Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweets to the Sweet, a Regency Valentine Tea

Many thanks to our hosts, Connie & Mike Jarrett for opening their gorgeous home to our members and guests, this past Sunday. Twenty three gentlemen and ladies were in attendance at the historic Ferdinand McCown house in Oregon City, for the ORS Regency Valentines Tea.

Decorated with handmade paper cameos, the chandeliers illuminated new friends and old, as they gathered 'round to sample the savories treats provided therein. Oh my, a scrumptious menu of scotch eggs, mini mince-meat pies, shrimp roll-ups, scones, acres of brownies-including allergen free options- were laid out on the antique dining room table and carved sideboard. Tea and coffee were on hand in the kitchen, where many kettles of water were boiled by our kitchen pixies.

However, despite the dramatic posing, cooking on such an adorable period stove was really no chore! The afternoon's entertainment was provided by the passionate and knowledgable Professor D.R. Schreiber, whose slight of hand and conjuring illusions delighted the entire assembly. A superb presentation, which was full of fun and interesting history of "Conjuring" during the Regency period. During the show's intermission, Lady Lauren once again thrilled us with her divine voice. A rendition of Handel's "Silent Worship", she might truly have charmed birds from the trees, with her own superior trills.

After the show's conclusion, the professor was on hand to further discuss the topics of conjuring, and indulge in a cup or two of tea. The whist tables were brought out, and a second trip to the groaning sideboard was in order. Perhaps a third (or fourth) cup of the Chocolate Mint tea, if you please? And so, the remainder of the time was passed in good conversation and excellent company. As a further note, I'd like to also thank the several members whom stood on ladders, baked amazing yumminess, and/or washed dishes.

The Lady of Portland House (Lauren) and Lissa

The Lord and Lady of Portland House (Aaron and Lauren)

The Amazing Professor D.R. Schreiber and The Lady of Portland House

A lovely game of Whist

Connie and Mike, our gracious hosts

Christian and Tara preparing tea in the kitchen.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Regency Ladies' Tresses.

So you’ve got your dress, it’s a few days before an event, and you’re thinking… What do I do with my hair?

The period did allow for a lot of flexibility when it comes to women’s hair. If you look at portraits from the time, you’ll see a wide variety of lengths and configurations for women’s styles, going from very
short pixie-cuts to elaborate up-dos.

If you have very short to moderately short hair, and you’re getting ready for a ball or dance (for with day-wear outdoors, caps and bonnets were appropriate) you can always go for
the wide bandeau or turban.
You can try to curl the locks around your face, or comb them forward as the men’s style was for that time… and then place a wide bandeau on your hair, or a turban. Turbans are simple enough to make; you can shape it on a foam headform by loosely wrapping it around the crown of the head and then using some strategic stitching to hold it all in place. A
medallion and a feather to enhance it, and you can have something truly lovely.

Medium length hair allows more flexibility, including the use of a fall, if you prefer something more voluminous than what you currently have. You can use some of the techniques below to shape the hair around your face, and then use a fall to create your shape in the back. Regency hair was often off the shoulders or partially off the shoulders.

This tutorial by author Mary Robinette Kowal, ORS member, is perfect for women with medium-length hair. She shows how you can take a little hair and make it look like a lot. Click the link below.

And for those with lots of flexibility and longish hair, you can browse the many links below and choose the styles that you like most. Jennie Chancey of Sense and Sensibility patterns has her own tutorials on Regency hair:

Rapunzel Resource is also a wonderful place for historic styles ~ She has done an ‘Emma’ series before for the Gwyneth Paltrow adaptation as well as the newest version of Emma recently broadcast on PBS.
Here is a lovely video:

Follow this link to Locks of Elegance's wonderful tutorialfor this lovely coif.
Locks of Elegance has a number of Regency hair-dos that are stellar.
Click HERE to see them.

More Emma-inspired hair styling tips from Miss Philippa Colt, ORS Member:

Jane Austen's World is also a wonderful source for many subjects related to our favourite period; however this post on hairstyles and accessories is very helpful.http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/regency-hairstyles-and-their-accessories

Here is a lovely overview of Regency hairstyles for you to browse from Jessamyn’s Regency Costume Companion:

And Miss Lisa Brown of Rochester Contra has made this invaluable little guide on how to dress a Regency Lady, which includes a wonderful little tutorial on Regency hair.http://www.rochestercontra.com/WomensBallClothing.pdf

I will be posting a how-to on turbans very soon. :)


Images courtesy of Miss Cristina Barreto

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yes, we take this all quite seriously!

The ORS has been growing like gangbusters lately. New chapters, new members, and new leaders. Events are culminating at a record pace; our events page will be packed and I’ve instituted a new ‘colour code’ system to help browsers quickly identify events being held by certain chapters.

Red: Portland and NW ~ Green: Eugene, Central Valley ~ Blue: Bed/Redmond ~ Yellow: Puget Sound. Right now, I have pretty much an entire year of events ready to go up just for ORS Northwest alone—not excluding the annual bonnet workshop and the picnic at Pittock Mansion. There will also be a brand new series of garden tours for the Portland group, which will touch on a number of the lovely gardens and arboretums.

ORS Puget Sound is planning its very first picnic, and ORS Cascades is going to put together a costume workshop. ORS Eugene has no less than two balls planned already for this year, it’s incredible Spring Debut ball in April and a wonderful ball called the ‘ORS Zombie Ball’ which is an October 30th party in the spirit of the ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility and Sea-Monsters’.

So everyone’s busy! All ORS members are always welcome at all ORS events, there are no chapter to chapter restrictions… and please, always remember, except for the occasional special event, one of ORS’s policies is ‘Costumes are Recommended but Not Required!’—don’t let a lack of costume stop you from joining us at any of our events. We are an easy going, non-costume-Nazi group. We are all about having a good time and being as inclusive as possible. All of our events are open to non-members, and please, don’t ever hesitate to contact us through the main Oregon Regency Society website if you have any questions or concerns.

There are lots of costume ideas and resources on our special page, and you can get an at-a-glance summary of chapter events through the ORS main website. For the chapters, you can find links to each chapter in the margin of this blog page, or on the main index page of the ORS website.