Monday, March 10, 2014

Vista Civil War Event

I just came home from a great weekend.  Seriously.  I'm exhausted right now, but I wish I were still there.

I went with the Historical Citizens Association and enjoyed the amenities of my friend's tent and parlor.  (Our little group portrays the civilians of a little town that has been destroyed by passing troops.  We don't have quite have the money to rebuild, so life goes on in makeshift homes (ie, tents and flys).)

I don't have many pictures of the event because I was trying to limit myself to period activities and conversation (succeeded on the first, failed on the second, but mainly because the company was full of like-minded women that enjoy the social time) and so I didn't want to take out my small SLR (but SLR nonetheless) camera.  (Next time I'll get a small disposable camera for the weekend that I can quietly slip it out of my pocket when I want a picture and not have to deal with the very electronic sounds of modern cameras.)

I absolutely had to get a picture of my hair.  Way back in November, Miss Betsy of In the Past Lane had a giveaway.  I was soooo excited to receive my new hairnet and bookmark in the mail.  (I bugged my parents for days with "Has a package arrived for me yet?!?")

Photo by Betsy C. (In the Past Lane)
The bookmark has faithfully been serving me in my very modern copy of Anna Karenina, which is about ten years post-period and take place on an entirely different continent, but which allows the bookmark a great deal of publicity (one of my English classes this semester is entirely focused on Anna Karenina, so I take the book with me to class).

The hairnet has not until this weekend been able to be so admired (and it's all my fault).  I wanted to do it justice by photographing it in the correct context, when I was wearing the correct hairstyle and clothes and that meant I had to wait until the next event when I would have the correct hairstyle and clothes.

Well.  It was worth the wait.  I got so many compliments!

Sunday morning, I did my hair and had breakfast in a friend's parlor in my undies (ugh, soo inappropriate, I know.  I must make a wrapper.  Fortunately, my friend was in a state of undress as well, so I didn't feel too immodest.  The one gentleman that came over whilst we were so attired covered his eyes).  It happened that I was wearing striped stockings.  The ladies commented that my striped stockings and the striped ribbon of my hair accessory meant I now have to make a striped dress.

I wore a borrowed Garibaldi blouse and a borrowed belt, but managed to whip out a skirt in time.  Sadly, the skirt lacks the trim I'd intended for it.  (And I am now boycotting JoAnns.  Their prices are not supportive of my budget.)  I've read that a Garibaldi blouse would typically be considered street attire only for young women, but could be worn in the comfort of one's own home by a greater range of ages.  (Oh, look at that, I'm a young woman.)  The breadth of my hoopskirt would push me into the upper middle class/wealthy range and if I used nicer materials, I would plant myself firmly in the wealthy range.  (Not too shabby, considering I was aiming for upper middle class.)

The event is held at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, which has tons of old machinery just lying around.  The civilian town happened to be tucked in a little corner with a lot of old tractor-type-things.  Not the most period setting, but easily ignored.

And the curse of the inability-to-take-serious-photos strikes again!

Saturday night was tons of fun.  The museum provided spaghetti dinner for a small fee and then there was a dance afterwards.  I broke my six-year streak of vegetarianism with the sauce at the dinner, and then made up for it (emotionally, at least) by dancing the first few dances.  The number of men-willing-to-dance to women-willing-to-dance worked itself out such that I had a partner for each dance I stayed for.  Our little group then retired back to my friend's parlor to play some period games in the lamplight.

I met lots of new friends and I'm very upset that the next two events fall when I'm going to be out of town and the weekend before my AP exams.  Sadness.

(Also note that I'm counting this as my first Civil War event because the real first one was miserable.  I felt utterly out of place.  It's amazing what the correct outfit will do to one's enjoyment of an event.)


  1. You look lovely! Such a gigantic skirt!

    I have nominated you for a blog award:

    1. Thank you! And thank you for the award :)

  2. Hi! Do you have pictures of your stockings or historic precedent for the striped stockings? I'm looking for fun underthings for my own period attire.