I totally sympathize with your fear of heights. I don't like heights
or tight spaces. If you ever see Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel,
there's this episode on the Mackinac Bridge... Mike Rowe in the
inside of those pillars and then walking up the suspension cables...
I can't watch that one. Gives me the shivers even thinking about it.
Think positive. Your display will go well! For the last few years
the barony didn't have 12 items in any of the Baronial Champions
competitions so this one was a big, scary deal for everyone. And you
can always display things in progress and note them as display only.
That helps to fill out the field.
Well, I've mostly recovered from the A&S event... I must get some
better shoes for standing all day because I can't seem to talk, teach
and show stuff off and actually stay seated. The event itself was a
tremendous success. I'd prepped 40 tokens thinking that would surely
be enough for the event and Queen's Prize next weekend. I don't know
the final count of entries but there were more than 40 that weren't
mine because I ran out of tokens! We had several people travel from
the barony next door and a few came all the way from al-Barran!
That's a 5-6 hour drive and a long drive for just a day event but
they wanted to come and share in the A&S rebirth and share their
stuff in a less pressure filled environment. The gentleman in the
group, a laurel whose name is gone from my brain today, is writing a
whole Creative Anachronist on turn-shoes. I saw his current draft.
It's marvelous! Look for it to come out next year sometime.
The Baroness was thrilled to have such great attendance at the first
real A&S only event locally in years. It proves to everyone that A&S
can be standalone and break even rather than losing money. I assume
break-even though the final numbers won't be in for a few weeks. And
the fighters consoled themselves with coming and dressing pretty...
and hosting a class on German sword techniques without ever needing
to don armor or get smelly. The brand new seneschal, a knight and
avid fighter, actually made a lovely speach about how he loves to
entertain on the field but when he's off field he hopes to be
entertained by all our arts and wants to see a lot more A&S focused
events, workshops and such. Huzzah!
For my own stuff, my two classes went well though I really must plan
each of them to be 1.5 to 2 hours each because they both ran long
though everyone's classes ran long too. I set out a sign up sheet so
that people who said "I want to learn that! Will you teach me?"
could write down their contact info and I'd have a clue who asked for
what later. That's still in the car but I know there were about 5
names on the list that hadn't already asked about one thing or
Here is what I ended up entering and displaying in the end...
1. Viking costume - tunic, under tunic, apron dress, broach necklace,
scarf displayed on my dress double - lots of oohs and ahs... It is
incredibly weird seeing your outfit standing around without you in it.
2. Women's Stockings / Hose - 5 sets of wool and linen stockings.
This might have to be the first class scheduled this season because
everyone was stunned that stockings were reasonably easy and really
cool. I spent a lot of time pulling off my mundane socks and putting
on the displayed ones so folks could see how they looked on. I must
find a better way to display them next time. Flat just doesn't do
3. "Cooler" cooler - papier mache covered cooler that looks less like
a cooler than a box at first glance. I actually gave away my
documentation to a young lady who wanted to do one with her daughter
so they could do a project together.
4. Nalbinding - some older mittens that hadn't ever been entered
because the kittens trashed the set I was working on for the event 3
days before the event. I love my kittens. They love my yarn. In
the end the ones I'd been working on were a great demo piece in the
class so I could show what happens if you don't do nice, secure, spit
5. Oxymel - Sekanjubin - I found two serving pieces that kept them
contained and from being spilled all day. One gentleman
remarked "ooo, the apple is just like coors but the balsamic vinegar,
now that's guinness!!! Can I have all of it?" I let him fill his
mug late in the day so I could take home less of the stuff.
6. Eleanora of Toledo inspired gown - in progress gown that I've been
beading for years and will be beading for years. I displayed this
one to many oohs and ahs and "you are nuts" comments and a "hey
honey, someone is as nuts as you are about beading" which actually
had me trying not to double over laughing... it was a lady making
that comment to her lord!
7. Lucet cords - samples of various cording styles - I wanted to have
more but I ran out. Funny thing is that both awards given at the
event were held by cords I'd given to the Baroness earlier this
year. Too cool. Now I have several requests to teach lucet cords on
the 2 and the 4 horn models and one lord giving me dirty looks
because his wife pointed and said "I want one! You can make me one!"
8. Leather gloves - green leather, purple leather, red leather -
major hit - everyone was disappointed that they fit me and not them
though the red leather fit a close friend who might get them on her
birthday with her arms on the back.
9. 3 Finger Gloves - country men's gloves - now known in many minds
as "nano, nano gloves" or "star trek live long and prosper gloves"
or "alien gloves" because that's what everyone thinks of when they
10. Wire weaving - wire necklace, bracelet and rings set along with
the wire and tools that I needed for my class - lots of interest in
what one can do that inspired more people to show for the class than
I'd expected. We ran a half hour long on this one and I totally
missed a friend's class. I'll plan better next time.
11. Blackwork - linen shirt - displayed on dummy - good comments
though it's not my best piece but it is the only one I still own...
12. Drawn-thread napkins - display learning piece and in progress
napkins - these were the biggest hit in the class taught by the lady
who is teaching me because it gave her a few more samples for the
13. Embroidery - borrow favor from Baron Knut - I did this favor
years ago and it lived on a belt forever before moving to his wall -
I know the men liked it. It's a nearly naked nymph emerging from a
lake. Men always like this one. And when I realized that it had
been "displayed" but never entered or displayed I borrowed it back
because I was never going to finish the current embroidery request in
time for the event.
All told I am now 13 items closer to my goal of 50 with two more to
go this coming weekend. The event isn't about judging which made it
much easier to enter. It's like Laurel's Prize at Estrella... come
out, be seen, maybe go home with some cool little tokens, and the
baroness will give something little to her choice and something to
the populace choice. I actually took populace choice though I'm not
entirely sure what for... There was a cute guy and we were flirting
in the back row so I wasn't really listening when they called my name
in court but I did realize that I had to do more than wave
acknowledgement... right after they said "Hey Lyssa, you have to come
up here. Waving isn't good enough."
The baroness gave me a little purple dragon she sewed herself "to
help keep me under control or inspired as needed"... She called it
the over-achiever dragon. And then she challenged everyone to
display more than I had displayed next year... that's 3 tables worth
of stuff. They're already planning next year's event. My sister-in-
law, one of this year's autocrats, has already volunteered for next
year's event and I'm her co-autocrat.
I learned that sometimes it is not just good but important to show
off your own work. I do a ton of stuff but mostly people don't see
it. Now people who have been wanting to do some of the things that I
do just to stay busy know who to talk to so they can learn. It also
let people see how the little nalbinding stitches and wire weaving
bits that I have taught them work into bigger items. It gave
inspiration to a lot of folks. And it showed everyone that just
because they say "a 3x5 card with what, when and where" written on it
as documentation, you don't have to stick with the minimum. You can
do 1 page without much effort and share what you know at the same
One other thing that I didn't know was that one of my friends who
taught her first class and had a great time never taught before
because no one asked. I didn't know that when I asked if she would
teach to help fill out the class schedule. I thought that as a music
teacher professionally she just didn't teach because she needed a
break. She was so happy to see that her knowledge was wanted, craved
and happily received by the folks who want to know about period
music. She's already talking about how to do it better next time.
I'm already talking to her and her husband about setting their own
A&S 50 Challenge goals.
It was a great weekend!