September 21, 2015

Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation Civil War Reenactment 2015

Just back from the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation Civil War Reenactment, in Media, PA.  As always, this is a lovely event with beautiful scenery where the spectators stand right up in the action. As always, the reenactors were top rate and the portrayal was beautiful.  Beautiful weather, scenery and friends, you really can't ask for a better time.

Here are my highlight photos from the event:

Go to my Facebook Album to see more photos:

So many photos from this weekend! Tag and share!To see my favorites:
Posted by Stephanie Ann on Monday, September 21, 2015

September 6, 2015

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party: I've Been Away

Normally the Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party Posts are about the more ordinary parts of life or seeing  extraordinary in the ordinary of everyday. This one is the exact opposite. This one is about doing everything out of the ordinary.

A few weeks ago I was invited to a Civil War reenactment. That's not out of the ordinary, is it? It was almost 3 hours away and I would be going by myself. I am a big fan of adventure; however, I am also a big believer in the buddy system. Maybe I should say I'm a fan of the controlled adventure. I honestly never go anywhere alone and I do a fair amount of planning before I leave.  I also hate to drive.

To contrast, one of my best friends is a lover of adventure. This instant. If she gets a call saying that there is something fun going on three states away, she has her bags packed and in the car before I can even whip out my pen and paper to make my pro/con and packing lists. She goes on solo, last minute adventures all of the time and I have no clue how she does it. (Backpacking, camping, snorkeling, archaeological digs, she's pretty much ready for anything.)

Midway into my adventure she called from Colorado, which had been her third fun adventure this summer.

"What's up? I haven't heard from you in awhile." she said.

"I'm in the Appalachians. I'm on a crazy adventure. By myself. "

"It's hard to believe. You drove all by yourself? I'm not buying it. Are you camping? Who are you staying with?"

My adventure started as soon as I put my things in the car. Rain, and lots of it. It wasn't bad for the first hour or so but soon became torrential. I could barely see a few feet in front of my car and the sky had a sickly color to it.

But I arrived safely at the home of my friends and for the rest of the trip the weather was beautiful and I got to see a lot of wildlife and beautiful scenery. I love the mountains! There were apple trees everywhere and I made it a point to try and taste as many different ones as I could.

The reenactment was fun and the location was very scenic.

There were so many stars! Way more than we can see in Philadelphia and many more than I captured here. The sky looked almost muddy with stars.  

All cats think they are tiny big cats but this particular kitty really has the "toy panther" thing down. There were lots of barns and lots of cats everywhere. 

My lovely hosts and I decided to go hiking vertically up the mountain. Probably a bad plan. :)

The tiny silver one in the corner will be mine when she is old enough to leave her mother.

I may or may not have shot some of this. :)

Overall it was a fantastic few weeks and I can't wait to go back. 

August 18, 2015

1940s, WWII Era Dress: Simplicity 1587 Pattern

WWII Reenacting Dress Simplicity 1587

I have been doing a lot of sewing recently. A few months ago I ran downstairs to grab a petticoat and became shamefully aware of the amount of reenacting stuff I have. I'm not like other reenactors. My reenacting stuff is in bins in the basement. There is no rhyme or reason. My 18th century petticoats consort with my Civil War shawls. Corsets with pockets. And I'm pretty sure my socks like to part ways and curl up in the darkest interstices of the basement. 

Grimacing, I admitted to myself it was probably time to go through everything and get rid of what I didn't need and replace what needed replacing. That was a terribly long list. So long, in fact, I decided to put it off entirely and move on to the bins that held my fabric stash.

I had not been sewing much at the time. All 3 of my sewing machines had some sort of issue and got left at the wayside when I started hand sewing for 18th century garments. A tiny, but very important screw in my main machine was lost by my sister, who promptly got her own machine and left mine broken in the closet. :) My 1912 White treadle machine snapped a belt very early in its life with me and my 1943 Singer never sewed a stitch since I got it, although the light works.

I thought I might as well get rid of a lot of my stash as realistically I should use those bins for reenacting stuff. But as I was going through the stash, I remembered exactly why each piece made its way in there in the first place: they were awesome. I sold some of them, gave some away and decided that what I keep gets used up this year or it goes. This, in conjunction with my machine being fixed for work, has me using my waking free moments sewing mostly historical garments. 

To conclude, I have no space for reenacting stuff so I am turning all of my fabric stash into more reenacting stuff. Oh wait. I am a normal reenactor. Whew.   

1940s Reenacting dress

I made this dress out of the Simplicity 1587 pattern and a vintage paisley fabric that I have been waiting forever to wear. It was a little busy for anything modern but was perfect for this 1940s dress. The pattern went together quickly and I only had trouble with the pleats on the the yoke as the markings were a little confusing. If you are making a dress from this pattern, there is a more detailed breakdown on Seam Racer.

I bought this fabric years ago at a thrift store and the pattern was only $1 thanks to the Joann's pattern sales so with thread and a zipper, the project came out at just under $10 and took about a week to make. 

WW2 Reenacting Dress
Simplicity 1587

1940s WWII Dress

To see more versions of this dress:

Lilacs and Lace
CC's Creative Concepts
Dolly Creates
Anita Boeira

August 13, 2015

Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation Timeline Event 2015

I'm starting to like timeline events more and more. The first time timelines came to my attention it sounded like a 14 year old boy's dream to finally have the Romans fight the Nazis (and possibly dinosaurs.) However, I'm starting to appreciate the value they have.

First, timelines give us a chance to see impressions that are not appropriate for a battle due to their non-military nature or inability to fit with popular scenarios. This particular event had a lovely lady viking among other interesting ones! I also like that the emphasis is on the impression and history and not so much a battle. Timelines are one of the rare situations where women and their impressions are at the forefront of the event alongside the men.

Second, timelines offer variety which is beneficial to families who might not all be into the same time periods or visitors who just enjoy general history and like to see some variety. I thought it might be weird seeing Revolutionary War guys talking with Civil War guys but it makes it easy to compare and contract time periods and see evolutionary trends.  

Finally, timelines allow the time to practice period skills such as the arm to arm drill pictured below or the chance to test out equipment such as the WWII radios.

This event was a great chance to relax, socialize, teach, and practice period skills that don't normally see the light of day during the rush of a reenactment. Some of the boys had fun trying their hand at WWII radio communication while   

July 29, 2015

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party June - July

You know that feeling when you work so much you look at the calendar and realize that not only do you not know what day it is but the day you thought it was is weeks off? I worked so much these past two months that I didn't realize June turned into July. I went to work in the mornings then worked at home at night, dropped into bed then got up again for work a few hours later. I felt like I was getting nothing done.

There were big summer storms, scorching hot days, and days spent wading in creeks with minnows at my feet. I took tons of photos, helped campers make 1,000 crafts, wrote blog posts, ran errands and got almost every single thing done on my 3 page to-do list! Compiling these photo and going through the tons of photos I took this past month has made me remember just how fast the days go by and that there is something special in each day.     

Huge storms made everything a pile of slippery mud.

Not bad for my first two shots ever! 

I swear I almost took this bunny home with me. 

Tried to capture the northern lights but got lightning bugs instead!

Took a visit to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island. I still need to write up a post about it but I can say it might be quickly becoming one of my new favorite Civil War sites.

Helped find a possible darning egg at the archaeology site at Newlin Grist Mill.  We also found a bone hairpin, a cosmetic bottle, and some slate pencils.
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