Monday, November 28, 2011

An Embroidered Miniature of Charles I

I have been SO busy with school and my lovely new job (which gives me 30 or more hours a week, yay!). I am a horrible blogger. But thats ok.

Check this out: its a "museum project" I had to complete for my History of England class. It was a ton of work but it was actually really fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Regency House Party

I recently discovered a television series called Regency House Party via the book list on Stephanie Ann's blog World Turn'd Upside Down (the list is extensive and I have copied down many titles to look for at the library). According to IMDb, the series ran 4 episodes in 2004 and ran on Channel 4 in the UK and PBS here in the US.

The series follows several eligible young men and young women (accompanied by their chaperones for propriety's sake!) from the real world as they explore how life would have been for a person of their money and status back in the Regency period. Wearing period costume and eating period food, these modern folks have to follow period restrictions in every aspect of their lives for the two months at the Regency House Party.

Just like in most of Jane Austen's novels, these men and women are supposed to form romantic attachments to each other, guided by the chaperones and their own hearts. Its rather interesting to see who ends up with whom, since each person knows the "ranking" and financial status of the others. Love or money or status seems to be the question in this series just as it was for people in the Regency period.

The series also explores things that were new and fashionable during the Regency, such as Gothic novels and boxing and gas lights and plastination (which is the preservation of dead and dissected bodies). Race issues are also touched on, through the boycotting of plantation products such as sugar and the mid-series presence of a black heiress and a black performer.

I quite enjoyed the series, though the 4 hour-long episodes were not something to be watched all in one sitting. Many of the costumes worn by the people in the show were also worn in some of the beautiful and well-made BBC film adaptations of Regency-era novels. I had fun trying to spot the items that were being re-used and match them to the proper film (I was pretty unsuccessful!). The series also alerted me to several other similar series taking place during the colonial era and the Edwardian era, to name a few. I plan to watch them all over the next few weeks.

The full series is available on youtube or you can purchase or rent or borrow the DVD. There is also a companion book available through Amazon and probably other booksellers, though I didn't look too far.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The fabulous leather version of the equally fabulous silk shoes designed by the lovely American Duchess is up for the long-awaited pre-order! It began August 1 and will run until August 10. Lucky folks who participate in the pre-order will get a special discounted price of $100 per pair!

As said by the Duchess herself, "The Devonshires are a leather 18th century shoe based on museum examples from the 1760s through 1780s. They're made of top-grade dyable leather, with a beautiful, smooth Italian leather sole for dancing, and are hard-wearing, water- and mud-proof, for even the toughest of outdoor re-enactments."

Did I mention this is a limited run of only 200 pairs??? Act fast, ladies!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Today is the last day of my Creative Writing class.

I am unsure what to think about it still. On one hand I expected more excercises along the lines of writing prompts and vignettes, and on the other I am glad we each focused on a single story. The teacher sometimes seemed to be arrogant and all of her examples came from ories and authors that nobody in the class had heard of (therefore quite ineffective). I wouldn't recommend her to anyone, but I wouldn't tell them not to take her class.

Right now, I am finishing up my final reviews of my classmates' stories. My final version of my story is due on 9:30 am. SO EARLY. The class lasts from 3 to 6, why is the final due before noon!?! Ugh.

Monday, July 11, 2011


A LOT has happened.

I finished my three-week Ancient Egypt class with a high grade despite narrowly avoiding failure on that last 1000-year test (the first two spanned 200 years or less each). Sadly, that was the last Ancient Egypt class ever to be offered at my university. I’ll have to look elsewhere to fulfill that pesky Africa/Asia/non-Western credit. 

My creative writing class is drawing to a close this Wednesday. My story has evolved from a story about a mermaid living in the harbor of Reykjavik in the late 900s AD to a story about a young girl who believes in fairies in the 1940s. I feel it has changed for the better. All I have left to do is review the last two of my classmates’ stories and blow through to the finish line!
The biggest event was Under the Redcoat, an event for which I have been preparing since last August!!! I finished my gown (at 3am the night before, I might add) and wore it on Sunday, the final day of the event.

That’s me sitting in the yard of the Palace after a few hours of delightful Virginia heat:

Of course I wore my dress in a polonaise, which my good friend from the Mary Dickinson shop helped me arrange. Please ignore my terrible Target flats! I didn't even have heeled Maryjanes to approximate the look...and I forewent stockings due to the heat. A lady commented on my lack of ankle covering, though her gentleman friend seemed to appreciate it. I was most embarrassed!

I got horribly sunburned, arrested by Redcoats, flirted with Hessians, and saw/met many bloggers whom I respect and admire. Some were amazingly friendly and everything I imagined they would be. I really hope I meet the lovely lady (and her children) of Teacups in the Garden again some time. I want to pick their brains about history and literature. Other bloggers I saw only in passing…or did not recognize until I saw their posts about UTR!

More pictures from that weekend are on my Facebook…I will have to transfer them over and have a huge imagespam post. I am going to try not to ignore this blog.

My thoughts now turn to an upcoming Disney trip with my best girlfriend and her terrific mother. I am also considering whipping something special up for the upcoming 1812 bicentennial.