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Blackwolf Members at History Alive

Blackwolf is comprised of people from all over medieval Europe and the Middle East. Today we’ll introduce you to a few of them, then delve into their back stories, garb, and personas in the months to come.

Our fearless leader, the French Duke.

medieval French dukeOur newest member, a medieval Englishwoman.

medieval English womanOur Scottish Piper.

medieval leather workerThe Scottish soldier.

medieval English soldierOur Camp Captain, the medieval Magyar.

medieval Magyar womanOur medieval Berber woman.

medieval Moroccan womanOur downtrodden Bedouin slave girl.

medieval Bedouin slave girlThe wandering boy of English extraction.

medieval gypsy boyThe Mad Turk, Turkish Warrior.

medieval Turkish warriorRussian boy.

medieval Russian boyMedieval Finnish Shaman.

medieval Finnish womanWe have several other members who weren’t able to make it to History Alive, but we hope to get them in full regalia soon.

What is your favorite medieval culture?

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Blackwolf Encampment at History Alive

We just returned from a fantastic weekend at History Alive, full of memories that make us laugh and sigh happily when we think of them.

One of the most exciting parts of any medieval encampment is getting the camp set up.

Our Blackwolf standard fluttering in the breeze always draws attention, especially for tourists who recognize their language on the sign.

Blackwolf standardThe first to go up is always the firebox. It is the hub of our camp where we huddle for warmth in the early mornings, cook all our meals, and roast marshmallows at night.

medieval fire boxThe kitchen tent provides shelter from the elements as we prepare food and cuppas throughout the day. It’s so nice to have a spot out of the wind or searing heat.

medieval kitchen tent

The Gathering Tent is our latest addition to camp and we love it! The long tables are a hub of activity all day long, providing a bench for washing dishes, a shady spot for meals, and a cozy place for late night revelries with our neighbors as folks gather for long talks over horns full of homemade mead.

medieval gathering tentThe Bedouin tent is where we all migrate at night. It looks low and small, but inside it is spacious with ample room to stand up and stretch out. We can comfortably sleep 24 people in there! The best part is that no matter how cold, rainy, or windy it gets, we always stay snug and warm inside.

Blackwolf medieval Bedouin campWe have three booths as part of our encampment.

The Trade Booth is where our Bedouin slave girl spends her time shackled to a tent post selling handmade jewelry and beautifully wrought pieces of pottery.

The Medieval Medicine booth is the place to go to learn all about medieval surgery, medieval folk medicine, and a wee bit of magic.

medieval medicine boothOur Medieval Harem booth is where our Moroccan lady plies her trade, selling homemade beeswax candles and hand-carved bone implements, and offering a soft place to rest your head and have a refreshing drink.

medieval harem boothIt’s a great camp and we love adding to it each year, making it more interesting and informative.

We’re looking forward to Abbeystowe in just a few weeks!!

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Medieval Sore Throat Treatment

With winter coming on, it is definitely the season for colds and sore throats. If you had a sore throat in medieval times, you wouldn’t be able to ease your suffering with a bottle of cough syrup. Instead you might try something like this medieval remedy for sore throats: Sage and Thyme Throat Gargle.

It is simple to make, soothing to the throat, and has a fresh scent that revives.

Simply pick equal portions of fresh sage and fresh thyme. Rinse them well to remove any bugs, dirt, or cobwebs, then place in a non-reactive saucepan or bowl.

medieval medicine for sore throatCover with just boiled water and steep to desired strength – I like to let mine cool in the hot water to get out as much goodness as possible.

steeping medieval herbsThen strain the mixture into a sterilized glass jar. Tuck in additional sprigs of sage and thyme if you like. It does make it look pretty and less like a green hued mystery liquid. If you make a lot of medieval medicines, it also helps you remember what is in each bottle if you can take a quick glance and see the familiar stems of sage and thyme.

Store the mixture in the fridge until ready to use. Gargle as necessary or sip as a tea if you can handle the intense herbaceous flavor.

medieval throat gargleWhat is your favorite home remedy for sore throats?

NOTE: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Be sure to consult your physician before consuming any medicine, medieval or otherwise.

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Working with Leather and Wood

It was great weather for working outside when Ann, Neil, and joined the Duke and Poppit on Sunday to tackle a few more projects before History Alive in a few weeks.

We may have been distracted by visiting like mad over numerous cuppas, but we still managed to get a lot of work done.

The Duke gave Sue further instruction in wood-working and now she’s wielding a drill like a pro! She is nearly finished her beautiful wooden medieval box which will double as a seat and storage.

building medieval boxNeil taught Poppit some essential leather working techniques, and she and Ann put them to good use finishing up the stall tables for the medieval medicine display and Stacey’s bone work and candle display.

They also started cutting, sewing, and pining the tarps and chair covers and hopefully those will be done within the next week or so. Ann is putting together a new loom and has designed a back strap for a medieval chair.

medieval leather workNeil finished making a new belt for the Duke. It is made of very strong leather to hold up under the weight of a staggering array of knives and daggers.

medieval leather beltThe Duke started work on his new device and Poppit made three new medieval medicines for her display. We hope to share those later this week.

What projects are you excited about?

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Making Medieval Furniture

It may have been wicked cold this weekend, but that didn’t stop Blackwolf members from braving the elements to tackle all sorts of medieval projects.

Sue came all the way from Brisbane to start building a medieval box. The Duke helped her get started and showed her just what to do.

building a medieval boxBefore long she was busy making holes for wooden dowels and gluing bits together to make it just perfect. She also brought the beginnings of her medieval garb that she’s been hand-sewing and it’s coming together brilliantly! She’s got an underdress and headpieces and beautiful fur trim for a cozy wool cloak.

how to build a medieval boxAlex rattled his entire self by sanding board after board to be used for sets of medieval shelving. They’re going to be fantastic for use around our medieval camp to keep weapons, armor, dishes, and food up off the ground and on display. He also buffed helmets for our upcoming medieval demo at a local school this week.

sanding woodNeil worked hard cleaning off his workbench and got started on making a medieval leather belt for the Duke. During the week he’s working on ropes for our new tarps and they will be done in time for History Alive next month.

cutting leatherAnn organized the packing of all the accoutrements needed for our medieval demo on Tuesday. She collected and packed swords, garb, helmets, and shields and we’re all set.

medieval swordsOnce Sue was finished with her part of the box building process, Robbie and Neil got the various pieces clamped into place so they could dry straight and true. In two weeks Sue will be able to put everything together and have her very own medieval box for sitting and storage.

gluing woodWhile everyone was outside in the bluster and cold, I got to stay nice and warm inside and mix up various medieval medicines. I finished a fever remedy and one for treating upset stomachs. I also kept everyone supplied with cuppas, bowls of hot soup, and fresh bread rolls. Those are rolls in the photo below, but for some reason they look like a glowing pan of whiteness instead.:-)

making bread rollsWhat creative projects are inspiring you this week?

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