Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 2, Regency Food and Regency Beauty

Because of a goof on my part, I wasn’t able to sign up for the teas on the first day, and so they sold out, but I put our names on the waiting list as soon as I could and received a call about openings just a few days before, so I was thrilled.

We had four types of teas from Bingley’s teas. I am by no means a tea connoisseur; I don’t often like it, period (I prefer cold, rather plain beverages of the milk, water, and fruit juice/lemonade variety). I have Emma’s Perfect Match and Marianne’s Wild Abandon which I bought at one of the earlier events, and I don’t care for them much (although I think perhaps the blending of the teas has improved since the early days?). I also tend to “need” a lot of sugar to enjoy them which is off-putting; I’d rather have a less-sugary sweet treat I like better.

However, I did enjoy my syrups teas more this time. We tasted Captain Wentworth (least fav, too strong for me), The Dance of the Musgrove Sisters (second fav, I think), The Patience of Miss Price (my favorite and one I want to buy), and one other (a rose, cherry, and green tea blend, I believe). I don’t know if only two of the teas were Bingley’s and the other two were one of the other company’s (Hellinger Kurtz Kaffeehaus or The Blessed Bee Herbals) or if Bingley’s had new blends that aren’t on their site yet. While perusing their site just now, I realized, I found several more I want to try! Although, sacrilege of sacrilege, I’d probably prefer them iced.

On our early wanderings we discovered the Half-Crown Bakehouse (Mom went back later and bought some bread for Sunday) which featured foods with names that were a blast from my childhood past such as Sally Lunn bread and Queen’s Cakes (Felicity cookbook anyone?!). I’m in the mood to research about historical foods after discovering The Townsends, a historical food YouTube channel, via Brijee Pattern’s post.

I really appreciate the delving into historical aspects beyond fashion. My mother mentioned that this time it reminded her of Colonial Williamsburg (I adore that place, I’m wanting to go again, but I’d like to go for an event in historical dress now). The Living History feeling.

Another aspect to that was the beauty/apothecary place: LBCC Historical. Historical beauty recipes . . . sans heavy metals, lol.

Since I’m decidedly Marianne, I bought the Marianne set although I’d love the Jane one (rose!) as well; I hope they make the sets again, they were a special thing for the festival, I think.

Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 1, My Festival Background

Because I apparently don’t document anything, I had to rely on a comment I left on another blog to determine my festival attendance. I attended 2010-2013 festivals.

Some aspects of the earliest festivals

  • Contained to the back yard (I think the porch is the back side of the house)
  • Only two days
  • Smaller (and it was more local/regional while now it is THE national JA event, I think; according to this year’s handout, the first year had 660 and last year over 2400, and I’m assuming this year was even larger?)
  • Fewer venders
  • Less serious costuming (I know some people dressed in regency at the earlier ones, but my grandmother says not the majority while in 2018 it was the opposite; and the quality of the “regency” outfits tended to be far lower earlier while now it seems to be far more accurate and detailed)
  • The majority of the activities were the teas and the talks in the big tent

I feel that around 2013 the size and attention started to explode, and I got overwhelmed plus rather done with the event (too often plus waning interest in the era and author).

Here are some posts from bloggers who attended some of the earlier festivals: 2012 (one and two) and 2013 (one, two, and three).

Brijee Patterns Casey Skirt Pattern Testing and Blog Party

In June I participated in a pattern test for Brijee patterns. She is currently hosting a pattern giveaway on her blog here.

I made my skirt from Robert Kaufman Superlux Poplin in navy. I’ve needed some more business formal looking skirts (the color is darker than the photos, but I wanted the skirt to be visible). I shortened the the skirt, and I tried my hand at bound button-holes.

I’m not crazy about the waist-line, I might use a rounded one and I need more fullness in the back skirt (but not waist), but I will definitely be using the pattern again with adjustments. This is so flattering for my body type!

What I’ve Watched Recently

YouTube Highlights

The Bucket List Family on YouTube. Super cute family traveling the world. I also love their collaboration on the Home Love channel for their Hawaii house.

