Thursday, November 18, 2010

Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder treason and plot, such a day should never be forgot.

This is way too late of couse for Guy Fawkes day but better late then never. Its been a fun month so far for September 2010. Lots of preparation for Fabric Fiber and Fighting, have lots of kids to keep after for the weekend, which I look forward to having fun puppet time.

Which turned out to be a complete success by the way. I forgot to post this entry back when our shire just finished the event. So here is what happened with the event. Mistress Euriol a good friend of mine got her writ for a Laurel, which I am happy she accepted the award at the Kingdom 12th Night.

I spent a lovely day with all sort of new children from surrounding the shire and got to know and played games with many of them. Most of my time was dedicated to the wee Princesses Royal who kept me on my toes most of the day ages about 2 and 4. They were a joy to work with and we had a tea party and story time behind the dias of thrones a very unique view for certain. I also helped them make hankerchief puppets with yarn, hankerchief, and popsicle sticks.

I did miss alot of classes at FFF that I wanted to take but didn't mind. Being well destracted by the childrens activites the day flew by. A day full of sting was nice and there was lovely vendor offering fiber arts wear, for which I found a Chancellor Minor belt favor I can wear when I am on duty. Though I would be very happy to make some such favors out of embroidery, its a project I had on my mind of a while. Though that is something I want to bring up at my embroidery guild to see if that is a possibility.

I later emailed most of the teachers of the classes I wanted to take. To my suprise I was able to procure a copy of handouts and a few even sail mailed me some. For which I was very happy, I certainly will get some good use from the information. In the future I can only hope I have such a childrens turn out as I did that day.

Still planning stages on the dresses that I wrote about last post and have more to do than is possibly sane.

Sewing Crazy,


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spooktacular October

Well lots to update since the last time I posted. Life was sort of busy and haven't have time to write it all down but that happens. So here it is as my memory serves it up and not in any particular order.

I got my crewel fabric in the mail, its gorgeous though I have been lazy in doing anything with it right now. Though the Elixabethan plans are still in the works, planning this for a winters day inside with snow falling, to give me a summery wink with the pretty floral on the fabric will give me lots of inspiration. Garb making is a great way of making the winter fly by. Still have the ruffs to do to match the gown, it will all work out in a jeweled embroidred leafy glory, eek I am excited. I have not done any hand embroidery for sometime even though I attend the embroidery guild locally every month, just have been working on small cross stich for a friend to give to deploying soldiers in a few months, its good to do my part even if its a little something.

The dollhouse is sitting on my shelf and not been touched, other than my accumilation of small aluminum pie trays to make into plates, bowls and silverware by hand. I am working on a set of aluminum armour too for the Tudor Dollcastle/house, thought it will take some time I should look neat when done. I have to get working on that soon, especially with Ice Dragon having a tendency to sneak up on me fast. My A&S paper is all edited and sent off to the editor for the Arts and Sciences edition of the Athelmearc Astel. It looks good and am happy that it flows better for readability sake, I made more dolls since the pictures in that paper but it still does the project justice.

The weather being spectacular, I want to get to soak it all in before the fall and winter sullen dreary takes over. Its happens sooner or later but at least Halloween is a concellation to the colder shorter days and colder weather looming on the horizon. Still haven't decorated for Halloween yet which is unlike me, though I will get the things out of the bottom of the closet soon, probably this week. Its so nice ourside my geraniums are still blooming and my ferns are happier than I've seen them in along time, too bad the indian summer has to end.

Justin looked smashing in his outfit for the PA Renaissance faire when we went on the 18th of September, and he said it was warm but comfortable, that is the way garb tends to be. He is thinking of wearing the whole set up for Halloween, which is good he won't be too cold. Though I hope he doesn't make a last minute decision for something else and expect a costuming miracle from me, that is a rarity and won't probably happen. I am not sure if I want to go in tudor this year or not, proably so it seems to work out nice when I do dress up. I will take my black and blue dragon shoulder puppet out for a spin when I dress up this year, afterall its Halloween. I am sure Black Sapphire will like it as long as its not raining, he is a woodbaby fantasy shoudler puppet that you can get at most renaissance faires, not really seen in the SCA but fun none the less. I plan on taking him to one of my shire meetings for fun.

