cat_cetera: (Don't Panic)
Exceeded Expectations

- Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

- live flamenco performance. All of the artists were phenomenal. With the women's dancing, you could really see the influence of the Indian classical dancing and the belly dancing, and with the men's dancing, unlike many other forms of dance they still managed to look masculine doing the dancing.

Good

- Plaza de Toros. Our guide gave a good overview of the history and art of bullfighting and told a few off-colour jokes. I was especially interested in the links she pointed out between the bullfighting and Roman and Greek era traditions like the cult of Mithras.

Plaza de Toros

- agritourism - tours of the sherry bodega and the olive ranch, complete with the history of how the products were made, how they're made today, and a lesson on how to properly taste test them. It's very interesting to see how these products were made. The olive ranch was so beautiful I was ready to sign on as a hired hand.

- the Alameda of Hercules, which was where we spent most of our free time. It had a great local feel with lots of kids and dogs running around and playing, and the weather was so great that you could sit out halfway into the night nursing your gelato.

Alameda de Hercules

- although the archaeological museum was small and a bit run of the mill, there were a couple of things I had never seen before, like the votive offerings of footprints to Isis and the bronze tablets of the Roman civil law, and things that I have seen reproduced in the SCA but never seen the originals of, like the Roman military diplomas (which I learned about from [livejournal.com profile] ya_inga's process pictures of her scroll for Arminius' knighting

- got to see the tomb of Manuel de Falla in Cadiz - a favourite composer of mine

Amusing

- our local guide had a good, slightly ribald sense of humour, but she had a couple of speech idiosyncracies, so at the bullring we learned that the matador has to "introduce" his sword to a particular spot on the bull's spine to kill it quickly, that sometimes the bull is triumphant if it manages to "introduce" one of its horns into the matador's chest instead, and that the matador has a special member of his team whose job it is to help "introduce" the matador into his tight pants.

- among the theories put forth by our guides about the origin of the word "flamenco", one was that there was a link with the Flemish nobles and artisans that came to the country after the Reconquista. Diverting as that theory is, I'm not convinced that flamenco is a Flemish style.

- at the sherry bodega, it was apparently a tradition to leave out a glass of sherry and some tapas for the mice, complete with little ladders for the mice to reach their treats

Amontillado for Mice

Bad

- the hotel was plagued with all sorts of minor inconveniences that are the epitome of what [livejournal.com profile] quixote317 has called "First World Problems" - there was no wi-fi in the rooms, you couldn't have the bathroom door and the closet door open at the same time, the water from the shower splashed out on the floor, and my room was on the third floor of the back 40 with no elevator. It was simply atrocious, dahling.

Ugly

- in Cadiz there was a cruise ship with a jumbotron so large it could be seen from street level, so that presumably you could lounge around in the pool and watch trashy talk shows instead of getting out and touring around an historic town in the beautiful sunlight.
cat_cetera: (Don't Panic)
Exceeded Expectations
- the Mezquita. It looks exactly the pictures make it look, but they don't do it justice.

Mezquita - Interior

- the gardens of the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos.

Gardens of Spain

Good
- touring through the old Jewish quarter and getting my picture taken with Averroes and Maimonides
- lots of great street views of twisted old pre-automobile-era roads (that cars drive on anyway) with semi-dilapidated buildings, yet way less crowded with tourists than comparable cities in Italy
- people watching on Easter Sunday - everybody out dressed in their Sunday best and strolling around the streets. They put the little tiny kidlets in the parish confraternities at an early age so they might have a chance to carry the floats later in life, but as small children they seem to get drums which their parents let them carry around afterwards. Most of them have pretty good rhythm.
- all of the food places the Three Ravens chose on our own were pretty tasty.

Bad
- most of the first day for the walking tour was rainy :(
- did not get to see the Semana Santa processions

Ugly
- N/A

Interesting
- the reconstructed pillars of a Roman temple stood near our hotel, and, predictably enough there were a bunch of feral cats living in the temple area. This group of cats included five really cute fuzzy little kittens, and we have a cat lover in our group who collected all of our scraps from dinner and took them out to feed the kitties.

