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25 February 2011 @ 03:19 pm
I'm making a set of male Viking garb; Four gore linen t-tunic down to mid thigh, to be worn with innocuous black or brown trousers and sensible boots.

I am wondering whether there are any styles of Viking headgear (for a male) which have a brim which would provide more protection from the sun than the classic fur trimmed caps I see so much of?

If not, would a sensible straw or felt hat suffice for practical purposes, or would that skew the attire to appear to be from some other time and place, and if so, where?

Or I suppose what I am asking is; what's a time and place which utilises simple t-tunics and sensible hats for our climate?
30 January 2011 @ 10:01 am
I've not posted here much for many months due to a combination of factors. But I'm all enthused after Surveying Expedition, and this is the right place to enthuse.

First though, November saw the Lyos Memorial water-fight Picnic, which happened to fall on a day when it rained so heavily and continuously that a large pond/small lake formed in the lower reaches of the park. We set up the tent and sunshade in the warm, teeming rain, but could not light the fire.

Astoundingly, a small number of heroic people attended despite the unremitting rain, and we sat in the tent to chat and eat our picnic. The children played boffer fighting in the ephemeral lake until we packed down and fled to drier destinations.

The kids were paddling an imaginary Viking ship toward the shores of central Victoria.

On the way home, the radio news told me that large parts of the district were flooded, homes evacuated and roads closed.

The Timeline Fair was also in November. I was selling fabric and furs out of my stash for the duration, but I did get to stroll around many areas of the site on Sunday, and I found the other reenactment groups just marvelous. I've not seen many of them before, and the range and quality of their work was impressive and inspiring.

I also enjoyed the startling juxtapositions of people and objects from different points in time. From my spot at the top of the hill, my favourite "Timeline Moment" was this, in which demure ladies in flowing pink dresses and bonnets were participating in spear throwing class given by the Ancients:


December saw William Marshall come and go without me. I'd spent four or five consecutive weekends at field events, and as my kids were reluctant to go to yet another SCA thing, I decided to stay home instead. If WM had been a feast in a hall as I've come to know and love it, I would have tried to find someone to look after the kids and gone along.

WM was my first big event, and I try to make new garb for it each year; something a bit higher effort than another chemise or underdress and surcote combination. Now I feel overdue for making a new gown. I do have enough practical garb to get through Suth Moot at Easter, so I'm trying to convince myself to just finish and embellish my huge velvet dress, but... I found more of the linen my favourite dress is made of a couple of weeks ago, and I am tempted to make another. Only with proper seam finishes, and the errors in cut corrected.

Really, though, what I need to do is make some new garb for my two younger children. They might be outgrowing their grubby urchin personas along with their simple surcotes. Hm. I wonder what ever happened to the short linen lengths I was going to make parti-colour tunics out of? (Please don't tell me there is a fabric stash I haven't yet been through!)

Meanwhile, Kittelty's auctions have a sale today and I want to go have a look. Aside from anything else, it's meant to be 40 degrees later, and I am curious to know what that will be like in this first hot auction day in their new venue, which is a huge, unventilated tin shed. Not only might the buyers flee toward mid afternoon, the auctioneer sits on an elevated podium, and the temperature up there will probably be ferocious. Interesting to me, at least. :)
29 October 2010 @ 03:21 pm
My hub spoke tent was set up on Sunday and today I went and fetched it home.

The tent was intact and fine despite it having been so windy today that it blew my tent out of the ground. It was sort of lolling at a 45 degree angle, the walls having come off their pegs in a few places and one of the wind-lines having slipped to full extension.

The roof was still clear of the ground, the spokes still set into the hub keeping the tent roof taut.

I secured the flapping walls back onto the groundsheet pegs (I had been lazy and not pegged them out properly) and tightened the windline so the tent was secure enough to enter, then I took it down the usual way.

The only damage was that one cheapo metal eyelet, which had been holding a ground-peg rope-loop, tore out off. I think the cheapo eyelets are the most serious weakness that tent has, and in future I would use practically anything else for preference.
Renovating my kitchen or bathroom (or both).

Replacing my laptop and buying two new desktops and hardware to network them and my TV/music gear all together, including backup media.

Buying a big-arse flatscreen. (not that I want one, just that I could for that kind of money)

Putting roofed areas out the front of my garage and workshop, and the timber to make custom shelving.

Paying someone to install shade structures on three sides of my house.

Getting built-in air conditioning.

Paying a builder to put walls where I want walls inside my overly open-plan house, then having an extravagant reno-warming party.

Taking my children to Rowany Festival four or five times or to Suth Moot ten or more times.

What I can't buy with that or any amount of money is the ability of people who are advertising the benefits of their event in ways only relevant to people local to the site to consider whether it's useful to send that message to people on the other side of the world. *shrug*
The kitchen building is coming along in leaps and bounds now that the basic layout is sorted and all that needs to be done to complete the the brickwork (that I am aware) is clean bricks, get more bricks make some bricks into little bits of bricks and build, build, build. Not too much at a time, though, because it's best to let the mortar set every few rows.

