Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Busy Spring!

This spring has been incredible! I have had so many wonderful opportunities, and I am really enjoying being a part of the historical reenactment community. There have been a ton of events that I've had the privilege to attend, and many of them inspired the outfits I've been posting about recently. So, because I want to encourage everyone to go to more awesome events and support historic sites, and also because I want to share more pretty pictures, here's an update on my spring!

Things really got started for me in March, with Military Through the Ages (MTA). This is an event that is hosted by Jamestown every year, and is a ton of fun. It's a timeline event, which means that it's open to all sorts of period portrayals, and it's neat to see so many different impressions all in one place.

I attended the event with the College Company, part of the 7th Virginia Regiment. They're a great group to hang out with, and it was a lot of fun to be in our camp. However, there were also sutlers at the event, and so I got to shop as well! I've been working to expand my kit in a practical way, so I bought a horn spoon, some scissors from Burnley and Trowbridge, and a little knife. So far, the scissors have been my most-used accessory, as having historical scissors allows me to sew more at events!

By far one of the best purchases I have ever made!

The weekend after MTA was Scotchtown! This is an event put on by Patrick Henry's Scotchtown, and allows visitors to the house to see a little bit of everything reenacting has to offer! Outside, some of the guys were doing military drills and firing demonstrations. Inside the house, two of my friends and I worked on our sewing in the parlor. We then decided it would be fun to be characters from history, so I became Patrick Henry's oldest daughter, Fiona was my sister, and our other friend played a family friend. There was a man portraying Patrick Henry talking to guests in another room, so after giving him a small heads-up that we were now his children, we spent a good deal of the afternoon acting out various scenes from 1776, much to the delight of Scotchtown's visitors! This was, without a doubt, one of my favorite moments in interpretation so far!

A cute family photo
We spent part of the afternoon cooking, and even though our colonial cookery needs some work, it was an incredible experience to work in an 18th century kitchen, and prepare food on the same table that was used to cook the Henry family dinners!

After Scotchtown we took a little break, and then jumped back into things with the Fort Frederick Market Fair! For someone who loves both shopping and history, this was an awesome event. There were so many sutlers in attendance, and I loved looking at all of their wares! Because I didn't want to be too impulsive, I made a list before going of the things I needed, and gave myself a budget for each item. I stayed under budget, and I got everything I needed!

I bought the twill tape for my new petticoat first thing in the morning from a blanket sale, and that was my only impulse buy of the day. I then shopped around, eventually buying a new straw hat, a great little basket to hold my sewing and other supplies, an awl, two thread winders, and a pair of earrings. The straw hat came from Burnley and Trowbridge, the awl came from Royal Blue Traders (I have just discovered them, and I am completely enamored), and the earrings came from one of my favorite sutlers, K. Walters at the Sign of the Gray Horse.

It was important for me to buy things like the basket, thread winders, and earrings, because I need things to have and use at my new job - with Colonial Williamsburg! That's right, my dreams are all coming true, because on March 15th I was hired to work as an Orientation Interpreter with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation! I start on May 23rd, and I couldn't be more excited!

There was a historical grocer at Fort Fred, and even though I didn't buy any of his wares, I really enjoyed learning more about the things he had on display. Dobyns and Martin has an awesome interpretation, and Mr. Dobyns was so nice!
The weekend after Fort Fred, I got to put all of my new materials to good use! That Friday was the last day of classes for everyone, so after bidding goodbye to all of our professors we jumped in the car and headed up to Mount Vernon for the National Event they were hosting! I was very excited for the event, but I was not excited to be sleeping outside for two nights. I've camped out a few times before - my first time was when I was very little, and my Uncle Doug set up a tent in the backyard for us when I came to visit. Then I camped out in my best friend's backyard a few times in the same manner. The only true camping I had done was when I went to the beach with the same friend and we stayed in a tent, but there were showers on-site. There were no showers at Mount Vernon. However, I did get a tent to myself, because I was the only girl who stayed the night!

