January 28, 2013

Le bal!

So, the long-awaited ball day finally arrived. I had to take everything with me for the whole day. Let's see. Gloves, fan, dress, shoes, stockings, safety pins, curling irons, bobby pins, needle and thread, ribbons, pearl necklaces... the list went on and on. Here is the lovely fan from Fatima which my coworker lent me for the ball. Oh, and my gloves.

In the afternoon Stephanie and I went to Locust Grove for a dance lesson. Most people showed up in jeans and tennis shoes for this. (I say this because it was amazing to see the same people later that evening, all dressed up.)

I had a really hard time catching on to these dances. We did one medieval circle dance, however, which was a mime of horses pawing the ground and stamping. I found this one to be extremely entertaining.

Then Stephanie and I went to Peter's and Mandy's house to get dressed. Here is Mandy with her feather decoration in her hair but before she got dressed!

After some hours lacing each other up and curling each other's hair, voilĂ ..... from left to right, Stephanie, Ann, and Mandy. Ready to go!

Lord and Lady Bifone (Lord Bifone was our chauffeur):

We arrived at the location and were greeted by rustic concession stands staffed by pirates, men and women. The food side had a sign: "Pirates' Booty. Cheeses of which we have relieved Her Majesty," and then there was a list of types of cheeses you could have with some bread. Plus there were some sweets, and wine and beer. However, we all went straight to the ballroom. The dances were underway and we didn't want to miss any of them. 

What a feast for the eyes! All these handsome men and gorgeous women! I was more interested in sitting and watching them all than in dancing myself, but I got a good number of dances in, too.

Is that red and gold dress gorgeous, or what? I covet it.

Soon Peter's parents joined us. Here is Peter with his dad (aren't they handsome??) and then the girls with Peter's mom....

There were a lot of patriots around. I saw several men in soldier's uniforms--all of them blue, those damn Yankees. Not a single Confederate in sight. What was that about? I am not used to this in Kentucky.

This gentleman (above) told us an ancestor of his crossed the Delaware with Washington.
More fun

Soon, too soon, the ball was over. Before we left, I had to try on Mandy's cape.

January 24, 2013

My Newest Obsession

Just about 3 weeks ago I happened to find out that there is a(n) historical ball being held Jan. 26 at a historic home in Louisville called Locust Grove. www.locustgrove.org

All of a sudden I was fired with a new obsession. I had to find out everything about all things Regency. I am ashamed to say that I spent hours every night drooling over Regency dresses online. This is the site I liked the most: Regency dresses

I am going to the ball with my friends Peter, Mandy, Stephanie, and Des. I wanted a dress, and I bribed Stephanie, telling her I'd help her make one if she would come with me to the ball. It didn't take much convincing.

I knew Stephanie's sister Siena had made herself a Jane Austen dress last summer, and I loved it. So I asked her what pattern it is. She said it was really easy. Here it is: Burda Josephine pattern We are making the simpler dress with the short sleeves.

So last weekend, Stephanie and I went to a workshop at Locust Grove on how to create an authentic look (costume and hair) for the Jane Austen time period. Then we rushed over to Siena's house and worked hard on a dress for Stephanie and one for me.

Here is Siena with her adorable Alexander, who really, really wanted to help:

But while he was napping, we quickly got to work.

Here Siena is working on my dress.

Siena and Stephanie working on my dress.

Here I am sewing with great concentration!

We tried to take pictures of the finished products, but by that time, my camera battery was dead. So you will have to wait till after the ball to see pictures of what we created. In the meantime, I have found us long gloves and fans, and have made a little matching sack purse to go with Stephanie's dress. We are also busy investigating and trying Regency hair do's. We simply can't wait for the ball.

January 9, 2013

Ladies' Tea to Benefit Ignite Your Torch

This past Saturday, there was an Epiphany Tea to benefit our youth conference, Ignite Your Torch. It was held at the lovely parish hall of St. Patrick's Church in Louisville. I am always the event's biggest fan. I love having teas! Here is my table, set with the lovely dishes my Babi (Grandma) Bercik gave Lynn and me. The pattern is Old Country Roses. I had a long table because I had invited a lot of friends!

Here are the other tables. I thought many of them were worthy of being on magazine covers!

I thought this with the silver tree one was the best one.

Hey, they have the same china set I have!

This one was a Downton Abbey theme.

My guests:

Mom and Stephanie

Mrs. B and granddaughters Abbey, Molly, Elizabeth

My dear friend Pat

Pat and her daughter

Lynn and her friend Rose

Molly with cousin Abbey (did those two ever have fun together, roaming around all the vendor tables and amassing " 'tuff" as Molly calls it!)

Many thanks to my coworker Sara who masterminded this tea!

Christmas at Home

This year we tried celebrating on Christmas Eve so that everyone would be free to rest on Christmas Day. It turned out to be a very good plan.

Michael and Laura with a--what is THAT?! (Mom's present for their dog, Eowyn. It looks just like roadkill! LOL!)

Molly will soon have the largest collection in the world of Hello Kitty things!

Showing Uncle Robert her new battery-driven hamster

Brendan and Benji completely absorbed in their new toys

Auntie Ann with the kids (Brendan 10, Benji 7, Molly 4)

Grandpa with his favorite granddaughter!

One picture I really should have taken was Mom's festively decorated table. There is nothing else like it!

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

On December 12th I was privileged to be a part of the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration hosted by the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word in Birmingham, AL. I was there with two friends. We had such a wonderful time! I think the pictures will do it far more justice than any words I can write. The set-up was lovely, and the Sisters sang a whole range of beautiful hymns in honor of Our Lady.

The story was read by the Sisters and acted out by some children. What great costumes!

There was also Mexican dancing.....

It was a wonderful day!