So that’s the good news, along with the fact that I’m back in the workshop and working furiously to make all the things.
The bad news?
That Pennsic is in two weeks and I’m working furiously to make all the things.
I have to make dozens more Dragon Pins, lots of rings, gemstone pendants, and holy cow, do I need to get to work on some Tudor pieces. Lots of work in the upcoming days, but I am UP for it!
“But Bran,” you ask, “What is Pennsic?”
Pennsic, my friend, is two weeks of glorious escape from the mundane world! We camp in a medieval pavillion tent, wear our wonderful garb every day, fight on the field of battle, compete in tournaments, sample delicious food and drink from long ago, sing songs of glory and honor, attend Court in all its spendor, shop (or in our case, sell) in the marketplace, go to classes to learn about the ways of the past or to teach others our skills. When the sun goes down, there are parties, grand balls, drinking, bellydancers, fires, and over everything the sound of drums.
Pennsic, for us, is home.
If you’ve never been but it sounds like your idea of a great time, head on over to SCA.org and see what’s up! For a good time, go to YouTube and search for Pennsic videos. GoPro videos of battle are particularly fun. Also, feel free to contact me on social media or in the comments, and I’ll answer all the questions I can about the SCA. It’s a great hobby!
We’re back from Backstone Raid and we had a wonderful time!
Aside from manning the booth, we participated in much socializing and mead drinking, which is something we haven’t done in a very long time. Brian cut a gemstone after one of the stones in the Cheapside Hoard, and entered it into the Arts & Sciences Competition. He won Queen’s Choice and Baroness’s Choice! Our friend Anthony (AKA Albrecht) won an Onyx award for his service to the barony in general, Chatelaine duties and his tireless efforts to help things run smoothly for everyone he ran across.
There was also a nasty storm that we thankfully survived with no problems, but several tents were flattened, incliding some fellow merchants. Lukcily there was lots of help on hand to help with immediate damage control and packing the next day. Brian also got to play some music in court, which is something he’s been wanting to do for a long time.
I also took a bunch of pictures, so here they are!
Thursday – Setup & Arrival
Thanks again to everyone who came and visited us in the booth! ^_^ It was great seeing you!
Blackstone Raid is happening this week! We’ll be in West Virginia, and looking forward to seeing a bunch of our friends! ^_^
Lemony will probably spend some time fishing, and otherwise running about and enjoying herself. Brian will be fencing and compete in the Torchlight Tournament. I’ll see if I can go sit in on some classes. I dont have anythign specifically made for the A&S tournament, so I’ll probably sit this one out. Brian might submit a gemstone, though.
Although this is technically “work” for me, I always look at Blackstone fondly. Blackstone is full of firsts for us. It was our first SCA event. It was the first time I ran into someone who had not only read a book I had, but who said she loved it. Brian got to fight. I won an award for my art. Lemony got to try fishing. People understoond what I was doing with my art and they GOT IT.
So this weekend, even though it’s technically work, it feels like we’re going home.
Yep! There’s a month until Blackstone, which means I have a month to make things. Is there anything you’d like to see? Seriously, aside from helping Brian sell books at Steel City Con this coming weekend (look for me in the Artist’s Alley with books!) I’ve got plenty of time to get some jewelry done.
What I have planned:
Get some Bronze to etch (So, bronze medallions)
Antique finish medallions
A ~fancy~ award medallion. Not sure which, we’ll see
A baronial coronet (or two)
More etched cuffs
MAYBE a finished Queen’s Rapier Champion Pin
That’s a pretty good list, but that’s a lot of etching and I’ll need something to do while that happens. Leave me a comment if there’s anything you’d like to see!Save
It’s 2017! I hope you had a great holiday. Ours was… A little crazy, but we’re fine. Any by crazy, I mean four days of over a hundred mile car rides and the power steering giving out on McKnight, but I digress. We’re fine, and we had fun seeing our families and going to the little one’s first violin recital. It was adorable.
But what’s in store for 2017? Well, aside from planning for our future brick-and-mortar, we’re confirmed for Gulf Wars, a massive SCA event down South in mid-March. We also have an event coming up this weekend, the Winter Food Truck-a-Paloosa!
It’s indoors on the 7th at the Monroeville Convention Center, so you don’t have to worry about crappy weather ruining your food. There’s also going to be music, kids’ activities, and a craft market set up, which we will be a part of! I’m really excited, because this means delicious food trucks that I normally can’t get to at outdoor shows. I’m either stuck alone in the tent and can smell them, whch is torture, or they’re so far away I have no idea what’s there and I don’t know if I can eat it or not, so I usually don’t bother.*
Mac & Gold truck, I got you in my sights. Same to you, Oh My Grille. I’ve not seen Billu’s Indian Grille, but if it’s got chicken vindaloo in it, it’s got my money already.
So, hungry yet? Join us this weekend at the Food Truck-a-Paloosa for some delicious local food! Tickets are only $10, and the proceeds benefit Monroeville Volunteer Fire Department #6.
*Fun Bran Fact – I have an intolerance to mammal meat. I react just like someone with lactose intolerance. It sucks, but I deal. Just gotta watch what I eat. Luckily, there’s PLENTY I can eat on Saturday.
Look for the finished version of this banner! We’re at the northern end of Plunder Lane.
Yep! We’re SO EXCITED!
