La Maison d' Armoise's Photos

Monday, April 26, 2010

Medieval Pavilion Making - 101

I like a challenge, especially when it comes to sewing. Years ago I bought a pattern for soft-sided suitcases and made one. As I remember, it was a minor success. Very minor. So now I have decided to make a project that is a bit larger than a suitcase.

Reputable tent sellers put a price on a 12' x 12' medieval pavilion at $1500 and up. At present, I am not rolling in the dough so purchasing one is out of the question. My answer is to make one. Simple, right? All it is is triangles and rectangles. Very big triangles and rectangles.

Follow along with me on my adventure as I design and construct a canvas medieval pavilion for La Maison d'Armoise.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Off To A Great Start

Well, this new year is off to a great start already. Monique and I have been our ususal very busy selves. This year started out quietly with a private household get-together at Monique's house. We enjoyed a lovely evening of champagne and hors de vours while working on favors to hand out at Twelfth Night.

Twelfth Night was a lot of fun. The scroll I recently finished (my first one for the Kingdom of Caid) was presented to Aliskye at court. Unfortunately, we did not get to see it being presented, because we were stuck in traffic and had to make a small detour through the City of Corona. All in all it was a good day and new friends were made. We both really enjoyed watching the Bardic Competition, and were pleased with the results. The feast was great. Jamal did his usual bang up job, and the "dinner theater" was entertaining, as well. Our household passed out our beaded favors to our friends, and everyone seemed to enjoy them.

After the Twelfth Night Festivities, we then traveled back from Dreiburgen to our friend Tim's house. Some of you may know Tim from Gyldenholt's Bardic group. A good time was had by all. We ducked out kind of early (around 11, I think) - we were simply exhausted from the day's activities and the 200 miles of driving!

I had to attend Angel's Melee without Monique. She was tending to a sick grandbaby. The day was still tons of fun. My face hurt the next day from smiling so much! I set up my loom over at Fiber Play Day, which was being facilitated by Therese. We had such a great view of the rapier fighting. I was so proud of our Gydenholt Rapier team. They came in second - and look great out there. Scores of mundanes were going through the event that day, and we had our hands full at Fiber Play Day, giving people quick lessons on spinning and weaving. The shopping was amazing that day. There was about 8 merchants, and they all had really pretty things for sale. I came home with several more things than I arrived with.

Gyldenholt's Unbelted Tourney is coming up this Saturday. With these storms going through SoCal, I hope our site is not flooded out! Everyone keep your fingers crossed, because it does look like it will be a great event.

I am going to be helping Lady Sadb out with the Arts and Sciences duties over in Gyldenholt. I am very excited about this. Those of you who know me, know I am a bit of an A&S geek - and I am looking forward to really being involved with my Barony's A&S activities.

This week I sewed two pieces of garb all by myself - no Monique looking over my shoulder telling me what to do. I am very proud of my new garb, as imperfect as they may be. Tonight I am putting on the finishing touches - sewing on the woven flame trim I made. This outfit is pretty rock-n-roll for a medieval outfit. I love it.

That is all I have to report on this go-around. Hope to see you all this weekend!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where To Start..........

As promised, it has been an exceedingly busy last month for La Maison d'Armoise. One event right after the other, and we still are not finished with the season. Phew. I get exhausted just thinking aout it!

Here is a recap of events since my last update:

Queen's Equestrian Champion
What a fun a windy day this was. We had a blast watching the new Queen's Equestrian Champion be chosen. What a great job Mayken de Houtman did in winning the day on the beautiful Jo Jo. Congratulations Mayken. It was well deserved.  Be sure to check out our slide show above for the video of her Victory lap. We also got some great King On A Horse pictures that day.

Altavia Yule

Our next event was over in Alatvia for a Yule celebration. There was so much amazing food! Unfortunately, I think I ate WAY too much that night. But I had to try everything, just to be polite ya know. Our household set up an absinthe tasting at our table, which was very well received. We spent a good evening with good friends. My leeks with leek almond sauce won the prize for Best Side Dish! I was so excited. I won a lovely handmade ceramic cup and plate. Monique came in honorable mention for her gret dessert gingerbread pudding with butterscotch sauce. Yumminess all around. At the raffle both Monique and I went home winners. Monique won a great big basket of yarn and I won a cool box full of embroidery supplies. We were both thrilled.

