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Elfa's Journal
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Date:2012-05-25 11:51
Subject:Breaking lj silence! Post from Stockholm!

I'm currently in Stockholm staying with one of my amazingly awesome swedish fighter girl friends, Elfriedis / Karolina. Today is my last day in Stockholm, and the time has been great! I've only spent a few days here, but that is probably for the best since she has a very small apartment and I don't want to wear out my welcome, but it does mean that I'll need to come back at some point. I've been trying to get back into shape, so I've been walking everywhere, so like 7 miles a day or so (go me!) to get to the sites I want to see, and I've definitely been getting my museum geek on. Of course I went to the Historika Museet, which is full of Viking and Medieval awesomeness,  and to the Medieval Stockholm Museum, and in a few minutes I'll toddle off to the Armory, and if I have time I'll check out the Vasa Museum, with the entire seventeenth century ship! Then tonight Karolina is dropping me off at the ferry and I'm heading over to Visbey where I'll be staying with my new friend Olof until the 31st or so. Yay!

Once again I'm having the issue of not being able to see everything, drat... I've been missing out on some of the glass stuff I want to see, for example, and some other sites. I haven't managed to see Kosta Boda, I didn't get out to Birka itself, and I didn't get over to either Köln or Copenhegan to see my friend Rikkie, so those things will all have to happen in future trips... and I think that I will have to start learning Swedish. There are a LOT of German cognates, so I have been able to pick up some of what people are talking about, between those and being very good at reading conversations and body language. But it drives me crazy not being anble to speak, especially after being able to actually hold conversations while I was in Germany this time. Also, along with Germany, I'm adding Sweden to the list of places in europe I wouldn't mind living for a few years. I think I like it here, at least so far. And I'm definitely preparing myself to like Visbey a lot. ;) Plus, going to hang out with jugglers and archaeologists in Visbey... how cool is that... y'all will be lucky if I actually come home. I keep joking about it, but I've been seriously tossing around the idea of moving to europe for a few years at some point, either to pursue a higher academic degree or just to do art stuff there and cement my language skills and to live some place else for a while. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE where I live, but I have always, aside from the term when I lived in Washington DC, lived in Oregon. So I feel that living in some other places for a while would be pretty worth while. Especially if I can be learning new things and have access to other resources while I'm there. But for now, I'm traveling, brainstorming, and am pretty broke from the earlier Road Trip Of Doom, which I shall probably be doing a fundraiser to recover from since our forge trailer is still stranded in Electra TX... so don't worry, I'm not leaving just yet.

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Date:2011-11-19 00:28

I've finally decided to enter SWAP or sewing with a plan! Thanks to A, I have been exposed to this contest for several years, and been tempted to enter every year. She completed it the year before last I believe.

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Date:2011-11-13 09:57
Subject:Live life to its fullest...

I try to be one of those people who live life to its fullest. It's not that I don't think about the future, it's just that I try to not put things off in the certainty that I will need things later that are more important. With the passing of our dear friend, Ian Cnulle (Greg Frank-Weiby), several people have mentioned the importance of this to me. We can rail against it, bemoan the unfairness, and grieve over the foibles of fate, but shit happens. You can do everything right, eat well, exercise, live your dreams, pursue happiness, and still be taken down. But if you make sure that you love what you are doing, believe in it, and fill your life with your friends, family, and meaningful tasks, even if shit happens you'll have made a difference.

Ian was an outstanding craftsman, artist, and mentor. While a void is left by the absence of such an amazing man, he influenced so many people, deciphered so many mysteries, and created so much beauty that I believe his influence will quite literally last generations. 

I can only hope that I do so well. My life changed forever several years ago when I ended up in the hospital with internal bleeding, needing 4 units of blood. I didn't initially realize how close to death I was. It's easy to be in denial about that sort of thing. But it really brought home the fact that shit can happen completely out of the blue. You can be hit by a car, caught in a storm, or suffer a stroke. That most intimate betrayal, the betrayal of my own body, seemingly without warning or cause, was terrifying. Rather than live fearing the inevitability that eventually gets us all, I was forced to develop a certain kind of pragmatism. Yeah, shit can happen, get over it, and make sure that what you do and live means something. Do what matters. If it doesn't matter, let it go and make some different decisions. It's hard to do, people get stuck in ruts. It is sad that it often takes these tragedies to allow us insight. But do take the lesson, follow the example of people like Ian who lived what he believed. It's not trite because it's not true, it's trite because it should be something we all know: live life to its fullest. 

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Date:2011-10-24 10:41
Subject:Must one be a squire in order to be a knight?

