Mar 24, 2011

Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860s

My visit to the US included attending the Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860s conference in Harrisburg PA. I found this conference to be a wonderful experience, meeting so many friendly people and presenters. There was a good range of workshops to attend before the talks started, and when the talks started I was impressed with the amount of information we were given beforehand. Each presenter provided the conference with information pages that were put into a folder for each attendee, and some even provided disks with their powerpoints on them. My son and I attended Martha McCain's silk flower workshop and were so happy to be given a CD at the end so we could continue what we had learnt at home.

The downside of the conference? Well, it was the market place of course! It tempted me, seduced me and persuaded me to part with my money. I bought patterns, polished cotton and even a cage crinoline kit. And it brought me disappointment. Why did that lady have to buy the bonnet I had fallen in love with? Why couldn't she see the longing in my eyes? I have never known such disappointment as I felt in those few minutes. And then further disappointment - no matter what Robert Land showed me from his shoe collection, none of them fit. My feet are short and broad - not a good combination.

Would I go again? Yes. Is it probable that I will go again? No, not unless someone invites me to present a talk or teach a workshop and someone else helps to fundraise my travel costs. And, my knowledge is more of Australia in the 1860s - though maybe some of the US attendees might be interested in knowing what was happening in Australia while the US was having its Civil War?

Cage Crinoline Kit from Wooded Hamlet

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was at this conference and was impressed that someone would travel so far! I too did the flower work shop mentioned and finished feeling able to continue to craft on my own. I do not expect you to remember me as I was just one of the many many americans interested in the new Aussie friend! You mentioned possibly presenting a program on Australia in the 1860's; I think that would be wonderful! Send a brief outline to and include the need for fundraising for travel expenses. Anyone of us would be happy to volunteer to pick you up, find a host family to stay with, etc. I am going to mention your idea to Carolann Schmidt of Genteel Arts.

I found this page because I was researching the cage crinoline. I wonder if you ever made it? Did you like it?
Was the kit worth the effort?
Take care and be well.

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