I MADE DIS. (Things I don’t normally make that I just made.)

In between sewing way too much, and horrifying Pre-Pennsic Panic (tears, there are tears. I know I’m not the only one.) I’ve made a couple things that have been totally new to me, and therefore I feel the need to share them with people looking for Roman and Byzantine stuff here, that aren’t going to find it in this post. (Sorry.) However, I do hope you find inspiration for working outside of your comfort zone and exploring new projects.

 

First thing: I made a belt. Seriously! I have an apprentice sash I made from faux silk and fancy stitches, but I can’t wear that all the time, so I needed a sturdier leather belt for times I need to carry a pouch or bum around not in Byzantine. This was an adventure. My husband has leather working experience, and I figured he would just do it for me. NOPE. He made me do it while fielding a tapestry of profanity so thick it’s probably seen as smog over the Boston area. Here are some pics of my experience.

I started with a 3/4″ belt blank from Tandy, and an 8th Century Syrian belt buckle from Raymond’s Quiet Press…got green dye and Geoffrey’s basic tools and designed a pattern that I felt could work. This was my first time tooling leather, ever, so I just kept telling myself that straight lines were for sissies, mistakes are period, and if anyone needs to get that close to my belt to see my mistakes, they need to buy me dinner, first.

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IMAG2367 Practicing with the tools and my thingy at the end of the belt.

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I managed to do this with the knife. Somehow. I impressed Geoffrey.

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The idea I came up with. I went with thingies and Apotropaic amulets (Evil Eye). Very Levantine that fits not only my persona, but the Syrian belt buckle I got. I have no idea if it was used on belts in period.

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Dyed green outside on my sunny deck full of pine needles, and potted herbs that attract things that will sting you.

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After it was dyed and sealed, I used hide rejuvenator to lube it up and moisturize it. It absorbed two full coats. Oof.

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Geoffrey attached the buckle, and done!

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Here’s the buckle in my green hands.

 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! I ALSO PAINTED A SILK BANNER FOR MY PAVILION!

I have no idea where I find the time for this stuff, but Geoffrey made this pretty finial for the Green Monstah, and said we needed a banner. After me giving him a dirty look for a solid minute, I agreed, and ordered the supplies from Dharma. Fortunately I have friends who have done silk painting before, and the concept overall is very simple. It’s controlling the dye that’s tricky, and understanding that mistakes do happen and not to care that much since it will be up on a pole.

Here is the Green Monstah. It’s in Geoffrey’s colors. I am not a Red Sox fan and hate all things Boston, and he doesn’t watch baseball, but the name was apropo:

The plain red linen banner simply cannot do.

So we had to go all out with a war standard. Now, there are rules that need to be followed for displaying heraldry, but the SCA tends to be different than the real world, so the order I did is perfectly fine. Most importantly, your country or kingdom needs to be on the hoist, which is the pole, and then you work out from there. In this case, mine is East Kingdom (populace badge), The Northern Army, Geoff’s Arms, and then mine. When marshalling married arms, the lady is always RIGHT. This means my dolphin is way at the end, but hopefully the breeze catches it enough.

With the waterbased resist applied on the designs. Next time I want to use the rubber gutta, I think it will work better.

And painted! Loaded with mistakes, YAY!

It’s currently making a lovely door screen as it finishes drying.

 

All I have to do now is wait for it to dry, rinse it to remove the resist and excess dye, and then toss it in the dryer. Oh, and attach it onto the pole, of course. It will be sewn onto the casing part of the red linen flag in the above picture so it fits properly.

 

So there you have it, folks. Anna did stuff she doesn’t normally do and did not kill or maim anyone in the process. I definitely want to try another silk banner with better brushes and gutta, I think it will make a difference in controlling the dyes.

Now if you excuse me, I need drink 3 more cups of coffee, and start sewing even more stuff. We leave on Saturday morning. ~_~

Facebook Group for Pennsic Classes

I’m REALLY MEAN when I teach at Pennsic and only give out outlines when I teach my classes. There’s multiple reasons for this:

 

1: You can’t show up, jack a handout, and then not stick around for my class thus shorting the people who stay a handout.

