Quote from D. Gackenbach

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SCA Tent?

My husband and I have been discussing the many possible options for a decent, somewhat medieval looking tent for weeks.  There are so many really amazing images of tents floating around the internet that it can become difficult to make any kind of firm decision on a direction to take.  There are custom pavilions selling for hundreds, to thousands of dollars, there are army surplus tents in the same price range, there are instructions for DIY tents, bell tents, A-frames, Viking, Ottoman... it can be a bit overwhelming. 

For us the options can be cut down based on price; we simply cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a tent that we will use briefly each summer.  Because of this we decided to go with a DIY approach.  There are all kinds of wonderful plans available online, SCAdians are great about sharing what works and what  doesn't, but we are taking a slightly different route.  Consider this the first installment of the lazy man's guide (okay, lazy woman's guide if you prefer) to a medivalish family encampment.  We are planning to purchase a 10x20 carport to use as the basic structure of our tent.  These carports can be purchased for around $100.00 and for us this is a very reasonable starting point.  It is the material needed for the conversion that can be very expensive. 

Marine grade canvas, Sunbrella, and similar fabrics can be very pricey.  I have heard about people getting them for as low as $5 a yard, but I haven't seen any myself.  I was planning to save up for a few months to get enough duck canvas, an inexpensive marine option, to create the necessary side panels for our tent.  We basically want to enclose ten feet of the carport to create our sleeping space, and then leave the other ten foot section open on the sides (perhaps with the option of closing in two more sides in foul weather) to serve as a sitting area.  Now, I use the past tense here because that plan changed with a little good luck. 

I found a crazy, amazing, stupid cheap deal on what appears to be marine-grade vinyl.  I say, "appears to be," because this fabric has no information on content, or thickness, or anything, but it was so cheap I didn't really care.  "How cheap?" you ask.  Brace yourself...

I paid ten cents a yard for 150 yards of this stuff, yep $15.00 plus tax. 

That roll weighs so much my husband had a hard time carrying it inside, and we are pretty sure it is one continuous cut, which is crazy.  It is a woven synthetic of some sort, it is bright yellow (the red stripes are just the tape holding the roll), and it is 46" wide.  I can make an entire matching encampment with this stuff!  I am super stoked.  Stay tuned for more pics and info as we start putting this baby together.  I hope to be camping in it by our big September event so I better get cracking!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

SCA (Soggy Camping Association)

This past weekend was our very first SCA camping event.  We had a few crazy logistical issues to deal with, but manged (with the help of some great friends) to get ourselves on site, set-up, and ready to rock Friday evening.  The site was gorgeous, the company was great, and we went to bed happy campers... Then around 5:45 am the rain started, and it just kept coming all weekend long.

At one point a staff member at the campground (who has worked this event for the past three years) told me she has renamed the Society for Creative Anachronism the "Soggy Campers Association."  But honestly a wonderful, wet, time was had by all.  I imagine we will have even more fun when we do this in good weather.

If nothing else we looked fabulous! 

Maybe today I will finish drying out and stowing the last of our wet gear...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The 10 Foot Rule

I just completed my "cooler cooler" project!  I love it.  It is homely and slightly inconvenient, but from 10' away it looks like a million bucks! And in the SCA that is good enough (for most people).  A big thank you to the folks over at Honor Before Victory for yet another awesome idea.  This is basically a cooler covered in brown paper and varnish.  My cooler was a slightly different model from Gregor and Genoveva's so I made a few modifications.

First, I had a weird lip on my cooler that made it so the top didn't actually come down to meet the sides.  I decided to use a strip of faux leather to hide this after it was all covered in the paper.  It actually worked pretty well, my only complaint is the fabric has enough stretch to conform to the shape of the lid so it got a little tight on the sides, but it looks great (you just have to be careful the cooler seals properly when you close it).  The faux leather was just a scrap I had lying around from Halloween so it wasn't quite long enough and I had to use two pieces to wrap around the lid, if I had my preference I would have used one continuous piece. 

Secondly, my cooler did not have handles, but it did have weird holes in the edges of the lid, go figure.  I have no clue what these hole are for, maybe you can lock the cooler to keep out Fish and Game? (kidding)   So, instead of wrapped handles I decided to put a braided cord on either end to make it easier to lift the lid (this is especially helpful because I covered the lip intended for use in raising the lid).  Finally, my cooler had cup holders in the lid, this is the most obvious non-period detail about the whole thing and I will probably cover it with a cutting board most of the time... but I know we will want to use those cup holders so I didn't want to cover them permanently. 

We will debut this bad boy at Boar's Hunt this weekend, with a little luck it will keep everything cold AND look good enough to pass peer scrutiny!  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oh, The Irony

Either I am painting my room...

I have a million things to do inside today... So the sun finally came out...WTF!?

Or, I am painting myself, not sure which

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Purple Princess Progress

bodice fitting

front detail

back detail

I have been working on some other projects for the past week, but I did manage to get the eyelets done in the back of this dress today.  I also braided the laces for the dress and the bodice straps.  I still need to make the bodice a front lace and get the sleeve gathers done, not to mention the other half of the bodice embroidery (at least I got the layout done, I hate that part), but I think there is time. 

I tried the bodice on with a spare corset lace I had lying around, it fits great.  I also tried the dress on today and it fits very well, something is a little crooked, but I can't decide if it is me or the dress, so I may have to make some minor adjustments after the final fitting.  I suppose cutlets are not period, tee hee hee.

If everything comes together right I will be ready to wear this outfit at Boar's Hunt in one week.  I am also making a nice ivory hood to wear because it will be cold, and I am adding a couple of gores of black fleece to my existing cape for added width and warmth, because it will be cold, and I am making a new wool tunic for my son because it will be cold...  Do you see the pattern here? I am worried about camping in the cold! 

I would also like to finish a cooler project, and a cot project, plus I am helping with the construction of eleven child sized tabards (although those will be done tomorrow)  I think it will be a busy week!  Maybe I will even get my house clean before we leave for the weekend, I hate coming home to a messy house!