As much as I hated sleeping outside (it was cold and it rained the second night), the event was incredible. I got to see my friends from the 7th VA again, as well as getting to socialize with the German Regiment. The skirmish in the morning was well done, and in the midst of the fighting, I saw a familiar face! In the generals standing behind the Continental line, there was a man who could only be the Marquis de Lafayette! After the skirmish, my friends and I introduced ourselves, and took a couple of pictures. We went to hear him speak later on, and he was a fantastic Lafayette.

Isn't he a great Lafayette?
The day ended for the public with a battle, and even though the Continental line won in the morning, the Red Coats won in the afternoon. I got a lot of sewing done during the day, including sewing black silk ribbons from Burnley and Trowbridge onto my new hat! In the evening, we all ate dinner, and then enjoyed the food and drink Mount Vernon set out for us as we sang songs and had fun. I was sad to leave the reenactment the next morning, but I was very happy to go home and take a warm shower!

I love this photo!

Sewing the ribbons onto my hat while the soldiers prepare for battle
A few of us hanging out beside the 7th VA's dining fly - they had the sweetest strawberries I've ever tasted!
Finally, one last event before heading home for a week - a cricket match! I've been attending the practices of the Capital Cricket Club in CW for a few weeks now, and I'm really enjoying playing a sport (incredible, I know)! So, I was very excited for the opportunity to spend a Saturday playing cricket with so many wonderful friends in 18th Century clothing at Bacon's Castle. The morning started with a ferry ride across the James River, which was fun, and once we arrived we split into teams. I was playing for Governor Berkeley's team, and I am proud to announce that we beat Bacon's Rebels! While I enjoy every event, it was nice to do something in kit that didn't revolve around the military, and this event really gave me the chance to socialize with everyone. There was even a brief moment of dancing in the middle of the day, which is one of my favorite colonial past times, and was a definite highlight of the weekend.

A moment of play, while my team was fielding - I'm on the far right

Keeping score while my team was striking; we ended up scoring over 100 points!

I am so blessed to have had such a fantastic spring, and I am looking forward to a great summer!


I intended to publish the above post much earlier, but I was waiting to get all of the photos before I could publish it! However, in the meantime, I've had a few more exciting events, so I thought that I would share those as well in this post.

At the end of finals, Colonial Williamsburg had a sale on a few fabrics, so I ran down the street to Mary Dickson's store and purchased a few yards of lovely cottons to make some new jackets out of!

"Serpentine Vines" and "Wythe House Midnight"

After taking all of my finals, moving out of my on-campus apartment and into a house in Williamsburg, I drove back home to PA in my new car! I got to visit with my parents and some friends for a few days, as well as making a trip up to Massachusetts to visit some of my extended family. But, nine days after leaving Virginia, I was back in Williamsburg, and ready to start working!

I absolutely love my job. My coworkers are the best people on the planet, I get to work in buildings that many of my heroes spent time in, and I get to talk to wonderful people about my favorite subjects.

I also get to wear pretty clothes and sew at work! The stays on my lap are almost complete, so expect a post about them soon!

Finally, since I'm essentially a Virginia resident for the rest of my life now (one of my friends has even been trying to get me to get a VA driver's license already), I have really been enjoying getting to know the people in my community, and not just the people on campus. I'm ecstatic to be playing cricket with the Capitol Cricket Club, and I love going to English Country Dance meetings every week.

This Monday's costumed cricket match at Basset Hall - my team won by three points, and it was a great game! In this photo I have just sent the ball flying, and the fielders are running to catch it while I'm ready to run for the other wicket.

I couldn't be happier to be in Williamsburg, surrounded by history, and getting to spend my life with incredible people doing my favorite things.

I love this picture from Mount Vernon, and wanted to slip it in this post too! My friend Jack is trying to get more reenactors to go barefoot whenever possible, and I just love the way we look in our civilian clothes approaching the soldiers and walking towards Washington's home.