Conference days start early. Breakfast at 7:00 and sessions start at 8:00. But breakfast is usually good. Today there were breakfast breads, scrambled eggs, sausage, and hash browns.
The day began, as is tradition, with the presentation of speakers dresses and vests. When you speak or conduct a workshop at this conference you are sent a dress length of fabric (if a woman) or enough fabric for a vest (if a man). Then on Saturday morning the faculty shows off their garment. It amazing the different styles of garments one fabric can make.
This year's dress fabric was lovely. I really liked it. It was a cotton vertical print on a cream colored background. The vest fabric was a dark cotton velvet. Additional pictures of the speakers' garments can be found on Photobucket.
The days sessions begin after the garment display. There are two session tracks, one of more female interest topics and one male. Since I can't attend both tracks I purchase the notebook handouts for both tracks and usually attend the "female" track.
The first session was decoding CDVs by Beth Miller. The premise was determining the date of the CDV based on the clothing and headwear styles of the ladies. While I think I have this pretty well, I loved looking at all the CDV examples she had.
The second morning session was on servants of the 19th century by Kelly Dorman. This was a really well researched session and I enjoyed it very much.
Lunch on Saturday is provided. Soups and make your own sandwiches, chips and cookies. There is usually enough time during the lunch break to go shopping, and I did. I bought a dress pattern, bonnet pattern, the Diary of Miss Emma Holmes, some bees' wax and a Harpers Weekly reproduction for our living history in November.
My roomie snagged some cookies from lunch for the afternoon session, which was on winter clothing presented by Carolann Schmidt. Again great information and wonderful CDV images.
At the last few conferences a ball has been given after dinner. So of course I took my new black silk dress and all the necessary equipment. Once the afternoon session was over, it was up to the room to change centuries.
On the registration we can choose to be seated with someone or let Carolann just place you at a table. I choose to be seated wherever Carolann decides; this way I meet so many other people. This year I was seated with a group from Michigan and a couple from New York. Dinner is the usual hotel catered meal--chicken, veggies, carrot cake.
After dinner we clear the room so that it can be prepared for the ball. This is a time to really admire everyone's dress, get pictures and visit. Different decades and styles of the 19th Century are represented.
While we were waiting for the ball to be set up Martha McCain came up to me and complimented me on my dress and said she wished she had done the pattern. Martha was the first pattern designer for Simplicity when they started doing the historic patterns and is much respected in the hobby.
The ball is fun; even if I don't dance I really enjoy listening to the band, Smashing Windows, and watching the fun.
We didn't stay very long, only for the first set. Additional pictures of the ball can be found on Photobucket.