope, love & danger will have you captured from the very beginning! When siblings Rachel & Joseph Garnet opt to save a severely wounded British officer with no memory and no chance of surviving the night, they have no idea of the far-reaching consequences they bring upon their heads! Christian value for life & hospitality trumps sworn enemies and could have disastrous results!

I was swept away in another time & era where I could literally smell the gunpowder, hear the cries of dying men, smell the blood and sweat shed by the fallen on the field. And when the British officer—Andrew—was brought into their home, my heart pounded every time the threat of discovery came in the form of visiting neighbors. Emotions ran high in this intense story! As I began to see Andrew & Rachel fight their feelings for one another, my heart ached knowing there was no possible way for them to be together. I loved seeing how God played a huge part and how Andrew’s memories of scripture helped comfort him.  That in turn, played a part in Rachel’s heart softening again towards the things of God. 

I absolutely fell in love with this story, getting to know the characters I called friends, the rich historical details, every heart-pounding scene, and even a touch of humor the author included in this! Such as this line on page 146 where Andrew states; “After being idle for so long, my muscles seem to have mistaken themselves for fishes”—I literally laughed out loud! I wished I could have learned my history lessons at the feet of this author through fiction instead of my High School teacher; it would have been much more fun! I highly recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys early American history, forbidden romance, a touch of humor & a story that will sweep you away in another time and place!

    Barnes & Noble           Indigo/Chapters         Amazon

Friday, February 3, 2017

Winter Tea Party





Welcome 1777 in the Mohawk Valley and our winter Tea Party to celebrate some recent releases! Our location is a little more rustic than usual, but I assure you we have lots of firewood to keep us warm. And lots of refreshments, too! Despite the ever increasing raids by the Iroquois and Tories, harvest was good. 



With winter there has been a pause in the fighting, but rest assured we are always prepared for our Loyalist neighbors and their red-coated friends. 



The location for our party comes from Angela K Couch's debut novel, The Scarlet Coat, the first of her Hearts at War series. She will give away both an autographed print copy and ebook to one of our guests today. 

TheScarletCoat_w12111_680
A Woman Compelled by Christian Charity
Surrounded by the musket fire of the American Revolution, Rachel Garnet prays for her family to be safe.  When the British invade the Mohawk Valley, and her father and brother don’t return from the battle, she goes in pursuit of them. She finds her brother alive but her father has been killed at the hand of the enemy. Amidst the death, how can she ignore a cry for help…? Rachel reluctantly takes in a badly wounded British officer. But how long can her sense of Christian duty repress her hatred for his scarlet coat?

A Man Lost to the Devastation of War
Passages of Scripture and fleeting images of society are all Andrew Wyndham recalls after he awakens to the log walls of his gentle prison. Even his name eludes him. Rachel Garnet insists he is a captain in the British army. He mourns the loss of his memory, but how can he hope to remember war when his “enemy” is capturing his heart?

A Scarlet Uniform Holds the Power to Unite or Divide
Andrew’s injuries are severe, his memory slow to return, and the secret of his existence too perilous to ignore. As Rachel nurses him back to health, his hidden scarlet coat threatens to expose the deeds of her merciful heart, and Andrew is forced to face a harrowing decision—Stay hidden and risk losing the woman he loves or turn himself in and risk losing his life.

Available at:       Barnes & Noble           Indigo/Chapters         Amazon


Angela K Couch is an award-winning author for her short stories, and a semi-finalist in ACFW’s 2015 Genesis Contest with The Scarlet Coat. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. Angela lives in Alberta, Canada with her “hero” and three munchkins

 Moving farther west... I'm celebrating the Valentine Matchmaker collection from Forget Me Not Publishing. Included is my novella Why Not? which is set in February 1914 at Grand Canyon Village. It might be Arizona, but it's also cold and wintry!



The Valentine Matchmaker Collection includes nine sweet novellas, contemporary and historical, from Authors Mary Alford, Brandi Bobbie, Martha Rodgers, Niki Turner, Jennifer Vander Klipp, Jennifer Collins Johnson, Sherri Stewart and Gail Gaymer Martin. And me, Debra E. Marvin.



Here's the 'scoop' on WHY NOT?

Love Puts These Two On the Edge!

Grand Canyon, 1914


Society girl Amber Wynott’s wintry escape to the Grand Canyon provides a chance to pursue her dream and prove she has what it takes to be a successful architect. It doesn’t take long to realize the incredible scenery can’t hide the simmering anger between ‘railroad money’ and the struggling locals. 

Which side is master builder Stone Morrison on?

Amber has met her match in the handsome, hard-headed man. He’s been directed to keep an eye on her, but when iron meets iron—oh the sparks! As their unlikely old matchmaker tells them, pride goes before a fall, and this is a bad place to fall. Will danger finally knock some sense into the pair?

Like many of you, I'm a history fan and I enjoyed digging into Grand Canyon history, including the 'real heroine' of my tale, famed architect Mary Colter who designed many of the historical treasures known as National Park Architecture as well as hotels and train stations for the Sante Fe Railroad and the Fred Harvey Company.






"BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!"

new subscribers to my newsletter will be eligible for a $25.00 Amazon gift card. To do so, visit my website or click the SIGN UP link here.  or email me directly at debra (at) debraemarvin.com. If you're already a subscriber, send someone over and tell me via the above email, and you'll be in the drawing as well!

And because it's Valentine's Month, and we're romance writers and because Carrie loves pink, I'm giving away a Valentine Table Runner that I created just for this party!  Please note in a comment if you'd like to be in the drawing. 


Connect with Debra on: Twitter   Facebook  Website  Pinterest   Amazon Author Page.