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Apologies for the lack of posts recently. A very hot and relaxing holiday in Spain followed by one of the best Tewkesbury weekends ever means that blogging time has been severely curtailed.
Anyway here I am with some costume stuff to share and battle pictures courtesy of Pat Patrick who does such a fab job at all events.
Firstly here are the fruits of the sewing weekend we had in Feb. You may remember this being cut out, well it turned into the outfit below that Kerry on the right is wearing.
The one that Ellie wears is a dress Kerry made some years ago. Apologies for the very non-authentic background, my Photoshop skills are not good enough to replace it!
They looked splendid walking round the market in the morning, even though it was very hot they made a sterling effort to look cool and elegant.
We had our newest member Sadie with us and she really enjoyed the battle. We spent a lot of time pointing out to her all the exciting bits, literally as Pat has captured!
You can just see us at the back of these photos – Sadie in green, Ellie in burgundy. me in blue and Kerry in brown, pointing out where our boys are fighting.
Even though it was really hot all day there was quite a rainstorm during the battle but the boys in armour never felt a thing! Here is the King and his retinue – look at that goldwork!
A very excellent time and can’t wait for more events. Now on with some further kit making, in the week before Tewkesbury I managed to make a shirt and brais and mend some hose and an arming jack, now on with an arming waistcoat and then I am going to make some kit for me!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Hope that you have been enjoying the fantastic weather we have had this week in the UK, I was very glad that the high temperatures we had last week during the working part continued for the fun bit that was Tatton Medieval Festival.
I love this show, it is one of my all time faves for so many reasons, the venue is beautiful and only one hour from home and it is small enough to be friendly and be able to see everyone to say hello but large enough to have a nice market and beer tent and battle – essentials for a good re-enactment weekend ;-)
I bought some new mugs from Jim the potter, am saving the rest of my spends for the big market at Tewkesbury where a new belt and pouch are on the list.
We took my latest tent for its first outing, this is a new (bargain) that I bought at the end of last season.
I seem to buy new tents in response to extreme weather, the first (new to me) tent last year was after the icy hail storm at Rufford so we had somewhere to all shelter and this one was in response to the 38 degrees at Tewkesbury so we have some shade!
It worked very well, it is a great size tent for just me and Ellie as there is plenty of space for kit and room to stand up and get dressed in. And at only £40 almost brand new it was a great find – it had to be repaired due to a broken zip after it was first bought so Outdoor World were selling it cheap.
It was a really lovely weekend and not only that thanks to Jamie and Sam I have lots of photos to show you as Jamie very kindly posed for some costume pictures and Sam took lots of the battle.
Jamie is wearing his very smart tunic showing the dagging on the sleeves, dagging was extra material to show how rich you were and was often lobed like this or oak leaf-shaped. He is also wearing his black hood or chaperon over the topic of the tunic and a bicocket hat. The tunic was made by Jackie from Cloak’d and Dagger’d.
As we were taking these pictures along came another very well dressed gent in later period costume (don’t know his real name but he was playing De Massey in the battle).
He is wearing a more fitted doublet with puffed sleeves and the later version of the chaperon when it evolved into a hat, complete with dagging and liripipe or tail. This style of outfit is around mid 1400s whereas Jamie’s is mid 1300s.
Here are the battle pics, love the one of Ellie in the smoke and the last couple that Jamie has put some filters on.
We are off to Spain this weekend – yippee more sun! Have loads more photos to post from various things which I may get chance to do before I go if not will have to have a serious blog update when I get back!
Have fun and thanks for visiting.
Hello there, we have just got back from a lovely (if wet as always) weekend at Ashby de la Zouche Castle where we were doing a show. Over a 1000 people braved the weather this Bank Holiday to come and see us which was very nice of them.
At least it was sunny on Saturday even if Sunday afternoon and packing the tents was a bit wet and cold :-(
The boys in the group have been working really hard all winter on their new kit so I thought you might like to see some pictures of them in their finery.
Luke has adapted his outfit to include chains that hold his horned great helm and his swords so that he can hang the helm from his back as he fights (he wears another smaller helm underneath to fight in).
