The First Fundraiser of the Year!

Victorian Valentine Tea Party is a breast cancer awareness

fundraiser for the proceeds to benefit the Avon Walk for cancer.

The admission fee includes:

An afternoon of desserts, tea and coffee; door prize drawings

and gift bags; access to breast cancer prevention and support information; great conversation, tea games and raffle tickets for many great gift baskets and prizes.

So put on that fancy Victorian attire, spend an Victorian afternoon with us.

*Admissions to Tea is $12 and all proceeds

will go to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer*

Come to Lady Estelle’s Tea Salon at:

210 Ledge Street

Providence, RI 02904


Living In A Time Warp

I am really pleased with this report,  I wanted to share it with you, if you have not already seen it.

Living In A Time Warp
By Henry Hanks, CNN
February 5, 2010 2:38pm EST

This story started on CNN ireport

(CNN)-Social networking may be one of the biggest phenomenons of the 21st century, but for some denizens of the Web, it's a way to get in touch with the past.

Web sites like living (with a membership of more than 5,700) and groups on Facebook allow people who enjoy past eras to connect with each other. But it goes beyond that: Some of them dress and live like they would decades, if not centuries, ago.

Step into Estelle Barada's living room in Providence, Rhode Island, and you might feel like you've traveled back to the 1890s.

Barada, a hotel caterer, sees it as an escape from her stressful job.

"I was the middle child and kind of like the dreamer, and for some strange reason I always dreamed of living not in America, but England," she explained. "I imagined having tea with the queen and touring the castle and that was my dream as a little girl."

Today, "Lady Estelle," as she likes to be called, lives out that dream by hosting tea parties for her friends while dressed in Victorian clothing, completely in character.

When going out, she's dressed in a more understated fashion, but still completely consistent with the late 1800s, with a long skirt and hat. "I always wear hats and when I go shopping, I get the attention of the older women, who say, I love the way you look," she said.

Now, those with casual interest as well as those who live their lives in a past era, what Johnson calls "timewarpians," interact on her site,, which boasts more than 250 members. "When people come to this site, they see that they're not alone," she said.
Johnson considers "Lady Estelle" Barada to be a great example of a "timewarpian." Barada hopes to pass on the manners, if not necessarily the fashion, of the era to the next generation by hosting parties with young girls and teaching them about etiquette.
As for her own granddaughters, she said they love paying a visit. "They ask their mother if they can wear a pretty dress and go to grandmother's house."

iReport: Fashions of a modern-day Victorian

A Day of Love!

Today is consider a day of LOVE, one should spend the day with someone that fulls their heart with joy.
A day of romance and song, roses and poems.
I hope this came true for you, all my readers.

As for myself, I enjoyed a peaceful day by myself  doing what I LOVE to do. It was a good day.
I had time to read and be creative with my scrape books. I LOVE scrape booking as much as blogging.


Laundry Techniques of Yesteryear

Majority of households during the 19th century and before, water had to be carried into the house from a distance. The town pump or well, while centrally situated in a village or city square, might not be conveniently located near one’s house. In addition to the village well, households in the country could also rely on local streams, rivers, or lakes for their source of water, but again, these bodies of water were probably located some distance away.

Whatever the chore, water had to be carried back to the house by the servants of an upper class house or by the mistress or a maid of all work of a modest household.

Washing, boiling and rinsing a single load of laundry used about 50 gallons of water. Over the course of a year she walked 148 miles toting water and carried over 36 tons of water. Homes without running water also lacked the simplest way to dispose garbage: sinks with drains. This meant that women had to remove dirty dishwater, kitchen slops, and, worst of all, the contents of chamberpots from their house by hand.

One can just imagine how many buckets of water were required for one hot steaming bath. It is no wonder, then, that people of that era took infrequent baths.

It is also documented that the women of those bygone days universally dreaded laundry days. In fact, because of the sheer enormity of the task, people had a habit of changing their shirts and underwear only once a week.
A chemise, which was worn next to the body, was washed more frequently than a gown. These shapeless undergarments were made of white linen, muslin, or cotton so that they could take the frequent harsh treatment of boiling and pounding in lye without losing shape or color. Undergarments were not permanently gathered at the neckline and sleeves, but made with casings and drawstrings so the garment could be laid out flat for drying and ironing.”

In the absence of electric dryers, laundry had to dry naturally. This could be a problem during cold damp winters when clothes took forever to dry.

I know you are thinking that I look like I am having  too much fun here, but I am only demonstrating the technique at the Hearthside House.
I enjoyed the research in order to do the demonstration.
It sheds light on the clothes washing of the 20th century, where the machine does all the work and we still dread laundry day!

Testing my sewing skills

Yesterday we were sent home from work early because of a snow storm that was about to hit New England.

Well, I had not time to get material yet for my 1870's underskirt and was so anxious to get started, that I took a old set of living drapes out of the linen closet. I said "if Scarlet O'Hara could do it so can I". So, I spent the cold and snowy afternoon practicing my sewing skills. I am amazed at myself.
I designed this Victorian evening skirt without a pattern.