The house repairs are working out, the bathroom is finished and is like stepping into a hotel shower, all clean and shiny. Its nice to have a little luxury at home, especially when dealing with an old tub that should have been replaced years ago, let alone the crack in the bottom that leaked. The deck and back steps is all finallly sealed for winter and looks good in the shade of redwood stain I picked out, I have some left for finshing touches next early fall. The windows have gotten a good test with the rain we had last week, no leaks so I know why the wall was messed up under the window. The repair man put in a new wall socket and firmed up the drywall it works wonderfully, no more sinking electrical sockets. Have an appointment for cleaning the furnace already. Still on the list are painting wall scuffs, get glass for the window pane and put in, and repair the dryer belt, and get a new wheel for the lawn mower so the honey do list is shorter and more manageable. I got one more or two mowings before the cold I think we will see, the lawn mower is the next thing on the list.

The sewing time as you can tell is being cut into by the house repairs, but that happens this time of year. That is all for now lots to do and very little time.

Wish there was more than one of me,


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Elusive Fabric

Well I thought I had a grand discovery yesterday, but turned out to be a missed opportunity. I have been looking for crewel embroidered floral pattered fabric and my quest have been going on silently for 4 years. Crewel is a type of woolen patterned embroidery circa 1500-1600, seen even in early america. Now adays it is a home decor fabric but is still mainly done by hand and the price reflects the work.

I have been looking for this type of fabric to make an Elizabethan gown. It was inspired by a gown on the movie Elizabeth, the picture of this gown is on the left. I know the gowns are not crazy accurate but this was just a period inspired pet project of mine. I guess to say putting the creative in the Society of Creative Anachronism is a way to have fun with a period inspired twist. This is in no way going to be an A&S project, the judges would kill me if they knew the inspiration came from a movie. The gown was going to be made to have elizabethan corsetry and all the normal features of a gown from this period, but was to include a set of ornately embroidered sleeves and forepart to match the gown color. The fabrics like theses are expesive $20-$50 a yard, so I have been looking at many fabric stores, websites, and local locations to find a great price. I am willing to have $10 -$18 a yard, and I need 3 yards, so I am trying to keep this in my budget.
I am making the main part of the gown in a french blue taffeta and wanted the embroidery for the inset skirt and sleeves. The colors I chose wouldn't make it look so sullen, though this gown is lovely with the blackwork all over with black and might be copied by me later. For now I wanted something more summery in color. The various flowers on the fabric I wanted in soft, blue pink and yellow with green flowing stems and leaves, so yes sping summery look. I do have the taffeta already to go but don't want to start anything till I get the crewel fabric for the sleeves and inset skirt. Well back to my relentless search for the finery I know exhists, it is possible my goal is just alofty dream.

Dreaming in fabric,


Thirty days hath September

Well here we are again a beginning of a new month, and labor day weekend too. I did get somethings completed off my rambling list in August. I made a new chemise with the body being of linen and the sleeves of silk organza and sheer embrodered leaves on the collar and cuffs, looks spectacular. It is off white, so it will look good with my russet velvet, gold brocades and my other warm tones. I found the lovely trim for 1.50 and there is 20 yards of it! I may have used one yard in making the chemise. I have plans for my first set of a ruff collar and cuffs for the rest, it will looking smashing when done. Yes another to add to the list of fun.

I am preparing the fabric for justin's Renaissance shirt and getting that finished this week along with the jerkin. That is my primary craft project this week, cause I want it all fitted and set to go for the 18th for the Pa Renaissance Faire.

I am doing some home repairs too. With it not going to be warm weather forever, I am getting things brushed up for the chilliness of fall around the house. I repaired the window trim, painted it, stained the far end of the deck, and got the glass out of the window frame and ready to have new put in and installed in the window. On the list of fun, I got to caulk inside and out of the windows, caulk the bath tub, paint the patches on the walls and scuffs too. The funace needs cleaned and new dry wall put in below a leaking window, so though that is for the landlady to fix.

Well off to the sewing wild blue yonder, I want to get a head start with the time I have.

Still swarmingly busy,


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Puppets On Parade

Well here they are, the cable shoulder puppets I described in my last post. They are made from sculpy polemer clay for the the head, and legs, rabbit fur for the body, feather for wings and accents, they have marble for eyes and stiffened felt in areas, and jewelery accents for collars and bracelet.