You can see the chains here on this picture of him and our newest member Jamie and again on a picture taken at the last show of all of our knights on the steps of Bolsover Castle. Thanks to Jamie for these next two photos.
This picture below was also taken at Bolsover and you can see more clearly the helmet that Mark our Dragon Knight was wearing for that show which had a St George’s day theme.
Paul in the blue is a wonderful artist and his costume has such detail on it, his belt has stamped and painted lions and the surcoat and shield are all hand painted.
Shane has got a lovely new helmet for this season (yes it does look a bit like a lemon squeezer!) and some new armour – this picture was taken by one of the visitors as I didn’t get chance to get close-ups due to the inclement weather but he has new arm and leg armour in a blue tint and a new armoured surcoat with plates inside it.
They were all looking very splendid and I was very proud of them ;-)
We have a packed summer ahead of us which is brilliant. This weekend we are off to Somerset for an event followed by our week visiting National Trust properties and then another two events to finish off June.
I am really looking forward to the months ahead, my teaching finished last week (just some large piles of marking to come) and my lovely group bought me some gift vouchers for a local wool shop which I am really looking forward to spending!
Just about to make up the first of my (no doubt many) Little Cotton Rabbits elephants and have lots and lots of projects planned for summer – going to make the most of the newly sorted craft room.
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Hello again, I hope that you have all had a good week.
I have been enjoying another weekend at home and our first at home BBQ of the year, my last weekend here for two weeks as I have shows then a holiday with my friend Kerry!
Last year we took the opportunity to travel round some of the National Trust properties down South after one of our shows and are doing the same again this year going to visit some places in Somerset, Dorset and Devon.
I am so happy that the season has started again, the joys of cooking bacon butties for breakfast outside the tent and meeting lots of lovely people – it is a great way to spend a weekend. Look at this lovely tent owned by one of our friends – wouldn’t you love to camp in this?
The theme of the first show this year was crime and punishment as it was in Sherwood Forest the home of Robin Hood and his band of merry men. We had another great weekend with really lovely weather so lots of people came to see us. It was just a small event with about 8 groups but there was plenty to see in the living history camps.
It was also a very significant first because Ellie came up in Kim and we drove all the way to re-enactment in the car! She did really well as we went on the motorway and she was not at all fazed (even when there was a big lorry trying to come into the lane). I am really proud of her and it was very lovely being driven all the way there (and back as well by my brilliant friend Kerry).
Because of having all this transport we were able to take the medieval tent and some stuff for the display which was a real luxury, am very happy in any tent but to have my medieval one is very special ;-)
We were camped with some friends who were doing weapons and armour talks all weekend and we did our usual headdress and embroidery talks which was a nice complement to their display.
This picture shows the camp after the battle with the boys’ arming jacks and paraphernalia everywhere!
And we had the great excitement of a new recruit to the group at her first event. And not just a new recruit for the main group this is our new sister for our little watercarrying group. Here is Sadie all dressed up and ready to go for her first show.
Sadie works with Ellie at Hardwick and has been sword training for a while but decided she would like to join us as well and she really enjoyed herself, she will be coming to many of our future shows as well.
So here’s to many more sunny weekends to come – don’t really mind it raining during the week as long as it always dries up by Friday ;-)
Thanks for visiting and see you in a couple of weeks.
I am really enjoying watching the Great British Sewing Bee on BBC 2 – would love to live in that workshop, all that fabric and buttons and beads and cottons! I know I have a lovely craft room but that would be heaven.
Ellie, Kerry and I had our own little sewing bee last weekend and we had a lovely time cutting out new dresses for them so I thought I would show you a few pics to document the process.
We have a fairly untraditional style of garment making which mainly relies on cutting round existing garments to make new ones and adapting the pattern as we go along.
We do sometimes use bits of existing patterns for shaping such as bodices etc but mostly it is a case of cut, pin, try on and alter until it all fits.
I have the following pattern which is useful basic dress one – available from the Simplicity web site
This is Kerry’s new dress fabric with her green dress laid on top of it for cutting out. I was surprised to see how square it is at the bottom – when on these bits fold in and don’t give that impression at all.
Here she is in the original dress last year at Bolsover Castle.
