Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Offseason: Handling the "downtime" of reenacting

So I survived 2014. Somehow in the space of a year I did more things than I can imagine. I became a godmother, stood in a friend's wedding, lived in St. Maarten, and earned my master's degree. For the past year my extra time was spent with various papers strewn about my bed accompanied by a worried expression on my face. Not exactly the most relaxing way to spend a day.
This face

Now that my time is my own again, I have to readjust my life. The sprint is over for now! But just what do I do with this extra space in my schedule? I find myself wishing for more winter events to attend... So what do I do?
So you wanted to leave the house, eh?

I suppose the purpose of this post is to remind myself and inspire others to use this time wisely. At some point during this upcoming reenacting summer I want to look back and say "Thanks goodness I did that already!" rather than my usual "what the heck was I doing?"***

***Apparently this is my "Type A" personality kicking in!

Research Research Research
Winter in Michigan can only be compared to a marathon. The first stretch is doable, but by the end everyone is limping and just wants it to be over. Last year's polar vortex was so intense that our district took 10 snow days (all necessary, I might add). Michigan does not mess around when it comes to winter. We winter so hard here.
And we look good doing it!

The cold lends itself to people/animal snuggling, under copious amounts of blankets with a book/computer. Browsing the internet is such a seductive activity, especially historical research. I'm more open to looking at new research that is unrelated to my current research, possibly informing me of new projects. Here are a few of my obsessions: 

Magazine Archives-Text and Pictures
Accessible Archives-All that, a bag of chips, and a cookie

I have recently created a few more pinterest boards for topics that I did not even contemplate. Punch paper bookmarks? Yes! 18th century jewelry? Of course! Spiritualism in Michigan? Totally a thing! The options are endless though my time isn't. Right now I can look back at those shiny things that were just a daydream during busy months. They inspire me to work harder on my impression, as well as improve my blog/shop.

Start a new Project
With most of my reenactment gear carefully tucked away, my desk is frightfully empty. Since a full desk is a condition of reenacting, I fill it immediately with stuff from my research moments. The space and time is available, so why not use it?
I see some room 

In December I finished a delicate pink dress. My fabric drawer needs cleaning, so I hope to finish my windowpane sheer dress by Greenfield Village. I also have 2 complete outfits from other time periods that I would like finished by May. On top of everything else, one of my goals this year was to add new items to my shop at least once a month. I'm taking a "seize the day" attitude with these plans!

Scope out other events/time periods
Nearly every Civil War reenactor peers out from behind the 19th century curtain at some point in his/her career. I started slowly with my Regency dresses, complete with correct underpinnings/shoes. But that whisper of history grows increasingly louder, a pulsing hum from both the 18th and 20th centuries. For the past year I've had an 18th century corset in my closet with shoes/stockings. I'm just dying to get into my skirt and jacket patterns!
And this was the hard part!

I'm also preparing for an awesome event at the Plymouth Historical Museum, a bit of a dinner performance that I will tell you more about later. Of course I need the proper early 20th century clothing to accompany it! The fabric is purchased, pattern prepared. Now that I have the time, I can churn that out!
Yes please!

Even though I have friends who participate in multiple time periods, I can't help but feel that I'm "cheating" on the Civil War part of the 19th century. Yes I understand that this has no logic, as one cannot be in a relationship with a time period...or can she?

Hang Out!
Okay, okay. I'll spend some time relaxing. My sewing nights with Sue and the gang are incredibly fun! I'll take my cousin ice skating. A trip up to my hometown is certainly in the works. And my (non-reenacting) friends will finally see my face again. I have to remember to live in the 21st century too!
With a thoroughly modern duck face

I also have Becky's wedding on the horizon! Along with that, I've been accepted as a vendor at a Victorian Tea/jewelry show on February 7th, and at the Kalamazoo Living History Show on March 21-22. I am so lucky to have such awesome things coming up for me, along with the support of my family and friends! I feel an "I'm so lucky" moment coming on...


1 comment:

  1. My dear friend -
    Once you reenact the Colonial era with friends you will see there is no reason to feel you are cheating. In fact, you'll find it to be very welcoming!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...