The Simple, The Complicated, & The Continent Part III

I’ve already shared photos from the actual purpose for my visit to Denmark last year, which you can read about in Part I and Part II of this series. These next pictures are a few moments from our sightseeing adventures. Some of excursions were afternoons off during the dance week (we had to get a break in sometimes!) but most of these are from after the dance week ended.

One afternoon during the week, we joined some of the other dance week attendees on a tour of the countryside around the area where we were staying. I was lucky enough to be in a car with a lovely local person who was able to share all sorts of interesting information and answer all of our questions. We stopped at multiple places… historic homes, a bird sanctuary, an estuary, and a deer park, to name a few. This photo was taken near the bird sanctuary. I’m trying to imitate the windmill that is over my left shoulder…

Outside one of the historic homes (built in the style of castle, which was rather fun!) there was a lovely courtyard with gorgeous blooms. I didn’t match quite perfectly, but I was in the same color palette.

It was a quaint place to ‘practice’ one of the more whimsical dance choreographies we learned, especially as the three of us happened to be wearing red and matching the trees above us.

After the dance week we stopped for a very rainy day in Odense, the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. I learned lots of new information about him and his life at the Hans Christian Anderson Museum. It was extensive, containing information about his personal life and upbringing, his clothing, places he lived, his writing, and more.

I was particularly struck by this quote. Thread is so relevant to me in a physical sense, but I also find peace in the idea of a thread that runs through my life and makes sense of each little piece in a way that I can only see when I look behind me.

After our quick stop in Odense it was on to Copenhagen. Soon after our arrival we noticed a Scottish pub near the city center. Two of us, in particular, are very attached to Scotland and Scottish things, so we had to check it out. Plus, it advertised live music! We were hoping for Scottish music… but instead got a guy playing pop songs on his guitar. Still amusing, just not what we were hoping for.

One evening we took a sunset boat tour and caught this lovely view of Amalienborg Palace, the home of the Danish royal family.

Our accommodations were quite close to Tivoli Gardens, so it was easy to spend multiple evenings there. Tivoli Gardens was Walt Disney’s inspiration for the creation of Disneyland. We rode some rides, watched some shows and fireworks, and enjoyed the decadent lights.

Another stop was Christiansborg Palace, which is an extensive collection of buildings serving a variety of purposes for the Danish government, the royal family, and for sharing history. I wanted to get this picture just for the perspective of how large these doors were!

To go inside, we were required to don shoe covers. Here we are, ready to go!

The architectural details were beautiful, as you would expect for a building with this much national significance. I would be happy to hang out in rooms like these!

I’m always a fan of gorgeous libraries. This one has a balcony. So fun!

Also, a Mirror of Erised? What do you see when you look in the mirror?

The Theatre Museum at The Court Theatre is right near Christiansborg Palace. We enjoyed looking around the audience boxes, the backstage areas, the displays, and showing off some of our Danish minuet dancing on stage.

After a few days spent in museums and palaces we wanted a little something different and decided to go to the zoo. I enjoyed the penguins and bears (no surprise!), including a polar bear! Sadly, Mr. Polar Bear seemed pretty bored by himself in his enclosure. I watched him swim back and forth, back and forth, pushing off the walls in the exact same place every time he passed. Maybe (hopefully) he was quite happy and enjoying his swim.

There was one obviously happy polar bear, though. I enjoyed this one as well!

Well, that’s the end of the trip. Thanks for sharing the memories with me!


The Simple, The Complicated, & The Continent Part I

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am sometimes quite slow at getting around to posting things. This post is about a trip I took last August, but better late than never, right?

So last August, I was able to travel to Denmark in order to participate in an international vintage dance week focused on 19th century dances and in particular, a variety of complicated quadrilles. It was quite the mind workout, being in classes for six or so hours each day for the week and trying to keep track of which figure from which quadrille we were working on at any given time.

Part of the title of this post comes from one of those mind-boggling class sessions, when we were working on a complicated quadrille that had one figure with a simple variation and another figure with the same variation in a much more complicated fashion. The way I’ve remembered those figures is by calling them ‘the simple’ and ‘the complicated.’

The dance week was hosted at an arts school a few hours train ride from Copenhagen. It was a lovely spot, right on the water and set on a hill.

The Americans that I was traveling with were particularly struck by this sight down a hill behind the school. The students were studying America’s Wild West in history and had built a mini town on the grounds, including a saloon, jail, and other buildings. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting in Denmark!

There were lots of cute little nooks around the school. We took this photo to document our arrival and later discovered that this door led into the chapel, though I don’t think it’s often used.

