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10 August 2009 @ 10:22 pm
Pennsic highlights  
There really is just too much over Pennsic to do more than summarize the best parts of it.

We arrived very late on Friday night. It was dark and cold and wet. I made the executive decision that I would rather pay for a hotel room than try to set up in that. Hurray for one last night in a real bed!

I took two classes from Ragnveig Snorradottir - Viking Domestic Architecture and Denmark before Jellinge - they were both wonderful and I can highly recommend her as a teacher if you ever get out to Pennsic.

My classes were a smashing success! I had about 35-40 in my Pictish World class. The real winner was the Beautiful Rolled Hems class, though! I literally had eighty or more people show up! When I did the "magic" part of the stitch, the class went wild. The last row actually stood up and applauded... and the class next door came over to find out what the hell was going on. *grin* Since it was such a fast class, though, I snuck in a second class on whipcording for those that wanted to stay. (Spread the disease, spread the disease!) Even better, for the rest of the event,  I had random people scurry up to me to show me their just-completed projects. :) Happiness.

Revelation: People are willing to pay a reasonable amount for extensive handouts, provided they are quality handouts. Resolution: Must revise handouts so the Pictish World can have a freebie basic handout and an optional for-sale nice, fat illustrated packet . Nummy.

I finally got to meet judithsewstoo  in person. We geeked, the apprenti and I took her class, she gave me some tasty silk string and I gave her some feedback on her class.

Tuesday rocked. Waterbearing, classes, hanging out with the apprenti, fun in camp, the Northshield party, and a tipsy stumble home under starry skies. Splendid.

Apparently, I can corrupt people by osmosis - I got one of the Greyfox boys to start handsewing a linen tunic in camp. :) For some crazy reason, he wanted more than 3 shirts and asked for help picking out fabric, which I did... He looked disappointed that he would need to wash and dry it before he could do anything with it, but I then helpfully offered that I could show him how to cut it out of a piece of washed and dried linen that I just happened to have on site... I explained the stitches and the construction steps and offered to help him sew it, but by then he wanted to do it all himself. Hurray!

Further geeky fun - Bardic Bread around the fire and the "Greyfox A&S Pavilion" on our porch. :) It was too cold Wednesday night toget the bread to rise, but I baked over the fire on Thursday and Friday nights. Friday night I even got to try out a new yeast starter that was sent to me by one of the mercenary households. I only used about half, so now I have a little zoo on my countertop at home.

I took a very interesting and useful class about working on parchment and bought some calligraphy toys. I must talk to Gustov about some of what I learned/remembered.

The courts were full of twelve kinds of goodness. Congrats to everyone, especially our Draco Incarnates Leif and Astrid and to the geek-boys Duncan and Svein! :)

We made good time on the road home, got only moderately lost in Chicago, stayed mostly awake on I-90 (hurray for paying missed tolls online), and my traveling companion and I still liked each other when we got home. :)

Cool purchases: forged nails, pumice stones, soapstone for a viking lamp, jet beads, bone dice with ring-and-dot pips, and a giant silver button.

Best thing I learned: a completely stoopidly easy way of making circle/dot marks like are seen on so many early period artifacts. I can't believe it didn't ever occur to me, it was so obvious... Sometimes it's the simple things...

Best acquisition: A very nice mirror from Northstar Armories. I've wanted a period mirror for a long time but the ones I found were either ugly or not up to my standards in some way. This one is delicious in all ways and has a really spectacularly clear reflective side - most ot the metal mirors are a little on the fun-house mirror side. The mirror is modeled on the Trelan Bahow mirror, which is early even for me, but is essentially the same as those seen on the Pictish Symbol Stones. I found it after I spent my war budget, though, so I was foolishly waffling about it... but then Mr. Svein bought it for me as a War Prezzie. The first thing I did that night was sew a linen baggie to protect it. :)

See info on the mirror here and on general bronze age mirrors here.

Yay, War! Its good to be home, but I already miss it...

Current Mood: geekygeeky
Kareinakareina on August 11th, 2009 10:42 am (UTC)
ok, what is the dot technique?
eithni: Pictisheithni on August 11th, 2009 01:29 pm (UTC)
Consider a two (or possibly three) pronged "fork." Firmly place one of the fork's tines where you want the dot to be. Press down firmly and rotate around the center point where the dot should be (sort of like a compass).

*facefalm* Dur. So simple. No trying to carve tinly little circles and messing up keeping concentric circles even!

Plus, if one tine is just a little longer than the others, it would be easier to make a dot-and-circle without it slipping and result in the dot being a little deeper than the circle, as is often seen.
cassbunnycassbunny on August 12th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
*I* knew something about ring and dot that Eithni didn't know?!?!?!?
eithni: Pictisheithni on August 12th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
Like I said, so FREAKING obvious... I'd been going about it the hard way, trying to carve little circles and getting little egg shapes. :P
quaintessimal: woadquaintessimal on August 11th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Ah, verily, the mirror doth rock!
Mark Gordon: happymtgordon on August 11th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
A cell phone self-portrait photo taken in a Bronze Age mirror? That's creative anachronism!

I have some interesting background on mirrors in antiquity, but it's focused on the Mediterranean. Let me know if you're curious.
eithni: excellenteithni on August 12th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, that was geeking me pretty hard. :)

Right now I'm in the middle of a major project, but maybe if I circle back around to mirrors, I'll let you know...
PonderousMandghall on August 14th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
I'm curious, tho I have to admit perhaps just as interested in knowing why you have an "interesting background on mirrors in antiquity" (focused on the Med) as much as the background itself...
zandoriazandoria on August 11th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the mirror. I see you!

My mirror is (I think, right now it's packed away so I'm working from memory) a replica of the Holcombe mirror, however the maker changed the handle to the same as the handle on yours. I got my mirror back at Pennsic late teens (maybe Pennsic 19), but I've never carried it around cause I haven't got around to making a bag or case for it. It's been to many many demos though.
FencerTfencert on August 11th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
Cool stories! Glad your classes went well. I need to get you back the canvas from that neat little tent you lent me. It seemed to hold up pretty well even in our mudpit of a camp!
eithni: greeneithni on August 12th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
Maybe bring it to practice on Wednesday?
Eyja: *squee*eyja on August 11th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
Very cool purchases!
ego_id_non_feciego_id_non_feci on August 14th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
YESssssss! It sounds like a thoroughly Win War. I'm glad for you!
judithsewstoo: Argent Phoenixjudithsewstoo on August 18th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
What's funny is that I almost purchased that very mirror. Instead, I opted for one of their Anglo-Saxon ring pins - because I have a non-period handwoven, wool serape that the pin works oh so perfectly for. I liked the ring-pin so much that I ended up buying two more (from the Crafty Celts though, which oddly enough their website doesn't list).