Enter the (baby) dragon

We have had a lovely weekend at Bolsover Castle for our St George’s Day show. It was so nice to see everyone again and we have some new members in the group so it was great getting to know them and they did brilliantly in the show.

We did not camp, by order of the management i.e. Ellie and I was glad that we didn’t as I am still not 100% fit and it was very wet Saturday night. However we stayed on Saturday for the group meal in the very convenient pub they have built right next to the castle so got to spend time with everyone.

This show is always a bit different as we have dragons! Not one but two and there are some great comedy moments. We start off in the morning telling the children that the Dragon Knight has brought his dragons and build it up to the bit in the show where the cutest little baby dragon appears, ably played by one of our new members Daniel this year. Photos from Lee’s photography who very kindly posted them to our Facebook group page.

Baby Dragon 2

Of course St George cannot kill the baby dragon as he is so cute and he joins the knights fighting against the Dragon Knight.

Baby Dragon1

Meanwhile the Dragon Knight captures the Princess, played by Ellie and then later in part two the large evil dragon, played by Jamie comes in.

Dragon at Bolsover

A lot of the children are quite scared by this one and Jamie does a great roar. The dragon attacks the Dragon Knight only to be finally vanquished by the screams of the children.

Dragon 2

St George rescues the Princess, if he doesn’t forget, and then we have lots of children wanting to have their pictures taken with the dragons or knights.

Bolsover - St George and Ellie

Our dragons do a great job, it is not easy wearing these costumes on a warm day where you can’t see or walk without an escort as your feet have a tendency to come loose!That is what I love about re-enactment, people are so willing to do the daftest things for the sake of the show and everyone has a great sense of humour, even after 15 years the jokes still make me laugh!

We had good weather as well, only one short bit of rain during show times and I even got a little bit pink on Saturday. We have our next event in three weeks time, Kerry is coming up this weekend so that we can sort out some veil cutting and I am going to start making a headdress for Kate one of our newer members.

Bolsover - Kate and Kerry

 

She has been in kit since last year but this was her first event at one of our shows and she has a beautiful green woolen dress. She borrowed Ellie’s circlet  and liked it so I am planning to make her one like that with black velvet, pearls and gold embellishments.

The surcoat I made last year is still going strong though I am planning to add a cross to the back in time for next year. Simon played St George this year and here we are in the tournament.

Nun and St George at Bolsover

We did a fashion talk at this show which is a new part of the event, started last year and had a good reaction from the crowd so this year I talked about the different varieties of ladies’ and men’s garments and got the group to show off their outfits.People are always amazed that we make so much of our kit and love looking at the clothes and asking us how we made things and how long they take.

A really nice start to the season and I am looking forward to the next few shows. I have also managed to finish off some of the things that I have been working on so have a pouch and a basket to show you when I can take some pictures in good light. Thankfully I am now coming home in daylight which is great so will get those sorted soon.

I am planning a few more of the scrappy churn dash blocks as they got good feedback from the girls at Wool and Wine last night and the great news is that Sarah has got confirmation that she has a stall at Yarndale again this year so the pouch and bag production will have a home!

Hope that you all have a good rest of the week, take care, thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

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A perfect day!

This weekend was my wonderful friend Kerry’s wedding and we had the most perfect day. Despite huge weather issues in the UK that meant lots of public transport was not running and roads were shut so some people did not manage to make the wedding and me stupidly getting flu last week we made it to the beautiful medieval church they had chosen for the most perfect ceremony and then reception in a nearby manorial barn.

Kerry wedding 1

We ended up staying in a lovely hotel on the Friday night as well as we were not sure about driving from Ellie’s Saturday morning so that gave a nice relaxed start to the occasion and meant that at least we were only a short drive away on the day.

Kerry wedding 2

Everything was wonderful with such attention to detail. Kerry and Dave have planned this wedding so well and had put such a huge amount of effort into everything, from the scrolls with the history of the barn on at the tables and wedding favours which were medieval spice packets, everything was perfect.

Kerry wedding 4

The very best thing was seeing her so happy though, they both really enjoyed their day which is how it should be and it was just brilliant to see how relaxed and happy she looked. She made her own dress which was just stunning and most of our re-enactment friends came in kit as well.Photo above and below courtesy of Silke.

