About

Who am I.. It’s complicated.

Well ok, no it’s not. I play in the SCA as Mistress Sylvie la chardonnière. I’ve played in the West Kingdom of the SCA since 2002. I’ve cooked several feasts and autocratted several events. I live in the Province of Golden Rivers (Orangevale, CA) with my husband Sir Fearghus MacAirt, son Erik Stormbringer, two dogs (Freya and Sif), and a cat (His Evilness Emperor Loki the Kitty).

This is my blog to dump the random research-y bits that I find or figure out in recreating the middle ages.

My name is French.. in cookery I’m mainly interested in medieval French cookbooks.. but I like wearing all different kinds of clothing. So sue me.

Sylvie’s Words of wisdom:

When someone praises your art, your one and only response should be “Thank you”.

If they go on and ask “what would you do differently next time?” ONLY THEN are you allowed to point out all of the flaws that are terribly obvious to your eye. But not until they ask what you would change.

Do not tear down your art because you have spent thousands of hours staring at it. It really is a beautiful thing and you’re allowed to accept praise for it without negating the praise with your own criticism.

Please contact me at Sylvie@fibergeek.com

Here they are, 7 random facts about me:

1. I was born in the same hospital and delivered by the same doctor as my mother. The hospital burned down after she was born.. but they rebuilt it before I was born.

2. I have a scar on the back of my right hand and the top of my right foot. Both scars were made by nails (rusty nail on foot.. thumbnail on hand.. my thumbnail).

3. The first garment I ever sewed was for the SCA in 2002. It was horrible and has happily vanished into the mists of time. My mother once asked me how I got to be so good at costuming… I told her that over the years I’ve destroyed a lot of innocent fabric.

4. My Dad believes that “the family that builds together stays together”. When I was a kid we built four houses from the ground up. Mom and Dad are working on the fifth. It’s a Queen Anne Victorian on 47 acres on the Yellowstone River (Neverdone Farm). The only contractors they’ve hired on the new house were the concrete workers who poured the gypcrete for the radiant floor heating system, and the guy who will be checking the elevator to make sure it’s installed properly.

5. I’m a good cook because 1) my mother’s an indifferent cook.. 2) when I was a kid if you cooked dinner you got to stop working on the house for a while in order to go make dinner and 3) she who cooks the dinner doesn’t have to do dishes.

6. I turned 30 twice. When I was 26 my friend was turning 30. She was terribly freaked out about this and so we traded birthdays. I turned 30 and she turned 27. For the whole year I told people I was 30. The next year we traded back. I found it wasn’t as traumatic to me the second time.

7. Although I seem productive I’m actually very close to crippled by “analysis paralysis”. I will analyze a problem forever and have a hard time starting a project that I find daunting. I’ve mitigated this somewhat by making lists. Lists allow me to mark things off. If I can break a project into smaller projects I can edge around the paralysis by working on the smaller projects. But sometimes it’s a close thing.

Curiously enough, blogging is also allowing me to get past the paralysis. By talking through the task with an (imagined) appreciative audience I can more easily decide what to do.. and just do it. With progress shots. Maybe no one cares.. but I do.. and it helps.