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Schedule Update!

Hello again!
  Back from the fair where we had a nice time... even though it was gorgeous outside and the last thing we wanted to do was be cooped up inside... oh well. 

We have some minor schedule changes to the 2009 season.

Subtractions:  In May, we will not be going to Fort Bledsoe.  In August, we will not be going to the Fort at Number Four.

Definites: In May, we're attending the Schifferstadt Colonial Days in Frederick, MD.  Also, it's official, I've been accepted as a crafter for the Philadelphia Folk Festival in August!  Talk about mixing past and present!  I'd volunteered with them from 1989 til 2005 and now I get to bring my work there.  It will be interesting...

Anyway, that's all for right now.  Right now, I'm plugging away at making stock so I don't have to worry about it during the wedding or during the entire month of July.

2009 Schedule

After months of silence, I'm back!  We're kicking off the 2009 season this weekend with the Historic Winter Market in Frederick, MD, where I'll be demonstrating with the kickwheel.  Here's the tentative list of events for the season... some are still awaiting acceptance (or denial) while others are definites.


7-8 – Indoor Winter Market, Lynnfield Event Complex, Frederick, MD





23-26 – 18th Century Market Fair, Fort Frederick, Big Pool, MD



29 – May 3 – Lancaster Longrifles Rendezvous & Black Powder Shoot, Muddy Run Park, Holtwood, PA



May (since we're getting married this month, there isn't a lot)


1-3 – Bledsoe’s Fort Colonial Fair, Gallatin, TN






12-14 – Mountain Heritage Craft Festival, Charles Town, WV (I’m an alternate for this, so we may or may not be there)


20-21 – Custaloga Town Encampment, Carlton, PA





3-5 – F&I Encampment at Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, NY



11-18 – Northeastern Primitive Rendezvous, Somewhere in NY… we’re not sure exactly where yet.


 18-19 – Founder’s Day, Fort La Presentation, Ogdensburg, NY



23-26 – Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Hillsdale, NY (pending acceptance)



And if we do all that, we’re not going anywhere else for at least two weeks.




14-16 – Philadelphia Folk Festival, Shwenksville, PA (pending acceptance from jury process… very tentative)



15-16 – Fort at #4



29-30 – The Battle of Newtown, Newtown Battlefield, Elmyria, NY





12-13 – Revolutionary Times, Brandywine Battlefield, Chadds Ford, PA



18-21 – 18th Century Market Fair, Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, PA



25-27 - Mountain Heritage Craft Festival, Charles Town, WV (I’m an alternate for this, so we may or may not be there)


25-October 3 – Eastern Primitive Rendezvous, Muddy Run Park, Holtwood, PA

As we decide on more events and as I get letters, I'll let you know what's going on!

Time for an Update

Hi again!
  It's been busy (as usual) and I've finally gotten a chance to upload photos and update everyone on life in general.  Battle of the Hook was uneventful and actually not that great of an event, unfortunately.  To top it off, it rained (again) and I had to deal with issues involving my wrist, so no kickwheel this time.  On the positive side, we were able to hang out with John, our blacksmith buddy from Atlanta and I bough materials for Abe's Christmas present.  Yay!

The past few weeks have been a whirl of activity not involving the studio for me.  I went to the doctor about my wrist and was told that I had to stay out of the studio for the next 2-3 weeks... bummer... for those who missed the email, this means no custom orders for Christmas this year.  I'm sorry :(.  I've been filling my days with embroidery, since that doesn't aggravate my wrist condition, while my nights are spent working at the local Bath and Body Works (that's right, I went back) as their seasonal key holder.  I'm actually enjoying it a lot since the main stresses that drove me away last time aren't at this store or with this job description. 

In mud news, we're scrapping the Fort Mifflin event this weekend to stay closer to home... Abe picked up some work with a farm that will most likely be more profitable than going to eastern PA and I'm setting up at a local craft show on Saturday, so if you're in the Inwood, WV area, stop by Musselman High School and see me!  I'm also in the process of applying for some other shows, but I won't post those details until I know whether or not I'm going.

Until then, here are some photos from Battle of the Hook (along with Sobaka photos because everyone needs some Great Dane in their lives!)

The Market at Washingtonburg

Howdy all!  The weather has turned decidedly crisp as we coast into the cooler months.  We just got back from the Market at Washingtonburg in Carlisle, PA.  This is the second year for this event, which is held at the Army Heritage and Education Center with the War College (http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/) and I highly suggest visiting there if you haven't already.  It has one of the largest collections of Army artifacts from F&I to today and it's amazing.  They did a special tour for the reenactors on Saturday night and they let us see artifacts pertinent to us, like a lance from Rush's Lances during the Rev War (and that's Benjamin Rush for all my fellow Dickinsonians), the original bellows from their blacksmith shop, original muskets and powderhorns, swords, you name it.  It was amazing.

The event itself was quite nice as well.  The weather was gorgeous (unlike the rain with Brandywine) and I got to try out my newest toy: the kick wheel!  It got us a crowd and a lot of pottery found homes.  An even bigger bonus: all the pieces I made made it home for firing!  We got to see a lot of friends and reconnect with Sobaka's girlfriend from last year, Sky the blue harlequin Great Dane.  Of course, I forgot my camera, so no pictures this time.  Sobaka also made friends with a chocolate lab puppy and a dalmatian.  Yay for dogs.  The last bonus of the weekend was my new friend Kim, who is a fabulous amateur photographer... she took my new photo for the blog and I love it! 

For now, it's back to the wheel to try and recuperate and get ready for the Battle of the Hook in Gloucester, VA next month in addition to wedding planning, seasonal retail, and general prep for 2009.

***** REMINDER: If you want goods from The Mermaid's Wheel for Christmas, you MUST let me know by October 31 at the absolute LATEST.*****

The Battle of Brandywine

Home again home again after another rainy event.  I'm pretty sure we'd fulfilled our quota of rainy, nasty events this year with rain at Alafia, Marietta, Bledsoe, Boone, and Falcon Ridge... but nooooo... Hanna had to come and dump rain on us at Brandywine.  Oh well.  Thankfully, we didn't get quite the amount of wind they were expecting, it didn't rain while we set up, and Sunday was gorgeous.  That meant dry canvas and product.  Saturday was a washout... we left before two and hung out with our friend Lois for the rest of the day.  Sunday was a good day in weather and sales, even if the dog started shaking the moment the first musket fired.  Two perks of the weekend: 1) we have a new event in the schedule: The Siege of Fort Mifflin on November 8... check your inboxes next week for more information through Mermaid Mail (sign up by emailing me at mermaidswheel@yahoo.com).  2) My wares are now for sale in the Brandywine Battlefield gift shop, so if  you're in that area, be sure to check it out!

Now we're just doing prep work for The Market at Washingtonburg next weekend in Carlisle and Abe's working on his workshop... coming soon: hand-made ironware from Raystown Forge!  I've been doing a whole lot of paperwork, webwork for the coming launch of the new www.raystownforge.com, and wedding-work... I have a hot date tonight to go register for stuff at Kohl's (and maybe Target) in addition to a consultation with a photographer this afternoon.  Maybe, one of these days, I'll actually get back into my studio! 

Oh, for those attending the Carlisle event, I'll be debuting demos as I have picked up a kick wheel... I just need to practice with it a bit more. 

That's all for now, hope you enjoyed the photos of the newest wares.</div></div>

July Events

The weary mermaid has landed home once again and is having a week off (*gasp* vacation?).  July has proven to be a very busy month between Fort Niagara, Falcon Ridge prep, and Falcon Ridge, but I've survived!

Niagara was a nice event, as usual, with none of the nasty weather we've experienced in the past.  Our only complaint was with our assigned spot... we think we missed a lot of traffic because people didn't realize there was another row of sutlers where we were.  My sales were fine, but Abe was less than impressed.  Oh well... next year is their 250th, so it will be set up differently.  When we weren't keeping shop, we hung out with a really nice bunch from the French camp as well as Abe's parents, and just really enjoying the time.  We didn't make it to the Clarkson House for dinner this year, so we may have to visit it twice next year.  OH! And I received my birthday present from my sweet baboo... I now have a new knife, and a Glen McLaine at that!  It's gorgeous and I'll try to get pictures up soon.  After the event, Abe and I went to Niagara Falls again, but this time we walked over to the Canadian side.  It's much nicer over there in regards of view and surroundings, but it was expensive.  After that, we journied home in preparation for the end of the month.

I just returned home from Falcon Ridge Monday evening, which was a very profitable event for me.  Most of the stuff from my last slide show found new homes.  I also had a blast hanging out with my friends Cindy and Rachel, who graciously agreed to help me with this event (Abe was at a different event).  The big downside of this event was weather.  It started raining about two hours after I arrived Wednesday afternoon and rained until the following afternoon... very muddy.  After that, we had great weather until Sunday afternoon.  Sunday gave us a storm for the record books... rain, wind, thunder, lightning, and (I kid you not) hail the size of golf balls.  I felt like I was in a hurricane.  Cindy, who was staying with her parents in a nearby town at night, couldn't get to the festival that day and Rachel and I had to hold the tent down for fear that the stakes would give way and the tent would fly off into the storm.  When the thing finally passed, the craft area looked like a disaster zone... mangled EZ-Up frames, tarps and canopies everywhere, and two of the large festival tents had come down.  I was one of the very lucky few with no damage whatsoever.  Between Rachel and my efforts and the staked ratchet straps on the tent, the booth was fine.   My shelves were staked down with 18 inchers, so they didn't move.  I only had one piece fall off my shelves, but it didn't even crack.  I'm very lucky and I know it.  However, after that storm we decided to pack up and leave.  Abe and I plan on going again next year (I made more on Saturday alone than I make at most period events) and we'll know what to do in preparation for anything Mother Nature throws at us.

