Monday, May 21, 2012

Gear of War 2012

My lord, Morcant, and son by our tent.
I can post this now because we  managed to make it to Gear of War and we've an official starting point as far as our camp is concerned. We camped both nights and it was fantastic fun.  The Shire of Deodar knows how to put on a great event.   I went to some interesting classes, sang some songs, taught a small class on the ECD dances , socialized and went to a magnificent feast.  There were some very kind gentles there who helped out the "new kids"  and I am very grateful for the welcome.

I observed one of the weaving classes and again, I thinking that an inkle loom might be in my future.  Lady Verena wove me a beautiful belt and I am so grateful because having a proper belt was one of the things holding me back from making myself a couple of simple tunics.   My late period garb is perfectly nice for dancing, but I am looking forward to making some  lighter and more comfortable early period outfits.

Another thing we have to work on is making some benches and chairs.  It isn't because I am insanely hung up on details, (although my family might offer you a different outlook) but camp chairs do not work with my big garb.  The only chair that  we had that didn't have arms broke while I was sitting on it.   I was helping Trapolin put some Queen of Hungary's liniment on some itchy bug bites when it happen and I was pretty impressed that I managed not to dump it all over my  linen overdress.   Thankfully, I had the cooler to sit on for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What is Arts & Sciences?

In the SCA, the term Arts & Sciences is used to refer to the various skills that would have be practiced in the Middle Ages. We work on projects, document the projects and eventually enter into competitions.

Her Royal Majesty Conna ingen uí Chearbhaill took time to speak to those of us working at the illumination table at Melon Wars and was very gracious in her encouragement of those learning new skills in the Arts & Sciences.  Their royal majesties have charged each of their subjects with learning something new.  That is probably easier for newcomers like us because so many things are new.

This weekend was Calontir's Kingdom A & S competition. Sadly, I missed this event because it was Geneviève's junior prom and Morcant's mother is visiting from Maryland. This weekend also marks the 5th year the A & S 50 Challenge has been around. I decided that in honor of the two, it would be a good time to jump into the challenge. The challenge has been laid out on the website in an introductory letter.

The basic idea is that you take on the challenge and complete 50 tasks of your choice. I haven't  decided on the depth challenge or the persona challenge, but while we are just getting started, this seems sensible to me. It gives me a chance to try new things and build up our inventory of garb, feast gear and other "props".

I've a few books that I picked up to help us get started. I have Caridoc's Thousand Year's Cookbook and the Medieval Home Companion. I ordered this because it fits so well with Geneviève's persona. I will probably send it along with her someday but it is certainly a fun read.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Melon Wars

Our shire ran the Inn, yesterday. 
We finally made it to our first event...  At least  Geneviève and I made it for a daytrip.   Due to a wet, cold snap in the weather and not being as prepared as I would like for cool weather,  Morgant gallantly offered to stay at home with the boys.    I think that it was probably better for me because I was able to get my bearings without the stress of having to deal with wet, whiny little ones.   In retrospect they would have been fine.  The lodge had a giant woodstove burning in the corner and it was warm and cozy.   The steward had such a pile of games that I wouldn't have even needed to haul mine along.  There were so many things that would have kept them busy that I needn't have worried about it at all. 

It went well.  I made scones and lemon curd for the Inn and they seemed to be well-received.  The meat pie recipe that Verena, Aemilia, and Dirk  taught us to make on  the Thursday evening before the event was amazing.  I am definitely going to have to make those, sometime.  I was thinking they would be nice to make ahead for the next event.


  Geneviève working on her very first preprint. 
 We did some painting on preprints. Geneviève really took to this work.  She has a far more steady hand than I do.    She completed her first preprint yesterday and is wanting to find some more to work on.   She also competed in the Pétanque (Bocce for those people who haven't been brainwashed by their French teacher) tournament and had great fun.  I am thinking that we will have to add that to the list of games to pack for the next event. 
I tried a preprint bookmark, and consulted with Rohese on the ideas I have for my device.  For the most part, though, I just wandered, chatting with people and taking in information.    I am feeling  far more at ease , as I prepare for Crown Tournament in Mid-May.


The scribes of the day, including Geneviève,  received a token from the queen.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Encampment Progress




After much debate around the household, we finally settled on ordering this tent for our encampment.    It is probably not period for our persona, but it will be a long time before I have the time or patience to put together the roundhouse tent that I have seen plans for online.    Maybe at that point,  the daughter will inherit this one.   It was reasonably inexpensive, as far as canvas tents go and we can add to it at our whim.   I am working on ideas for dressing it up, a bit.     We will definitely need some colour,  but I should probably work on getting our devices turned in and approved,  Then I will know which colours I want to use.


