Sharing My Recent Fun at the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville

Sharing My Recent Fun at the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville

Howdy y’all! I have greatly ignored my poor blog these past several months and can honestly offer no excuse. Many other distractions have taken over my life, including my sweet puppy Olivia Marjo, who was the subject of my last blog post. In January! Yikes!! Indeed, we have had a marvelous time with our wee doggie, but that isn’t the main reason for my lapse. Just call it life.

Today, in an extension of a blog I wrote for Austen Authors earlier this week, I am here to share a bunch of photos from one of the big events I look forward to every year here in Kentucky — A JANE AUSTEN FESTIVAL! 

The Greater Louisville Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) – of which I am fortunate to be a member of – has presented and hosted this particular Jane Austen Festival for 10 years. In 2015 we put the Festival on hiatus due to our Region hosting the JASNA Annual General Meeting, but aside from that one year break, the Festival has grown to become the largest Austen-focused event in the United States (Not counting the AGM, of course). Twice we have set Guinness World Records in our costume-clad Promenade participation. This year the theme was celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Persuasion, so naturally the navy was given the spotlight, as well as wonderful images of Colonel Wentworth all over the place!

Photo borrowed from His Majesty’s Ship Acasta website. Click image for many more photos from the Festival.

 

One of MANY Festival photos taken by the Kentucky Pioneer Times. Click image to see the rest.
A properly attired Naval officer. Who is he spying on? LOL! Photo by my husband Steve Lathan.

Usually my husband Steve – who is a professional photographer with a fabulous website of his own: LuvTheLightPhotos.com  – spends the days snapping hundreds of photos. In fact, his website has several galleries dedicated to past Austen events, including the AGM and Louisville Festival. This year, however, as the photos below reveal, he was on puppy-duty taking care of our sweet miniature poodle Olivia Marjo while mom played. I actually took more photos than he did, which is very strange!

Sharon, husband Steve, and puppy Olivia

 

Steve and Olivia with two tough Naval gents!

 

I can’t state strongly enough how awesome this Festival is. Every year, not just this one. I’ve been lucky to attend four times now and am never disappointed. I HIGHLY recommend the event to anyone who loves Jane Austen! It is worth setting aside the time and money to attend, trust me. The theme for 2019 is Northanger Abbey and the dates have been set for July 12 to 14. Mark your calendars and start making plans now! In due time there will be more information, so visit the website: www.JASNALouisville.com and join the JASNA Louisville Facebook Group to keep up on the news.

For me, this year was extra special because I was able to attend with my two daughters (neither of whom had ever attended before), my husband, and my son. Honestly, this was the BEST part for me. We did enjoy many of the events, such as the excellent Regency Style Show and Afternoon Tea, but having my family together was priceless.

Emily and I drove up to enjoy the Friday evening “Twilight Shopping” schedule. As a later-in-the-day time slot, we donned our ball gowns. I have to give a shout out to Matti’s Millinery & Costumes. The gown and overdress I am wearing in the images below, and the gorgeous gold overdress Emily is wearing, are creations by the talented Matti and Hannah. I HIGHLY recommend them for your historical costuming needs. The dress and hat Emily are wearing I have owned for several years and can’t honestly remember where I got them. The hat I am wearing was made by me! I will be talking about my newest endeavor in creating Regency bonnets in a later post, so for now shall share some photos and stay on topic.

Me with my daughter Emily wearing our fancy gowns for the Friday night “twilight shopping” hours. We are showing off our beautiful fans. I am wearing the bonnet I made especially for the gown and open robe I am wearing (both creations of Matti’s Millinery).

 

A view of our gowns from the back. Plus, another shot of my cutie pie Olivia.

 

Me and Emily with my dear friend Stephanie.

On Saturday ALL of us made the trek to Historic Locust Grove where the festival is held each year. The mansion itself was built in 1792, so is a typical house style seen in the Regency Era. Touring the lovely manor house is always a fascinating part of the fun. This year, amid the historic decor and furnishings, were recreated garments from the period and a lace weaver. I took a bunch of photos but will only share a few.

 

The Locust Grove mansion.

 

 

 

 

The nursery is furnished with beds, chairs, clothes, and many other small-sized items. Very cool!

 

A gorgeous bedside commode in one of the bedrooms.

 

I’ve written these types of Franklin stoves into my stories. Seeing one from the era is a true thrill.

 

 

The lacemaker was fantastic to watch!
The individual spools for each thread. Absolutely amazing!
Completely laces she has woven.

 


On Saturday we wore day gowns. Emily is wearing an embroidered pink bodice over a pretty cotton gown with a short train. Her pink bonnet is one of my creations, as is the green one worn by my daughter-in-law Serena. My gown and open robe are both a pastel, seafoam green (both from Matti’s Millinery) and the bonnet is one I’ve had for years. Aren’t we a stunning Regency trio?

Me with my daughter Emily (left) and my son’s wife Serena (right).

 

My son Kyle (he is 6’4″ tall!) with his beautiful wife Serena. Aren’t they a handsome couple? Next year Kyle wants to wear Regency attire, although I doubt the un-Regency beard will disappear!

 

Some kids never grow up! Kyle is SO like his father!

 

Tea Time Fun with my Daughters ~

The Afternoon Tea is always a high point of the festival. This year we almost didn’t get tickets as it sold out so quickly, but fortunately three spots opened on the waiting list just two days before. Yeah! So here we are enjoying a wonderful repast of tiny sandwiches, pastries, scones, and delicious hot tea from Bingley’s Teas. This was such a special time to spend with my two girls. I am one super blessed mom!

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone enjoyed the photos and memories. I apologize for the lengthy hiatus from my blog. I shall try to be better in the weeks and months to come. For sure I shall be back by next week to give more details of my new adventure into sewing bonnets, but for a sneak peek, check out my shop on Etsy.

 

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