Sunday, August 30, 2020

Teaching virtually

 I'm going to teach at the virtual university about prepping a feast. I had done a series of posts on the subject long ago and so I will endeavor to collect my thoughts (and the thoughts of some others) into something resembling a class. I do OK with leading discussions but the whole class thing still mystifies me. Maybe doing it virtually will help with my nerves and such.I do really well one on one or maybe with a small group. We will see what the interest is, could be no one even shows up and I worry for nothing.

Monday, August 10, 2020

SCA in the time of Covid 19

 March was the last physical event I went to. It was a good time with great people. I do so hope we get to do that again sometime soon (ish). As it stands there are no Kingdom level events until the new year. Things here in Europe have been on a slow incline. Likely due to the vacation season and hot weather. We will all be back in lockdown if this continues though. 

I have had some family difficulties, but things are evening out on that front. But it has been a distraction and an addition to my anxiety. Covid too has heightened my anxiety and left an uncertain future in front of me. Schools all closed and employers stopped hiring. People are working from home and I don't have the skill set for that.Indeed most things I can think of need start up money which I just don't have. i feel stuck in this way.

My SCA life though moves forward. It has been 2 weeks since I received my writ to enter the order of the Laurel. I had begun planning the occasion for 12th night coronation in January but it has been cancelled. Now to contemplate an alternative which is quite difficult as there is nothing on the calendar at the moment. Plus my travel options are limited because in this time of pandemic my passport has expired and for a long time you could not get a renewal. Renewals have just now opened but they are back logged and the turn around time is unknown. Though a plus is I can do it via mail. Now to get it done. 

Monday, March 9, 2020

Post event accounting

     3 crates of 'shire stuff' went home with someone else to be sorted and accounted for. I can't say i feel bad about it. I have been tracking this stuff for about 10 years or so. I still maintain the towels and spices but they are small and I have a spot for them. I need to do a reckoning on the spice box and I am about halfway through that project. I have measured and weighed all the jars and bags. Cleaned the box and now need to make a sheet with the list.

      As some may know I have had some important things going on in my personal life. My son has been 'sick'. I don't want to get into detail here but privately if you wish to ask me I will answer.

     I had plans for this event but it was fraught with frustration and perils at every turn, but we made it! 2 weeks before the event is when my son got sick. I immediately cancelled his reservation knowing he wouldn't make it. I thought it would be my daughter and I . Then I had to cancel her reservation as I made a mistake in my calendar when vacation was (she was spending this one with her dad).  Then due to my son's illness and having to be places to deal with that it was made apparent a week before the event that I would not make it in time to cook dinner on Friday night and I would need someone to do the shopping. Thankfully a solution was found. Thank you to Saidra who cooked from my instructions the onion soup on Friday night, and huge thanks to Robert who took her shopping for all my ingredients. Things worked out and it was great weekend all around.

     I kept the menu simple, one of the simplest I had ever made. I was astounded at the onion pie's reception. It was decimated and the pans practically licked clean. The pumpkin was well received as well even though there happened to be leftovers, which were scooped up in the morning by people.

     I was happy with the food that was made and at the pace in which we were able to work. We had plenty of time to rest or sit as we needed. I say we and it was truly only Bryndis and myself, but we never needed anyone else. After feast we did have some dish Fairies! Petronilla and Brian were fantastic and knocked out a ton of dishes. The fact that the dishwasher only takes 6 min probably helps with that!

     The site, though shared was lovely and easy to organize. The kitchen adequate for what we were doing and well equipped. It is small and each half only has room for 2 or maybe three people. 2 was comfortable 3 would begin to make things tight. I would easily be willing to use that facility again.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Hiccoughs and a menu

Seems that my package was labeled by my customs office a letter instead of a package so they sent it back before I could get it... Still no idea where it is as there has been no word from the company who I have both called and e mailed.

I am cooking this weekend and with the amount of recent stress the menu is simple and from my catalogue of things.

Friday Travelers Fare
Onion soup

Saturday Breakfast
Brotchen Sliced meats Sliced cheese
Nutella Jam Butter
Hard boiled eggs
Coffee Tea

Saturday Lunch
Salad Dressing
Onion tart Pumpkin Tourte

Saturday Feast:
Hodgepodge* Moorish Eggplant
Frumenty@ Mushrooms and leeks
Soup of fresh peas *
Pear Pudding

Sunday Breakfast
Brotchen Sliced meats Sliced cheese
Nutella Jam Butter
Coffee Tea
Leftovers to eat or take with you

* Alternate dish for Catalina
@ Alternate dish for Kara

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Fabric is on its way

So I did it, I committed  to color and it is on its way. Originally I wanted something in blue, it seems though that that wasn't meant to be. After checking around for good sources I found a site and scoured it over and over, even with help! Instead I will be doing something closer to this painting....
The body of the dress will be:
The color is called phoenix, a lovely 2 tone taffeta
The sleeves will be done in the color mandragora, also in taffeta.
Both are from so far a lovely company with a wide selection of products and colors.

I am hunting for a blue to use as the trim preferably in velvet. Why is this proving to be so hard to do? I want it approximately 1 in wide. I am sure I will find it but really think I need to wait for the fabric to arrive so I can find the perfect shade.