I've had several people tell me that in order to become a knight in An Tir you have to first be a squire. I've also had some people tell me that is not true. There have been knights and squires on both sides of this so far from what I've heard in casual conversations. If you are a knight in An Tir, do you consider this to be the case? Why? If you are a squire in An Tir, do you consider this to be the case, and why? For those not in An Tir, is being a squire considered to be a necessity in order to become a knight in your kingdom? Are there any examples of knights made in recent years who have not first been squired? Also, if you are from another kingdom, is being a protege or apprentice considered essential before becoming a peer in your kingdom?

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Date:2011-09-28 09:29
Subject:Great Western War: crash space and supplies needed

Looks like I'll be driving down to Great Western War by myself. I suck at long-distance driving since I tend to get really tired and head achy, so I'll be leaving a lot of extra time to do the drive. I need to be there on Tuesday the 4th before it's too late for merchant set up, so I'm considering leaving sunday in the early afternoon. 

Anyone have crash space for me in california on Monday night the 3rd? I think I have a plan for a S. Oregon crash space on the evening of the 2nd, but welcome additional offers there too.

Also Feed the Ravens (the people I'm merchanting with) is still looking to borrow the following items which I could bring down with me:

several propane lanterns
benches for the merchant area

if anyone has stuff I can borrow before Sunday, keep for a week and a half and return to them, please let me know! 


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Date:2011-09-12 08:22
Subject:Looking for a home for Nick and Rasputin

My ex is having to sell the house in Newberg and is moving into a condo downtown, so is looking for a home for both of his dogs. He may decide to keep Rasputin, but if not she is the one that I'm really looking for a good home for since I largely raised her. If I could handle having a large dog I would... but she's always been Hank's dog and I never really wanted to deal with a large dog (he just showed up with her one day) plus my cats would hate me forever. Anyway, if you know anyone who would be interested in a sweet black female fixed German Shepherd, let me know. She is about 3, and quite submissive, has had training (I always thought she would be happy to learn more and our vet thought she'd make a great search and rescue dog and I thought she would love to pull a cart or something like that), but she has been let run wild for about a year. She came from a breeder in Longview, but Hank hasn't gotten me the info yet. I really really really want to see her go to a good loving home, so if you know someone who would be able to take her and spend enough time with her, please pass on my contact info: 503-473-3627 vandy@vandyhall.com



Hank is more urgently looking for a home for Nicodemus / Nick. He just sent me Nick's details: 


Male Golden Retriever (American / British Blend)
Born 3/28/2010
Purchased from Foxburrow Kennels on 6/5/2010
Completed Gold Star Puppy Program at Newberg Veterinary Hospital for all required vaccines. 
Nick really hasn't had much training done, but is a very sweet dog. He's also a gorgeous light colored golden. Hank would like to send him to a new home as soon as possible.


If you know of a good home for Nick, Hank/Fox can be reached at: 503-550-8873 or I'd be happy to pass on a message/facilitate: 503-473-3627 vandy@vandyhall.com

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Date:2011-06-07 23:00
Subject:What I Made Today

I would love to start doing photo posts at least a couple of times a week of what I make every day. But since that isn't happening (at least yet), I'll at least post about it when I have time.

Today I did blacksmithing demos at Philip Foster Farms. I made a couple leaf-shaped key-chains and a bottle opener. Which I promptly used to open some bottles. 

It is house-cleaning and recovery week after a month of steadily working or being sick, so that's it for today.


I made something else! It's Kyle's last night in town (he leaves for Alaska and then the Fencing World Cup in Buenos Aires tomorrow), so I raided my liquor cabinet which is down to strange and exotic liquors these days and made up a new drink! I think I'll have to call it the Flying Fencer. It consists of about 1/2 orange juice, and smallish amounts of aperol, oregon cranberry liquor, grenadine, lime juice, and a slightly larger bit of metaxa, over ice. 


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Date:2011-04-17 20:09
Subject:What I've been up to, illustrated

I have been a verra busy girl as usual, doing many fun and crafty things for both fun and profit! Many pics to follow.

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Date:2011-03-15 09:36

I'm excited about actually being around to garden this year. I do some every year, but since I've been moving around so much it's been limited for a while. I have no plans for moving, should be around the majority of the spring, summer, and fall, and have space to do pretty much whatever I want. However, the space is sort of daunting. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. I'm planning on sharing a garden with my parents, so we will decide on vegetables together, and do the maintenance together. I'm trying to decide if there is anything special I want to grow in separate spaces.  I want to have a kitchen herb garden next to the house / in containers on the deck. There are vegetables and herbs for indian, thai, and medieval foods that I am interested in trying, but I'll probably stick to the ones easiest to grow this year. I might like to try growing some plants specifically for dying. In the long-term, I would really like to make a medieval style segmented garden, but that is a long-term project and not my priority this year, so I think I'll just try out some of the plants and perhaps start clearing the ground for future projects like this.

