Sunday, 27 September 2009

Regency Ball Bath 2009

Yes, it was that time of year again when we decended upon Bath in all our Regency glory! The Regency Ball is held every year as the final event of the week long Jane Austen Festival in Bath

This year we managed to bring even more of our friends, taking up at least 3 tables at dinner....

Notable for dinner was the delicious syllabub

Overall very good quality food (although our hungry gentlemen had to go up for "seconds" their first allocated portions being rather, dainty....)

I have to say though, the vegetarian choice was rather lame - a slice of quiche (which was also given to the meat eaters as well as their portions of fish and casserole, which seemed rather unfair.
Veggies get hungry too, and paid as much!)

There was also delicious roasted vegetables and mashed potato with butter and mustard... But no wine was included,and the bar was shockingly expensive...

However, we had all enjoyed our morning dancing lesson, trying out some new moves ready for the ball, so when the dancing was announced we raced to make up our sets!

Nothing can quite describe or photograph the magic of dancing in full costume with 400 others in the Bath Assembly rooms to live period music. It is absolutely wonderful!

Our only regrets were that the hours raced by and before we felt we had truly started to get into our roles as regency bucks and elegant ladies, the evening was over! There were some lovely gowns and uniforms worn, but our party was very splendid indeed! all the hard work of bonnet and dress making definitely paid off! And there was much interest in my Regency costume and bonnet workshops...

The Fops and Dandys collapsed exhausted as the carriages rolled up to the door and we returned to our assorted hotels and hostelries...

Can't wait to do it all again next year ;)

Monday, 21 September 2009

Burlesque Photo Shoot

My manic week continued with a brilliant photoshoot, organised and styled by me, pictures by the very talented Julian Andrew Holtom and make up by Sali MsMoo...

It went really well, Rhona and Helen, were keen to add more unusual pictures to their modeling portfolios, and got into all the mad parts I asked them to play - from Cupcake Fairies to Pirate Queens...

Whilst Vicky and Lyssa got some great publicity pictures for their new act. They are soon to be performing as "The Double Entendres" with a high kicking, corset wearing, dance act! I can't wait!

They all loved my mini top hats and I think they are modeled perfectly, with apropriate poise and jauntyness....

Julian is available as photographer (and me as stylist) for photoshoots - both commercial and personal - just email for more details.

There are loads more pictures on his flikr site too - It was such a fun shoot to do, everyone was wonderful and had a really great time!

My First Cover Project!

I'm very excited as today sees my first magazine project to make a full cover! Making Jewellery Issue 7.

It's a very fabulous 5 strand victorian necklace with swarovski crystals and pearls. The article shows you how to make the gorgeous spacers from silver metal and polymer clays. Obviously there is a little steampunkiness in there - the pattern I emboss on the turquoise clay is teeny cogs and gears, subtle but steamy!

I've also got another article in that issue, a write up of the fabulous Helen Cox's Polymer Clay Play Days I wrote about earlier in the year. The dates for 2010 are already up on the website and places are selling fast!

As if that wasn't all enough! In a fabulous double whammy, the first article I've written for "Craft Stamper" is also out now.
You can just see the pendants on the top left hand corner of the front cover. Two front covers! As you can tell, I am inordinately excited about this...

There's more pretty steampunk in this project too, the polymer clay is stamped with cogs and overlaid with delicious rose millfiori (from the lovely Marcia) theres some on line content too for tags and cards made with corset stamps and stuff.... I'm going to do more articles for Craft St
amper too - the editor Katy is just so lovely!

These pendants are also going on sale soon in my Etsy shop soon, so do mark it as a favourite in your etsy list!

Historic costume tour of Great Britain

Had a lovely day today at Greenwich Fan Museum. I gave a brief talk about my work to the American ladies on the Historic Costumes tour, organised by the lovely Jennie of Sense and Sensibility Regency Patterns. My friend Cathy Hay of "Your Wardrobe Unlocked" had also met up with them a few days previously, (do have a look at her Oak Leaf dress in the Natuional Trust "treasures" competition.....)

The ladies were all exquisitely dressed in their Regency finest to partake of tea and cake in The Orangery.
lots of scones and cake were enjoyed by all while oohing and ahing over the pictures of my "Big Frocks". I was also pleased to make the acquaintance of Suzi Clarke, an excellent costumer I have long admired.

The museum really is one of Londons best kept secrets. Although very small, it has a wonderful collection, it restores fans too and there is even a fan making workshop on some Saturdays! Well worth a visit if you are in the big city!

The ladies were all off to bath for the start of the Jane Austen festival - so I have no doubt we'll be meeting at the Regency Ball!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Weekend at the Asylum _First UK Steampunk convention

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful weekend!

I attended the first British Steampunk Convention - held in an old Victorian asylum, now a lovely conference center - The Lawns - in Lincoln. On our arival in Lincoln we went straight to our fabulous accomodation which we were sharing with The Trolls, got dressed into "adventuring" clothes and hustled off to meet everyone else for the evenings entertainment.

It was great to meet up with lots of old friends - and I made loads of new ones too. We listened to a great band or two, laughed at the comedian who gave us a brilliant illustrated talk on the "History of British Industry" - (Brunel was cheered for a full minute...) and then ate pizza for tea ;)
On Saturday I was up very early to set up my stall - the absinthe lollipops were a great hit and I sold lots of lovely steampunk jewellery too.

During the day there were costume competitions, lectures readings and workshops on a variety of subjects - from "How to make a raygun from a fruitshoot bottle" to "The physics of time travel"!

Guest of honour was the wonderfully entertaining Mr Robert Rankin - who also awarded Mr Troll first prize in the costume competitionfor his "Mars Regiment Corporals Uniform" - which had a brass and leather pith helmet and gas mask (with bottles and pipes attached which glowed and bubbled - brilliant!)
My teddy won first prize for best steam bear and is very proud of his medal...

Then it was home again to dress for the Empire Ball. Everyone put on their finest outfits and danced the night away. Never have I seen so many beautiful and unusual outfits in one room - It was truly a spectacular evening. I was waltzed round the room by a charming young man (and I even got a dance with my lovely husband )

Exhausted but happy we retired for the evening - only to get up early again to run the sall on Sunday, this time in a lovely marquee in Charlotte house. We also had a picnic and the gentlemen showed off their steam croquet skills ...

Then Hubby and I went and bought delicious rose tea from Stokes Teashop and then it was back home again to cuddle the pets!