Friday, July 31, 2009 — Good Old-Fashioned Street Performance

Today, for a little while, I watched a street performance known as PuppetBike. A puppet stage is brought to any street corner via bicycle, set up quickly, and the performers put their antique Steiff-looking puppets to work. All the children and their parents were charmed and fascinated. Here is a great interview with the inventor of the Puppet Bike that aired on WTTW in Chicago.

Puppets have been a great form of street entertainment for children for ages. The most famous puppets in the Victorian era were, of course, Punch and Judy, who were much too violent, sexist and racist for today's crowds. I found this interesting site explaining the history of Punch.

I also found this link to what looks to be a fascinating book... "Inside the Victorian Home" by Judith Flanders. I think I'll buy it!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Restorer Guy — New on TLC

from TLC

I caught the first 2 episodes of "Restorer Guy" on TLC and it was great! The star's name is Gable Painter, a home restoration expert from Richmond, Virginia. Last year, he starred in his own special on TLC called "Flip It Back." That show amazed me, and I remembered his name (Gable Painter, get it?).

Now that he has his own series, I can't wait to watch more. This guy is in love with Victorian houses, and it looks as though there are a lot of them in Richmond that need serious TLC. Gable and his crew lovingly bring back buildings that need a lot of work. He has been known to dumpster dive at other construction sites where work crews unwittingly toss away old doors and other irreplaceable pieces of history. He also visits a local mill that still owns the original knives that were used to cut much of Richmond's Victorian millwork.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tea at the Peninsula

Today, my husband and I had a wonderful time celebrating his birthday at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago! We went for their decadent Traditional Afternoon Tea, which we like to do a couple times each year. We both love the elegance of the Lobby, where the tea is served. A violinist and cellist serenaded us from a balcony as we indulged in beautiful and scrumptious finger sandwiches, scones, tea cakes, cookies and aromatic Earl Grey tea.

I love to collect tea cups and saucers, and always admire the Peninsula's tea service pattern, which is by Wedgwood and is called "India." We recommend The Peninsula Tea if you're ever in Chicago. It's very Victorian!

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Friday, July 24, 2009


I am a graphic designer/illustrator living in the suburbs of Chicago. I have always loved everything about the Victorian era, and was fortunate enough to purchase a small 1873 house 15 years ago. I've filled the yard with perennials, trees, a pond, gazebo and arbor.

I look forward to the day when I have both enough money and time to really get the interior of the house back to the way it may have looked in 1873. Hardly anything is left that is original. My goals are lofty, and I am somewhat of a perfectionist, so I want to do it right.

This blog will hopefully inspire me to get my thoughts together and finally get started!