Thursday, January 30, 2020


I arrived in 2002 in Drachenwald. Brimming with excitement, looking forward to a new adventure. I had no clue what lay in store. What happened next ... I let someone steal my sunshine. It happened slowly, and by the time I realized , damage was done. I used to sing and I used to love to sew. I was happy with Elizabethan, I had begun learning in the US before I left. I had confidence and skill, and one day I realised that the confidence was gone, that the spark was gone and worst of all I realised she had won, she had beaten me, taken from me something. I hated sewing.

I wore Landsknecht because he made it for me. I wore it because he wanted me to. I was never comfortable in it. The wool was too hot and heavy, and I always felt frumpy. It was hard to cook in so I wore a shift or shirt and my apron. Slowly I decided on what I wanted, what suited ME. I took my acquired skills and made a new pattern. I used paintings of Italian kitchens as inspiration. I was after functional. Something I could wear and have movement in. I was deep into researching Italian cooking and felt it was the way I wanted to go and when completed I found the garb comfortable.

Recently I found myself overcome with a strange feeling. I am going to a crown event, Coronation, and I'm not cooking. My kids are old enough that I don't worry about them puking on me, or that i'll get messy changing them, or that I need to chase... long list short.. I no longer worry that my kids will trash my garb. It also hit me, I want to be PRETTY damn it! I am still lacking in confidence but I am moving forward with #makeMaggiepretty anyway. I have the drive to do this, I'm terrified but forward and onward.

So far I know the look I am aiming for and the approximate materials I want to use. I am hunting Dupioni, schatung, or taffeta, all silk. I will need cotton canvas for my 'innards' and will look for silk lacing cord. No rings in this one. The style has a small gap in the front of the bodice and is ladder laced. I could do it with rings but will try a different technique.  Forward and onward!

#1 gold lacing, jewelry
#2  The trim and sleeve caps
 #3 sleeves, I'm looking to line mine with velvet not fur

Friday, January 24, 2020

Just in case

I'm talking about an 'In Case of Elevation' document or ICoE. If you are on a path, or suspect you are... If you have a peer or not... Prepping for a potential elevation is important. Weather you are starting the journey or are possibly nearing the end, preparation helps ensure your vision of your special day is realized (to the best of people's abilities) and it helps the loved one's around you prepare for the day. If you have a peer you should regularly update the document with them. If you have no peer make sure those closest to you have the document or access to it. I keep mine in a google drive and update it as necessary. It is open to not only my own peer but also to a good friend who is also a peer. I have shared the document also with a friend as a 'template' and that is what I want to do here. Provide a template for others to use to hopefully get them thinking about what they might want. This document is a living and breathing thing. Things will change as you move along. I can't tell you how many times I have changed my document. Rethought my choices of speakers, rethought many things. There was even a time when my document was 'angry' It was a place I could vent frustrations with things going on at the time. Remember that this day will be about you.

I want to take you step by step though my process and then leave a 'blank' copy at the end if you want to copy, paste, and play fill in the blanks. I am also open to suggestions and available for questions.

In Case of Elevation Template
Writ or surprise?
Do you want to know in advance or do you want to be surprised. Some people have strong feeling either way and others don't. I know some people, especially fiber artists, want to prepare the 'perfect' outfit etc...

Who would you like to speak for you? ( This is under ideal circumstances It could be someone far away and you can note if sent words spoken by proxy would be acceptable as well)

Master of Defence

Often, we ask people who we respect. It could be your closest friends but it could be someone you admire greatly even if you don't know them well.
For me, I have mostly listed people who I feel would be able to speak to the aspects they represent. Roses speak to grace and courtesy Knight's and MoD's speak to chivalry Laurel's speak on contribution of arts
Pelican's speak to your service Members of the populace tend to speak about character and growth

What do you want your vigil to be like?
Think about food, Order of Precedence or not? Time limit for the people who are talking with you? How late do you want to stay up if it is a Friday night? Do you want to try to speak with everyone or …? This is your party and you get a say in how it goes!

Scroll: is there a particular scribes style that you fancy? Or just a style in general? Do you love or hate anything in particular? The more details that can be given to the signet the more tailored the scroll can be. Do you have arms? Do you have a motto? These are elements that can also be included.

Title you would like to use. There are many more options than the Master/Mistress

About you/ your persona:
Some details that you feel are important for people to know about you. 

The ceremony:
Some people have distinct ideas on what they do or do not want to have for a ceremony. Is the ‘standard’ one from the DW book of ceremonies ok? Do you have something more personal and tailored in mind… Your input goes here!

Does the order you are aspiring to have special regalia where input from you would be necessary (Cap of maintenance for OP, Cloak for Laurel, Belt/Chain/Spurs for knights)

This is where you state preferences that might not have been covered above. People who you would like to have advance notice of the event so they might be able to be there. People outside the circle who you think would be able to help with organization or information. 

All the above is just supposed to inspire you to think. It may feel silly, or pretentious to sit and write these things down. 3 words... 'get over it'. It is not pretentious, it is not silly, it is important. So, give it some thought, write some things down, and share them. These discussions are important to have.

In Case of Elevation Template
Writ or surprise?

Who would you like to speak for you?

Master of Defence

What do you want your vigil to be like?



About you/ your persona:

The ceremony: