Friday, July 31, 2015

RSV Ladies' Retreat - Day 3: Sewing, Archery, Sewing, Writing, & More Sewing

*happy sigh*  It was so lovely to stay in such a beautiful house on such lovely grounds, and to wake up each morning to a magnificent view of the river out of any given window at the back of the house.

This is how I woke up.
Freeing the curls...
RSV photo
And taming them
I do so love rag curls!
 After another delicious breakfast (ham, eggs, fresh fruit, fresh bread), I resumed my sewing again.

All I need is a sunny window!
RSV photo
My diligence attracted several cameras.  :p
Photo by Bonnie Britz
I had dressed for the day in my classic white Apron-Front Gown, my first sheer dotted chemisette, new shoe clips for my Pemberlies, and the same cameo brooch from Friday with a green brocade ribbon sash.

When I needed a break from constant sewing, I joined a group of ladies who were busily writing letters in the dining room.  I had brought along my new writing desk and pen, so I took the opportunity to write a letter to my sister.  

And then it was back to sewing.  This dress was not going to sew itself!  

My sewing kit - everyone loved my hedgehog pincushion! 
It was incredibly hot and humid on Saturday, so we spent the day largely indoors.  We had wanted to have a picnic on the lovely grounds, but it would have been miserable.  Somebody had the bright idea to have it anyway, just inside on the floor!  So that's what we did.  :)  

Jenny, Cathy, Stacy, Jillian, me, Kimberly, Rebecca, Denisa
Photo by Bonnie Britz
Kimberly, Denisa, Jillian, Heather, Rebecca, me, Cathy, Jenny, Stacy
Photo by Bonnie Britz
RSV Photo
We ate delectable finger food - turkey & arugula sandwiches, ham & cheddar biscuits with Grey Poupon (fancy!), watermelon, mini fruit pies, and meringues.  Rebecca even made the biscuits from scratch!  

Photo by Bonnie Britz
After our parlor picnic - guess what I did?  

That's right - more sewing!  :p
When I finally got to a point where I could try it on, I had to change.  I wanted my new dress to fit over my new bodiced petticoat, so I needed to put that on first.  Unfortunately changing in and out of Regency clothing can be a bit of an ordeal.  :p  But I found someone to help me, and got the bodice fitted.  Then I continued to sew for a while in my undergarments.  I believe at this point I was adding the buttons.

As you do.
Photo by Bonnie Britz
After I tried it on again and got the hem pinned, I took another break from sewing and changed back into my white dress again for a quick archery lesson outside in the sweltering heat.  Stacy was kind enough to teach me how to use her longbow, and to take these pictures for me:

Look, I hit the target!  :D  (Ignore the three other arrows sticking in the ground.)
Jenny was totally my cheerleader and reticule-holder.  :p

I shot a total of eight arrows, one of which hit the target, two others hit the stump behind the target and bounced off, and the rest hit the grass and probably startled some poor worms.  :p  But it was much too hot to continue the exertion, so we retired again to the library and had another Horatio Hornblower viewing party!  I continued sewing until it was time to dress for dinner.

I had the chair by the lamp, which I only vacated to take this picture.  Then it was back to sewing.  
Are you sensing a theme to this post?  :p

For dinner, I wore my Green Sari Open Robe over the Apron-Front Gown.  I left off the chemisette, and switched the shoe clips to my Chelsea green flats.

Probably my favorite part of my evening ensemble would have to be my new turban.  

Do you love it?  I know I do!  
I bought the turban - along with the fabrics for both my Yellow Sprigged Dress and my pink bedgown, my new shoe clips, and the cameo and rhinestone brooches I wore throughout the weekend - from Julie Rockhold's recent sale.  The turban was made by Julia Nelson, who I know nothing about.  :p  But isn't it lovely?

Bonnie liked my turban a little bit.  :p
RSV photo
 These are Bonnie's photos of my awesome turban:

And she was kind enough to take these for me on my camera:

I love how my hair looks, but I hate how the chemise is showing in the back.  :(

Dinner was - once again - delicious!  We had beef prime rib, roasted potatoes, carrots cooked in the Dutch fashion (which according to Kimberly means "with lots of butter!"), stuffing balls, squash pudding, rolls, and lemon cream for dessert.

Did I mention we dined like kings?
Jenny and me with our coordinating cameos - I got a lot of mileage out of that brooch!
After dinner there were more games of Whist, but it was my turn to help with kitchen cleanup.  Then several people changed into comfy clothes for more Hornblower, and in my case - you guessed it...

More sewing!  I was hemming at this point, and *so* close to the finish line!  
 When I finally finished my dress, it was nearly midnight.  But since we were leaving in the morning, I had to seize one last opportunity to write a letter by candlelight to my darling husband who was missing me all weekend.

Then I dragged my weary (but happy) self off to bed.  I never wanted this fantastic weekend to end!  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

RSV Ladies' Retreat - Day 2 (Part 2) - Sewing, Dining, & Cards

(I had to split this post in two because I had too many pictures!  See Part 1 here.)

We arrived back at the house very warm, and were greeted by the delightfully cool air conditioning!  There are perks of 21st-Century living, after all.  :p  

Who needs rouge when one has exercise?
Jillian looks like she's asking me "Are you sewing again?"
RSV photo
By now it was nearly 2:00 in the afternoon, and almost time for tea!  

Cathy, me, and Jillian in the mirror
RSV Photo
We had scones (of course), egg salad and cucumber sandwiches, lemon pound cake, chocolate chip bars, and cookies.  The tea was lovely, and the company was pleasant.  The only low point was when somebody found a tick on her person, and then a few other people found ticks, so we all went to our rooms to change!  

Another wonderful aspect of this house was the on-site laundry machines, so many of us took advantage of this and washed our white underthings after the tick-hunting.  I was very glad to be able to launder my chemise and tanktop, as both were soaked through and I had no spares!  I changed back into my Regency pajamas and joined several other ladies in the library for sewing and movie-watching.  

Jenny, Cathy, Rebecca, Jillian, Bonnie (in front), me, Denisa
RSV photo
We watched Sense & Sensibility, and I worked diligently on my Yellow Sprigged Dress.  It had become clear to me by this point that there was no way I was going to finish it in time to wear it on Saturday, but if I sewed every spare minute I might get it done in time to put it on Sunday morning for a few pictures before we left the manor.  With this goal in mind, I sewed steadily until it was time to dress for dinner, which was had scheduled for 8:00.  

I re-dressed in my Blue Day Dress, which I had aired on my bed while my underthings were washed.  I left off the chemisette for the evening, but added my Sheer Striped Overdress and switched the cream satin sash and cameo brooch for a blue velvet sash and blue rhinestone brooch - another recent purchase.  I removed my cap, re-curled my bangs (borrowing my roommate Victoria's curling iron), and smoothed back any fly-aways with my LBCC Lavender Pomatum.  The bun and braid still looked decent, so I left the rest of my hair as it was.  

Jenny and me, dressed for dinner
I also wore my aquamarine earrings from Dames a la Mode, but sadly I could not find the matching collet necklace when I was packing for the weekend.  :(  I opted for a double-strand of pearls instead.  And I completed my toilette with more LBCC products - namely liquid Turkish Rogue on my lips and cheeks, and Rose Balm Lip Salve over top on my just lips.  
My full compliment of historical makeup and hair care:  Powder of Magnolia and Lemon Soap from Colonial Williamsburg; Turkish Rogue, Lavender Hair Pomatum, Rose Balm Lip Salve, and Burnt Cloves from LBCC; "Felicity" Jasmine & Rose perfume from RSV Fragrance Workshop; and gorgeous folding mirror from Austria - gift from Brian's cousin

Dinner was scrumptious!  We had chicken pudding (way more tasty than it sounds!), breaded & fried cauliflower, tomato and cucumber salad, fresh-baked rolls, and broccoli with pine nuts.  

Kimberly, who works as a cook at Colonial Williamsburg, informed us that everything but the broccoli was made from authentic 18th Century recipes, and it was all incredibly delicious.  And for dessert we had individual stemmed glasses with pistachio pudding.  

Everyone helped themselves to the exquisite cuisine
A good time was had by all!
After dinner (which was eaten entirely by candlelight) we moved some tables around in the dining room to create spaces for playing Whist.  We kept the candlelight ambiance going, and had a very jolly time of it!  

First we played open hands, for teaching purposes - a few of us were new to the game!
Photo by Heather Hufton

Whist is serious business.
Photo by Bonnie Britz
I shuffled for Megan when it was her turn to deal, and Stacy kept blaming me for her terrible cards!
RSV photo
My partner for the game was Cathy, and we won our first match against Stacy and Megan, but lost the second.  By that time it was getting rather late, and those of us who had not already gone off to bed gathered once more in the library and watched Horatio Hornblower!  

I took a quick shower, then rejoined the library party to brush out my hair and put it all up in rag curls.  It was very late by the time we went to bed, but I honestly could not tell you what time it was because I do not have a period-accurate watch.  :p