Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jane Austen Festival

This was written last year (2012) after the summer Jane Austen festival. I figured that I ought to go ahead and post it before this year's festival arrives (and no, no dress as yet), so please forgive the poor rambling style.. Also, I swear I may be taking a class with one of the reenactors. Maybe I am crazy, but I am usually freakishly good with names and faces...or I had thought so. Well, I will see this festival.

I discovered that Miss Laurie through her blog, and I both attended the same Jane Austen festival. I did not recognize her from the blog world though.

I guess I should post about it as well since this is my third year to attend (I attended the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th). I feel like such a slacker; I never thought about describing any other years, and all the years I forgot to take photos. I did not even bring a camera the first two times, and I had my phone this year but did not think to use it. So for photos you will have to go to Miss Laurie's lovely blog.

I am also a slacker in another way; I had plenty of time to finish my regency dress, but I am still working on it. Three attendances and NO dressing up-for shame! I went with three friends this year, and we joked about keeping on each other to be ready in period attire for next year.

I, as always, loved the vendors. They were even better this year. Mrs. Bennet may swoon over lace, and while I love my lace, I was swooning over silk ribbons. All the ribbons in the fabric stores around here a man-made fibers (actually, I have only found one silk fabric in stores near me, and the fabric although lovely was a silk-cotton blend). Pardon my natural fabric snob rabbit trail. But there WAS lace. A lady was doing bobbin lace in the main house. I had rather assumed that that was a dead art. I would love to try my hand at all fiber arts, but I have to say this one daunted whilst it intrigued me even before we saw and heard about it from the lady.

The main house besides its regular historical decor had regency dresses on display. I am not the best at appreciating old houses, and I must say this experience was no help. I had been in the main house before at least once. This time the renovation was finished and there were faaaarrrr too many people explaining things. I guess they made me feel as about as comfortable as sales people.

There were many, many people dressed up in authentic regency attire. I at least was wearing an empire waisted dress, petty an excuse as that is. Other people at least wore nice clothes. There were actually quite a few gentlemen dressed up in regency fashion.

There was a fencing lesson (I would have preferred a fight; I believe there was one the third year-I did not witness it in person but watched it online). There may have been some sort of archery contest, and I think there were puppet shows going on. There were teas every hour or half hour.There was a side saddle demonstration which I wasn't overly interested in.

There was a bare knuckle sham boxing fight. Apparently a duel wasn't the only way a gentlemen could answer an insult; if he wanted no injury to his person he could hire a fighter. This was no gentlemen's sport; I also don't believe the ladies were supposed to watch either as the fighters were shirtless. I almost swooned when I heard a man ask for lady volunteers! I declare. One of my friends volunteered, and I promptly ran away to shop in Meryton.

Ah, me I do love clothes. I bought a beautfil blue silk sari fabric for a dress, and a lovely remnant of blue cotton velvet for a spencer jacket. I bought some silk ribbon as well, but the ribbon for the hat that will go with the dress I had bought the year before.

I again missed part of the duel. I know it isn't long, but that is why I did not wish to miss any of it.

The grandest event were "Dressing Mr. Darcy," and "The Regency Style Show," which happens every year and which I love every year. I don't know if I saw the Mr. Darcy one before. It came after the boxing match, so I was distracted by the fear that he really would take off his shirt :P It was very interesting though; I just love that time period as all of the people dressed both elegantly and sensibly.

The first year the first thing in the main tent was a description of some aspects of regency life by the author of. It has since been replaced with rather strange things.

There was a milliners shop my first year, and a discussion of hatmaking my second year. I wish that they would do that every year.

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