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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

To Reenact a Lady

I've been a reenactor for over 16 years.

I've done the LARP thing, the Renaissance Festivals. I graduated to the SCA thing.

But to my surprise, my favorite activity became the PREPARATION for an upcoming event. Sure, it is wonderful to arrive at an event, in enviable garb, period accessories, towing mountains of period furniture and tents and preparing period food. But the true joy I have found is in those happy moments leading up to the event - the research, the planning, the shopping, and the crafting! Friends and family (often the family chosen not born) gathering together for hours, sharing good times and bad, trading useful advice and valuable materials.

First I learned to sew, those many years ago. Beading and needlework followed. Then later, it was the woodwork and furniture that my husband built. We branched out into leathercrafting, and now are exploring casting and metalwork, even creating armor! Each step along the way has been a joy - from the research all the way up to the final snipping of threads and polish.

Nothing can express the fascination which comes from re-creating an item from historical times. It feels like I have reached back through the centuries and touched a piece of the past, or travelled down a stone road worn smooth with the passage of thousands of feet over hundreds of years. Plus, these activities have sparked an interest about history in a person who had never before enjoyed the study of the past. I learned about life hundreds and even a thousand years ago not from books about the battles and plagues, massacres and monuments, but through creation and study of the common implements of everyday life.

I hope you will share in my journey as I document research and show photos of my projects. I plan to offer items for sale on Etsy and possibly ebay as well, in order to financially accomodate my burning desire to own bigger and better (and by no coincidence, more expensive) books about my hobbies, and to one day fund a website.

In the meantime, I welcome you to my blog, and hope you will be a frequent visitor!

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