The trip to Williamsburg was really lovely! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect (crisp and cool but not freezing) and the Grand Illumination was a lot of fun. We found a good spot in front of the Capitol for the event. The entertainment leading up to the Illumination was good (except for the local high school choir which was pathetic), lots of old carols (all of which I knew :>) and fife & drumming. The fireworks were really spectacular, I have seen very few firework displays to rival that one. The fireworks were all around the Capitol, lighting up the building and trees in an amazing way. It was a long display too and we all cheered long and hard afterwards.
We then went to the Governor’s Palace for a candlelight tour. Unlike the daytime tour we were allowed to wonder the first floor at our leisure. I tried to find a few odd corners and just take some time to soak in the atmosphere. The Palace has always been my favorite building but it was even more lovely and magical in candlelight. There was more caroling in the Palace grounds, which was great fun. The whole experience has definitely put me in “the Christmas mood” – what a great way to start off the holiday season! I am also super inspired to work on my 18th century gown to say the least!!! :>
The trip turned out to be very profitable costuming wise as well. Bridget and I spent some time in the Millinery shop and were able to ask some questions about ladies riding habits. My big spring project will be Bridget’s 2005 costume. She’s decided she wants to be a pirate this year. I’ll be basing her costume on 17th & 18th century riding costumes, so the info we learned was very helpful. We also found some great pewter buttons for her pirate coat in the Dickinson shop. Bridget fell in love with some large ones decorated with little dots. I also splurged on some smaller pewter buttons with a little scroll motif. I’ll probably use them in the shoe & hat cockades trimming my 18th century outfit. I also got a pair of red stockings for my outfit but they are going under the tree as a Christmas present. :>
I really hit the jackpot at the Bombay outlet yesterday though. I found bunches of lovely peacock feathers. They were attached to little clips in groups of three, to decorate a Christmas tree I think. Anyway I thought they would come in handy for a hat or something so I bought a few. Come to find out they were 70% off the price I thought they were, making them $.70 a bunch! That made each peacock eye less than $.25 a piece. Whee hoo! I adore peacock feathers so I bought every bunch they had. :>
My other find at Bombay were beaded tassels. They had exactly the sort of colorful, Bohemian beads I wanted for my kimono tassels. They were a great price, much cheaper than buying the beads at a craft store (if I could even find them there). I bought two tassels and took them apart the minute we got home. I’ll use the beads for both the tassels and for a bit of texture in the paisley design.
Speaking of the paisleys, I finished the “clean copy” of the basic outline last night. I’m very happy with it and I can’t wait to start testing the design. Although I have ideas of which beads go where, all that will change once I start testing. It always does. :> For sure, the center “eye” of the design is where I’ll place the Bohemian beads though.