I also want to try growing flax for processing into fiber. This seems like the sort of thing I can start out now and will take a bit of time over an extended period until it's time to deal with processing it, so it's probably something I can handle. Does anyone have experience growing flax? I'd like to know where you get your seeds and any things I should keep in mind while planning out whereto put it...

Also, who grows plants for dying? I'm most interested in medieval stuff, since that's our geek, but I'm open to more. I haven't done a ton of dying, but am interested in paving the way to doing it in the future now that I have more of my own space.  

Oh yeah, and what are your favorite sources for heirloom seeds and plants?

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Date:2011-03-14 18:11
Subject:Viking wool combs?

Hey hive-mind, I want pics and references for viking era wool combs. Please help? I wanna make some... it seems like a fun project. I saw a pic of some in Nialla's spiffy book, and now I can't find any pics of extant ones.  

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Date:2011-01-05 01:20
Subject:Thinking Frugally, aka Don’t Buy Anything!

Right, this goes for me not you! You should all go to Twelfth Night and buy lots of glass. ;-)adventures in saving, cooking, preseving...Collapse )

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Date:2011-01-03 00:17
Subject:As Promised, Glass Pix!

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Date:2011-01-01 18:11

 I’ve been a very busy girl making glass recently. I spent three days this week out in the freezing weather at Edgefield blowing glass, and I have much to show for it. I’m going to have almost entirely new stock for sale at Twelfth Night, and as soon as I get my photography stuff set up I’ll be posting some teaser pics. But for now, words will have to do. I’ve been busy making the following: four different colors of claw beakers, blue and white feathered and wrapped globular beakers, a red and yellow globular beaker, blue and green prunted beakers, a blue and white wrapped drinking horn, optic twist tumblers with colored lip wraps, beakers with blue and clear pinched trails decorating them, and strange medieval style goblets. In the next half week I plan on making mullers and linen smoothers, and perhaps some basic beakers out of recycled blue/green tinted window glass. Come to Twelfth Night prepared to buy some glassy goodness!!!

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Date:2010-12-08 16:56
Subject:Iranian Manuscripts

 For all you guys getting your Persian or Middle Eastern geek on, you should check out the collections of the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art. They are part of the Smithsonian in Washington DC, and I was an intern there. Totally drool-worthy. Look Here!

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Date:2010-12-04 20:56
Subject:Our Holiday Show is Tomorrow in Portland!

Come one come all to Elfa and Khalja's crazy holiday sale of coolness. You know you want to come hang with the cool peeps...


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Date:2010-11-17 09:27
Subject:Orycon Art Show

Last weekend, while I was at Crown Council, a bunch of my artwork was in the Orycon Art Show. I always find having deadlines is useful, so I managed to finally get a couple of new pieces done:
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I even managed to sell a few things and disappeared a lot of cards, so hopefully it was good publicity...

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Date:2010-10-10 11:27
Subject:What I’m Up To

Attend the Medieval Glass Seminar in Corning, NY fly in October 12th, stay through Oct 16th. 
     Then audition at Historical Glassworks and visit friends and family on the east coast until 10/27/2010

Display art at Orycon, November 12-14

Attend Crown Council, November 13 (will bring basket o'glass)

Attend Steamcon, November 19-21 (note, my work didn’t get into the art show, wtf?)

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Date:2010-09-21 11:31
Subject:Catnip Eyeball Fundraiser

Some of you may know that I encountered some unexpected medical expenses on my way out to Pennsic this year. I ended up in the emergency room after passing out on my flight into Chicago. Of course now I’m just fine, and I was probably just dehydrated. But since I’m a poor artist and without insurance I’m now struggling to cover my bills.

My answer to this is a catnip eyeball fundraiser! You’ve all probably seen pictures of my catnip eyeballs, and since it’s almost Halloween it’s a great time to buy a few for your cats or friends or friends’ cats to spook up your life a little. And you can help me keep the collections agencies off my doorstep. I’m making a ton of catnip eyeballs and selling them for the usual $5 each, and I’ll ship them for $3, however many you order.

If you want some, please send me a message and let me know how many, and your address.
Thanks for the help! And hopefully there will be lots of rolling eyes and stoned kitties in your future!

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Date:2010-09-08 22:22
Subject:Glass Mullers?

 A while ago a couple people asked me about glass mullers. Who would be interested in purchasing them if I made some? 

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Date:2010-07-13 10:43
Subject:Academia della Danza

This weekend we went up to Academia della Danza at a little schloss in Germany. It totally rocked! It was a bit too hot duringthe day, but we soldeiered on and danced a ton. I think I may have to start going to a dance practice again if there is one happening locally... I took pictures but haven't gotten them on-line yet, but I made a friend who has posted pictures so here you go:

The site, Schloss Laura:

See more pictures!Collapse )

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