Fun and Games
May 10th I was delighted to release a fun community project in the style of the “Don’t Rush Challenge” viral videos. For those who missed the trend, the “pass the brush” and “don’t rush” style videos involved a compilation of multiple contributors who all received an item from off screen, such as a makeup brush, used the brush to cover the camera allowing for a scene cut. When the brush was removed in the second clip, the person was all dolled up in their makeup, and they threw the brush off screen to be “received” by the next person in the compilation. Instead of passing along a makeup brush we passed along an arming cap… but we still got our glam on by switching from our normal clothes to our full harness.
Thoughts and KNowledge
In contrast to the video above I also worked on a thoroughly educational and research driven video about the social structure of rural medieval communities, dug into some specifics on how manorialism and feudalism operated, and gave some guidance on how such knowledge could be applied to living history pursuits.
We have all learned about medieval feudal hierarchy in school, but there is a lot more to society than an easy to read pyramid chart. We can we learn from the nuances of peasant and noble perspectives and apply them to our living history and reenactment impressions. This is also a collaborative project with Andrew from Modern Medieval Man and his YouTube alter ego Popula Urbanum. My video focuses on the country, and his on how feudalism operated in the city as metropolitan areas started to buck the trend of rural feudalism.
Up until now I’ve been filming indoors, because I struggle getting the picture to look right even when I have complete control over the light. I have been watching a lot of Shad M Brooks‘ vidoes lately and outside of even his archery videos, Shad does a number of videos where he’s outside and it inspired me to give shooting outside a try. I had to wait for a crisp, bright, overcast day. It turned out well, even if the neighbors decided to be obnoxious a few times. Taking the camera outside may become part of my routine going forward when I can.
I turned the crank on the great medieval meme machine again in May, stepping back from raw humor and returning to something intended to be more inspirational and thought provoking.
In addition to How Two Medieval, I released the inaugural episode of Turnip Talk, the unscheduled audio-only outlet for those who find it easier to listen than to watch or read. Though it will all be medieval living history and reenactment focused, I do not have a specific plan to produce audio only content at a specific interval. I have received requests to narrate some of my articles for those who want to listen to them while at work, or on commutes, and I may put some of those out there. Today, however, I have a conversation with Matt, The Agincourt Solider, to do an after action review of the Pilgrim Progress Challenge.
How Two Medieval
If you have a good thing going, keep it going. After we had our Aftershow, Matt Blazek also talked to Todd and I about the intricacies of doing living history presentations in educational environments, such as classrooms and auditoriums.
We ran two contests, the sub-contest was an Instagram photo challenge. I am pleased to present Jenn Miller as the winner!
This Month on the Internet
I discovered a new comic, Squire Scribbles through her amazing comic about medieval bunnies. It was knock-down hilarious, the kind of funny which just catches you by surprise. I spent the rest of the Sunday catching up in any small snippet of free time I could catch throughout the afternoon. Her comic is now firmly planted in my bookmarks with the other comics I check regularly (SMBC, Quantum Vibe, xkcd, Poorly Drawn Lines, Thistil Mistil Kistil, Still in the Simulation, and The Oatmeal… any suggestions for good web comics I’m missing out on?)
Fabric Dye Article
Though I don’t plan to dye my own fabrics anytime soon, this short and quick primer by Historical Textiles on dying points out two interesting concepts: the sheer volume of raw materials required to achieve certain colors and reinforces the wide variety of available colors for every social class.
Medieval Board Game
Though it requires a hefty dose of careful and intellectual speculation, I’m always excited to see attempts at reconstructing older board games. There’s more to life than chess and checkers. I love board games, modern and medieval. This article by The Saint Thomas Guild is an excellent explanation of a game as old as the 10th century, Aela Evangelii.
Heavy Metal Hurdy Gurdy
Michalina Malisz plays the hurdy gurdy, which is always an entertaining instrument to listen to, but she added a new and interesting twist by playing heavy metal covers on it. The first one I saw was a riff compilation of Iron Maiden covers. Her YouTube channel is full of interesting hurdy gurdy fusion into metal and other genres.
If you don’t have the Medieval Manuscripts Blog in your RSS feed already, you really are doing yourself a disservice. They produces another great gem recently, a short but insightful look at what constituted Medieval Wisdom, which gives us a window into the thoughts and perspectives of the folk we reenact.
It’s completely off brand and has nothing to do with reenactment, but I’m excited. Karley is most officially becoming Lady of Neep Manor.
Articles and Research Projects
The projects below have no specific order of urgency, so this is an opportunity to voice your suggestions or requests on upcoming content.
- A “Behind the Metal” interview featuring Trevor Clemons of the Kansas City Sword Guild, focusing on his considerable expertise and success with creating a crossover HEMA and living history group.
- I have a simple, slender belt from Lorifactor I could review. Anything I wear I could review. Do you want more product reviews?
- In the past, I hand drew some diagrams/floor plans for tents to establish an idea to what extent concepts like “headroom” and “floor-space” exist in any given tent. With access to a CAD program now, I have some far superior drawings of a series of Tentsmith Conical tents I could share as a resource. These drawings are very time consuming though, and with how many size/shape variations exist among the preeminent manufacturers of medieval tents, it will take me years to work through them all (or sufficient support to work on the website full time.)
- I went on a mission to find fixes to a persistent wardrobe malfunction where my hosen would bunch up on my feet and bind with the rough leather of my boots when putting shoes on over my footed hosen. I received a list of possible solutions, some of which I have tried and some of which remain candidates for experimentation. An article on the subject would include trying and documenting my experiments with all the suggestions.
- I am collecting old, dead tents to re-purpose their fabric for an “Archer Lean-To.” This project would be to benefit any group or encampment portrayal. The idea: unlike the Knight himself who would purchase a proper tent, the commoners who joined him on campaign might opt instead to take an old cast off tent which could be purchased for cheap or salvaged for free and use it to erect a shelter for themselves while on campaign. Hanging a rectangular swath of canvas, as a tarp, can allows a variety of options as a shelter. It could ornamented with cheap mattresses and other excess material culture to give the impression of three or four men (representing a few archers and camp servant in their absence) and provide a contrast in quality to my tent. I need to research, however, is if this is a speculative construction, a reenactorism I have seen others do without any primary documentation. Part of the project and the article would be doing said research.
- I have many video ideas, most of them centering around basic medieval concepts and skills which may embarrass the newest among us to ask, such as what’s the proper way to tie an arming point or how do you put on round fibula style brooches?
What topics would you like me to prioritize for you? What are you seeing on the website or the social media accounts you like or dislike? Drop me your feedback by comment or email.