Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some Good Press

The ORS had two newspapers present at the Winter Ball on the 15th, and the first to produce an article was the Portland Tribune.

The article link:
The Portland Tribune Article Link

The article screen-capture:
Portland Tribune Article on Ball
(click for larger view options)

Sweet!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Most Elegant Ball






The Oregon Regency Society enjoyed its second annual Regency Costume Winter Ball this past Saturday at the David Cole Queen Anne Victorian Mansion in Portland. It was extremely well attended and received a small measure of publicity from a couple of Portland newspapers.

Full Collection of Photos here (will continue to be updated).

Also go to the ORS Past Events page for more sets and collections from other members.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Excitement and Preparations

It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful our ORS events are. They are so much fun and full of magic. I have always joked that I was born in the wrong era, I have always preferred historical clothes to modern clothes, and history has always been one of my passions. What a perfect marriage of history, costume, and magic... I'm so happy to part of this wonderful group and I'm looking forward to another wonderful event. Here's to those that feel out of place in modern life. I hope to see you at the ball!

The Lady of Portland House (aka Lauren)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thea's Regency Reviews: Impulse & Initiative


“Impulse & Initiative”
By Abigail Reynolds


As a Regency fanatic and certified bibliophile, my bookcase literally groans with the weight of all the prequels, variations, continuations, and bastardizations of the great literary works of the era. Though just revisiting my favorite characters is often enough to keep me reading - rarely does one command my interest like this wonderful romp from Abigail Reynolds.

Billed as a ‘Pride and Prejudice Variation,’ this novel is but one in a series by the same author purporting to ‘explore the paths not taken’ by Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in their pursuit of mutual affection and understanding. This particular offering expounds on the tantalizing question, “What would have happened had Mr. Darcy, rather than decamp after Elizabeth’s scathing rejection of him, chosen to swallow his considerable pride and relentlessly pursue her heart instead?”

What follows is the delightful story of how a reluctant Elizabeth is courted by the passionately (even annoyingly) determined Darcy, eventually learning the truth of this character - and the depths of her own desires - along the way. As an added bonus, readers are also treated to glimpses of the fears and challenges that Jane suffers in her relationship with Bingley as well.

Though I always tend to approach works based on P&P with cynicism, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself drawn in by Reynolds delicate approach and (mostly) faithful character depictions. Skillfully employing period appropriate language, Reynolds manages to stay true to the spirit of Austen’s writing - using humorous dialogue and brisk pacing of action to keep the reader amused, intrigued, and eager for the next chapter. I will even confess to backtracking on
more than one occasion, just to savor a particularly delicious passage.

With this said, I must warn that those of a scholarly bent will find much to take exception to in this work. Some will argue that Darcy and Elizabeth’s moral fabric, strength of conviction and genteel upbringing would never allow them to indulge in some of the behaviors attributed to them here. Though I tend to agree with this view overall, I would also point out that human nature has led those with even the most stringent moral codes to be tempted in the face of strong chemistry...and let’s face it, Darcy and Elizabeth had chemistry in abundance! Whether engaged in furious conflict or simmering with obvious attraction, few would argue that this pair’s relationship is one of the most volatile - and passionate - ever put on paper.

Which brings me to the crux of this novel’s irresistible appeal - it manages to give the reader what has been longed for over the past two hundred years - a peek at that grand passion - without slipping over the edge into melodramatic ridiculousness or amateurish vulgarity. Though I would have heretofore declared such a thing an impossible task, I am happy to report that “Impulse & Initiative” skillfully delivers a pulse-pounding alternative story-line to Pride & Prejudice within an intelligent, plausible, thoroughly enjoyable framework.

Thanks to its recent purchase and reissue by the publishing house Sourcebooks Lanmark, copies of this book can be found at major bookstores such as Border’s and Barnes & Noble, or online merchants such as Amazon.com. I give “Impulse & Initiative” four Prinnys (out of five).

  • Thea Peck; ORS Eugene 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The ORS Winter Ball ~ Only One Month Away!


Dinner, Dancing and Diversions.


Live music.


