Sunday, May 10, 2009

A lot on my mind

Well, Dearg and I have come to the painful but necessary decision to not go to Pennsic this year. We've been hit pretty hard with this bad economy and just can't come up with enough for all the supplies we need- mainly fabric for a full week's worth of garb (for both of us). Because of that decision, as well as also not being able to afford to go to Border Raids in July, our summer events are rather few and far between. This means it will probably be pretty quiet around here for the next few months, but I'll be sure to keep you posted on my projects and thoughts as they come around.

For now, however, I do have several things on my mind that I'd like to share with you.

My brother has been in town visiting this week. He's never been to an event, so we took him to Baron Wars yesterday. It's a shame the weather was so crummy- wind gusts of up to 20mph all day, overcast and chilly. We ended up sitting at our little setup just about all day trying to stay warm and trying to keep Owen bundled up and happy (which was extremely hard). It wasn't a very good first impression. Which got me thinking....

Most events are arranged with the idea that the vast majority of attendees are familiar with the SCA and would be happy enough to just sit around in garb. The great events mix that familiarity with a "demo" atmosphere. I love the events that have "artisan" rows. I wish they were a little more hands-on, but the fact that you can go and see someone doing something period and find out about it is a great idea. I remember going to the 18th century settler's village as a kid and LOVVING it. It's that "living history" concept that the SCA is usually lacking. Even if the weather was crummy, at least there would be more to experience, and new folks wouldn't wonder why they just shelled out $10 to sit around shivering. I've been in the SCA for 13 years, and I still feel that way sometimes!

I would say that half the events I go to, I feel that there's no place for me. I don't participate in light or heavy fighting, archery or thrown weapons, or even equestrian or coursing (which aren't offered often enough). I teach a class once and a while, but I haven't participated in an A&S faire in a few years. That leaves what? Shopping (when there are merchants that actually have something I want) and working on my own projects. Wow. Money well spent, huh?

Now, I don't want you to think that I'm not interested in going to events. I have been in the SCA long enough that I am one of those people content with sitting around in garb. But with money so tight these days, I think events need to be more organized and offer more that just the chance to show off some new garb for everyone that pays to be there.

Alright. I've gotten that off my chest. Moving on....

Remember a week or so back I mentioned that my new rust-colored dress still wasn't fitting right? I tried to adjust it before the event yesterday morning, but one of the new seams went a little catty-wonkus, which I didn't have enough time to fix. I needed to take about and inch off of the two front side and two back side seams around the torso. That may be the diet at work, but I think the dress was too big to begin with.

So, not able to wear the rust dress, I just grabbed my old brown dress. I wore the brown dress most of last summer while I was pregnant, so it's actually the least-well fitting dress that I have, but it is sooo comfortable. All three of my regular dresses are made of 45% linen/55% rayon "linen-look" material which only gets better with age. My brown dress is soft, has a slight sheen (probably because of the wear on the rayon), and hangs very well, which are all the great qualities of 100% linen. It just takes a few years of wearing it to get that way.

I did make a new shirt for Owen. It's not quite right around the neck and sleeves, but it's really cute:

Dearg made a tiny antler toggle which totally made the shirt cool. You'll notice that I used some of the rust linen, so he'd kind of match me, but it's an early period style shirt. This wasn't my best work, but that's really just because I cut it a little wrong. I'll know better next time.

I've got to sit down and re-think my project list. There are a bunch of things I could be doing that aren't currently on the list, so I keep forgetting about them. I've also got a couple ideas for more classes that I can teach, including "What to do with the that White Piece of Fabric"- a class about veils and headwraps; and "Headdress in Under a Yard"- a class about how to use very little fabric to make some really nice (and period) headdresses. I'll be rolling those out this summer at the fiber arts event (when it gets coordinated), or at one of the few events I'll be attending in the next couple of months.

So, there's lots to do. Even if it's not fancy stuff.