This is the beautiful fabric with her cutting the back. This new one will have fitted sleeves and tippets unlike the green dress.
If you want to more about tippets or other styles of medieval women’s costume please visit my page here.
Or if you want to see a real genius at work go and visit my very talented friend Kat’s page as she makes the most amazing costume and headdresses.
Ellie is making a new version of a two coloured peasant dress using the old pale pink from the gores in the new dress. She loves this dress which is one I made about 3 years ago but it is a bit short for her now. Here is the original.
We cut this one using her other peasant dress as a pattern.
After she had removed the gores from the old dress she stitched up the new dress and voila! Here she is in the nearly completed garment.
It is a lovely sunny day here, a bit frosty but I have just been doing a bit of gardening to tidy up the back, the crocuses are out and Spring is in the air.
Now to spend the afternoon finishing a dress for another bunny while watching DVDs, I do so love the weekends :-)
Take care and hope you are enjoying yourselves whatever you are doing.
Thanks for visiting.
We spent last weekend at beautiful Caldicot Castle in South Wales, one of my favourite venues and despite a bad forecast and wet weather all the way down we had a lovely weekend with lots of sun.
Here are some of my favourite sights – medieval tents in a sunny castle!
I have found the picture I took at an earlier event of the helm mantle I made, this is the red covering with plaited band in the front of the picture, the orle I made earlier is at the back.
The Sisters of Mercia, our little watercarrying group, have had a lovely, lovely season, we have really enjoyed ourselves and made some new friends as well as spending time with old ones.
We are really looking forward to next year.
I will leave you with this pic of us – courtesy of our friend Dave, this was taken before going onto the battlefield. Since the very hot Tewkesbury event and the introduction of cold flannels (as well as water and jelly babies :-)) we have been carrying our own flannels.
I have titled this picture, ‘Kerry demonstrating to the Sisters the correct use of the cold flannel’ :-) We are obviously listening to her really carefully! It is a skilled job this watercarrying you know.
Thanks for visiting, see you soon.
Hello everyone, hope you in the UK had a very good Bank Holiday weekend.We had a lovely time, a long car journey (well four in total!) gave me lots of chance for knitting and I took my latest rabbit Emily with me so here she is in her new dress at Ludlow Castle this weekend.
Emily really enjoyed her day – as well as the castle she got to look at some of the weapons close up – here she is on my friend Paul’s weapons rack.
We were going to see some friends at the Battle of the Nations Team UK tournament at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, intending only to visit on Sunday dressed in kit but watch and not take part.
However within 10 minutes of getting there were in the arena helping give water and sort armour. We had so much fun we decided to go back again on Monday (despite having a 3 hour drive each way – thanks to lovely Kerry for that!).
It was very warm on Monday and the water, cold flannels and jelly babies were much appreciated by the combatants.
Battle of the Nations is a new venture in the UK where teams compete in full contact tournaments, it is amazing to watch with everything from one-to-one timed combat with points scored for hits to large melees with huge numbers where it is literally last man standing who wins.
It is very fast and furious fighting and we loved being part of it and hope to join them at events again next season. Go and visit their website and Facebook page for more info including videos and photos.
Here are a few more pictures of the castle and of the lovely buildings in the town, it is a really pretty place and I would like to go back for a visit to look at things in more detail sometime.
As well as Ludlow I got to spend the day in Chesterfield with Ellie and we had a look round the famous church with the twisted spire – will post some pictures of that in a later post.
We also visited all of the fabric, haberdashery and wool shops in the town (well it would be rude not too!) and as well as the wonderful fabric stall on the market enjoyed the button selection at Fred’s Haberdashery where I picked up these little cuties, perfect for bunny dresses!
Am looking forward to a quiet weekend at home making medieval kit and have an urge to start on my Xmas ornie stock as well ready for the craft fairs in Nov – never too soon for a bit of Christmas crafting!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Thought I would post a picture of kit I have made recently and tell you about my latest castle visit!
This is my friend Jamie in the shirt I made him, I have lots of requests for shirts now so will be busy in the off-season and will get lots of practise at making holes!
We did a lovely show this last weekend with some friends, it was a countryside show just outside a town called Bewdley in Worcestershire.
I was dressed as a lady all day (a very rare sight and I didn’t get any pictures!) and Kerry and I did head-dress talks and the boys had a tournament. Luckily the weather was great.
After the show I stayed on for a bit and went castle visiting. This is Stokesay Castle in Shropshire which has been on my wish list to visit for a while.
It is a fortified manor house in most beautiful setting and we had a lovely day.
Most of the rooms were bare apart from this very lovely 17th century panelling in the tower.
There is also an old church next door with beautiful wall paintings – sadly none of my pics came out well as it was dark.
We did find some old graves with lovely textures on the headstones where the lichen had grown over them
And we finished the day having some very nice cider in a pub in the centre of Bewdley, these are the views of the River Severn.
I do not have any shows planned for a few weeks now so will be getting on with rabbit knitting, shirt making and some house fettling, I have some bits of painting to do.Will have a new rabbit to show you at the weekend!
Thank you as always for visiting.
One of the lovely things about having new members and an official photographer with the group now is that we get lots of brilliant pictures of our shows.
Previously I have had to sneak out early on and take shots before I get into kit but thanks to Jamie, Sam and Wendy we have these lovely pics of last weekend. I particularly love the shots taken from the tower!
Our little living history camp.
Another bird’s-eye view – the King knighting the children after their training.
Me busy giving water to everyone.
Two of our newer members – Clive and Ron as Edward the Second and Squire Legget
The ladies – Ellie and Kerry with our newly returned member Paul in his kit at the tournament.Our new member Jamie is on the right of this pic in the shirt I made him which fits thankfully!
Luke and Mark in the tournament.
The group all lined up after the show – don’t we look lovely!
A special welcome to Sam (blue dress second from left), Jamie next to her, Richard (at the end on the right) and Alex (second from right in a green tunic) as this was their first show and they did brilliantly!
And with our new group banner.
I really enjoyed the show and it is lovely that our little group is expanding.
Have finished my rabbit and two dresses for it so will take some nice pics (when it stops raining!) and post that later in the week.Really enjoyed doing it so am on to rabbit number 2 next.
Thanks for visiting and have a nice week!
Just back from a fabulous weekend at Ashby de la Zouche Castle with the Swords of Mercia.
A brilliant two days of shows and thanks to all the lovely people who came to see us, our biggest crowd yet – about 1,000 people in total over the weekend and we got very lovely feedback from them.
The weather was most peculiar, we British do talk about the weather an awful lot but there again we have a lot more weather to talk about!
Not for us the endless days of the same stuff, we can have two or three season’s worth in a day!
This weekend started with boiling hot for Saturday (spent most of day giving water to the guys) followed by a disaster movie type storm all evening. I have never seen so much lightning in my life.
Ashby is always an event of extremes, we used to do two shows a year there and one was hot and one very wet – as we are now only doing one a year this year the weather combined.
Thankfully it was beautiful for both shows and for packing up all the tents – always a relief!
I had my lovely little medieval tent to sleep in this weekend, here it is in the sunshine before packing up tonight. Have not used for a couple of years due to not having a car but my lovely friend Shane brought it for me this weekend.
And this is the view from outside the tent – beautiful!
Here are a few other pics from the show – thanks to Ellie and Wendy for these.
The group pic shows us at the end of the show today, I am in the nun’s costume as usual. We had some new members with us this weekend so welcome to Jamie, Sam, Richard and Alex, you were fab!
And here is lovely Ellie in a dress she has not worn for a while, looking beautiful in the late afternoon sun.
Thank you to all my lovely friends in the group, this was our last show together for this year though we have some other shows that just me, Kerry and Ellie are doing.
You have been a second family to me for nearly 11 years now and your friendship and support has meant so much to me.They do say laughter is the best medicine, well we will always be very healthy with the fun we have together :-)
I have a lovely quiet week coming up so am planning lots of crafting. I have just started knitting my first ever bunny from Julie of Little Cotton Rabbits and am loving it!
Hoping to get it finished soon but meanwhile here is what I hope it will look like.
If you would like to have the pattern go to Ravelry – fab knitting site with loads of free patterns as well and buy Julie’s wonderful pattern.
Thanks for visiting and see you again soon.