Thursday, March 27, 2014

Winter Weekend 2014

I just realized the other day that I never posted anything about our winter ball! My group puts on an annual Celebration of Winter each year, known also as "Winter Weekend". It is a weekend full of funtivities and socializing, the centerpiece of which is a formal ball on Saturday night.

I'm a little biased but I think we throw the best ball in the region. One of the best parts of our ball is the location, at a well-restored historic Masonic temple. We get to use candles there. Dancing by candlelight - does it get any better? I also have wonderful, beautiful friends who make wonderful, beautiful dresses and show up to be wonderful and beautiful (oh, and the guys clean up nice too). The emphasis is on recreating a very accurate experience, with proper etiquette observed; all the gents dance with all the ladies, and no one sits out. We also have a massive, sit-down formal dinner during the evening, with recreated Victorian food and actual service a la francais, which is such a rare treat.

This year, we hired a professional photographer (my friend Anne, whose work has been shown on this blog before, and who is still as amazing as always, if not more so) to document the ball and get some really good shots of all the action. You can see more at her blog, but here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy, and see if you can spot Yours Truly!

Monday, March 17, 2014

How To Drink Tea

Just a brief post to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day! If you're in the northern hemisphere, I hope spring is coming your way! It's very gloomy and cloudy here today, but we have temperatures above freezing! This weekend I ate soda bread and watched my favorite movies and TV  shows that remind me of my time in Ireland - The Quiet Man, Waking Ned Devine, and Father Ted.

I have other blog posts I'm working on, in between being sick (seriously, three times in the last six weeks, I'm sick of being sick!). For today, though, I want to share an article written by dear friend, former roommate, kindred spirit, freelance writer, fellow crafter and all-around good egg Ada from Of Woods and Words. She wrote a really splendid article about the proper way to brew a pot of tea. I never enjoyed tea until I started taking tea with reenacting friends who knew how to brew A Very Proper Pot and discovered a whole new world of aromas and layered flavors and rituals.

So, pull out your tea pots, dump those leaves right in, and enjoy!

A Lady Taking Tea, Jean-Simone Che Chardin, 1735