I have to say that I am pretty excited about getting it up.    I wonder what the neighbors will think when they see it in our yard?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Music and Dance

 Habeas Corpus.
We are a  family that loves music. and dancing, so that will definitely be a focus for our learning.  That's how we first became acquainted with some members of our shire. We've been dancing for some time now, performing with a group that dances at Renaissance Faires and other local festivals.   Most of our dancing has been limited to English Country dances many  of which are so "new" as to be out-of-period for the SCA.   I think they will always be my first love. I do love a well-staged, Jane Austen ball. For the SCA,  we need to work on learning the older Italian and French dances.




    Gaelic Storm and  Geneviève 
Due to our real life shenanigans,  we know a bit of Irish dance, too.    Geneviève performs with an Irish dance group here in Iowa City.  She's had a fairly busy month.  Along with the normal St. Patrick's Day madness, they performed with Gaelic Storm,  The Chieftains and Lúnasa. She picked a French persona, because she wanted to do something different for her SCA persona than real life.  LOL   Now she is thinking that her SCA persona may have to take up a secret life running with the Celts and pirates at Faires.

As far as instruments go, we are fairly new to playing.  Last fall, I pulled the old recorder out of the attic (actually, it was still in my mother's attic, if that gives you any clue how long it has been around) and was determined to pick it up again.   I played the oboe when I was in school, so I was thinking it wouldn't take long.   I play the tin whistle, but that is certainly not period.    Let's just say that practice time is a rare commodity around here, and it is not progressing as quickly as I would like.

Morcant plays the piano and the upright bass.    Neither of which travels very well.  So he is borrowing our son's mandolin and working up some songs on that.  I am jealous of how quickly this is going for him.    Once we are able to play some selections,  Geneviève wants to work on learning the lyrics to some of the songs so that she can sing.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Garb for Geneviève

Dress by Melinda at Camelot's Closet

I  ordered this dress for Geneviève, today.    It  is likely a bit fancy for the tourney events,  but it will work well when we dance at the Faires and go to indoor events.   I am usually a make-it-myself kind of person.  That is part of the fun for me.  But she was poking around on Etsy, found this and really, really wanted it.  The surcote is made  of 100% silk, excepting the trim and the under dress is embroidered cotton.  

One of the realities of living in Iowa, is that fabric selection is awful and it is not cheap. At my local Joann's store,  an 8 x 8 swatch of silk is $3, so you can imagine what the three or four yards I would need   for this surcote would run. It was a good deal, too.  Honestly for what it cost,  I don't think I could have purchased the material,  not to mention the time it saved me.  I want to find a dark brown wool to make a cloak for her to wear over it,  in the winter.   She has a plain chemise and a rough peasant skirt for camping.  She has to think on what else to make but we have plenty of time.

I haven't really thought about my own garb, yet.  I have some  from performing with the dance troup, but I am not too keen on using it.  The second dress is definitely English and my first attempt was rough to say the least.  I will keep them as a back up, or try to repurpose them,  I suppose.  The chemise and the underskirt would make for a good camping clothes.    I may end up ordering a fancy Faire overdress and making our "everyday" outfits.   I can whip out a chemise in a few hours.

One of the quirky things I have to deal with is keeping my garb appropriate to my venue.  My persona will have to be a bit of a time traveler at times, I am afraid.   The dresses I would wear as even as an early period noble are not suitable for dancing at the Faires, so when you see me there I will likely still be wearing something  Gaelic but it will definitely have to be brought a few centuries forward.     

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Feast Gear

As you can tell by the lack of posting, we were hibernating.  Honestly,  we had a couple of mundane things pop up that took up far too much of our time. We decided to cut a few obligations in order to make time for the ones that  are more important to our family.  To the confusion of many who know us, the SCA made the cut.   It something that all of us enjoy and my thinking is that if you can get your teen to hang out with you,  you work the angle.

So as the plan is actually to make it to some events in the upcoming months,   I am trying to take things out and make an inventory of what we have and what we still need.   I had dug out the feast gear and was tallying it all on a spreadsheet ( welcome to my own special form of OCD)  when the boys and I decided it would be fun to have a Spring Feast, this evening.

Feast gear is one thing I have a lot of as I've been working on putting together our collection for a few years now, due to dancing at Renaissance Faires.   It can be done quite inexpensively.   Most of our items were picked up at local thrift shops, excepting the stoneware pottery which I bought from an acquaintance who is a merchant at  faires we frequent.   This isn't all we have, but this is what we needed for dinner.  I am sure that I will probably pick up more pieces but I think this looks good enough to be presentable.    Eventually Geneviève wants to have a go at carving some bowls and we might try wood burning some designs on the wood chargers.

I wish I were as prepared in other areas....


I am trying to remember to stay away
from clear glass as it was not likely
to be period  for us. 


Isn't this the cutest little salt pot?