2: It’s harder to plagiarize me. Yes, it’s happened. Really people, just cite me in your work.

3: It makes you become more engaged in what I’m teaching by following my outline, and taking your own notes for your own benefit. I do pass around supplemental materials and draw pretty pictures on the whiteboard and I want you to pay attention.

4: IT SAVES TREES. If I printed everything I needed for a 2 hour class, it would be a small booklet, and cost me a lot.

 

However, this has a downfall. Those that want to go to my classes and then can’t get shafted. So I was thinking to myself, “How do I make this easier for folks who can’t make it? You can’t learn much from a boring old handout.”

DING. SOCIAL MEDIA.

I understand that not everyone has Facebook, I apologize, but not everyone has Google + either, and I find the Facebook group interface a bit better for discussion anyway. Therefore, I created a group on Facebook that I plan to fill with all of my class goodies after war, so everyone can jump in, ask questions, and engage in a sorta online class. This is pretty beta, and I hope it works out. If it doesn’t, I’ll just can it.

Group link:

AΔΣ’s Pennsic Classes
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1448455932095583/

 

Please feel free to join in advance for when the fun begins.

Idle Musings, Part 2: On the Wearing of the Color Purple

In more of my pre-Pennsic Procrastination, additional thoughts have chopped their way into, “gee, I should be sewing right now” time.

 

Namely, this:

 

No! I mean THIS:

 

That is the shade of what is known as Tyrian, or Murex Purple.  The imperial purple of Rome.  As you can see, it is NOT indigo, it’s closer to a magenta-red, and it’s actually quite nice.

This was brought up because right now I have enough free linen points over at Fabrics-store.com to do some damage, and wildcherry, a color similar to this purple is on sale. This put me in a conundrum. Do I spend the money and being haughty and make a lovely purple piece of garbery, or, do I let it slide and stay within my persona? The East Kingdom has no sumptuary laws, especially when it comes to the wearing of colors, so I could wear this without any issue on the game side of of things. However, on the Anna side of things is where I question it. Would my persona be in the purple? As an imperial with the rank of lady, it’s likely I could have afforded it, and sumptuary laws did change over time to make it more available…IF you could afford it.

However, I feel like the wearing of purple, to me, as a Romanian (Byzantine), is being presumptuous in rank. If I was bestowed the gift of purple from someone of a higher station, that’s different. If someone won crown for me (highly unlikely situation) then well, yes, definitely. But the purchasing, sewing, and wearing of a purple garment would make me feel like I cheated. Yes, even though I hold the rank of lady, and I have seen period imagery of ranked women wearing SOME purple in their embellishment, they were never clad in it fully like the actual emperor and empress. So even though I may hold a position that allows me to wear it, and I could probably afford the dye, I would limit my purple to embellishment only, rather that entire garments.

Instead, I will play with words. Purpura, in both Latin and Greek, is a funny word. It means both purple AND red, so it’s hard to assume which color was being worn unless modifiers are being given, which they sometimes aren’t. And a good red color, like kermes derived from crushing little insects into dye, was just as expensive as milking murex snails. So I will gladly spend all of my persona’s invisible money on quality crimson and not feel like I’m placing myself higher than I should be while still dressing as a diva. ;) Problem SOLVED. HOMERUN!

This of course doesn’t mean a thing outside of my own persona and kingdom. If you want to wear purple, and can wear the purple,  rock that purple.

I need to get work done.

 

Idle Musings: On favorite court moments.

As I’m knee-deep in the pre-Pennsic grind, churning out commissioned garb orders and working out more than I have in years (I’m running again, HOORA—oh my knees!) I often find my mind wandering into just strange thoughts. Sometimes when I get angry, I get these negative thoughts that totally affect my performance, so I’m trying to focus more on happy thoughts and Tinkerbells and pixie dust and all that sparkly crap. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the right happy thought to make me fly just yet, but I did start chatting it up during epic moments of sewing procrastination with the other half on what we like the most in the SCA, and court came up.