Authorization for Thrown Weapons
In anticipation for the Queen's Champion Archery and Thrown Weapons Champion Tourney, Monique and I headed out to Woodley Park the day after Altavia Yule for some archery practice and to be authorized in thrown Weapons. We both got authorized, and got some great lessons in knife and axe throwing from the lovely Lady Cecilia (thanks!) and this amazing Russian guy who happened to show up. Unforunately, the Tournament is being re-scheduled due to inclement weather, but that will give us more time to practice throwing things. Monique says I throw like a girl. Meh, what can ya do? Monique took to knives very quickly whereas I surprisingly did very well with axes. We are both hooked and have ordered throwing knives.

Angels' Yule
What a dark and stormy night. What a great evening with friends. There was so much food, it really made one thankful for all that we have when so many people in this knowne wworld have so little. We really are blessed. Lord Balthazar did a stand up job autocratting this event, and a very fun time was had by all. Altavia's own Petronilla won Bardic Competition with an outstanding 80 line viking poem she wrote and recited. That is one amazing kid. And Monique won the dessert competition for her gingerbread pudding with butterscotch sauce. Her prize was a beautiful crystal bowl, donated by Lord Balthazar. We enjoyed good food, good entertainment and some good off color jokes (thanks to Dame Lynette). What an amazing night.

I still have one more Yule celebration this weekend. My home barony, Gyldneholt is having its Yule celebration with the good folks of Lyondemere. I am going to have to attend this one solo, as Monique has Lola duties. It is her grandson's first birthday. Oh my gulay. I am working like a fiend to have my scroll finished to turn in at Yule so it can be handed out at Twelfth Night. Gulp. It is going well, but there is a lot of painting left to do. It started looking very nice last night, though. I am excited to get it finished and turned in. It is my first Kingdom Scroll. Woo Hoo!

Well, that is all I have to report in this post. Cheers to everyone! Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Gingerbread Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

I have had a couple of requests for my gingerbread bread pudding w/butterscotch sauce recipe so here it is. Although it is pretty easy, it requires a few days advance planning and baking.

5 days in advance, or as many as you want, soak 1/3 cup raisins in enough cognac to cover. Stir every day. The raisins will plump up a bit and absorb the cognac.

One or two days in advance, bake the gingerbread. When completely cool, slice in half width-wise and then cut into about 1" cubes. Let sit out on a cookie sheet to dry out a bit. This drying out will allow the gingerbread to soak up the custard before baking.

Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup sugar until light. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup molasses and beat thoroughly. Sift together 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Add alternately to creamed mixture with 1/2 cup very hot tap water, beating well after each addition. Bake in a greased 8" X 8" square pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until done. Don't under bake.

To assemble bread pudding, lightly butter the inside of a 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine 4 eggs with 1/3 cup granulated white sugar and 3 cups half-and-half. Finely chop 3-4 large pieces of Crystallized Ginger. I like Reeds because they use baby ginger root and it is less fibrous. Place 1/2 gingerbread cubes in the baking dish. Sprinkle half the raisins and half the chopped ginger root over the gingerbread. Repeat with the second half of the gingerbread, raisins and ginger root. Pour egg mixture slowly over the gingerbread cubes. Press down a bit on the top to get the cubes to soak up the egg mixture. Place baking dish in a larger pan. Pour hot water into larger pan to about 1" deep. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and refrigerate or serve warm.

Butterscotch Sauce

I found this recipe on a website and rather than write all the directions down here, I am providing a link. There is a great explanation and photos to reference. I scaled back the vanilla and salt to about 3/4 Tablespoon each. Adjust to your taste.


I would like to thank everyone for their compliments on my desert. I love to bake and finding an appreciative audience is a wonderful thing!

Altavia Yule

Southern California has been experiencing some very we weather and that has postponed a few events that would have been held out of doors. But Yule is thankfully an indoor event and much fun was had by all.

Altavia Yule was on December 5, 2009. Alys and I arrived a bit early in the afternoon to help set up for the raffle. Alys snagged a great dining table and set up our decorations for the feast. We were sponsoring an unofficial absinthe tasting and my fountain made an awesome centerpiece! My knitting friend Cassandra joined us that afternoon and I think she had a good enough time to make her want to come to more SCA events! Huzzah!

The pot luck dinner had many and varied offerings and we all stuffed ourselves. Alys made an incredible baked leek sidedish that took first place in the sidedish competition. It was awesome! I should have taken a larger portion...My gingerbread bread pudding got Honorable Mention in the desert category so I was very pleased. Many were interested in the absinthe and we louched up several glasses to those who wanted to taste the real thing.

