Okay, Costume Con is finally over. Whew! I wish I could say it was totally awesome, but mostly it was just exhausting! But I did see some pretty cool costumes, and I even won a ribbon in the doll contest! I didn't end up wearing any costumes myself, so I don't feel so bad about leaving it all to the last minute any more, but I do wish I wouldn't have done so much marathon sewing in the last few days, because it made my eyes hurt all week for no reason!
I tried to wear the medieval dress that was supposed to only be the mock-up for the pattern I was drafting, but after three hours in a hot, dark room listening to a lecture, I totally gave up, and tripped on the over-long hem a million times in my rush to change back into real clothes! I did finish my 1790's dress, which is very white and floofy, as 1790's dresses are supposed to be, but I worried it would make me look like a marshmallow and chickened out about wearing it, which I now regret, because I felt very left out at the Historical Masquerade, which was the only place where EVERYONE dressed in costume. Otherwise NO ONE dressed during the day except the Steampunk people.
The most totally disappointing thing though was that my brand new digital camera did not work in low light AT ALL, and the hotel had heinous low lighting everywhere. Honestly, you could barely see your hand in front of your face in the hallways and the ballroom. Seriously, Hilton, can't you afford a few light bulbs??? Or is all the money going directly to Paris Hilton's shoe & miniskirt fund? So I didn't get any pictures! *cries*
But there were a few good lectures and workshops, and I found out about a nearby living history event I might be able to attend in a few weeks, and I bought some most awesome fabric and patterns in the Dealer's room. $6 a yard silk twill, for crying out loud! I just wish I'd have got the $6 silk brocade that matched it! My mom talked me out of it, for which I have not yet forgiven her!
Also, I had two entries in the doll contest; I used the whole day the night before finishing the dresses for a pair of dolls to represent the Binney sisters from John Smart's 1806 portrait, and didn't have time to do their hair at all, but I figured since I'd killed myself making the dresses I'd enter them anyway! I also entered a doll wearing the 1820 pink fleur-de-lis dress I made a year ago, and it got me an Honorable Mention! I won an award at Costume Con! It's an actual Masquerade ribbon with a certificate and everything! I couldn't believe it, since all the other entries were really well done; one guy did a Jedi outfit on a ball-jointed doll that was unbelievable in it's minute detail, and he totally deserved that workmanship award!
But I think the best part of the weekend was stopping by the Milwaukee Art Museum, where I saw Raphael's Donna Velata in person! *squee* I couldn't believe what luck that it was there right when I was, because it's my favorite Raphael painting and it almost never leaves Italy. Her dress is a much lighter and more delicate pink in person than any photograph can show, it was just awesome. And I did a mad dash through the rest of the museum like a kid in a candy store trying to get through it in time to get back to the Con. Living as I do in the middle of nowhwere, it was the first time I'd ever been to a proper art museum, so seeing all the stuff in person that only existed in books for me before was just too cool. I nearly cried standing in front of the Caillebotte painting there. He used such large canvases that standing in front of one is more like looking through a window. You could totally imagine being right back in the scene he painted, what the grass and the wind all felt like, what the water sounded like as the boats floated toward you. And then there was his signature, clear as day in the corner, and it dawns on you that a real human hand made these images, standing where you stood a hundred or so years ago, and it gives you a little thrill down your spine. Very cool. Also saw a Sofonisba Anguissola painting I'd never seen before (yay!) and drooled over the furniture displays, and couldn't believe how Art Deco a lot of the Biedermeier furniture looked. I wondered for a minute if I was reading it right, and if it was really 1920-30 instead of 1820-30! I wish I'd have had more time to take it all in!
I also had the best beer-battered cod I've ever had in my life on this trip, so between that and the art and the costumes, I guess it was a pretty successful weekend. :)