Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 Arizona Renaissance Faire

I love Renaissance Faires, probably because I also love history and am a bit of a nerd.  Okay, a huge nerd.  I found the faire last year, while looking for things my then boyfriend and I could do over a long weekend in February.  I looked over the web site and thought it would be fun to go.  So we did, and it was fun, even though we didn't buy or do that much.   This year we decided to step it up a notch and not only go to the faire, but also get tickets to the pleasure feast.

This whole weekend has been fantastic and its only a little over half done.  I had friday off from school (teacher in service that I wasn't required to attend) but I didn't get much done during the day, between a 5.1 earthquake and napping.  I did make a simple cover for my sewing machine, but thats about it.  When my hubbs got done with the in service, we went with some friends for an early dinner at Ninja Sushi.  The place isn't too bad for a sushi restaurant in the desert, 300 miles from any water.

When we got back from lunch, I decided I wanted a different bag for the Ren Faire so I got out the left over plaid and some drill to whip up a smallish across the body shoulder bag.  I had to make it quickly, so I didn't add any frills, no pockets, no special design elements.  The most time consuming part was the the rounded sides/bottom.

I actually really like the basic design, especially for something I made on the fly. 

Skipping on to the next day, we woke up to the first rain Yuma has had since about mid December.  It figures, the one day we decide to do something outdoors it has to rain.  Fortunately, we knew it was going to happen and were ready for it, umbrellas in hand.  It rained for about the first hour of the drive to Phoenix and the scenery was gorgeous!
The scenery from the car.  You don't see these kinds of clouds over the desert very often!

Once we got the Faire, we had time to kill before the pleasure feast, so we wandered around until we found the glass blowers shop.  I'm really glad we found it when we did, because it was raining hard by the time we finished the feast.  The guy who runs that shop did a demonstration for us!  It was really neat.  While he was working he went into some of the science of glass and the different colors as well as the history of glass.  I really enjoyed that, and you could tell he was very well spoken and very educated about his craft.
This is a vase!  After this, they added a handle and put it in a cooling chest, to ya know, cool.
After the demonstration was finished, we were off to the pleasure feast.  Sadly, the camera didn't like the lighting in the hall, and none of the pictures we took turned out.  It was a lot of fun though.  We raised a renaissance ruckus through the whole show.  The feast master's character was a very bawdy Scotsman, which was contrasted with the "Lord of Leftovers" character of a proper Englishman.  The two characters where at odds in the show till the end.  There was a visit from the king, singing, juggling, belly dancing, and a very good pipes and drums band for the entertainment.

The rain started shortly after the feast ended, and we spent the rest of the Faire walking around with umbrellas and feeling a bit sorry for the vendors and actors/employees who were out and about, not able to use them.  My husband absolutely loved walking around in the rain.  We saw quite a few interesting characters, like this fairy, and the group of Kings men, warming themselves by the fire.

Isn't she adorable?

They do look pretty miserable...
We also did a decent bit of shopping.  We got a red sycamore hand turned walking stick, a painted shield with a lion rampent, matching stoneware goblets, a blue dragon painting signed by the artist (Ruth Thompson, a very nice lady and very talented fantasy artist, you can see her work here) and I picked up a very nice red tapestry bodice.  Its not quite the corset I was after, but I really liked the design and material.  Now I just need to make the rest of the outfit!

Besides pursuing the various wares, my husband tried his hand at axe throwing.  He actually won!  The goal was to get one of the axe points in the heart on the board.  He did it with his last axe, and was the first winner of the day.
One of the nice things about the rain is that it allowed us to actually get to talk to a lot of the venders.  We spent about half an hour talking to some of the folks from sabersmiths, who were very nice.  Their work is very high quality.  We almost bought a dagger, and would have if they had the colors we were looking for in a decorative piece.  

All and all, it was a great experience, despite the rain.  You always meet some awesome people at these events, and this one was no different.  And, of course, before we left we had the best part of the Ren Faire: Getting my traditional roasted turkey leg!  


  1. That looks like Twig the Fairy. She does the Ren Fest here in NC too and she has her own Facebook page!

  2. Oh neat! We didn't get to talk to her, it was just starting to rain when took that picture.