The Ladies' Tea Guild

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Changes, good and bad

Image by Joy Coffman.
Wikimedia Commons.
Well, I haven't fallen entirely off the face of the planet, but it feels like it.  Some dramatic changes have occurred, including the changing of my career (for the present), and moving to another house.  I have left the history museum where I worked for 14 years, and I'm currently working at an elementary school while I plan for graduate school, which is what I had planned to do before beginning work at the museum.  I'm working more hours than I used to work, which is both a good thing and a bad thing: I'm glad for the extra wages, but I am so exhausted that I have very little energy, even on weekends, and none during the week, for sewing and cooking like I used to.  I hear that my energy level will change as I get used to it, but we'll see.  I am so behind on my writing, sewing, and historic cooking!  The new living situation doesn't allow for much, if any, cooking, unfortunately.

On a more positive note, though, I did get a new (old) cookbook for my birthday, chosen by my sweetie of a niece at the library book sale; it's an "Encyclopedic Cookbook" that was originally published in 1948, and re-printed two or three times after that, and my copy is from the 1970s printing.  The fun part, though, is that most of the material seems to be from the original 1948 edition, including many of the photo illustrations, so I've been having fun reading through it and writing down some recipes to try for the Historical Food Fortnightly challenges (however many I am able to complete this year).

Hairstyle and costume ca. 1835,
Spanish California.
Photo and hair design: Lynn McMasters.
I was also part of a historical hair-dressing workshop that was actually for a photo shoot for a friend of mine, who is writing an article about 1830s/1840s Romantic-Era hairdressing.  She asked among the members of my costume guild, for long-haired women to be hair models, so I spent a day wrangling my hair (aargh!) for the camera.  It was an interesting experience, and while I don't think I'll do my hair exactly the same way when I wear my 1840s costume again, I will be using some of the information and techniques she showed me.  I should have straightened my neckline (it's more of a wide oval than a square shape), and I should have used my cross on the black ribbon, instead of the pearls, around my neck, for better contrast against my skin, but on the whole, I think it looks good.

My costume guild walked in the Willow Glen Founder's Day Parade last weekend, in 1920s costume, which was fun.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen many photos of the parade online; the one bad thing about walking in a parade is the fact that you don't get to *see* the parade!  You have to wait until people start putting photos and videos online, and watch it that way, but with this small-time parade, there doesn't seem to be much getting posted online, at least, not yet.

I'm also working on 16th century English costumes for both of my nephews (I had to replace the one I made for my oldest nephew since he grew 6 inches or something since he wore it), and I hope the original costume still fits my younger nephew by the time we finally take him to the Renaissance Faire!  I hoped to have something made for my niece, too, so we could take her this year, but we may need to wait until next year and just take her two brothers this time around.

This Sunday, though, is the San Francisco International Tea Festival, which I'm looking forward to attending.  I've been sent a press pass this year, so that people won't be freaked out when I start taking photos (although I didn't have a press pass before and didn't get any strange looks ...).  I hope at least one of my tea guild friends can attend with me, and I'll be putting  up a post afterwards, here on The Cup That Cheers, for those who are interested.  It's always fun to see what new things are happening in the world of tea, and come home with some yummy tea samples!

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)