Monday, December 7, 2015

Holly for the Holidays

I'm alive! Well, mostly.

Everyone warned me that grad school is killer, and they weren't wrong. Turns out the thing that had to give was sewing...I haven't even started a project since my semester started. So no new projects and minimal time for research has led to a significant decrease in blogging. Boo!

But I am still doing things! The last few years of crazy sewing have paid off, and I can still make it to dance performances, balls, tweed rides, and random adventures without needing to make anything new.

Since my free time is so limited, I'm adjusting my sewing strategy for the upcoming year. Instead of my usual crazy sew-things-in-24-hours habits, I'm planning to make one fabulous outfit over the course of the next few months. It will be new and exciting! I'll also try to make some adjustments to the things I already have...maybe I'll even get around to closures. Hey, grad school may be the best thing that could ever happen to my poor ballgowns.

In the meantime, this Saturday the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers performed at Hamilton Hall as part of the Historic Salem house tours for Christmas in Salem. There were twelve stops on the tour, and each was decorated based on one of the "twelve days of Christmas." Hamilton Hall was the "nine dancing ladies" stop, so nine ladies (and three gentlemen) were dancing in the lovely ballroom for visitors! It was a long day, but really fun!
To keep with the holiday theme, I wore a white day dress (our performing standard) with a red ribbon at the waist and sprigs of holly in my hair. My plaid shawl is red and green, which was also perfect for the mood, but we're having an insanely warm December and I didn't really need it!

examining the seasonal arrangements in the ballroom

you can see a bit of one of the imported Russian mirrors above the mantle
outside were more lovely decorations
the holly around my bun was on super sale at the craft store, and flexible enough to bend into a curvy bun shape

We did some really amazing, hard dancing, and in between there was fencing, blind man's bluff, and picture-taking. I got to pull out my Petzval lens in a lull in the afternoon, which was nice because it's been a while since I did any photography just for the art of it.

(I filmed this on my phone from the musician's balcony above the ballroom floor. It really felt like hanging out in the Regency for a bit.)

I was particularly excited to play with the special star-shaped aperture plate, which sends light through the lens through a star-shaped hole rather than a circular one. (The aperture is like the pupil of the lens, if the lens was an eye.) That means that particularly bright points of light show up in the images as the star shape of the aperture hole!

the aperture plates--the star is second from the right in the bottom row
The Christmas tree's lights caught my eye for this experiment, and I am really happy with the way these turned out, even though the focus isn't super crisp. I look forward to more practice!

with a large round aperture plate, causing the swirly background (called the "bokeh")

Quinn in front of the tree, shot with a round aperture plate


I am lucky to have very tolerant friends, who hung out while I messed around with the lens!
I've got one assignment left for the semester, five figgy puddings to make, and our annual Fezziwig's ball this weekend! Here's to a good start to the holiday season.

1 comment:

  1. And we're lucky to have a friend who loves to play with a camera and take mounds of pictures! It's a win-win!