They work by a cable system attached inside the body the make the head move up, down, and side to side. The movement is very life like and really neat to observe. I saw these awesome creatures on a site and couldn't afford the price, though I took some consideration to have one made was in my mind.

So I made my own version,these are in no way to copy the original ones. My puppets are sculpted differently and from different clay material, they use something like an acrylic wood material for the originals I saw on a website:

The puppets on this site are called woodbabies, and are found at several renaissance faires, festivals, and conventions all over the US. I do have plans to have a puppet special made by the same company, its going to be a unicorn puppet made in my heraldry colors, as soon as it all passes through. So for right now my homemade version's will suffice the children of the local shire. Also I plan on using them in my Puppet research paper as a form of modern version and show the progression from Puppet and Marionette origin.

I do have some plans for the dollhouse, the puppets were a light side project. Setting things aside when I have time with projects lets me get a new approach to them when I return back to them, this prevents monotomy and boredom with topics. So I right now I have plans to put the stained glass in soon and finish the details on the center tower like painting, that is most of the construction portion. After that there is lots of embroidery projects to decorate the inside of the castle. So soon will be time to storm the castle, again.

A Busy Bee,


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Having a Puppet Good Time

Well here it is August and Pennsic is now over, time to get back to the grind of mundane work and Fall SCA events. More the second for me since I didn't attend Pennsic. Not sure what is planned for this fall yet, but I am looking forward to cooler weather and wearing my Tudor velvets a few times to keep toasty.

Spring, Fall and Winter are good weather for wearing Tudor fashions, they are warm lined and layered. Though in the summer these layers are not able to be taken off, especially for modesty sake. Really silks in a lighter variety are the only way to get relief from the heat in the Tudor style. I do have some Italian garb for just this reason, there are times it is just too hot to put on a corset and mutliple layers of a Tudor gown. Its not persona correct, but I would rather be incorrect for my persona and not have heat stroke besides keeping your sanity in a Tudor Gown in weather over 70 degrees can be challenging.

Currently whilst all have been at Pennsic, I have been working on some fantasty cable controlled puppets. You would see these at the local Renaissance Faire's or most Faires around the country for that matter. I ordered one unicorn shoulder puppet online for a good price, it is to be custom made in my heraldic colors. The price was good compared to the going rate I have seen online and via word of mouth.

These are modern puppets that are controlled by a cable going inside the body and attaching to the head allowing it to move up and down and side to side. The movements are very life like and I thought it would be an attraction for the kids in the SCA. I am making other puppets to be used for childrens activites but they are comming out of my personal budget, so I they won't be shire property. I did find another puppet on Craigslist at a better price and am buy this one too. It looks more like a bat or cat like creature but still will be useful for kids activities. I have some collars made from an old metallic belt that I took apart and refashioned for the puppets to wear, if all goes well I should have 4 puppets to work with, a unicorn, a gryphon with wings, a dragon with wings, and a cat/bat with wings. So there is a managerie of fun and excitement, I can't wait to see how the two I am making will turn out.

Though if all goes well, they will be a welcome fascination to the shire, be seen at local gatherings and would be fun to make in heraldic colors and beasts for shire members as a keepsake. It is alot of work but they are one of a kind and specific to the person's heraldic beast and colors. The whole concept was too good to overlook just cause they are fantasy based. They will be mentioned as a modern form of puppetry in the end of my puppet research paper, might bring one as an example and one period made form. I like comparative studies, though it won't be a huge focus in my research, since the item has to be made in the period correct styling, materials, and techniques.

I might be deemed Mairin The Puppet/Marionette Mistress if I am not too careful, which would be fine with me. The toymaker nickname has already been taken by Claus, personally I am not the type to intrude on a nick name. With all that I have been doing within the past few months: the tudor barbie like dolls, the castle doll house, wooden puppets, and now heraldic shoulder puppets. Things are getting theatrical all the way round, though I think most shire folk don't mind.

