Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011


"Pemberley" Regency Shoe Pre-Sale OPEN + Giveaway!

Go forth, merry historical holiday shoppers, and order a pair of Pemberlies, the perfect Regency shoe, for your Jane Austen-obsessed love one, or treat yourself!

Pre-Order Now
November 25 - December 9
$80 ($95)
Click Here

Ordering is UNLIMITED, on all women's USA sizes 6 through 12, including half sizes.

Orders of 5 + receive the special pre-order price, plus quantity and shipping discounts.

Delivery in early 2012.

*We need to sell just over 100 pairs of Pemberlies in order to manufacture them.  If we don't meet that goal, all of you who did order will have to be refunded in full, and the Pemberlies will be canceled.  If this is the Regency shoe of your dreams, please share, blog, tweet, tumble, stumble, and pass the news along.*

And when you share, you could win....

Pemberley Regency Shoe Giveaway

About the Prize:
The "Pemberley" Regency shoes are closely based on extant footwear from the 1790s through 1810.  The smooth, dyable, hand-sewn leather upper is designed to be lovely enough for formal occasions, and durable enough for walking in the countryside.  Particular attention was paid to the point of the toe, as well as the other hallmarks of Regency historical footwear, with the main goals being both historical accuracy and all-day comfort

How to Enter the Drawing:

1. Blog about the pre-sale - go ahead and just copy and paste that paragraph above, and add in the photo, to your own blog.  Leave a link in the comments section of this post.  If you've already blogged about the Pemberley pre-sale, you can still enter the giveaway, just leave a link in the comments section. (anonymous comments, please leave your name and contact method)

2. Tweet about the pre-sale - on Twitter, just copy and paste this into your tweetbox:

“Pemberley” Regency Leather Shoes are now available for Pre-Sale!  http://www.american-duchess.com/s/2484

Be sure to leave a link to your tweet in the comments section of this post, so you are entered into the giveaway.

3. Facebook about the pre-sale - Post a link to www.american-duchess.com on your Facebook page, and leave a comment on this post to enter the drawing. 

4. Share in any other way - share a link to www.american-duchess.com using any other method, such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Google+, etc.  Leave a comment on this post, so you are entered in the drawing.

*If you do all of these things, you will be entered each time, just leave as many comments on this post as places you shared.

The winner will be selected by random number generator on December 2, and will be sent their shoes in early 2012, when the new shipment arrives.  *Please note that if the Pemberley style is canceled due to not enough support, the winner of the giveaway will not receive their shoes. :-(

Thank you, Ladies and Laddies!  I appreciate all your participation and involvement in making this new style happen!
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Thursday, November 24, 2011


Regency Foot Candy

For those of you stateside, Happy Thanksgiving!  Since I know the lot of you are nomming turkey and accompanying side dishes, I will be short and provide you with some more Regency shoes to look at.

Oh, also, if you want to receive updates and news and special stuff in your e-mail, sign up for my new newsletter.  Not spammy, I promise; if anything, inconsistent, as only the newsworthy stuff about the Shoe Shop will be sent:

Now for delicious shoes:

Manchester City Galleries
Manchester City Galleries
Manchester City Galleries
Manchester City Galleries
Manchester City Galleries
The Met
The Met
The Met
The Met
Just think of all the ways you could decorate your Pemberlies - red with black tassels? ivory with orange stripes? yellow with pom-poms?  The white leather is lovely as it is, but it's the endless possibilities that make the Pemberlies perfect.

We need just over 100 pre-orders to run the style, otherwise I will have to cancel it and refund everyone who ordered.

Don't pass up the opportunity to own the most historically accurate Regency slippers available, the *perfect* shoes, for the lowest price we will ever offer.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Visit to Historic Locust Grove, 1790

It was raining this day, but the house was no less beautiful.  This is actually the rear of the house, with a reconstructed porch.
The last day of my Tennessee trip, Mr. Ramsey, myself, Albert, and Maggie and I traveled up to Louisville to see Locust Grove, a home built in 1790 by William and Lucy Clark Croghan.  Mr. Cushing gave us the full tour and weathered by interrogative questions like a champ.  The story of the restoration of Locust Grove was fascinating, especially how they came to discover that the walls were painted verdigris (obnoxioussss!), and the discovery of the original wallpaper in the 2nd-storey greatroom.  If you can visit Locust Grove, I highly recommend it, especially during the Jane Austen Festival, which I unfortunately missed this past year.  More about Locust Grove here: http://www.locustgrove.org/

And pictures...
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Monday, November 21, 2011

A Visit to The Hermitage and Union Station - Tennessee

During my visit to Tennessee, Maggie and I visited The Hermitage, the stately home of President Andrew Jackson.

