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This weekend Julia had to work, so I went to yesterday's event on my own. Well, not quite on my own; I had invited one of Julia's coworkers to come. She did and had a good time. I left her to fend for herself more than I intended but that's because some stuff I've been working toward for a while came up (see below).

I, too, had a good time. I talked to the local regent and chancellor of the Ithra (the An Tir collegium system) about becoming chancellor-in-training. I wasn't expecting to talk to them because neither one has come to much locally and I hadn't been getting any responses to my e-mails. They are excited about bringing me in so that's really good.

In addition, I did court for their Majesties. They make it really easy -- they provide a booklet with text for each award given. The text doesn't match the scroll text, but that's their choice. Court was largish for this area with 19 pieces of business. They thought it would take a half hour to 45 minutes, but was closer to an hour long. Then there was baronial court which was also largish.

I got a lot of unsolicited compliments on my court style. People liked that they could hear me in the back and that my diction and enuciation were very clear. Fortunately the retainers kept me well watered (the person I had asked to second me didn't show and the other herald had to do baronial court).

I participated in the subtleties contest too. There were only two entries and the judges couldn't decide between them. The criteria were taste and appearance and each of us excelled in one of those. The other person made a chocolate? cake with green fondant and sugar paste figures (that were really really good looking) and I made shortbread with icing in the design of an acorn (wasn't pleased with how it looked, but oh well). So we were both called winners. I was later told by one of the judges that if it was up to him, I would have been the sole winner so I felt good.

All in all, a pretty good event.

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We're back from KWHSS in Omaha. It was wonderful. For a change neither of us were scheduled to teach anything, so that left our schedules fairly open. We each attended a few classes/roundtables (I actually got the running of one dropped in my lap during the roundtable) and we did a lot of schmoozing. We each met Patrick and Rusty (SCA president and herald's omsbudsman respectively) and got some quality time with each. Of course, I didn't know who Patrick was because I was only introduced to him under his SCA name. Fortunately, I didn't have any indiscretions or the like so it was a nice, uneventful conversation.

We had gotten in around 1-ish on Friday, so we met up with Olwynn and Jeanne-Marie for lunch. They had found this little pub in Old Market that was very interesting, had good waitstaff, and lovely food/drinks (the Mae West was like drinking raspberry-lemonade and snuck up on you and the mojitos were fabulous).

Then we went back to the hotel to see who else had arrived. It was almost like being in Herald's Point at the War except a few faces weren't there and we were not boggy with rain! We even spent too much money on books.

Dinner on Friday was at a nice little Persian place back in Old Market. Juliana and I had appetizer-like stuff because we had eaten real meals in the middle of the afternoon and weren't terribly hungry.

Saturday morning, we left halfway through Da'ud's keynote address because we didn't leave time for breakfast and needed food. Like I said above, we attended classes and schmoozed all day. Then, as many have pointed out, we had dinner at an overpriced, but yummy steakhouse on the ground floor of the Hilton across the street from our hotel. They really know how to manage large parties there; they had almost no missteps with our orders and had set up our tables on 15 minutes notice. Best of all, they know what rare means!

After dinner, we went back for the dessert revel. Please, if you do this, make a note of what has wheat, nuts, and other allergens in it; better yet, place an ingredients list next to each dish -- I didn't know what I could or couldn't have. We watched Da'ud Bob ibn Briggs give some quick reviews to a few movies, hysterical as always. We hung around, schmoozed some more, and drank. Then we retired back to Jeanne-Marie's room for more chatting and got to bed around 1:30.

Sunday, we were actually up early enough to get breakfast before the road show. The road show went reasonably well, though I think arranging the audience across the width of the room works better than arranging them the length of the room (fewer side-conversations and less noise plus you are not as far from the sovereigns).

After the roadshow, several of us went to lunch at the nice pubby place that we were at on Friday. Unfortunately, the waiter we had wasn't terribly good; in fact he was terrible:
  • He forgot the water-no-ice and needed to reminded twice.

  • He topped off the diet cokes with iced tea. Later he tried to repeat the mistake (on fresh drinks).

  • He brought the wrong salad out for an order.

  • Either the kitchen didn't pick up the ticket or he forgot to put it in, so one of the meals was missed.

  • After getting the missed meal out of the kitchen, the wrong sides were on it.

    • All of the mistakes happened to the people who were seated on either end of the tables. The last three all happened to Jeanne-Marie; fortunately, he comped her whole meal.

      After lunch, we came home to rest and recover. But it's chilly here now.:(

      Also, I have a to-do list the length of my arm. I've been told that Rusty wants to talk to me about the Laurel and websites and how to redesign them to be more user-friendly. I need to get with several people regarding articles for the Laurel website. And I can't remember what else I need to do; I have the list in a notebook in my purse downstairs.

