Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Hidden Hand, ByE.D.E.N. Southworth

Finished 5/4-2013
Wonderful story!!!! It has a heroine, hero's, innocence, happiness and sadness and villainy,  villainy, villainy!

The Hidden Hand,  ByE.D.E.N. Southworth
Originally serialized in the New York Ledger 1958 (A Celebration of Women Writers. digital.library.upenn.edu)
61 Chapters

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52

I am thoroughly enjoying listening to audio books instead of sitting in front of the TV...or what my dad always called the boob tube. I have also been busily sewing spectacle cases for an upcoming Civil War event...mainstream but out of our local area. A friend runs a sutlery and I'm going to help out and sell (hopefully) a few things I have made.

  The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52,
23 Chapters

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Queechy, by Susan Warner

Finished 4/24/13.

Queechy, by Susan Warner, 1852
54 chapters

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern

Finished listening 4/16/2013. Great book! Love books by Fanny Fern 

Listening to:
Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern, 1854

Monday, April 8, 2013

More on.....paper carpets

An Encyclopædia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture and Furniture, London 1839

Paper Carpets are formed by cutting out and sewing together pieces of linen, cotton, Scotch gauze, or any similar material, &c., to the size and form required; then stretching the prepared cloth on the floor of a large room, and carefully pasting it round to be previously wetted. When the cloth thus fixed is dry, lay on it two or more coats of strong paper, breaking joint, and finish with coloured or hanging paper, according to fancy. Centre or corner pieces, cut out of remnants of papers, which may be bought for a mere trifle, may be laid on a self-coloured ground, and the whole surrounded by a border; or any other method adopted which may suit the taste or circumstances of the occupier, or accord with the other furniture of the room.

When the carpet is thus prepared, and quite dry, it should receive two coats of glue, or size made form the shreds of skins, such as is used by carvers and gilders. This size should be put on as warm as possible, and care should be taken that no part of the carpet be left untouched by it; otherwise the varnish to be afterwards laid on will sink into the paper, and spoil it. When the size is perfectly dry, the carpet should have one or more coats of boiled oil; and when that is dry, a coat of copal or any other varnish. The varnish is not absolutely essential, as boiled oil has been found to answer very well without it: but where oil only is used, it requires several more coats to be applied, and takes a much longer time to dry. These carpets are portable, and will roll up with about the same ease as oilcloth. They are very durable, are easily cleaned; and, if made of well-chosen patterns, have a very handsome appearance.

Where labour is cheap, the cost will be very trifling; the materials being of little value, and the expense consisting chiefly in the time requisite to put them together. Where cloth cannot be easily procured, the carpet may be made by pasting paper to painted boards; when, by repeated coats of paper, it is become strong and firm, it will separate from the paint, and will be as durable as if mounted on any kind of cloth. For earth, brick, or stone floors, in order to render them impervious to damp, these carpets may be made with two faces, by pasting paper to both sides of the cloth which forms their basis, and well oiling or varnishing them on the under as well as upper surface: they may also be bound with leather or any strong  substance, to prevent moisture from penetration to the paste.

The paste used in the preparation of these carpets ought to be very strong, and is best when beer or sweet wort is substituted for common water. It must be keep free from lumps, and, when gum or size employed in the printing of them, to enable them to withstand the effects fo the washing over with warm size. If printed in oil, a stong coat of size should be given to the back to prevent the oil from penetrating through the paper, otherwise it cannot be pasted to linen, cotton, or any thing else. Papers printed in oil will not require any size before they receive the finishing coats of boiled oil and varnish. When varnished on one side only, they ought to be rolled up with that side outwards, to prevent its cracking. (London Jour. of Arts and Sciences.) Paper carpets would perhaps be better for geographical subjects, than carpets formed of any material produced by the loom. We have before suggested the idea of geographical, natural history, and other scientific papers, for the walls of apartments; and, if these were once made, they might be transferred to paper carpets at pleasure.

