Sunday, 22 May 2011

French Revolutionary Soiree

On Friday night I went to a French Revolution party that was held by the Georgian society that I am a member of. As with the last party that they held, not everyone dressed up in 18th century costume, most people were dressed in modern interpretations. As mentioned in my last post, I ordered a gown for the party (my first Georgian one - I was so excited! :) ) but sadly it didn't arrive in time - it still hasn't arrived - Customs seem to be holding it hostage : (  But they say they will deliver it tomorrow - hopefully! This all meant that on Friday morning I had to come up with a new outfit!! Sadly I have no red, white and blue dress - even a modern one, so I decided to wear one of my Regency dresses. Despite being pink and cream, I decided that my toile de jouy gown would be the best as the pattern is French. My mother helped me cover the existing pink ribbon on it with blue and white ribbon to make it more revolutionary looking - but not red as it would have clashed. It looked a bit odd, but I was quite pleased with how it turned out under the circumstances. 

The party was held in a macaroon cafe in Covent Garden - Bougie Macaroon - which is not large so it was rather a squished party!! - not much room to move about - but it was good fun. Once again they had Marie Antoinette wearing a dress covered with macaroons - very delicious - but sadly the only food served, so most   people were rather drunk after about 3 hours - alcohol was not in short supply, however the only non alcoholic drink on offer was water!! Being a non-drinker (well I drink Pimms but it wasn't on offer) it did come to the point where it wasn't exceptionally easy to have a normal conversation with anyone - which is when I left. At about midnight we all paraded around the piazza in our finery, singing a revolutionary song that the party's host had made up. We got quite a few stares, but had a fabulous time. :)

Looking for a taxi once I had left was the slightly scary part of the whole evening. There wasn't one outside the cafe so my friend told me to go to the tube station as there would probably be more around there. Walking through the streets of Covent Garden, in Regency costume, during the day is fine as there are loads of people dressed up pretending to be statues, but I do not recommend doing it at night!! The amount of comments I got!!!! "Nice dress", "Ooh look its Angel Gabriel", "Little Bo Peep seems to have lost her sheep". At the beginning I didn't really mind it but after a while I was getting slightly panicked. Luckily though I finally managed to find a taxi after about 15/20 minutes of looking for one. 

Here are a few photos: 

My gown

My fan with a revolutionary ribbon added to it

My reticule

The Revolutionary Song

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Baking Away Stress

I haven't been able to leave the house for most of the day as I am waiting for a parcel to be delivered. It is a dress I ordered for a French Revolution party I am meant to be going to tomorrow night. Sadly it doesn't look like I will be going. The dress was dispatched over a week ago and it still hasn't arrived. Apparently they tried to deliver it last night at 12.28am!!!!!! Who tries to deliver a parcel and 28 minutes past midnight???!!!! I am rather annoyed so to try and distract and de-stress myself I decided to make my 1st recipe from the baking book that my parents gave me for Easter, The Great British Book of Baking. So whilst listening to my new cd of the Andrews Sisters, I made some Cornish Fairing biscuits - I have never heard, made or eaten them before, but will definitely be making them again. They are quite easy to make and rather delicious. :)

Here is a photo - rather plain looking but very tasty :)

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Marshmallow Cupcakes

One of my cousins was meant to be bringing her children to tea today so I decided to make some cupcakes - marshmallow ones that I have never attempted before - sadly in the end they couldn't come but I decided to make them anyway. It is a Hummingbird Bakery recipe which are usually relatively simple, this however was not!! Instead of putting the marshmallows in the cake mixture, they tell you to make a hole in each of the cupcakes once they have been baked and cooled, and then fill them with melted marshmallow. I don't know if any of you have ever tried to melt marshmallows and then transfer the subsequent goo out of the bowl and into something else, but I can tell you it is impossible. The marshmallow just sticks to the spoon and the bowl and cools so quickly and goes rock hard. After 2 failed attempts I gave up and just filled the holes with mini marshmallows. :) They are rather tasty - a bit sickly if you eat too many - but very yummy :).