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Here's a little about Juliana's Laurelling ceremony - just a taste to tide you over until she gets a chance to do it.

Friday night was the vigil. It was reasonably well attended and a lot of good advice was given and received. Some challenging questions were asked and answered by both the candidate and the members. Their Majesties stopped by to offer their advice, both as Royals and as Laurels (they are both members). Juliana presented jewelry to Them and it was well received.

The next day was the ceremony. Final Court didn't start until 3, so there was time to get the last little bits done on her robes and my dress. We mustered at the back of the room when the Order was called in, only to discover it was called to send another on vigil. So we waited through several more pieces of business until it was time. Every herald who could processed in with her -- in their tabards. It looked spiff!

As they started the ceremony, Her Majesty invited me to stand alongside them to view the entire ceremony. The words of the worthies were well received and led at least one of the Order members to wonder where all the rest of the kingdoms were (she had seven kingdoms represented -- and all the tenures of the Laurel Sovereign except Shauna). Juliana was presented with a wreath from Charles, the Harold Breakstone medallion, and scholar's robes. Her Majesty asked me to help robe Juliana.

Then Juliana swore fealty on their Majesties mortal selves. They responded, then we processed out.

I was sent back to camp to rest and get out of the sun. My shoulders got a bit burned (but not the front or back of my neck). I realized that the glass earrings I was wearing had caused that. People trickled in and we ate off the left-overs of the vigil food.


Now, to change the topic, we just got another car -- a white Pontiac Grand Prix. We've been needing another car since Buster's door died. Managing getting to work in opposite directions has been taxing. Julia can't do anything later than 3:30 if she has the car or I have to interrupt whatever I'm doing after work to pick her up if her schedule doesn't dovetail with mine. This will just make life easier.

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Food is now done for the vigil! And I got the shortbread done for the party!!!!

I'm sore, but feeling loads better than last night. However, I am NOT going to be loading the vehicles (whenever they get here) or doing much in the line of unloading.

Now, I still need to finish my dress and do a choker necklace for Juliana. But they don't have to be done until Saturday afternoon.

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The Ember Day tarts are cooling. They should be good. Now, all I have to do for the vigil is make the compound butters. Yea!!!! For Saturday, I need to make the shortbread. That's easy.

But I hurt. Really really hurt. I was standing in the family room with my hand on my hip and stepped sideways out of Julia's way. Right into the edge of the bathroom door. Ooooowwwwwwwww! The spike of pain shot through my elbow, up my arm, across my shoulder, and into my neck.

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Well, the three pork and chicken pies are done, 42 venison tarts are done, nearly 70 apple tarts are done. I still need to do the Ember Day pies (Thursday) and some wheat-free venison tarts and apple tarts for some friends who can't do wheat. But my shoulder and neck may never forgive me -- thanks to TPTB for muscle relaxants and pain meds.

I kind of overmade the filling for the apple tarts, so I'm turning the leftover into a fruit compote for Saturday night. I also have too much venison filling but I'm putting that over noodles for dinner some night this week.

I still need to finish putting buttons and button loops on my gown, the pearled choker for Juliana's elevation, and any other jewelry I can get done. I'm taking today as a rest day, so I might actually get some of that accomplished.

BTW (off-topic from the rest of this post): I finally figured out how to explain to people what my shoulder and neck do/feel like. Form a fist. Now squeeze as hard as you can and hold it. Keep holding it. Feel that burn? Squeeze tighter and hold it. Feel that pull? Keep holding. Are the muscles in your hand protesting yet? Keep holding. Feel how the tightness and pain in your hand is now in your lower too. Try holding it like that for five minutes. Try curling your hand toward your wrist. Hurts even more, doesn't it? That's how my neck and shoulder are most of the time.

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The cookfest has begun. The pork and chicken tarts are done and in the refrigerator. I'd put them in the freezer, but the side-by-side freezer is too damned narrow! Guess tomorrow I go out and get some dry ice for the cooler and keep it going all week (which won't be too hard as the cooler keeps dry ice for days -- as the holiday trip back demonstrated).


I'm working on the filling for the venison tarts so it will be cool when we make the pies tomorrow. I need to modify a period recipe to thicken the sauce as these are hand-held pies rather than venison served in a coffin (which acts much like a serving dish).

Things are going kind of well for Juliana. Her mother fell again and broke a toe and some bones in her foot this morning. Juliana is currently trying to convince her mother to request physical therapy focusing on balance training. She's has so many broken bones in her lower legs and can't use crutches so she is losing balance and strength (which then makes another fall/break more likely).
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I just dropped Juliana off at the airport. Her grandfather died yesterday and his funeral is Saturday. We've known he was dying for a couple of weeks, so it wasn't a surprise.

Clearly, I'm not going. I've got way too much to do to prepare for the vigil and doing two serious trips on back-to-back weekends were going to be really, really hard on me.

