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About the website and me.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Let me know at the following email address:

Picture Pages (Personal picture albums)









HomeThe GalleryCompletedIn ProgressTechniquesLinks & Other StuffAbout

HomeThe GalleryCompletedIn ProgressTechniquesLinks & Other StuffAbout

About Me

I started using sewing machines in the 7th grade. My sewing instructor was Mrs. Strand and my first sewing project was an apron - one of those stupid ones they wore in the fifties and sixties. My second sewing project was a skirt. Infinitely more practical and useful in my future endeavors into making garb.

My interest in medieval and renaissance history began in high school and I was recently reminded of what it was that sparked the interest. My mother had this book on the bookshelf - Katherine by Anna Seton. It was the original 1954 hardcover printing. I can even remember the picture on the dust jacket of a woman in a cotehardie and a sideless surcoat. Of course, the dust jacket fell to pieces long ago but the well worn and much loved book still has a place on my bookshelves.

One thing led to another. I developed an interest in medieval and renaissance history and that got me interested in how people lived during those times. And that got me interested in architecture and furniture. Of course, my mom's interest in architecture and interior design had something to do with it also. I can't remember a time when I didn't know how to read a floor plan.

I also began to really enjoy reading and watching science fiction. Don't ask my why an interest in the medieval/renaissance period and the future should go together, but it seems there are a lot of others out there just like me.

In college, after trying on several majors for size, I settled on interior design. I would have majored in architecture but that major was being discontinued at the University I was attending. Still, a major influence in both my interior design work and in my architectural studies was the medieval and renaissance periods.

In college, I developed a facination with castles - particularly Norman castle keeps - and English manor houses. There were two books that I would repeatedly check out of the University library. One was The English Mediaeval House by Margaret Wood and the other was Dartington Hall by Anthony Emery. After many years of missing these two books after I graduated from college, I was able to find them, buy them and add them to my personal library. When I received them, it was like becoming reaquainted with old friends.

After graduating from college, I quickly discovered that the jobs open to interior designers were limiting. I left the field and haven't been back. I still dabble though, like a hobby, for friends, family and myself.

In 1997, after struggling for years with a cheap sewing machine, the machine finally quit working all together. I ordered a Singer 5040 and it worked so wonderfully well that it opened up a whole new world of sewing for me. First, I made a few doll clothes and some soft sculpture dolls. Somehow, sometime, while surfing the internet, I happened to come across The Elizabethan Costuming Page. Something clicked and I have been hooked ever since.

And what would I do without my sewing companion - Lady Margaret? Lady Margaret is a Uniquely You dress dummy. Here is a picture of Lady Margaret all ready to try on my latest 16th century creation.

For many years, all of this costuming took place in my home in the 'burbs where I live with DH aka HWMBO aka Pat, my dog Otis, and my cat Ren Ren. (Note: Sadly, Ren Ren passed away in October of 2009. She ate a poisoned mouse. Please, please, please, never use mouse poison to get rid of mice in your house. Mouse poison does not kill instantly. It take up to a week for the anticoagulant to take effect. In the mean time, the mouse goes back outside and can be eaten by a very sweet kitty, who then dies a horrible death a week later.)

DH and I used to wear our costumes when we attended Renaisance faires and festivals in the area of the country where we live. Unfortunately, life has a way of interfering with the best laid plans and we are no long able to do this. But when we did, we were the Baron and Baroness of Doune.

I was once asked how we came up with the Baron and Baroness of Doune. Here is the answer I gave:

Well, the personas sort of evolved from family history and dumb luck.

My husband is descended from a Lady Margaret Stuart. Lady Margaret emigrated from Scotland to Ireland following the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, which took place on April 16, 1746. (A hundred and eighty years or so too late but it's all there is to work with.) Lady Margaret married an Irishman (Ooops. Me bad.) Ulster Scot, James McCord from County Antrim. As far as the family genealogist (that would be you, Steve) can tell, this was the first marriage for Lady Margaret. For Lady Margaret Stuart to be addressed as such, she would have to be the daughter of an Earl or higher in the peerage.

Thanks to the above paragraph I was contacted by someone who was able to fill in some long missing gaps in the family genealogy. My gratitude to Edie Patsko. Edie clued me into The Clan MacCord Society which then led me to investigate the website The Ulster Scots.

I looked at a clan map of Scotland and at the castles on Stuart lands. Doune popped out at me. (I had absolutely no knowledge of the Monty Python connection at the time.) Baron is the lowest rank on the peerage, so my husband and I became Baron and Baroness Doune. The titles have stuck - and how!

My husband and I have specifically picked a year of 1566 because I have a book called Life in Holland in the 1566 by Rien Poortvliet. (Rien Poortvliet also illustrated the Gnome books.) The year also seems to be a rather eventful year in the life of Mary Queen of Scots. The date thing is a starting point for more in depth historical research for customs, clothing, etc.

Now you know...

HomeThe GalleryCompletedIn ProgressTechniquesLinks & Other StuffAbout

HomeThe GalleryCompletedIn ProgressTechniquesLinks & Other StuffAbout

About The Website

  See the pathetic looking computer in the picture to the left? The beginnings of this website were created on this computer. I dubbed it Frankenstein's Monster because the parts came from all over.

For Christmas 2004, DH gave me a new computer. Yay! I love my Dell!

I use Paint Shop Pro 5 for the images, Dreamweaver 4 for the webpages, WS_FTP Home for file transfer.









HomeThe GalleryCompletedIn ProgressTechniquesLinks & Other StuffAbout

HomeThe GalleryCompletedIn ProgressTechniquesLinks & Other StuffAbout

Picture Pages - Personal picture albums

Picture Page 1 - Chris' New Apartment

Picture Page 2 - Chris' Graduation

Picture Page 3 - Chris' New Apartment (With furniture but before the trip to Pier 1)

Picture Page 4 - The Medieval Feast

Picture Page 5 - For images that strike my fancy. Subject to change according to my whim.

Picture Page 6 - Chris' New Car - some pictures taken by my neighbor, Lisa, at the MNRF - the Ranger without an Engine - My Sewing Machine Cabinet - Christmas Tree Pictures from Past Years

Picture Page 7 - Fest pictures from MNRF 2006.

Bristol 2007 - Pictures taken during a visit to Bristol, July 21-22, 2007






HomeThe GalleryCompletedIn ProgressTechniquesLinks & Other StuffAbout