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Old Year Reflection and a New Year’s Goals

  It is January 1st, and we have made it through another year.  As I sit here, I would like to review some of my historical highlights from 2016 as well as officially set forth some goals for 2017. Highlights from the past year (in no particular order)… I built my forge and am now blacksmithing a bit Progressed from practice chanter to full bagpipes Noelle (eldest daughter) shaved a minute off her...

Hammer While it is Hot!

  I have wanted to get a forge up and running for a very long time.  My biggest hold off has been the fact that I have not had a great spot to have and locate it permanently.  Now that we finally have the shed built, I now have a spot for a forge. Not so long story even shorter… the forge is now done and running.  I have had a chance to mess around a bit, and have made a small, early medieval knife blade...

A French Hunting Pouch

  The topic of these French hunting bags recently came up elsewhere on the internet, and it reminded me that I have been planning on posting this article written by Eric Bizet.  Eric is a reenactor in France that follows (or at least did) my blog.  Since, we have chatted numerous times via email.  In 2014, Eric sent me the following write up he did on a particular type of bag.  I am posting his quick English...

Elderberry Cordial

  While at Grand Portage this year, Rob Stone treated me to a glass of his homemade Blackberry Cordial.  It was delightful!  When inquired, he stated that the recipe came from an 1840 French-Canadian cookbook titled, La Cuisinière Canadienne.  His daughter, Elizabeth, had recently translated the entire book and this particular cordial came from it.  He shared the recipe, and I stored it in my memory...

Grand Portage 2016

  It has pretty much gotten to the point where Grand Portage is the only historical reenactment I make it to in the year.  Being my old “home” as well as my daughters’ favorite place and event of the year, we pretty much have to go.  Anyway, I will let  the photos speak for themselves, but some of the highlights include: -A friend of the girls’ and our family coming along for her first...

18th century trews

    For a long time, I have admired the appearance of trews (triubhas in Scottish Gaelic/Gàidhlig) being worn in images of Scottish Highlanders at the turn of the century (18th to 19th).  Finally, I got to making a pair, knowing that we will be celebrating the wedding of my good friend and piper, Jeremy Kingsbury at Grand Portage National Monument this year for their historic event. I had no real pattern,...