As for pictures, sadly, I don't have any.  The memory card in my camera had a malfunction right after Niagara, so I lost all of the photos I had taken.  I have a few shots of my booth from Falcon Ridge that I'll post at some point, but I'm going to wait until I have some more stuff before I create the next slide show.  For now, I'm going to enjoy my short vacation before getting back on the wheel to fill some orders, experiment with some ideas, and build stock for September's events (Brandywine and Carlisle), in addition to doing some wedding stuff.

Oh, and Abe's pulling out the the Virginia Highlands Festival Sunday... it's not doing well for the period sutlers and he's got too much to do at home.

New Stock!



*Mermaid Newsflash*


Ok, so I applied to something out of the ordinary on a lark, figuring I wasn't going to get in, but they totally want me!   Mark your calendars and make arrangements now... the Mermaid's Wheel is going to Falcon Ridge!  This is big!  I have been accepted as a crafter for the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival this year.  The event is July 24 - July 27 and is in (or around) Hillsdale, NY.  There'll be music by Dar Williams, Eddie from Ohio, Wild Asparagus, John Gorka, Vance Gilbert, and others.  There will be dancing.  There will be mermaids!  Seriously, I'm still in shock over this because it's a huge event and it's a melding of my past, present, and future... I've gone to this festival as a spectator and a volunteer for years and never imagined I'd be good enough to be a crafter.  So, woohooooo!!!!  But, until then, I shall be locked away in my studio, seeing as I barely have enough stock to support my two shelves in the store.

Bledsoe and Boone

The whirlwind continues through the spring.  We're back from the event at Boone's Homestead in Birdsboro and I see it's time for an update!  When I last posted, we were preparing for our journey to Castilian Springs, TN for the Bledsoe's Fort Colonial Fair at the beginning of May.  We loaded up the dog and our stock and made the exceedingly long treck into the Central Time Zone (now I can't say I've never been out of Easter Standard Time!).  Abe drove, Sobaka slept, and I read the map, debated with Abe, and snoozed as well.  After an exceedingly long time in the truck and an ok dinner with sub-par service at a random Ruby Tuesdays, we arrived and promptly crashed in the bunk for the night.  The next day, we enjoyed setting up the oval for the last time and Abe argued with stupid credit card people.  Then, of course, it rained.  Thankfully, the rain didn't stick around, but it was just long enough to douse our friend John's stuff before he could set up.  It let up just enough for John to set up his tent and get his blacksmithing stuff under cover before the skies opened yet again.  We decided to go out for dinner, where we discovered that the county was in a tornado watch.  Awesome.  That's what I get for going to events in Tornado Alley.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep very well that night.  The event itself was pretty good.  There were a lot of people (and dogs) coming and going and sales were brisk.  We enjoyed pretty weather and the dog had a blast playing with some other dogs.  The most amusing part for me was when Abe let me out to wander on Sunday and I watched the Lace Merchant's presentation.  This man does an incredible first-person impression of a French lace merchant living in the colonies.  He dresses like a fop and carries a thick French accent.  His presentation is hilarious and factual.  He explains his role, how to make lace, and why he was in the colonies, all with an incredible sense of humor.  I busted a gut watching him.  Then I bought new clothes and life was grand.  We packed up shop Sunday and headed home, spending the night in a lovely truck stop before hitting home on Monday.  
While we were home, Abe and I toured a few facilities for the wedding and decided on The Purple Iris in Martinsburg after needing to move the date to get the spot.  We also did some landscaping around our house.  Yay.
Next, it was off to the Revolutionary War encampment at the Daniel Boone Homestead in Birdsboro.  Thankfully, this wasn't nearly as long of a trip as Tennessee, but that's not to say it didn't have its problems.  We got a late start and then noticed that one of the truck's tires was dying, so then we got an even later start.  Thankfully, our new tent doesn't take nearly as long  to set up.  We unloaded the trailer, got the tent up and set a few things up, opting to do most of the arranging on Friday.  I woke up Friday morning to rain pounding on the trailer.  It rained the entire day, turning the site into a mud hole.  I started out in shoes and threw them in the truck within the first hour because the mud was just that thick.  We sort of felt bad for those who came in that day to unload because by the middle of the day, the directors weren't letting anyone drive on the field (countless numbers had gotten stuck already) and the suttlers had to carry or cart everything in.  That would have massively sucked for our shop.  By about lunch, we were both soaked through and decided that we needed hot lunch and we needed it now.  We ventured out to a diner for soup and sandwiches, and then to a wholesale market for some stock needs (and now I have new hatpins... yay).  We returned to the site to finish some last minute adjustments to the stock.  Then we decided that my parents' house was close enough for us to go to that night.... hot showers and free dinner... yay.  Despite the mud, the event was very good.  There were tons of reenactors and a decent amount of public despite the mucky conditions.  Abe sold a bunch of swords and I parted with three totes of pottery.  I really need to kick it into high gear for restock.  Anyway, one thing I really enjoyed about this event was the wildlife.  There were birds everywhere!  They had bluebirds, ducks, geese, other birds everywhere!  The site was gorgeous too.  We want to go back to this one, but probably not next year...  you know, since we're getting married that weekend and everything.
So, we survived the mud, the tornadoes, and Sobaka's attempts to help us garden... what will June hold in store?