Friday, April 22, 2011

JAFA 2011 - Sunday Program

It was a blessfully late start to the day. It made for a lovely morning, a slight sleep in and an easy breakfast before packing up our picnic food, popping on our gowns and heading to the park. We started off the morning with a costumed promenade. We had a very large assembly of costumers that proceeded to stroll around the grounds of the park before heading back to the chessboard for some light dancing. I thought the chessboard dance that they did was lovely and would have really liked to learn how it was done. Obviously you need enough people to fill all the chessboard places.
We finished the morning off with a full picnic, some chatting and pit of photography. It was a lovely park and a not-too-hot or cold sort of day, but I was a little disappointed in the picnic location. There were only a couple park benches located a long way from the main group. It made it difficult for those of us who had travelled interstate and were not comfortable sitting on the ground in our costumes (not easy in Georgian). I did try to wrap up against the sun as well, which turned out to be a good thing as the shifting sun left very little shade.
But after filling ourselves with picnic goodness, we headed back to the hall for an afternoon assembly and some dancing. By then we were rather pooped and about ready to head home.

The costumes for the day were all particularly lovely. It seems that the Ball and the Picnic are the events that everyone dresses up in their finest gowns.

As for me, I had my brand new late Georgian ensemble, complete with my huge felt and buckram hat.
We rounded out our stay in Canberra by heading out to dinner for the night at a historic pub. Half of our group decided that they had had enough of the costumes, but me, I had brought down my Georgian dinner gown from last year to wear for the night. It was lovely to sit down to juicy steak cooked just the way I like it. After hopping on back to our unit, we sat down to share some wine and cheese and some photo swapping. It made for a lovely end to our weekend away.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

JAFA 2011 - The Ball

The Ball. Who doesn't love a ball? The gowns, the dances, the flirting. Well, the gowns at any rate. I do love me a ballgown. We ended up arriving a little late, but only so that we were fashionable. More because we just weren't quite ready on time. Four women sharing a bathroom is not going to work out too well when it comes to being ready on time. At any rate we had a fantastic time. I was a little disappointed in the photographer that was in attendance (I take better photos), and rather perplexed that she didn't seem to know enough to bounce her flash rather than full frontal.

I think we all looked marvellous. It seems that the ballgown is the one gown that we put the most work into. Some of us, more work than is really sane.
Me for one. While I simply adore how my gown turned out, I can remember all the cursing over how to go about making the wretched sleeves. And all the handsewing to get them to an appropriate historical level. In the end it was well worth all the frustration and sore fingers. I think the only part that I was not overly happy with was the fact that I made it a little too tight in the bodice and we had to stretch to get it on and that I could have put more padding in my quilted hem. It did hold the skirts out nicely, but it could have been stiffer. To complete the look, I was going for a mid 1820s hairstyle. I found a great sketch of "Apollo Knots" that I had a go at replicating. Essentially it is three large barrel curls pinned the crown of the head. They could have been larger, but my hair is only so long, and I don't have any hairpieces that match at the moment. I am pleased though with how it turned out and am actually really looking forward to wearing this gown again some time. Especially after all the work that I put into it.

JAFA 2011 - Saturday Program

Looking at the program for Saturday morning, my fellow housemates and I weren't really interested in any of the sessions on offer. We were however, supremely interested in heading to the local shopping centre to pick up a few food supplies and the blessed morning coffee (or in my case, hot chocolate). Of course, this leads to us taking photos of ourselves while in our modern surrounds. I think there were a few shoppers who got a bit of a surprise, and thanks to my cousin for having her little camera on hand for our happy snaps.
We headed back to the festival in time for my presentation on regency hairstyling. For those interested, my next post will be my presentation notes, but those in the actual workshop got to see a whole hairstyle emerge on two lucky candidates. The first having her hair curled and wrapped in a turban, the second (my cousin with very straight hair) having it styled into a rolled hairdo with large barrel curls that were very similar to pinned victory rolls. It was a little nerve wracking but, I had a very good turn out, so much to the point that one of my friends that was running late turned up to a sign on the door "session full". And then there was the camera. ABC news were filming at the festival and decided to shove the camera in our faces for the session. As it turns out, I ended up with a very small flash appearance on the news.
Donna also gave her second workshop session on Saturday - picnic games. It was neat to get up and have a go at some of the games that we have not yet tried in our historical re-enacting. I adored her handmade battledores and could not help but laugh at the perfect poses she pulled for a game of graces.
The afternoon session had me doing my final presentation on regency cosmetics and how to get the look using modern makeup. I found that I was really very comfortable in this session. Mainly because it is my strength. I'm a trained makeup artist and am very comfortable talking about makeup. I know what I am doing. Again, I had a good turn out for the session and two models who came out with appropriate regency makeup.

Costume wise, again we found some time for a photoshoot session or two - exploring the lovely grounds of the church and the beautiful roses. I have it on good authority that the roses smelt divine, but I was not really in the condition to go smelling flowers. I had contracted a case of hayfever since touching down in Canberra.
It tuned out that I chose the perfect day to wear my cashmere half robe. The day turned rather cold with a whipping wind. I'm glad that I thought to make something to wear over my white muslin gown, but it was nice to get photos of it all again. The bonnet was a last minute endeavour that I threw together the weekend before we left. I'm not sure that I like it with this ensemble and am contemplating something a little nicer for the next time I wear my robe. I have to admit I am rather partial to the top hat styled hats and am more than willing to give it a go.