It’s everyones vacation – not only yours

I am sorry for being quiet for so long and that this post won’t be on any of my textile projects but instead yet another observation I have made that makes me feel I need to well… put things bluntly. 😉

When we go to events we all do it on our spare time. Well at least most of us. Very few make a living out of this hobby.
Now I do understand that everyone doesn’t pitch in at all events – sometimes when you have carried a heavier load as autocrat or head cook you are allowed to just enjoy yourself at other events.
What gets me is when people stand next to the autocrat, head cook or someone who is carrying a heavy bit of an event and say:
– I am not helping out because I am on vacation.
Seriously – WTF?!
It is EVERYONES vacation or time off!
When you are having a break from pitching in – chose what you say around the people that are working their asses off while you enjoy yourself!

And just because you are having an event off from carrying a heavy burden – does that prevent you from carrying out the trash?
Or to replace the box for bottle collection?
Or wipe off a table?
What I am trying to say – yeah, do take time off from heavy work but if everyone either works or don’t lift a finger – the burden becomes very heavy on the autocrating team.
Help them with small things so that they actually can enjoy some parts of the event too!
And if everyone helps out just one hour during an event – everyone will have lots more time for having fun.
If there are 70 people at an event who are able to do some work and 5 of those are on the autocrating team – that means that technically they could get 65 hours of help!
And at long events that lasts more than a weekend – this help becomes extra important!
And if YOU help out for an hour when you are having an event off – the likelyhood that you yourself will get help when you are the atuocrat will be a lot higher…

Things happen, sometimes we have to take back an offer of help that we have made. At some points in life we might not be able to help because if illnesses, small children or for other reasons.
I myself had to withdraw from a promise I made and it was really hard for me – but mundane life has taken a twist and my spare time will be diminished for a while.
But I didn’t say there will be no help from me at all?
I will still do what I can and once on site where I have time since I am there enjoying my vacation – I will pitch in to make sure that not just a few people do all the work.

If we all help out everyone gets to have a vacation.
And everyone will leave the event happy, full of nice impressions and memories of the fun they had.
Instead of a big mass leaving happy and the few that organized the whole thing leave the site saying: I will never ever autocrat ever again.

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Warning about Matuls

This is a message I had hoped I didn’t have to write. But this is mine and my lords story that has dragged on for 2 years.Me and Sir GrimR bought a tent from a Polish merchant called Matuls  in 2009.

That summer we went to Cudgel War with the tent and the cotton canvas tent that was supposed to be mildew treated and waterproofed got mildew while standing up in the sun! Most likely morning dew was the factor – but still – a tent should not get mildew while standing up. And during a brief rain it turned out that all the seams of the tent were leaking.After being blamed for packing the tent wet and some other accusations – we finally agreed to ship the tent back, pay some extra and get a linen pavilion instead.

The tent was never delivered in time for next years Cudgel war so we lost even more money since we had to book indoor sleeping.Once the tent arrived it was 3,5 meters in diameter instead of 4 meters! We couldn’t even fit our bed into the tent!Once again – the tent was picked up by a delivery service and sent back.

The next tent that arrived came in late October/early November when we already had snow. In March I had an extensive shoulder surgery so we never had a chance to put the pavilion up for testing until June.When we did that it turned out that it was delivered with the wrong spokes (they were too long), it had 1,5 meters of rope in one piece for closing when it should have a loop closing that takes a LOT more rope than 1,5 meters, it wasn’t delivered with any tent pegs (which was promised when we talked to the merchant – we were supposed to keep the old AND get new ones which he now conveniently had forgotten) and it didn’t have a peg to keep the centre piece for the spoke wheel in place – we had to find a long nail…

When this was mentioned to the merchant he just said: it is a bit late contacting me now and I never promised you any new tent pegs – you got to keep the old ones and it’s not really a problem with too long spokes – it would be worse if they were to short.We ordered a COMPLETE tent – not a puzzle we have to put together ourselves.

Now I have just returned from Cudgel War where it turns out that the new linen tent also leaks from every spot where the spokes meet the canvas so all out stuff has to be gathered to the middle of the pavilion, some sections of the tent go much darker which shows that they are not properly treated against water.