I will be finishing the doll house in September after the puppet managerie, the puppets should be done by the end of August. I will work on garb sometime in September for Justin to wear to Ren Faire. Then I have a lacy chemise to make and silk fabric to make into veils which will be beaded and embroidered. From the same silk fabric will be made into partlets and lighter accessories to garb. I tend to make my garb for the next season in the opposite time of year, its worked well so far. Never hurts to be prepared. I do have to reorganize my closet and get things taken out to the shed, its been needing freshening up for a while.

Well lots to do on the list but it never stops, there is always research, cleaning, mending and crafting to be had, that is the life of a SCA.

Take Care,


Friday, August 6, 2010


Well here we are, just over the cupbst of the summer, all downhill from here. Lots been going on but not much going on crafting lately. Went to a Mayhem fest and had fun letting my metal side out.

Worked on the dollhouse lackadasically, just waiting for my muse to inspire more craziness later. Doesn't take too long for things to come around again. I am looking into woodbaby cable puppets. Seeing if I can use them as a modern interpritation for modern puppetry in my A&S research paper as a way to show how things progressed over the years. I did get lots of dollhouse books for research that contains lots of lovely documentable inforamtion and am looking for the same on puppets. The puppet community seems to like to keep the puppet construction and methods secret, just like the magician community. I will have to work hard to get good sources to for my A&S research. Though I like a good challenge.

So right now planning on going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in September. This will be my first time attending. I expect there to be more of a fantasty slant compared to the SCA events I have been to in the past. Though I am able to get my finace into a garb like outfit with a robin hood hat, so there is a victory for me. He likes costumes but only if they are called for like halloween and such, practical to the end. I will wear something Tudor and WOW the socks off of everyone as usual. Proably will be one of my more simple outfit to be comfortable, and yes I will wear a proper hat. Just am not sure if I want to wear one of my wool dresses or go for something lighter like my cotton irish dress. I will check the weather first and that will judge what I will wear, in this case I must be practical too.

Till more detail arise and till i get more sewing crazy, this is all for now.



Thursday, July 15, 2010

O'Cadhla Castle Pictures

Well here is O'Cadhla castle so far, in its various stages of construction. This is a dollhouse that I am making for and Arts and Sciences project, showing that there are roots for this eventual toy in the 16th century.
Which there is documentation I found in an inventory of Duke Albrecht the V of Bavaria showing he had a collection cabinet of miniatures, inventory was taken by his chancellor Johann Baptiste Fickler in 1598. In this period from the affluent noble class, had collections of what was interesting to them and eventually founded alot of museums all throughout Europe. Duke Albrecht actually has most of his art collection in the National Museum of Antiquities in Munich, Germany. The dollhouse replica I am making is meant to look like a castle, though in period these were kept in regular cabinets of the time period. The height of the rooms are meant to accommodate 11 dolls or smaller and I hope it have it finished by Ice Dragon next year 2011. It will contain furniture and decor all in a medieval Tudor theme and meant to look like a 16th century castle. There is lots to be done yet hope you enjoy the progress so far. Thanks for looking.


Lady Mairin O'Cadhla

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Its July already?

Can't believe this year is half over already. I don't feel that I accomplished much my SCA crafts, though I know logically that I have done quite a bit of things this year.

Makes me ponder with how slowly it look things to get done the "old fashioned way", which I am learning first hand by making the crafts I do. It makes me feel like time must have run slower back then. There definitley is a sense of urgency and immediate appeasment in todays world, that would have been very foreign to the Tudor mind. Things got done when they got done and no sooner, which is my theory on all things when it comes to deadlines. Luckily I dont have anything much improtant to worry about deadlines, lol. I know first hand rushing makes lots of waste and mistakes so there must have been more patience all around back then. Wish that everything was not so much rough and tumble in this dog eat dog world. I do take things on the slower side and rarely rush, but I do definitely stop to smell the roses when I can.

Speaking on things that are taking time, I am still working on the Tudor castle dollhouse that I named O'Cadhla Castle. I did get it to the point of being displayable so it is partially done. I have some brick painting on some walls, attaching the side walls to the center tower, work on fine tuning the furniture in decorating it, making all the seat cushions and backs, curtains, pillows, blankets, tapestries, and other fabric decor that needs all embroidered. So lots left to do, though I know it will got buy quickly when it is all said and done. I am taking pictures all the way so there will be an album of just those that will show it from start to finish.