It took one window panel, costing $11.00 and some old top valances for trim. Not bad for someone who have not sown in over 10 years. I have not lost my sowing skills.
I gave the skirt a hook and eye closure in the waist belt.

And to give it a really elegant evening look I gave it a long pleated train.

That was a lot of fun. I can,t wait to get started on a real sewing adventure.
I am planning to shop today for that prefect material to use my Truly Victorian Patterns.

My Victorian Dream!

I am the daughter of William Alexander Tucker from Norfork, Virginia. Being his middle daughter, I was often left unnoticed. Therefore , I became a dreamer. I spent most of my childhood pretending I was the only child of a very wealthy man, that traveled the seas to bring home treasures for his little girl.
My father was what they called back in those days , "the junk man." He worked as a handyman for a wealthy family in Scarsdale, New York .He would bring home all kinds of things that he cleaned out from their attic, basement and garage. Sometimes it was old clothes from days gone by.
I was to young to appreciate these old things as I do now. But still, I would play for hours dressing up and wishing I lived in a big castle or mansion. As time went by , I was forced to leave my home, to live in an institution . The Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Home, for underprivileged children . I still kept hope for a grandeur life. I dreamed of a life of luxury and great position.

In the institution, I was encouraged to pursue my dreams. I took up ballet for the first time at the age of eight. It was hard for me at first because of my age. Most girls start much younger, but I loved it.
It was the style, the grace and the history that held me. It was so new to me. I attended The Harlem School for the Arts.
Studied under Arthur Mitchell. I studied hard and became an excellent dancer.

I danced with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. I wanted to be the prima ballerina, Here I could be the beautiful swan or Princess. As you can see I was still the great dreamer!

I studied the history of the French and the English. I was introduced at this time to the 1800's and the Victorian Era.I was amazed. I wanted to go back in time and live in that fashionable era.

As, I studied the Victorian Era and the history of black Americans,
in the 1800's, I was awaken to the fact that my family situation would have still been as a servant of that time. I still was intrigued by the manners, etiquette and fashions of that era.

The fashions of the Victorian Era were both very elaborate and restrictive on the bodies of those who wore them.
Victorian lace was used as ornamentation on long slim sleeves and high necklines lyered over satin and silk due to the 1840 invention of the lace machine. Fashion dictated that women wear white, tight-fitting,kidskin gloves fastened with up to 100 tiny buttons along with button-down, heel boots.

Because of my love for the Victorian Fashions and Era, I have, up to this day hold to the dream of grandeur and position.
I have started my own Victorian Tea Society that can be viewed at:

Modern Day Victorian goes tech!

I received a video camera from my children for Christmas. It has been in my desk for months.My children love the idea of having a mother that lives in the 1800's, but they feel I must have and enjoy some of the tech from the 20th century. I love my computer, so I do have some tech in my life. Well, they expressed that I must try and capture some of my wonderful life on video for all to remember. So here is my first try at running this thing. Bear with me.

So from what I am told, is that I have to buy more memory if I want to make the video longer. I will get the hang of it.
I love my camera and it took a very long time before I started to really enjoy it.
"If one can enjoy the past, one must get use to the present and prepare for the future".
Lady Estelle

I am in spot light on CNNiReport

I just read a wonderful blog about me on my dear friend Ray's blogspot. He is a stunning gentleman from England, that I admire from afar. He,like myself enjoy the Victorian fashion and lifestyle.

It was such a surprise. I had just received a call from a Mr. Hanks at CNN Reports. He was putting together a report on me and all my time wrapped friends. It is quit charming. I am pleased. I didn't know it would be out so soon. You know, at times I feel just so ordinary, but this article makes me out to be quit exciting.I look at my friends and I as just people with a passion for the past and a life gone by.
It's nice to know that we are considered fascinating. Maybe we are!

Patterns are In.

I am so excited. When I came home from work today I found my Truly Victorian Patterns was in the mailbox. I will spend the weekend trying to find the perfect material to start my apron.

First step to my sewing project

I know I had mention that I wanted to start making my own Victorian clothes. Well it no time like the present. The first thing I had to do was uncover my sewing machine and place it in a workable area. Believe it or not this beautiful doll display is covering a well working Singer, which has been covered for 2 years.
When I moved into this small apartment, didn't want to take up the room to sew.I had to really sit down a think how I was going to make space for this project. Well, where there is a will, there is a way!

I spend a lot of time at my desk and computer, so I incorporated the the two together. I will be motivated to sew every time I sit at my deck. It works well and looks good also. I am very pleased with the transformation.

The second thing I did was decide how big of a project do I want to take on. It has been many years sense I have sat down and sown, so I don't want to get over whelmed. I will start small and some thing easy. I ordered a 1870s Tie Apron overskirt from Truly Victorian to start with.

I will wait until the pattern comes in 2 days to decided on the material. If anyone has a suggestion, I would appreciate the help. You can email me or add it as a comment to this post.

portrayal of 19th century entrepreneur Christiana Carteaux Bannister

Christiana Carteaux Bannister: 19th Century Rhode Island Entrepreneur Join Mrs. Estelle Tucker Barada and the Warwick Historical Society fo...