stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Excuses I hate to have leveled in my direction;

"It's the Society for CREATIVE Anachronism! That's in our name!"

"We have ANACHRONISM in the name!"

"It isn't as if you were submitting it for an Arts and Sciences competition."

"They could have done it that way."

(paraphrased here)
"Not everything period was documented. Period people had common sense. If they wanted or needed _______ of course they would have made one. That none have been found by archeologists yet is not your fault."

"The SCA is just a game, a hobby.."

.... so therefore, history be damned. Do whatever you want.


What if what I want is to actually do things that are historically correct? What if that give me joy? How hard is it to understand and support that?
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Hmmmm. RV rental from a place near the War of the Wings site would be about $237 for three days, not including distance-travelled. Nearly the same cost as a hotel room but onsite and with a kitchen & fridge.

Tempting. Very tempting. We could drive down in our gas-efficient car and pick up the rental when we're near the site. Asa is a genius.
stitchwhich: (I embroider)
My summer sewing project is complete and in the hands of its owner. It nearly wasn't - after I'd overnight-expressed it to his last known address, he told me on Facebook (four days later) that he'd not gone to get it and was already packing. Boy, was I hot! Not even a 'thank you'! I learned of this when he posted on Facebook that he was looking for a piece of luggage to borrow. I asked him if he knew that I hated him right then... Later, he wrote to me to say that the clothes all fit except (go figure) the tunic with the embroidery, whose sleeves are about six inches too long. I have no idea how that happened. He didn't say how he got his clothes and I didn't ask but I'm figuring that one of the other guys in the group, who he was renting a room from, drove all the way down to the new-owner's house to deliver the clothing after he saw my response online. If so, I owe that driver some embroidery or something. Anyway it's done now, and that is all that matters. (And I got over my mad but it will be a long while before I'll be willing to sew for him again without money upfront as a regular commission job. No more 'for free just because I'm nice'.)

Having said that, I'm making a Norman tunic for another member of our re-enactment group- - - for free just because I'm nice. But I absolutely know that this guy will be quick to respond to any messages I send him, and he certainly deserves something that looks good. Heidi/Oda made his hosen for him so all he needs is a split-front tunic and an undertunic to complete his second kit. He's not going to need them soon as he's a new Second Louie in the Marine Corps and is busy with training, then expects to be shipping elsewhere for more training before he gets his real orders. He dropped by on Sunday to pick up his feast gear (I'd knitted cotton bags to store & transport them in so they would be safer as he moves around) and the linen-lined wool hood & mantle that he'd washed and dried... my fault, I've been so busy telling the guys that "this is washable and dryable" when talking about their trous and tunics for the past few years that I'm sure he completely forgot me telling them all that they should either dry clean or just wash & air dry their hoods. It was a long while ago that I'd made them. The wool shrank a bit. Not too badly, but the yarn-woven braid along the edge of the mantle puckered up and the linen lining was, of course, too large for the wool exterior. I was able to 'fix' that by creating a horizontal tuck all the way around the inside bottom of the mantle and hand-stitching it down. He's been instructed to use a steamy-but-cool iron to stretch out the wool braid when he gets a chance. It's not as though he won't have access to an iron on base!

Theoretically right now I'm prepping for the class on Viking-era Norse garb that I'll be teaching this Saturday. You can tell that I'm doing that by the fact that I'm typing an entry in here instead of hunting down my references on the web. I'm building up to it, really. Oh that reminds me - I need to find out if the school has an overhead projector I can use. One thing I'm doing for the class is hand-sewing another pair of Thorsberg trous. I want to have examples people can actually hold and play with during the class. It is giving me something to work on while we're watching TV at night. And now Bossman will have heavy trous for Ymir, something practically jeans-weight and sturdy.

