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helwen: (Due Consideration)
One of a number of changes in L's and my life (and folks around us) happened yesterday. Concentus is on hiatus, indefinitely. We have some serious work to do on our place this year and need more time and energy available to us. The rest of the folks still want to get together to sing, so they've chosen a new director (Congrats [livejournal.com profile] ellid!) and they'll see what direction they go from here. They have a tentative new name for the group, but we'll see how that all shakes out. I wish them well in their new venture!


Nov. 25th, 2013 10:51 am
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Small practice last night, only 7 people. But we had folks for all parts so we practiced anyway. A few struggles, but overall we actually did quite well and had a balanced sound. It was a good experience, I think. You get used to creating a particular sound with particular voices, so with fewer people we had to make adjustments. We sounded pretty good!

One more practice before BBM/Bergental Yule!


May. 21st, 2012 01:13 pm
helwen: (jug)
Last night I posed the question at Concentus' practice as to whether anyone knew where to get music by Adam de la Halle.... remembering only my general frustration with music research sites and forgetting that I'd found a book on his works at ABE books and had even ordered it. L's looked over the notation and is currently doing research on black note notation...

So, I'm kind of accomplishing things but it's a mystery to me how it happens...
helwen: (Tower)
(1) So, it looks like I'll be teaching a textile class. Oy. Not being an expert by any stretch of the imagination, this should be entertaining...

I'm not even sure how to write up the class description so that it sounds interesting, but I'd best get to it!

I'll have examples of various fabrics, and discuss the basic properties of different materials. MizPagan suggested I include a bit of history of textiles in the SCA, so I'll likely do that. I will NOT be doing a detailed timeline of when each material was used in each country SCAdians commonly make clothing and accessories for, but I'll mention some examples. Seriously, one could do a class just on cotton, in that case, and yes, it could take an hour to do that.

I will not be going into deep detail on things like appropriate patterns, although I'll probably bring some exemplars for that as well. The one thing I want to help folks avoid is buying upholstery fabric with a rubberized or other type of backing that keeps the fabric from breathing.

Ah, and I should include a handout that lists some useful fabric web sites, like fabric-store.com, fabrics.com, denverfabrics.com...

(2) Fitzw is teaching a song class this year. Period rounds, easy enough to learn, and I'll be one of the 'shills' in class, for when we break up into parts. One of our baronial folks has been after more music that everyone can sing, so Concentus only has a couple of choral pieces for this event -- for the rest we'll be singing rounds at feast, with the choir breaking up to help each of the sections of tables.
helwen: (Default)
Good if busy weekend. Family Christmas gathering was on Saturday and this time Ma was able to be there, and for quite a few hours too! Good times, and a few good gifts in there too ;)

My lucky find for L was a Bert and I record -- he tells a few stories in the Yankee style, and now he'll have more of them -- well, once we re-locate the record player :D

And I am now the fond owner of a very lovely otter pendant, made from mammoth tusk and resting in silver waves.

Sunday morning was running around the farm first thing (mostly chickens), delivering syrup to Elmer's for their kitchen, then down to the Sunwheel for Winter Solstice with the grove. Good ritual, as per usual. I was noticing things a bit more than usual, which was a pleasant surprise. We had a friend from Central MA there, who is now in AODA (candidate) and OBOD (I don't know their system).

A few weeks ago I'd found a song I started writing last year at one of the Ashfield Solstice meetings, and on the way to the Sunwheel I finished writing, and got feedback from L on ordering the melody. Good reviews from friends, so looks like we'll be singing it on Tuesday night.

A pleasant repast and various conversations after, then off to the mall at Ingleside for a few things -- the mall at Christmastime is not terribly stressful if you aren't shopping for presents.

Bought a few books: martial arts, nutrition, mysteries, and compendium of The Walking Dead.

Went to Y and M's for choir practice. M's not doing well, but he could hear us at least, so we sang him a year's worth of music. He even got to hear my new song.

Tuesday is Solstice, and Ashfield will have their annual celebration on the green that night. Half of Concentus will be attending and singing. There will be music, stories, and dance, for anyone interested in coming up our way. South Ashfield carollers will be singing 6:30-7:00-ish, with the event officially starting at 7:00 p.m. and going to 8:30 p.m.
helwen: (Default)
Recently Concentus has started work (for next year) on Alleluia: A Newe Worke, and some of the sections are referred to as "burdens". Burden I, Burden II, etc.