Lime mortar is weird to see mixed. The ingredients do not look like they will mix, and then, when stomped and squoodged correctly, it becomes mortar quite suddenly. Anyway, I have learned how weird lime mortar is. And I have helped a bit with the building, mainly by handing people bricks, slopping water onto brickwork and making bricks into smaller bits of bricks.

I finally rejigged my tent on Sunday. It has been looking saggy and strange for a while, and I have been thinking that when I replaced the "temporary" internal timber work with the permanent lot, that sagginess would go away. However, once I finally pruned the new spokes to just the right length to work, they were angled down rather more than originally intended. So I raised the ring at the top, took another three quarters of an inch off each spoke and presto! Taut tent! Or at least, it will be when I get around to pegging the walls out properly.
cut for photosCollapse )
Now I think that medieval tents are cool. Possibly the only thing cooler is a medieval tent with a horse inside it. I cannot adequately express my delight at the fact that my groundsheet now has hoof prints on it. Hee!
Paraphrased from this article with images in it:

"In 1550, Hungarian nobleman Gregor Baci who was impaled through the head by a lance. A portrait showing the spectacular injury exists, but it was never known whether the picture had been exaggerated. Recently, a medical team from Austria reported a remarkably similar case in The Lancet where the patient survived and recovered with no ill effects."

Really, if you can cope with images of people's heads with things stuck through them, it's worth clicking through for a look.
21 October 2010 @ 11:31 am
Browsing for something else, but this tent image drew my attention.


What are those things sticking out through the tops of the "door" section, holding it open, I wonder?

17 October 2010 @ 02:33 pm
I'm really glad I didn't do the sensible thing and stay home yesterday.

Tournament of Ivy and Feast was lovely. The tourney was over with before I arrived, but I did manage to deliver canvas to people, and did some sitting around, as well as exploring of the park. There was a pond inhabited by frogs I think of as "bock-frogs" because their call is a flat, low "bock" sound comparable to gently striking a fist-sized lump of smooth quartz on a hard granite rock.

I could not see any of the frogs responsible, but in looking for them was impressed by the bubbles coming from 'neath the water. I regret not thinking of trying to light whatever gas was escaping. I had a lighter and all. Oh well.

Ten or a dozen kids were capering in the playground, exploring the park, fighting with/over boffer weapons and waving ribbons-on-sticks, or cracking them like a stockwhip.

The party broke up when it was time to head for the hall, and the event was set up. The venue was a handy size; enough room for everyone to have tables with adequate remaining floor space for dancing and more twirling with sticks. The food was really yummy and abundant, the company was great -- I got to meet and speak with a couple of people I haven't more than seen at a distance before.

I noticed that my sentences were emerging oddly a couple of times, and had to remind myself to slow down and compose/censor what I was saying. I suspect I was more than usually interrupty, too, which is rude. And at the end of the evening, I was losing focus and falling into flat, spiraling ramble mode. I can't be certain of my perceptions, but I extend my apologies to anyone I offended or caused to feel uncomfortable! *blush*

I am very pleased with the redistribution of leather and fabric, and feel thankful toward people who succumbed to temptation by giving me money in exchange. :)

The performances for the entertainment competition were impressive. One for originality, courage and audience participation. One for skill, delivery and musical enjoyment.

I reckon that given the inclination of the children to want to have boffer battles, yet another thing to look for when searching for a feast venue is an area which can serve as a boffer-field and get the older kids to delineate it as such. I suppose I'm trying to accommodate their entertainment needs while containing them, therefore the smaller children they attract, to semi-supervised areas.

Also; when I take the five candle candlestick to events, I need to take something to place under it to catch the wax. Fabric would probably be best. Hmm.
12 October 2010 @ 06:33 pm
So many projects. So many other, more practical, priorities. Odd pain in the diodes all down my left side.
04 October 2010 @ 10:01 pm
I enjoyed the drive to the site. Especially the last part, where I knew that I was on the wrong road but so delighted at the scenery that I didn't much care. I saw a sign pointing up a dirt road saying "Macclesfield 6", turned around and found myself arriving at the site without passing through the town at all.

The assorted accommodation and amenities was set into the slope above the stream and lake of a very pretty site. The terrain required some creative negotiation from the campers, and setting up unfamiliar tents in the dark is always such an adventure. No, really! It's fun!

I was delighted to see Dame Miriam's tent set up, and I have some insight into how Mistress Elaine's tent is assembled. B&B Sara and Rodrigo's new tent went up in the dark and was another fascinating tent style to learn about. Not to mention the beds! So much string! Awesome!

I cooled down as soon as I stopped, and threw on my default woolly tunic over my t-shirt and jeans both for comfort and as a low effort shortcut to looking somewhat medieval. Soup kitchen was ample and company kind. Discussions of the heraldry displayed on the splendid Innilgard wall-hangings were very informative. I don't know what time I lumbered off to bed, but I slept readily and well.

