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16 August 2010 @ 12:44 am
A Pennsic Summary - Part 1 - Thursday through Monday  
Developing my classes took longer than expected (shocking, I know), so I took some time off from work to complete them. After some wrangling with my printer which had decided to become entirely possessed, I finally was done and the car packed at 11PM. It was later than our intended departure time of 8PM, but we made a go of it anyway. The plan was to drive until we were tired, then rest for the night and continue on in the morning. I made to to Chicago before realizing that I forgot the pegs to my new bed, but happilyfencingkitty  was able to find them after a short search and send them with kumakun  a few days after us. It got to be 4AM, we were making amazing time, and I was still not tired, so the decision was made to press on through and make site Friday morning.

Friday was mostly about setting up. The tents went up, we chucked stuff inside, and then made a town run. Unfortunately, half way to the store, my iPhone died. It just suddently would have nothing to do with me and was demanding to be plugged into iTunes. Greeeeat. I was not quite sure where we were or where we were going... great timing. :P We did find a Kmart - not the original destination, but acceptable - obtained the items we needed as well as lunch, and returned to site after a short detour due to lack of directions or a map. Later that evening, I visited Mystic Mail and tried to fix the phone, but to no avail - even a complete restore to factory pre-sets was a no go. Not a happy muffin. 

Saturday, I went to a Viking embroidery class which was interesting, but packed and didn't really cover much I didn't know. Most of the day I spent on Busker's Alley/Urchin's Row. I was testing a new teaching technique - teaching as a performance art. I had a little sign and my little stool and I sat there and tried to draw people in with a snake-oil-salesman-esque sales pitch - Interested in learning a rolled hem stitch? 60 seconds will change your life! C'mon, you have just a minute, step right up and stand over here as I teach you a magical stitch... :D It actually went quite well, but it's not a teaching format for the easily discouraged - 90-95% of the passers by had no interest and half of those who were interested were late for something. Of the 5% or so who did stop, however, most of them were thrilled. I sent each away with printed instructions and a little kit to practice the stitch and hopefully to teach someone else.

I began Sunday in the Artisan's Row tent teaching whipcording, but quickly ran out of kits. I stepped out for lunch and a class, intending to come back in an hour or so, but actually got sucked into the class and didn't make it back until after the class I taught. It was worth it though - I made a near-perfect iron Viking needle and a little fabric-cutting knife. I needed a lot of "assistance" from the instructor since this was my first blacksmithing attempt and my wrist is still messed up, but I made the needle mostly on my own and had at least some wackety-smackety input into making the knife. Then it was time to teach my class - the Pictish Symbol Stones. I had a goodly number of attendees, unfortunately, so did the brewer's and vintner's social next door. I've lodged the suggestion that such socials be considered a "martial" topic and held out on the battlefield at the Martial A&S tent. :P The formal class ended about 75 minutes in and a few hard-core folks stayed and discussed specific topics for a bit. John stopped in at one point and delivered some lovely scones, which completely hit the spot and I even shared one with my student,judithsewstoo . Then I finally returned to the Artisan's Row tent for about an hour. Then I returned to camp, passed out for an hour, and returned to the blacksmith's to finish my knife. Dinner, then to bed pretty early in my now-assembled Pict-ified Oseberg bed. I need to thank Little John again - that bed was a great boon and soooo comfy.

Monday was the A&S Display day and it did not start auspiciously. I did not feel real well, so I got to the Barn late, even though I rushed to get there. However, I checked in to find that they had not saved a spot for Northshield, even though I had pre-registered. Finally, they found a spot to dump me, and I started unloading my piles of stuff. However, when I removed my backpack, I found that my large amber necklace had snapped and the large center bead had been lost. This necklace was special to me, having been purchased on a trip to Moscow, so I was heartbroken, but there was not much to do for it. I finished setting up and, upon discovering that I had forgotten some of my handouts in camp, ran back to get them, scanning for the bead all the way. It was a 1.5" bead, so it was not entirely impossible that I might spot it as I retraced my steps, but no such luck. I scurried back with the handouts and spent most of the day sewing and taking about Norse children with passers by. at 2:30, I broke down my display, ran back to camp, dropped off the A&S stuff, scooped up the Well Dressed Pict class materials and ran up to A&S for my 3PM class. The class went exceptionally well - unlike the Symbols class, which is a lot of "we don't really know," the clothing class is a lot of fun looking at stones for clues to clothing details. Very, very fun, but exhausting. So much so that I entirely forgot to go to the 5PM class I had wanted to attend. :/ I'd hoped to then take a later session, but her late-week offering was canceled, so I'll have to try to beg a copy of the handouts via email. I popped in on Bedwyr's lamp class to deliver some flax oil on the way to dinner - I took his class last year and he mentioned having difficulty finding flax oil without additives at a reasonable price. With Vom Fass here in town, I thought I should share the joy and brought him some to play with. Then there was dinner with Sir Leif,gwyneth1362 , and a variety of other folks. After eating, I revived somewhat and ended up hanging out with folks later than I'd planned. There was bad booze and good company and it was altogether a lovely night.

Now it is late and I am tired, so stay tuned for Eithni's War Tuesday through Saturday!
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