Sunday, June 16, 2013

In Which I Lose Spectacularly at Croquet

Yesterday was gloriously perfect, so it was fate that we were already planning to have our first historical picnic of season. We never go super accurate for these, as its a casual for fun outing, but I think this summer I want to make a couple of new pieces for my picnic wardrobe. In the meantime, we broke out my croquet set and looked quite pretty...but man, I can barely hold my own against people who actually know how to play. It was a good game anyway though, because we were equally good-natured and vicious, so the revenge battles were frequent. (Especially from Julia, who is evil. And has good aim. Drat.)

The whole party
I went for an asymmetrical pouf a la the early 1900s for this. It was a little less defined than I wanted, but the shapes worked pretty well. I ended up not using any of my actual rats (they're big) and just padding my (teased) hair out with a couple of home-made rats from my real hair. It's what they would have done in period, but tends to gross people out. Sorry--it's really not as weird as you're thinking.

terrible picture of my hair..the back is a giant pile of curls

side puffs...sorry, terrible cell-phone pictures!
As I wasn't wearing anything new (or anything I particularly care about), I took it as an opportunity to practice my photography skills. I'm learning a lot, but I'm not very good at putting the lessons into practice yet...the bright bright sun versus dark shade kind of threw me. But it was fun! And the garden was full of interesting people and things to practice on. Hooray! 

Quinn caught me in the act (thanks for sharing, Quinn!)

picnic hats and stories (I was taking this when Quinn took the picture above)
All in all, it really was a lovely day. It had been a while since I got to hang out with my friends, and I really needed it. Even if I do suck at croquet.

our picnic spot
Luckily for me, Antonia is really patient...and sometimes all that practice pays off! I was really happy with this portrait.

BABY DUCKIES!! A whole family of duckies, in fact! Just like Make Way for Ducklings, one the most darling children's books ever.

watching the baby ducks

attempting to be picturesque on a bench. I need better blouses, but man I love that hat.

Quinn overlooking the pond

the swans are nesting--which means soon there will be baby swans!! Also, the swans/swan boats thing never gets old.

I love when people match their pets. This pair had fantastic great danes, and each guy sort of matched is dog--it was really cute. Also, in further adventures of the Awkward Photographer, they saw me (it might have been the hat), so I blurted "those are beautiful dogs!"

and it turns out, they are also really well trained. And better at posing than I am.

See? I have a limited range of poses (but aren't those flowers cool? they remind me of Dr Seuss!)

luckily, there were other interesting subjects to try. Like Washington here, who was showing some Bruins pride in a custom jersey

I wish the artist had been around, because these were all lovely

the roses were in bloom

after our picture walk we were tired from the sun, so we took a break to play cards

and then we rallied for croquet! (I'm saving the rest of the croquet pictures for another post)
Our croquet actually gathered quite a crowd. It was an interesting taste of what it might be like to have a reality show...and I think it's an experience I can live without. On the other hand, the Early Music Festival was this past week, and we met some really nice 18th century dancers who were visiting to attend. Sometimes being visible means you get to meet fun interesting people.

the crowd starts to form

a smaller section--people got awkward when we took their picture. A little ironic, haha
And of course, as the sun went down we needed to do a second round of pictures!

Quinn imitating a period picture...or just gloating on her croquet win...

bench lounging! the laziest kind of posing ever!

guys, posing is hard.

This may be my favorite picture of the day

swan boats in for the night
I'm excited for the rest of the summer.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The BPG circa 1900-1918

I am so looking forward to spending tomorrow afternoon lounging and playing croquet in the BPG on our first 1900s-ish picnic of the summer!

photos I took the last time I was there, for my birthday. the gate to the BPG from Boston Common (or rather, this is the side leaving the garden back to the common)
(Sometimes I forget that not everyone uses their weekends as between-week oases of beauty and adventure, often ending up in or around the Boston Public Gardens. So when I mention at work that my plans are to hang out in "the BPG," no one has a clue what I'm talking about; but when you say it as often as we do, the acronym becomes necessary.)

swan boats crossing under the bridge

view of the city from across the park (which would make that...the corner of Arlington?)

It's been raining all week thanks to this weird summer Nor'Easter we've been having, but at some point today the clouds broke and it warmed right up. It promises to be a glorious weekend, and I am thrilled. The BPG is one of my favorite places to soak up some beauty over the weekend, and as an added bonus there are baby ducks(!) right now. Hooray!

I've taken this as an opportunity to throw up some of the pictures I took the last time I was there because it was such a gorgeous day, but really I wanted to share a couple of images from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. These were painted around the time we'll be channeling tomorrow, and are so so pretty.

Late November Afternoon, Public Garden. Arthur Clifton Goodwin, 1905.

Boston Public Garden. Artist unknown, 1910-1915

The Public Garden, Boston. George Loring Brown, 1869 (or later)
If you're in the Boston area tomorrow, stop by and say hello!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Everything Really Does Come Back In Style...

I've been terrible about posting. Bad blogger! My only excuse is that I've been spending the past month or so living in the 21st century for a change! So crazy! Well, at least, as close to the 21st century as I get...

1950s-style playsuit hanging by the Charles on my birthday weekend. I'm 23!
Anyways, a friend posted this on Facebook today and I thought it was totally hilarious...especially because the picnic season is in full swing, and I'll be out on Saturday! Remember my post about picnicking last summer, when I mentioned Graces?

Well, some enterprising person has taken the idea and run with it! This video made me giggle, but "RingStix" are really a thing someone is selling.

My favorite part is that they call this an "update version of ring toss." Nope, it's Graces.

Graces, 1838