I was thinking about how I could help with our need to purchase a new pavilion before Pennsic next year. The one we want, a 16x16, is between $1300-$1600 depending on which fabric treatment we opt for. Right now, with us looking at needing to buy a new car (mine bit the dust) and renew some dental work, things are looking tight. Money for something like a pavilion is going to be dear. So after some thought I've decided that I will attempt to merchant at a few events - nothing too stressful - and sell things I am comfortable making. I believe my plan at this point is children's garb and (of all things) cooler covers. Ours are made of a heavy upholstery fabric top with a soft skirt underneath. They look a bit like a ladies' boudoir stool, actually, or like a table covered with a cloth & a table carpet. The advantage is that we can get into the cooler without removing the cloth cover so it isn't too much of a modern-item jar when we use them at events. Lauren went with me to JoAnn's Fabric, where there was a very good sale, and I was able to pick up a nice selection of skirting and top fabrics. I also got a good bit of linen/cotton fabrics for kid's clothes. Not a huge amount, but enough to be a starter for the project. I plan on ploughing the profits back into the supply costs while skimming off a little each time. Even if I only earn a small amount, it will help. And of course there will be some parent out there who will be able to dress their kids comfortably and affordably without having to scramble to find the time to sew new stuff. I like that.

Anything left over can go to Gold Key in the spring. Here's our current cooler-cover. I'll be making mix-and-match sets for 'daytrip' sized coolers, and can measure & take orders for the larger ones since those are not so uniform in size and shape.

Cooler cover - small


Countdown: 239 days until I'm done with the (lifesaving) Gleevec and finish with its side effects. I thought I'd put that somewhere so I can recalculate whenever I have bad days - because the number is only going to get smaller.
stitchwhich: (Default)
I am going to reenactor's hell...

I just sent BossMan up to an SCA event with a late-16th century theme - with two pairs of modern pants to wear. See, the weather/allergy season kicked me in the face all this week with the result that I couldn't concentrate well enough to sew new (correct-to-period) clothing for him. Yet this event is one that really deserves to have the participants in as close-to-period clothing as they can manage. So I borrowed a trick from an old friend. I bought, in a second-hand store, two pairs of pleat-front pants with slit pockets  (I looked for suit pants* but there were none), removed the belt loops, cut the legs short & sewed gathering bands at the bottom.

He now has two pairs of 'trews'. Sort of. If you squint.

Luckily, he does have one pair of linen trews to wear with his shirts (thank goodness those were already there) and after this weekend the emergency ones will be useful for fighter's practises when he's playing rapier rather than heavy. That will save on wear & tear on his event clothing. But for now, he's going up there with only trews and shirts... shame on his valet! And his seamstress!

I am feeling better so this morning I started working on his linen doublet that will match his real trews. Even though I cut it out last fall, it fits well so I can safely use the 'real' trews and doublet pattern to make him one or two more outfits without needing him here to try things on. Then he can jettison those kinda-sorta, okay, not even that, pseudo-trews.

Assuming I can get him to part with ones that have pockets...

* Good ones have no pockets in the back, and only slit pockets in the front.


stitchwhich: (HordePeer)
In no particular order:

The "ribbon tied through the book w/name label" worked. Now that we know that, repeat performances of a library at an event should include instructions to the book owners to do that (if they can) before the event so the staff won't spend the first couple of hours processing books. Next time, though, we'll use/suggest curling ribbon for gift-wrapping rather than cloth ribbon. It'll be less expensive, too.

Co-ordinate with folks who use "Library Thing" more pre-event. And next time, maybe bring our (baronial) Library-thing scanner to record book titles. Assuming that we have Internet access, that is.

Sorting the books into "areas of interest" piles was useful, but needs to have the areas marked - since we were a tad overwhelmed by the number of books that showed up* I had not planned on needing that. I was wrong.

Having a media center for scanning and copying was a Godsend. Baroness Orianna's donation of blank CDs helped (we had sent someone out to find cheap thumb drives but none of the local stores had them in stock. Timing, I guess).

Stock library tape. One book was torn (a corner from the top of a page, savaged by the hinge of the scanner) and we had no way to repair it. Outside of the heartache of having to report that to the book owner, not having any way to effect a proper repair made it worse.

Encourage more folks to use their cameras/camera phones to take pictures of images and book covers. I saw people doing that and it had never occurred to me. I mean, I knew about Alban's use of his camera to create CDs to share but the idea of using them for one's personal research had eluded me until yesterday.