After dinner there was a raffle in an adjoining room. Cassandra won some excellent jewelry, Alys took home a darling red Fleur de Lys case with embroidery supplies and I won yarn. I am always happy to win yarn! I love yarn.

After the raffle, we wandered back into the dining hall where the tables had been cleared away to allow for dancing. I am not sure who had a better time. Those dancing or those of us who watched the dancers crash into each other!

The next day was a scheduled archery and thrown weapons practice. I was feeling pretty on-target when my bow de-laminated. Well, so much for archery. Let's shift gears to thrown weapons. Alys and I both authorized for and practiced throwing knives and axes. It was so much fun!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And More Coronation Notes

I think Monique covered most of everything that happened during Coronation weekend. I just thought I would add my two cents worth.

We really had a great time. The church was a wonderful facility to hold coronation at. We really enjoyed a nice and pleasant day at court. The food was fabulous. The Upper Crust Cooking Guild did a superb job provding all of us a true feast. Monique and I were very lucky with our table placement for the feast and met some wonderful new friends. Long live table 7. I love you guys. The dancing was really fun. I was fortunate to have such a good dance partner. Charlie kept me from getting more lost in the dances than I could have been. Much fun was had.

Queen's Champion the next day was also a blast and super busy. I got asked to field herald at the last minute and was just kind of thrown into it. I flubbed up my words a few times, and missed a title or two - but had a really good time. I was very nervous at first, not knowing what to do. Luckily for me, Duke Edric was a marshall in my area and really helped me out a lot. I had never really spoken to him before. He was so nice, and easy going, he really made me feel at ease and my nerves went away. What a true gentleman.

The day was busy and exciting. Not only did Sir Sven win the day, but Monique won the silver scissors for the On the Spot embroidery contest! Woo Hoo, Monique! Check out here winning embroidery of the Caidan cross in our slide show. It was the first time a member of our household has received an award at court.

Well, that's about it for today. We have lots of things coming up. See you all soon!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Coronation Weekend Report

Coronation weekend was great fun. The processional carried Prince Patrick and Princess Kara, standing on shields with sword in hand, down the aisle to the thrones. It was then that King Edward and Queen Mora stepped down and the Prince and Princess were crowned as the undisputed King and Queen of the Kingdom of Caid. It was great pageantry and made both Alys and myself tear up.

After coronation, there was some brief downtime and then the feasting commenced. The food was all prepared and served by the members of the Barony of Gyldenholt. The food was fabulous and no one went hungry...I am sure of that! Diners brought commercial wine and homemade mead and many went cheerfully from table to table offering samples. They were delicious! After dinner, the tables were cleared away and chairs were set up around the room to leave the center open for dancing. Alys tripped the light fantastic with Charlie, a lovely gentleman we met at our dinner table. (I woke up Saturday morning with a mild cold so I was pretty tired by the time dinner was over, no energy left for dancing*sigh*)

Sunday morning Alys and I took our time getting ready for Queen's Champion tournament. We went out to breakfast in our garb and were stared at a bit. Go figure.;-) The most interesting comment we got was from the waitress who asked if Sunday was one of our holidays, you know, for Wicca. Uh, no....

Although it appeared overcast early in the morning, by the time we got to the site in Irvine, the sky had cleared and the sun was shining bright. Alys and I set up our chairs and baskets with the Barony of Altavia (the greatest Barony in the knowne world!) and got to work embroidering and weaving. Alys is weaving a fabulous (and I might add a 40 card pattern) in the colors of Caid for the King and Queen. I worked frantically to beat the clock on an embroidery piece for the On The Spot embroidery contest.

Alys was asked if she would like to herald for some of the fighting and she eagerly accepted. Like any new skill, she learned as the day went on and became a crackerjack field herald by the end of the day! Between you and me, I think she's hooked...At the end of the day, Duke Sven was victorious as the Queen's Champion.

I'll wager few people witnessed our Baron Secca, on his knees in full armor talking to a small boy with his father. The Baron then offered his weapon to the boy and allowed the child to take a whack at his head. The child was shy and swung lightly but was obviously pleased with the opportunity! Altavia is the best!

Oh, yeah. I won the prize of embroidery scissors in the OTS embroidery contest. For the first time ever, I was called to accept the prize at court. Very cool.

It's now Monday morning and we have returned to our mundane lives. Ah, well. Time to make some progress on other projects before the next event!