Does anyone know what a "burden" is, on a written piece of music?

helwen: (Default)
First part of Saturday was our local town meeting. Pretty interesting stuff actually, as we all struggle with what things to spend on or make cuts on, in an increasingly limited budget. The meeting broke for a late lunch; we went home for that. Ended up not going back for the second half, having other things that needed doing. Like L helping W retrieve a couple of the new heifers. Yes, we have 6 new young ladies here at the farm :)

L also tilled the small stretch of land we'll be planting flax and oats on again. We'll have to go out and weed the flax half as well as possible, as fiber flax isn't as aggressive as grass. He's also planning on sowing it in rows this year, hoping to keep it more manageable -- last year's experiment was not a success. I expect if we keep improving the quality of the land though, that we'll get better results over time.

I worked on the winter/summer clothing exchange, set some clothing aside for giveaway and rags, and found a new home for some of the gift bags, ribbons, and bows. While we still use them at holidays and such (and many people I know re-use bags too), there's only so much space in the house. I'm working on eliminating a whole box from clothing storage -- have a feeling I'm only going to succeed in downsizing to a smaller box, but I'll take what I can get.

Besides, I'm not unpacking all the percale sheets this year, so some of storage is being taken up by that -- we really don't need to have a bunch of sheets out, and they'll be there when the sheets we're using wear out (or we can exchange sets in storage for variety next year). When I was a kid, we only had 2 or 3 sets of sheets each, and you only really need 2 sets. One on the bed and one to replace them when the first set goes into the wash.

Some shopping, cleaning, and printing happened in the evening.

Sunday morning was Beltain at the Sunwheel. We had two guests, which was great :) Things went well overall -- I'd accidentally grabbed a stack of napkins instead of a tablecloth, but fortunately it wasn't windy :D The thing I'd tried to do at Samhuinn worked this time -- tweaked a couple of things. I wrote out the part where we're purifying the grove with the elements so that the druids from all four quarters came in to the center to pick up their element symbols and then went out to scribe the circle all at the same time and then went back to return the symbols at the same time. Four overlapping swirls :) Sort of a ritual dance, if you will. And of course we had a May pole dance, which was lots of fun again -- someday we may manage to wrap our Chief Druid up in the ribbons ;)

A good feast, although we all missed having [livejournal.com profile] harpnfiddle with us for the ritual and the feast in person... but she'd been driving all night so really needed her rest. I was "restrained" and had only one of the donuts. We had strawberry rhubarb pie, so two donuts would really have been too much.

Got in an excellent walk after everyone left, and then I worked on basic form and iluchuan, before we went off to choir practice. That went pretty well, although we were missing [livejournal.com profile] ellid, who is madly working on papers. Potluck convo was good, got home late, called mom, etc.

Monday: L had to help load 200 bales early this morning, then count out second-cut bales to set aside for a contract customer, and then another 20 for someone else (I helped with the second and third bits).

Two loads of laundry this morning, and also picked dandelion greens!

Dandelions are blooming a little early this year, so not as much picking as last year. Nettles are coming up though, and this year I aim to harvest most of my own.

L has a dental cleaning today, so I get to go shopping at Goldthread Apothecary for empty capsules, glass bottles, etc.
helwen: (Default)
Early Saturday morning I did a bit of dancing, then later was helping with cleaning at the farm, and a bit of yardwork. The afternoon was spent over at House M&M working on making new tabards for the Bergental part of the Snowberg fighting unit. I forget what we did when we got home. The dancing was perhaps not a wise thing to do, Friday night's kungfu class having been as intense as it was.... sigh. Perhaps if I'd had on something slower than Hossam Ramzy's Sabla Tolo - Journeys into pure Egyptian Percussion. Yes, I know I don't have to go as fast as the beat, but even at 1/2 that... I seem to have pinched or strained something in the front of my right hip.

Leaving Chicopee Saturday evening, there was sound and vibration of an unfortunate nature from the car, leading to part of Sunday: Adventures with Brakes

Choir practice in the evening was attained and went pretty well. We can now get all the way through Il est bel et bon and even sound good. We also have Pase el agoa and Dindirin, Dindirin and Ecco la Primavera down reasonably well. We've created a variant on the first of those three because it felt too short, and I think it sounds pretty nice.

Monday was typing and proofing a chapter for my mom's book. Generally speaking I haven't been doing as much of the proofing/editing in the past year, but this chapter was a bit rough so I gave it some extra time, and hopefully am saving the regular readers some time and effort (Chapter 8).

