mandie_rw: (creampoplin1830s)
[personal profile] mandie_rw
So, verdict on New Castle is very favorable; both the ball and tea were very enjoyable, and I think we all had fun wandering around town and being complimented by the locals! They were all duly impressed with us. ;)

I mean, we're terribly picturesque, aren't we?

We all arrived at the Terry House B&B in the afternoon on Friday - it's a lovely house on the square, built around 1860, and absolutely chock-full of stuff. Very late-Victorian in its decor sensibilities, shall we say! We all had rooms on the third floor, and the single ladies got the suite. And when I say "suite", I mean "the garret where the servants slept". (Literally. It had a STEEP back staircase that was obviously a servants' stair!) It was a nice little set of rooms, but really unhelpful for tall 1830s hair, haha. Most of the ceiling was sloping and quite low. I managed to only bash my head on it once... Anyway, the landlady was very nice and accomodating (and had an excellent selection of tea for the guests!) - we appropriated a tea set and a corkscrew over the course of the evening, and she let us store our junk past check-out time on Saturday. Next year we need to make it a point to get some photos on those stairs! Three flights up...I'm amazed my calves weren't killing me after hauling all the costume crap up and down. Lots of bags of petticoats!

There was last-minute sewing from quite a few of us Friday afternoon for the ball. Yours Truly was gathering lace/sewing it to twill tape/tacking the twill tape into the neckline. While wearing a dressing gown and having my hair in curlers, natch.

Everyone finished in enough time to dress, and we puttered over to the Arsenal for the ball - just across the street and down half a block. Very convenient in the cold!

I wore my red satin slippers that I made for Gettysburg, and they've survived another ball, and will be good for another! Clearly I'm not dancing enough. ;)

I was very pleased with my hair - you really don't see half as much junk in the hair by 1840 as you do for the earlier '30s, but I didn't feel Christmassy without berries in my hair, so I stuck them in regardless. The gold leaves were a lucky find at the J, just a plain old headband! Covered the elastic in the back up with hair.

Lovely ladies! Jenny-Rose and I were outnumbered by the early 1830s, but I think we held our own. ;) Early 1830s is a lot of fun, but having now done both, I can safely say it's one of those styles I think is a lot more fun on other people! I won't say I'll never do it again, but if I have a choice it's definitely post-sleeve-collapse for me at the moment.

Amazingly, I don't have any major quibbles with my dress. I forgot that I wanted to put some batting in the upper bust area, to help with that crumpling you tend to get with the dropped armscye, but it wasn't too horrible without! And the bias-cut fronts look more wrinkly in photos than I think they did in real life. (I hope. Ha ha ha.) Naturally there aren't any detail shots from the ball - I have to dress Mabel up and take her outside tomorrow so I can get some for the blog. And at the very end of the ball I somehow trod on my hem in such a way that I tore a bit of the front facing off. Ooops. Just the (ginormous) stitches pulled out though, so I repaired that today. Too much enthusiastic bouncing, doncha know.

The curls made my earrings a little superfluous, but I assure you I thoroughly enjoyed my Dames a la Mode parure!

There was quite a spread, and even a bar (free?! well I'll be damned), that we didn't know would be provided, which made the ticket price make a lot more sense!

And, a question: Why is there always an Awkward Creepy Dude at events, and why does he always want to be my friend? Well, not just specifically me this time, but still. Just because a lady dances with you at a ball does not mean her group of friends is suddenly YOUR group of friends, and will be impressed by your inane observations. I was happy we had a Rob present, to intervene every time Awkward Creepy Dude tried to corner me at the punch bowl or some such. Thanks Rob!

(Rob and his plaid pants are happy to fend off any and all Awkward Creepy Dudes from his wife's friends.)

I didn't dance quite as much as I might have liked - partly because of Awkward Creepy Dude, but mostly because it was a small space for the amount of people, and it was literally impossible for everyone attending to be in the room at the same time. They did the Grand March in two sets, there were so many. The second half was better since some (old) people left, but I still got the boot from a reel, was mortally offended, and sulked upstairs for a while.

I think Alice danced the most out of our group! I did manage to get in for the last dance (and then trod on my hem, if you remember), as Shane-from-Belvidere-who-we-aren't-sure-doesn't-actually-dislike-us-because-we're-really-annoying took pity on me, haha.

The ball ended around 11.30, and I, at least, thoroughly enjoyed the walk back to the Terry House! Nice and cool! I appreciate weather in the 20s after a dance! Summer balls are just not the way to go. So we de-corseted, hung out, drank a bit of champagne and wine, and crashed around 1am. Our only real complaint about our garret-suite was that the heat was not quite functional, so it was definitely in the 50s that night! Brrrr.

Getting up for out 8.30 breakfast was not quite fun, but we managed it, and Alice and I even did our hair beforehand. Miraculous. Especially as I'm not what you would refer to as a "morning person."

