Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blogger Introduces Dynamic View

Do you have a blog on Blogger?  Well, they have just introduced “Dynamic Views”.  Watch this:

To check this out, simply add /view to my URL.  So, will change to 
To enable this on your Blogger blog, first you have to check your settings.  Blogger says:
These dynamic views will work on your blog if all of the following are true:

  • Your blog is public. Your readers don’t need to sign in to view your blog.
  • Your blog has feeds fully enabled. In the Settings | Site feed tab, you have enabled either Full or Jump Break for your Post Feed.
  • You have not disabled dynamic views. In the Setting | Formatting tab, the option for Enable Dynamic Views is set to Yes.
  • I think this is pretty cool!  There are other photo –rich blogs that I read where the thumbnails in the flipcard view will be awesome for searching!  Kuddos to Blogger for a job well done.  Now if they could just create a button somewhere instead of having to type /view in the address bar…

    ©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Victorian Hair Art: Part 3

    Hopefully you’ve followed me around during my travels last summer when I discovered hair art which I wrote about in Part 1 and Part 2. 

    In Part 3, I’m home and learning more about what this is all really about.

    “Braided hair from family members surrounds the detailed history of the marriages and births within their family.”
    Photo by Richard Gwin (Source)

    There is quite a bit out there on the internet about Victorian Hair Art/Work.  It seems that prior to the age of craft stores galore and photographs, there was not a large amount of supplies available for handiwork.  That coupled with the sentimental value of a part of the human body that doesn’t rot, hair, means that people discovered a way to preserve a connection to one another by taking the hair and making into something tangible.  Something of value that spoke to the human heart about one’s connection to another human being.
    Hair wreath’s were made from one person’s hair or more more than one for variety and color variations.  Some added beads.  They are constructed using wire or braiding the hair and shaping it.  Then they were most often mounted inside a shadow box lined with a fabric similar to that which lines coffins.  Hair wreath’s were made from hair taken usually while someone was still living. Although there are some that were not and some from the living and the dead combined.

    “This shadow box with a picture of a girl in mourning is lined with material usually reserved for a coffin. The wreath apparently is made with hair from the girl and the girl's mother, who had died.”
    Photo by Richard Gwin

    Often times, hair was cut from a beloved after they died.  It was a remnant of them as a living being.  And it could be preserved.  Remember too, that once photography was invented, people often took photos of the deceased in order to remember them.  Seems strange to us now, in light of the fact that we can capture their image in photos, their movements in video and their voices in audio.  But, what if none of this was possible? It’s was the closest you could be to someone no longer living, to have a strand of their hair. 

    “This picture shows how hair was used as lockets.”
    Photo by Richard Gwin (Source)

    Then there is hair jewelry.  Sometimes, young lovers were separated and a woman would braid her hair into a bracelet for her beloved to remember her with until her returned. More common was mourning jewelry.  A child, so very young, would die and hair was made into mourning rings.  Sometimes people would include it in their will that they wished to have jewelry made for certain people for mementos.  George Washington ordered no less than 5 mourning rings made from his hair.  Did you know that there are at least 3 extant samples of Thomas Jefferson’s hair?  Taken off his head after he died?

    Thomas Jefferson’s Hair
    Click image for source
    (Click image for source)

    “Thomas Jefferson's hair cuttings were taken on Jefferson's deathbed as keepsakes by his only surviving daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph, and other family members. Three samples came to the Library of Congress in clearly identified envelopes with the papers of Jefferson. Martha wrote on one envelope: "My dear father Thomas Jefferson." The hair samples are cuttings without follicles and therefore are useless for DNA studies. Only the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation is known to have custody of additional cuttings of Jefferson's hair.” (Source: Library of Congress website)

    There are still hair artist’s today. In fact, there is a Victorian Hairwork Society… and they have “Hairball Conventions”!  
    Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. houses the Museum of Mourning Art in a building modeled after Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, “since it was Washington’s death that inspired American settlers to create and invest in mourning art.” (Museum of Mourning Art Website).

    On YouTube I found a video, yes, I did, but I believe it’s the ONLY one on hair wreath’s.

    There are even some hair wreaths on Ebay selling for $675-$895!  There must be some serious collectors out there. 

    There’s also another museum exclusively with items made from hair – Leila’s Hair Museum in Independence, Missouri.  Her website says “There are 159 wreaths and over 2,000 pieces of jewelry containing, or made of, human hair dating before 1900. For $3.00, the public in invited to look at these locks at Leila's Hair Museum.”

    You’ll be amazed at the images you see if you do a Google search and select “images”. 

    So, I hope that’s enough information for you about Victorian Hair Art!  I will continue to be intrigued by this most interesting curiosity.  It’s most intriguing isn’t it?  

    I just happen to have a trip planned for next week in which I was going to visit both Mount Vernon and Arlington Cemetery as a part of it!  Now is that not just the most uncanny coincidence?  Perhaps I’ll have to deviate from the plan just a bit to visit the Museum of Mourning Art.

    And publish an update post, of course!

    ©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Victorian Hair Art: Part 2

    My last post should have grabbed your attention if you were not familiar with hair art.  It’s also known as hair work. 
    Remember to click on the images to see a larger view.

    I got my first introduction to this in June of 2009.  Well, imagine my surprise when, just 2 days later and further into our summer trip, I saw some more!  We had made our way to Des Moines, Iowa for a family wedding and our love of living history compelled us to visit Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa about 7 miles away.  Here you can travel through 300 years of time.

    But for me, as usual before any trip, first things first.


    Yes, I really did have to go.  And, yes, this is where I really went. 

    My daughter’s paternal grandmother only had an outhouse when I met her father, so this suburban girl had gotten used to it. 

    Except the smell as you can see.

