I Kissed Your Man – Lil’ Lost Lou

 

Lil’ Lost Lou is one of the most original British artists alive today.  Why she is not rocking every American late night show is quite unclear to us. Click here to visit her website and purchase her latest album. Click here to listen to He put a hook in me...

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Mrs. Beeton’s Poultry & Game – Cooking Poultry; Baking and Boiling

Baking is a very similar process to roasting: the two often do duty for one another.  As in all other methods of cookery, the surrounding air may be several degrees hotter than boiling water, but the food is no appreciably hotter until it has lost water by evaporation, after which it may readily burn.  The hot air of the oven is greedy of water, and evaporation is great, so that ordinary baking (i.e. just shutting the food into a hot-air chamber) is not suited for anything that needs moist heat. Continue reading Mrs. Beeton’s Poultry & Game — Cooking Poultry; Baking and Boiling

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Valentine Poetry from the Cotswold Explorer

St. Valentine kneeling in supplication – 1677 by David Teniers III

There is nothing more delightful than a great poetry reading to warm ones heart on a cold winter night fireside.  Today is one of the coldest Valentine’s days on record, thus, nothing could be better than listening to the resonant voice of Robin Shuckbrugh, The Cotswold Explorer  , read classic love poetry to set the mood for a cozy evening with that special person.

Mr. Shuckbrugh is the presenter and one of the three creative minds behind the Youtube channel The Costwold Explorer, a most entertaining documentary series that brings the Cotswold area of the UK to life.

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Glimpses from the Chase

 

From Fores’s Sporting Notes and Sketches, A Quarterly Magazine Descriptive of British, Indian, Colonial, and  Foreign Sport with Thirty Two Full Page Illustrations Volume 10 1893, London; Mssrs. Fores Piccadilly W. 1893, All Rights Reserved.

GLIMPSES OF THE CHASE,
Ireland a Hundred Years Ago.
By ‘Triviator.’

FOX-HUNTING has, like Racing, Shooting, and even Dancing, had its phases and fashions ever since it became a National sport, and we may be pretty sure that though we of the guild and fraternity of fin desiecle fox-hunters make it our boast that as the ‘ heirs of all the ages ‘ we have brought the royal sport to the acme of perfection, every contemporary phase was the best adapted to the manners, customs, and requirements of the period ; and that, grotesque and absurd as some of the practices of our forbears appear to us now, many of our improvements and requirements and sublimations of sport would afford them in turn many a hearty laugh. After all, if sport be the desideratum, whatever makes for that end in the opinion of its votaries, must be deemed successful, and if real war—of which, according to Somerville and his pupil John Jorrocks, Fox-hunting is the image—was a comparatively innocuous affair in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, when contrasted with the deadly issues of modern scientific slaughter, it attained its aim as effectually as the present system, though more slowly and tentatively. Continue reading Glimpses from the Chase

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The Mayfair Set

The Clermont Club – 44 Berkley Square




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A Method for Hand Painting Old Ceramic Floor Tiles – A New Orleans Themed Half Bath under Staircase

Ripping up and replacing a tiled floor is a daunting and expensive task, especially should one live in a fully furnished house full of antique furniture.  An alternative is to hand paint the tiles which can save thousands of dollars in furniture removal, storage expenses and labor costs.  Let’s not forget the the noise and dust created by using pry bars to rip up old tiles.  By hand painting tiles, small sections of a floor may be redecorated by shifting furniture from one area of a room to another.

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of hand painting ceramic tiles is the limitless range of possibilities in recreating historical designs or creating your own original designs. Continue reading A Method for Hand Painting Old Ceramic Floor Tiles — A New Orleans Themed Half Bath under Staircase

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A Historical Perspective on French Provencal Fabrics

Produced by Stephanie Jarvis for her YouTube Channel The Chateau Diaries, this video is quite possibly the best ever created on the history of Provencal Fabrics.   Stephanie’s love for French History and in particular the history of fabulous fabric houses drives the melody of this wonderful film.  Click here to learn more about Stephanie and The Chateau Diaries.

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Professional Cleaning an Antique Rug

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Christmas Pudding with Dickens

Traditional British Christmas Pudding Recipe by Pen Vogler from the Charles Dickens Museum

Ingredients

  • 85 grams all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 170 grams Beef Suet
  • 140 grams brown sugar
  • tsp. mixed spice, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, &c
  • 170 grams bread crumbs
  • 170 grams raisins
  • 170 grams currants
  • 55 grams cut mixed peel
  • Gram to Cup conversion tables.

Method

Mix together well, add 1 medium grated apple, mix again, beat three eggs plus 140ml brandy, add to dry mixture, stir together well.

Grease pudding basin with butter, cut a small piece of grease proof paper to cover bottom, pack in pudding, cover with parchment another round of grease proof paper, cover with large squares grease proof paper and tin foil, tie up tightly with string and make string handle to prevent water from invading pudding.   Set on saucer in large covered pan, water half way up pudding basin and boil for 3 ½ hours.

To learn more about Mrs. Vogler and her cooking adventures, click here.

Click here to purchase a copy of Christmas with Dickens by Pen Vogler.