Breakfast was nice, but there weren't quite enough places for the whole house of guests to eat at once, so a couple of our party got left out in the cold, which wasn't very nice. Perhaps Mrs Deemer could request rooms come down at different, staggered times? Ah well, now we know. We had tickets for the 10.30 tea, which, now that we know what breakfast at the B&B involves, was not the optimal time!

I did not do justice to the very nice spread of tea sandwiches etc. that they had there! They had individual teabags and hot water rather than loose tea in teapots...but you can't have everything, and it was otherwise very nice.

No one put their sleeve in jam or lemon curd, which is a minor miracle.

After tea we wandered out onto the green to get some documentary proof of costume-making-and-wearing.

Robin stole my old fur poncho 1840s velveteen mantle for the day, which I was happy to lend as it doesn't get much wear. (No I couldn't possibly have worn that myself!)

I had a severe case of pocket-losing-itis on Saturday.

Alice had to find it for me. It was tragic.

This required photographic proof. *does confused head-tilt* I will never understand why people feel the need to do this with their hoops but it will ALWAYS amuse me.

Mr Topper is a sassy fellow.

Creepin'. xD

Love this one...I think it looks like it's out of a movie! :D

And then I saw Awkward Creepy Dude striding over the lawn towards us, and I scampered away to hide behind Robin and Adrienne while squeaking "Goddammit! How did he find us!!" Well...we're not exactly inconspicuous. Happily Rob shook him off after a few minutes, while we said goodbye to Jessica and decided to go adventuring to a few of the Open Houses in town.

Lesley Manor was first up, partly because we were told it's the most impressive house in town (it is), and partly because Shane made the mistake of telling me informed us that he'd be a docent there, as the "underbutler". (Should have seen the look of OH GOD NO on his face when he opened the door. *evil grin*) It's a private residence (!!!) so no photos were allowed, but this is an article from a local paper with a few pictures in it from 2013. It's fantastic that they open their home to visitors, and they seem to really appreciate and respect the history of the house. Also we were dying to ask how much they bought the house for, but that's not a polite question, heh heh heh. I also wanted to ask if we could be friends so we could come to their inevitably awesome parties, but it didn't seem likely, so.

Jenny-Rose had to leave us after that, as she has the longest drive! And we thought it might be polite to clear our crap out of the B&B at that point too. Next year we'll almost definitely stay Friday and Saturday nights! Astoundingly I didn't trip at all on the stairs while carrying bag and baggage down in costume.

After that, we puttered around town a bit, looking in a couple of antique shops (one of which had KITTENS!! not antique kittens) and going in a couple more open houses, one of which was for sale. If I had an extra couple hundred thousand dollars laying around... It's tiny and adorable and has the original terrifying windy stairs and I have no idea how you would get furniture in. Still. Perfect for somebody who doesn't have bad knees or kids or a lot of stuff! Well...I fit two out of three of those criteria? ;) One could have the most delightful costume parties! *sighs dreamily*

Notice the open door - apparently everyone was born in a barn. We had to be door patrol and keep shutting it behind people as we waited for a table at the tavern across the street to open up.

We had a meal - late lunch? early dinner? - at Jessop's Tavern, where I rashly ordered a $17 shepherd's pie. "Well, it's a little pricey, but not outrageously so, and seems to be average for this place. Sure!"

HOLY SHITBALLS THAT PIE IS THE SIZE OF MY HEAD. I ate maaaaybe a third of it? It barely fit in a leftover box! On the bright side, I'm getting three meals out of it, so less than $6 a serving works out to be quite reasonable! Very tasty, too.

We wandered just a bit more after the meal, but everybody was getting tired, so near 5 we packed it in, everybody (but me) changed, and we parted ways! Early Victorian is one era I really don't mind driving in, so I did. It's a very comfortable corset! Although I admit this is my favorite part of the day:

(And it may or may not still be sitting there! I am so good at cleaning up after costume events...)

I hope this becomes an annual thing - it's a nice, not particularly stressful event, the New Castle crowd is very friendly (we felt very properly admired, haha), and is less than an hour's drive from me! Always love that. I'll try and get at least one of my two blog posts done tomorrow (red dress and outerwear posts), but at least the important one is done, right? ;)
Photobucket album is here

(no subject)

Date: 12/12/16 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You all look so wonderful! The event sounds like lots of fun!

(no subject)

Date: 12/13/16 04:58 am (UTC)
ext_482226: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! It definitely was.

(no subject)

Date: 12/17/16 12:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What fun!!! You all are making me want to do this era now!

(no subject)

Date: 12/18/16 02:31 pm (UTC)
ext_482226: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
You totally should! It's really a lot of fun. Plus you see quite a bit of bad "Dickens" during the holiday season, so showing people a little bit more of a period-accurate look was fun for us, cause we're Those People. xD

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