Sanger Wedding Dress Scheduled to Hibernate

Published on Friday, April 26, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/pdkillion_mg_33891.jpg) The silk dress worn by Fanny Fechenbach Sanger for her wedding in 1879 will soon leave Browder Springs Hall, where it has been on display since the Cedars Stories exhibit opened March 14. Like a bikini-clad girl falling asleep on the beach, it is in danger of getting too many damaging rays. The light streaming in the Hall’s big windows is harmful to a vintage textile. To be honest, almost everything is harmful to a vintage textile: light, heat, moisture, dryness, dirt, bugs, cleaning, handling, and frequently even the protective tissue paper in which people wrap them. The UV rays in sunlight can weaken the silk fibers over time, and will quickly change the color of the fabric. Darkness is the textile’s friend, and so thi ..

Museum Educator Becomes Detective

Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
Who knew that sometimes a museum educator has to be a detective? Last year, Johna, our Family Programs Manager came to me and said “I really want the museum to be yarn bombed. Can I look into how to make that happen?” My response: “Why not?” For some of you, your first question might have been “What on earth is yarn bombing?” Wikipedia, source of so much knowledge defines it as “a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fiber rather than paint or chalk.” It’s a rather recent phenomenon, with the earliest recorded yarn bombing in 2004 in the Netherlands. Here in Dallas, one of the earliest projects was at the Lakewood Library, which just happens to be my branch library. I ..

Signs as Art

Published on Friday, March 15, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
Over the last several weeks, we’ve been putting the finishing touches on Browder Springs Hall. The transformation of the Print Shop into Browder Springs Hall (/images/postimages/becoming-browder-springs-hall/)has been slow and steady—we weren’t in a huge rush, so we were able to take our time in making choices and decisions about what this space needed to be as flexible and functional as possible. When this building was the Print Shop, it had a painted sign on its windows. (/images/postimages/pdk_mg_3409c3.jpg) When it came time for the new sign, it took a lot of hunting and research to find a sign painter. It wasn’t really a question of choosing the right vendor—it was a question of finding any vendor. Today, there are a lot fewer sign p ..

Confused sheep with Knitted Brows

Published on Monday, March 11, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/cwoh2011_bm0232.jpg)Sheep are not geniuses. Their brains are small and most of their energy is used for wool production and expressing fear of every single thing that ever occurs. Years of slow-witted observation have taught the sheep at DHV that each spring, humans steal their beloved wool through the humiliating process of shearing, but they never knew why until last weekend. No sheep can ever forget the feeling of being grabbed by a human and having those electric or hand shears run over the whole body till the lovely wool is gone. Yes, nudity feels good as the Texas summer heats up, but they look so silly. The farmstead humans always wash the wool, a task made necessary by the sheep’s questionable hygiene habits. Visitors watch as the wool is smo ..

How Does Your Garden Grow? Flax!

Published on Thursday, March 07, 2013 By Melissa Prycer
This winter we planted one of our large raised bed planters at the Farmstead full of flax. We chose flax for this bed to test the bed and to test the flax. This particular raised bed hadn’t germinated much of anything for the past two seasons, and needed a lot of amendments to get back to productive condition. Flax is a fairly tolerant plant and will grow just about anywhere, and we knew if the flax didn’t germinate in that spot we would have to replace the soil more than we already had. The raised beds also needed something growing so that the soil didn’t wash away and pack down over our off season and flax has nice sturdy deep roots. Finally, we needed to test out golden flax and see how well it grows without much attention. We found that golden flax is just ab ..

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