Our tent is unfortunately not the only one that has had issues. At least 3 other tents that have been delivered to people here in Aarnimetsä (Finland) have been lacking in quality. Some severely.The most disturbing thing is however how the merchant Matuls is not willing to deal with any kind of reclamations. He blames the customers, has bad excuses and just does everything to NOT have to help his clients get what they ordered.Customer service is simply not in his vocabulary.And since I speak Polish it can’t even be blamed on language issues.

So please take warning and do not buy from this merchant! If you are unlucky and your goods are faulty you will spend an eternity trying to make him set things right.

And please do cross post to any other lists and spread it to other societies as well!I really do not wish upon anyone else what we have gone through!

PS. One of his tents that was in use for the second time got so heavy during a rain fall that the center pole broke though the canvas. In the tent there was a little baby sleeping!


Preparations

At the moment I am busy with preparations for the event here in Drachenwald called Double Wars.
I am responsible for the Arts and Science schedule as I have been the past 4 years or so. 🙂
This year we have a very promising schedule with loads and loads of classes, and currently I am working to get them all listed online. I am a bit late with this due to mu shoulder surgery, but I am hoping to have it all done this weekend.
I myself will be responsible for one workshop and one class – the workshop is a part of the Pennsic giftbasket and the class is a lecture on who the landsknecht women were.
I am at least hoping I will have time wnough to prepare that class!

I have also booked my tickets for Pennsic and this year I will attend the event for the full two weeks! I am looking forward to see my old friends and I am also hoping to meet some new. 🙂

For Double Wars I still have some hope to have my silk damask dress ready and for Pennsic I have some plans, but we will see what I will get started on as soon as I am done with all the work regarding Double Wars. The arm is still giving me trouble after the surgery and will most likely do so for quite some time, so I have had to lower my expectations on what I can achieve a bit.

Award – and why it has been quiet

A few weeks ago, I got this award from my friend that writes the blog One Year and Thousand Eggs.
I will now answer the questions and forward the award.

1. When did you start your blog?
The first entry was made 12:th of August 2010.

2. What is it about?
It is about costume history and the textile projects I make to use in the SCA and about the research I do to find out more about the different items I try to reconstruct. I mainly do German 16:th century, but I dabble in viking things and soon also 14:th century. It is possible that I will also post some things abou calligraphy and illumination since that is another thing I really enjoy.
3. What are the differences between this blog than others?
I am not sure that there is a big difference between my blog and other textile history blogs – and I am fine with that. I do try to think a bit outside just the textile angle and think about who would have worn this item, what would their life have been, who would have made it and such things. In my eyes it is easy to reconstruct the item, but a lot harder to put oneself in the shoes of the historic person wearing the items. The context of the modern world makes it hard to picture how life would have been 500 years ago. But to be able to reconstruct an item so that it is practical for the persom who would have worn it, is impossible without understanding at least some bits of that persons life. Would she cook over an open fire? Would she walk long distances? Would she have someone to help her get dressed?
4. Why did you started it?
I wanted to share my knowledge and make myself document all the things I do. Before this blog I kept my knowledge in my head – not really writing it down. This way I gather my sources for my teaching and at the same time I get feedback from others that enjoy researching the same kind of things. I am a big fan of constructive critisism and whenever anyone gives me a new angle on things or hint about a new source I fet very excited!
5. What would you like to chance in your blog?
I wish I had time to do more posts. And I am still trying to work out how WordPress works. I am not really a computer wizzard. 😉
And the award goes for these 5 gorgeus blogs:

Cristina’s ramblings

Lia’s projects

In deme Jare Cristi

Eva’s journal

Racaire’s Embroidery & Needlework

Now to why it has been so quiet here.
The 7:th of March I went through shoulder surgery and my left arm is in a slin 24/7 for 6 weeks.
I am using this time to read up on a class I am planing to teach at Double Wars at the end of May.
But I am hoping to be able to post on some sort of project very soon!

I have not quit this blog!

It might seem as I started this blog and then quickly got tired of it, but that is not so.
I have simply been working on different projects that I can’t post anything about yet for different reasons.
One of them being the special occasion of my friend Elinas elevation to The Order of the Laurel that will happen at Aarnimetsä Academy.
But as of this week I will have a bit more time and I am hoping to be able to post something about my new Stüchlein that I am hoping to have ready for Civil Wars.