Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Monthly Archives: February 2015



I realized I have been postponing doing a lot of posts, because I keep trying to get this one done first.

It is the last piece of the one I wrote last year…Leaving Scotland.

Returning to Scotland is a crap title. Coming home? Not quite right after spending a couple of months ensconced in family, friends, pets and house.

The Final Season? Closer, but it’s not true. When I last wrote about my love affair with Scotland, it was after being in our home here, for three seasons.

A year ago we moved into this crazy house. But I left for the US, on October 10th. Missed winter, or so I thought!

When I left California, to come back here, our daughter was in her usual garb, shorts and bare feet. “it is winter somewhere in the world” I constantly tell her. But I was famous in my family for running outside in snow barefoot, in a cotton mini dress, when I was ten. I never wore shoes, so I understand her love of direct contact with the earth, and can’t harass her too much.

But it was HOT when I left California. I was really looking forward to the delicious Scottish climate.

What I underestimated was the time travel aspect of it all. Going from California and our 1948 house, to our 18th century home in Scotland…in January.

It took about 2 weeks to warm up the stone walls. I would sit in the parlour, with a fire raging, the heaters on, and wonder if I was actually going to get frostbite in front of a fireplace.

But that was nothing on the darkness.

Oh my god, the darkness. At night, you can see nothing. I would stand in the kitchen door, while the puppy went out, and could literally see nothing beyond a 4-5 yard ring of lit by the open doorway. The puppy was eaten by the inky darkness, completely invisible, probably 10 feet from the front door.

To make it more of a challenge, dusk began at 3, and the sun was not fully up until almost 9:30. It was like living in a dark box.

So you shut all the shutters, and then pull the curtains across, shove upholstered thingies against the drafts, and hunker down. Waiting. You cannot help but think of all those generations that came before, when THERE WAS NO GLASS in those windows! Those were some tough people.

And then the snow came. And it was wondrous. Insanely beautiful. Everything you have ever read about how beautiful snow is. The snow of another century, another time and place. The kind of snow that has a purpose. It makes the world beautiful and perfect.

Getting to work was not so wondrous., beautiful or perfect.

But here we are, just 4 weeks later. Sun is up by 6:30, and still in the sky at 5. The crocuses are pushing up, and there are a lot of waddling sheep out in the fields. Things move fast here. There is a lot to do. A lot to squeeze into each season. Gotta pack it all in there. ALL those Daffodils and lambs…PACK THEM IN!!!!

It’s fantastic.

I know, it is taking forever…


So much going on. Spinning plates.

But finally – Claire’s first negligee. Looks much better on her than on our mannequin.

More soon, I promise!


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My mother said…


My mother first met Ron in the driveway of my home, for about 5 minutes. The usual first meeting. “Mom, this is Ron. Ron, this is my mother, Maggie.” A couple of pleasantries, and he was away.

Unbeknownst to me, my mother was in the early stages of dementia. Hard to tell, as she had a brilliant, brilliant mind.

Anyway, after he drove away, she turned and punched me in the arm. What was that for?

“First of all you never told me he was so handsome!”

He was? How could I not have seen that? Of course he was. But I was so hopelessly smitten, with HIM, I somehow had not really clocked that. (Funny to think of now, twelve years later, when he can walk into a room, and I am smitten all over again)

But then she really let loose.

“Something like this does not happen to most people. Most people go their entire lives without ever finding this kind of love. This just doesn’t happen everyday. And when two people as special, and as unusual as the two of you,  are lucky enough to find each other, it is your absolute RESPONSIBILITY, to do whatever it takes, to move heaven and earth to be together. You owe it to all the people who will never have such an opportunity!”

I stood there stunned. She had met him for 5 minutes.

But my mother had an almost eery ability to read people. I think she was part of a long line of “witches”.

Because the the creeping dementia, it was one of the last times she was so forceful and so absolute about something.

As usual, she was right.

Happy Valentines Day, Ron Moore.

Happy Valentines Day



To My Dear and Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.


You, Therefore


You are like me, you will die too, but not today:
you, incommensurate, therefore the hours shine:
if I say to you “To you I say,” you have not been
set to music, or broadcast live on the ghost
radio, may never be an oil painting or
Old Master’s charcoal sketch: you are
a concordance of person, number, voice,
and place, strawberries spread through your name
as if it were budding shrubs, how you remind me
of some spring, the waters as cool and clear
(late rain clings to your leaves, shaken by light wind),
which is where you occur in grassy moonlight:
and you are a lily, an aster, white trillium
or viburnum, by all rights mine, white star
in the meadow sky, the snow still arriving
from its earthwards journeys, here where there is
no snow (I dreamed the snow was you,
when there was snow), you are my right,
have come to be my night (your body takes on
the dimensions of sleep, the shape of sleep
becomes you): and you fall from the sky
with several flowers, words spill from your mouth
in waves, your lips taste like the sea, salt-sweet (trees
and seas have flown away, I call it
loving you): home is nowhere, therefore you,
a kind of dwell and welcome, song after all,
and free of any eden we can name