Thursday, September 30, 2010

HOT Couture! Thank You, House of Elliot!

The House of Elliot: Beatrice & Evie
Hotter than an Alabama Summer!


If anyone really wants to know what happened in Episode 4 (some devoted fans swear there is one) of The House of Elliot, here's the scoop: The two Elliot sisters, Evie and Beatrice made their way to to the Southeast and set up an exclusive but small design shop in East Alabama....and we Steel Magnolias are keeping them busy.

After watching all three seasons last summer, I knew these two could create the finest interpretation of Madame X's gown, and here it is!
I posed for a local photographer right there in their offices. With my hair up, my super cyber diet and hours at the spa and the vigorous laps in the swimming pool, I have managed to achieve a most glamorous look, if I do say so myself. The Colonel asked me if I would be wearing this to have some fried catfish at his favorite diner, Jim Bob's....and well... I had to tell him that Coop was waiting outside in his Duesenberg! He smiled and said, "Go have fun....college games on TV tonight. See you when you get back....but I want to take the Duesenberg to Jim Bob's Friday night. OK?"
You got it, Lover!

Here is a layout so you can compare their work--my gorgeous gown
for tonight--to the Singer portrait.


And thank you Gaston Studios for your suggestion that I could leave off the pearl choker!
I don't want anything to inhibit me on the dance floor.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ball Gown in Black, Please!

Don't ask me why, but I for some reason I had decided that I really should wear black this year. I suppose it could have something to do with the visual effect of taking away the pounds. I like a sleeve most of the time, but the ones on this gown were just so plain......

so.......I finally decided on no sleeves at all! I have taken this image of John Singer Sargent's Madame X (Portrait of Madame Gautreau, 1884 oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London) to my dress maker ! She is a marvel at forgery when it comes to needle and thread and taffeta! I have been in for several fittings, and I am collecting the dress this evening!
Now, where is my pearl choker???

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's A Duesey



Some women may want to know what they are going to wear to
a fancy ball before they think about how they will get there. I have long been enamoured with elegant automobiles, and today came across these newspaper clippings. Now -- yes, I have been talking to my dressmaker about a certain evening gown I have always admired, but first I had to know how I was going to get to Willow Manor. I called up an old flame --you know 1-800-AFTALIF 0r 1-800-GR8BYON --and asked if he still had his Duesey--said I needed a ride to the most fabulous social event this side of the Mississippi. Actually, I was just going to borrow his car and go alone. He seemed very curious. I added a little extra intrigue and said that I had heard George Sanders was going to be the guest of honor. I whined about how I had to drive my own car last year, because my date was just a sweet little ole country lawyer from Maycomb. He gasped, and asked was this same ball where the likes of Al Pacino, Rudolph Nureyev, and Miss Piggy had been seen on the dance floor and meeting behind the palms ? He began to gush:


" You have an invitation to the Willow Manor Ball? Really? I heard Gregory Peck and some others just raving about that last October. Well, I am pretty sure I can get to your house by mid week if I start out in the morning. I may have to retrieve the Duesenberg from a museum, but I will be by to pick you up, and then we will head north to the ball! It's pretty quiet up Here on the great movie set in the sky. I am ready for something a little more Down to Earth, if you know what I mean!"


So, ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for the ball? Click above on Willow Manor Ball or the link in my sidebar. As for me, looks as if I have a great ride, my gown is in the making, and my escort is not too bad either...just lucky I guess!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sepia Saturday: From a Favorite Book

Back in June when I was on the coast enjoying the beach, I found this book at Sun Dog Books in Seaside, FL. I did not purchase it that day, and when I went back for it, I could not find the one copy. In July when I was in Monroeville, AL and browsing the cozy little shelves of Beehive Coffee & Books and chatting with Mary Badham (aka Scout), I found a single volume again! This time, I made it mine! I had remembered it only as a picture book, but in her introduction Victoria Randall shares a brief history of photography. Beginning with the daguerreotype, named for Frenchman Louis Daguerre, to tintype, to ambrotype, calotype, cyanotype, (all TYPES new to me), and collodian, up to George Eastman's introduction of the first film camera. With this, came the traveling portrait photographer, and most specifically featured in this book: The Pony Man. Throughout America were photographers going from town to town with an outfitted pony and a suitcase full of riding costumes. In her modest (120 pages)
treasury of nearly a hundred charming photos spanning from the 1880's to the 1960's, Randall includes many personal details and inscriptions for each image. Here are just a few captured by my camera. If you love sepia photographs and children and ponies,
you should give yourself this book.

CIRCA 1939
Doesn't she remind you of Bonnie Butler in GONE WITH THE WIND?


CIRCA 1918


CIRCA 1918
(click on pictures of the book to enlarge)

CIRCA 1971 Near Fort Rucker, AL

Our first born, Cameron, is seen riding his made in England Mobo walking pony.
I think this is the last one of these sold from Pizitz's in downtown Birmingham.
My Tennessee cousins had owned one, and I had longed for a Mobo to show up under my Christmas tree when I was a pre-schooler. Years later, I was astonished to find him in the toy department and sent word immediately to Santa. He reserved the toy before Cameron was born. Happily for his first Christmas, it became his first and only pony. Alas, there were no traveling pony photographers by this time. This is an old Polaroid I took, with a newly added sepia effect.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


When it's midnight in the meadow and cats are in the shed,
And the river tells a story at the window by my bed,
If you listen very closely, be as quiet as you can,
In the yard you'll hear him,
It is the pony man.



Opening lines of the "The Pony Man" by Gordon Lightfoot
For other Sepia Saturday Posts, click HERE!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Summer Vacation? Maybe next year...

Once upon a time, when Michael (Where is he?) was maybe NOT Shouting at Street Lights , he was kind enough to tell me about a magical sounding place for horse lovers. It may have been when I posted a photo of a real sweetheart, Chloe, a mare I had visited at the AU vet school, or perhaps when I had done one of my many
"Boy-do-I-love-horses-and-wish-I-had-one-now-and-forever!" kind of posts.
Anyway, he sent me a link to a place in Northern England that I frequently visit online. After I have read all about the different "rides" that Cumbria Heavy Horses has to offer, then I invariably float off into a Walter Mitty styled daydream of not just going there for a summer vacation...but actually going there to live part of the year. For a little while, I ask myself...."Dang, Miss Marnie, have you lost your mind?" Realizing that over the years, I have listened to fans of Fantasy Football, Fantasy Baseball, Quarter Horse Trail Riders, Harley Riders, and Appalachian Trail Hikers, go on an on about their passions, I must say this place does not seem so far fetched.

Okay, call me romantic, but there are two things high on my Bucket List: Ride a horse on a an English beach in the winter and go on a sleigh ride.....yes.....in a one horse, opened sleigh.
I am sure these winter fantasies can be attributed to far too many viewings of
THE LION IN WINTER and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO! I too am of the Woolly Socks school of thought made so totally endearing and fashionable by Willow of Willow Manor fame!

So pop over to my Fantasy Horse Farm where I borrowed these images to lure you there!

Let me know if you want to join in .....when I win the lottery and buy this place!


And yes, I will have to have plenty of sheep too!

PS Don't forget to explore all of the warm and welcoming places you can stay
at the end of long day of riding on the fells !
Oh Lord!! Someone stop me before I create another link!

About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat