30 November 2016

Belated Event Follow-Up

The good news is that I DID find my box of 14th-century stuff, so I did not go to Lions naked. The event was fabulously fun, exciting, and beautiful, though a bit on the chilly side at night.  My poor tent, which was brand new in January, caught in a tornado in March, and has been breaking down bit by bit ever since that event, finally gave up the ghost when I tried to set it up at the event, so I slept in my friend's car the first night we were there.  As much as we wanted to stick around for the post-court party the next night, we opted to drive the hour-and-a-half home and luxuriate in hot showers and warm beds instead of weathering another frigid night outdoors.

me and my shabby parasol

Since then, I've been hard at work whipping my new fixer-upper house into shape.  I'm pleased to report that I have - mostly - got the sewing room together, although it's not remotely decorated or even within earshot of "done".  But I can work in it, which is fortunate, because I have a commission coming up in the next week or so (more Caerleon company livery, nothing terribly out of the ordinary - which is good. I don't think I could handle anything majorly complicated right now, with all the other work I still have to do). Updates on both the room and the commission coming soon.

19 October 2016

Oh, Dear

In my head, the move went like this: 

The movers would show up, move all our stuff, and by that evening - or possibly the next day - we'd begin unpacking and setting up house.  My sewing shop would be up and running again in a matter of days, and I'd make a pretty, new, blue cotehardie to wear to the upcoming Tournament of Lions event - I mean, there'd be three weeks to work on it, right? No problem! I can whomp out a cotehardie with one eye tied behind my back!

What actually happened was that everything that could go wrong, did.  The short version is, we've only JUST begun setting up and unpacking this week.  Lions is in two days, and guess which box of garb I CANNOT find anywhere?  That's right: the one with all my 14th century stuff.  None of which even fit me when I packed it up two months ago - I have two days to locate it and alter it, or, I guess...

I'm kidding.  I can make due with piecing the rest of what I have together, if I need to.  If there's one thing this move has taught me, it's to resist panic and think up another solution when the first idea falls through. 

Pics, hopefully, after the event.  With any luck I won't be wearing blue jeans and sneakers in any of them.


10 October 2016

One Month Later...

The move is technically complete, but there've been some hiccups - and that's putting it mildly.

Suffice to say (rather than sit here at my keyboard and complain about things, which nobody wants to hear) I haven't gotten any work done. I wanted to have a new outfit made in time for the Tournament of Lions event on the 21st, but that hasn't/isn't going to happen. I should be able to find a moment in the next ten days to alter something old to fit; or at least to throw together something relatively early-14th-century that's baggy enough to just throw on, at the very least.

If I can locate my boxes of garb.  And, you know, shoes. Veils. Camping equipment...? I have no idea where any of my stuff is.

I'll be back when I have a solution to ...*gestures vaguely at everything*


08 September 2016


So this is a thing that is happening now:

I'm moving house! Disassembling my sewing room and packing it all up was one of the first "Holy cow, this is REAL" moments.  I feel like an arm's been cut off.  (I feel the same way about having packed up my guitars and music, actually. Thank goodness my bikes are still out and ride-able!)

So what's next? All the stress. All the worry. Tons of work, in my old house and the new place. And as soon as I get landed and set up, I have a dress to make in a BIG hurry for Bjornsborg's Tournament of Lions on October 21st.  (Back up plan: attend the event in jeans and/or naked?)

Hopefully this will all go smoothly, and I'll have new craft room pictures for you in a couple of weeks.

Wish me luck!


04 August 2016

In Which Our Heroine Sees Her Shadow After Gulf Wars and Goes Back To Sleep

Hi, my name is Madylyne, and it has been four months since my last post.  *shame*

If you follow me on Facebook or know me in real life, you know that the last few months have been really rough. I disappeared from the world for a little bit; but now I'm doing great, and I'm back in the saddle. Hooray! (And whew!)

What have I been working on?

I did a couple of Viking aprons for a Pennsic-bound buddy, and a  HOLY ONESIE OF ANTIOCH  full-length Teutonic hooded robe for a friend over the summer, but I neglected to take any pictures, as they were both time-sensitive jobs and we didn't get time for a photoshoot.

What's next? 

The last couple of weeks I've been cleaning the heck out of my craft room - moving furniture around, rethinking storage solutions, hanging shelves in closets.

The next stop is to try on every piece of garb I own to see if it still fits me. I revamped my cotehardie collection this past spring, and I've lost about 15lb since then, so I'm fairly certain that the entire contents of my garb closet is too big again.  There are a LOT of alterations in my immediate future.

And then? We'll see.