Silent Auction for Costume Items and Photograph Portraits


Pre-Ball English Country Dance Workshop (location TBA)


Event Sponsored by the
David Cole Queen Anne Victorian Mansion

Current schedule subject to change


Details on tickets, menu, dances and more can be found here:



Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Part Two of the Stovepipe Bonnet Tutorials

[Update 3/16/10] Hello visitors! Welcome to the Oregon Regency Society's blog page. This blog is continually updated. This bonnet page is a bit outdated, so I would like to direct you to our latest bonnet-making post which not only includes the straw-hat based bonnets that are described below, but also includes instructions and resources for making the really nice stovepipe bonnets as well. There is a pattern, there are instructional movies in addition to that one provided below, updated materials lists and links to pictures for inspiration. So please, do read the post below, but also, if you want the most up-to-date information, please click the following link. Thank you!

http://oregonregency.blogspot.com/2010/03/2010-regency-bonnet-workshop.html

Stephanie Johanesen; bonnet enthusiast. :)

____________________________________________________________________

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Buckram Bonnet Frame

[Update 3/16/10] Hello visitors! Welcome to the Oregon Regency Society's blog page. This blog is continually updated. This bonnet page is a bit outdated, so I would like to direct you to our latest bonnet-making post which not only includes the straw-hat based bonnets that are described below, but also includes instructions and resources for making the really nice stovepipe bonnets as well. There is a pattern, there are instructional movies in addition to that one provided below, updated materials lists and links to pictures for inspiration. So please, do read the post below, but also, if you want the most up-to-date information, please click the following link. Thank you!

http://oregonregency.blogspot.com/2010/03/2010-regency-bonnet-workshop.html

Stephanie Johanesen; bonnet enthusiast. :)

__________________________________________________________


Using my new pattern, you can easily create the stovepipe bonnet of your dreams. You start with the buckram frame, and from there, you can go crazy. :)

Here's a quick tutorial on how to assemble a buckram frame for a regency stovepipe bonnet. Enjoy!

You can purchase the pattern here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Berry Botanic Garden Picnic

Up in the Portland hills near Lake Oswego, nestled in a fancy-schmancy neighborhood of large houses; there is the estate of Rae Selling Berry which is now the Berry Botanic Garden. This location is very informal; a garden of natives with wild looking paths and little nooks and crannies. There is a sedum garden; being grown in cast cement trays, varieties I'd never seen before... and a soft clovery lawn decorated with the occasional mole hill.

It was here where the ORS members shook out their picnic sheets and put down their baskets. Parasols were popped open, and books, sketching papers and pencils were unpacked. Kay Demlow, ORS member and talented costumer, also brought the game of "Graces" for attendees to play; and the sticks and hoops were well put to use.

Tara and Christian brought "P├ętanque"; a game similar to Bocci or Bowls, and they too kept various members entertained. A hand or two of whist were played, and there were paths to be explored, strawberries and treats to be enjoyed.

It was the perfect way to spend a sunday.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Picnic at Pittock Mansion

Portland Oregon cannot lay claim to very many super-old, Regency appropriate sites. It is a sad conundrum for the ORS, living in the 'New World' ~ Especially the late-settled west-coast. However in our state there are a few jewels that seem to invite people to arrive in period costume.


The Pittock Mansion was built by Henry Pittock, a Portland Newspaper Magnate, whose family occupied this magnficent French style chateau until 1958. The Mansion sits high on the west hills of Portland, overlooking the valley, and the cascade range, Mount Hood a gleaming jewel on the horizon. Now property of the Portland Bureau of Parks & Recreation, the mansion gets many visitors all year 'round.


Its grounds are immaculately landscaped, and the perfectly manicured lawns, soft, drooping willows, and colourful tufts of roses and other perennials, makes it the perfect location for a Regency picnic. We spent Sunday afternoon occupying the shade beneath the trees at 'the point', where the garden ends in a sudden sharp hill, opening up the view to the city of Portland.


Roughly 20 ORS members, coupled with about ten ladies from the Portland Ladies Tea Guild; who dovetailed their event with ours, created a sizable spectacle for Mansion visitors to see. Many a strolling soul slowed to observe the genteel group in regency costume, taking full advantage of the spectacular day.



Pittock Mansion volunteer Sherry Uchytil came especially on this day, costumed for the occasion to give a Master Gardener's tour of the Pittock Mansion's fine grounds to members of the ORS and tourist alike.



Members also took advantage of the tours of the Mansion itself. A beautiful museum, it features so many appropriate architectural and decorate touches as to make it the perfect opporunity for photographs.


It was a lovely occasion, one we hope to repeat next summer.


Here are links to some of our members' photos of the day. Enjoy. :)



Monday, June 23, 2008

A look back...

A DVD was sent to me recently by Barbara of Brightjoy Productions. She'd taken this footage at the ORS's first event in August of 2007. It was a nice gift to receive as we approach our August 2008 Midsummer Night's Dream Masquerade ball at the same venue; the Ainsworth House & Gardens. I was thrilled.

I had some trouble figuring out how to convert this video from DVD to make it youtube compatible, and in part, it ended up being squished and only 7ish minutes long (the whole video is 16 minutes). I'll hopefully get a better quality version together at some point, but in the meantime, here it is. Flashback to last year.

ORS is a little over a year old now, but technically; August will mark the anniversary month of the ORS's first Regency costume event. It's exciting. In this short time, our membership exceeds 180 people; and we have a host of wonderful events for them to participate in.

I'm very proud of the Oregon Regency Society. It's such a wonderful thing. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Emerald City Regency Party ~ May 24

The Eugene "Emerald City Regency Party" was a wonderful success. Thea had decked the whole venue out in a riot of flowers and art; the buffet was a colourful array of fruits and cheeses and other delicious tidbits; and there was much dancing.

The full set of photos can be viewed here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bonnet Workshop Fun

It was a spectacular day to be in Welches. The sun was shining and the air was clean. We had ten people show up from all over the place, Lisa drove all the way from Eugene! I had set up a nice little spread of cookies and mini-scones, and other snacks, which were supplemented by Pamela Miller of the Ladies’ Tea Guild, who brought tea and other refreshments.



I set up my supplies; none of which I used because most of them were bought off me! :)

There were many busy hands, gluing and cutting, stitching, sewing and unraveling.

There was also some necessary silliness as well.
All in all it was a wonderful day, and several very nice bonnets came out of it. Some still required the finishing touches, but the owners promised me to send final pictures when they’re done.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How to Make a Regency Poke Bonnet.

Hello visitors! Welcome to the Oregon Regency Society's blog page. This blog is continually updated. This bonnet page is a bit outdated, so I would like to direct you to our latest bonnet-making post which not only includes the straw-hat based bonnets that are described below, but also includes instructions and resources for making the really nice stovepipe bonnets as well. There is a pattern, there are instructional movies in addition to that one provided below, updated materials lists and links to pictures for inspiration. So please, do read the post below, but also, if you want the most up-to-date information, please click the following link. Thank you!
http://oregonregency.blogspot.com/2010/03/2010-regency-bonnet-workshop.html
Stephanie Johanesen; bonnet enthusiast. :)
__________________________________________________

This is a little video I made to accompany the upcoming workshop. It's not exactly oscar-worthy, but it still serves a purpose. I say 'um' a lot and I also sound like I have no personality... but it still gets a point through. ::hee hee::
I hope this encourages you to go ahead and to make your own poke bonnet. :)
You can download the materials list by clicking the link provided below.


This bonnet was made using the same techniques described in the video.


Tips that were left out of the video:
1) sew your ribbon ties on for additional strength.
2) I lined the inside to keep hair from getting caught in the straw.
3) How you cut your sun hat will determine what angle the brim will be at. So try it on and decide beforehand.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A lovely tea party

Sixteen ladies (and girls) in Regency costume converged on the Lavender Tea Room in Sherwood Oregon this past Sunday to enjoy a delicious tea of savory sandwiches, scones and delightful desserts.

You can see a full collection of photos here.

An excellent time was had by all. We enjoyed a mix of new as well as familiar faces in the ORS. A usual, it was a civilized, wonderful group of people.

Our next event; a Regency Dance workshop will occur in Eugene this coming Sunday, and then we will be hosting a Bonnet workshop on the 26th of April.

If you're in Oregon, or somewhere nearby... join us!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Picnics and Tea and Bonnets, Oh My!