Kerry wedding 3

The cake was a masterpiece, made by another re-enactor friend Eloise, it is a page from the Gutenberg Bible , apologies as the barn was a bit dark so it is not the best picture but you can tell how amazing it is.

Kerry wedding 8

I am so, so pleased everything went well, Kerry and Dave deserve the very best of happiness. I first met Kerry in the pouring rain outside a castle about 15 years ago when she offered to help me pitch the tent so we could get the kids out of the rain and dry. We started spending lots more time together about 10 years ago when we began travelling to the bigger shows together and since then we have been best buddies and partners in crime.

Kerry wedding 5

She is one of the kindest people on the planet, more than a friend, a second Mum and best friend to Ellie as well as me. She is always there if I need her and I have lost count of the number of times she has driven me to and from events insisting I can’t go by train, gone and got things that we needed at shows last minute and just generally been wonderful. I don’t know what the last 10 years would have been like without her, we have had so much fun together, supported each other through some tough times and to have a day like Saturday where she smiled and laughed all day was just wonderful.

Kerry wedding 6

Congratulations  lovely couple, enjoy your honeymoon in Iceland! It may well be warmer than here 🙂

Kerry wedding 7

Take care everyone and thanks for visiting, see you at the weekend for small update though not much else been happening here apart from festivities!

More medieval fashion

Thankfully the trapped nerve is getting better but slight complications have left me with numb fingers and a lot of pain in my right arm so have only managed a completely pathetic twenty stitches on a Christmas ornament in the whole of this week so there is literally nothing to see here.

Am trying to learn to sew left handed and  the good news is that I have managed to do a huge amount of work prep for the next few weeks so if normal service is restored finger wise I will have time to sew!

I have lots of things that I have not had chance to show you so while productivity is low will keep you amused with some other lovely stuff.

At our last show at Caldicot we once again did a fashion talk and thanks to various photographer friends have some great shots to share with you. Kerry has been doing so much sewing recently, as well as working on her wedding gown and she had not one but two new outfits that weekend.

Her new peasant dress is made from some fabric that I bought cheaply many years ago and decided I didn’t like and donated it to her in the hope that she could dye it or find some other use and she created this gorgeous dress from it.

Caldicot - Kerry Peasant dress 1

Her new veil and wimple looks stunning as well.

Caldicot - Kerry Peasant dress 2

We did a talk on fashion in various different periods so she brought her new 15th century dress and henin head dress as well. Thanks to Silke for this photo of her and Ellie sitting on the castle walls.

Caldicot -Ellie and Kerry

Here they are with Lady Louisa in her fur trimmed sideless surcoat and beautiful ruffled veil as well.

Caldicot - fashion show 1

 

I love this picture by Silke as well of everyone from the Falchion’s group lined up waiting to go off to the battle.I love my crazy medieval friends and am missing everyone now that the season has ended!

Caldicot - Falchions

We have a sewing weekend coming up where Kerry and I will be working on more wedding outfits, very exciting!

Hope that you are all having a nice weekend, I was teaching today and my group were very sweet about my incapacity and told me to rest up tomorrow which is exactly what I intend to do. Fingers crossed, (in a very gentle way!), I may be able to spend some time in the craft room 🙂

Take care and thanks for visiting.

The prayers were answered!

We had a great time at our last event at Caldicot last weekend and were lucky enough to have good weather, a bit of rain on Fri afternoon during set up and during the battle on Saturday but the guys were in armour so couldn’t feel it ;-). This picture below is of the castle encampment taken by our lovely friend Pat on Saturday.

Caldicot castle camp 2017

It did rain really heavily Saturday night, we were in the beer tent at that point luckily so were just listening to the thunderous noise the deluge made on the roof of the tent! However all was well during the day time and so I got chance to photograph the camp as well.

Caldicot camp 3

Caldicot camp 4

I made a new friend, the Lady Louise above, who also makes head dresses as you can see and gave us some great tips on how to make a heart shaped hennin and came and joined us for our costume talk on Sunday.

Caldicot camp 5

Caldicot camp 7

It was a great last event, I got four more interviews done for my doctorate, two with some of the Plymouth Medieval Group who did a fab dance display for us on the Sunday.Their costumes are so gorgeous.

