Julie's Venetian Courtesan

Who doesn't want to be a Dangerous Beauty?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Weekend Adventures

Well, this weekend was the venetian dress debut at the Virginia Ren Faire in Roanoke. I FINALLY got to see Beth's dress in person--simply stunning. Internet pics (though lovely) just don't do it justice, and the costume contest judges agreed. More on this later in the post, as I'm already digressing.

First, a Disclaimer:
I forgot to ask Beth for permission to post pics of her, and I'm not comfy doing so without getting her go ahead. Since its sunday night, and I'm anxious to post SOMETHING, I will do the totally egocentric thing and post pics of myself only. Thus, I will gush over Beth's dress and show pics only of me... Just know that I'm not TRYING to be self-centered. I'm trying to be considerate. I also stink at photoshopping, and since my hubby's out of town blurring is not an option. Cropping's about as much as I can handle.

And now, a recap:
I started my trek to Niter's Friday morning, and made it in "excellent time", which is just a nice way of saying that I drive like a speed-demon when I'm excited to get somewhere...

Friday afternoon/evening we ran around her town collecting fun wines, dinner ingredients for a very tasty "paella"( which I now know how to make for myself), and the most sinfully delicious truffles from The Chocolate Spike. As strange as it sounds to combine flavors like curry, chipotle and lavendar with chocolate, it was amazingly exotic and wonderful. And I ate "too many" of them. Not that one can eat too much chocolate, as Beth correctly reminded me, but I do eat it at the expense of becoming more booty-licious. And my booty-licious-ness is quite enough already, honestly. ;-)

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to don our garb. And ran late, as women are known to do... hehe. We met Beth at her house later than expected, with my hair undone, my brooch fallen off, my girdle yet-untacked-to-my-dress, and our flemish servant Niter barefoot with broken shoes. Beth was spectacularly (and punctually) attired, coifed, shoed and packed for the day. Bad Julie. Teehee.

After I finally got my stuff together, we took some photos in Beth's lovely wooded yard (thank you to aaron and niter, our photographers), and headed off to the faire in Niter's SUV. Um, I mean carriage. Yes, carriage....

We arrived at the ultra-small faire (they're only in roanoke for one weekend) being some of the few patrons to dress. "Elisabeta" got to be my sister for the day, which was great, as we often joke that we're clones. Niter got to be our insolent lady's servant. She was quite a brazen little thing, showing her ankles for a sixpence and drinking from my goblet when i bid her hold it. I showed mercy and refrained from a public beating. ;-)

We were mistaken for faire workers more than once, and had the opportunity to talk to many-an-interesting member of the court and towne about various things, mostly their lovely elizabethan costumes. We were even formally introduced to the queen, who offered to find us husbands. (Elisabeta and I promptly avoided her for the rest of the day--a courtesan does not need a husband, right? Besides that, we actually DO have husbands squirrelled away in the 21st century, who would probably not take so kindly to her majesty's offers).

Here is where I confess that while I love making the gowns, I am socially inept (and shy, and self conscious) when I have to play a character or talk with any sort of accent. Really, I should work on that....
I bring this up since I think that I offended a man with my courtesan banter--and I wasn't even being lude. I simply asked what the use of only ONE husband was when a girl can have MANY a rich suitor? Not all at the same (exact) time, of course. (innocently bat eyes). I couldnt' tell if he was playing to be offended, or honestly offended, but he really did walk away from us rather quickly. Anyway, sorry, dude. I was playing. In real life I'm monogamous and quite happily married to only one man! :-)

Highlights of the day were:
1) The weather---it didn't storm as threatened! It was in the 70's and mostly cloudy, so we didnt' overheat until the early evening when the clouds left and the sun appeared. We even got to comfortably wear our fun fancy sleeves for most of the day.

2) sitting at a harp concert where we got to provide percussion (myself, a-rhythmically--my drummer husband would be so ashamed). This inspired me to listen to both of my Lorena McKennit cd's on my way home, since the harpist was talking about her.

3)The alpacas that go "mmmmmmffff" and have freaky horizontal pupils. And are super cute.

4)Doing "women's work" and gossiping about husbands with the townfolk.

5) prancing about in our dresses playing ragball with various patrons/workers.

and, last but not least,
6) the costume contest we enrolled in as elisabeta and julieta. I got an honorable mention, and Beth received silver in the contest, with only a dashing and knowledgable Welsh woodsman ahead of her. I think we both enjoyed "strutting our stuff", so to speak. (Until the sun came out and we just fanned maniacally. People were impressed by the uniqueness of the venetian flag fan! Even the queen herself.) Oh, and the judge's subsequent use of us as examples of certain styles in the costume lecture. That was fun.

The downsides:
1) my boobies are sunburnt
2) I think i need to add about an inch to the hem of my dress
3) my boobies are sunburnt
4) I am jealous of beth's "horny hair", and must work at teasing my own locks. However, I must mention that Niter did a lovely job of braiding my hair and twisting pearls into it. I just long for horny head.
5) Did i meantion that my boobies are sunburnt?
6) Oh, yeah, that drunk guy.

After the faire, we rushed home to beth's to loosen all our corestry, and made plans for a fondue/wine/pasta/chocolate evening with the boys. Twas delicious, and much fun. Very nice to see niter and beth in comfy 21st century clothes after all day of prancing about in gowns. And also great to spend some time with their respective hubby's, since I get to see/talk to them less, and they're both very fun guys.

I'd like to thank niter, beth and hubbies for inviting me/helping me dress and do hair/feeding and eating with me/taking and sharing pics and generally giving me a very fun and happy weekend! Huzzah!

Oh, right, and some pics:

me alone

Okay, so in the first one I'm missing my brooch, and in the second one i've got computer nerd glasses (forgot my contacts, and I'm blind as a bat) and my pearls are crooked (and yes, I know it was against sumptary laws for courtesans to wear pearls. Guess I'm not exactly a law-abiding citizen,eh?). No one's perfect. ;-)

ren guitaring. I'm kinda faking, as I've only had one lesson, and don't know any songs yet--but I will! Still, its a nice pic.


Blogger Beth said...

Hey Julie, I hear this rumour that your boobies are burnt....bummer. I had to douse myself wtih 30spf to mow the lawn today.

I do believe that we offended the nice guy that made the mistake of talking to us. In real life. I feel kind of badly about that. So, nice guy, if you're reading this....ditto on what Julie said. We're nice girls, really. Oh and drunk guy....that line about the two prettiest women at the faire....that wasn't so great really. Work on it. But not on us if you please.

Nope, I don't mind if you put joint pictures up. I'd appreciate if you left out the one where I look like my head is about to spin about because I'm possessed. Hopefully that one didn't end up on your camera, eh? Maybe it was the horns.

I had a lovely time too. And perhaps I'll get off of my butt tomorrow and post something. I'm lazy like that.

My dear Niter - I realized in reading this that you didn't carry my basket once...insolent wench!!! ;) And also that you're the only one who managed to coax any coin out of unsuspecting pockets. I'm sure this wrong somehow! Many beatings next time!

11:17 PM  
Blogger Julebug said...

Done and done. Pictures posted. ;-)

The good news about the booby burn is that I wasn't wearing a gridded partlet....

I do have a great pic of you cringing at my guitar "playing", but I think we'll just leave that out, shall we?

12:09 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I think I actually have that same cringing picture too. It was awful. I deleted it. Also the one where you look like you swallowed a gnat. Deleted...gone. In fact, I have a grand total of 5 undeleted pictures where neither of us look totally ridiculous. I think I'm gonna have to grovel to the servant for her pictures.

9:14 AM  

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