Pennsic War XLI Post-Mortem

OMG Pennsic!

Pennsic XLI. La Familia’s temple across the lake with morning mists.

It rained and it was hot and it was humid and it was dirty and it was fantastic and humbling and over-the-top and I wish I had done so much more and I’m so sore I can barely move and I can hardly wait to do it again. *gasp*

Most important lessons:

  • Glide and Braies continue to make me happy.
  • It is exceedingly cool to get a Pilgrim token from visiting something cool at Pennsic. I picked up both the general “Pennsic Pilgrim Badge” and a pilgrim badge for touring Casa Barducci. I’d love to be able to do something like this for our camp.. but we don’t have anything cool like that to visit. Must consider. WK party tokens?
  • Never go to the battle field without a parasol and water
  • The best and healthiest lunch on site is in the Pennsic Produce refrigerator: tomato and mozzerella balls in balsamic vinegar with a mini-loaf of Asiago bread
  • Flidais (in red) and Sylvie (in black) under a parasol at Pennsic opening ceremonies. (Picture taken by Alys Sheffield)

    It is possible to wear short-sleeved linen kirtles at Pennsic and you can survive the war with only two of them provided you have enough laundry days.. or wash your chemise(s) between wearings. That said, I’m sad there are no pictures of me in my kirtles. OH! and one pair of socks is NOT enough. [Edited to add: A friend just sent me a picture from opening ceremonies. Me, in a kirtle.. cowering under a parasol during the monsoon which was opening ceremonies 🙂 Still, it’s me in a kirtle at Pennsic. Yeah! ]
  • Teaching a class with a kit fee is a nice way to get some cash at Pennsic without having to hit up an ATM. The kit fee really did pay for the kit materials.. but it was nice to get that cash back in the middle of my Pennsic visit.
  • It’s not necessary to be drunk to have fun at a party, but it feels weird to set out to visit parties at Pennsic with the goal of not drinking. I think I need to figure this out.
  • Costco has a travel site where you can get cheap car rentals.
  • La Quinta hotel in Corapolis is just as nice as the Doubletree (and right across the street) and has a shuttle to the airport.
  • will sometimes have rooms available even when the hotels show as being sold out.

Continue reading Pennsic War XLI Post-Mortem

Pennsic War XL Post-Mortem


Ok. It was hot and horrible and fantastic and humbling and over-the-top and I wish I had done so much more and I’m so sore I can barely move and I can hardly wait to do it again. *gasp*

Most important lessons:

  • Glide and Braies make me happy.
  • Make sure you have more than one pair of comfortable shoes
  • When you are unhappy with someone in your camp, a cup of water, a sit in the shade and the mental image of a stray meteor landing directly on their head will immediately improve your mood.
  • If the class you’re attending isn’t good.. move to the next classroom… There’s too many class choices at Pennsic to sit through a bad class.
  • One of the best things about Pennsic.. was being able to sit in the shade in front of my pavilion, people watching and sewing and listen to Wolgemut performing on the stage just up the street. Everyday. Several times a day. Heavenly.
  • After Pennsic party at the Doubletree (with a hot shower and a hot tub) should be required.

My pictures from Pennsic.
Continue reading Pennsic War XL Post-Mortem

An Tir-West 2011 Post Mortem

An Tir-West War 2011

Originally we weren’t going to A/W War. Because of the costs of fixing our kitty’s broken leg we really couldn’t afford to pay for the gas to drive 8.5 hours up and 8.5 hours back for the war. Their Majesties heard about this and offered to carpool with us to share gas costs. We really wanted to go.. so even though we should have said no.. we said yes. It was a very fun trip. Their Majesties were a HOOT as travelling companions.

Continue reading An Tir-West 2011 Post Mortem

Beltane 2011 Post Mortem

I day-tripped Beltane. That trip turned out to be much shorter than I remembered it.. it only took about two hours to drive up there.. it took longer than it should have because I noticed my “low fuel” light had flashed on when I was half way up the mountain. I could probably have made it onto and off of site with the fuel I currently had.. but I didn’t want to chance it, so I turned around and went back down the mountain to refuel.

West Kingdom Beltane is on a lovely sheep ranch up in the hills of Cloverdale. Since it’s a working sheep ranch they don’t allow any pets on site. For the last few years F and I haven’t gone and we’ve said it’s because we couldn’t take our dogs.. but honestly, now that I think of it, we don’t take our dogs to a lot of other events.. so it’s silly to blame that for our reason for not going. No, more like a subtle case of burn out.. coupled with “no dog in that fight” wrt the folks stepping up. Honestly for the last few years we haven’t been very invested in the royal pair.. and it’s just been easier to bitch and whine about the pet-free site than to just admit that we were taking a weekend off.

That said, it’s a very lovely site.. and I’m actually really glad I went. Fearghus continues to have classes on Saturday (he should be finished with that by the middle of May) so he hadn’t planned to go.. but Mark (the stepping up King) asked him specifically to try and make it so Fearghus took off early from his class and was on site in the late afternoon. Given how much fun we had (and the promise of a recurrance of the Saluminati meeting) we will probably be attending and camping this next year.

All in all it was a very nice, relaxing day. I glanced over a bunch of pictures on Facebook from the event.. and in a few from court I’m in the background.. diligently sewing 🙂 I suppose I just have to either be ok with that.. or stop sewing at events.

