Monday, May 14, 2018

Wayne's Legion Militia Encampment Event at Woodville

So just as I was winding down from Fort Frederick, it was not too long before I was on my way to another event, this one being the Wayne's Legion Militia Encampment Event at the Woodville Plantation in Bridgeville, PA. While my traditional folk music group, Wayward Companions have performed and done quite a few events here (just this past weekend we performed a candlelight concert with the Pittsburgh Historical Music Society Orchestra, which we are affiliated with), I recently have been added to their roster of tour guides, which is pretty cool. I'm also helping them out with things like period attire and some of their programs. This is a cool group of people and if you haven't visited the Neville House at Woodville and you'll be in the area this summer, make sure you do so. :)

For starters, I recently and finally completed a new outfit that I started sewing a couple years ago. It was finished just in time for the Wayne's Legion event and now I look forward to adding it to my options of 18th century attire. :)

Upon my arrival, I was able to capture some photos of the soldiers about to drill, along with the blacksmith and the encampment area prior to the public's arrival. The specific time and war that they are reenacting is the Whiskey Rebellion (1791-1794), when a militia was brought in to defend the Neville House (the Neville were among those taxing the whiskey, therefore making them not too well-liked by the average person at one time).

I also wanted to point this clock out. It is the original clock owned by one of the inhabitants of the Neville House, Christopher Cowen, who lived in the house during the early part of the 19th century.

In between tours, I ventured over to where a few sutlers were. Pictured below are Wild Willy's Powder Horns and Skrimshaw, Old Plank Forge, and The Wylde Celt.

I will also add that the fine gentlemen of  The Wylde Celt and Old Plank Forge also help with running the Whiskey Rebellion Festival, where Wayward Companions will be returning to this summer (we will be on the main stage and then at the Bradford House).

 All three of these men have some really cool wares. You can catch them at reenacting events, festivals (The Whiskey Rebellion being one), and show them some love online:
Old Plank Forge Website
The Wylde Celt on Facebook
Wild Willy's Powderhorns Website

These were also some gorgeous flowers growing on the site's grounds and I got to take some of them home. :)

There are also Dominique chickens on the property. They are quite a popular attraction, especially among the children that love feeding them raisins. Dominique chickens are considered to be America's oldest breed and would likely have been residents of several farms. They were particularly popular in the late 18th century.

An last but not least, this photo taken of me by Susan O'Toole, one of Woodville's coordinators. :)

If you would like to visit The Neville House at Woodville this summer (and you might just end up with me as your tour guide!), visit their website for more info. :)

Neville House at Woodville

Friday, May 11, 2018

Going to Fort Frederick 18th Century Market Fair (Big Pool, MD), Part 2

Hey there,

So now we are on to part 2 of my Fort Frederick post and in this one, we get to the really good stuff. Yep, the sutler and blanket traders I had the pleasure of doing business with. For some it was a reunion from the previous year and for others I was just coming to know them for the first time. Either way, they were awesome. :)

If you didn't catch my interview with Kristin of The Drunken Apprentice or Part 1 of the Fort Frederick blogs, here are the links so you can catch up:

A Chat with The Drunken Apprentice

Going to Fort Frederick 18th Century Market Fair (Big Pool, MD), Part 1

Like last year, I started the shopping expedition off right by visiting April at the Fashions Revisited tent. Here are examples of what you might find at her store:

And here is what I ended up taking out of there. A really beautiful fan (you can never have too many), new sewing needles and pins, hat pins, and a tea strainer. I love it all. She has the most adorable shopping bags too. And come on, who doesn't just love cute shopping bags?

April does have social media, a website, and an etsy shop. And thank God because I'm just a tad obsessed. By the way, you might see me sporting this fan at the concert with Pittsburgh Historical Music Society and my group Wayward Companions this Saturday. In the meantime, check out her links:
Fashions Revisited Facebook Page
Fashions Revisited Website (which also links to her etsy shop

Another one of my faves is Liberty Linens. In fact, I made some of my first pieces of 18th century clothing from their fabulous linen. When I first started with this whole living history/reenacting thing, I was ordering online from them quite a bit, so imagine my excitement when I saw that they were going to be at some of the market faires, Fort Frederick in particular. This year, I kept it simple with them, but I am still happy with their product nonetheless.
For the photos, I paired what I bought from Liberty Linens (the twill tape, linen thread, and silk ribbons) with my purchases from two other great 18th century retailers, 96 District Fabrics from Bishopville, SC and Burnley & Trowbridge Co. , a retailer from Williamsburg, Virgina. From 96 District Fabrics and Burnley & Trowbridge, I bought the beautiful fabrics that I am looking forward to making clothing articles out of at the next sewing circle/stitch 'n' bitch. I'm still deciding on what those clothing articles will be, but whatever they are, I look forward to sporting them when they are complete! The folks at 96 District Fabrics also seemed to appreciate my very 18th century appropriate leopard print sunglasses. :D