Right now I was able to find some books that contained alot of information on the history of dollhouses to make my paper better when I do get around to typing it up. Well that is about it for now hope everyone has a happy 4th of July and summer.

Your in Service,

Lady Mairin

Friday, June 25, 2010

So Far So Good

Well I got to a reasonable point on my Tudor castle done. Its not finished by any stretch of the imagination. Probably not til the end of summer at least, though it is keeping me out of trouble, lol.

I am pleased with all the progress that was made this week. It was just a pile of plywood with lines drawn on it last friday. Now it is nearly all complete and painted. I have yet to finish making cushions, bedding, curtains and the other plush features of the castle. Plus finishing touches on the decor and furniture. I have it completed enough for display. Which is how I wanted it to look in progress or under construction, whatever fits your fancy.

I will write a small amount on what I am building and why. Let alone the details yet to be finished on the castle, its purpose and its creation in the 16th and history there of in turning into a child's toy.

Everything is packed and in the car, thank goodness. I am not sure if I am going to change on site or not at this point. Though I am as ready as I am going to be. There is now way that I am going to get my bookmark embroidered in time for this event. Really sad about that though kids things came up quickly for a general plan on what they would be doing and such. So I had to look to my office first and then to my A&S display that was already in progress.

Wish I had time at work to craft, though it would be frowned upon. Alas living the dream can be hard when the mundane interferes with the imagination. I am sure that is a very Scadian feeling that crosses the minds of others like me from time to time.

Excited for my class tomorrow, hope it goes well. Got lots of information and visuals for the class. I know the A&S display will got well, just got to get the small article done. I am taking my Tudor Barbies for the class and for the A&S display they are always a hit. I know the kids will have fun there is lots of things I have in mind that will be good for them to do.

Well that is all for now. Hope to have more pictures and such to post soon.


Lady Mairin O'Cadhla

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mairins Crafts

Here is some photos of the various projects I have worked on in the recent past.
There will be posting more photos of projects in the future.

Lady Mairin O' Cadhla

Monday, June 14, 2010

So Many Projects So Little Time

I have had so much on my mind as far as new things to do it has been dizzying. Unfortunatley no time or the lack of materials to do them. So sitting and spinning and getting no where has been a constant lately. The list of to do things are as follows:

Work on rolled edging for silk veils and pearl edges, blackwork embroider my ladies pockets, finish all the embroidery for O'Cadhla castle's interior furnishings. Finish and stain all the interior furnishings and get all the windows and interior walls drawn on the plywood and sent to get cut. Put together the caslte and texurize the walls for the stucco look inside and brick look outside. Work in Embroidered bookmarks for largesse. Make a crewel work Elizabethan Ladies Jacket, Coif and Kirtle. Knitt socks from spun wool, dye and ply wool for crewel embroidering.

That is all I can think of off the top of my head for now but I know the list can be more than a mile long. Now that my work schedule has changed and there is less time to work on SCAdian things I am feeling a bit of a pinch. Though I just need to strictly dedicate some time to getting some things done and I won't feel the pressure as bad. There really isn't any time limit for most of those projects, I just want to get them done and enjoy them sooner rather than later. Guess I have no choice but to be patient.

Patience is a virtue,


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tudor Castle Doll House

Well I have been having a fun time the past week, lots of planning and brainstorming.

I have yet to write up the handout for my class I will be teaching at Aethelmearc Academy, a SCA event that is coming up in two weeks. Nothing like procrastination, lol. Took forever to decide what I wanted to teach but I made up my mind to give a Tudor Roundtable. Which will allow those interested in Tudor times or making a persona to voice challenges, problems, and allow group discussion, questions and resolution on some persona building issues. I know it took me forever to get into the swing of things when I first started up, and something like this would have helped alot. So I want to give a brief time period discussion of what happened in the whole of the Tudor Dynasty and then give my own challenges and open the floor to the class for questions and queries. I am looking forward to this, hope I get a good group of interested quizical tudor nuts, lol.