Not everybody likes court, in fact, I’ve done my fair share of skirting out of courts early, usually for food or “OH GOD THIS IS NEVER GOING TO END HELP.” (If you’ve ever been to Birka? Yep.) So I’m not innocent here. Not by a long shot. However, sometimes it’s the little things at court that makes it totally worthwhile. The point of going is to see somebody you may know get recognized for their awesome, right? So, we thought for a bit, and decided on what we like seeing at court the most here in the East. Obviously, it’s always great to see someone you know and love getting recognized, but what about those folks you don’t know?

A peerage is always great. That’s the epitome of awesome, your SCA master’s degree that can even come with a hood…or spurs, spurs are cool too. It’s always awesome to see somebody be elevated, their emotionally charged ceremony leading up to the moment they swear fealty as a master or mistress of the realm loaded in their new regalia.

And then there’s always the basic Award of Arms, and watching the recipient become totally enchanted at the sight of their first royal scroll and being called Lord or Lady for the first time, and remembering when we were called up there once, blushing, and unsure of how to act in front of royalty.

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Receiving my AoA in 2010.

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Geoffrey receiving his AoA in 2013, looking totally unsure of what just happened to him.

 

Then there’s the other awards. In the East, we have one tier of Kingdom awards, called the Orders of High Merit, which are our highest awards (SCA Bachelor’s Degree?)  that bestow on the recipient an award of arms if they don’t already have one. I know some kingdoms have both AoA and Grant of Arms level awards, which is kinda cool as well. We also have a variety of unique kingdom awards, such as the Queen’s Honor of Distinction and King’s Order of Excellence that aren’t always given out, those are a lot of fun to see as well.

However, my personal favorite, and I think that Geoffrey was in agreement with me as we sat here on the couch planning and making leather coronets for some friends of ours, is seeing someone receive a court baronage. When you get that, you’ve reached a pinnacle of recognition by the crown that they’re giving you NEW JEWELRY. You get a shiny for your head and you get to be called Your Excellency. Your very excellence made you well, excellent. :D Plus, they’re always a surprise award, unlike a landed baronage which requires an investiture (also cool to watch and a good excuse for a party) so the new baron or baroness has no idea what’s going on, and almost always gets misty, which makes me get misty. That doesn’t mean that the kingdom likes you, that doesn’t mean that a polling order says you’re good enough, that means the royalty REALLY REALLY LIKE YOU! Plus, then you get to ask Geoffrey and I to help make you a leather field coronet, and get surprised again when you see it. ;) It’s becoming one of Geoff’s favorite crafts, even.

Which brings me to my final thought for the evening on the subject, overall, I think being a part of someone’s award, from the AoA through a baronage or peerage, makes it even more special. Because not only is someone you know getting recognized, you personally helped in a way to embarrass, I mean, award them, for their awesomeness. I think that’s part of the reason why I’m slowly getting into calligraphy, because being a scribe puts you in a great position to share the award experience with the deserving parties.

Feel free to comment on your favorite part of court or award given in your local kingdom or barony. :) It’s always cool to see other perspectives.

 

 

Auntie Anna’s advice on how to dress for Pennsic.

This last weekend at Palio, and on Facebook, I’ve been asked on what’s the best way to clothe thyself for 2 weeks of camping on the Allegheny. After my last couple Pennsics, I’ve started to create a system of clothing that works for me. I used to bring everything I own, which ensured not running out of clean clothes, but I realized I was still wearing a lot of the same things over again in rotation than wearing, well, everything, so this is what I’ve been contemplating.  Note that everybody has their own unique system, and there’s no real right or wrong way to do Pennsic, okay, well, there’s plenty of wrong ways, but here’s assuming everyone comes prepared. The only way you’ll really figure out what works for you is trial and error.

In the Anna Method, you have 3 categories of Pennsic garb, not including the mandatory outerwear like cloaks because you’ll need one: 1: Court/Nice event garb. 2. Casual stuff. 3: Camp slop. Some things will carry over a bit depending on the day, how hot, how cold, etc. I always go for the full 2 weeks, so I tend to need more. The issue is that a lot of my stuff takes up some bulk, and there’s only so much room in the car. Space Bags are a wonderful invention and help a lot, but it’s not infallible to reduce space once you get there. So rather than bringing everything in your closet, put more thought into what you’re actually going to wear.

For example, here’s my thought process:

Court wear: No bliaut, it drags on the ground. Turkish has pants, good for cooler party nights, Bamberger Gunthertuch outfit is a yes, bring the gold dalmatica just in case and also something to bead on. Ghawazee coat outfit for hitting the Bog with. No apron dress this year, focus on being in persona.

Casual wear (remember this stuff can double for court wear if conditions are questionable): Blue beaded Byz, Rose Byz, Blue chiton, white chiton for layering, blue stola, rust peplos and Northern Army peplos. Green faux silk chiton if layered over white only because it sticks to my skin like ew. Beige tunic dress and sideless surcoat. Sari and choli for when it’s oppressive and you have to go to court…

Camp slop: Make 2 new Party Saxons (what I call ugly plaid bog dresses) since you gave some to a friend, flannel tunic dress, maybe one more of those for chilly nights, ugly cotton tunic dress with the short sleeves, purple pants, tank tops for grunt work. Sleep dresses.

Fight garb: Fencing entari, Fencing caftan, stripey pants, salwar, tunics.

Shoes: Flip flops, Crocs (you can hose them off, BIG.) Roman sandals, China flats, fight boots.

Outerwear: Cloak, Birka coat, Skaramangion if finished.

Now, this isn’t everything that will be on my final list, but it gives an idea of how I try to mentally place my garb, and reduce my bulk, and there’s also things that I can share with Geoffrey, though I tend to prefer dresses over pant or braies.  There’s some camp garb I won’t leave camp in, and there’s some I will stroll around the merchants in if I don’t particularly care who I run into, which is often. This is my vacation, and if you can’t deal with seeing me at my worst, you don’t deserve to see me at my best. I’ll be honest, there are days in camp I just need to put on mundane yoga pants and hide from the world. There are days when I’m just in a tank top and a broomstick skirt, and 99% of the time, I’m barefoot. This is okay, your camp is your space, and your tent is your house. Wear what makes you feel relaxed and comfortable, but still able to do the necessary chores.

Now, the number one consideration isn’t the amount that you bring, it’s planning for what Pennsic will throw at you weather-wise. As somebody who lives in New England, where we are fortunate enough to have all 4 seasons, we tend to plan for all the weathers. Not everyone in the country has seasons, and as someone who grew up in the balmy tropics of Florida, I know half the stuff I wear up here wouldn’t see the light of day down there. You need to be prepared for the extremes, I am not kidding. My first Pennsic, it rained the entire time. It’s been over 100 degrees and dry, there have been tornadoes and microbursts that can severely damage camps, and there can be bitterly cold nights that result in frost on the grass. The majority of the time, you can expect warm temperatures in the 80s and 90s, with a consistent chance of rain. Wet and dry conditions result in lots of mud and dust. The sight is usually good about helping control the dust levels by wetting the roads, but mud is unavoidable, and the ground is saturated in natural iron that gives everything a staining rusty tinge that’s impossible to get out of garb. This is where you need to plan well.

My persona is high Byzantine. I’d be damned if I’m going to wear one of my white tunicae after a rainstorm. Nope. No way. I highly applaud the folks who dress in their persona the entire time, especially the women in late period, because your balls are bigger than mine. I have no qualms with being a slob if it means saving my good clothing.  This is why I wear a lot of classical Roman in the summer to begin with. That, and I tend to get very warm in long sleeves.