Feral Kittens

- the Semana Santa processions (which we did not get to see) feature these immense and elaborate floats that beggar description. Mary is life sized and she weeps tears of jewels. She is covered in silver ornaments and heavily embroidered clothing and surrounded by gigantic candles. The Jesus floats are even more elaborate and feature life sized scenes from the stations of the cross. The ones we saw were displayed in a crowded little area where everyone was jamming in to see them, and somebody's nonna was singing a traditional Andalucian lament. We were told that some people go to see them out of authentic religious feeling, and others just to see the spectacle.

Weeping Mary

- the main agricultural industry in this part of Spain is olives, and the countryside was completely covered with patchwork olive groves from Granada to Cordoba.

- our local tour guide in Cordoba was from Liverpool, which I'm sure will appeal to [livejournal.com profile] philomenaobence
cat_cetera: (Don't Panic)
Exceeded Expectations
- the Alhambra and Generalife gardens

Alhambra views

- el Albaicin and Sacromonte

Sacromonte

- the food - lamb couscous under the shadow of the Alhambra; artisanal cheeses and interesting mixed salads; ham and egg soup; YUM
- have new hair goo that gives my hair the texture and body I have always wished it had, without my having to blow dry a thing.

Good
- minimal migrainey-ness and jet lag, except today, after having ordered a soup I did not know came in garlic broth :(
- free unlimited wi-fi in my hotel room
- at Alhambra bookshop, got a book on Islamic Calligraphy (in English) and a book with pictures on the Alhambra textile collection (sadly, only in Spanish)

Bad
- with the amount of walking and the type of terrain, mostly cobblestones, should have opted for substance (Merrell walking shoes with vibram soles) over style (Chucks) in footwear
- got car sick on bus through white hill towns of Alpujarras region; followed up by rain and cold weather and soup with garlic broth
- hotel room has zero noise (yes I know, this is only a bad thing for someone whose bedroom overlooks Centre Street) and it didn't occur to me until the last night here that I could listen to internet radio streaming over iTunes for some background noise.

Ugly
- travel schedule from Calgary consisted of the following: 1. Arrive YYC 1800 Calgary time after almost forgetting passport at my house. 2. Depart YYC for LHR at 2100 Calgary time; fly for 9 hours. 3. Arrive LHR after noon London time. 4. Depart LHR for LGW by overheated bus; drive almost 1 hour. 5. Arrive LGW; wait for 3 hours to board plane. 6. Depart LGW for AGP; fly for 3 hours. 7. Arrive AGP 2300 Malaga time. 8. Depart Malaga for Granada by bus; drive for 2.5 hours. 9. Arrive Granada 0200 Granada time.

Coolest Thing I Didn't See
- One of the most famous sights of the Alhambra is a round fountain ringed by 12 lions, each one a little different. Our tour guide said a number of things about it, including that it was given to the Sultan by the Jews and the lions represent the 12 tribes of Israel (?). What I read in a history of science book was that it was a water clock constructed by one of the Sultan's scientists (the Moors, like the Greeks, had very sophisticated hydraulic automata), later taken apart by conquering Christians who could not get it to work again. Right now it is in restoration, so although we got to see the lions, we didn't get to see them in situ.
cat_cetera: (SCA!)
So last fall when I was at Tir Righ Investiture I met Mistress Alicia le Wilfulle, who as well as being generally cool was going around in pattens. I used to wear vaguely period-looking modern shoes for camping in, with extra thick socks made by [livejournal.com profile] missymorgan1 if it got too cold or wet. Then I lucked into a new pair of modern shoes that, while not quite period, are an awful lot closer. They have a thin leather sole and fit very snug to my foot, so no chance to add extra insulation on the inside. Pattens are the answer! (Although as far as I know my persona would have made the much less practical fashion statement of chopines).

After doing some research (mostly in Olaf Goubitz Stepping Through Time and the Museum of London Shoes and Pattens) and taking a carpentry safari through south Calgary, I headed over to [livejournal.com profile] landsknecht_po's house to get some help with the construction.