I did finish my new green tunic. I -love- the color. I also got 80% done with my new black hood. I was able to mostly finish sewing on that during the courts. After courts I attended Vittoria and ended up at the tail end of the Saluminati meeting. They plied me with meat goodies. So very yummy. I’m again firmly committed to being a joiner and trying my hand at charcuterie. Plans are in the works. After that I ended up hanging out in Chateaus du Rose. I had a lovely time chatting with them.

Sadly I forgot my coat at home so I got VERY cold in the evening. This led to me blasting the heater in the car on the way home.. which made me VERY sleepy. I was terribly cranky and tired when I got home and went almost directly to bed.

On Sunday I made good progress on my sleeves of DOOOOM. I’m almost done with everything I can do before my bodice fitting. I’m very excited about this dress.

Project List:
Blue Dress for brother’s wedding (Due by 5/21) (in progress. Skirt is done, sleeves are 1/3-1/2 done, bodice isn’t started)
Finalize hat class for Cynaguan Coronet/A&S (Due by 5/30)
Outfits for Pennsic (Due by August)
Fearghus Påsbyxor (pattern is 2/3 done)
St. Brigitta Coif
Make sausage

Fabric Sale

The great fabric cull has begun. My stash is bulging and it’s time to clear some of this stuff out.

Send questions to: Shipping and handling will be added to purchases where the fabric needs to be mailed.

I will be attending West Kingdom Beltane and I’m willing to bring the fabric there.
Continue reading Fabric Sale

Mists Spring Coronet 2011 Post Mortem

I day-tripped to Mists Coronet. Fearghus has Saturday classes for the next month or so and it’s just easier to day-trip than to all-out camp. I’d be tempted to skip the events.. except that I’m on multiple overlapping courts and I do want to be as helpful as I possibly can be.

The day was won by Miles Fitz-Rauf fighting for the honor of Francesca von Hesse.

(pictures from the Facebook albums of Joel Schonbrunn and Jocelyn Rowenwood)

I’m amused to report that my butt was photographed multiple times but I can only find one picture of me from any other direction. Man.. I’ve got a big butt.

– I wore my red wool dress. I think I’m going to go ahead and add a stripe of black at the hem edge. It just seems so short. As a bonus.. someday when I learn to embroider I think the cuffs and hem would be perfect for embroidery. Early in the day I found the wool dress to be oppressively hot.. but as the day progressed it cooled down and I was glad I had worn wool. In fact towards the end of the day I ended up putting on my new rust-red wool hood.
– On Friday night I made a new rust-red hood. I like the hood but I want to tinker with my pattern. I’d like to have at least one more hood in black.
– I also think I’m going to add a St. Brigitta coif to my project list.. it seems like a good alternative to the coif/veil I’ve been wearing.
– I wore my new boots.. which I determined were just too big. In fact I ended up selling the boots at the event so I’ll be ordering new, smaller boots to replace them.

I spent half the day hand sewing on the purple under-tunic for Her Highness of the Mists (finished both side seams).. and the other half of the day attending His and Her Royal Highness of the West.

At Her Highness’s Nuncheon I had the good fortune to taste MadBaker‘s Sausage (.. man.. that sounds naughty). Anyway, it was -so- yummy. His recipe is posted here. I will totally be trying my hand at sausage with this recipe. I’m now in the process of acquiring the materials and a sausage stuffer. NOM NOM NOM.

I’m happy to report that aside from the start of blisters from sloshing around in my too-big boots I had no problems with being on my feet or tromping around chasing the Royal pair. Go Go exercise and stretching in defeating Plantars Faciitis and sloth.

Since my red wool tunic is a bit too hot.. and my baby blue linen tunic is a bit to ragged, I’ve determined to make a new linen tunic for myself. Digging through my stash I found a nice hank of green linen. I’ve washed it and hope to be able to churn out a nice tunic for myself by Beltane (3 weeks away). I’ve got plenty of time assuming I put the work into it.

The cloth for my new blue german dress is currently in the dryer. It washed up beautifully but shed a BUNCH of fluff. I hope to be able to get started on the sleeves this week.

Project List:
Finish Her Highness of the Mists purple undertunic (Due by Beltane 4/30)(should be done this week)
Green tunic for me (Due by Beltane 4/30)(fabric is in the wash)
Blue Dress for brother’s wedding (Due by 5/21) (fabric is in the dryer)
Tunics for Pennsic (Due by August)(fabric is in the mail)
Pants for Pennsic (Due by August)
Fearghus Påsbyxor (pattern is 2/3 done)
St. Brigitta Coif
Black hood of new pattern
Make sausage

Letter of Recommendation

Pinning this. This was not written by me but I don’t want to lose this information.
Continue reading Letter of Recommendation


Interesting Stumble-upons:
The Colorful Iron Age
Interesting conclusions about Medieval/Iron Age dyes and mordants. Researchers dyed some wool samples and then simulated aerobic and anaerobic burial conditions. “The dyes included madder, cochineal, Brazilwood, indigo, weld, and walnut, and the mordants included alum, copper, cream of tartar, and tin.”

Pleatwork Yahoo Group Nice articles about early 16th century German pleatwork Aprons and Hemds.

Wire rings Interesting blog post about simple wire rings based on medieval rings found in the MoL Dress Accessories book.

Inga Hägg has a website.

Dimenstions of wooden frames of surviving Viking tents with a standardised tent.

Greydragon article about Chausse

Living History Podcast

Found mention of a reenactor podcast, “Living History Podcast“, on one of the email lists I follow. I haven’t listened to it yet but I have added it to my downloads.

Fishing Weirs

Primative British fishweirs
Basket weir
Fish weirs on the Tâf, Towy and Gwendraeth estuaries, Carmarthenshire.