The silhouette, sometimes referred to as the Poor Man’s Portrait, was a popular form of portraiture in Victorian England. Prior to the introduction of the photograph, painted portraits were reserved for the wealthy, requiring money and hours of sitting.
Popular in the 19th century, Lovers’ Eyes were tiny portraits painted on pieces of jewelry meant to conceal the identity of their subject. Since only an intimate acquaintance might recognize the individual’s eye, the token of affection could be proudly displayed while keeping forbidden romance a secret. Lovers’ eye jewelry pieces were sometimes studded with a diamond tear in remembrance of lost loved ones.
“It is to be all out of doors, a table spread in the shade, you know. Everything as natural and simple as possible.” –Jane Austen
While a picnic in Jane Austen’s time may have been a simpler affair, simplicity was certainly not the Victorians’ strong point.
With ancient roots in China, the cricket has long been considered a sign of eminent good fortune. The Chinese have traditionally kept the small black chirper as a pet within tiny cages.
Over the years, Merry Old England came to adopt the thinking that a cricket in the home would ensure prosperity and health. On the other hand, a deceased cricket might be a foreboding sign of what’s to come. It was unthinkable for one to stomp on the insect…to do such a thing would be to flirt with disaster!
As we await the coming of autumn, we are reminded of crisp cool days, changing leaves, mugs of cider, and crackling fires in the hearth. Ready your home for the new season by adding pieces that will transform your home into a warm and welcoming space.
Here are our musings on creating the coziest of homes.
It is official. The fireflies and frogs have announced the barefoot season. Even the Autumn lovers have succumbed to hammocks and wind chimes in wait of the eminent turn. The rhythmic hum of oscillating fans, lawn mowers, children’s clamor and gurgling fountains are the soundtrack of summer. Family potlucks and cookouts invite picnic hampers, nostalgic tablecloths and pieced quilts to sprawl upon the ground.
This is the nonchalant season when the living is easy. Relaxed conversation over icy lemonade on the porch swing and patriotic cupcakes with butter cream frosting, and trips to the organic market (wicker cart and grocery shopping bag and bicycle basket).
May your sunshiny days surprise your thirsty gardens with an occasional thunderstorm. Revel in the aromas and visions of the leisure season until that first cold snap induces sweater weather once again!