Hello and welcome Catherine. I am also not yet a paying member because number one money is tight and even such a small fee is a big thing for this stay at home mother to come up with, that being said I want to go to a couple events first and see if I like it and it is something I want to put my money into before I join. I have spent money on garb but I know I can always turn around and sell it on Ebay if I decide the SCA is not for me.
What I have been doing is going to the library and getting lots of books on cultures and countries I have been interested in and doing searches on the internet. I also have been visiting a lot of SCA member's websites to see what they do. I joined a couple local SCA email lists and got in contact with the locals so I know what is going on in my area and I even went to a wonderful lady's house and she taught me how to sew tunics for my men! My advice is read read read.
~Sometimes you just gotta color outside the lines!~
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