On another Tudor realted topic I had an ephiphony for using the plant stand my sister gave to me, the original plan was to use it for a book shelf. Upon inspection it is way to flimsy for the weight of books. Later on I had a light bulb go on in my head, now I plan on turning it into a Tudor Castle for my Tudor Dynasty dolls. These are the same dolls I made for Ice Dragon all outfited in Tudor clothing. I got the plywood the other day and drew my pattern for cutting out the exterior walls, and floors done. A friend of mine is going to cut it out on a table saw for me, saves me from doing the whole mess myself. I will be challenging since the stand is not square so neither is my measurements, should be interesting to attempt. I still have to measure and draw out the pattern for the interior walls and windows yet. So there is some left to be done, though I got a majority of it taken care of yesterday. So details, details, details, lol.

Of course I will have to put it together, paint and furnish yet, though I won't take me long to do that with some evenings to myself, it will be a fast process. I plan on taking photos and posting them when it gets far enough along. I am really excited about this project.

On the reaserch side, I knew that most dollhouses weren't really documented till much later in the 17th century. So this started out as a project just for fun. Though with some determination and luck I found a 16th cenutry source. The Duke of Bavaria, Ablrecht the V, had several interesting collections of fine art, books, and historical artifacts. In his area of curiosities there included one "baby house" that was a miniature version of his exhisting home found, which was held in a cabinet. Most of the previously mentioned collections ended up in various museums in Germany. Though the baby house and the other contents of the cabinet do not exhist due to a fire at the the noble residence in 1647. Though it's grandeur is forever detailed in an inventory of the Dukes Estates by Johann Bapist Fickler in 1598. Thank goodness someone wrote it down and within the period, I am trilled. So that is at the end of the Elizabethan age but I still counts in the SCA timeline. Of course, this is all going towards a forthcoming research paper and most definitely a Ice Dragon entry for 2011. I think this will upset the common knowledge community in the A&S area, I look forward to the reaction. hee hee.

As you can all tell I am working on more doll things. So I have not made any new garb, though there is no real need for me to make too much more. With my Garb trunks all full I have some exception pieces that I want for a later Elizbethan and French styles, but that is the extent for now. I am very happy with my garb wardrobe right now, how it fits and looks. As with alot of my arts and crafts I go in seasons so I won't come back around to garb till sometime later on maybe nor for six months. Maybe I will have more silk from my source by them, hmm?

I am however working on more embroidery, so that has come back around. Now that I am in the Embroidery guild that helps me out a lot with motivation and projects. I hope to do some black work eventually but there isn't any pressure to get something done now. I made a bookmark for a feast basket and I will have to make another one for the next event so there is lots I still have to do yet. Procrastination as I mentioned before, lol. This won't take me long to do though.

Well that is all the Tudor related things I have been making lately or that are in the works. I will hopefully be back sooner than later to post pictures and comments on the above mentioned projects.

Have a blessed day,


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tudor Gowns

Well I am posting some picture I took of myself in Tudor Garb. These were taken with the aid of a long mirror in my bathroom and a good digital camera. Please excuse the camera in hand for the pictures, don't have too many people to take photos.

These gowns were designed to be around 1530 or so just shy of mid Tudor by a generation. I made them with the option to wear a gabled hood ( squared hat) or a French hood (more rounded hat). There is a hybrid of the gabled and french hood in the late 1520's and 1530's but I have not had the chance to make one of these yet. I do look forward to making a few in the future. These gowns were made this past summer over a period of three months, I made gowns for a long time strait. I was not going to events at the time in the summer of 2009, it made the Pennsic blues pass fast with my garb workshop at home. I later made the hats and girdle belts with the gowns in mind for the accessories.

Under these outergowns you would wear a chemise a nightgown garment that acts like underwear and absorbs sweat. Then a corset or set of bodies in a garment called a kirtle that features an attached skirt. A bumroll that is a pad worn at the waist to lift the shirts and make them more comfortable. The kirtle skirt would have a piece of sewn in fabric on the front called the forepart, a fancier piece of fabric that shows from under the split front skirt of the over gown. You could wear a spanish farthingale if you wanted a smoother look or conical shape. Or just the kirtle with shoes and stocking underneath, either looks was acceptable in the 1530's.

Generally the English country and lower classes wore the gown without a farthingale and the upper coutriers did wear the farthingale. Though if you were loyal to a political faction that wore one or the other you would wear what was acceptable to your household and station at that time. Fashion did change back then but much slower pace, communication was slow and so was news and information with that changes came much slower than they do today.