 

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Country House Christmas Pudding

Country House Christmas Pudding

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Christian Bros Brandy
  • ½ cup Myer’s Dark Rum
  • ½ cup  Jim Beam Whiskey
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • 1 cup pitted prunes finely chopped
  •  1 med. apple peeled and grated
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup candied orange peel finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (freshly baked bread is best)
  • 1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening(freeze and grate)
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup black strap molasses
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • grated zest of 1 orange plus juice
  • 3 large eggs

Method

  1. Soak all fruit in Brandy for a week.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine brandied fruit with remaining ingredients, add cup of dark rum.
  3. Mold and steam for 3 ½ hours.
  4. Remove pudding, poke holes in top with fork, pour over Jim Beam Whiskey, cover tightly in parchment paper and foil, serve when ready. Will last up to six months in refrigeration.
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Sir Joshua Reynolds – Notes from Rome

Titian – Charles V

The Leda, in the Colonna palace, by Correggio, is dead-coloured white and black, with ultramarine in the shadow ; and over that is scumbled, thinly and smooth, a warmer tint,—I believe caput mortuum.  The lights are mellow ; the shadows blueish, but mellow.  The picture is painted on  panel, in a broad and large manner, but finished like enamel : the shadows harmonize, and are lost in the ground. Continue reading Sir Joshua Reynolds — Notes from Rome

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Sir Joshua Reynolds’ Memoranda on Painting – December 1755

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS‘ WORKING COLOURS, WITH

THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY WERE ARRANGED

ON HIS PALLETTE.

For painting the flesh, black, blue black, white, lake, carmine, orpiment, yellow ochre, ultramarine, and varnish.

“To lay the pallette:—first lay carmine and white in different degrees: second, lay orpiment and white, ditto: third lay blue black and white, ditto.

“The first sitting, make a mixture on the pallette for expedition, as near the sitter’s complexion as you can. Continue reading Sir Joshua Reynolds’ Memoranda on Painting — December 1755

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Making Quality Linen and Canvas Painting Panels

Gary Kravit is an airline pilot and artist.  He also owns and operates https://theultimatetaboret.com.  You may view Gary’s art at https://garrykravitart.blogspot.com/

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Method of Restoration for Ancient Bronzes and other Alloys

Cannone nel castello di Haut-Koenigsbourg, photo by Gita Colmar

Without any preliminary cleaning the bronze object to be treated is hung as cathode into the 2 per cent. caustic soda solution and a low amperage direct current is applied.  The object is suspended with soft copper wires and is completely immersed into the solution.  In case the object is very soft and fragile or completely mineralized, fine annealed copper wire is wrapped around the object, one to two turns per inch, and electrical connections are made with several turns of this wire.  Where there is danger that object might not hold together upon the removal of the hard supporting shell, we have found it advisable to to pack the whole object in clean white sand, after making proper electrical connections, and then filling the containers with the caustic soda solution. Continue reading Method of Restoration for Ancient Bronzes and other Alloys

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Artist Methods

Como dome facade – Pliny the Elder – Photo by Wolfgang Sauber

Work in Progress…

THE VARNISHES.

Every substance may be considered as a varnish, which, when applied to the surface of a solid body, gives it a permanent lustre.  Drying oil, thickened by exposure to the sun’s heat or a fire, is a varnish and as such has often been employed.  It is, however, probable that varnishes, composed of resins dissolved in oil, have been used in very ancient times.

But it is beyond all doubt, that when the arts flourished in Greece, the composition of varnish had long been known in India, Persia, and China.  It is not then to be supposed that the Greeks were unacquainted with this art.  Yet such would have been the case if we give credit to a paragraph in Pliny, who tells us that Apelles was indebted for his unequalled colouring to the employment of a liquid which he calls “Atramentum,” with which he covered his pictures when they finished, and with which substance no other painter was acquainted.  Pliny observes, “that there is in the pictures of Apelles a certain effect, that cannot be equalled, and that tone was obtained by means of atramentum, which fluid he passed over his pictures when the painting was completely finished. Continue reading Artist Methods

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Rendering Amber Clear for Use in Lens-Making for Magnifying Glass

Pencil sketch of Sir Charles Lock Eastlake by John Partridge (Queen Victoria’s favourite portrait painter), 1825

From the work of Sir Charles Lock Eastlake entitled Materials for a history of oil painting, (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1846), we learn the following:

The effect of oil at certain temperatures, in penetrating “the minute pores of the amber” (as Hoffman elsewhere writes), is still more strikingly exemplified in an invention, or perhaps and old method revived, Christian Porschinen of Königsberg, at the close of the seventeenth century (June, 1691).  He succeeded in rendering amber colourless, so as to employ it as substitute for magnifying glasses.  Zedler ( Grosses vollständiges Univ. Lexicon, art. Bersteinerner Brenn-Spiegel) describes the process.  The manufacturer placed the amber, already formed and polished for the intended use, in linseed oil exposed to a moderate fire, and suffered it to remain till it had entirely lost its yellow colour, and had become quite clear and transparent.  Zedler states that lenses so prepared are more powerful than those made of glass in igniting gunpowder (welche viel schneller in Brennen and Pulver-anzunden sind als die glasernen).

The same process was afterwards adopted for clarifying amber beads, so as to render them transparent like glass.  The method is probably most successful when the substance is not very thick.  For a further account of this invention Zedler refers to Hen. von Sanden, Disp. de Succino Electricorum principe, Königsberg, 1714.  Dreme (Der Virniss-und Kittmacher) alludes to similar methods.  “Amber boiled in linseed oil is softened so that it may be bent and compressed: opaque or clouded amber by this process becomes light and transparent.  The oil should be heated gradually, otherwise, the pieces of amber are liable to crack. ”  Such modes of clarifying amber might be employed with effect, preparatory to its solution by some of the means before indicated.

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Because its blessings are abused, Must gold be censure, cursed, accused? E’en virtue’s self by knaves is made, A cloak to carry on the trade.

— Gay