Friday, August 30, 2013

Preparing for the Scottish Games

Preparing for a demo is always hard work, no matter how much we love to demo.   As we spent the day getting ready for our 2-day demo at the Scottish Games in The Plains, Virginia, I snapped a few photos.  

Laundry is ever-present, but easy to pack from!…. (you won’t believe how dirty everything is after a coal-fired blacksmithing event ,. beforehand is much simpler!): 

We have to prep our trailer and make sure we are equipped for a day or two of demonstrating.  We need our anvils, both Jeff’s anvil and our “kid” anvil (which Jeff is carrying in the photo below), where we allow children to hammer away on non-heated aluminium to give them a sense of the process.  We also need hammers, metal, tent, and ironwork for sale.  

Plus, if a demo is a colonial-event, we need our outfits (which means a lot of ironing beforehand!  Many, many thanks to Ann, Molly, and Katie who have lent me clothes for this weekend!  I really, really appreciate it!

And, for tomorrow’s demo, we needed lots of toys for our dog, since the Scottish Games is a dog-friendly event! 

And, then, there are the add-ons, because life is happening in the midst of demo-season.  Our lawn needed to be mown and weed-whacked, and of course, apples needed to be turned into applesauce!  

And, when packing for a blacksmithing event, you NEVER forget the First-Aid kit!  Nor, do you forget the sunscreen when you are a Living History Interpreter, spending hours outside!

And, don’t be surprised, if you suddenly receive a solid unrefusable nudge that you need to finally stop avoiding the piano you spent hours practicing upon for years and years back in the 80s and you start taking lessons again TODAY after a 20-year hiatus.   It was wonderful, but the timing???!!!! I think my childhood piano, below, must be rejoicing that I finally faced my fears!

Also, we have to stamp our bags for anyone who chooses to purchase some ironwork:  

And, in between work and other commitments, Jeff prepared a beautiful compilation of ironwork.  I don’t think he’s had a set this nice EVER.  We are proud to show you what he’s prepared.  After he’s had a shower, of course!  Blacksmithing is messy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Preparing for a Busy Fall!

A few leaves are starting to change color, and I spent the last few days reacquainting myself with my job at a local Montessori school as the school year starts next week …. Fall is definitely coming soon!  

We have a super busy fall demo schedule, with the first demo this weekend. We’ll be at the Scottish Games in The Plains, Virginia — this is always a fun event with great music, food, athletic competitions…. and blacksmithing!  Jeff gets to forge in time with fiddles and pipes….

And, if you are like me facing a demo schedule that is very full between now and November, you drag the family out for apple picking on the last available day.  Now, I have a kitchen full of apples to make applesauce and to freeze for pies in the winter….I just have to find time to put them all up!

Here is our upcoming schedule — we’d love to see you at an event:

August 31- September 1 - The Scottish Games at the Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia

September 7 and 14th - Introduction to Blacksmithing Class

September 21-22 - Wine and Oyster Festival at Stratford Hall in Montross, Virginia

September 28 - 1812 Fair and Reenactment at Jefferson Patterson Park in St. Leonard, Maryland

October 5 - Nanticoke River Jamboree/Restore Handsell in Dorchester County, Maryland

October 12 - Prince William Forest. More details to come….  

October 17 - Blacksmithing Demo for Cub Scout Pack 888

October 19-20 - Claude Moore Market Fair in McLean, Virginia 

Other demonstrations and classes are available upon request.  Thank you!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Farrier Competition

We recently attended a farrier competition sponsored by the Virginia Horseshoer's Association.  We went to the contest to support our friend, Steve Walthall.  To put it simply, every farrier had an hour to make a shoe for a horse and then another specialized shoe.  It was quite an endeavor, and we were so proud to be able to watch Steve work.   It is something special, indeed!  From a photography standpoint, I've been thinking about trying out black and white for blacksmithing photography because I've grown curious as to what would appear once the most obvious element of the fire was removed.  I like the results.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Black-Eyed Susans

The other day, I had a few minutes to spend at the American Horticultural Society.  Not much time, but time enough for a few photos.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Stayed Centered, Staying Inspired

Some of the things that keep me thinking creatively:

A brand-new subject -- it's good to get out of my comfort zone creatively and learn about something like cold-press soap-making (it's now on my list of things to try!): 

My vegetable garden, which means my August kitchen looks like this (below) with lots of canning & freezing going on: 

My pets, who continually surprise me: 

Yoga -- I practice from home, thanks to good audio classes and DVDs from my primary teacher, Baron Baptiste.  I was thrilled this summer to "attend" a live class he taught from Africa.

Nature walks with my kids: 

Light -- I realized that I was becoming a better artist when I started noticing light: