Spring break, spring stress, oh look, new shiny!

I just got back from a few days down in the lush green tropical homeland of Florida to return to the cloudy, 30* maritime climate of the Arctic. Okay, so RI isn’t the Arctic, but that gosh darn groundhog LIED.

Hit the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in my new totally inaccurate but blasty-blast to wear Gahwazee outfit, complete with tassel bra goodness. Hey, it’s a fair! I can wear what I want! Next on the hit list is my mom.

The family that garbs together, stays together.

The outfit was pretty easy, I used a Simplicity pattern and just sorta…zoomed it up myself. The gomlek (undertunic) I whipped up with my imagination, using the funky selvages to my advantage, the bra is one of my old ones I bled all over trying to glue and handsew trim onto, and the skirt is just your run of the mill tiered broomstick or belly dance skirt. I believe it’s an 8 yard. I went with this look because Florida is hot when Rhode Island is not, therefore, I can have some fun. If it was going to be a cooler weekend, my actual SCA period Turkish would have been in order, but at least I got compliments on my…rack. The underbust Turkish coat is documentable to the 18th Century, when fashionable Turkish women were attempting to emulate the shapes of the Western women, notably the garish French. The tassels and the way I did the gomlek? Erm…not so much. That’s just for boogying at the festival. This will get some Pennsic wear, but probably with the neckline of the gomlek close.

Pre-Renaissance Festival filth. Kinda cursing myself over using the antique sari on the bottom.

Aside from that, I got to hit a couple of spring training baseball games, and sat at the kitchen table working on my undergrad thesis. The fun, let me tell you…No, I’ll tell you it’s most definitely not fun and I’m regretting going back to school at 28 (now 30) to get my bachelors when it should have been done 10 years ago. Life has a way of getting in the way. The thesis is The Varangian Guard, and their recruitment and downfall due to the First through Fourth Crusades. It sounds cooler than it is. In the immortal words of the old knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: “You chose…poorly.”

The Varangian Guard don’t get a lot of press, surprisingly, so it’s been a bit of a witchhunt. I’ve done some preliminary research for my book, Of Summer and Winter (shameless, I know) but I wanted to further myself as an academic, and at least have some really real for real research knowledge to back up my fiction.

In other news, I received my East Kingdom Artisanal Exchange Swap III gift this week! I was so excited when I opened this, aside from feeling like a total slacker for not having mine done yet.

It’s a lovely red coral and bronze necklace and fibulae set, using both Byzantine and Western Roman design features in the necklace. I CAN NOT wait to wear this. I feel like I need new garb just to do it! (I’ve been wanting a dark blue peplos…;) )

No cell phone pic can do this justice.

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