A Maquerade at Kalmar Castle

Ok I'm going to try and keep this post from being ridiculously huge...minus all the pictures I'm posting, but I'm also going to give a review of the actual masquerade itself, etc.

First, the fun stuff, pictures! They're in chronological order. I don't have very many because we were only allowed to take pictures for the first hour and the professional photographer's computer crashed before Fredrik and I could get professional shots taken...so there are a lot of us.

Hanging out at Nick and Signe's flat before the party. A lot of people were there getting ready etc. Nick's brother Patrick is in a dancing society in Stockholm so it was him and a bunch of his friends at Nick's flat getting ready. They were all way cool and very very nice.

This was probably my favorite part of the whole night. We walked through a stone path tunnel thing to get through to the castle where there were fire blowers and everything. Even the taxis were lined up in a circle like carriages. I held up my skirt because I didn't want it to get wet. It was raining really badly.

This is Nick in his pseudo Domino and sword cane that was his pride and joy. At the end of the night a button of his waistcoat popped off and we got to make fun of him for being 'fat' the rest of the night. Including himself. It was good fun.

Upon arrival we were given some appetizers and a glass of champange. The costume contest was done by everyone wearing those little numbers on their costumes. I really was not a fan of this method. First the numbers were incredibly small and not easy to read. Secondly, they ruined the outfits. Thirdly, everyone was given a number, and I think it should have been a visitor choice to enter the contest, so it wasn't so chaotic with numbers and people and everything. There were well over 100 people at the masquerade...

He's cute. This photo cracks me up. :D

Nick and Signe. I fixed her hair as best I could given a short time constraint and gave her my old stays so the gown fit a bit better....

A group shot of some people. I think most of these folks were in the dancing group that Patrick (Nick's brother) is in.

Modern dressed photographer ruins this shot. Oh well. I ran out of time to powder my hair, so I went all natural. There was some powder on my face, but I don't really need it anyways.

Look at that nice silk taffeta lining in his coat...and his cane (we made for free!) It was a branch I found in the woods in Linköping (I kinda stole it from a kids fort)...and his dad let Fredrik use his wood equipment and Fredrik sawed and sanded the stick down to a nice shape and smoothness. They then stained it with a magohany stain and his dad varnished and polished it 3 times! It was beautiful!

Ok, this is a funny story. When Fredrik and I arrived at the ball, we got a lot of stares and pictures taken (I think my boobs had a bit to do with it) but this gentlement kept taking pictures of me. I wanted a picture of him and his partner because they were the only ones in Swedish National Dress, which I think is really cool (albeit a bit less fun for women). I was trying to take a picture of him while he was taking a picture of me, and then I went up to them in broken Swedish and said, 'I can't speak Swedish, do you speak english?' and he just looked at me like I was crazy. Then I said, in English, 'Can I take your picture?' He says, 'I've seen you on the internet.' ...'You've read my blog? (yes, this very blog!)' 'Yes, I have. I can post these pictures on the internet.' And I was a bit shocked that someone recognized me from blog land and I then asked to get a picture of them. (Hello sir!)

Apparently, they were German (?) at least that's what I was told. I'm not too sure though, but that could account why my well versed, 'I dont speak swedish' phrase was really misunderstood. I think they look quite lovely in the national dress though!  (If you aren't German and are infact Swedish, I'm sorry for my poor Swedish skills!)

Patrick's friend Sanni (?) I have a really hard time spelling and pronouncing some Swedish names, so if someone could correct my spelling I would appreciate it! I love this photo of her though, I think it's quite fun! She was 'Flora'.

A full body shot of Fredrik and I. I tightened my bumroll a bit too much and so it got a bit crooked on me. But I am still pleased with the overall outcome....minus how my petticoat got that short that quickly. Meh. I have black ribbon around my wrists and around my neck. Silk organza ruffles around my neckline and wrists (for decency sake). Fredrik has on his outfits along with his silk stockings and women's shoes. hehe :)

My 'hog after it has been rained on for a while...womp womp. This is after the ball and we were trying to decide what to do.

Candid shot of some more of Nick, his friends and family. Frida the girl to the far left had a oriental outfit on. The only Orientalism really at the masquerade. I dug it.

This was when we started callin Fredrik, Jiminy Cricket. That thinness and green coat. hehe :)

This is a close up of his hair. It was our best take on the a la guillitine. His hair was too short in the back to do it up right with the braid etc, however I really, really liked his hair..just in general. I kept telling him to wear it that way all the time. I don't think he was that interested. meh.

