Friday, October 17, 2008

Motifs Seventeen & Eighteen--Halloween Bling

You've heard me say that strange (craft related of course) ideas pop in my head. Most recently I got the notion to make Halloween jewelry. Yes, I am another one of those that love Halloween and I am munching on candy corn right now. Since I borrowed the shape from one of my other patterns, this one was fairly quick to design. I made up several and mailed most of them away. When someone would come sit next to me to see what dainty ladylike thing I was tatting today, it was funny to hold up a row of grinning skulls instead.

DH helped model since I was having trouble with the camera one-handed.

There are earrings too, but I forgot to model any before mailing away. I haven't made myself a pair yet since I'm still wearing the new ones I bought at the Ren Faire.

Ooooh, had to come back later and add: the pattern is here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time Out for Renaissance Faire

No tatting today...

One day last weekend we got up, played the music of Blackmore's Night singing "The Renaissance Faire" to get in the mood, and indeed headed off to the Renaissance Faire held every fall just north of Charlotte NC.

The weather was wonderful and the crowds less than usual. It runs every weekend through mid November, and I heartily recommend it to anyone within traveling distance. (The same company has a fair in Arizona in the spring.) It may not be historically authentic, but it is a whole lot of fun. There are live jousts, stage shows mostly comedy, lots of music, juggling, sword swallowing, magic, belly dancing, falconry, glass blowing, etc, etc. Many of the guests come in costume, and so did we, but I stupidly forgot to take pictures of the family.

Our long time favorite act is Don Juan and Miguel, who have a comedy show which includes whip tricks and swordfights.

My other favorite act is the Nun Show. These women are just roll on the ground funny.

My favorite musical act is the Puckerbrush Players, a retired husband and wife who now tour the country playing hammer dulcimers. These are two of the nicest people you could hope to meet. I have all their CDs.

Here are some other performers.

Some advice for those that attend: If you buy your tickets ahead of time at Harris Teeter, you get a dollar off and you don't have to stand in line at the gate.

In theory, your admission ticket is all you need, but you want to bring more money for:

  • Buying stuff. Items for sale range from cheesy souvenirs to exquisite jewelry, art, leather, sculpture, clothing, etc.

  • Food. Food at the fair is pricey and often involves standing in long lines. We minimize food expense by eating at the McDonalds just before the fair. (Of course you can go to McDonalds in full costume, and if anyone asks if you are going to the fair, smile brightly and say "What Renaissance fair?") But we do always buy a big bag of cinnamon almonds--you simply must have some of those.

  • Tips for performers. The performers will beg for tips at the end of the show.

  • Other stuff. There are some rides and games that cost extra. Also face painting, hair braiding, etc.

At the end of the day, there used to be a muscians' jam that I enjoyed a lot, but this has apparently dwindled down the last few years. There is also a closing ceremony at the front gate with the cast singing a song with their own made up verses and the firing of the cannon.

If you do stay till closing, it will take a long time to get out of the parking lot. If we stay that late, we bring a picnic to eat in the parking lot until the crowd thins out. (There's a rule against outside food, but they don't seem to mind after closing, we've done it lots.)

We always have a great time. You could stay all day and not see it all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Palmetto Pictures

I can hardly believe it's been over a month since the Palmetto Tat-Days. That is my favorite place to go. I always have the best time getting together with old friends and making new ones. We have such a good time talking and laughing.

I always learn something too. This time it was a better way to separate embroidery floss strands, a better way to pick out lock join knots, and Abby Small's beaded cluny. Well, that last one, I was just looking over someone's shoulder, but after watching, I feel I will be able to do it once I get a chance to try the pattern. I do recommend their pattern CD's for all the great projects. The CD's will be available to order soon, check back at

The Palmetto guild takes such good care of us, with the activities and the gifts and the food.

Here are a handful of pictures so you can tell what fun we had.