Marianna was smart enough to bring a bookshelf to the event - we didn't use it for books because we desperately need something skinny by the door to hold bags and cups/mugs - that did turn out to be important. And we learned that folks will not use the lower shelves - everything had to be set at waist or above height, to the point that one woman put her basket inside someone else's open basket rather than bend down to place it on a lower shelf. So in the future, I'll bring our "rowanwald" three-shelf unit that is taller than a table.

Marking the number of books each person brings on their labels helps at the end of the day. We had one donator (donater?)  who had written "___ of 5" on each of her tags. At the end of the day, she was so tired that had she not known she was missing one book, she would have left without it. I don't think we need "___of ___" so much as just the bare number indicating how many to look for.

Having pencils and 3x5 cards available cut down on the number of (potentially staining) pens that were used to make notes.

But most of all, the media center ROCKED. Aiden of Kingswood and John (whose full name I didn't know) spent the whole day making sure that someone was there to assist people with scanning and copying, and their aid was invaluable. And Aiden brought his computer/scanner set-up (So did Addy) - someone else did too but the name escapes me - so there was no line that I could see. Not to mention all the photos that were being taken (that was so smart!)

Next time, I'll solicit extra assistants specifically to act as research aids. Over lunch today, I was mentioning one person who had said that "there was nothing really useful" for his particular area of study in the (vast) collection of books there, and Sophia looked surprised and said that the woodcut books she'd brought should have had something in them for him to study. Ten-to-one, he'd glanced at the woodcuts, thought of them in terms of clothing and maybe tents, and never really noticed the cooking equipment or other blacksmithing stuff in them... I'm sure, even if that didn't hold true for that particular guy, it was true for some of the folks who were in there. So we need helpers who could suggest areas of resource - it would be a lovely way to help teach research skills without being a club over the head.

So - what have I left out? If you went, what other things need tweaking?



*We didn't count the number of books that were available, but we went through 30 spools of ribbon, at 6 yards per spool, and had to turn books away at the end because we ran out of labelling materials. That would mark approximately 270 books.... and we ran OUT of ribbon!
stitchwhich: (freezy penguin)
I just posted three 'demo station' ideas on my local list in the wild hope that one of them will appeal to the new folks who want to help but don't have any ideas of what to do. You know, *I* want to do some of them and I'll be off at an event that weekend! Good thing we have more demos coming up. I think it would be fun. Here's the ideas:

What Was Your Life?
Using dice or spinners, a visitor gets to roll/spin what strata of society they were born into, what they became, if they were rich or poor, how much they were educated, and how they died. This would only take five dice (large wooden squares) and an evening of painting them to create the 'kit'. Kids would like it most but strolling adults would probably be intrigued enough to want to try it - easy to man, no set-up or tear-down needed, just a table and a chair for the demo-person. Yeah, it's pretty much a rip from "RPG" manuals, but hey - I think I'd be intrigued if someone was saying, "Come on, take a chance. How did you live? Were you a Monk, a Knight, a charwoman? Hmmmm?"

Make your own heraldry
Using a selection of outlines of charges (nabbed in one huge copying session from That Famous Heraldry Book) and transparent paper, folks can quickly create their 'own heraldry'. All we'd need to add is some pencils and markers. Someone from the SCA could sit at a table and help people trace out and color their own devices. A simple guide about things like "no color on a color" would be all that was needed.

Make Your Own Book
A single sheet of paper can be folded to create a six-page book (the paper is folded "quantrain", I think the word is) and with a string, can be tied to become a small notebook. If the demo-person wanted to, they could have pencils and markers available for decorating the front of the book. (Brigit and I figured out how to do this and I really like the little book - it does not look like 'folded paper', it really looks like a book with few pages. At one time, I was going to make a bunch to leave as A&S appreciation tokens with a little note from me on the last page. But then I decided that would be hokey.)

Oh. I just thought of another one. As long as we have markers, why couldn't we have a 'make a stained glass window design" table? I know folks do it in camp and art class, but that was then and this would be on a nice, sunny day...
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