Master Arks purchases @ the Brooks Medieval Faire

Purchases from Master Ark

Purchases from Master Ark

August 8 I went to the Brooks Medieval Faire (in Brooks, Alberta). It’s not a SCA event, though there were a few people and displays by folks from the SCA, both from the local area, as well as people who travelled from other Baronies and Shires.

I started checking out the Living Backwards area, as well as three other encampment areas on the north side of the grounds. There were a few demonstrations going on, but either I didn’t see much in the way of signage – or there wasn’t any – so I think I might have missed a bit. From there we went to the Fighting Eric and Kids Eric, watched some jousting, and then headed to the food court area.

Brooks Medieval Faire 2015

There was a huge selection of food trucks and stands at the Faire this year – which was awesome – so much to choose from. The person I went with chose a Salted Caramel Gelato from Cravings Artisan Gelato, while I had  a shaved ice from Cool Beans.

After food, we went to the artisan’s hall to look at drawings, paintings, and pottery (as well as a small stand of beaded jewellery). Most of the art work was modern in theme/design, though the pencil drawings were largely of “medieval” themes; dragons, knights, etc.

From there, we headed into a shady spot, and my companion sat down with a good book in the grass while I went into the Artisan’s Marketplace. There were a few interesting shops (including a number of merchants that I recognize from other events) and I ended up picking up some lovely things from Master Ark.

Miniature version of the Gotland quartz sphere

Miniature version of the Gotland quartz sphere

The first thing that caught my eye is this miniature replica of one of the crystal spheres from Gotland. I made my own DIY crafted version a while back, but this is really lovely. I would like a larger version… but this was too pretty to leave behind! I might add it to my Trichinopoly Finnish necklace, or save it for a beaded necklace when I get a few more period-appropriate beads.

This is sterling silver with a quartz crystal sphere. Similar spheres apparently have also been found in Saxon graves, and other areas as well. The seller mentioned that flat discs (lenses) have also been found (they had a pair of earrings in that style available too) and I’ve also seen long ‘capsule’ like ovals as well online.

Roman fibulae

Roman fibulae

So many of the ladies have opted to go Roman for the super-warm weather events, and while my Norse Viking Age costumes are quite comfortable (at least more so than the later-period things!) I have held off making my own not because of that – but because I needed the jewellery!

The next thing I purchased were the small, simple Roman bow fibulae above. (Bronze with a stainless steel pin.)

Brooks Medieval Faire 2015

The next item, were this pair of Roman bird (Raven in this case) fibulae.

Bird fibulae

Bird fibulae

These are so wonderfully cute.. (Bronze with a stainless steel pin.)

Bird fibulae

Bird fibulae

See the rest of my photos from the Faire on my Flickr account:

Purple toga-like dress

Every year for a number of years (with one or two times I had to miss it) I attended a convention with a Roman theme.  The Friday evening festivities were particularly themed, with a toga party for the meet-and-great.  Each year I aimed to make a new costume – usually hoping to be somewhat in theme, but departing from the normal “bedsheet” which became a staple for the less ambitious.

I thought I’d share some of the process for the purple toga-like dress I made one year.

Initial sketch for the purple toga-like dress

The initial design sketch.

I wanted something that appeared to be one-shouldered, but wasn’t.  Simply because I can’t often get away with not wearing a bra unless I’m also wearing an overbust corset – so this design would have the impression of being one-shouldered, but was actually two.  I wanted a drape effect over the one arm too, and I wanted to take advantage of being able to bead and trim things as well.  My original design also had a silver waist band – but I thought this would end up being  too much fabric, so I skipped it for the final version.  The dress itself I wanted to make to coordinate with a beautiful purple velvet mask I have.

Purple fabrics for the purple toga-dress

The purple fabrics – the lining is just a plain purple silk, while the overlay fabric is a purple netting with attached clear/silver rhinestones.  Both of these fabrics were from Reena Fabric & Saree Centre – as an aside – I went to school with Reena!

Dress (on a way-to-small dressform)

The finished dress (on a too-small dressform, as usual).  The white fabric is an embroidered chiffon (I think from Fabricland, though I forget), while the arm-scarf is purple chiffon (also from Reena’s).  The silver fabric is dupioni silk – I think it was from an Indian fabric store as well.

Close up of the embroidered fabric

Close up photo of the embroidered chiffon, the netting with it’s lining, and the arm drape.

hand beaded on silver silk

On the silver I hand-sewed on silver bugle beads, silver lined clear seed beads, and purple “oil spill” seed beads – they have the effect of changing colours.


The arm drape is trimmed in the same beads, with the corners of the drape falling with tiny beaded tassels.

So, that was one year, another year I made a sheer white sheath (actually a Greek garment called a Chiton) with gold metallic threads running through it, (which I wore a sheer red, and then a red Indian Sari brocade scarf  – called a Stola) another year I made a similar one in a purple sheer with purple sequins (I had a purple sheer Stola for that one).  I actually loaned out the purple one, and still have to get it back!  I also made a one-shoulder gold silk dress with a gold corset to go over it, and have a steampunk-meets-gladiator costume in the ‘work in progress’ file.  Unfortunately, the event has changed a lot, and the time when it’s hosted I have some challenges to attend because of my current job’s annual schedule, so I don’t think I’ll be attending the next one in February 2012.  😦