An Ethereal Regency Tea…

This past Saturday  was a beautiful weekend filled with ethereal Regency costumes, sweet treats, finger sandwiches, talks on buttons and Regency-era sewing implements and, of course, a bit about the 200th anniversary of Napoleon and Josephine’s reign over France, and more. 

Come with me to a tea-fête fit for a king {and queen!}…

Gracie and her mama… ;)’
Laura of Decor to Adore  held a Napoleon and Josephine tea at her home here in the greater Dallas metropolitan area this past weekend. Held to commemorate the 200th anniversary since their reign (I believe) the tea was a resounding success!

I didn’t line myself up right as this was an “interactive mirror”
where one could put him or herself under the bicorn hat! I was
just trying to get a decent selfie, ha!… Love the bar cart!!!
I was one of many on Laura’s wait-list and luckily for me, someone dropped out so I was able to attend!

A few of the guests awaiting the next talk after tea.
Several guests including Jayne and Dartanyan (both left).
Here Laura is telling us about the upcoming courses of tea and as everyone chooses where to sit for high tea. Guests who happened to sit at a spot with a red dot upon their napkin were surprised with a sweet handmade pin cushion favor!

Twenty-five guests in total, many of whom are members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Costumers Guild, all dressed in Regency (English, 1800-1815 approx.) and Federalist (American, same time period) attire enjoyed a lovely afternoon.

Twins! Becky and her daughter who came along to help
share the family’s collection of buttons on cards and boxes.

Button, button… Who has the button?

The first talk was given by Becky Coker who belongs to the Fort Worth Button Club.  Becky shared some of her extensive button collection which are labeled and attached to heavy cardstock. She talked about all the different types of buttons from metal buttons, enamel and resin buttons, bone, shell and so much more. At the end of her talk, Becky passed out a letter-size pamphlet to each guest covering many of the different types of buttons ever made. Truly, truly interesting!

Here is the “Ice Skating” button…

Aren’t these Bicentennial commemorative buttons cool?!

One button was called “Ice Skating in Central Park” which cost $600 and could be sold for that amount today. One member asked how old was Becky’s oldest button and she answered that she has one from the mid to late 1600’s. Really incredible!

Everyone enjoyed learning this mini history lesson about buttons. Unfortunately, I was late in arriving so I only heard the last 20 minutes or so of Becky’s talk but I enjoyed what I did hear, and I am sure you would have enjoyed her talk, too.

Laura playing mother for each guest as she pours Ladurée tea.

Napolean and Josephine’s High Tea begins…

Our high tea began around 2:00pm with a black tea from the bakery house of Ladurée. (Funny, all this time I thought Ladurée was a parfumerie!)

The second tea course was a rose tea which was quite lovely and from a local source here in Dallas! 

The charcuterie and cheese board decorated with orange
pomanders and French flags… Tasteful and tasty!
Guest brought either a savory or a sweet to share. Laura and her attendees put together the main platters, of course.

Small dessert plates were perfect for partaking of each small savory. The French-wrapped crackers with gold foil stickers were gifts from Laura to each guest. Mine held small chocolates, hard candies and three pretty buttons plus red confetti!

I brought Victoria Magazine’s scones as my sweet carried in a Longaberger cake-taker basket ~ perfect for taking scones and more to parties! (Sorry no pics thereof except the heart-shaped scone, above.)

Laura shared that this cone of sugar is how you would have
received your sugar back in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Tiered trays held the day’s fare as well as single platters with the cutest éclairs decked out as battleships flying the French flag or pierced with little swords! The French navy couldn’t have looked better or more regimented… 

Soft brie and cream cheese, red grapes, almonds and other fare typical of the time period were shared. I think my particular favorite was the custard or le flan. Oh my! C’était délicieux! {I had two small helpings…}

Gorgeous roses in teapots on every tea table!

A cute shot of Laura serving tea…


Holley is dressed in period style! She has been to England several
times and has a friend there whom she purchases old sewing pins
as well as other ephemera for sewing work.

Holley’s Regency Sewing Boxes

Here I will only share just a couple of photographs as Holley had so many incredible sewing implements to share that this short section wouldn’t do her talk justice. 

Love love love the paper etching which was either there in this sewing box originally or was added to replace the original mirror (which must have broken) when it was restored. Did you know old sewing boxes held mirrors? These boxes were multi-purpose items which were used as vanity mirrors for their owners and sometimes contained vials of perfume for cleaning one’s hands while doing whitework, etc.

One Regency era sewing box with its steel needles, tiny snipping
scissors, small barrels for thread, and mini lidded compartments
for holding sewing accoutrements.

As in Becky’s talk about buttons, had I been there earlier I would have a separate post on those, too.

Your author in the Regency era dress she finished hemming at
12 noon ~ hence why  I was late to the button talk before tea…

Throughout the day, Laura and a few other ladies had leftover fabrics for sale. Quite a few ladies bought goods for future projects, including myself.

The final fun of the day was a white elephant gift exchange where stealing was encouraged and several ladies, including Becky!, were vying for tins of buttons and laces. I came home with a beautiful lavender turban with pearl beads swirled into two fashionable pins along its front!

As the day came to a close everyone packed up their plates and favors, fabric they purchased, and said their farewells and thank-you’s to our hostess. French style was everywhere you looked and I particularly loved Storybook Cottage’s front door and little entryway garden…

Love the ostrich plumes and all the whole French style of Laura’s front door basket!

