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History Alive 2013, Part One

Last weekend we braved stormy skies to set up camp at History Alive and had a marvelous time.

We arrived just in time to watch the sun set over Fort Lytton – a beautiful start to our weekend – then we grabbed torches and head lamps and busied ourselves unpacking trailer and utes and getting our tents sorted and set up.

We worked until well after dark but we got it all done and the Duke treated us to KFC for our efforts. ๐Ÿ™‚

The next morning we woke rested but bleary-eyed, and bustled about the camp getting all the fiddly bits sorted and making sure the Blackwolf Standard was up.

While Piper and Tryg got the fire blazing, Fang put the kitchen tent in shipshape order, and Yliana got breakfast started Soon the air was filled with the scent of frying bacon, scrambled eggs, and hot coffee. There are few smells better than that first thing on a winter morning.

After devouring every last bit of crispy bacon, we all joined forces to get the camp ready for the public.

Every last bit of modernity was whisked away, hidden in medieval trunks or covered with 12th century fabrics.

The Duke did his bit by scouring the breakfast pans and getting them nice and clean for the next day.

Then we could settle in to medieval camp life.

The Piper started his round of duties mending clothing, hats, and other medieval accoutrements with his store of thread and leather.

The Turk sharpened his sword for battle under the watchful eye of Fang.

Yliana got her medieval medical instruments set up for display.

The Turk and Lamont were itching to practice combat before their big battle in the afternoon, so,ย  with help from Tryg and Ysabelle, they both layered on their armor and headed to one of the roped off combat arenas for some friendly fighting.

After a few shuffles around the ring, soon swords were clanging as the Turk and Lamont each fought for supremacy and regained familiarity with their weapons and armor.

Tryg and Ysabelle kept them supplied with water and new weapons and before long they were red as beets, sweating like mad, and grinning broadly as they showed off their battle wounds.

Back at camp Fang, Duke, Piper, and Yliana were organizing preparations for cooking a deer on the spit and chatting with passersby about anything related to our 12th Century trader caravan.

We took turns meandering through the other encampments, and next time we’ll show you what we saw.

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Preparing for a Medieval Encampment

In spite of pouring rain and frigidly cold winds, Blackwolf pulled together and started preparations for our medieval encampment at History Alive this weekend.

Firewood was loaded, giving it a few days to dry out from the rain before we use it to roast venison and sizzle bacon and eggs for breakfast.

The trailer was loaded to the gills with everything we could possibly need for our 12th century medieval camp, from our Bedouin tent to medieval dishes and cutlery.

When we weren’t busy packing, folks knuckled down to tackle a few last minute projects.

Patrick finished a woven leather sheath for his medieval Scottish dirk.

Gre took a rusted medieval Middle Eastern curved saber and polished it to gleaming perfection, ready to be taken to the field of combat once more.

We all oohed and aahed over gifts from Gre and Ste – beautiful carved bone wolfs head pendants. We love them!!

Yliana started work on the last pieces of her medieval Finnish garb, and for tea we all tucked in to chewy homemade blond brownies (thanks, Yliana!) and tender homemade scones with jam and cream (thanks, Ste!).

The weather may have been crummy, but it couldn’t stop Blackwolf from having a great time.

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Medieval Combat Demo

This week we unofficially started our medieval season with a medieval demo at Warwick State High School.

We donned our medieval garb representing medieval Hungary, Finland, France, Scotland, Russia, and Egypt.

Yliana displayed her medieval medical equipment including bone saw, herbs, and medieval mittens with special protective powers.

Trygg was in the line-up for combat with the Duke, so Elijah got him loosened up with some good-natured pre-combat practice.

After Fang, Patrick, Elijah, and Yliana engaged onlookers with information about medieval weaponry, medicine, and lifestyle, the Duke and Trygg took the stage to showcase various forms of medieval combat.

The air rang with the clash of steel and the thud of swords against shields as they exchanged blows and blocks.

It was a great night meeting students, parents, and teachers, sharing our love of medieval history.

Now we knuckle down and get ready for History Alive next weekend. Can’t wait!

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Medieval Garb and Medieval Furniture

It’s been a very productive week for the Blackwolf medieval group as we get closer to the start of the medieval season in Queensland.

The Duke has been whipping out medieval boxes but still managed to find time to build a medieval table for Yliana, the Finnish Shaman. The table is rustic and spacious and will go brilliantly with the archway he will also be building. This arch will sit over the table and hold dried herbs, medieval mittens, and other tools of the medieval healer trade.

Piper and Fang have also been working hard on medieval boxes. This weekend they finished them off with wooden handles and medieval-style hinges and clasps. Piper also repaired a medieval bellows that was damaged at a previous encampment when a curious youngster wondered what would happen if he stuck it straight in the fire and left it there. ๐Ÿ™‚ It now has new leather fittings and works splendidly.

Yliana has continued to work on her wood-burning skills, making this old box a beautiful container for her collection of healing herbs and spices.

Far away in Ipswich Shaun and Stacey have been busy sewing their medieval garb. Stacey’s son Tony loved seeing Shaun’s armor so much that he begged for some of his own. They were happy to oblige and he was pleased as punch. ๐Ÿ™‚

childs medieval armor

photos by Stacey

Since developing her persona as a 12th century Scotswoman, Stacey has worked hard creating medieval Scottish dress. Her work is so beautiful you’d never guess this was her first attempt at making medieval garb!

medieval Scottish dress

photos by Shaun

Shaun, the Turk, is now ready for the battlefield, thoroughly kitted out in medieval Turkish armor and clothing. The Duke can’t wait to fight with him in just a couple weeks.

medieval Turkish armor

photos by Stacey

Yliana is nearly finished with her garb thanks to the arrival of medieval wool stockings from Italy this week. She definitely won’t get lost in the crowd with those beauties!

Other group members are putting the finishing touches on their garb and we’ll be sharing their projects as they’re completed.

Are you working on any projects that are inspiring you these days?

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Medieval Hinges, Boxes, and Quivers

Citadel Vulgus was filled with the sounds of scratching sand paper, the pounding of hammers, and the soft swish of paintbrush against leather.

Our numbers were small today for most of our group was down with illness of one sort or another. We missed them sorely but wish them good rest and thorough recovery soon.

The Duke, Fang, and the Piper worked hard finishing off medieval boxes as they pounded in the last of the wooden dowels and affixed the medieval-style hinges they’d found in their travels.

Fang showcased her love of horses by using wonderful horse nails to decorate her medieval box.

The variety of hinges make the boxes distinctive and interesting.

The boxes just need their handles attached and then they’ll be fantastic additions to our medieval Bedouin encampment. Some will be used to store food stuffs and cooking implements while the others will house medieval garments, shoes, and other personal gear.

Yliana completed the first coat of red paint on one of the beautiful medieval Hungarian bow quivers. A second coat will be just the ticket for a gorgeous finish.

This week folks will be focused on assembling and completing their medieval garb. It’s so fun seeing each persona take shape through unique cultural twists on universal necessities such as shoes, hats, and over garments, and we look forward to sharing photos and descriptions with you in the months ahead.

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