All Things Victorian

All Things Victorian
Victoriana Lady Lisa

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Crystal Tea Room Coming to The Historic Stage Coach Inn, PA

The Passion Projects historical entertainment company  is pleased to announce-

There's a new tea room opening in Luzerne County PA, one that has Victorian roots. The historic Stage Coach Inn in Drums, PA was a stage coach stop in the late 1800's. The elegant and spacious Crystal Ballroom will be transformed weekly each Thursday & Friday from 11:00 to 3:00 pm starting August 11-12.

Ample seating, ample parking & handicap accessible.

       The restored authentic circa 1800 Fells Fargo stage coach in the foyer!

Author/historian Victoriana Lady Lisa who began her business a decade ago catering afternoon tea parties all over PA, NY & NJ will be your hostess. Currently working on a book with Schiffer Publishing Ltd entitled The Fashionable Victorians, a study and price guide of Victorian & Edwardian Fashions. She will bring a different display weekly from her antique traveling museum of clothing, hats, purses, fans, etc.

Menu will consist of several choices of  assorted fresh Scones, Tea Sandwiches, Pastries, Soup, & Salad  made fresh by the chef daily. Assorted Organic Teas of various flavors will be available.

The decor is inviting and relaxing...

*Reservations are suggested for parties of 4 or more. Call Lisa @ 570-655-8392 for more information.

The Stage Coach Inn:  668 N. Hunter Hwy DrumsPA 18222   Off The Dorrance exit of I-81   (570) 788-5158

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Victorian Things That I Love...Antique Cemetery Gates & Fences

Old cemeteries are outdoor museums to me. I enjoy seeing the work on the stones as well as the gates and fences. Here are a few of my favorites-

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Magical Tea: Harry Potter Style

Welcome to the Stegmaier Mansion aka Hogwarts-

  The Passion Project's Victoriana Lady Lisa as Bellatrix Lestrange with Hedwig in her antique bird cage. Not bad for a paper cut out bird!

The Passion Projects is pleased to announce another successful event!! We hosted a magical tea in the Harry Potter style to celebrate the recent final movie release. The event was held at the Stegmaier Mansion B&B, imagine happening upon Dumbledore's office, the entire house looks like that, an impeccably restored 1870 gem. The guests were greeted by my antique bird cage with our own special Hedwig.

My paper Hedwig, he looked real!

The day was fantastical from start to finish, we had world class magician Damian, who amazed the guests with one astounding trick after another. My favorite one was when he turned 5 one dollar bills into 5 one hundred dollar bills right before our eyes! I sure could use a man like that around!! Damian also changed a dollar bill into fourths right in his hand before our eyes, then changed it back again. Wow! Victorian parlor magic with a magician was very popular in the 1900's in wealthy homes.

He did a trick where he used a woman's ring from the crowd, he magically made it disappear from his hand. The next instant he was holding up a dinner bell. He asked the woman to ring it, then look underneath the bell. Her ring was attached to the bell making the sound! You have to see it to believe it!!

Have you ever picked a card from a deck and had the magician find your card? Not only does he find your card but he placed the stacked deck against your hand, steps back then watches as your card slips up out of the deck by itself!! I was inches away snapping photos and I was speechless. A master at illusion for certain!

Jody Klocko the executive chef at the mansion performed his own magic in the kitchen. The food was incredibly delicious, he never disappoints. Menu items shown here were taken right out of the Harry Potter cookbook.

The best was the dessert finale; chocolate frogs with melt in your mouth centers, peanut butter chocolate balls, chocolate mini fudge cakes, and acid drop lollipops complete with a mini cauldron smoking on the plate. Bravo Jody!!

My son Aaron came to enjoy the food and to see Damian. Aaron loves doing magic card tricks so this was a real treat for him to see a master at work. His eyes were as big as saucers the entire performance!!

Our very own Damian the Magician

My sweetie & Passion Projects partner author/photographer John Thomas Grant shot these photos of me as Bellatrix. It was a lot of fun!!

Don't worry, he's only a paper cut out!

Everyone had a fantastic time and didn't want to leave. They were asking when we were having another one. Very soon I told them! For those that missed it, well you really missed an unforgettable afternoon!

For schedule of upcoming events-

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How Is My Book Coming Along?

So many of you have asked me, "How is the book coming along?" Others may say, "What book?"
Let me give those that have just begun visiting here a little background. (By the way, I thank you ALL for visiting with me and all of your kind support on my endeavors.)

                                           Lace hat and jabot, circa 1900

The Fashionable Victorians will be a full color 350 page coffee table size book. I am honored that it will be the first hard cover book in this genre. Schiffer Publishing Ltd. is putting it out in the fall of 2012. I have been working on it since last November when I received the book deal. It's a dream come true for me, I have wanted to write a book for over a decade at least.

                                     Victorian baby photo and booties, circa 1880

Photographing an Ostrich fan on the backdrop table at Schiffer studio

There is a lot of technical work involved in writing a book, and a lot of money is needed. Those that believe you can simply take some photos, write a few stories and voila you have a book are not familiar with the time consuming process. Each photo, caption and text paragraph must have codes for printing and they must match according to each page, remember it's 360 pages, that's a lot of coding!! It's good that I didn't realize this in the beginning! It probably would have intimidated me and I would have been too afraid to give it a try. Now I am in over my head, lol!

An antique corset over a combination chemise/drawers

The costs are enormous, this publisher does not provide an advance, however they do help with the marketing once the book is done. People have asked what kind of costs could there be since John and his daughter Rebecca are taking the photos. I don't expect anyone to work for free so Rebecca is paid accordingly. Then there are fees for renting photo equipment, location fees at the historical societies, plus gasoline, food and lodging fees when we go to the various shoot locations and Schiffer publishing. It adds up fast!

I have set up a donation on Pay Pal for those who would like to contribute $5.00 or more. Send to through the Pay Pal site. All contributions will have the person's name noted in my book, if they desire. I am sincerely grateful to so many of you that have already sent in money, a little from a lot of people can add up fast. :)

                                  Lights! Camera! Action! An early brassiere pre 1920

At present time I am still finishing the manuscript and organizing photo shoots. There are many pieces left to photograph. The small accessories are being shot at the Schiffer studio, along with some of the underwear garments. The majority of the fashions will be shot on models, with a few elaborate and delicate gowns which will be on dress forms from local historical societies and private collections.

A beautiful Civil war era gown courtesy of Mark Tillson

My sweetheart, photographer/author John Thomas Grant, is my right hand man. I could never begin to do all of this work by myself. He photographs, processes and edits all of the photos, which means more hours of tedious work. His talented daughter, photographer Rebecca Grant, is also doing a lot of the photography for the book.

Artifacts circa 1900 donated to me, photos, a baby quilt & bonnet


Once my final draft is finished it goes to Schiffer editing, where it goes back and forth from me to them, ironing out any problems or corrections that need to be made. This often takes months to get it just right, then the design team will work on the book, which means more back and forth. Eventually it will go to production. It is nerve wracking yet exhilarating at the same time!

      A recent interview with Victoriana Lady Lisa and the art of Victorian afternoon tea

I do not want to seem as if I am complaining, I am delighted for this privilege. I thought it would be interesting for people to know just what goes into publishing a book.

The photos are are from the various photo shoots thus far. The book will encompass Victorian (1837-1901)  and Edwardian fashions (1901-1919). Chapters will include, bridal, children's, mourning, undergarments, accessories, immigrant clothing and much more. I began collecting antique clothing and accessories at age 15!

I will keep you updated again as things progress...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Final Thoughts Eternal Beauty In Stone

Final Thoughts Eternal Beauty In Stone 

The eagerly awaited book of my sweetheart, John Thomas Grant, is now available for pre-order (at a sale price!!) You will never look at a cemetery the same way after reading this book.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The story of life and death in America as told through beautiful cemetery art photography accompanied by meaningful epitaphs from cemeteries up to 300 years old. View 68 cemeteries in 224 beautiful photographs that breathe life into existence of those who have passed before us, and who are now enshrined for eternity in landscaped paradises. Within each placid scene and through heartfelt words displayed upon markers, join photographer John Thomas Grant in his one-of-a-kind study of an American tradition.

About the Author

After 30 years in the music business, John Thomas Grant's new creative outlet came through the lens of the camera. Genealogy introduced John to the cemetery. The cemetery gave John back his life. Final Thoughts is his first adventure.

Author/photographer John Thomas Grant

                                          John & Lisa aka Victoriana Lady

The Passion Projects, John Grant & Victoriana Lady Lisa,thank you all for your kind support!!