Another thing to consider greatly is your sensitivity to the sun. I’m blessed with Italian and Black Irish (Irish folks descending from the moors and Iberian Celts) heritage, so I tan well and have a lower risk for sunburn. Therefore, exposed arms and legs aren’t as dangerous to me as say, my Lord Geoffrey, who is as Northern European as the white cliffs of Dover. So where I can go as Roman or in generic bog dress #42, he has to cover. He’s a Norman persona anyway, so this helps, but we’ve also decided to put him in generic Middle Eastern kaftans made from ugly striped linen like this:

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Make an oversized T-tunic with the front split. Done. Instant coverup “kaftan”.

Because he can still wear short sleeves under it, as well as straight pants with sandals to control body temperature, without sacrificing his skin to Helios.  Sunblock is still needed, of course, but not by the gallon.

Also, hat. All the hats. If not a hat, then a veil or some sort of cap. Not only is it period, but it’s period for a reason: Your face and your scalp are going to cook. They sell big straw hats at war for about $5 each. They will last you the event, and you’ll look goofy, but it’s better than sun poisoning on your noggin and helps eliminate the need for sunglasses.

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Here I am waterbearing at Pennsic XL: Ugly Bog Dress and floppy hat.

Garb “hacks”:

Here’s some ways to “cheat” at garb for Pennsic to make it a more affordable and comfortable experience.

-Sew/purchase your garb in natural fibers only. That means linen, wool, and cotton. Linen above all, because it will keep you cool, keep you warm, take a beating and wash well. Wool will keep you warm but doesn’t wash as well. Cotton is good depending on the weave, but it won’t take a beating. Quilting broadcloth is garbage, avoid it if you can and spend the money on better quality fabrics like homespun cottons, or, you know, linen. However, flannel tunics are a great way to have snuggly warm dresses and tunics for the chilly nights in camp

-Bandeau bras under bog dresses and classical garb. I got a pack of them from Amazon for like $15.  No straps, and tight enough support to hold the girls in without the dreaded Roman sideboob. I have a 36D bra size and they still fit.

-Shorts.  Yes, ladies, I’m looking at you. Not everyone has a thigh gap, and I myself am an accomplished victor of chub rub chafing which ruined a war for me. You need bike shorts or compression shorts under your dresses. You could make short braies, also, which I’ve done, but seriously…protect your thighs. Shorts and Gold Bond after a shower. Don’t ignore this advice. I’ve also heard that Body Glide is a great product to help with this (and under the boobs) as well as an antiperspirant, which doesn’t work for me. Ripping up your thighs is a great way to ruin your event.

-PJ pants. This is a great way for guys (and ladies!) To have legwear for cooler nights and days without wearing jeans or making tons of pants. They’re usually cheap at stores like Target and come in colors and all sorts of fun plaids that could pass off as something Celtic or Viking, even though everybody knows you’re in PJs, because a lot of people do it. These make great “camp slop” for when you want to save your nice stripey pants for a higher profile day. Scrub pants can also work, but don’t wear blue scrubs, that’s what the Cooper’s staff wears.

-Crocs. I think they’re ugly, too, but after I watched campmates hose off their shoes after a muddy night and before they got in the car to go home, I became a believer. My winter boots are Crocs, and they’ve worn lots of mud here in the spring events. Plus, Crocs come in other styles that aren’t so…Croc-like. This doesn’t mean don’t bring better shoes for nights you want to go out, or for court and such, but after I’ve destroyed, and I do mean DESTROYED, flip flops and China flats at war, I’d rather just invest in these ugly things and have my feet look like duck’s feet if I can hose them off.

-Buy packs of underwear and socks when you get there, you’re going to need these because you may throw out more pairs of socks than you think. I don’t care how much you pack from home, BUY MORE.

-Leave a bag of clean mundane clothing, shoes, and undies in the car. You’ll thank me later.