Getting ready for classes involved wearing polka dot socks…

And recovering from classes required some stretching. As I mentioned, the school was on a hill, and we found that walking up the hill slowly and with large steps was a great calf stretch. Despite looking silly, it felt great!

In the evenings and on breaks we would lounge around, listen to our live musicians (yes, even for classes, which was neat!) who would play concerts for us, or go sightseeing.

One day we found Harry Potter trivial pursuit in the common room. It sounded like fun, and then we realized it was in Danish… We’d all been working on our Danish but certainly didn’t know enough to actually translate the cards. A bit of internet searching helped, as did the google translate app, but I dissolved into absolute tears at one question, which somehow appeared to include the made-up word parnoodle. I believe it was actually asking what kind of owl Draco Malfoy owned (an eagle owl, if you’re curious). Google tells me that eagle owl in Danish is hornugle. I don’t really remember how we got to parnoodle, but it was hysterically funny at the time and continues to be a running joke.

That’s a good introduction to the trip and a good place to leave off for Part 1. Next will be a post about the more formal parts of the dance week–the balls!






Waves, Curls, Earrings… And Dancing From The 1910s

It’s been over a month now, but back in July I attended a Ragtime ball that proved to be great fun. I wore my tried-and-true 1912 burgundy and gold evening gown (while it’s nice to have new things, it’s also nice to pull beautiful things out of the closet, too!). Despite wearing a dress I’ve worn before, I tried a new style with my hair, including a repurposed (and therefore new-feeling) accessory.

I was inspired by hairstyles like these from the early 1910s. There are more examples on my Hair: 1900-1920 Pinterest board as well, if you’re interested. What I took away from these images was the use of a headband of some sort, the rather large airy shape, and the defined waves and curls.

c. 1912 Lily Elsie
La coiffure française illustrée. (1910)

Of course, I decided to try this out the afternoon of the event so I hadn’t thought ahead in terms of what to use for a headband. After casting around a bit I thought of a bead necklace I’d purchased a few years ago that ties with a ribbon. Why not use that as a headband? In addition to the bead-necklace-as-headband, I wore my Downton Abbey Collection earrings, which are quite lovely and matched my dress very well in color and style.

Quinn M. Burgess
It took rather a lot of time to create the front waves with my curling iron. The back loopy curls were time consuming, too, though fun until my arms started to hurt from being held up for extended periods of time.
Quinn M. Burgess (1)
I love how defined the curls came out, though, and while I do think there’s a slightly flat spot at the back of my head I generally think the silhouette is what I was aiming for.
Quinn M. Burgess (2)
Waves, curls, and earrings!

And here is the dancing in action! People were very well dressed and enthusastic at this event and really seemed to have a good time. For most dances there was hardly anyone sitting out! That’s great, especially when the crowd is a mix of ages.

Quinn M. Burgess

Quinn M. Burgess (1)

Quinn M. Burgess (2)

The Gibson Shoe!

The latest shoe from American Duchess: the Gibson.


Lauren has all sorts of cute shoes planned for 2013, so I’m pretty sure this is only the beginning of what will be more shoe posts this year. Aren’t these cute though? I’m trying to decide between black and brown… If you are at all interested, pre-order-time is the time to make your decision, because if Lauren doesn’t receive enough orders, the style (or certain colors) might be cancelled. And that would be  sad! You now have no excuse. At the very least you should go check them out

Product links in this post contain an affiliate code, which provides a small benefit to my shoe fund. This does not affect my impressions and reviews of this product.


A Day In The Life of Quinn

6:30am: alarm dings and I press snooze 3 times

7am: wake up, shower, coif hair, apply makeup, dress

8am: grab already packed bags and head out the door

9am: change into Annabelle and participate in the filming of a documentary regarding Henry Bergh, the founder of the ASPCA, by Sagacity Productions

The CVD members who participated in the filming.

2pm: go out to lunch (still in 1860s garb)

It’s hard to sit next to each other in modern seating when wearing hoops!

4pm: head home for a super quick nap

5pm: paint toes and get dressed for a modern evening out

Yes… I do actually wear modern clothes sometimes!

11pm: arrive home, feeling like I’ve just lived at least two days… all in one!

The amazing part? Despite the fact that I didn’t have time to change my 1860s hair style, it worked just as well for my modern look! I got a comment that it looked inspired by the 1940s. Maybe? I think a modern woman always looks distinguished and a bit vintage when wearing her hair up in the evening, since it is just not the style these days (and I was surrounded by mostly college age people… so there were mostly curling ironed hair styles around…). To be entirely fair, there were many amazing parts of that day! I feel blessed that it was mine.