As I’ve continued to put the house back in order after the Pennsic extravaganza, I found a few things that didn’t get included in my first post-Pennsic report. It’s always this way after a vacation, isn’t it? You think you have everything back where it belongs and then that last little item pops up!
Each year, the Pennsic Mayor has a gift for the members of the staff. Two years ago, I got a ceramic plate with the year written in the glaze. Last year’s gift was a super-cool oil lamp with a flower and the Pennsic year imprinted on the top. Now, if we would just get it in gear and use the lamp it would be even more cool…
This year’s gift was this tiny little ceramic tasting cup. It’s sitting on top of an empty film canister, so you can get a sense of how small it really is. This is a great thing to have on hand at Pennsic parties, when you just want to taste a little bit of whatever boozy concoctions are being passed around and not have to swig from a giant mug! The unfortunate thing is that I really dislike having a lot of stuff hanging from my belt so I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with this little critter, but it’s still a neat and unusual item.
One of the two classes I managed to take this year was on making pysanky, also known as Ukrainian Easter eggs. These embellished eggs are made throughout Eastern Europe and are done by drawing on the eggshell with wax to mask off patterns. The shell is dipped repeatedly in colored dyes, adding more to the pattern in between dippings. After all the pattern is applied and all the dyes dipped, the wax is melted off to reveal the colors hidden underneath. I’ve seen these eggs before, but had never made one. The class was a lot of fun and really demystified the whole process. My egg is understandably a little shaky – I’m not the best with straight lines under any circumstances – but overall, I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out!
A day or so before we left for Pennsic, I had a few moments’ realization that I didn’t really have any projects to work on in my free time while at War. I threw together a couple of different things – some proto-trim for a tunic of the Hubs’, supplies for a brick stitch pattern, and a felt pouch that I’d been meaning to embroider. Ultimately, the only thing that got done was the pouch, and I even finished that at home!
This pouch was given to me a couple of years ago by a fiber artist I know that specializes in felting. Halima does some phenomenal stuff, both medieval and modern – you can see some of her work here. I had been thinking for a while that I wanted to embellish this pouch to make it “mine” and I ultimately decided to embroider a silver fleur de lis on the flap, since this is part of my heraldry and the pouch is green. I used the technique of couching – laying the silver thread on the surface of the felt and tacking it down with tiny stitches of sewing thread. I’m mostly satisfied with the way it came out, though it’s off-center on the flap. I’m still considering adding a couple of lines of black thread in a couple of places, just to define some of the details a little more, but I haven’t completely made a decision on that yet.
Now I just have to convince myself to actually wear the pouch some time!