However, Juliana may need some help finishing her robes at her vigil and before court. They are too bulky to work on on the plane or in the car (plus the terror that the airlines would lose them if she put them in checked baggage), so she's not working on them this weekend. She still needs to do the sleeves and lining, attach sleeves and lining, tack lining at shoulders, hem, and tack the front to the lining (I think). I can't touch the wool (it bites me if I look at it), so I'm useless for this.

In an ironic twist of fate, I will be attending a local funeral while she is gone. A local prior baroness of the group died last week, just before the holiday.

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The Fourth was nice, if a little on the warm side (>90 degrees). We went down to the park later than we planned, but that worked out for the better. I wanted to take my chair, so we pulled out the trusty luggage cart and loaded it with the chair, a bag of sewing projects (what else do you do at the park?), and a small cooler of drinks. The firework display was lovely though the music (recycled musak versions of a lot of stuff, being used year after year) was dreadful and actually detracted from the show. It didn't help that the fireworks weren't timed to it, or maybe it did. Scamp didn't like the noise of the backyard fireworks one of our neighbors was putting up.

Preparations for Juliana's Laurelling are going apace. We had a slightly unsuccessful fitting of the gown -- not enough allowance was left for the supporting layers of fabric, the hooks and eyes, and the boning. We are making two panels to go on the sides, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. The velvet trim looks incredible.

We are still working on the chemise. It can't be finished until we have the red finished as we are matching necklines. The petticoat for under the red is nearly done. It just needs hooks and eyes.

The robes are coming along swimmingly. Juliana is stuck doing those on her own as the wool really doesn't like me. As in if I look at it or get within two feet, it bites me! Grrrr!

My gown is coming along well (all my nice court-type stuff clashed with her red). I had to clean out all the Joann's Fabrics of the buttons I wanted (I needed 33) and they are discontinuing carrying the buttons. I got enough and even have two extras!

The jewelry projects are done!!!! And they turned out nicely. I will post pictures in a couple of weeks.

The pre-cook/testing of the recipes has been good, but I am looking for a new 13th to 14th century venison pie recipe. The one I found wasn't all that interesting. If I don't find a specific recipe, I will probably adapt a beef or random meat recipe to it. The apple tarts and Ember Day tarts I can do in my sleep.

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Been a while since I've updated. Things have been crazy this last week. I tested another recipe for the vigil, decided it was tasty enough to use as an A&S entry, devised a new pie dough recipe, made another pie for the contest (and wrote the documentation), went to the event (day tripped due to weather), continued working on a big wire weaving project, did a little heraldic consulting, won said A&S competition, recovered on Sunday (worked on something, but don't remember what), bought some lovely blue brocade for an outfit, worked this week, and did more wire weaving. Juliana has been just as busy: preparing for this week of classes, did some consulting, washed and ironed the fabric for Laurelling clothes, cut out the undergown for her Laurelling outfit, worked out the pattern for her robes, proofread LoAR, and did commentary.

Whew, no wonder I'm tired.

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Food prep for the vigil is coming along nicely. I plan to do a lot of hand-held pie type things so people don't have to juggle plates. I need to figure out whether or not I'll be heating the pies (not conducive to hand-held-ness, but will likely improve the taste) and if I will, how to use my silly camp oven. Not the Coleman oven that goes on top of the Coleman stove because the thermometer on that is WAY TOO WACKY (tried baking biscuits and had blackened hockey pucks after 15 minutes). We have a portable oven I need to test yet.

The menu is looking to be something like this:
  • Venison pies (with real venison from my parents)

  • Pork and chicken pies

  • Ember Day tart

  • Tarte de Bri

  • Fresh fruit

  • Fresh veggies

  • Fresh bread and compound butters

  • Fine Bread

  • Apple Tarts

  • Mexican Chocolate (done Mexican style, not US style)

I was contemplating another sweet, but I've already got a lot of food there. I don't know if I need one or not. Juliana has asked me to do shortbread, but until I find a period recipe for it, I'm not doing it for the vigil. We'll have it Saturday at the celebration.

To those who have been offering help: I would love for someone to do a veggie tray and a fruit tray. I can't transport it already cut up and I don't want to have to cut it up after we are on site. Meadh is doing the fresh bread for me, so that is covered.

We be bringing some wine and mead; please feel free to bring your favorite.

I'm planning to print up little booklets with the recipes and redactions (I won't forget to include them like I did on my A&S entry) for people to take away with them.

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I got pretties in the mail today. Well, at least stuff to make pretties: several rolls of 20 gauge silver wire, some 20 gauge electric blue wire, lots of jump rings, and bunches of earring findings. In addition, I got a flush-cut wire cutter, a memory-wire cutter (memory wire is LOTS harder than regular wire and will damage regular cutters), and a jeweler's block. So now I can more effectively temper some of the wire designs I'm making.