You can visit Liberty Linens, 96 District Fabrics, and Burnley and Trowbridge at the following links:
Liberty Linens Website
Burnley & Trowbridge Website
96 District Fabrics

Also, here is where to show them some love on social media:
Liberty Linens on Facebook
Burnley & Trowbridge on Facebook
96 District Fabrics on Facebook

Another sutler I love to visit is Amey's Adornments. Over the last couple years, I not only consider Andrea and Mark Amey awesome sutlers, but also cool friends to hang with at these events. She makes some beautiful jewelry and unfortunately, I didn't get a photo until the end of the event when their cases were more sparse, but I'm happy they did well. :)

In addition, they have beautiful dinnerware and I added to my own 18th century dinner set collection from their inventory. :)

Amey's Adornments is currently working on getting an etsy shop and I will post an update on this once it is set up. :)

Now as someone who makes her own personal care products, handmade soaps typically get my attention almost immediately. I am starting to make my own soap, but it is definitely a process, more so than pretty much any other personal care products I make. In addition to their beautiful soaps, absolutely loved visiting and talking with the very kind and lovely elderly couple of Grandma's Soap and Stuff. Hanging out with them kind of reminded me of hanging out with my own grandparents.

 the beautiful display of handmade soap at Grandma's Soap & Stuff

It was difficult to make a selection as their product is absolutely amazing, but I finally decided on a couple of things. One was Scottish Heather soap (heather is said to be placed in a bride's bouquet for good luck) and a goat's milk shampoo bar (I typically use either a dry shampoo or a shampoo's been years since I've used regular shampoo on my hair). In addition I bought some Moroccan Argan and Vitamin E Oil. I started using this on my face and at the ends of my hair, combined with Young Living's Copaiba Essential Oil (which is also great for smoothing out frayed ends...I'll be going into more on this in the health and beauty section of this blog). I absolutely love it and will also be adding it to some of the personal care products I make.
In addition to soap and personal care products, Grandma Soaps & Stuff also has some jewelry pieces, as the beautiful pendant beneath the shampoo bar was also handmade by her.

Definitely check out Grandma's Soap and Stuff at their website:
Grandma's Soap and Stuff Website

They also gift wrap, so if you are looking for a great gift idea, definitely consider their soap and other products. :)

Another place I like to stop at is the book binders, so Colonial Printer & Bookbindery it was. This year, I got a book on 18th century personal care recipes (which is another thing I will be going into in the healthy and beauty area of this blog) and of course, some laid paper, which I also don't think you can have too much of.

Check them out Colonial Printer & Bookbindery at:
Colonial Printer & Bookbindery website

Now this next purchase is probably among my favorites. There was one such sutler that made replicas of old maps and the prices were quite reasonable. Since I have a fondness for old maps, I ventured into his tent. Now the map pictured below really caught my attention and it appears to be not only a map, but also a cartoon making very inappropriate jokes about tax collectors (because tax collectors were not what you would call popular back in the day). Once I buy a frame, I will proudly be hanging this in my main living space, not too far from Basil Rathbone and Lon Cheney.

Now, I feel horrible with this one because I totally spaced on picking up this sutler's business card so that I may appropriately list his website and such. I did try looking through the list of sutlers in this year's Fort Frederick program, but did not see any businesses calling themselves anything along the lines of 'so and so's maps.' So if anyone reading this was at Fort Frederick and knows the name of the business, please let me know and I will update it accordingly. :)

Sunday at Fort Frederick was basically walk around and pick up some last minute small items until I had to leave to go to the film screening. Last year, I visited Turkey Foot Trading Co. & Forge and found some Rose Wax Cologne that I absolutely loved. So this year, I went hoping to stock up on a little more, but alas they either did not have any or were out of stock by the time I got there. They did, however, have Jasmine, which I ended up purchasing. I do like the scent of Jasmine and the cologne is quite nice. I do still have a good bit of Rose left, and (great news!) they have it on their website catalog, so it's all good. :)

Turkey Foot Trading Co. & Forge Website

Welp, that about sums up my Fort Frederick adventures. There will be more of these to come as my 18th century band performs at various historical venues and events. I will also be camping 18th century style at a variety of places such as Fort Niagra and others. I am also finding myself becoming somewhat of a 'beauty blogger', so more of my favorite products and such will be included at the Healthy Living section of the blog. :)

Up next is the Wayne's Legion Militia Encampment at Woodville. I got to be a tour guide in this one. :)

a photo I took of the fort (Fort Frederick) just before I left

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Going to Fort Frederick 18th Century Market Fair (Big Pool, MD), Part 1

Fort Frederick 18th Century Market Fair is an event that takes place in Big Pool, MD every year during the last weekend of April. A couple weeks ago, I went for the second time with some friends in the living history/reenactment realm. Fort Frederick and many similar events include sutlers, blanket traders, reenacting (usually battles that are specific to such sites), and camping. All around, it's a great time and gives one an excuse to dress as though they are straight off the set of Turn or Outlander. Seriously, we spend a lot of time sewing and making this stuff!