I was trying to find some goal and planning resources and happened across Lavendaire. I love her aesthetic, it is so feminine and soothing; sometimes planning resources can be more hardcore and masculine seeming with bold fonts and colors. I’m absolutely buying her Artist of Life book for next year.

Television

Clips from Friends. I’m not a television person, but since I have a huge diatribe below, I keep this short. I just wanted to watch the highlights after I started looking up Chandler who is definitely my soulmate. I remembered I’d got him when I took a Friends quiz ages back, and I think one my siblings said I was Monica. So I’m like him and should marry him?

Movies

The Greatest Showman. Fun for one watch, but the music and some scenes (belong to certain songs) are worth re-watching. But the sound seemed weird, reminiscent of La La Land; to me it sounded like some of the voices were suppressed in comparison to the music. I also didn’t feel that most of the singers were the best chosen (especially Hugh Jackman, ugh, although he wasn’t as bad as in Les Mis because Les Mis weirdly has everything sung/chanted), I want super strong voices, although with what seemed to me the technical suppression, it was hard to tell what full intensity could be. Also, I felt that when I listened to “Rewrite the Stars” Zendaya’s voice was more suppressed than Zach’s. I’ve only heard her in in Disney’s Shake It Up, but for some reason I had the impression her voice was stronger than that. I felt that the actress who played Jenny Lind had the best voice or at least wasn’t suppressed/auto-tuned to the same degree the others were. The inconsistency in voice quality, auto-tuning, and sound balance irritates me in modern musical film (e.g. the ludicrous difference between the soaring voices of Raoul and Christine in Phantom and Gerard Butler’s pitiful “singing” which I was totally judging against Ramin Karimloo, no one could win against him I know, but Butler’s singing was excruciating). I don’t like when huge stars are chosen for essential who cannot sing (Emma Watson, Gerard Butler), but the film-makers will. not. use voice-overs. You will shorten songs (in a iconic musical?!) and auto-tune (again, in an iconic musical?!), but using a real singer’s voice is just too, what? Good of an idea? End of musicals rant.

Black Panther. Rather boring.

27 Dresses. This was fun for one watch but quite shallow.

To Kill a Mockingbird. I missed a bit and as with many older or more serious movies, I need to watch again to soak in everything. I want to re-read the book too.

My sisters found a set of the first four Thin Man movies at Barnes and Noble, so we have been re-watching those and introduced my married sister and her husband to them. Nick and Nora are just a scream sometimes.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read by the Pool or Beach

I’m linking up here.

Apparently, I keep mixing up the Top Ten Tuesday topic dates, oh, well.

I’m not going to make this a TBR list, because that isn’t how I read. I’m going to go by what I think are a good fit for summer.

Any sort of the feels summery, light, mild adventurous. Lots of middle-grade books, I think. Nothing too serious, magical, or dark.

  1. The Penderwicks (I’ve probably already re-read these and read the new one by the time this posts, sorry, not waiting for summer)
  2. A Bridge to Terabithia
  3. The Grandma’s Attic series
  4. The Borrowers series
  5. The Little House series
  6. Keeper of the Bees
  7. Any L.M. Montgomery, but Magic for Marigold is especially summery as are:
  8. Anne of Avonlea
  9. Rainbow Valley
  10. Jane of Lantern Hill

What I Read: June

I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit.

When one adds Agathe Christie to the months reading numbers, one looks like a prodigious reader. Of the 10 books I read last month, 6 were Agatha Christie’s. I’ve already read 10 books this month (again, thanks mainly to Agatha Christie novels).

The Secret Adversary (Tommy and Tuppence #1), The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple, #2), The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (Miss Marple, #9), The Pale Horse, A Pocket Full of Rye (Miss Marple #7), and Crooked House. These are just page-turners and most didn’t stand out much except the Crooked House which was the best mystery I think, but I almost cried at the end. The rest aren’t her most interesting.

Switzerland by Lura Rogers Seavey. This is a children’s Enchantment of the World series book. I think kids’ books are great for quick overviews of subjects, particularly for subjects I know very little about. I thought this was a solid source of beginning information on countries, and I plan on reading more of this series.

Outlaws of Time #3: The Last of the Lost Boys by N.D. Wilson. I’ve been less satisfied with most of his more recent writing, I feel like his unique voice is being drowned out or diluted. This novel was fast and forgettable and rather pointless I thought. This series is my least favorite.

Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson. I found parts of these books quite funny, but I think put together they were a bit repetitive, mundane, and tedious; the adults came across as spiteful (that ballgame section, ouch) and whiny especially since I was comparing my grandparents (who all were children in the 40’s like Jackson’s children) and their families’ to Jackson’s; I suppose the Northeast was quite a bit wealthier and more modern (e.g. my grandparents didn’t always have plumbing as children, I’d have to ask about a telephone, and I know my grandmother recently mentioned an aunt as having more money as the one with the camera) at that time period if this family was “tight” on money. Regional and historical differences like that are quite intriguing.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Throwback: Fictional Crushes

I wrote this and scheduled this months ago and apparently the topic was changed in the interim, but I’m still going to leave this.

I’m linking up here for Top Ten Tuesday

I’m a noodle is all I can say, I’m trying to remember by very early ones, when I really, seriously had a crush on a book character, not just theoretically.

  1. Henry from The Boxcar Children series
  2. Lewis from Little House Charlotte Years
  3. Ben from the Felicity books
  4. Drew from one of the Love Comes Softly books according to my sister (I was trying to remember all my childhood book crushes without much work, so I asked her); I don’t recall that name but I’m sure I had a least one crush from these books, I’d forgotten what I read then
  5. Laurie (of course!)
  6. Ethan from Calico Bush (Caleb was too young for my preteen/young teen self, lol)
  7. Sheftu from Mara, Daughter of the Nile
  8. Esca from Eagle of the Ninth (yeah, I liked him better than Marcus, at least in the old days
  9. Aquila from Lantern Bearers
  10. Mac from Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom

Yarn Along and Crafting On Link Up

I linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Nicole’s Crafting On.

I have, of course, more than one book going (and 2 more projects on the needles although I’ve been focusing on this one for awhile), but this was the prettiest arrangement. The blanket is Purl Soho’s Mosaic Blanket which is free and actually very simple. I think it is rather stunning.

Kristin Lavransatter is going to have to wait a bit while I finish or at least catch on up my local library’s summer reading program (they do one for adults and it is so fun this year) and the epidemics book.

Art Fair Haul

For the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve attended a local arts festival with my grandparents (I don’t have a single photos of us there, hello, lady, document some memories). I do remember to take photos of what I get (so important) after though.

I bought a clutch from a refurbished leather jacket. A handwoven towel (I would probably use as table runner) from the historical part. Various bath and body goodies. Sterling silver necklace and earrings (peridot, my birthstone). Three beautiful mugs. A poppy bowl.

Book and Media Haul

Our city library system has regular sales, so I got a few items there. Plus I’ve been buying discounted Barnes and Noble giftcards and combining these with Barnes and Nobles coupons to buy books from Barnes and Noble. Finally, Half-Price had as store wide Memorial Day sale (I hope they have one for the 4th).

My library booksale haul. Suitably studious . . . now I just need to start those courses.

Barnes and Noble.

My Half Price haul. I think I buy beautiful books as idols or something since I’m afraid to actually touch and read them.

What I’ve Watched Recently

I have fallen off watching Hallmark mostly because Mom stopped, thank goodness. I would come home from work with no motivation and will-power and just agree every time she asked. I hope this lasts.

For my third free streaming trial recently, I tried Netflix again. When I had Amazon Prime and Netflix ages ago (maybe at the same time for a short period, I’m not sure), I always thought Netflix had more choices, but I don’t think they do anymore, maybe because they are focusing on their own films and shows. Anyway, definitely not for me either, most of what I would watch was stuff I’d already seen, and I didn’t try to look up old movies (my list is intimidatingly long). I did luck out on Thor.

New Watches

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Rather like a dirtier Hallmark movie.