Patents for inventions. by Patent office (London) 1876
A.D. 1865, July 19.--No. 1873
Artificial Leather, Floorcloth

PLATT, Anson Henry.--(Provisional protection only.)--"The
"    use and application of paper printed or otherwise ornamented with water colors for covering floors and other analogous purposes as a substitute for carpets and oilcloths, and of an improved coating or varnish to be applied to the same to protect its surface from injury and wear." The inventor makes three varieties of "paper carpet," which he names stationary, loose, and portable; the first is to be pasted to the floor, the second to be tacked on, the third to be put down in strips.

    The base of each is a stout paper, varying in quality according to the variety to be made. The surface is an ornamental paper "figured, printed, or tinted with water colors," and pasted on to the base. The portable variety generally consists of "a thick heavy paper, of good stock so as to be tough, firm, and of handsome texture," make in rolls of any required width and colour, figured or printed with waterproof colours; such a paper does not require a face paper.

    The protecting coverings consist of (1) about 3 coats of "sizing of white or clarified glue" made by dissolving about 8 oz. of glue in 1 gallon of hot water; and (2) from 3 to 6 coats of a varnish composed of about 3 parts of a light coloured copal varnish and 1 part of light coloured boiled linseed oil: this mixture is "tempered with benzine or spirits of turpentine "till brought to the proper consistence to be spread with a flat soft brush."


UPDATE 6/20/13
 Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million
Sarah Josepha Buell Hale
Cheap Carpeting.--Sew together strips of the cheapest cotton cloth, of the size of the room, and tack the edges to the floor. Then paper the cloth, as you would the side of a room, with any sort or room paper. After being well dried, give it two coats of varnish, and your carpet is finished. It can be washed like carpets, without injury, retains its gloss, and, on chambers or sleeping rooms, where it will not meet rough usage, will last for two years, as good as new.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Vanity Fair

Finished listening today 4/14/13. Delightful story and entertaining. I listened a couple of chapters every evening, 67 chapters in all....instead of watching the television. Finished a few sewing projects in the process.

I'm currently listening to Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray, serialized between January 1847 - July 1848


Friday, April 5, 2013


While preparing for a small first person event, I thought if I "read books of the period 1850's" I would have some food for conversations. BTW...this only works if "others" also participate in the prep-work [easier said than done]. Luckily two other ladies had read the same on I listened to. I actually listened to the books on librivox and got a lot of sewing done for the event. I also had an issue of a Godey's printed up at my local office supply store to be used as "mail" and so the ladies could discuss the magazine. It was a hit. Plus I have a "souvenir" from this event. While searching for the issue online I read in a Godey's, Vol. 55 1857, under Literary Notices about books being sent by mail. This notice appears in each month.
Now I'm on the lookout for reprints of fiction and non-fiction to use at events and to listen to more literature on Librivox.org

BOOKS BY MAIL.--Now that the postage on printed material is so low, we offer out services to procure for our subscribers or others any of the books that we notice. Information touching books will be cheerfully given by enclosing a stamp to pay return postage.
When ordering a book, please mention the name of the publisher.

There follows in the actual book, a list of books with a summary and review (fiction and non-fiction) and their prices.
Here is just a list of the titles:
THE OLIVE BRANCE; or, White Oak Farm
THINGS NOT GENERALLY KNOWN: A Popular Hand-Book of Facts and readily accessible in Literature, History, and Science
THE AMERICANS IN JAPAN: An Abridgment of the Government Narratives of the United States Expedition to Japan, under Commodore Perry
THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE   [I have this one :) ]
ILLUSTRATED SCHOOL HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES and Adjacent Parts of America, from the Earliest Discoveries to the Present Time.
HANSFORD: A Tale of Bacon’s Rebellion
LIFE PICTURES: From a Pastor’s Note-Book.
RANDOM SKETCHES; or, what I Save in Europe From the Portfolio of an Artist.
EDGAR HUNTLY; or, Memoire of a Sleep-Walker
THE NORSE-FOLK: or, a Visit to the Home of Norway and Sweden
LIVE SCENES FROM MISSION FIELDS: A Book of Facts, Incidents, and Results, the most Material and Remarkable in Missionary Experience, Condensed and Arranged fro Popular Use.