So typically, as it works with the group I attend these events with, half of our camping group heads out on Thursday to get the campsite set up, though this year, my friend Sarah and I decided to hotel it. A large part of my reason for deciding to hotel it was the fact that I had a film screening to attend upon my return from Maryland. Since I prefer to be showered for such an event, hotel triumphed over camping in a tent.
Anyway, we arrived at Fort Frederick State Park late Friday night and dropped her dad off at camp where we met up with the rest of our group and hung out for a while. I took a couple cool pictures of the moon (which was gorgeous as it shone through the clouds) and the campfire we had going on.

After the campfire hangout, Sarah and I went to the hotel. Yeah, we really roughed it up this year at the Holiday Inn.

The hotel fitness center

By the way, I do love a hotel with a proper gym. I always pack my resistance bands when I travel because sometimes hotel gyms include a treadmill and a treadmill. And when I do camp at these events (which is most of the time), I often get up early and either jog or walk a trail. If I combine that with resistance bands, I can get in a pretty decent workout. But this particular hotel gym made me very happy. I even met two guys from Jersey in there while working out. They were lifting and I was on the elliptical. They were very nice and together we bemoaned the elevator music they had playing over the gym intercom. Sure we could have put on our headphones and drowned out the incessant noise, but then we wouldn't have been able to talk and moan about the music. Personally, I'd rather talk and moan about the music.

Fort Frederick early in the morning

On Saturday, after getting up super early and putting on our 18th century attire, we returned to Fort Frederick State Park and the campsite. I took some photo and video of the beautiful misty morning that welcomed us there. Dennis also made us some pretty decent coffee over the campfire (if you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you can see the coffee video I captured).

Video of Fort Frederick early in the morning.

Not only did Dennis make us coffee in the morning, but he also cooked us lunch and dinner over the campfire. I will say that the food was phenomenal and Dennis really knows how to cook. We should have him cook for us more often. :D

Lunch brought to us by Dennis

I also took more photos throughout the day and weekend as I walked around, shopped, and hung out with some of the blanket traders and sutlers:

The fort and some of the sutler tents after the event closed on Saturday

Hanging out around another campfire at dusk

Packing to leave on Sunday morning :( I dressed in civilians clothes for the last day due to having an event to attend after getting back from Maryland

Fort Frederick campsite on Sunday morning

My next post will cover the really cool vendors I visited and purchased from, some of whom I knew from previous years and others that were new to me. If you check out the post previous to this one or event my Facebook page and YouTube channel, you can see my chat with the lovely Drunken Apprentice. :)

So I will be bringing more in the next day or two. :)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Chat with The Drunken Apprentice (at Fort Frederick in Big Pool, MD)

The Fort Frederick Market Faire that takes place every year in late April in Big Pool, MD brings many cool and talented sutlers and blanket traders with some gorgeous 18th century wares, many of which is handcrafted. One such blanket trader is the lovely woman behind The Drunken Apprentice Glassware. So check out my interview with her where she discusses her glass blowing technique and the history behind the specific designs. Enjoy! :)

Here is my own firing/Freemason glass that I use for my morning apple cider vinegar, Frankincense oil, and Ningxia Red shot. I will add that I very much enjoy rapping it on the table in true 18th century fashion once I've taken the shot. :D

Saturday, May 5, 2018

MUSIC REVIEW: Tempest's New Album, Thirty Little Turns

April was a really good and busy month for me, between my own music gigs, a premiere film screening at Steel City Comic Con, and the Fort Frederick Market Faire (recap of that coming in the next day or two). In the last week of the month, I also had the pleasure of seeing the Celtic Rock band, Tempest on the Pittsburgh area stop of their Spring 2018 tour. I have been going to see them since 2013 and have also gotten to know them over those years too. In their 2018 show, they perform songs from their newest effort, "Thirty Little Turns." After the show, I picked it up and now I am doing a short review of it for you.

Enjoy and please check out Tempest at their website:


Me chilling after the show with Tempest frontman and founding member, Leif Sorbye