Isn’t this mini garden just perfect? Of course the statues had me as soon as I walked up…

And a fun last shot of Laura and her Gracie…

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Such a wonderful day,

Sentimental Reasons… A 1920’s Evening to Remember

Sentimental reasons… Just a couple of weekends ago I had the pleasure of hosting a dinner for Rebekahs and Odd Fellow members attending a two-day workshop. On Saturday evening we had dinner catered-in and a live jazz band. This really was an enchanted evening…

Hurricane winds  in Houston kept several people home but those who were able to attend the weekend enjoyed a wonderful evening of 1920’s and 1930’s jazz music by The Jazzy Gents. Gary Caplan on the upright bass is the band’s leader. 

Special guest Hannah Kirby whose family is good friends with Gary came to perform for us, too. Such a treat! Hannah was on The Voice during season 2015. She was coached by Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton and her singing this night really showed her beautiful voice!
Dinner had a decidedly English theme to it with beef bourguignon and baked chicken…

Cherry cobbler featured for dessert and it was delicious!

Several people dressed up as well which was fun!

An original drawing I did copying Highclere Castle off the computer for our invitation. A photo of the castle was used instead (better anyway!).

Mr. Ethereal and myself dressed for the occasion. After sewing in the hem just as the dinner was beginning, I was happy to be done with this project. Just a few finishing touches are left on it and I’ll share how I made this dress in another post.

I am sooo looking forward to going to see Downton Abbey the movie as I get some time on the weekend…

More of our Downton Abbey – 1920’s dinner guests…

Our incoming assembly president and partly whom I had the inspiration for this dinner event…

Really a lovely evening and the jazz was wonderful! Wish you could have been there.


A Step Back in Time ~ DFW Costumers Guild

“I’ve come to issue an invitation…” so said Colonel Brandon in Jane Austen’s classic story of romance and lost love, Sense and Sensibility, and shared beautifully in the movie adaptation thereof starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman as the colonel.

Step-forward 200 years to today…

A few weeks ago I felt like I had gone back in time to the early 1800’s when I was invited to attend a tea put on by a group of re-enactors from the DFW Costumers GuildHeld at River Legacy Park in Arlington, Texas, the setting for the tea transported those who attended to a gentler time…

Play this while you read this…

My two favorite photos ~ this one and our lead photograph!

Love is not love when it alteration finds

nor bends with the remover to remove…

~ part of Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

My friend Laura who writes Decor to Adore invited me this day and I am so glad she did!  Everyone visited for the first hour or so and enjoyed seeing each other and their costumes.  A few of the ladies had either just finished making a new bonnet or a new dress and everyone was stopping to admire the new fashion.  For myself, it was fun just taking it all in…

A shot right out of a Merchant-Ivory film!
I love the authenticity of the dresses, the peplum over shirts, the hoop skirts, bustles and petticoats worn underneath to fluff each skirt out in its style, and of course the hairstyles, bonnets and hats!

Meet Jane  

This lady is the first person I met from the guild and her name really is Jane!  She is exactly what I picture the real Jane Austen to have looked like in real life.
We had an impromptu portrait session, too, which was lots of fun!

Mother and daughter ~ Love this!  🙂

Love the family portraits!

I have shared my love for Jane Austen before in
this post and I probably will continue revisiting
Ms. Austen’s genre and books from time to time.
It is definitely one of my favorite periods in history.

On this day two members of the Victorian Fencing Society came to spar and share a little on the art of fencing and some history.  The children were enthralled and after the demonstration they were invited to come up and try to fence a little themselves.
Such fun!

The trees and sitting pavilion cast a lot of shadow on our fearless
fencers (?) so much had to be tweaked to get these photos right. 😉

Dueling with rapier swords, I believe.
Sharing how one scores a point with a touch.

More discussion on technique and demonstrations with this sabre. These gentlemen explained about their outfits and that their quilted protective vests are actual fencing gear redesigned to look the period. 
Don’t you just love these costumes?

Here Laura visits with these ladies and this sweet little chihuahua held most of the day by its owner.

Colonel Brandon: Miss Dashwood, Miss Marianne – I come to issue an invitation. A picnic on my estate at Delaford if you would care to join us on Thursday next. Mrs. Jennings daughter and her husband are traveling up especially.
Elinor Dashwood: We should be delighted, Colonel.
Colonel Brandon: I will of course be including Mr. Willoughby in the party.
Marianne: I shall be delighted to join you, Colonel.

~ from Sense and Sensibility Quotes

Some sat down to tea straight away as we arrived around 2:00p.m. but the ground was still damp from the week’s rains so later everyone moved to the pavillion and picnic tables spread with scarves and tablecloths in period appropriate styles.

Madame upon arrival ~ loved her costume, which is why I took this!
Then I felt badly because I hadn’t rushed over to help her but was
shooting pictures of her instead… 😉  

Laura served us sandwiches from Panera as it was a super busy week for her (wedding business + blog + family and life) which were wonderful paired with the two teas she brought in traveling thermoses.

Other ladies brought chicken and hummus, cheeses and small petit fours to share with everyone.  I had a few cinnamon chip scones and banana chocolate chip muffins in the freezer so I hurriedly arranged them on a pretty plate and brought those to share.

The tea was a wonderful outing for everyone and I am happy to have been invited to take part!

Here is the whole group in the late afternoon’s setting sunlight… Very ethereal day, Ladies and Gents!!!

Sonnet 116: Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds





Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
William Shakespeare, published 1609

Here’s the link to Peter Doyle’s song from the film titled Throw the Coins.
Play it while you read this…
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Blessings to you,