Hello everyone! I’m alive!
I’ve been struggling with a lot of anxiety the last couple of months, which has been causing me to lose focus when I really needed to be the most on top of my game at school, so I’ve been avoiding craft projects and blogging in order to try to focus more on my work – totally backfired, by the way, I definitely need the creative outlet in order to do anything productive. It’s winter break now, so I’m taking the opportunity to recharge and get back on track after a really tough semester. Thank you, oh patient readers, for bearing with me – I have some really exciting projects coming up, as well as the resolutions of a few things I was talking about over the summer!
Here’s the agenda: Ren Faire, Comic Con, and my thesis.
First, let’s take a little trip back in time to the last project I was talking about over the summer: my gown for the New York Renaissance Faire! This was my second season in the cast of the Faire after many years as a patron; I played Lady Frances Cobham, Mistress of the Robes to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I (so essentially myself). Lady Cobham is a real person from history; I had a breathtaking wormhole moment doing research for this role when I found her signature in a day book of the Wardrobe of the Robes. One of these days I’ll do a big retrospective post about this gown, but for now here are the highlights.
These three portraits, particularly the first one, were my main visual inspiration (can you tell I like red and gold?):
Here are just a few of the beautiful photos that were taken of me this summer by some of the very talented photographers that frequent the Faire:
I also made the Queen a pair of sleeves for her birthday (Elizabeth I’s actual birthday, September 7, fell on a faire day this year, so we made a big deal out of it):
The next bout of crafting, after I finished various pieces of that costume, also came about because of Faire: flower crowns. If you have been following me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen some pictures of these. We had an Oktoberfest-themed weekend and our director encouraged us to make garlands to wear during the festive parts of the day. My friend Sam over at Pinpricks And Petticoats created this fabulous tutorial and got many of my fellow cast members addicted! Above you can see my Oktoberfest crown (and behind me is aforementioned Sam, who played Lettice Knollys). Here are some more pictures of flower crowns that I’ve made:
Ok, next on the agenda: Comic Con! I managed four full cosplays for Comic Con this year! Due to the nature of the costumes most of them involved a lot of bought pieces, but they’re all really rad. Here we go:
Then finally: My thesis project. For my thesis, I’m going to be working with the Merchant’s House Museum, a mid-19th century historic house in lower Manhattan, to develop some first-person historical interpretation programming, including reproducing one of the gowns in their collection. I’m developing three programs: one about fashion and cosmetics, one about etiquette and entertaining, and one about the Irish immigrant servants that worked in the house. I’m super excited about all of them, and I’m so glad to be working with the Merchant’s House. It’s a very special place. Here are some pictures from one of their Halloween programs I attended back in October: an 1865 funeral reenactment!
So that’s my life, kids! I’m hoping to blog more regularly as I work on my thesis, which will involve making two costumes and a bunch of props, experimenting with 19th century cosmetics, picking up an Irish accent, and more. Then before anyone knows it, it’ll be time for Faire again! And Costume College! But I’m getting ahead of myself. If any of you are around NYC on New Year’s Day, come see me at the Merchant’s House for general 19th century good times.