A Day Trip to the Past and Swordplay

I LOVE the Renaissance Festival!! I could probably leave this post at that.. but, of course, I won’t. Not to mention, I have pictures.

Now, I finished my leather bracer that I’ve been working on… so, the question is whether to make a separate post focusing on just that, or just blend it into this one. I think I will make that a full on separate entry.

First off, I don’t know what it is about that place, but there’s just something about going down to the Ren Fest and immersing yourself in that atmosphere that just energizes me. I honestly think that I was born in the wrong time period. (Yes, yes, I know it was a time full of disease and hard times, but there was so much cool stuff going on too… or, you know, I could just be caught in the hype of the way it’s been glorified over the years.)

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Take this picture for example… even my mom was laughing at this. It scares me just how well I fit in at the Ren Fest, making it look like I lounge around in dresses, corsets and knee high boots all the time while knawing on a giant turkey leg. I don’t… ok, so I do normally prance around the house in random outfits from time to time, but I don’t leave the house like that – often – and I generally use utensils to eat – most of the time. But, you get the idea. I swear, I would have had an easier time finding a job in this setting. I mean there was so many neat opportunities. I could have made mail armor, or done leather working… dried herbs and worked at the apothecary or as an alchemist. Maybe I would have apprenticed at the blacksmith shop and made swords and whatnot. Who knows what I would have done back in the day, but I am certainly more drawn to things that involve a detailed and precise level of craftsmanship. Granted, seeing as I’m advancing as an fantasy author, I likely would have been a traveling bard or something.

One of the things that I love so much at the Ren Fest is that you have the chance to visit all these shops of artisans where you can see that a good number of these crafts are still alive and well today, even if it’s on a smaller scale. (Side note: you can make some absolutely AMAZING stuff with leather… I only wish they didn’t cost so much. I can fully understand the price levels though not only with the cost of supplies but the amount of time put into each piece.) Speaking of shopping there…. one of these days I want to just save up an extravagant amount of money and just go on a ridiculous shopping spree down there. Which kind of amuses me because I will admit that I can be quite the cheapskate. I prefer to think of myself as frugal. However, I hate spending money on clothing and things, yet I go to the Ren Fest and I still worry about spending so much, but I’m not quite as unwilling to part with my money. Probably because everything there is so cool.

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These are my purchases this year. Not nearly as much as I got last year… but I was fully determined to but a full length sword this year and I did just that. By the way… I love going into a shop where they point you out, ask how old you are (I can’t remember if you had to be 18 or 21 to touch the weapons) and just hand you random swords off the wall telling you “here, play with this!” Can’t argue with that.

Now, the big sword may look familiar to some and that’s because it’s a medium sized version of Anduril from the Lord of the Rings movies… at least that’s what it was sold as. One of my friends pointed out to me that it looks closer to Narsil, and researching online today (since Anduril is the reforge of the shards of Narsil, so essentially it is the same sword) he’s kind of right. The smaller versions don’t have the fuller or the runic writing associated with the official movie prop. The shop actually had the full sized Anduril and I was gorgeous and had the runes, but it was beyond my price range and was huge! Maybe someday I might buy that one to add to my collection that I have no doubt it only going to get bigger from here on out, but for my first longsword, I wanted one that was small enough that I could handle and possibly carry on my side when I return to the Ren Fest. So, either way, I’m happy. And, now I have an awesome sword to use as a prop in my random pictures I take and to swing around.

Like this:

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Also, I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to look rather evil in these photographs. I honestly don’t know what’s up with that. Really I’m a shy person… but dress me up and give me a sword and apparently I turn into a crazy person.

Oh, and speaking of Lord of the Rings… Gandalf?

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Besides my sword, I got a sword frog so that I could actually carry the sword on my belt – though it’s still heavy – a small dagger, a simple silver ring that’s just a single band of hammered metal, a fake nose ring (thought it would be cool for my random pictures and it was super cheap), and a few bags of scrap leather from one of the leather shops that are not pictured.

We actually had to leave early because it was so hot out and it was killing us all – sunburn and heat exhaustion – but I still had a ton of fun. And on my way to pick up my sword before exiting the festival I discovered that one of my author friends who is also a stage actor in one of the stage shows there was there when I didn’t think he would be. So I picked up my sword, came back and watched the remainder of his show and stuck around for a little while to catch up with him. That made me happy. I love talking to people about writing.

Overall, it was an awesome day despite being too hot and having to leave early. I’m just glad that I still have four free tickets left because I’m definitely going to have to go again… after I save up a bit of money once more. I hate going down there with so little funds. But mostly, I feel like there’s so much that I missed. Too many shows going on at once and I few shops that I forgot to go back in. One of these years I’m just going to buy a season pass and go every weekend. And sadly, even that might not be enough for me. I would probably live down there if they let me.

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