Here are some photos:

Saturday, 14 May 2011

1940's Night at the Churchill War Rooms

Last night the Churchill War Rooms put on a 40's event as part of the 'Museums at Night' season, so I went along with a friend too see what it was like. I was very excited as I love 40s hairstyles, clothes and music, and there promised to be a band singing 40s songs and a place where you could get a 40s makeover. However, the reality wasn't so good. The event was completely sold out with over 400 people so you could only get your hair or make up done, not both. And for some reason the band only sang for 10 minutes instead of the promised half an hour. But the hair and make-up people were very good at their job and the 40s music was good while it lasted, so it wasn't all bad. The people who did the hair and make-up are this amazing group of women (they call themselves the Vintage Mafia) who dress in 40s clothes/hair/make-up every day!! I can't think of any other way to say what I think about it except that it is SO cool!! :) I wish I had the the guts to dress in period clothing more often then a couple of times a year at events. Oh and I nearly forgot to mention the fabulous gift shop! It is stuffed full of 40s style things - from dvd boxsets of Dad's Army, to radios, teapots, model ships, really pretty cups and saucers (so tempted to buy one but managed to stop myself :) ), and so much more. I bought a cd of The Andrew Sisters. :)

Here are some photos:

The front of the Churchill War Rooms

Friday, 13 May 2011

Georgian Buildings in Devon and Cornwall

I haven't really been able to leave the house recently as I have had so many essays to do, (but I have just finished the last one YAY :) !!!!) which means I haven't been able to go to any interesting houses or events lately, so I thought I would post some photos of a weekend trip I went on last year to Devon and Cornwall with the Georgian society I am a member of.

Puslinch House near Yealmpton on Devon/Cornwall border (View of the back of the house). We visited 3 houses. This was the second one. Beautiful Georgian house, but it is privately owned so has modern features sticking out here and there, and they are in the process of restoring it.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Sense and Sensibility Song

I was reading a lovely costume blog when I saw a link to the Jane Austen Society of North America Convention website. I was curious to see what was happening at the convention, so I clicked the link to the website and lo and behold a song about Sense and Sensibility and this year's convention started playing. It is hilarious. I love it. :) Here is the link, enjoy. :)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Monty Don's Italian Gardens

I'm not really that interested in gardening. I enjoy walking round gardens at National Trust houses etc, but I only know the names of a few plants, and I have never been one to watch gardening programmes. However, I was thoroughly bored the other day (when I was meant to be revising!!) so decided to look through the programmes on BBC iplayer, and came across Monty Don's Italian Gardens. I didn't think it would be that interesting, but I thought I might as well watch it and see if I could recognise any of the gardens that I saw on my Gap year travels in Italy. Such a good decision. The gardens are breathtakingly beautiful, and the history of why the gardens where made and who by, is fascinating, (and I realised that I had hardly seen any when I was there).  Monty Don travels around Italy, starting in Rome, visiting world-famous gardens and well kept secrets, both private and public, recounting their history. You also occasionally get to see a glimpse of the beautiful houses and palaces that are in some of the gardens. I watched the first episode on Rome and the third on Naples, but sadly missed the second one on Florence. But there is one more episode that is on this evening. It is definitely worth watching. :)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Pink and White Regency Spencer and Bonnet

This spencer I made about two years ago, long before the toile dress, and it was my first and last attempt at a spencer. This one carries on the bedlinen theme as it is made out of two white sheets! :) In this case I started it on a Sunday and the local haberdashery shop wasn't open, so I raided the airing cupboard instead!! But I think it turned out alright. :)



Toile de Jouy Pink and Cream Regency Dress

I am meant to be studying, but I am going crazy trying to revise the ins and outs of Orientalism and Material Culture, so I thought I would take a break. What better thing to do, than drink a cup of steaming hot Lady Grey while looking at photos of regency costumes. :) In this case they happen to be the costumes that I made! Sadly, as mentioned before, my sewing skills are not great. When I attempt to make something there is generally a lot of shouting and death staring at the sewing machine!!! So I tend not to go near it very often! However on this occasion I had just got back from the Jane Austen Festival and was so full of inspiration, Jane Austen and Regenyness, that I forgot my lack of skills, and remembering that I had a pattern lying about, I decided to make another dress. Here is the result.