Blackstone Raids was interesting. Ben and I brought the kids, so we got a hotel room in the Holt Lodge (with TV). It rained so much, we spent most of the evenings in the room. And every bit of non-marshy land was being used (as it should) by campers or event activities, so it was difficult to let the kids run around. And I hadn't realized how many cars would be on the roads at the campsite all day long, so it was difficult to let them run there, too. Plus, it was difficult to find people I knew to talk to. I didn't just run into people walking around like at War Practice. I suppose that was the rain. Still we were with Ben all weekend, so that was good.
I did get to wear my new Flemish, though, made by oushi , on commission as a gift from Ts'vee'a. Looked good! Plus the kids are simply adorable in SCA garb, with their little tunics and hats and coifs! We got our picture taken by about 4 mundanes and a couple SCAdians, even. Especially when the kids were playing with the scopperels I made them.
Scopperels are awesome, very easy to make, very quick (30 mins or less if you cheat and use tape like I did), and very cheap (I had everything lying around).
- For each one, you need a smallish-circumference dowel rod (preferably oak), a small nail, non-corrugated cardboard (shoebox or cereal box type), tape, scissors, a saw and a hand drill.
- Cut an ~8 inch piece of the dowel off with the saw.
- Drill a hole slightly bigger in circumference than the nail right in the center of the small dowel piece. Make sure the hole is smaller than the nail's head, though.
- Drill a hole about the same size as the nail through the end (so it's facing you - drill into the center of the circular cross section) of the long dowel, only about 3/4 the length of the nail.
- Cut out two squares of cardboard. The length of one side of the square should be about a quarter of the length of the small dowel.
- Tape the squares on the small dowel one up, one down, so the hole is facing up. (see pic). This is the cheater step. There were period adhesives and joinery that should be used if you're going for really period.
- Use the nail to attach the small "windmill" shaped dowel to the long one.
- Give it to your kid, tell them to run forward, or hold it in the wind, and watch it spin! You may need to bend the corners of the card baord like a pinwheel a little.