cat_cetera: (SCA!)
I am not sure how it happens, but no matter how reasonable and achievable I think I am making my goals, it always seems that I have to scale back. Recently I have had a couple of conversations with an engineer friend of mine about how projects can be done fast, right or cheap, and if you choose two you might get one. My preference right now for arts and sciences is to do my projects right, especially for the one I want to take to KA&S next year. So here are my re-revised and reprioritized A&S plans and goals:

Finished

Pattens
Finished, with lots of help from [livejournal.com profile] landsknecht_po, and worn at Winter War.

Short Term

Hose Pattern and Mock-Up
Finally had the chance to do a fitting with Papa Don on the weekend, and afterwards had a discussion with Mistress Issabbella about some of the questions I had on how to make it fit better. Need to make a new mockup this weekend and hopefully complete the next fitting at Crown the weekend after.

Apron
I started making an apron, even though it wasn't on my project list, and then I started embroidering it. Consequently it turned from a one-afternoon project into a several-weekend project. I still have to finish sewing the waist straps together, but the embroidery is at least done.

Should Do Sooner Rather Than Later

Documentation
Mistress Issabbella suggested that I should label my process pictures better on my Flickr page (as well as blogging them on LJ). I said I would, but I didn't get to it. Then while I was away a situation came up where it would have been very helpful if I had already labeled them. Oops. I still also want to put together a portfolio of my projects to take to events. Since I won't be camping much this year the portfolio can probably wait, and in the meantime I can take my documentation for my brown linen gamurra and my pattens.

For KA&S

Revised Entry
After thinking about the fabric I had left in the stash, and doing a bit more research about the kind of fabric I really should use for a Florentine overgown, and pining after the picture of a striped dress I found, I decided to focus on the striped dress for my KA&S entry instead of doing an overgown, because I already have suitable fabric for it. I need to do a bit more research on the image of the striped dress before I can get started patterning, and I think the stripes are going to present several interesting but not insurmountable pattern-blocking challenges. Assuming I get the dress done in time, I might then also put together chopines or a cofea tranzado for entry, but I'm not holding my breath and neither should you.

On The Back Burner

A Spiffy New Hat
I would still like to make the white linen cofea tranzado I posted in this spot before. I think it would be a good camping hat, but since I won't be doing very much camping this year, I've moved this one back.

Class
There is still a lot of History of Science to be summarized. Maybe I can get ahead on this one while I'm away this summer.

Chopines
Still want to make 'em.

Long Term

Astrology
Stage 1: figure out which treatises on astrology and which tables of astronomical observations would have been available to my persona (late 15th century Florence) - already in process
Stage 2: track down said treatises. In order of language preference, English, French, Italian, Latin.
Stage 3: determine what types of calculations are necessary and how they would have been done in period. Learn how to use abacus if necessary
Stage 4: make necessary calculations, draw chart, make suitably vague predictions according to instructions in treatises.

More Research
Two areas that I need to do more research in for my garb are what types of chemises they might have worn and what types of trim/embroidery their gowns might have had. I'll work on it as I go along. I will likely find that some of this comes in as I'm working on the KA&S entries.

Garb
Have several garb projects in mind:
1. Olive green brocade dress (it is fitted like a gamurra but worn as an outer dress, which I think makes it a giornea, or maybe a cioppa)
2. Colour-blocked dress
3. Black/copper brocade sleeveless overdress, open at the sides, and blue velvet overdress, closed at the sides.

Ronda GBU

May. 1st, 2011 09:48 pm
cat_cetera: (Don't Panic)
Exceeded Expectations
- the town as a whole - beautiful views out over the landscape below the town, and pretty unique geography with the town sitting literally right on top of the gorge

Afraid of Heights?

- just when I thought I had seen everything Ronda had to offer (it is pretty small) we discovered a craft fair with local artisans showing their wares or offering demonstrations of how they made their products (like the geometric patterned tiles), where I got a CD by a local baroque/flamenco trio and an incense burner made of local tiles.

Good
- nice if rainy walk around the old town to see the gorge and the bridges from various angles
- great meals with fantastic views over the gorge and the landscape below

Bad
- rainy
- left my new water bottle behind on the bus

Ugly
- was not able to escape the hype of the royal wedding

Interesting
- the church of Santa Maria Mayor was not just ABC - it had some modern frescoes (painted in 1983) and a modern bronze choir screen along with the usual gold-encrusted baroque altarpieces; there was also an unusually high concentration of the life-sized Marys, many shown with a crescent moon (a symbol of many pagan goddesses like Isis, Artemis etc.)

The Cult of Mary

- the duelling museum at the Plaza de Toros had an exhibit showing a duel between two ladies over the love of a certain captain
- at dinner on the last night, I had a chair with my back to the gorge. As I was eating, I felt a thing like someone putting their hand on my shoulder - there was no-one there, but I looked around just in time to see a huge flock of crows wheeling around below us in the gorge.

Amusing
- one of the exhibits at the local trade fair was a sort of promotion of Andalucian/North African cross-cultural connections. There were a whole bunch of musical instruments, including a sort of drum with a stick in it that you played by wetting your hand and then rubbing it rapidly up and down the stick (hur hur). After I played that, I saw there was also a doumbek which the lady encouraged me to play. I sat down with it, listened to the music a bit, and started to drum along (no, not the Standard Avacal Rhythm) and the next thing I knew, the lady from the exhibit was playing some other drum, a little girl was playing the castanets, and we had attracted a crowd of picture-taking tourists, who will no doubt go home and show all their friends their pictures of local musicians from Ronda.
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.

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