The following morning, to add an odd personal note, I found that I was not comfortable to go out of the cabin without a head covering. This amuses and intrigues me. I mean... I was heading for the showers first thing in the morning to bathe and get properly attired, a bit of bed-hair and pre-coffee "urgh" would not be too harshly judged, right? But before I was fully awake I had selected a veil and secured it before venturing forth. Heh. The medieval is soaking in, I think.

Breakfast was breakfasty and afterward I sort of wandered idly about, fetching things from the car, working out what I would be working on while watching the endurance-tourney that was the event of the day. I finally concluded that I really, really need a good medieval chair. But I was kindly encouraged by the company I wished to sit among, to sit in my unsightly comfortable chair. I draped fabric over it, but that's really not an adequate solution. Anyway. A chair is a task for another day. I have tools and timber and many, many plans...

The combat proceeded, the heralds called, combatants fell, consorts swooned (or, well... looked on and said "Well taken, Milord/Milady), the spectators...uh... spectated. The shadows shortened and the sewing and conversation gave way to lunch -- laid out on trestles in the shade to one end of the field.

The afternoon was much like the morning, to me, only the shadows were in different places and getting progressively longer. The combatants, though, were feeling the strain. In some way, on some level, enjoying being extended to the limits of their endurance, I have to presume. At one point I ended up in the kitchen building amid a flurry of people making and delivering hot drinks to the Heralds. But the work was done before I could lay a hand on it, and I drifted again, relocating things where they needed to be, wondering what jobs were to be done. I tried for a nap, but that failed so I drifted back to my sewing below the tall pines.

The combat was drawing to a close, the remaining combatants, while clearly tired, began to glow with excitement and awe at the realisation that they were cresting the hill between "I think I can, I think I can" and the downhill chant of "I knew I could! I knew I could!". Onlookers were asked to nominate combatants they believed had demonstrated chivalric qualities on that day for inclusion in the tourney for the following day.

The final bouts of the epic tourney were completed, announcements made and loud huzzahs rang through the green valley as the light faded. People gathered up their things and set about preparing for the evening feast.

My, but the banners in the hall were amazing. Actually, on arriving at the site after an eight hour drive, I wandered into the open hall and stood, dazed, in front of the three glorious Lady and the Unicorn paintings. They are exquisite!

The cinnamon cordial fountain was lovely, the soteltie was complex (description escapes me) and extremely cool. Court was called, and I was full of really yummy local wine and sort of letting the court happenings wash over me until the winner of La Prova Dura tourney was announced and called forth to accept the prize. Duke Hauoc Bender accepted the lovely hand-made silver and garnet ring (with lions heads and all) and then, in a moment of inspired chivalry, he gave a very affecting speech in which he presented the ring to Mistress Nicolette for running the lists all day. I strongly appreciated the symbolism of Combat honouring Service. It's something that has impressed me deeply.

The next order of business in the court that I can remember is the announcement that Krae Glas is to become a Barony. I was sitting amidst Krae Glas people and there was much hugging and loud huzzahs. Also some dancing around in circles, bouncing, clapping, beaming faces and hopping up and down.

In the later court, we had to (Ssshhhh!) be beewwwy, beewwwy quiet 'cos they were hunting Pelicans. And they searched among the populace, and they looked outside, and I saw Mistress Maddie looking under tables. And then the people who had gone outdoors returned with two splendid pennants bearing the arms of Baron and Baroness of Innilgard, Aylwin and Ingerith and the game was up. Everyone roared approval as Aylwin and Ingerith moved to kneel beneath their pennants and the hall banners in the midst of the Pelicans in the candle-lit hall. The assembled populace quickly settled to listen to the declarations of the Pelicans requesting that the two gentles thus presented to the King and Queen be admitted to their Order. Much huzzahing followed, and the court concluded and dissolved into congratulatory mingling and partaking of dessert.

I... know I ended up in the kitchen hall participating in Baroness Blod's Bardic Circle which blended into conversation interspersed with naps until the wee small hours. The following day started with another hearty breakfast and the commencement of the La Prova di Amore tourney.

I had been advised by Baron Aylwin that Sunday would be an appropriate day for me to nab a table and sell fabric and leather I had brought. So with the help of kind gentlefolk who were passing, I fetched my bags-o-stuff and set up the "Send Celsa Home Saaaale!" and then I sat and "played" my oud, drank coffee and intermittently sold leather and fabric.

So I did not watch the tourney on the Sunday. Lunch happened at a lunchly hour, and after the tourney and closing court, I packed up and began to ferry things out to my car. I took my time, as I wanted to leave no earlier than a couple of hours before nightfall.

The drive home was quiet. I enjoyed the ferry ride, saw no signs of locusts (except for the signs warning of locusts) ate junk food in Horsham close to Midnight, slept for an hour just short of Ararat and arrived home safe some time after that.

I had a lovely time, though I would have liked to have stayed for the week and gone to Great Southern Gathering as well. I think everyone I saw at La Prova Dura was having a great time. I thank the organisers and am very grateful for the effort that everyone put in to running the event.