Don't forget the duct tape! )

Then I wore them at Winter War:

Putting on her pattens

Frequently Asked Questions

What did you learn from this project?
All sorts of new woodworking skills - I don't have a shop but if I was going to do another project I would have a better idea of how to get started and what processes to use to make my project. Also during the course of my research, learned more about different types of shoe, decorative processes used on shoes etc. Most importantly I learned that if you get a laurel to help you there probably won't be quite as many power tools involved as you think ;)

What would you do differently if you did this project again?
When cutting out the chunks to shape the soles, I wouldn't cut quite so far towards the outline of the sole, because this was what led to the grooves still being visible after I had evened the sides out. I also received a suggestion that I could have used a coping saw (I think) to cut out the soles rather than cutting them out in chunks.

My research suggested that the soles could have been cut out while the wood was still green, and then further shaped after it had dried. I don't know if this would prevent the problem I had with splitting when I put the nails in, but it would be something to try.

I would also leave more time and get a finer punch so that I could do a fancier pattern on the straps.

What are your next steps?
Next on the footwear front is chopines, for which more research and different processes are required. If I did pattens again, I might try to do the one-piece kind with the stilts because I think they look cooler and also because they come from an area that is closer to the area that my persona is from (the hinged pattens are English). I might also like to try making shoes at some point - there is lots of good information in Stepping Through Time.

Hipster A&S

Apr. 1st, 2011 08:47 pm
cat_cetera: (SCA!)
On Thursday got asked if I had any pieces of largesse I could take with me to KA&S. I did not, but I did some brainstorming with [livejournal.com profile] falashad about what I could make on short notice. After looking through the stash and my usual selection of references, decided I could probably throw together some coifs.

The women's coifs will be Elizabethan, based on the various extant pieces described in Janet Arnold 4. The men's coifs will be based on two boldly patterned silk taffeta coifs belonging to King Enrique of Castile (c. 1203-17) and his brother Infante Fernando (1189-1211), as described in Dahl, Camilla Luise and Sturtewagen, Isis (2008). "The Cap of St. Birgitta", in Medieval Clothing and Textiles 4: 99-142.

I started from the patterns in The Tudor Tailor and The Medieval Tailor's Assistant (men's) and Janet Arnold 4 (women's) and scaled them up onto my trusty yellow plaid practice fabric.

It's an obscure project; you probably haven't heard of it. )
I liked this project better before it got so mainstream. )
cat_cetera: (Default)
I have here a tunic fitting a Norseman of my acquaintance, to use as a pattern for a tunic that I am going to make in trade for some armor. This tunic has modern-cut set-in sleeves and the body piece flares out in a kind of A-line from shoulder to hem. I haven't done a lot of research on Norse or other early period costuming, but from what I've absorbed I'm pretty sure this isn't right.

To make my (hopefully better) tunic, I took a bunch of measurements of the existing tunic: shoulder to shoulder, shoulder to hem, width of tunic at hem, length of sleeves, width of sleeves. My plan is to have a tunic consisting of a long central body piece with no shoulder seams, a gore consisting of back to back triangles on each side, an underarm gusset, and a sleeve piece. Each of these pieces is shaped like a rectangle or square (the gores are rectangles cut diagonally). I'll worry about the neckline later.

My fabric came from the stash - it is a black wool blend that has been through the washer and dryer. As a non-fiber arts person I have a very imperfect understanding of whether this means it has been fulled, or felted, or whether a treatment like this is appropriate for a Norse garment. Since fabric rips on the straight grain (unless, apparently, you are Blue) I was able to get most of the pieces cut out simply by measuring off the appropriate size of rectangle and ripping. The only more complicated cut was the gores, which I ripped first, then marked the diagonal using a straight edge and a piece of chalk before cutting.

After examining the stitch types at Archaeological Sewing (hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] rectangularcat), I am going to go with a single-fold hemstitch on each piece with an overcast stitch to join the seams. If I have time, I will also add the running stitch on the folded over edges, as in figure 10. The stitching thread will be a white wool.

No pictures, because all you'd be looking at right now would be rectangles of black wool.

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May 2011

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