Hope you enjoy the photos feel free to ask questions or comment.



Well this would be my first official blog, new journies are always interesting and I believe this will be just that. My name is Maureen Benfer and I am a history enthusiast. I have been interested in history, languages, arts, and sciences since childhood. As you will find out, I am a very creative person and find different ways to express it through my hobby.

I actively participate in the Society of Creative Anachronism(SCA) since 2005. It is a non profit organization that recreates the arts, crafts, sciences and other means of living in pre-17th century Europe. I prefer to research and recreate the Tudor era in England which falls from 1497 to 1603, basically the time period from King Henry VII to Elizabeth I. I like the 1530's in this span of history particularly. In the SCA I am referred to as Mairin O' Cadhla, the name I chose is attributed and dedicated to my real Irish roots.

I am making a thorough diary of my garb and other crafts within my hobby for educational and organizational benefits. It was best to collect them all in one location for easier access, and so here we are. From time to time you will see old and new items added and journaled here, I hope you enjoy reading and viewing my little creative journey into history.


Maureen or Mairin
(whichever you know me by)



Tudor Q and A

What is a Tudorosity?

A mashed combination of the words Tudor and Curiosity to create the word Tudorosity. Tudorosities is the plural form and the deffinition is as follows.

Tudorosity- an desire to learn or know anything about the Tudor dynasty assocated with years 1405 through 1603.

Most people ask my why I make the Tudor garb ?

I find the clothing of this era not only beautiful but also challenging to sew. There is much more care and purpose put into making garments and wearing garments in the Tudor Era. I love the look of Tudor so much I wanted to explore the way clothes were made back then and the subtle changes in fashion and styles of time.

How did you get started in this interesting hobby?

I started with art first, I love to draw, paint, and sculpt all the traditional fine arts. So being able to draw helps me visualize the looks I want to create in my garb. History has always been a huge interest of mine and I've had a knack for sewing since I was 6 years old. It all started with doll clothes and I learned cross stitch embroidery from my grandmother when I was little. I am self taught sewer, crochet, knitting, embroidery and tatting. My methods are learned from books mainly and there is still so much more to learn.

What is my favorite outfit and why?

It would be like picking a favorite out of one of my future children, its impossible. I love all my gown creations and really like the distinct differences in all the styles clothing I make for the Tudor Era.

Do you make the whole outfit including hat, shoes, and undergarments?

I do have a goal of making a complete Tudor from the skin out. As of right now I make 80% of my gowns and accessories. The shoes, corset, stockings, and petticoats are bought online and the petticoats are a close reproduction but not made by me. Though someday I plan on making a reed corset and petticoat to wear under my gowns, as well as other accessories.

How long does it take to make a gown?

It all depends on the type of gown I plan on making and the time period and class of the design. Generally if I work on it 8 hours a day on a sewing machine it will take 3 days to get the basics and another 5 days to do finish hand-sewing details and beading. So a week to a week and a half if working on it steady for that amount of time. I work a full-time job so it does take longer than a week to complete. I put over 40-100 hours per outfit depending on its complexity, its like its own full time job of sorts.

Do you make renaissance clothing for sale or custom orders?

No, due to new employment and changes in my lifestyle. Unfortunately, I have no time to support sewing for others. Though I recommend sewing lessons for those adventurous few. There are many fine folks who make and sell historical clothing. I suggest guidance with sew from many fine historical enthusiastic costumers out on the internet.

How long have you been making these elaborate costumes?

I have been in the Society of Creative Anachronism coming up on my 10th year. Active since 2004 working at demonstrations and volunteering when I could between working and other life's distractions. I really concentrated on Tudor sewing in 2007 and worked with patterns to learn proper fabrics, techniques, fit, and silhouette. I really enjoy the eras transition from a medieval form fitting layered cotterdie to the boned Tudor kirtle and then to structured Elizabethan clothing.

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Lady Willoughby

Lady Willoughby

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Peach Elizabethan Noble

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Mauve Waistcoat Elizabethan Gown

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

O'Cadhla Heraldry

O'Cadhla Heraldry

Queen Mary I of England

Queen Mary I of England