Overall, I had a marvelous time at the ball and at the Castle. It really was like a dream. Just seeing shadows of fredrik and I dancing off the walls and hearing the shoes on the cobblestone was just magical. I was just so happy to actually be there with Fredrik in costume and with our friends. There was not really anything to ruin my night (I mean, he already had caugh his coat on fire a few nights before, like what really could happen that's worse than that?!...except me catching my hair on fire...ha).
However, since it was the first masquerade at Kalmar there were kinks and trips to the organization. The main problem was there was dancing from 21:00 till 22:00 in the Green hall. Most people were dancing, and there was a woman with a mic calling the dances (in Swedish which was a challenge in a half...more on that later). She, I guess, requested that people keep the talking in the Green Hall to a minimum so people could hear the dancing (not like that mattered to me anyways) calls. This was the same room that was selling the drinks, alcoholic and non. Well they opened up a room across the hall for mingling, however there were no drinks allowed in this room and there was no music either. So all the good stuff (i.e. people, drinks, and music) was in the room where talking was supposed to be at a minimum. Do we see the issue there? I imagine this has a lot to do with conservation rules and fire safety and all that mumbo jumbo that ruins a good party. :) However, Fredrik and I danced that hour, so it was not like it really mattered to us. We were busy dancing. Which I love love love 18th century dance, and it was fun too. It was a mix of people who knew nothing about dancing, knew a little, and knew a lot. Fredrik was a great sport and did a nice job dancing as well. They were easy dances that came from memories of all the dancing we did at Colonial Williamsburg. However, when the second round of dancing came about at 23 (party ending at midnight) they decided for some (weird) reason to do a very complicated dance (rumored has it, that it was requested by a few who like the dance with little regard to the large group of people who were not skilled enough with dancing to understand it. Or the fact there were non Swedish speakers there trying to dance and having a complicated dance called in Swedish. Also, since it was so complicated we never actually finished learning the dance before midnight...so instead of social dancing for the last hour it had a more 'dance lesson' feel instead of 'ball'.

A humorous moment occured during this time because I was having an incredibly difficult time with this dance, not because it was complicated (it actually wasn't once it had been translated well enough for me to understand) but the woman calling the dance came up to me and was trying to help me like I was just completely incapable of dancing and I was just like, 'I dont speak Swedish. The dance isn't hard, I just don't speak Swedish' which got a laugh from everyone. It was frustrating though, at the same time, because I had about 10 people speaking to me about the dance at once not including the woman with the loud speaker and people chatting in general. Incredibly frustrating. Funny though during and in hindsight.

They're going try to do the Kalmar Masquerade every 2 years, so I will be looking forward to seeing how the next one is done! They've run the first one now they'll have time to work out the kinks to make the second masquerade even more awesome (however I suggest they don't give the drummer anything to drink...though it makes for a funny closing torch dance outside..)

:) Now I am looking forward to a nice long break from sewing...Probably the next time I post will be in regards to my dissertation...so there might be a bit of a hiatus on this blog. I'll try to keep it short though. 



  1. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, in spite of the few annoyances (which I can see why they were annoying...)

    You both looked stunning (I suspected you would...)and I wish I could have been there, if only as a little fly on the wall. Great, great work on your man's clothing!

    BTW, the couple in the national costume were indeed from Germany - Hamburg, I believe - I've met them once here in Sweden! Their names escape me, though...

  2. You look very lovely! And you have to ocme to one of our balls in Stockholm and copmpare notes!

    Yes, as Madame Berg says, they are German and a very nice couple. They often come to Stockholm too.

  3. You both look amazing! What fun, ene with the annoyances.

  4. MBerg: Thank you very much! I really enjoyed everything and the making process...however doing a man's suit and a woman's gown at the same time wont be on my agenda any time soon!
    The Ball was good fun, a lot of what I've passed on is from Fredrik translating what other people said. I didn't really think twice about it personally (other than the numbers ruining the outfit. hehe) I was too damn happy being at a ball in a Castle (can't do that in America!)

    Isis: Thank you! Once I return to Sweden on a permanent basis I plan on becoming much more invovled with the reenacting societies around the country and in Stockholm!

    And thanks for confirming the German couple for me. Fredrik told me that after he heard someone else mention them. Alot of my information was translated through the grape vine and so I just was a bit confused the whole night. :)

    Lauren: Thank you! It was great fun, definitely an experience you can only get in Europe! It's definitely worth a trip out here just go to a ball in a castle! America and the homes are great..but you just can't beat a castle! :)

  5. Oh my goodness!! These photos are amazing! I love them. I just discovered your blog from The Duchess of Devonshire's Gossip Guide. Fabulous!!!

  6. Allie: Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed them! :)

  7. Why wouldn't he wear it like that all the time! Looks great!!

  8. Lauren: Because he's worse than most women when it comes to his hair. :P He might be tempted since so many people like it that way...but we'll see...I definitely vote yes for the hair change to and will continue to pass on the compliments to him... :)And I'll also say thank you for him... :):)


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