Renaissance Faire …… Huzzah!

Albannach at the Ohio Renaissance Festival
Albannach called this kid on stage after seeing him Highland dancing in the audience.

A couple years ago when my sister and I were at the Ohio Renaissance Festival on Barbarian Weekend, we heard the sound of drums and bagpipes from the direction of Reveler’s Stage. Intrigued, we followed the music and saw Albannach perform for the first time. Since then, our goal has been to make it back to the Ren Faire on a day Albannach was performing, and this year we finally made it for Highland Weekend. We watched all three of their shows, so it was nearly three hours of awesome music. You can hear samples and buy songs on their website.

full armor joust at the Ohio Renaissance FestivalIn between Albannach’s second and third shows, we meandered over to the Arena of Champions for a full armor joust. It’s always a highlight of the Ren Fest, and this year we were treated to a tourney with four knights jousting instead of the usual two.  Usually it seems that when they divide the audience up to cheer for a specific knight, I happen to be sitting on the side that loses. This year, however, “our” knight won his joust, but unfortunately we couldn’t stay for the 5:00 joust to see the winners compete.Ohio Renaissance Festival

I was sewing like a mad woman last week so all three of us (my brother, sister, and me) were able to go in costume. Perhaps not quite the costume we were hoping for (my brother would have preferred noble man to peasant), but we’ll plan on that for next year. Only a couple of our pieces were new for this year, but I think the overall mixing-and-matching turned out rather well.


Fortuitous Fabric Shopping

Yesterday, my brother and I went fabric shopping. This in itself is momentous, considering he suffers from an allergy to all shopping that does not involve food or manly building projects. But he wants a Medieval costume for SCA events and I told him I’d sew it if he picked out the pattern and fabric.

I stumbled upon the Society for Creative Anachronisms a few years ago, but didn’t join because I didn’t want to be by myself when I went to the meetings. Now that my brother is older, he thinks full armored combat sounds amazing and can’t wait to join me in pretending we live in pre-17th-century Europe.

While we were getting our chosen fabric cut at Jo-Anne’s, the woman who was waiting on us asked what the costume was for. We told her, and lo-and-behold she was a member of our local SCA group. She invited us to the meetings, told us what to expect, said there were a couple people close to my brother’s age there, and (best of all) that they have people in the group who practice Medieval painting. As in, illuminated manuscripts. As in, I-CAN-BARELY-CONTAIN-MY-EXCITEMENT.

I got to see a collection of illuminated manuscripts at the Cleveland Museum of Art a couple years ago. “The Glory of the Painted Page,” it was called, and it was indeed glorious. I love books, and have a great deal of admiration for those long-dead artists who hand wrote and carefully illustrated manuscripts from the Medieval period. To have the opportunity to learn that art is incredibly exciting.