We've been super busy lately. Throwing together events so that there is a nice, steady succession of activities to keep our members engaged and busy. :)

We have two picnics, a series of stays workshops in the work, a bonnet workshop, a Regency Tea, and we're going to start planning for the Winter ball soon. It's all very exciting.

It's important to keep our site active and dynamic. There are far too many regency groups out there with websites with dead rings, broken links, missing images, galleries of events long past, and no dates later than 2004. That is not acceptable for the ORS. We're trying very hard to broaden our range of acitivities and to widen our scope of members; involving more facets of the period we all adore than just one or two repeating things. We adore Jane, but we want to step beyond the academic study of her works, we want to live them, experience them, all parts of it, from the wars that raged during that period, to the more scandalous side of the period, like the edgy Byron.

So that is why we are increasing our events, and soon we will try to offer some lectures, readings in order to meet the needs of the folks who like to learn new things about the period.

In the meantime, it's a social calendar few can withstand, that's for sure. But we're excited nonetheless.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Stellar Evening

The "Bring in the Spring" Regency Party was a resounding success! You can find photos of this event here. Short movies of the dancing will be posted soon. There was a beautiful array of costumes and company to enjoy and we all had a wonderful time.

Pictured above is the Demlow Party of Lavender's Green; a historic costuming compay. Kay (in green) made nearly all of the costumes pictured here. There were over 40 people in attendance, all of them in some form of costume. A slideshow of pictures is also available below.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Regency Bonnet-making

[Update 3/16/10] Hello visitors! Welcome to the Oregon Regency Society's blog page. This blog is continually updated. This bonnet page is a bit outdated, so I would like to direct you to our latest bonnet-making post which not only includes the straw-hat based bonnets that are described below, but also includes instructions and resources for making the really nice stovepipe bonnets as well. There is a pattern, there are instructional movies in addition to that one provided below, updated materials lists and links to pictures for inspiration. So please, do read the post below, but also, if you want the most up-to-date information, please click the following link. Thank you!

http://oregonregency.blogspot.com/2010/03/2010-regency-bonnet-workshop.html

Stephanie Johanesen; bonnet enthusiast. :)

___________________________________________________________________________________


I had a try at making a regency bonnet a couple of weeks ago, and the above image is the end product. I have donated it for the raffle for Saturday's Regency Party, and made a reticule to match. I've also started a second bonnet as well. I documented the making of the first bonnet and the progress on the second one on a thread on the RSA Community Forum. You can see the pictorial by clicking here. The above bonnet is the first post, however I've made a second set of pictorals with much more detailed instructions below, so read on.

Join the RSA Community board and share your Regency costuming projects. :)

Pictures of the "Bring in the Spring" Regency Party will be posted as soon as they're available.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My idea of a good, basic Regency wardrobe


So as we continue to hold events here and there, I am faced with the question as to when to stop sewing... or at least, slow down. How many gowns is enough? What do I need to have sufficient variety to mix and match so I don't have to sew a new gown every three months. I've come up with this little collection, which is what I would ideally like to have. Of course, none of these are ballgowns, but that's not in question right now. What do I need for the parties, picnics, etc, for this coming year? With this collection, I think I can swing about 20 'unique' looks using what amounts to: 2 basic gowns, 2 pelisses (one solid, one net), 2 chemisettes, a shawl and various accessories like ribbons, etc. A sleeveless, cotton 'spencer' or sleeveless bodice would also help to change up the look of the gowns as well.

The two gowns should be either solid or with a very subtle print, the net can dress it up for a fine evening party, the pelisse can be a complimentary print or solid, as could the sleeveless bodice. Chemisettes can make it look different, fichus, ribbons and so much more.

That will be my goal now is to complete the missing items from this list. I will focus on my ballgown closer to winter of '08; and I will create a long-sleeved, crossfront champagne or ivory gown over which I can put a pretty, silken pelisse to change it up each year.

Oh, and I forgot petticoats.

Anyway, that's my idea of what a workable, active regency wardobe should be for this year's events. Anything you think I should add?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Regency Party in Lake Oswego; Feb 9, 2008

Tickets:
$20 adults ~ Children under 14 $10.00
ORS Premium Members: 25% off all tickets fees.
English Country Dance and Whist lessons.
Regency Costume Recommended;
see the ORS Resources page for costume sources and references.