"It is only natural for you to be able to dance."

Friday, April 27, 2012

I really stopped caring about having a "typical" social life after I started social dancing.

Once you have experienced the thrill of the waltz and a long night of pure vintage dance, nothing compares. When you are dancing, you get to meet so many wonderful people in a safe, exciting, unique way. Perhaps the folks in the vintage groups I meet with are so lovely because there must be a connection of trust the moment you frame up and begin dancing...And when you have just spun around the room with someone to a Strauss waltz, it makes saying "hello" the next time you meet effortless. No awkwardness!

I think dancing also makes one a great deal more attractive. You are flushed and vibrant with warmth and smiles as the music plays happily in the background. The orchestra plays bright, cheerful tunes, and there are no modern aggressive lyrics or beats. It's blissful.

You must try dancing. It will elevate you above the mediocre sludge our culture is so deeply mired in, it will make you beautiful, and it will make you unbelievably happy.

Lilacs and Bees!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We've had a rather wacky spring season so far, alternating between hail, rainstorms, hot days, and overcast windy days. The storms with the heat wave following it has also led to a increase in ticks. I finally went ahead and bought "Repel" to spray on my shoes and pants when we go out hiking. Yes, I made a "lasts for only 100 steps" pokemon joke. :p

The lavender bush bloomed beautifully this year. Such fragrant, beautiful blooms! They last for only a short while, so I took some photos, bishounen included.

We also had quite an unexpected surprise earlier in the week. A swarm of honeybees descended into our juniper bush and created a great ball o' bees around their queen. It was about as big as two pineapples stuck together. It was a little scary at first, beau, mother, and I are bee fans. Bees are needed to keep the human species alive, and we need every last one.

However, our yard is much too small to support a hive (bees need a clear flightpath to and from their hive entrance), so we called the local county beekeepers association who sent out a gentlemen to safely collect them and transport them to his own farm. I took video of the collection process (to be uploaded soon), which was surprisingly easy and calm. He just shook the branch into a box with a shelf of comb in it, and the bees settled into the box for the course of the day. In the evening, when they had all settled into the box, the keeper took them to their new home. So cute!

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

((Originally published in December of 2011))

Another holiday season, which means Dickens Fair!
For those who are not yet aware, "The Great Dickens Christmas Fair" is essentially a reenactment of mid-century Victorian London at Christmastime, and filled with the characters from Dickens' novels, as well as other historical figures. There are a myriad of shops, food stalls, stage shows, and games. There are numerous sets made to look like the interiors of Victorian houses and parlors. Everything is made to be as authentic and period as possible (this is not a Renaissance faire...), and all the actors and vendors go through an extensive workshop process to act, think, and speak like people of the era. It's an amazing production.
I spent four lovely days at the fair this year!

The 10th of December was Le Legion Fantastique's annual "Steam Explorers Consortium" and contest, which I had the pleasure of competing in and winning last year. It is the only day in which I will wear steampunk to the fair. My character is an adventurer and collector of specimens for the Royal British Museum.
I added a faux-leather vest bodice that my beau gave to me as a gift. It looks better in person than it does in the photos!
Taken inside the parlor of Le Legion Fantastque, here's a shot of myself and my beloved beau, Duke. He actually works the fair portraying the adult David Copperfield. The waistcoat he's sporting is from 1841!

We also met up with Duke's very good friend, Mr. T. This was T's very first Dickens Fair, and he did quite well in putting together an outfit for himself. He portrayed a scientist studying the possibilities of electricity.

On the 11th (my birthday!) I wore my La Sylphide costume. The ballet was created in 1832 or so, so it's very much in period! I wore my dead Russian Pointes and had a wonderful time silently flitting about and being a total ballerina. LOVE! Sadly, no pictures.

Next weekend I wore my pink gown, but the top had been completely redone as an evening bodice. I had originally bought this gown off The Bay of E, but it came with a rather hot and stuffy jacket. My mother was able to take it apart and create a sort of bodice to make it look a little more period and more comfortable for balls and dancing. It's not perfect, and at the time of these photos it was not entirely finished. Mum still plans to embellish the neckline and add a ribbon inside the sleeves to hold them up a bit more. I slept over at a friends, so I did not have the supplies (or the time!) to do my hair as nicely as I would have wanted.

With my friend, James...

Notice the cute purse that I just happened to find at TJ Maxx - it matches perfectly!

That Saturday we from Dickens in the day to The Gaskell Ball in the evening, which is like Fezziwig's warehouse on steroids. Held in the gorgeous Scottish Rite Temple in Oakland, a live band plays waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, scottisches, galops, and set dances. Most people come in historical attire.

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