    I was quite the spectacle when I was in “training” to use Grandma’s outhouse.  Very entertaining, I’m sure.  Grandma always had a mason jar of soot from the fireplace and you're supposed to add a spoonful to the “hole” when you’re done to keep the smell down and the flies at bay.  They didn’t use one here! 

    Actually, I don’t think it was that bad, I’m just such a drama queen!

    Our first indoor tour was the 1900’s farm house.


    So adorable – I could totally live in a house like this with it’s wooden floors, simple interior and white picket fence.

    And what is that hanging on the wall in the parlor?


    “NOOOOOO!  You’re kidding me?”, I say… out loud.

    Excuse the blurry picture, but this is what I ended up with.


    You’ve got to be kidding me!  I’ve never seen this in my life and now twice in one week? 

    Is this a divine message and I should be getting something here? 

    No, I’m not going to try to make hair art or start collecting it, if that’s the divine message!


    Sure enough!  It’s more HAIR ART!  Only this one has MORE HAIR and many different colors of it too!

    With beads added in. 

    I’m still not sure what to make of this new discovery and once again my fellow tourists left me.  I was trying to take more photos without glare (see me in the glass?).


    Well, I still can’t believe it.  But it was an affirmation for me to learn more about it, for sure. 

    Onward.  Now here’s an 1875 upper-class Victorian home we went through.


    Look what I find… AGAIN in the master bedroom!


    What’s more is that this upper-class lady also has a chamber set. 
    A brush, hair irons, doo-dad for hat pins…


    AND WHAT’S THIS? Could it be a hair receiver?


    That’s exactly what it is!  One question answered!  A real hair receiver!


    I guess she would clean her brush and also pull her hand through her hair to grab the loose strands, I know  I used to, and add it to her little dish. 

    And remember when you have hair like this:

    Photo from Flickr by 9teen87's Postcards

    It probably mostly fills the dish in one sitting.

    Finally, we visited the general store.

    Neat stuff!  I would love some of this to decorate my 1970’s ranch house! HA!


     And I’ll take that wood-stove please!


    Mason jars, oil lamps, coffee grinders, tins – oh my!


    Love the wooden boxes for spices.


    And the shoes.  Look at all those buttons!  I die.


    Wait, what’s this?  Oh, no don’t tell me. 


    Linen handkerchief's, combs and HAIR JEWELRY?


    OK!  I can’t take it anymore!  I SEE IT!  Hair, hair everywhere!

     I’ve had enough and I wanna go home {whine}! 

    Really, I just wanted to get back so I could get on the computer and learn more about this unmerciful hysteria mystery. 

    I’m not done yet. 

    Coming soon: Part 3.
    ©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Victorian Hair Art {yes, that’s right} : Part 1

    I discovered something last summer.  My first thought was “eeeew, that’s gross”. 

    That’s still kinda what I’m thinkin’. 

    While visiting Ottumwa Iowa where my parents-in-law met, their friend took my husband and me to their History Museum.  Everything was as you’d expect, history of farming, occupations, the role of women, the development of the town, the train depot and fire department evolutions, a telephone operators switchboard which was cool to see among other things.

    And then I saw this (click to view larger images):


    Looks like art to me, possibly hand made…but what is the medium? 

    Oh wait… here are the details.


    I will never be the same. 

    I’m a crafty person and have an appreciation for art, but this… this is too much. 

    I stood there staring at this nature inspired flower thingy – made from hair.  Not horse hair or artificial hair.

      Real human hair!  It kinda grossed me out and intrigued me at the same time, in a Ripley’s-Believe-it-or-Not sort of way. 

    The guys had moved on in the museum, but I was fixated on this peculiar thing.  It must have been so very time consuming. And the amount of hair! 

    Mine was long enough for something like this until Thanksgiving 2008 when I donated it to Locks of Love.  It was REALLY long.


    Or so I thought it was.  Until I saw hers.


    My hair was down to my waist and took about 3-4 years to grow it that long.  My guess is Mrs. Buncutter NEVER cut her hair. 

    This was traditional.  Women tied their hair up in a bun, as was the style, never wearing it down in public.  I’m surprised when I see photos like this with hair cascading down.  Undoubtedly, these photos are all about the hair when you see them.  Until the early 20th century, one would never venture outside without a cap or hat.  And washing hair was done once a week – even my grandmother didn’t wash hers everyday like I do.  I digress.

    My curiosity grew and I wondered… a lot.  Why did they do this?  How did they do it?  What is a hair receiver and what does one look like? 

    Stay tuned for answers and more pictures in Part 2.
    ©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    One Lovely Blog Award

    I've received this award for One Lovely Blog from Mary over at Me and My Ancestors.  This award was originally created by Sara at Works of Art by Sara.

    It's such a good feeling to receive an award when sometimes I'm just wondering if people even read my blog or are interested in what I post!  Thank you Mary!  I think everyone also likes recognition for something they put their heart into, so in keeping with passing this on, I'd love to recognize some of the blogs I enjoy and recently started to follow.  Please take a peak at these blogs if you're not familiar with them already.

    Valerie at Begin with Craft
    Scrappy Gen at The Scrappy Genealogist
    Kathleen at The Misadventures of a Genealogist
    Tonia at Tonia's Roots
    Nolichucky Roots
    Michelle at The Turning of Generations
    and last but not least,
    Brandt at Brandt's Rants

    I will be posting comments on these blogs to inform them of their award!

    Sara says:

    "Here are the rules that MUST be followed:

    1. Add the logo to your blog.
    2. Link to the person from whom you received this award
    3. Nominate 7 or more blogs
    4. Leave a message on their blog, letting them know they are "One Lovely Blog"! "

    ©2010 Joanne Schleier - All Rights Reserved.