This ball was the event where I very nearly bit off more than I could chew. I am co-head of our dance guild, so I brought music/sound system and helped teach dance practice during the afternoon. I also agreed to co-steward the event since the other steward was rude enough to go and get herself crowned as one of the heirs to our kingdom (darn her!). And finally, I agreed to run point and organize the ladies in waiting and royal/baronial rooms for the event, and the coffee/tea bar we typically provide. Somehow I managed it all with lots of help from my very patient husband. Thankfully there were lots of other ladies to attend on Her Highness and the venue was small enough that we could pretty much keep an eye on her from anywhere since it was one large room.
We arrived around 11 am (in civilian garb) to set up thrones, decorations, etc. Each of the two rooms for the royals and landed barons/baronesses got a selection of veggies, fruits, hummus and crackers, and water bottles, and accompanying decoration. The tea/coffee bar was set up and stocked, and I took a bit of time to round up the marvelous group of ladies and figure out who would attend Her Highness during court, etc. I got into garb and spent most of the afternoon teaching dances to the dozen or so folks who wanted to participate, interspersed with chatting with various people and helping out the heirs.
The event broke for dinner, with off-board seating for some, and my husband and I took the opportunity to go home and get into our fancy clothes for the evening of court and dancing. He was kind enough to take a picture of me before we left the house, and I snapped a goofy selfie in the car on the way to the event, which shows off my jewelry/accessories a bit more. Looking back I feel like this still looks rather bare. I plan to add more embellishment to the sleeves of this dress, and it really needs a girdle too, not to mention a giornea, which really would have been essential for venturing to a ball.
Photo: Arlen Donald
It was a true honor to be given this award, and I felt very moved to be thought of. I snagged a photo of the awarding from a friend's facebook. Thanks Cynthia! The beautiful scrolls by our friend and newly-redesigned tokens (the windmill arms are moose antlers that really turn, as our local device has a moose on it) made this even more special. It's funny, all the awards my husband and I have received so far we have received together. I don't think anybody is really surprised at this, as he and I really are pretty inseparable.
We had an insane amount of dancing at the event. I wore my red leather dance slippers that I got for Scottish Country Dancing, as they seemed to fit my Italian garb very well. Here's a photo from a dance class. I didn't wear the black socks or ankle brace to the ball, but didn't think to get a photo, since I was too busy dancing, running around, flirting, drinking wine, standing in court, and generally living the dream.
All in all, the evening felt like a fairy tale. Though I was exhausted and rather hungry, having mostly forgotten lunch and dinner, I had a magical time. The evening also included a dessert competition, and there were so many delicious entries that I didn't waste away too miserably. The excellent Lady Tabitha from Hare de Luna was in attendance, and she styled many of the ladies' hair in period styles for the event. Though the above photo is before her ministrations, I was able to borrow this photo from her page showing my lovely Italian hair taped bun and the period images that inspired it. It was very comfortable and didn't budge even through the most rowdy of country dances. Tabitha does marvelous work, and her huge book of style ideas with period documentation is fantastic. Get this girl a Laurel.
Below image by Tabitha Mounteer