Mumford Civil War Reenactment

July 13th-15th was a very special weekend for Addison and I! One of my absolute favorite places in the world, Genesee Country Village and Museum, hosts a civil war reenactment every year. Normally we just go watch, but this time I was able to go as a reenactor!

Although I had already been to several reenactments this one made me feel like I a real reenactor, mainly because Addie and I bought our own tent and my Civil War mom wasn’t there until Saturday.

We had to be at the reenactment on Friday evening, so the main part of the day was spent packing and frantically doubling checking my list to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Our tent barely arrived in time for the event and Dad had to build the poles and stakes before we could use it. Once he got them done Dad helped me practice setting the tent up in the yard.

our new tent!
our new tent!

That evening we loaded up the van and Mom drove us girls to the event. On the way there it started to pour rain! I was so worried we wouldn’t get to stay because Mom said she wasn’t leaving us at the event in a downpour. Thankfully by the time we got there the rain had pretty much stopped. It took a while to find our camp spot since the civilian camp where we were staying was at the farthest end of the village. Mom helped us put up the tent and I was so relieved I remembered how to do it!

Saturday morning Addison and I got dressed, ate some breakfast, and the set off for a ride in the museum’s new reproduction of the Civil War hot air balloon, The Intrepid. The view was absolutely gorgeous, and it was clear enough out that we could even see Rochester. Our balloon operator was able to tell us about the balloon’s orignal operator, Thaddeus Lowe, the history of the Union Army’s Balloon Corps and how balloon’s were used during the Civil War. The original Intrepid was smaller than the museum’s reproduction, but went up much higher (up to 1,000 feet!).

After our early morning adventure we went back to camp to help my Civil War mom set up. The rest of the day we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible since it was very hot! We met some new lovely little friends and had a great time playing school with them. When we got bored of that we played some Civil War games and practiced our steps for the ball that night.

The ball was held in the carriage barn and looked very pretty with strings of (non-period correct 🙂 ) lights hanging from the rafters.  One of my partners was a verrrry cute boy named Josiah (he was 6 🙂 ) Dancing is definitelty one of my favorite reenacting things to do! I was also able to meet a wonderful new friend, Allison there!

By the time we left the ball it we had to find our way through the village in the dark. Thankfully Addison is very good with directions, otherwise I might still be wandering around there trying to find our camp! Here’s a map of the village. The red arrow is where the ball was and the blue arrow is where our camp was.

GCV map

As you can see it wasn’t a good recipe for a girl who can’t find her way out of a paper bag!

Sunday just happened to be my 17th birthday! Mom, Dad and the boys came and surprised me with a delicious, period correct 1-2-3-4 cake (1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 eggs, 4 cups of flour) that she spiced up with lemon juice and dusted with powdered sugar! I got even bigger suprise when I found that Addison and our little friends had set the table and then decorated it with fresh flowers, a table cloth and homemade cards! (Thanks girls that was SO sweet! Thanks for helping them Miss Kathy and Mrs. Woolley!)

Mumford Birthday Party

I recieved some lovely gifts (including a much needed fan and a beautiful flower hair comb) but my favorite was definitely getting introduced to my new best friend Emily!

All in all it was a wonderful weekend!

June 9th: Art Alive

Have you ever imagined what it would be like for a painting to come to life? Perhaps you would enjoy talking with the Mona Lisa or watching a Degas ballerina dance gracefully on stage. This year Addison and I participated in Art Alive for the second time and helped transform oil and canvas into real people.Hosted by the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, Art Alive is an event where you become the painting. School groups, art classes, or even individuals (like me) can choose a painting to recreate using costumes, backdrops, and props. The tableaus are set up on the gallery’s lawn for the public and judges to view and vote on. Many different awards and cash prizes are given at the ceremony at the end of the event. However, it takes months of preparation to be ready for the big day.

Addie and I started working on our Art Alive tableaus in January. Our art teacher, Mrs. Bossert, was the one who introduced us to Art Alive and helped prepare for the event. Addison teamed up with her friend Katie again. Together they chose to do Harmony in Green which is one of Claude Monet’s famous water-lily paintings.

Addie’s painting – Harmony in Green

Last year I did a painting by Charles Sprague Pearce that I really connected with. Unfortunately, I never really used the costume that I worked so hard on again.

The Woodcutter’s Daughter by Charles Sprague Pearce
My 2011 Tableau (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)

This year I decided to do a Civil War painting because, A: I love the Civil War era, and B: I wanted to be able to reuse the dress in reenacting. The painting I picked was called The Initials and was created by 19th century artist Winslow Homer who was famous for his Civil War illustrations and battlefield paintings. The Initials shows the civilian side of war by depicting a lone girl leaning against a tree carved with (presumably) a loved one’s initials.

The Initials – My 2012 Painting Choice

This year Mrs. Bossert helped us brainstorm what painting we wanted to use and how to execute it. Then she guided us in how to paint our backdrops. My dad built my backdrop frame (thanks Dad!) and I sewed the dress.

Working on the backdrop (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
Painting in Mary Ellen’s basement (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)

After months of working hard on our tableaus we arrived at the Albright Knox only to be told the event was cancelled becuase it was raining and windy. We came back the next weekend on a day that was still soggy and wet, but less windy and began setting up our tableaus.

Setting up Addie and Katie’s Tableau (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
Addie & Katie’s Backdrop (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
Setting up my tableau (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
Setting up (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
My backdrop (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
Doing my hair (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)

At noon the audience began braving the weather to come see the tableaus.

Addie and Katie’s Taleau (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
My Tableau (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
My Favorite Pic (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)

To make my tableau interactive, I asked the audience to write their initials on my tree with a piece of chalk.

Audience participation (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)

Mrs. Bossert asked me to show off all my undergarments that I made myself.

Showing off my underpinnings, shocking! (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)

At 2 o’clock the anticipated moment finally arrived, the awards ceremony! We nervously awaited while different awards were announced. Addie, Katie, and I didn’t have to wait long! The girls recieved the award for Best Craftsmanship and I earned the most votes for the People’s Choice Award in the highschool category!

Recieving my award (photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)
(photo courtesy Mary Ellen Bossert)

You can see pictures of the other tableaus here, on the Albright Knox Website.

Thank you Mrs. Bossert for all the pictures!