These are moments when I muse on exactly what I’m using this blog for. Merely to present projects? Commentary and random thoughts? There’s approximately three people in the world who peek in now and then, so the reality of it is that I’m posting for me. My projects tend to be very long and slow, so if one is waiting for good progress pictures to post, or finished items, I’ll never post much of anything. Commentary and random thoughts, it is! Just scroll to the bottom if you’re here for project pictures.
Ealdormere had its Kingdom Arts & Sciences event this past weekend. It also happens to be my anniversary event. (I maintain that if I’d started at an event that wasn’t KA&S, where I didn’t walk into the room and pause and go ‘I have found my tribe’, I might not have stuck. I’m very grateful that I did.) I’ve entered pentathlon the last two years, and after winning last year, made a conscious and deliberate choice not to enter this year. (Then I had a miserable winter and didn’t get anything accomplished, so thanks Past Me for somehow knowing I wouldn’t have anything to enter anyhow.)
We had 9 pentathlon entrants, which considering I was one of three and one of four adult entries in my two attempts seemed like a lot of pent entrants. This year each pent entrant was assigned a previous winner as a mentor to bounce questions off of (or in my case, to bother my entrant with questions about her progress). For some, it was probably entirely irrelevant if they were well familiar with pent and KA&S, I would think that for those entering for the first time, it would have been awesome. I know /I/ would have welcomed a mentor to keep me on track in that crazy last week or so when I was entering. There’s something far less intimidating about asking a single person who has agreed to be helpful stupid questions rather than posting stupid questions online. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer to keep my stupid questions fairly well contained.
With that many pent entrants, the other entrants were a little thin on the ground numbers wise. As always, the quality of entries just blows me away. A&S is so often done at the kitchen table, in the work room, the basement. Some of us are fortunate to have portable projects (or forcibly make our projects portable), but the vast majority do not travel well at intermediate states, so there’s no preview of what folks are up to. (Other than, of course, some of us who overshare on social media. I’m pretty sure some folks out there know my projects better than I do.)
I will say that there was copious amounts of quality, but for me.. no one piece stood out as ‘wow, I can’t /even/ on how.. what.. I got nothing man’. Some of that is purely that I’ve now got a good handle of what to expect out of the artisans of this Kingdom, and I’m sorry to say, but you guys have set the ‘mind blowing’ bar really high. Some of that is that my own skills have evolved to where I can go ‘I see how that goes together. I mean, I cant /do/ it, but I know where to start (20 yrs ago would help), so I can admire your skill properly’. Which is WAY better for appreciation, but a little less on mind blowing. I prefer that, actually, if the truth be told. I would far rather appreciate the skill and talent with a level of comprehension rather than just be slack jawed mystified.
It did, however, have the usual effect that A&S events have upon me. It was more subtle this time (possibly the screaming my joints were doing drowned it out a bit), so I didnt feel the hum of creativity while I was there. Afterwards, however? The next day? Even now, four days later, The List is on fire, and the ‘omg, I wanna try!’ is strong. The plans for fian, or next year, or the year after are thick and plentiful. The glorious and delicious bit of project planning, when anything is yet possible, and there’s no ‘middle third’ slog yet weighing upon you. When you’re like ‘oh yeah, I can TOTALLY fit 5 yrs worth of projects into six months, and whip up a new late period outfit by the weekend!’. That is the magic of A&S events.
And then the reality of deadlines crashes down, and you sit at the lace pillow and count up the repeats left to go (118 as of posting) and you content yourself with just writing down all of those wonderful plans for /later/. June perhaps. Just in time to think of a QPT project.