Come down and see us! I’ll be in the Merchant Area on Plunder Lane and Brian will most likely be running around with Lemony. Brian’s got his authorization in for rapier and buckler, too, so look for him on the field as well.
In other big news, we’ve got our casting equipment set up and running beautifully! I’m working on birthstone charms right now based on medieval heraldry. If you’d like to pre-order some, drop us a line and you can pick up your order at the show.
This is our first Pennsic, and we’d appreciate any tips or “must-do” / “must-have’ items you’re willing to throw our way in the comments.
See you in two weeks!
My first charms and the mold made for them. They will make their debut at Pennsic!
Things have been a whirlwind for us here, on many different levels. I finished my Basic Engraving class, and it was AMAZING! Oh my goodness, engraving is fantastic. If you follow my Instagram feed, you know I love to draw, and this just combines drawing, jewelry and metal into one form. I can’t wait to combine it with things like gemstones and enamels. If you want to drool over some epic engraving, check out Sam Alfano’s Instagram feed – @master_engraver. Beautiful stuff!
After engaving class, we drove back from Kansas and clelbrated Lemony’s SIXTH BIRTHDAY! Whoo hoo! Then it was time to prep for our first solo SCA event, War Practice at Cooper’s Lake, which was this past weekend.
First off, Cooper’s Lake is beautiful. I’ve heard about it, but as you know, hearing about something and getting to experience it are two entirely different things. My one regret is that I didn’t get to go down and see the lake, but I’ll make sure to go see it and wander about for a bit next time.
Everyone there made us feel so welcome! It meant a lot to us SCA newbies, and Lemony had a wonderful time playing and making new friends. She even tried Youth Combat and loved it! I appreciate all of the suggestions I got for ways to get medieval on my displays. I think I’ll use them for mundane art shows as well, because why not? And I’ll be sure to get my documentation together. I don’t really make direct replicas, but my work is often inspired by specific pieces.
What now? Well, I’m waiting for my engraving tools to come in the mail and I’m planning for next month’s shows. I’m also thinking about circlet designs…
Did you go to War Practice? Is there anything we should look up or do at our next SCA event? Leave a comment and tell us.
Okay, I’ve been doing the selling thing for a long time. Ten years, to be exact. And while I’ve been to many events where the people were welcoming and the atmosphere was great, I have never had an experience like the one I had this past weekend in the SCA at the Blackstone Raid.
We stayed in the Marshall Cabin with the Black Priory, a house that one of our friends is part of. Even though he wasn’t able to attend, the house members we met were gracious, welcoming, and tons of fun! As it turns out, many of the faces were familiar ones from local anime conventions, comicons, and the Ren Fest. Some of our old D&D friends are well known to them and others as well, so it felt rather like a reunion than a first meeting.
Dan Andre of Knights of the Classroom (an AMAZING chainmailler and all-around great guy) let me sell in a corner of his tent, and then spent the rest of the time introducing me to people. Among many others, I met Baroness Cerridwen, who encouraged Dan and I to enter the Arts and Sciences competition. Being brand new, I had no idea what this was, and despite being in the SCA since the early 80s, Dan had never entered his work into a competition.
I entered a fine silver and lapis necklace I completed last week into the contest, and Dan entered his handmade scalemaille dog armor. He took home top prize, and I took home some honors as well, which included a gorgeous illuminated scroll and a ribbon that are now hanging in sight of my design desk. I’ve never won an award for my jewelry before, so that was unexpected.
Brian and Lemony spent a lot of time wandering the grounds, meeting people, and watching the fights. He’s up-loaded some videos of them to YouTube; here’s the first of them:
The first night there, as I spoke with Lady Arianna, something amazing happened. I was getting out a book I had brought with me – “Jewelry, From Antiquity to the Present” by Clare Phillips – so that I could look up the proper documentation I needed to enter my necklace into the competition the next morning. She then exclaimed, “Oh, I LOVE that book!”
That has literally never happened to me before in my entire life. I read a lot of nonfiction, even back when I was in elementary school, so to have someone recognize, much less enjoy the books I read was astounding. I actually had to take a second to look around the room to make sure I was still awake.
On Saturday night I went to bed early after I completed my drawing and Brian spent some time that night wandering around, accepting drinks and meeting people. He later described to me a moment where he felt like he stepped back in time while hanging around some period tents. There was light flickering from candles in handforged fittings, the sound of people laughing around distant fires that shone in the lake and the smell of food cooked over an open flame in the air. There was not an electronic device in sight.
After a great weekend hanging out with old friends, we’re starting to prep for our very first SCA event! We’re going to be at Blackstone Raid in West Virginia on Friday and Saturday. We’ve never attended any events before, so we’re excited to get out there and meet people!
Brian is looking forward to seeing the fights. He’s getting gear together so he can join rapier practice on a regular basis and get himself into the fray! There’s a chance I’ll be in Knights of the Classroon’s tent most of the time we’re there, and of course the Little One will be running around and enjoying herself.
We’re going with our friend who is known in the SCA as Doga, and is a heavy fighter. I have no idea where in Blackstone we’ll be staying, but I hope to get a chance to wander the grounds and meet people and see the sights. Something tell me my Instagram is going to get particularly busy next weekend.
So, are you in the SCA? Any advice for a family of first-timers?