Okay, what the heck is a Bog Dress?

A bog dress is a peplos, plain and simple. Just like the Romans made them. They were worn throughout Bronze Age and Iron Age Europe and they’re an excellent way to make cheap hot weather garb. I separate my Roman dresses from bog dresses by calling them my Party Saxons, mostly because I’m wanton to pick out the most horrific plaid homespun cottons at Joann’s for them and blinding my camp. This of course, isn’t necessary, and I’m just not terribly a nice person. :) I do recommend making them out of the homespuns though, even if they’re horrific, because you’re only paying $4 a yard, don’t need much fabric, and if they get wrecked beyond a washing machine or repair, oops, into the dumpster they go. You can also make them shorter and feel like Artemis for those extra sloggy days.

There’s a couple different ways to make them, usually you’ll see the traditional style with the flaps in the front and back, but I’m starting to move away from that and just making a tube to pin at the shoulders to conserve fabric, as my Roman ones take up the entire bolt width and cut lengths. I also found this great pattern by Alfrun online, and she pleats the tops to make it more fitted and use less fabric. I’m going to try this style for this year’s war: http://awanderingelf.weebly.com/a-wandering-elfs-journey/sca-standards-the-bog-dress

 

 But what about stuff other than garb?

I have a friend of mine who I camp with who has done this way more than I have.  So quite a few years ago, she made a site, called Pennsic 101, that will get you through the basics. It is dated and does go back to before cellphones were the norm, but it’s still a great starting point.

http://www.angelfire.com/folk/pennsic101/

There’s also plenty of other guides available to check out, just by running a search.

Here’s Master Liam St. Liam’s guide on 10 must-do things at your first Pennsic:

http://liamstliam.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/ten-things-to-do-at-your-first-pennsic-or-really-any-pennsic/

 

So as you can see, there’s no shortage of information out there to help newcomers. I hope I was at least able to give an idea on how to plan your clothing.

 

 

I’m ready to throw cheese!

Wait, what?

This weekend is my [new] barony’s annual Palio, or civic competition. Stonemarche is broken up into 3 rival contrade, or districts, that compete in games and tournament to determine a winner. Originally, I wasn’t planning on going, since this weekend has always been reserved for Vinland Raids down on Cape Cod. Unfortunately that event is on hiatus, so, off to Palio di Stonemarche  to roll some cheese we go!

Then I thought, “I should wear something red and yellow for the Hippocampo Contrada!” And figure I had some stuff that would work.

 

…and then I basically got garb challenged.  I had 2 weeks to make a new outfit for this event. Ugh, why do I get myself into these things?! So I settled on 16th century Italian working class pretty quickly. Because I’m broke, I pillaged my old garb piles, and decided to kill the old red stola I had that was way too big and I never wore anyway. This would be my dress material. I found an old chunk of blackworked cotton from when I actually pretended to be Late Period for a while, and some white linen for sleeves and…

 

Vincenzo_Campi_-_The_Fruit_Seller   +Palio_Hippocampo10390955_10152276021978143_5763459185838203350_n

 

Nailed it.

I kind of feel like Ronald McDonald, but considering it was thrown together from a box of scraps and bias tape, I can’t complain. The pattern drafting instructions I had from my collected old notes back from when my persona WAS 16th Century working class Italian that I never did anything with, and I finally made a damn Campi-style dress. Not without tons of flaws, mind you, considering the materials at hand, and I probably wouldn’t have done it at all if it wasn’t for the fact that my machine has an automated buttonhole feature. Other then that, after I got through the hiccups of fitting the bodice, the rest went together insanely easily. The camicia’s collar is also just white hem facing. Hey, I did say, “box of scraps” didn’t I?  The skirt isn’t as full as it should be, but it’s not as slim as it appears in the pic, either. I’m also glad that 2 layers of linen and some interfacing in the front is apparently enough to control my figure without boning or a heavier interlining.

At least I can wear this again next year at the event! And once I do move back south, I plan to give the dress to the barony so another can enjoy it.