I'm currently working on a wire weaving project for a gift. This project uses two wire-woven strands; the first one is done. I got a start on the next one which should be done by next weekend. I then need to attach them, but it shouldn't take long.

After this one's done, I've got two more to do by mid-July and some wire wrapping to do too. In addition to cooking Juliana's vigil food. *sigh*

Glad I decided to not be involved in the vigil garb.

However, I have been told that at least one person (probably more) will be commissioning jewelry from me for the holidays. I really got to post some pics of what I'm doing.

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This weekend's event was pleasant. I spent the entire weekend A&S geeking with people -- talking about cooking/spices, teaching how to wire weave, learning how to do a 3x4 wire braid (braiding four traits of three strands).

Unfortunately, I seem to have not eaten enough and slammed into a wall around 3:00 this afternoon. Granted, I didn't start the weekend in the best shape -- it took three tries to braid my own hair yesterday. Since it was a local event, we didn't camp; we day-tripped each day.

I gotta go now.

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We've just returned from Crown Tournament in Canada. The weather was both more and less cooperative than anticipated. Friday night was cold (as cold as was expected, but colder than we will usually camp in)! We got to site somewhere around 11 pm, but managed to get, in my opinion, the best campsite on site -- we had a lovely view of the river, a nice flat spot for the tent, brush screening us from any neighbors, and not too far from all the activities. The new sleeping bags worked out as well as we expected.

Saturday dawned early with a few clouds that quickly went away -- then quickly came back. We were supposed to have sunny 70 degree weather; I don't think we got into the 70s and I know we lost the sun around 1 pm. The wind really, really picked up; multiple people lost their pavilions. The heraldic list tent went down, at least one merchant went down, and several individual tents went down (including one with a shattered ridge pole -- no injuries thankfully). I still managed to get a bit of sun and wind burn. A relatively local man won Crown Tourney, so I was happy. Saturday night was much, much warmer; so much so that I kicked my cloak off my bed because *I* had gotten too warm.

Sunday dawned a little earlier and very brightly. Juliana consulted while I took a class on agriculture. We packed up and left. The drive home was delightfully warm and sunny.

The poor kitties thought they were abandoned. They are much happier now.

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I've been busy sewing a new outfit for this weekend. To try to combat the chill I got at Honor War, I've decided to make a cotehardie from corduroy. Of course, I have to do it my way: I managed to wrench my shoulder sewing!

I was trying to set in a sleeve and went to rotate the fabric for better access. Well, corduroy being a napped fabric caught against itself and the carpet. Over six yards of fabric coupled with resistance is not an easy thing to move (especially for weak little old me).

Ow. Of course it's the shoulder with the dystonia.

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I've been a busy beaver today! I've ironed nearly six yards of fabric (corduroy) so I can make a warm cotehardie and hood for May Crown. If I do get it finished, I expect the weather will be sunny and in the 80s during the day and in the 60s at night, but if I don't finish, it will be 50s during the day and 30s at night.

In addition to the ironing, I redrafted a sleeve pattern as my last one has gone missing. And I've cut all the fabric -- and I cut tightly enough that I was able to get the hood from the same fabric!

Now I am resting so I can start dinner soon. I'm hoping the meat has thawed enough for roast thud. If not, I think I'll do spaghetti!

Depending on when dinner is over, I might be able to sew the hood together tonight.

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Well, we did it. We bought a roof box for the Element. The Element is plenty big enough to take three people to an indoor event or to take Juliana and myself to a camping event, but it is cramped to take three people to a camping event. We did it last year, but we can't fit in both pavilions, so someone had to be in a mundane tent. With an extra 18 cubic feet or so of space, this shouldn't be a problem. And we have something to stabilize the poles against.

While we were at REI, we also decided to get new sleeping bags. The old ones are 10 years old and getting a bit worn. And they just haven't been warm enough for early and late camping events. I figure we'll use those as pads for under us and we'll be nice and toasty warm.

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Third try on the hood may be the charm. I've got it the body of it put together (in my blue and white). All we need to do is a final fitting. I'm actually impressed that the length of the gore matches the length of the capelet section. And it's all hand-sewn!

Hopefully May Crown will be warm and I won't need it. But, if I didn't make the hood, I'd need it bigtime.

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Drafting the pattern for a hood wear for May Crown has been both easier and more difficult than expected. Difficult because my source didn't do a very good job identifying all the measurements needed and where to apply them. Easy because my first draft was much closer than I expected (I'm doing a second draft/mock-up before using the fabric I really want to wear).

I found the cotehardie pattern I've been using. It should still work for me as the cotehardies I've made still fit well. Unfortunately, I can't find the sleeve pattern; I'll need to mock that up soon. But I think I will be able to get this done in under three weeks without too much trouble (I hope).


June 2012

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