My Godfather David and I have been having some chats and exchanges of letters this year. He's been trying to get in touch with more people, and I was able to chase down a couple of addresses for him. He lives in Switzerland, so the calls are generally short but energetic. Funny guy :)

Kungfu again in the evening, which went pretty well. Right hip behaved during class, right knee was a little cranky.

Tuesday morning -- went out and planted potatoes. It's a little early, but they're all sprouting. On frost nights we can throw some hay on them for now. 11 of the LaRatte fingerlings and 11 of red potatoes. I forget what exact type for the latter, but they're good potatoes, winter well, and I got them from folks who grow their veggies chemical-free.

If anyone local wants some sprouted fingerlings or red skin potatoes, let me know ASAP. Otherwise, the spares are going over the wall into the compost.

The Laundry Lines Are Up!!!!!! Whoot!!
helwen: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] nq3x posted this cool thing:
Roman 20-sided die

LJarchived my journal today. Hopefully SUP can manage LJ fine from Russia and we won't have to move. Meantime, I find my old posts are easier for me to look through on LJarchive, so I'm happy with having done this anyway.

If I do have to move, I will probably just add another account on blogger to the one I already have there. Some folks are going with something called InsaneJournal, and there are others out there as well, but until something actually happens I'm not going to bother.

We had lunch at Frontier Pizza in Sunderland. Very tasty manicotti there; I brought half of it home as well as the salad, probably for lunch tomorrow. Then we went to the antique shop in Amherst and found many nice woodworking tools as well as a few other things. L got a man-yoke too, and it's a very nice one indeed. It should make an excellent model for making future ones. One of the planes has a piece of ivory on it, next to the blade, so we even got something "appropriate" for our 14th anniversary ;)

Went for a good walk this evening when we got back. Cold, but if we get ice tonight I won't be going out tomorrow. Go me!

Choir practice this past Sunday went well. We learned two new songs -- not perfectly of course, but it's a nice change from the long battle we had with Palestrina.

Also received a lovely ornament from [livejournal.com profile] harpnfiddle, who is doing some lovely lacemaking these days.

It's been a good year for gifts this year. Generally speaking it isn't a big thing for me, but I do like the mistletoe from [livejournal.com profile] harpnfiddle in its handy little gauze pouch so I won't lose any of the bits and the little porcelain plate from Jeni and [livejournal.com profile] gwynt_y_storm with the two pelicans on it -- very SCA-appropriate for us. No, we don't collect pelicans, but the plate is perfect. And of course the necklace, tea, woodworking tools and other things from last month. Nothing I have to wonder about how it ended up here and what I'm going to do with it -- no scented candles or cutesy Christmas sweatshirts, for which I am exceedingly grateful.

Good times with good friends is all I really ask for; the rest is icing on the cake.

We'll be going to EK 12th Night this coming weekend. Anyone else?
helwen: (Default)
23 Nov

Ah, the wintry skies
Such clear and bone-chilling cold!
The dark crystalline
sky reveals the signs of home
and brings such warmth to my heart.

Choir practice got off to a rough start yesterday as we forgot the plug-in part for the electric piano and L's pipe had fallen out of his jacket either at home or at R and M's house yesterday. So we made do with Todd's (our host and one of our singers) laptop -- they found an online keyboard and also a performance of Sitivit Anima Mea (very different from how we do it, but gives the general idea). L thinks that this may have worked to our advantage though, as we succeeded in getting through the entire piece finally. Still rough, but a major victory nonetheless. He was commenting on how he thought folks were picking things up faster from having him hum the troublesome parts than when he's played them on the piano -- perhaps because voices have a completely different sound from piano?

However it happened, I'm just thankful it's working. Previously we were only managing to learn one stanza per week, and we had three stanza to go with only two more weeks to practice. Yesterday was an extra practice -- tonight is the regular practice. Then next Sunday is our last before BBM/Berg Yule, unless we decided we need one more extra practice.

It's very cold out. Yesterday it snowed but didn't stick. This coming week there's more snow in the forecast. We'll see what happens.

[livejournal.com profile] lady_jade01 looked at the vest I'm working on and thought I should undo some of the work I'd done on the front opening. I did and it does look better but is going to need more playing around to get it to work. I want a different vest pattern for the next vest :( I know I can make it work, but really, a pattern ought to have complete instructions, especially for things that aren't typical modern construction.
helwen: (Default)
Missed the tanka challenge yesterday. Spent much of the day doing off-line things like cleaning, re-arranging rooms, shopping, folding & stuffing, making magnets.

