Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Cold and Windy Adventure (and How I Held My Hair High...)

Well, I haven't updated in a while (I'll get to that) and last Saturday I was able to attend a local historical event called The Gathering at Macktown. We have participated in this event in past years, but lately haven't been able to stay for the whole weekend. This has been for a variety of reasons, many of which relate to why I haven't written in a bit, too.

As to the not writing thing- I've been prodigious busy with Master's courses, work, and then getting ready for this summer. If you follow the blog facebook page it's probably old news to you, but I'm very fortunate to have been selected to intern this summer at the Margaret Hunter Shop in Colonial Williamsburg. I'm very excited for the experience, but also have a whole ton of sewing to get finished in preparation. One month before I depart. Yikes!

Anyhow, the trip was chilly, damp, and rather windy. But I didn't let that stop me. 

I made a new hair cushion Saturday morning and dressed my hair.

New Cushion
Almost done

Put a bird on it! Or, in absence of
a bird, a ribbon. It makes everything
better. =)
It was a little messy, but hey- I had to do this on my own, so what do you want? I wore my new neck handkerchief with my gown, even though it wasn't completed finished being hemmed (it was, at least, basted) but if you know me you know that I'm constantly wearing things before they are 100% finished. Because life's too short. 

Cushion, hair, cap. Hankie. 
I'm still figuring out how to work the whole crossover tie in a bow in back thing. It's trickier than it looks. At least for me. If it wasn't tricky for you, just let me live in my own little happy land for awhile before you crush me with your "oh, I didn't think it was that bad" okay?!

I also threw on my Therese, which was actually a poor choice. The wind was so bad I could scarce keep it on my head even when pinned into my cushion.

A rare moment inside a tent where it
was calmer sailing. I wish I would have
 taken a picture with the cap underneath.
It was prettier I think.

From behind with
hood down.
Love the green silk! (It's from B&T.)

My hood isn't *technically* all the way finished yet, either. But I couldn't resist the opportunity to try it out. I am working on finishing all of my UFOs before June, so we'll see how far I can get. I have to say that my hair held up really well. I used a mix of my own pomatum and some from Abby via Heirloom Haircare. Same with the powder (a mix). She doesn't carry as many varieties as Alicia at LBCC but I particularly like that the powder isn't lavender scented (as I'm not a very huge fan of the smell of lavender.)

I will be getting around to an official review soon, but here's a look at how my hair held up over the course of the day and the ride home.)
Not bad, eh? A couple of whispies from my bottom rolls but
still mostly in place.
Overall, we had a really nice time and even though we weren't able to stay for supper (baby Cora was ready to get out of the weather!) we were able to see friends and socialize at least a little bit.

Thankfully, spring courses are over and I will only have one four week class to worry about while I am away at my internship. We have one event which I will be able to actually attend for the whole weekend, have no homework, and be free of any obligation before I leave in June. I'm actually very excited at the prospect. I'm going to sleep in, dress my hair, sew some trim, and not feel a bit guilty about it. I can't wait. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Military History Fest- Review

About three weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend Military History Fest as a speaker presenting on entering the hobby of living history. With the help of two very good friends, the presentation went really well and it was exciting to see the number of attendees who were first period living historians seeking help getting started.

Me. Talking. Kind of like every candid picture
of me ever. At least my hands are kind of

Of course, no Military History Fest is complete without shopping, friends, and fun at the ball (of which there was plenty). Once the school year starts, I kind of end up in my own little introvert cave of exhaustion, so it was very nice to connect with friends that I haven't gotten to see in awhile. Not only was Alicia of LBCC there, but so was Julie from The Fat Reenactress (who totally rocked a sweet nineteen-teens era ensemble at the ball.)

I was also super excited this year because Alix was able to come and she brought baby Cora with her. It was Cora's first event, and she definitely stole the show by being her cute little baby self! They didn't get to stay for the ball, but we had a blast hanging out while we could.
She's the cutest thing. Ever. Seriously. 
I picked up quite a bit of goodies- including some striped cotton for Regency and some awesome silk taffeta for I don't know what yet.

I really like shopping the Vogue selection at MHF. 
On the upside, I was able to wear my "bib front" gown from a previous B&T workshop for the ball Saturday night. I even wore some vintage kid opera gloves and a shawl, but only got pictures of the gown before the ball while we were in the hotel room. I forgot to grab my phone to take snapshots during the event itself.

Nat said I looked grumpy in this one
but I was trying for the gentle smile. 
The required selfie. Because. =)

Apart from getting snowed in on Sunday (from the big blizzard that hit late Saturday night through Monday in the early hours), it was a very good weekend. Even the blizzard wasn't that bad. We were able to hunker down at friend's house nearby and stay off of the roads (many of which were closed, anyhow.)

Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of the dancing (which is probably for the best), but I do have a picture of our car in the snow.

It was pretty crazy out there. 
Most importantly, we made it home safely (albeit a day later than planned). School was cancelled for that Monday, so that was a boon. And we had a blast. For what more can a girl ask?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Living History 101 at Military History Fest

I've been quiet on the blog the last few weeks, but I've got quite a bit going on outside of the blog that's taking up my blogging time. Apart from work being crazy (our library is finally open! Hooray!) and starting my 1830/40s wardrobe, I'm preparing to give a presentation at an indoor event this coming weekend. The event information is here if you're interested in checking it out. (Maybe you want to come to my presentation so I have an audience! 10am Saturday- 1/31. Be there, eh?)

I'm presenting a discussion on the basics of getting started in living history. The goal of the talk is to help the newcomer to the hobby or the veteran starting a new time period figure out where to start the fairly large undertaking of beginning living history. Because let's face it: it's not always easy and so many of us made so many expensive missteps along the way.

It's our hope (I am thankful to have the support and experience of a few other hobby members to make this presentation happen) that the information we present will be meaningful and helpful to our audience. We know we're probably not going to get to cover every single thing, but we do hope to cover the big things and the basics to get people off to a good start (and hopefully help prevent them from stumbling into some of those same missteps we did when we took our first teetering steps forward.)

Here's hoping it is well received and we have a good weekend. I always look forward to a fun weekend of hanging out with my friends from all sorts of time periods. I'll try to take lots of pictures so I can report back next Sunday. I plan on debuting my finally finished Italian gown Saturday morning and want to finally get some nice pictures of it.

Until then, I tide you over with a recent photo of #Devilcat (a.k.a. Stanley.)

He likes it better when I stay home,
so sleeps on my clothes to prevent me from

Thursday, January 1, 2015

"The Object of the New Year..." or 2014 in Review and 2015 in Hopefullness not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.

While 2014 has had its challenges and set backs, it has also had its beautiful moments and encouragements. It was a year like so many others, with its firsts and lasts, its pros and cons. I am proud of the fact that I had twice as many posts as I did the year before. I may not post ultra regularly, but it is a habit which I am making more habitual. 

I'm not really one for resolutions, but the new year does provide a rather convenient time to think about potential opportunities for improvement and positive change. It's also a nice time to look to what is ahead (or what could be ahead, if you want it to be.)  

For my own part, I am excited for so many good things ahead which seem to be coming to fruition in 2015. After being closed for near half of the school year for sorely needed renovations, my library has its grand re-opening next Monday. While it made it unmanageable for my husband and I to attend New Orleans or Waterloo this year, my graduate school program will be wrapping up soon (pending my decision as to which certificates I want to pursue) and my husband has declared a major of study in which he is very happy. 

Sewing wise, my historical arena is being broadened as I tackle two new eras in clothing this year.(Yikes! In conjunction with all of my other sewing for the 18th century, now I'm adding 16th century for my high school's madrigal program and 1830s/40s for a local historical site!) So much sewing in my future. 

I'm also doing some things for myself this year. I want to be better about holding myself accountable and (as cheesy as it sounds) being more like Christ. I want to be able to speak truth but with more grace. I want to cultivate humility.

I also have a list a mile high of projects for this year. I know I probably won't get them all done, but I also know that lists help me organize myself and give me a record of what my ideal outcome would be. I'd also like to participate as much as possible in the Dreamstress' Historical Sew Monthly. My goal? Probably to get half of these actually finished. So here are some things you might see from me in 2015:

     ~ [Finally finished] Italian Gown
     ~ Duchess of Gordon Polonaise
     ~ New Small Clothes for the Nate
     ~ New Regimental for Nate's 18 c. 4th Foot grenadier uniform (HSM April)
     ~ 1840s undergarments (corset, corded petticoat, shift) (HSM June)
     ~ 1780s stays (new pair)
     ~ 1760s stays (new pair) (HSM January) 
     ~ 16th century kirtle and smock (still need to determine decade)
     ~ Nate's 18th c. sailor getup 
     ~ Baby clothes for Cora (my new niece! She's super cute!) 
     ~ 18th c caps (HSM March)
     ~ Wider range of 18th c. hair rollers/pads (HSM March)
     ~ 18th c Mitts for summer and winter (HSM July)
     ~ Finish 18th c ruffled apron (HSM July)
     ~ Finish 18th c ruffled petticoat to go with Italian gown

Other stuff may pop up, too, but I'm really hoping to start knocking some of these things off of my list before adding too much more. A girl can dream, eh?