I basically just sewed what I saw. I’m sure there’s more tailoring that should be going into this, but this isn’t for an A&S project, or persona development, this was made for 100% fun, unlike my orange traffic cone, which took me almost a month’s worth of work and did require some actual research. But still, this is what happens when I get challenged to make garb. I am the reason why we can’t have nice things.

Here’s some other pics circa 1580′s I used for reference:

Rolled Sleeves:

Vincenzo Campi (Italian painter, c 1536 – 1591) Kitchen

Front lacing:

ronzellilate16thcbergamo

 

Blackworked camicia:

campi1580sbreramilano

 

That’s 2 late period outfits in a year, as opposed to when I claimed to be late period, and had like, none. Wow, Anna. WOW.

 

I do have some much more interesting Byzantine stuff coming up soon. I just need to get through my rush at work before Pennsic, my Pennsic classes, and whatever other curveballs before I start posting more research relevant to the site. Until then, enjoy my ghetto fabulous Italian Ren dress.

 

 

Send in the clowns (Roman makeup research, part 3.)

So I was able to get some calcium carbonate (natural chalk) from a brewing supply store, and decided to, you know, put it on my face with the other questionable materials I’ve been using.

DISCLAIMER: NOT APPROVED BY THE FDA, NOT APPROVED FOR COSMETICS, YADDA YADDA CANCERFACE YADDA YADDA DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

Okay, so…the article I’m using as a basis for this starter kit said that the chalk was mixed with vinegar. So, I raided my kitchen for white wine vinegar that I typically use to make sekanjabin or oxymel, and combined the two in a plastic cup. This immediately caused the fizzies due to the reaction of the acetic acid releasing the carbon, much like what would happen with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) but not nearly as explosive. This intrigued me and worried me, but it seemed too thin, so I added more chalk to get a paste that was more reminiscent of a modern liquid foundation. I slathered it on my arm for a patch test, and let it dry. It didn’t look so bad or cause a reaction, so…

IMAG2161 IMAG2162

 

…I slathered it on my face…IMAG2163 As you can see, it was a bit…paste-like, and didn’t blend well. It clung to every wrinkle and scar or zit on my face, and I immediately remembered I was in my 30s. So I washed it off with soap and water and it came off quite easily. (Note, it’s not in my hair, that’s my Rogue stripe.)

So I thinned the paste with more vinegar, and got a more powdery, fast drying finish. It was still lightening my skin, but not the consistency of glue.

IMAG2164 IMAG2165

Quickly, it was evident that thin layers would do the trick. It’s not an emulsion like a modern foundation, and therefore the mineral can be displaced and clump easily, as you can see on my eyebrow and cheek. I did apply it with a modern cosmetics brush as well, so I need to do more research into period applicators, that should also help.

IMAG2166

Well, there was only thing left to do: PUT THE WHOLE FACE ON. I went lighter on the red ochre this time, since I haven’t yet made my balm for it as planned. I should do that, oh, tonight.

I applied the lamp black to my eyebrows and as eyeliner using the olive oil mixture from my first post. (I also patch tested this. ALWAYS PATCH TEST!) I went a bit crazy with it on the eyebrows, I need better brushes to tone it down. Eyeliner was done by toothpick.

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This side was a bit heavier, and I look even less glamorous:

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Of course, now I had to take this stuff OFF. Modern soap and water worked fine for the chalk and the ochre, but the carbon?

.

.

. Not so much. (I had to.)

IMAG2170

I was able to remove it using the olive oil mixture it was applied with, to a point, and then with a non-oil based modern makeup remover, which helped but wasn’t great. The oil is needed to break up the black. It’s very staining, and I wasn’t able to remove it completely, so I think a modern oil-based remover would do the job nicely.

So, I now have the beginnings of a basic Roman makeup kit which should make my A&S display this weekend at Palio di Stonemarche an interesting one. I hope to have something more to show come Pennsic.