Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Military History Fest 2015 - TIME WARP

I am a little behind in our events- but I thought I'd share some photos of an indoor event we do in Chicago called Military History Fest. We had a lovely event-despite the huge winter storm. As far as a new gown. I was able to finish my gown from the Burnley and Trowbridge Italian Gown class I took.

It was a very busy weekend and we didn't get many photos. However, I was able to do a quick TIME WARP.
(Photos Below)

Before we get to the time warp I'll show you a few photos of my gowns for the event. Saturday was the big dress up day, so I wore my new Italian gown. In all honesty, it took me a while to finish it. I had a sleeve issue which took me a while to figure out. I finally had to add a piece to make it work,  after that it went together really fast. I was a little unsure about trim, because I'm not a fan of trimming gowns unless I self trim- but I had a time constraint and literally no fabric left for any self trim- so I had to make a choice and I went with velvet and metallic trim after looking at many fashion plates.  At first I was going to add a waist ribbon belt- but after rethinking things and adding the bows and trim- I felt it just needed a wonderful breast knot. I had never made one before, so one of my friends Mrs. Rockhold of The Fat Reenactress volunteered to help me out. I wanted it to be large and in charge and I LOVE IT!!!!  She also made me one for my hair which is really beautiful too.

                                           MY FINISHED ITALIAN GOWN

Sunday was a bit more relaxed and my favorite go to comfy gown is a zone front linen gown. I wear it a lot. My goal this year is to make myself a matching 1780-1790 petticoat and jacket as well as make Patrick a new outfit. We also are thinking about traveling into the Civil War.. so that will be a new and exciting adventure.

                                           SUNDAY LINEN ZONE FRONT GOWN

As for my hair. It's a wig with my own hair blended in front to make it look as if it was all my own hair. The wig and my hair are pomaded and powdered. I started by pomading and powdering my hair and then I set it in foam curlers overnight and went from there.
Check out the video here:  Hedgehog Hair Video
Want to see how I applied my Historical Makeup and which products I used? Here

                                              SO NOW FOR MY TIME WARP!!

I first journeyed to a Roman Tavern complete with graffiti

Next I hung out to with the Templars

We Chatted & Exchanged Recipes and Cures. They Taught me how to remove an arrow from Flesh!

On to 16th Century England- I didn't stay long...

Then Somehow ended up in the Spanish American War- which I admit I don't know much about...

From there... well you can tell.. the bearded guy looks a little confused that I'm standing there.

So then I decided I needed a snack at the Field Kitchen.. Service wasn't top notch...but getting off my feet...was great!

Next Up Was WWII Field Hospital.. I'm actually a super fast typer and so my stills were appreciated... I told them I can't be held responsible for spelling mistakes...

All the sudden I found myself with a machine gun in the Vietnam War... But honestly I had to have a quick lesson on how to hold said gun.... shows how many firearms I handle.. lol
They said I did pretty good for a first timer.. 

That Was An Excellent Adventure!

After my time warp- I realized 

A: I probably should get back to the LBCC Shop 
B: I was tired and hungry. 
C: It was time for CAKE!

So that was pretty much the weekend.

If you haven't check out Military History Fest. You should. It's really fun and on Saturday Night.. there is a BALL! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wonderful Things To Come....

When I first started LBCC Historical, it came at a time of personal change..  It was either throw yourself into your dream career or start looking for a job. I wasn’t sure how the general public would react to working with and offering historical and historically based recipes. I was hoping that after some gentle prodding our apothecary and cosmetics would spark interest in the public.  Previously, it wasn’t really talked about save a few brave souls. It was time to bring it mainstream.
YEP! It seems like a long time ago!

I wasn’t even sure we could reproduce the exact historical recipe and have product that people would want. I mean lets face it- when we started this journey LARD in your hair was frowned upon. We have all come a long way in our understanding of how beneficial these historically natural ingredients are for us- I had nothing to worry about after all. Now that we have been at it for a few years, it’s time to review and upgrade things a bit. We have gone through the shop and decided that we will be discontinuing some of our first items, because we can now replicate those according to the exact recipe.

We have 3 different types of historical products in the store.
1.      Historically Accurate
2.      Historically Accurate+1
3.      Historically Based

We care greatly about historical accuracy and try to provide accurate products, which isn’t always easy. But we are proud to say that well over half our recipes are unaltered and those that are, we have specified what we have done. We never take away from the recipe. If we need to add something it is usually a consistency issue or a shelf life issue. We will now be listing these at the top of the description. Previously we went into detail about what we added, and we still will, but this will make it easy and clear for everyone to understand.
What does this mean:

1.   Historically Accurate-  Obviously this means we haven’t changed anything.  Nothing has changed. This is the majority of the recipes already in the shop.
A Natural Tint For The Lips 1857 Godey's Ladies Book


2.   Historically Accurate+1 – This refers to adding 1 historical ingredient.  The reason for this isn’t because we don’t want to be as historically accurate as we can. It’s because usually it’s a consistency issue or a shelf life issue and when you are making the product at home ( like many did) it’s one thing.. but if you have a pharmacists, or apothecary, making it for their shop and it has to hold up on the shelf, that is another thing. We only will add historically appropriate ingredients which is why we are calling this Historically Accurate + 1. It happened all the time historically. I even have original books with the original pencil scratchings, changing things around or adding something more for stability. ( See Below)
Did you know, that one problem with cold creams historically was that there really was no agent to keep the fat and water bound together, so after it warmed up it had a tendency to separate or to become thin. Cold Creams had a very short life which is why when they were purchased, they came in little containers- like ours in the shop, vs the large ones the stores sell today. By the end of the 19th century 2 major advances in cold creams happened. Borax, and Petroleum.  We will soon have a 1920’s petroleum cold cream for you to try.
To counter this issue, a pharmacist would change the amounts of beeswax or add specific types of gums that would help with the consistency and shelf life.  At home, women who made these recipes would change or add things as well. We see examples of this with early personal recipe books. “ Mama’s lip salve” for example, these were recipes, which were passed down and changed as needed. 

Westminster City Archives: The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

"Receipt for a Lip Salve – Mammas Way
Take a pint & half of claret, a qr of a pd of currants, 1 pd of butter without salt, 4 or 5 ounces of Virgins Wax & 2 ounces of ye root Alkanet, otherwise call’d Alcony.  This last with ye wine & currants must be boyl’d a pritty while. Afterwards, ye butter & wax being put in, must be boyl’d a little, then strain all into a bason. If, when cold, you find it too soft, add more wax. If too hard, add more butter. When it tis cold, ye top must be taken of & melted by it self & strain’d into little cups for use. If you have a mind to sweeten it, strain it with orange flower water or what else you think fit."

We still do this in our shop when we need to because of a shelf life issue, consistency, or because a specific ingredient ( like spermaceti) is no longer available. So these still are completely historical in every way. We are thinking as a pharmacist or chemist and even a housewife of that time.
This is an example from my personal collection. This is a book on perfume recipes and it was previously owned by a pharmacist. I found it fascinating to look at his markings and changes.


     3. Historically Based: These are the ones, which we took many historical recipes and combined them together, or we took part of the recipe and combined it with modern/ and or historical ingredients to make it better. These are the recipes which had potential, but for whatever reason we couldn’t or didn’t want to reproduce the exact recipe, maybe you don’t want lead on your skin, or maybe by adding coconut oil and making sure all our ingredients are organic.. we make the recipe 100% more awesome and our ancestors would be proud.

Shakespeare's Love Balm- This salve is taken from, “A Winters Tale,” and combined with ingredients used by famous courtesans throughout history. 


We serve people from all walks of life, - not just the historically minded. Some just want a really unique gift while others need something for their living history and reenactments. Still others are museums, and some don’t even care about the historical accuracy, they just want a great natural product. We also have a lot of customers who are just interested in makeup and different natural cosmetics. Many of us whether historically minded or modern-ly minded want to stay away from icky chemicals and get back to nature. We love the fact that we can offer a wide range of historical and historically based products that our ancestors used and now people are finding their way back to these great recipes. By offering a wide array, we can serve everyone and educate at the same time, which is important to us.

 As our business and customer base expands, we will continue to offer both historical recipes that have and have not been altered.
 Some Wonderful Changes Are Happening: 
I thought I’d take this time to fill you in on our upgrades and such.

1.   We care about accuracy so much, that the first few recipes we ever made and maybe even a few “historically Inspired” ones which we feel aren’t accurate or good enough will be saying goodbye and we will be replacing these with new absolutely 100% authentic historical recipes. This is how we prefer to roll -As accurately as we can..while running a business that caters to everyone while finding recipes, that help, heal, and are good for you.
2.    My Apothecary Lab, Office, & Shipping Area are all getting completely redone. YEAH!!
3.   We now have one of those sketchy white-working vans.  It won’t look so sketchy when our huge logo is on it. That will be put on as soon as we get warmer weather. So now you will be able to see us as we drive to events. Make sure to honk and wave!
4.    We are getting a front expansion for our marquis tent. Which will make your shopping experience nicer, shadier, cooler, or warmer depending on the weather and we will have a bit more space.
5.    We are currently working on getting reproduced 18th century cosmetic brushes, toothbrushes, and even reproduced toilette boxes.
6.   We will also be offering a new line of wooden pomatum and salve jars.
7.   We are diligently working on improving bottles for you as well. We started already with some of the authentic rouges, but we will be continuing to replace bottles and containers, as we find more historical ones to offer and/or we find ones that seal properly unlike some of our cork woes.
8.   We have new product lines coming out which include the Civil War, the 1920’s , Victorian, as well as more authentic 18th century rouges and such.
9.   We just got the newest GoPro- which I hope will solve my video problems and help us make better, crisper, and clearer high quality videos for you. We are always open to suggestions for what you want to see. Let is know!
10.     Credit Cards? Previously we were only taking them with the phone which as everyone knows doesn’t always work the best, we now have a large tablet with a different carrier which promises to get us a good connection in the places we need it. This will make it easier and faster for you when you see us in person. I won’t have to walk a mile now to get a signal. (Happy Dance)
11.     We have also been invited to some Civil War events this year, so maybe you will see us there!
New and exciting things in progress!!

To sum everything up! We have wonderful things happening and are so thankful that you have supported us ( me) in my journey. Even though we are upgrading a lot we continued to stay devoted to historical accuracy and any time we can keep a recipe original we do and any time we can toss out a old recipe from the shop for one more historical, we will. But please remember as much as we love history, we want to continue bringing you quality products from history even if we have to make it better by adding a historical ingredient. We are devoted to keeping you in the loop and offering top quality naturally organic, and historical products, so you can live safer and better lives without the chemicals. Our Ancestors had a few things right.. even if lead wasn’t one of them  :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Empress Josephine Bonaparte Perfume

 Introducing Our Very Limited Edition: Empress Josephine Bonaparte Perfume

The time has come to unveil a BEAUTIFUL Perfume that Empress Josephine would have worn. We made 48 vials specifically for the Battle Of New Orleans Bicentennial 2015. This Special Limited Edition is infused with various types of roses and the smallest hint of musk which makes this oil perfume a full bodied lovely flowery scent with a bit of the exotic. We partnered with The Regency Assembly Of North Carolina to bring you a perfume to honor the lovely Empress Josephine. We wanted it to be something that she would have loved to wear and that celebrated the unique history of her life.
Our Empress Josephine Perfume!

I first started researching Josephine herself. I found out about her love of Musks, her Rose Gardens, and her love of the Exotic Scents. I combed resources to try and find out what I could about her original perfumes. The stories behind them were pretty interesting. The one story that sticks in my mind the most is: Jean-François Houbigant the royal perfumer was said to have created 2 separate scents- one for Josephine and one for Napoleon. Separately their scent weren't all that great, but when the 2 were together the scents blended to create an amazing perfume. How romantic. ( Maybe we should think about this for the shop? what do you think?) I am not sure how true this is as I couldn't follow it back to a legit source, but the perfumes made for Josephine were made by Francois Rance' and his family. In honor of her he created one called "l'Imperatrice" which was presented to her in a beautiful Sevre porcelain box. The last surviving example is kept in the Racine Archives. In digging around I found that the great-great granddaughter of Rance' attempted to work with the original recipe as a base and create a new perfume. It says that this new one is" the most romantic scents ever created" and that it "is an exquisite construct based around both rose and musk."... So I tried some. Not Impressed.  100mls for $179.13. WOW! It may be that when I think of Josephine and her perfumes, I think in historical terms of what general scents were popular at that time. I found the "Josephine" perfume to be VERY MODERN and a weird fruity floral scent. As I looked more into it it had White Peach in it amongst other odd modern things. So yea. I would not believe that it stayed remotely close to the "Historical Recipe". You can find it at some high end perfume counters or online. I'd be interested to know what you thought. 

Rancé 1795 Joséphine Eau de Parfum

After that adventure, I decided to get all the original perfume books I own- out and dig through them to see if I could find any called, "I'lmperatrice" that specifically had roses and musks. I did find a few. The one thing we were concerned about is the musk- some people like it, some people hate it. So we wanted the final perfume to have a really rich soft notes with just a hint of musk. We settled on a recipe form 1890 which when translated from French to English is titled, "The Empress Bouquet" It was heavy on the roses, with some Jasmine, Ambergris, and a bit of Musk. A perfect base recipe for me to craft a completely unique scent that embodies who Josephine was. Even though she loved musks, We focused on the floral scents by adding a few types of roses to really bring home the romance of her story and her rose garden. We included Rosewood, Bulgarian Rose, Tea Roses, and Rose Petals. We also included Jasmine, and Frangipani ( which according to my ancient perfume books- is a flowery-musky scent that was first invented by a member of an ancient Roman Family of that name. However the Merriam-Webster dictionary states that it's first mention was in 1675.) In keeping with her love for the exotics and what was used at the time, we added Sandalwood and of course a teensy bit of Dark Musk in an almond oil base.  All these scent come together to form a lovely sweetly romantic, enticing, and exotic floral with a hint of a rich woodsy base. It's almost like you are walking in a rose garden on the edge of a forest in the middle of the night under a full moon. HOW ROMANTIC...
1808 Empress Joséphine by Baron Antoine-Jean Gros Musée d'Art et d'Histoire at Palais Massena, Nice FranceWe only have a limited number available.
Bouquet de l'Imperatrice

It's Like, "Walking in a Rose Garden on the edge of a forest at Midnight!"

Customer Review: "Absolutely gorgeous, incredible scent. Lots of depth and wonderfully blended. Hard to describe, even with the scents listed—they all come together to make something very, very rich. It's got everything I've been looking for in sensual perfumes—spicy, woody, but still floral—all in one place, and without a distracting alcohol scent. So glad I jumped on this opportunity! "

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Upcoming Anniversary & A Special Perfume To Commemorate It...

In a few weeks we will be celebrating The Battle Of New Orleans Bicentennial. Did you also know that on May 29th 2014 we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Empress Josephine's passing? With her 201st anniversary coming up and the Battle of New Orleans around the corner... how should we celebrate and remember her? How about looking at paintings, telling her story, and a Sneak Peek at what we have been brewing up in honor of Josephine herself.  PERFUME... Yes.. we have been hard at work researching Josephine's favorite scents and flipping though all the old perfume recipes to come up with a LIMITED EDITION Perfume that Josephine would have been proud to wear.

Portrait de l'impératrice Joséphine (1763-1814), Appiani Andrea, l'Aîné (1754-1817) 
              L'impératrice Joséphine - Réunion des musées nationaux portrait de Jacques Louis David.

A Very Abbreviated History Of Josephine, Napoleon & A Love Story :

Rosa Indica; La Bengale bichonne'  [Rosa chinensis Jacq. var. minima Voss] (1817-1824) Pierre Joseph Redoute the official flower painter for Marie Antoinette and Empress Josephine 

Josephine was of "Creole" descent and a party girl. She had impeccable style and poise. She loved Roses and Musks ( Above) and used those scents often. Infact she was called "Rose" until Napoleon changed her name to Josephine- which she kept the rest of her life. She even had an amazing rose garden with roses from all over the world and it's her we have to thank for the various species of roses we currently have today!
 Her first husband was guillotined and shortly after she caught Napoleons eye. She fell in love with him too and thus starts a incredibly passionate, dramatic, and enduring love story. Their relationship and letters were steamy. For example in Love Letter dated, 1795 December he writes, "I awake full of you. Your image and memory of last night's intoxicating pleasures has left no rest to my senses. " 

This would be the perfect love story if we stop now- they could live happily ever after, but sometimes people don't realize what they have until it's to late. Old habits die hard and that is what happened with Josephine. With Napoleon gone often, she continued her "party girl" habits and let the passionate flame of her relationship with Napoleon die. He would write her letters and she wouldn't return them. I don't know what she was searching for when it was in front of her, but some people can't escape each other and that is what makes an amazing love story. This is the love story of Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte .

Napoleon's Farewell to Josephine, 30 Nov 1809 by Laslett John Pott.

 After having his heart broken, he bid her farewell   ( above).  The irony of this is that Josephine had finally realized ( too late) that she was really in love with Napoleon ( notice the roses on the floor). After this she changed her ways and was the devoted wife, but it was to late. Napoleon was trying to heal his broken heart with one affair after another. He could never love as deeply or as passionately as he once did with his beloved Josephine. There was no divorce during this time, even though he kept threatening it. So life was a torment for both- but yet they couldn't leave the other. After some time, they patched things up, but with her being older than him, she wasn't able to conceive and Napoleon needed an heir. He remarried and Josephine was divorced. But by then their love was renewed. He insisted that Josephine retain her title of Empress and be provided for. Josephine continued to love Napoleon and in later years when she was on her death bed, Napoleon's name was one of the last words she uttered. Their love lasted through everything. I was commissioned to make a perfume that commemorated Josephine's love story and embodied the essence of her favorite scents.

Napoleon and Josephine. First met in January 1796, Napoleon proposed to her and they married on March 9, 1796. Until meeting Napoleon, she had always been Rose. Instead of calling her this name, which he apparently disliked, he called her 'Joséphine,' which she adopted from then on.

So I bring to you - just in time for the BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS Bicentennial 2015 a perfume which embodies the romantic spirit and timeless love story of Josephine.  ~Bouquet de L' Imperatrice Josephine~ COMING SOON to LBCC Historical

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

HISTORICAL SHOP SPOTLIGHT: FleurdeLysOriginals on Etsy

Today’s Post:

Are you looking for Historically inspired and recreated jewelry which is completely handmade and has outstanding quality? Look no further then Lauren from FleurdeLysOriginals. She recreates Period jewelry based on extant originals and portraits. Not only can you find high quality recreated historical jewelry, she also has a jewelry line based off historical movies ( so cool). If you haven’t checked our her Etsy shop- you should.
She opened her shop in 2013 and is the nicest person. She is always there to help answer your questions. Lets look at some of her products:
$25.00 16" Coral Necklace seen in the portrait Jane Elizabeth, Countess of Oxford by John Hoppner 1797.

Coral Necklace  ( Above) as in the portrait Jane Elizabeth, Countess of Oxford by John Hoppner 1797.

Here is another Awesome set that is a must have for the Battle Of New Orleans Bicentennial which is quickly approaching.  Think of pairing this with our LIMITED EDITION: Historically inspired Josephine Oil Perfume ( Not in the shop yet- We were asked to make this special perfume specifically for the upcoming Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial- More Later) After all we are celebrating the 200th year anniversary of the passing of Josephine .

(Below) Josephine Bonaparte in a posthumous portrait dated to 1863 by Victor Viger du Vigneau. 

I asked Lauren if she could tell us a bit more about her shop and her love for historical fashion and jewelry, Here is what she said:

"I've always liked history, period clothing, and jewelry-even when I was very young. Personally I feel that I never grew out of wanting to dress up. Partaking in living history allows me to feel the most "at home" and in my element, in that I get to combine quite a few things that I love. I've been making jewelry since I was little, and for a time made a lot for myself and for friends and family members, but there's only so much of that you can do. So I wanted to branch out and make some for others. I scrapped the first version of my shop because it wasn't period. Period approperate jewelry that is completely correct is my general goal for the shop.
I have also always enjoyed research, and being a graduate of history, I did a lot of it in school. I always apply some form of research before listing an item in the shop-even if it is made after something in the movies or television. I try to use the best materials and methods that I can in making jewelry for my shop. Which is why I primarily use gold fill and sterling silver for the Georgian and Regency pieces. As well as, most of the other replicated pieces. I am also going to be doing the same for the Renaissance section.History is truly the love of my life and it is probably what inspires me the most. I want the items in my shop to look like something people of the past wore, as well as, being of the best quality possible."

  I have a few sets of Lauren's amazing work. I can't tell you enough- how much I love them and how well they are made. I recently got tear drop pearl earrings and was just stunned at the quality and how weighty they are. They are REAL Fresh Water Pearls! Every girl needs pearls in my opinion. Here are a few photos of the jewelry from her shop that I own. I haven't gotten to wear my new earrings yet, but I can't wait. 

 This Limited Edition Perfume Made From Researching Her Original Perfume Receipts Will Be Available Soon In Our Shop. LBCC HISTORICAL .

Below are some photos that were taken on the Williamsburg trip this year. Check out my Awesome Freshwater Pearl necklace and matching earrings. They complete my look and give a air of romance.


 If you are still looking for something special for the holidays- check our her shop and her Facebook page. She just started one up.  Shop and Fanpage

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Getting Personally Acquainted With The Bourdaloue

Since having this blog- There are a few things I have realized:
1. I'm not very good at making the time to write posts. 
2. I have all these "great" ideas of things I want to share with you swimming around in my head... but it seems like I never have the time.. or never make the time.. So I decided to Make the time ( even if this is a short post)
3. I wanted this blog to be a space for deeper explanation on the research I am always doing and the workings of my Historical Apothecary lab as well as my Successes and Failures.. but so far it hasn't happened. Hopefully in the future I'll work on actually sharing more. So for staters I'm going to work on small this one!

WARNING: Information and photos below will get pretty personal- This post is for those that want more in-depth information on how to use their Bourdaloue.. So you have been warned. 

 Getting Personally Acquainted With The Bourdaloue

Above shows various reproduced Bourdaloues from J. Henderson Artifacts. I won't go into detail about the history of them just take type in Bourdaloue and you will get tons of information.     


Having a little fun here as I have my Maidservant bring me my bourdaloue-  Notice the "Private Residence" Sign ( available at Spring Valley Lodge)

A bourdaloue is ( in the most blunt term) a pee pot for women which came about because of a French Jesuit preacher who was pretty long winded at the pulpit and apparently bathroom breaks were not allowed, as a result these were invented. They say women set their pots on the floor and went as needed. I don't know how much I believe the pots sat on the floor and women relieved themselves right there.. I understand times were different then, but from practice, I can tell you that I would personally have an issue if I was expected to set mine on the floor and aim. ( I told you it would get personal) 

After using my bourdaloue for a while, I have learned which methods work best and which don't.... and standing and aiming.. or sitting in a pew and aiming.... wouldn't work without a mess.. unless you are extremely talented. So I'm here to get you started on the path to Bourdaloue happiness. Trust me once you get one and figure it out.. you will say goodbye to port-a-johns for those number 1 runs. 

I probably don't need to say this, but your bourdaloue is reserved for #1's only.  They are actually shaped in a specific way which will help prevent messes and make things super easy.
 Lets Start.

First and foremost it's a good plan to have both a bourdaloue and a chamber pot!

