Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Last of the Faire Photos!

Before it gets too ridiculously late to post the remaining photos from the Olde English Faire, here is a post with some of my favorites from the day. I can't believe it was over a month ago! What a great day we had. I can't wait until next year!

Here is Baby Anne, just before we left in the morning. It was very chilly when we woke up and I was tempted to put Malachi's old wool gown on her, but decided against it at the last minute - which I am glad of as the day got very, very hot. She is quite sensitive to heat but her linen clothes kept her cool and breezy. Linen is really the Perfect Fabric. Wool is Perfect, too, but we shall just conclude that there are two variant levels of Perfection and Wool and Linen top the lists.

The week before the Faire I made the boys each a new linen shirt and a linen coif. Their coifs were made of a 1 piece pattern, with the fold being placed on top of the head. They were very simple to make although I do not like the finished shape as much as the 2 piece coif the baby wore.

Of course, on our way to the Faire we discovered Malachi had left his coif at home. I had brought along a few of Anne's gauzy cloth diapers (the kind we use mostly for towels or burp cloths) and experimented with tying one on his head a la kerchief. He was not pleased.

David and Judah each got a straw hat from the craft store. They wetted them and shaped them to their desire, based on a few images of medieval folk wearing straw hats from Karen Larsatter's site. They were very proud to have made these and the shady brims kept them from being sunburned. It's great to see them take an interest in making part of their own attire.

There were lots of activities at the Faire and demonstrations that the boys were excited to watch. The Knights from Full Metal Jousting were again in attendance and their two performances were the highlights of the day.

We had very close seating.

I have to just take a moment here to say how impressed I was with these guys. It was the same last year. These men travel far from home to perform all over the place and they get hot, sweaty and very tired. They are at risk for getting hurt just because of what they do (imagine being knocked from your horse by your opponent!) yet they have always been extremely courteous, kind and very generous to the people who come out to see them.

In between performances the children and I sat on the lawn between the arena and the area where their horses were picketed. One of the knights came out and brought his horse over to us and asked me if the children would like to pet the horse. He stayed with us until it was time for him to go into the arena and prepare for the tournament.

Just that simple act of kindness towards my children. . .it really impressed me. These guys are so down to earth, humble and kind even if they *are* popular t.v. characters! Not to mention some of them are, um, reeeeeaaaalllyyyy good looking. Doesn't he look a bit Aragorn-ish here?

Because the day was so hot the boys loved the water mister. Even David walked through it with Anne in his arms!

Malachi went through it time after time and quickly became soaked to the skin. He seemed to think it was very sensible. He reeked of damp wool the remainder of the day. Damp wool is an acquired smell.

Little David, now almost-7 years old, was very excited that a few gentleman had set up some chess boards and were playing that fascinating game. One of the gentleman invited David to play, so he bent over the board, moving his pieces and speculating aloud about the best move he could make.

He isn't very good at the game (yet - he is learning quickly about strategy!) but his opponent was very helpful and instructional and the game lasted much longer than it might have.

We visited the merchants. Some sold goods such as knives, "medieval-esque" clothing, toys and candy. Some sold services such as henna artists and hair braiders. Some sold food. Here Anne visits with a gentleman who was selling bird whistles while inside the tent David bought wooden swords for the boys. The bird whistle man said the baby was good for business, since she would lure in potential customers.

The swords were a good idea. The boys were most pleased. Of course, they broke all of them over the next few days but the were good fun while they lasted.

Even Anne was intrigued. A little sword-maiden in the making? Perhaps we should have named her Eowyn. I was very seriously considering naming her "Theoden" before I found out she was a girl.

I made a new veil for the occasion, this one out of very lightweight cotton voile from Dharma Trading Company. It was left over from a different project and I had just enough for the veil which is cut as a wide rectangle. I love how it floated and it breathed so well. I attached it to my coif using straight pins. (Need to make a new coif. This one kept wanting to slip off my head!) Cotton lawn is suggested by Sarah Thursfield in The Medeival Tailor's Assistant for "best" headdresses. It is certain that a very lightweight cotton does work very nicely. The handkerchief linen from is nice, too, but is still a bit heavier and coarser than this cotton voile. Here you can see the veil doubles as a convenient nursing cover (though I am not prudish about using covers most of the time. . .)

I made this side by side comparison for fun. Here I am last year at the Faire, 5 weeks away from delivery. David took a new picture this year in the same spot, with me and my little girl! While I have to say I prefer this year to last year (since I am so glad she is here!) last year she was certainly easier to carry around and she didn't squirm and shriek and yank my hair.

We watched the archers. Judah lamented the fact that he had picked out a sword and wished he had got a bow and arrows, instead.

There were quite a few of them, all lined up in a row and WHING - all their arrows went flying at once towards the targets.

It reminded me of the tale Robin Hood and how he participated in an archery tournament under a false name and people found out his identity just because of how well he could perform.

I took surprisingly few pictures of David. I do like this one of him, though.

Malachi then broke his sword. Probably due to him whacking it swiftly and passionately upon a large tree.

David tried to fix it but soon gave up the task as hopeless.

I like this one of Judah for no reason other than I like it. He wasn't feel the greatest but he steadfastly declared he was fine and didn't want to go home and no, he wasn't too hot in his wool tunic.

The baby became more and more tired as the day wore on. In late afternoon she was in overdrive. She was so determined to *not* fall asleep.

After the final tournament it began to storm. It was a quickly passing, gentle, cooling sort of storm. We left the Faire and went to a nearby park where in leafy wealth the woods spread in beautiful shade. The grass was glistening with rain and a few droplets were still falling when we found a little shelter and brought our little picnic to it. The baby had, of course, fallen asleep the moment she was put into her carseat.

Sausage, cheese, bread and grapes. Grapes are, of course, not the most authentic choice as they are not in season. But they can be easily eaten with little mess so they are ideal as finger foods for little boys. Plus they were on sale.

The boys ate and then ran off to explore a bit. Malachi took his shoes off.

We found a grassy lane. A doe and two fawns crossed it while we watched, and then a red fox scampered off after them. We tried to get a picture, but they were too quick.

A leaf Judah found that he thought "pretty".

Here is a better picture of the veil. You can also see the fitting issues I experienced with my kirtle, which will need to be addressed before I need to wear this again. It doesn't really support at all and is much too loose around the midriff area. It will need to be picked apart from the hips up and refitted, and the sleeves sewn back in. Not a huge job, but one I am loathe to tackle.

One last picture of Malachi and I as the rain started to fall again. We had been going in circles but when the rain became heavier we knew it was time to go. But we will come there again.



  1. What a fun faire! The guys from Full Metal Jousting come to my faire too and they are a delight!

  2. Beautiful pictures! Really makes me want to go to a Ren Faire someday.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!