13 Going on 30. This was cute although I wish Mark Ruffalo’s (he was so adorkable) character was in it more and there were more romantic scenes.

Part of Doctor Srange. Cumberbatch drew me in, but then I got bored.

Part of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I wasn’t super inspired to finish and Netflix shut down or shut down on me on my last day. I do want to finish, but I doubt it will be a favorite. Ken, I mean Paul while handsome, isn’t Peter O’Toole or Gregory Peck, and I prefer Hepburn’s more innocent characters.

Thor Ragnarok. I hated the preview. While by this time, I wasn’t expecting to hate it, I didn’t think I’d like it. These low expectations probably made way for me really enjoying it. I rewatched it in the same week.

Re-Watches

Leap Year. I love this movie, but I need to stop watching it for awhile. I’ve watched it three times in the last two years.

I re-watched Sherlock and then rage quite before the fourth season (which I’ve never seen). I’m not besotted with Benedict Cumberbatch like I was when I first watched the first two seasons. I don’t think they are near as clever nor as subtle and understated (yes, I thought they were subtle and understated and refined and all that jazz; I was early twenties and so very un-subtle and awkward myself, I think I can be excused). However, they ARE clever (the first two seasons) in such a quotable way.

Before the third season, I had fun re-watching them and looking at them through cooler adult eyes. I can also understand more (the first two seasons clearly weren’t marketed toward U.S. audiences and although I’d seen many period dramas, I had trouble understanding modern British speech as I suppose they weren’t making an effort to be understood). I understanding why I fell so hard for Sherlock/Cumberbatch (in Doctor Strange, he could draw me, the old magic was still there, but it didn’t last; partially probably because his horrible American accent (not his job at it, just the accent he had)

The third season is as bad as a remember although not quite the shock to my senses it was when I first watched it. Because I’m thoroughly over the lure of the series, and I’m not sure I was quite then or I hadn’t re-watched the first two seasons to awake a bit more to the reality of the drama, meaning the contrast between the first two and the third is not as great, unfortunately, as I thought then. The first and last episode of the third series are truly dreadful in the mediocre, melodramatic, abysmal ludicrousness. I remember reading a blogger describe how in the fourth Pirates Jack is a caricature of himself (how much more so in the fifth then?!), well that describes Sherlock in this season. The second episode has a good bit of a mystery, but not enough.

Despicable Me 2. We did a family pool night Saturday and watched a movie/by in the pool. We were going to watch Captain America: Civil War, but because we were impatient we wanted to start a movie before it was truly dark enough to see the screen properly and choose the animated movie to see better. This was a really fun experience. Then my youngest sisters and Dad almost immediately watched Thor: Ragnarok, inside though.

What I Read April and May

I’ve not read much or well lately, sticking to a too high percentage of re-reads.

Re-Reads

  • Dragon Spear by Jessica Day George. The last of this trilogy, and I didn’t like them half so well this time around. Not all middle-grade can last through all adulthood.
  • Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter. I loved parts and some parts bored me or made me cringe (she does tend to be rather sanctimonious, in this book it is rather heaped unevenly at the end).
  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy; The Penderwicks on Gardam Street; The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall; and The Penderwicks in Spring. All of the Penderwicks I read in 2 days (how I love these; these DO last through adulthood), so I could read the newest one. Which I stopped and returned. Period.

New Reads

  • The Five Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird. This was my first speedy read through. I need to go back and read more slowly (the authors recommended three times). I think I’m going to buy this one. I might even order it today.
  • Perelandra by C.S. Lewis. Rather stranger and more uncomfortable than the first novel, plus really boring at the end.
  • That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis. Although much longer than the first two, this book wasn’t long, yet I spent a month on it . . . and it felt even longer. This felt so different, less sci-fi/interplanetary fiction and more dystopia (which isn’t my favorite, and I’m rather bored of now). Also, rather twisted and disturbing. I should like to know what N.D. Wilson and Jeanne Birdsall so love about it. I’m clearly missing something.

9 books in 2 months. Ouch. I think I may have finished one or both of the Shirley Jackson autobiographical books in May, but I’m not sure, so I will just include those next month.