June 25, 2016

Over the Hills and Far Away

Dear friends,
I am returned to Netherfield at last! (That means home. I'll have to think of an original title for my house.) In the last week or so, I have had two adventures, and will be having another one out west this coming week. But in between these wonderful, albeit exhausting travels, I hope to post at least once.

Love the colors!:
This could be me, alighting from the carriage that took me on my travels. I advise that you let your eyes bask in the beautiful colors and lighting of this picture. 
         This first adventure was an exciting one indeed! I was a bridesmaid for a rather special and close wedding in my family. It was so much fun meeting the other bridesmaids, decorating for the reception, and being part of the wedding party.

hearts hearts hearts:
I made a garland like this for the getaway car. I didn't mess with quite that many hearts, but it was still cute. :)
       My second adventure came the day after the wedding, so it was a bit unsettling to jump from one life-changing experience to the next. But as you can see, I survived it all. In general terms, I went to a Girls State program. If you don't know what that is, Girls State is a program run by the American Legion Auxiliary, women who are either descended from veterans or are veterans themselves, who promote Americanism. In the program, I joined hundreds of girls and set up a mock government. We had cities and counties, and some of us (including me) ran for state office. It was intense; there were long days, long meetings, and plenty of frustration.

                           Stars and Stripes:

Frustration? That shouldn't be a large part of a young lady's educational experience! Yet I'm afraid I ran into it several times in the camp. People are difficult. It's sad to say it but it's true. Political views and discussions are bound to come up in a camp that is all about government. And I was perfectly fine with that. It was exciting to be able to share my views with people who had never given an issue a second thought before. I was also ready to discuss (with a cool head, mind you) what to me is common sense and logic with people who disagreed. I know that people see the world in different ways, and have different life philosophies, but I still shudder at some of the words that came out of girls' mouths. They just don't get it. And I am truly distressed about my generation, one who is pro-choice and anti-America. A generation who is disgusted with the military and hates police. A generation who would not only allow, but push for a system that would strip Americans of their rights and freedoms, and lose everything that makes the United States special.

So in short, it was frustrating to find out how mistaken many girls are, and frustrating to be opposed for having a different stance. On top of that, it was frustrating, of course, to work hard for an office and still lose. No, I'm not crazy depressed or anything, Life isn't fair, and I'm not going to waste any more time whining about it.

Besides, you probably all think by now that this was some terrible experience for me. And the parts I previously mentioned were no doubt highly unenjoyable. But I really loved other parts of the program. I didn't make any lasting friendships, but I loved talking to lots of other girls who were, more or less, like me. Making posters and getting nominated for office was a lot of fun too. I'm confident that as time passes, I'll think even more fondly on the week I spent at Girl's State.

          :

I leave you, once again, on what is hopefully my third and final adventure of the month! Since I signed off last week with a British picture, I thought I'd start a tradition. But wait! This ties in with another subject I've been itching to talk about, especially with my international readers: Brexit! What is your opinion on it? I think it's exciting, and I'm glad that Britain is willing to become a more independent country. I know there will be repercussions, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. I also want to hear what you all think, though!
Adieu, until I find internet again!

June 13, 2016

I'm Going on an Adventure!

...And so I won't be around for a bit (not noticeably less than before, though. I've been a shamefully slow blogger this month!) I will tell you all about how I conquered the world and such when I get back. But while I'm off adventuring, I'll leave you with this lovely picture of the ever-polished royal family.

I want Kate's hat. And Princess Charlotte!
     

Vintage Fun: the 1840s

Ah, the good old eighteen forties, when-
Well, when...
What did happen in the 1840s, anyway?
Fashion, that's what happened! The 1840s is not a popular decade to study, mainly because not a whole lot took place. Or the things that did happen (the Industrial Revolution or the Oregon Trail, for example), took place gradually over several decades. The 1840s aren't remembered for being distinct in any way, but they should be: they are a unique decade in fashion.

                                 Dress, late 1830s-1840s. American Textile History Museum, 1998.188.3:

I think people in the 1840s realized how silly they had been in the 1830s and wanted to tone it down a bit. So they decided to get rid of those ridiculous poofs and ruffles, and made dresses more simply. This dress is a great example of how people turned from trimming dresses with lace and bows, and began tucking, pleating, and gathering the fabric itself to make a dress more interesting.
                               
                              Afternoon dress Date: ca. 1843 Culture: American Medium: cotton:
The torso and sleeves were probably the most detailed parts of an 1840s gown, as seen in the fan-pleated front on this summery dress.