Caldicot dance 1

Caldicot dance 2

Caldicot dance 3

There were lots of groups there and the battles went really well, Ellie and I marshalled again which we really enjoyed. Here I am with my big marshalling stick.

Caldicot battle marshal 1

I have had a good start to  term, 52 new students this year so lots of names to try and learn! Bit of a setback when I broke the toilet Tuesday morning, (bottle falling from shelf smashed the side). It has been mended but was very expensive and I now need new bathroom flooring at some point 😦

Have been looking after Ted this weekend while Sharon is at Yarndale so have not had time to work on the jacket but have made a couple more pouches for Mum to give to her fundraising events.

There will be very little crafting this coming week as it is the start of teaching but Ellie and I are planning a visit to Harewood House next weekend to see costumes from the Victoria TV series.Very exciting!

Will be back in a week or so with some pictures from that. Thanks as always for visiting.

 

1471 all over again!

Apologies for my absence, I came back from Tewkesbury and had so many lovely pictures to show you and then changed internet service and it all went badly wrong so I have had no internet for a while.

Thankfully after much frustration with customer service phonelines, (no I cannot go to your web help pages to sort this out as I have no internet! No I cannot take a picture of the hub as I have no smartphone!), a lovely man came and fixed the problem this morning so I am back.

It was a brilliant Battle of Tewkesbury once again, very hot both days so we were melting but luckily everything went ahead and everyone had a fantastic time.Here are friends Richard and Dave off to battle.

Richard and Dave at Tewks - small

Here are me in the blue dress, Ellie in dark and light pink and Kerry just behind me in green marching onto the battle on Sunday.
Watercarrying at Tewks

Here is the prince escorting his mother, Margaret of Anjou onto the battlefield, the picture below is of her and the ladies of her court.

Tewks Prince and Queen - small

Tewks Queen's court

And here is Lord Somerset, one the main Lancastrain leaders and his contingent.

Rupert and Allan at Tewks-small

This is king marching onto the battlefield, our friend Dave’s banner is part of the party – the white with black stripe and diamonds, don’t they look magnificent all together!

Tewkesbury Dave's banner - small

Here is my friend Mike who I interviewed about guns at Tatton in action on the battlefield.

Mike Gunning at Tewksbury - small

The ladies’ costumes were once again stunning and thanks to the miracles of the internet, (i.e. other people’s Facebook posts), I have some lovely images for you.Here are the ladies of the court marching to the beheading.

Tewkesbury Trial procession - small

Tewkesbury trial 2

And here is the King and his entourage at the trial expressing disbelief at the rebel’s excuses.

This is my wonderfully talented friend Kat with the most gorgeous new head dress.She was kind enough to let me interview her for my research as well.

Tewks Kat Richard and Dave

Thank you so much to all of the people that take pictures of us in kit and share them, it is brilliant to have a record of events when we can’t have cameras with us.I don’t know everyone who took these as some were re-shared but thanks to Celtic Hammer for some of these.

My steam punk outfit for Saturday night worked well. I don’t have any really good pictures of it as by the time we had been to the beheading and to the beautiful Compline service at the church and got changed it was very dark. I will get some better pictures in daylight in August.

I did take some pictures of my own as I was out of kit on Sunday morning doing some more of my doctoral research so these are from various living history camps.

Tewks - encampment 1

Tewks - encampment 2

I was talking to and videoing lots of people just doing what they do at re-enactment, talking to the public, playing games, cooking, mending their kit.

Tewks - encampment 3

Tewks - encampment 4

Tewks - encampment 5

It was really lovely to just wander, re-enactors are a great bunch of people, so enthusiastic and I am loving doing the research with them.

I have another quiet weekend ahead so will be continuing with making bags and pouches for Sarah’s Yarndale stall as well as a present for one of my younger relatives. I have recently discovered Vikings and am enjoying binge watching that while stitching. Not as much pretty costume in that but some of it is very lovely, especially now we have got to the French court and I am really enjoying the series, particularly the women’s roles. Lagertha is my new hero, very impressed with her.

I found this lovely image of her on the web and this funny so thought I would leave you with these.

Largetha - Vikings

Lagertha - quoteTake care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Thank goodness for trees!

We British are never happy with the weather are we? After complaining all week about it raining and hoping for a dry weekend we then spent all of the Tatton event saying it was too hot.It did get up to about 30 degrees so there was a big difference between that and the grey wet weather earlier.

Thankfully we were camped near some very shady trees so spent a lot of the weekend in this beautiful spot, sitting catching up with friends before roasting on the battlefield.

Tatton - Trees 1

Tatton - Trees 2

Tatton - Trees 3

Tatton - Trees 4

I managed to do some interviews for my doctorate, among them the man who plays King Edward at Tewkesbury, Mike who is a gunner and a new member of a friend’s group, Sian, who was skinning and tanning rabbits.

This is beautiful tent belonging to Dave the king, the paintings on the hangings are done by his wife.He has very impressive fluted armour which looks wonderful on the battlefield.

Tatton - Kings Tent

Here is Mike with his flintlock, he is normally a hand-gunner in the battles and also has taken part in displays with larger guns as part of the gun crew.

Tatton - Mike with gun 1

Tatton - Mike with gun 2

Sian was skinning and cooking with the rabbits on Saturday and on Sunday the heat had meant that she was able to start the process of de-fleshing the skins to use the hide, normally that would take 3 days.

Tatton - Sian with rabbit skin 1

This is one of the larger skins from a previous tanning, it is so beautifully soft.

Tatton - Sian with rabbit skin 2

In this photo you can see the difference between the skins still with the flesh on them in the left of the picture and the finished skin. It was fascinating to watch her doing the whole process.

I know that I normally include some lovely costume pictures for you but it was so hot we were all dressed down for most of the time, here is our friend Dave in a fetching combination of medieval undergarments, sunnies, straw hat and trainers back at camp.

Tatton - Dave in soft kit

We had a lovely weekend and are really looking forward to next weekend when we are going camping in North Wales, just a little holiday for Ellie and I visiting some Trust properties though friends are at an event at Conwy Castle so may pop in and see them there.

Hope you have a great week ahead and thanks for visiting.

Come rain, come shine!

Well of course it was like most Ashby events, somewhat wet in parts. We did at least have glorious sunshine on the Sunday, it was very hot in the afternoon for the tournament and then we had a lovely evening and it started raining after we went to bed and never really stopped.

So we were not able to do much on Monday except a few demos like our head dress talk. Here are Ellie and I sewing coifs for the poor. At least we got some lovely pictures from Sunday.

Ashby - Ellie and me sewing -small

Here is what I think must be my favourite one of all time, Luke was doing his armour talk while getting dressed for the tournament and he had just put on his great helm and was telling the crowd that he could still see in front of him but not what was happening behind him so I took that opportunity to do a little happy dance for the crowd 😉

Ashby - me and Luke -small

He knew nothing about it until this appeared on our Facebook page later in the day. Thanks to Adam Kucharczyk for these brilliant pictures.

Ashby - Ellie and King - small

I love this one of Ellie in her new crown with the King.

Ashby - Group -small

And here are all of the group at the end of the tournament, we have new fighters this year so it was great to see so many people in the arena.

Ashby 2017 Luke and Mark

The boys had new kit as well, of course. They have been making some beautiful things. Here is Mark in his new coat and chaperon hood.

Luke’s partner Wendy had made him a new chaperon as well and he had a new hat, a bycocket courtesy of the mega -talented Kat of Kat’s Hats.

I didn’t get a picture of the stunning goldwork on the front however Kat had posted this one on her page, she is such a brilliant embroider.

Ashby - Detail of goldwork

The boys looked amazing in their armour as usual, Luke has new leg armour to match his colours.

Ashby Luke in full armour - small

Symon has been doing leather work and has made this wonderful coat of plates and belt, it is all hand tooled, he had to cut out all of the leather from the leaf pattern by hand, just beautiful!

Ashby Symon coat and belt 1

I am very proud of the group and look forward to lots of lovely events with them this year.

Hope that you like the pictures, there is also some video of the fights on our Facebook page as well if you are interested.

Will be back next week with an update on an embroidery finish, until then have a good weekend and thanks for visiting.