L removed the remains from the latest mouse hunt and then we moved the videotape cases down onto the floor by the sofa. Baronial charter is now displayed over the piano, and the Master Robinton print will go up next to it. I moved the banjo to where the guitars are kept, dusted off a sidetable near L's side of the bed and put some stacking shelves on top of it. He needed a little more clothing storage space, plus it might serve as a bit of extra insulation.

The folding and stuffing was a mailing to maple syrup customers that's going out on Monday. Then Marian remembered that we can pull a few more addresses off of the internet mail orders, so I'll be going through those today to find a few more people.

Magnets.... I don't need to have them right now, but it'll get them done and out of the way for the future. Sort of part of clearing the decks...

Got in some exercise yesterday. I'm trying to do some weight-lifting exercises every other day. Just 2-pound weights, but a couple of the exercises are definitely a workout. The one where you have your arms out in front of you, palms facing each other, and then move your arms out to the sides and back again, almost instantly tire the muscles out -- although I can go on and do other exercises. Something about that particular grouping of muscles that's really wimpy. Oh, and did some aerobic stuff, knee push ups, stomach crunches, and yoga stuff. Was feeling pretty stiff first thing this morning, but not too bad now.

Sunday is work on the mailing list and finish the mailing, maybe do some bookkeeping for Marian, wrap the magnets and put them away, more cleaning. And eventually, choir practice! We'll be at a new place this week. We've been at [livejournal.com profile] ellid's house for a little bit but another choir member just moved into a new home and has a big room he'd like to have us try out. Way over in West Springfield, but half the choir is in that area, so I suppose it's better overall. We used to rehearse in Amherst -- mutually inconvenient for everyone ;) -- but that member got a job in another state, unfortunately. Once again we're short on male voices. But, hopefully he'll find some folks to do things with down there. He's already managed to contact a few SCAdians by email, so that should help.

[EDIT} And going to the transfer point with trash and recycling! Must remember to bring the small pile of books... we have a book exchange point there as well.

16 Nov

Late nights and long days
Not being too sensible
Missed the third line, sigh...
Time to make a few changes
Much to do, short time for it.

Attracting the eye,
What is it? Another ad.
Some motions delight,
Birds and squirrels, swirling leaves,
But not flashing online ads.

Yes, there's no making up for a lost day on the tanka challenge, so only one of these 'counts'. I just felt like writing the second one. I really, really hate constantly moving ads on the screen. I have to compose tanka in Word or away from the computer because the Posting page often has a moving ad. Sometimes when reading articles I have to put my hand over ads or I can't read the text at all. Grr.

Okay, best post this and get on to other things...


Jul. 15th, 2007 11:08 pm
helwen: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] fitzw noticed that my rant started sort of in the middle of a sentence, so I went back and found the error. There's quite a bit more there now, for anyone interested.

Now today was a productive day!

Laundry, dishwashing, packed some other dishes, experimented with soup-making, some weeding, some online correspondence, I successfully did battle with the Mountain loom, had a good Concentus practice, fun chatting with folks after practice, and an excellent conversation with my mother.

The Mountain loom was probably the most challenging. Had to sort out one middling warp thread and the two end ones, got interrupted by telemarketers twice, and then discovered some of the warp on the left side had fallen off the back bar, probably when I'd been trying to sort out the left end thread. But, it all seems to be in order now, and I've begun weaving again. Yay!
helwen: (Default)
Yes, we have another loom. The person who was going to take [profile] beard5 's loom hadn't done so, so we were the lucky ones next in line. We made it to NH in good time this morning, and had a nice time chatting before we headed back home. It'll need some cleaning and reassembly, but now we'll have a loom free for student work/projects. Floor loom, 8-harness jack. Haven't measured the beater to see what the max width is, but it has a couple of reeds, one 24" and one 22-1/2".

Thanks [profile] beard5 !

Oh, and we had a couple of new folks sitting in on Concentus practice today, M and [personal profile] islenskr ! Welcome company, and it looks like at least [personal profile] islenskr  will be joining us. She also brought yummy homemade cookies, and I'm thinking now that I should have put them on a plate for before practice, because by the end of practice I'd forgotten to do that. They are extremely yummy, and I'm not sure if any of them will make it to next weekend to be eaten by anyone besides [personal profile] fitzw  and me. Yummmmmmm

Practice went well today; Friday night we do a dress rehearsal for the ceremony/music/processing/recessing, etc. Then Saturday, we're on!


helwen: (Default)

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