                            .:
I love this picture. The dress is so pretty; it shows the popular narrow sleeves and fan-pleated front of the era.  I think the girl wearing this dress is just so pleasant too. I would have liked to be her friend. And notice the heart locket she's wearing? It's all just so perfect!

                                   Wedding dress, circa 1841.:
Perhaps you've heard how Queen Victoria popularized wearing a white gown as the bride. This dress would have been made shortly after the queen got married. The gathered sleeves are rather fun, if not a bit excessive. :) A wide neckline, a pleated fan front, and gorgeous fabric make this dress beautiful.

                           Dress, 1840s, State Historical Museum, Moscow:
I love the crossover front to this dress, as well as the matching belt and buckle. The pattern of the fabric is really crisp and elegant. I'm amazed at how well it looks after over 150 years!

                             Victoria and Albert Museum: 1842, England; This dress is characteristic of fashionable styles from the early 1840s. The neckline is wide with a deep collar or ‘bertha’. The long, tight sleeves are typical of the 1840s, while the short over-sleeves recall the elaborate sleeves of the 1830s. The waist is lengthened in front with a point both front and back. The elaborate applied decorations of the 1830s are now no longer fashionable.:
I like how simply elegant this dress is. The wide collar is called a bertha, and the sleeve decorations are called mancherons.

     Which do you prefer, the 1830's or the 1840's?
Which decade would you like me to cover in the future?


June 4, 2016

April-May Period Drama Tag

Hello lovely people! :) It's time for another period drama challenge. This one's for April and May, which is rather nice, actually, since I haven't watched or reviewed many period dramas. Anyway, on to the questions!

Anna Sophia Robb Shares Photos from the set of her new PBS Drama ‘Mercy Street’:
The Green sisters from Mercy Street :)
         
What period dramas did you view in April/May?
I saw Amazing Grace and Belle over spring break, and just now I'm re-watching the first season of Downton Abbey (and loving it)!

Do you prefer to watch period dramas that have a happy ending or a bittersweet ending?
Definitely happy! Although I allow that sometimes bittersweet endings are beautiful and give a more powerful emotion, I'd much rather finish a movie with a smile on my face than a tears in my eyes!

                  .“…Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth” - Mr. Darcy:

What media forms do you prefer to use when watching period dramas?
I like watching them on PBS when they air on TV the best. Otherwise I usually borrow the DVD from the library or buy them from a rummage sale. :) Although I much prefer watching dramas on the television than on my computer, it's really useful when I can't find the DVD.

Which period drama character's wardrobe would you like to own?
Ooh, I'd love to have the wardrobes from Marie Antoinette or The Duchess, but I haven't seen either of those movies (for reasons). Otherwise I'd love to have Dido's or Elizabeth's wardrobe from Belle.
                           Hayley Atwell and Keira Knightley in 'The Duchess', 2008. Late 18th Century Georgian costumes by Michael O'Connor.:
What period dramas are you looking forward to watching in June 2016?
Hmm, well I'm going to finish Downton Abbey Season 1 for sure, and after that, we'll have to see! Hopefully I'll watch some more Horatio Hornblower!

June 1, 2016

A Dance With Jane Austen: Book Review

                                          

What do you get when you take Regency dancing and combine it with Jane Austen's life and books?
One lovely and interesting read, that's what!
    I got this book for Christmas, and finally started reading it this weekend. (So no, this isn't a paid book review or anything. I just like love it. :)
     Everything you might want to know about Jane Austen's love of dancing or about Regency dance in general is probably in this book! Yet it isn't heavy, long, or dry to read. Susannah Fullerton does a great job of keeping the writing light, entertaining, and informative.

                       

    There are chapters on every aspect of Regency dancing: learning to dance; assembly and private balls; music; manners; fashion; and even transportation to balls! Each chapter usually starts with a quote from a Jane Austen letter or novel, and is followed with some history, or how people behaved in the real world. Then it dives into how and where Jane Austen wrote about dance in her novels (Northanger Abbey's assemblies at Bath, for instance). Readers also get to read about Jane Austen's personal passion for dancing.

                                                  

The illustrations in this book are charming, and come from actual illustrations of the time. I learned a lot from this book, and can find nothing wrong with it. (They used one picture from P+P '05 when discussing dance in Jane Austen film, but this is forgivable). Overall this book deserves a five-star rating!
Have you read non-fiction about Jane Austen or the Regency period?
Do you enjoy Regency dance or fashion?
P.S. I have to return the computer I blog on to school, so the fate of future posts is a bit uncertain. But I'm not too worried; hopefully everything will work on the other devices lying around! :)