See you soon! 

01 April 2016

In Which Our Heroine Awakens From Her Post-War Nap

It's been a few weeks, but I finally feel rested.  It always helps me, after an event - especially one I've been working full-time preparing for - to center myself with non-SCA stuff when I get back.  So, I've been gardening, and riding my bike, and sewing some mundane clothing. 

I have a bunch of pics from war this year, and I'm working on getting them all into a Flickr album (or something) that I can share here.  Here are a very few, for now:

Sunday night, after a day of camp setup, I
helped serve feast! I'd never done that before;
and it was SO MUCH FUN.

ON ONE OF THE OVENS! I took really good care of it all
week, and ever since, and thankfully, it's already mostly
healed, and it looks like there won't even be much of a scar.

So here's a thing: 

I FINALLY got some pictures of the flag ropeline around our campsite, you guys!! You've seen the flags in a couple of posts before. They're made of heavy-weight cotton (originally Ikea RITVA curtain panels, purchased second-hand from my old dance studio when it went out of business a few years ago).  They're each 9x12", double-sided, serged closed on the edges, with a rod-pocket in the top to slip over the ropes.  The fence stakes started life as 8' long 1x2" sleepers from the hardware store - $1.50 each; each cut in half, cut to a point on one end, sanded smooth, and stained/sealed.  There's a 1/2" copper tube strap (5pk/$2 at the hardware store, in the plumbing section) attached to the top of each stake for the rope to go through.  So far the entire fenceline has cost me a whopping $30; and I've got plenty more materials on hand to expand as our camp gets bigger. 

The entrance to our camp.  We often use the ropeline as traffic
control; this year we used it for safety, too, by placing it in
front of a tent-rope trap that kept tripping pople before
we got the whole camp set up.

Looking down the outside of camp, with the silk banners we
all helped to paint in 2012. 

A painted cotton banner I made in 2011.

From the opening ceremonies on Tuesday mornings, all kingdoms lining up to begin negotiating the war treaty. 
This is the most SCA picture ever. 

Me carrying the banner in the procession
to the castle (with my dress falling off my
shoulders and the surcote too low in the
front, because by the time I got to war,
they were too big already! ARGH!)


Just Vikin' around. 
Sadly, I did not manage to get pics of me in that purple men's Viking outfit. I promise you some, though, because...well, because I promised you some, and the entire ensemble looks pretty damned spiffy, if I do say so myself.  (In fact, a friend of mine liked it so much he's commissioned one for himself!) I didn't get to wear most of my cotehardies, because they were all too big again by the time I got to war (ARGH!); nor any of my pretty, fancy court things, because all the fancy court-type stuff was called on account of ...


After that was overwith, Caerleon bugged out to a hotel for the night...because hot showers, and because WALLS, y'all.  I admit to being thoroughly unhinged for most of that evening. I've been through several tornadic events in my life - this was actually the least severe of them all, but it brought back some pretty terrible memories, and I was kind of having some epic disaster-flashback issues that evening.   We came back the next morning to clean up and break camp.  I stayed until Saturday to help out the folks I rode with who were working at the merchants' offices.  Friday and Saturday I spent walking around in jeans and a hoodie, because all of my clothes and things were soaked and had been hurriedly crammed into bags into a trailer during a downpour on Friday. I had to laugh - I've made a mask every year for three years now, intending to get to a masked ball at war or some other event, and I never end up making it.  This year I DID make it to the masque at the Known World Party Friday night (which was held inside Beade Hall with donated food and booze from many, many generous people who had such things survive Thursday) - and I showed up wearing jeans, a hoodie, and a generous helping of embarrassment and disappointment.  Oh, well.  Next year?

A flooded pond on site, taken as we GTFO'd on Saturday.
Goodbye, Mississippi.  Please be nicer to us next year.

So, all of that being said, 

I had a FANTASTIC WAR.  Before the tornado I got out and participated in the event in ways I'd never done before.  I met a ton of new people, made some new friends, stepped out of my comfort zone in a constructive way, and had a fabulous time exploring parts of the event I'd always wanted to explore but hadn't.  My health was REALLY nice to me this time around, too, and the freedom was an absolute joy.  I took a HILARIOUS class on ancient-Roman-style swearing that was really interesting and educational as well as lewd and fun - I lost the teacher's card, but if any of you were at the event and know who it was, send me a link to her page! 

Life was really scary and chaotic Thursday; but Friday and Saturday I saw 3,000+ of my fellow SCAdians banding together to help one another in the aftermath of the storms.  Some people lost everything they had, but every single one of us that I could see pitched in to spend the last two days of the event cleaning up, helping each other break down camp and get cars out of the mud in the parking area and on the saturated roads, and make sure that everyone had shelter and food and a way off site.  Everywhere I went those two days, people were full of care and concern for people they didn't even know - and many of us got to know each other through swapping stories of how we all fared during the worst of the storm (shout-out to some of Calontir's heralds, whose names escape me, but whose stories of holding their main pavilion that evening, and whose tale of "How John the Tall Saved the Children" at another event, really made my day on Friday!) 

This is the reason I love the SCA, even when the occasional drama and politics get me down - our love of this game makes us family, and when the chips are down, we are all there for each other, whether we know each other or not.  And whether you, Dear Reader, were at the event or not, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for being family to me and to each other.  If you were there, or if you've had an event that went similarly (I hear Lilies War gets pretty interesting), thank you for caring and helping each other.  Thank you so much.

22 March 2016


As I'm sure you've heard by now, Gulf Wars was a little more natural-disaster-y than is usual.   From what we can gather, an EF-1 tornado touched down very near to site on the afternoon of Thursday, March 18th.  There have been rumors of a second one that afternoon in a different location (still near, but off site), but I don't know if that's been confirmed or not. What I can tell you for sure was that it was pretty damned scary.  This was my fifth tornado, although it's not exactly something you get used to, ever - and I've never been camping when it happened until last week. Microbursts, straightline winds, CTG lightning, falling trees, hail,  and flooding are even less fun when you're waiting out the storm in what amounts to a giant Ziploc baggie.

The back half of war was pretty much effectively canceled, and 3,000 people came together as one big family to help each other clean up, salvage, remove trash, feed each other, shelter each other, and just generally make sure everyone was okay.  There was a lot of chaos right after the storm - there was a bit of a meat-grinder of frightened, stampeding humans trying to GTFO for a while - but for the most part people took care of each other, and that was really wonderful to see.   Barring a few concussions and a couple of broken feet, I don't think we had any very serious injuries, and no one was lost or killed.  All of the animals - horses, hounds, falcons and birds, and all the pets and service animals - made it out just fine, thank goodness.

Up until then, war was SO much fun. I have pics of the ravine battle, the campsite, the feast, and a couple of other things that I'll share later as soon as I get organized and finish unpacking and doing laundry.  (By the way, my new tent held up like a champ!)  For now, though:

(Reportedly a photo of the actual storm that hit GWXXV from the local media,
though I have no idea if it really is. This is just what's going around Facebook).

07 March 2016

Gulf Wars!

Only four days left before Gulf Wars, you guys!  And guess what?  I finally got to quit my night job!!!  *DANCES AROUND IN CIRCLES**   I've had time to actually get all of my chores and prep for war done on time, and I'll be taking commissions again once we all get home.  YAY!  So excited.  (In case you couldn't tell).

Completed in the last two weeks:

1.  A man's Viking tunic, embroidered.  There are pants and cloth winingas to go with it;  I'll have pics of the finished outfit after war.

2.  A new Caerleon company surcote, which I made from a black linen cotehardie that I made back in 2012 (I don't have pics of it, sorry).  I closed up the front and cut out the sides, over-dyed the whole thing with a fresh coat of black to spruce up the color; then added the gold binding at the top (cut from some lightweight damask from my scrap pile), the white faux-fur on the sides, and three appliqué'd lions down the front of the skirt.


4.  Seven new flags for the Caerleon campsite ropeline (five pictured) and a new canvas banner/flag to hang outside of my tent (that's the big one on the left):

5.  More canvas bags, this time made from a blue, heavy cotton with a decorative weave and stitch, from which I removed a TON of orange thread in January:

L-R:  finished bag; fabric before thread removal; fabric after

6.  Fixed up this mask for the  Known World Party next Friday night - this year's theme is that of a Venetian-style masque:

L: finished, painted with teal/black nail polish, with dark flowers, star-shaped
spangles, and "raven" feathers (dyed turkey feathers from the craft store);
R:  The mask as purchased in NOLA before Gulf Wars (aside from a bit of nail
polish on the nose - I almost forgot to take a "before" picture), where a few of
us spent a day before heading to the war last year.

I've also done a million small alterations on my older cotehardies; the green Burgundian dress which I made last summer and then never wore; re-painted a small wooden chest I made last that had a horrible finish on it; and completed a Sekrit!Projekt! about which I'll post after I'm back from war.

I'll have pics of everything when I'm back. This week I've got to run a thousand errands, and finish packing - which just seems a Danaidean task, at this point, but I'll get there - and then I'm on the road Friday afternoon. Whee!