You will need both because you will have to empty out your bourdaloue for the next use.. but collecting urine was important. Historically it was used for a lot of things, like removing stains.  I have heard women still say that there is no stain remover like urine. 

Now that you have your Chamber Pot and Bourdaloue, we need to cover 2 important things that are required for getting the most ease out of your bourdaloue.
     NUMBER 1: NO Bloomers/ or another shorts that some wear under their historical gowns. I know this seems uncomfortable, but when you get use to it.. You don't even notice, besides in the 18th century - women didn't have bloomers or pantalettes. 
NUMBER 2: ARE YOU READY FOR THIS????  NO UNDIES... Yep! no undies. Trust me it makes it a lot easier.. Some will say.. I'll just take them off or pull them down... That sort of defeats the whole purpose of the ease of having a bourdaloue. I tried for a while.. but really when it came down to it.. It was to much of a hassle dealing with them when you have to go. So no undies ( Take one for the team- Go Historical)

Now that we have that out of the way lets get down to business...

So the photos that follow were taken on Halloween and obviously you would lift your skirts! I think you will get the just of it!

 There are 2 methods that work really well. 

 Option 1: I call this the "Handy Hand" - You would lift your skirts with one hand and hold the bourdaloue with your other. This works fine, but it's always nice to wipe when finished, and when you have your hands full you can't do that as well. This is nice because you have control over your bourdaloue and your gowns. Take a look at the painting by Francois Bucher. This woman is obviously wealthy, she has her skirts held up to keep clean and her "rag" next to her. Notice a little squat is necessary. You will need to assume the position below if you are using the "Handy Hand" method.

                                     Image by Francois Boucher

          Option 1 Above: " The Handy Hand"-remember to have your rag or tp handy. You will need to assume the squat position and hold your pot as close as needed with your one hand and your skirts with the other.

 Above is the first option which works well enough,  a little squatting is necessary in order to make things easier. The one thing I don't like about the HANDY HAND is that all your hands are occupied, so it makes it difficult to wipe quickly. You have to have things a bit more prepped for option 1.  If you have your maidservant helping you.. well then you really shouldn't have any issues and don't really need to worry about things because she will likely take your pot from you allowing a free hand to wipe quick.

         Option 2 is a bit different and requires a different position.

 Option 2:  I call this "The Standing Squeeze". This option uses your thigh muscles to hold the pot firmly allowing no spilling, also allowing you to stand straight and have your hands free.

  ( Pictured below)
I like this option because it is so simple. You don't have to worry about your garments getting in the way of things because your pot is securely tucked up where no messes can happen. Plus this leaves your hands free to get your tp and prep the chamberpot ( if necessary). 

Inorder to achieve the Standing Squeeze, you would lift your skirts just enough to get your pot under and have your thighs secure it. Remember it's specifically shaped to fit tightly in that area. You can then let down your skirts and stand as normal. Once finished you will hold the pot with your thighs until you can securely pull it out and empty it with one hand and wipe with the other. 


Option 2 Above: " The Standing Squeeze"

If I was asked which I prefer. I have to honestly say, I use the Standing Squeeze a lot because I find it easier than holding up all my skirting, plus when it's chilly, it keeps you warmer as well. Just remember when you are finished to empty the contents of the bourdaloue into your chamber pot.

That pretty much covers it! You are on your way to mastering the Bourdaloue!

I know that not many of us have reproduced Bourdaloues yet, but it's something to think about. It is ergonomically made to fit up tight so there is no spilling and you can easily go while standing- you don't need to squat. It sure beats taking walks to the port-a-johns all the time to pee. Below is a better look- you can see how they are designed for our lady parts. 

A look inside a Bourdaloue

If you would like to get your hands on one- check in with  J. Henderson Artifacts. They are the ones who make them and they do an amazing job. I also know this can be considered a touchy subject, but lets face it- It's LIFE-. It's how women historically were able to relieve themselves in an easy and functional way even with all their petticoat layers.
 I love mine and you will too!

Once you give it a try- you will wonder why you lived so long without one!!!