I was overwhelmed with awesome, and my only regret is not visiting in costume.  The mansion was built between 1819 and 1821, and boasts almost complete original furnishings, wallpapers, and layouts....which is most definitely why the rooms are only visible through thick plexiglass doors.  Read all about it here: http://www.thehermitage.com/  or better yet, VISIT!  It was a truly amazing place, with beautiful grounds...and now for pictures :-) :

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Friday, November 18, 2011

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How to Tie a Regency Turban

You know those mysterious costuming mysteries that sometimes plague us?  How to tie a turban is one of them.

If you are practically hair-less like me, a quick and easy head-wrap is the perfect way to finish off a Regency gown, day or evening, and hide your lack-of-hair.

Here's a quick video showing how to do it.  This can be done with any standard-sized scarf.  The one in the video was done with a silk scarf; the one in the photo below with a basic rayon scarf.  My only warning is to avoid really huge scarves or shawls, as they can be a lot to handle.

Practice, be creative and experiment, and have a fun weekend :-)

A turban tied with a basic rayon scarf.  Try it with a pashmina-style scarf for the perfect period touch
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

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Regency Tea and Country Dance Masquerade, Tennessee

Burdett's Tea Shop was a delightful, old-fashioned place in Springfield, TN.  It was absolutely packed with lil'-ole-ladies who took great delight in our party when we arrived.

I've been in Tennessee this past week, meeting wonderful people, playing dress up, and drooling all over historic sites.  I went to visit my best friend Maggie, who you may know as Miss Emily Waterman, and her beau, The Doctor, and had the pleasure of meeting the famous Tumbusches, as well as Mr. Ramsey and Mr. Cushing, and the Coopers.

Now for pictures! (under the cut)

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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1790s Wrap-Front Gown, Complete and with Shoes

I finally finished the 1790s wrap-front gown I've been working on foreeeeever.  I will be wearing this gown, plus its accompanying accessories - pashmina, pineapple reticule, and Pemberley 1790s Regency shoes - to the Masquerade Ball put on by the Regency Society of Tennessee, this coming Saturday, November 12.

If you are going to be at this ball, come say "howdy" and see the Pemberley 1790s shoes for yourself.  For now, here are some pictures, lots of picture!

Here you can see the whole ensemble together, and how the accessories add to it.
The perfect shoes.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Shoe-To-Do of the Week: Blue and White Flowery Bits

This week I painted up a pair of Devonshires inspired by an extant pair held in Manchester City Galleries.

I used Angelus Leather paints to color the latchets and heel blue, and also mixed colors to paint the floral sprig on the toe.  Blue bias binding completed the shoe, along with the round rhinestone slide buckle, for a little bling.

Devonshire Leather 18th c. Shoes: www.american-duchess.com
Angelus leather products: http://www.dharmatrading.com/
Manchester City Galleries: http://www.manchestergalleries.org/

Have Fun!
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Monday, November 7, 2011


Introducing "Pemberley," Regency Shoe, 1790-1810

I've been waiting so long to show you all the new Regency shoe!  The "Pemberley" has been in development since Summer, and I am pleased to present her to you now:

  • The Pemberley is a transitional shoe closely based on extant examples from the 1790s to the 1810s.
  • The hand-sewn upper features a pointed toe engineered *not* to squeeze your foot to death.
  • The small, 1 inch high heel is delicately shaped, but sturdy and easy to walk in.
  • Designed with the hallmarks of early Regency shoes: pointed toe, small heel, side seams.
  • Dyable leather construction, lined in "Wedgewood" blue.
  • ...and our signature leather soles.
  • The Pemberlies will never leave you wondering or worrying if your shoes are period accurate!

Pre-Order Opens November 25th

Remember, those who pre-order receive the special discount price, plus are guaranteed their shoes.  Please mark your calendars, and spread the word - as always, we need 100 pre-orders to run this beautiful style!
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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1920s Flapper Hairstyle Tutorial + Halloween Speakeasy Party

This past weekend we attended a speakeasy/housewarming party for friends who have just bought a 1920s home.  This presented the perfect opportunity to practice more vintage hairstyling techniques, which I will share with you right now in this, my very first video ever:

Here are some more snaps from the night:
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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New Vintage Toy - Brownie Camera, 1946

This past weekend in Alameda, I couldn't resist visiting one of my favorite antiques shops, where I found this Kodak Brownie camera for $25.

It's a Brownie Target Six-20, made in 1946.  I didn't know if it was operational when I bought it, although the shutter fired, so it was a delight to get it open when I got home (because Chris and I both had to find the manual online to see how to get the darn thing open) and see it looking like new.

We've already ordered some film for it, which is 620 size, not 35 mm (also takes 120 if you roll it onto the 620 spool), and comes in rolls of 8 exposures.  Just 8!

I can't wait to learn how to use this little thing.  It's already wonderful as a prop for 1910s-1940s costume events, but even better that I'll be able to take photos with it too.  To me, that adds a whole new dimension to spending the day in vintage costume in an effort to connect with history :-).
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