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New Skills: SCA Style.

So, in the past year since moving home and becoming an active member of the Society of Creative Anachronism, it’s fair to say it has happily taken over most of my life. I’ve learned to embroider (getting better and bolder with each project), been welcomed into a household of amazing ladies (and a gentleman), served on court, received a baronial service award, am co-stewarding an event in a few months which I’m already leading planning meetings for, and now, I’ve started to learn how to throw weapons.

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Bulls Eye! January 2017.

In my area – Altavia – we have weekly meetings for combat skills like armored and rapier fighting, but two to three times a month on Sunday mornings, we have an archery and thrown weapons practice and I was finally able to attend last weeks.

I threw knives once before (about a year ago) but quit pretty quickly – it felt weird and I didn’t really know anyone I was comfortable talking to about it. Now, I consider these fighters and teachers to be great friends who I trust and who I can joke with when a throw goes really awry.

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Throwing Knives – All Three. January 2017.

The practice was about three hours long and I pretty much threw knives non-stop. Luckily, because I have played softball  and water polo and have done some marshal arts, I am familiar with some of the movement principles that help here – it’s not all arm movement but body rotation. The weirdest part was the reversed footwork (throwing with my right with my right foot forward).

My friend pretty quickly helped me find a rhythm and I was able to consistently hit the target – sometimes all three knives and sometimes pretty close to the center of the target. I ended up getting the hang of it enough to throw from the second distance and actually managed to make one of them stick.

Since then, I can’t wait to get back out to the range. Up next (after proving last practice was not a fluke!) is throwing a little farther, more consistently, and my friend wants to get some axes into my hands (so scary)!

  • Taylor Gallagher
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Uncategorized

26 By 2: A Year in Pictures

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A is for Angel. January 2017.

This year, I am participating in the 52 week photo challenge. Basically, you track your weeks for an entire year by picking one picture a week, following the alphabet. Week one was an Angel statue (A is for Angel). Week two was Balloons on the ceiling (B is for Balloons). This week – which I am still working on – will be C is for Candles. And so on and so forth.

While there are a lot of other kinds of photo challenges – dad is doing a picture-a-day challenge with a cluster of items theme – I love this particular challenge because while it’s not as rigorous or time consuming as a picture a day,  the fact that you have to match weeks to letters (the end of the alphabet is going to be interesting) is a fun way to stretch yourself.

Whether you sketch, write, or do any other kind of art, this is a challenge you can work into any art form. So this year, stretch yourself and grow your art.

  • Taylor Gallagher
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Fashion, Uncategorized

All about the Slanket.

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H&M Scarf

I have only recently have fallen in love with this accessory.

If you don’t know what a slanket is, it’s basically a really large piece of material the size of a half blanket that is worn as a over-sized scarf – Personally, I call this a giant scarf or shawl, but one of my students corrected me this week.

Right now, H&M has an amazing sale: each scarf is only $7 and if you buy 2, you get the third free (at least this is the deal in store).

I bought a green plaid one that was so warm for my last SCA event – a scarf during set up and a shawl over my roman during coronation – and was so excited that it worked. On sale, these are cheaper than getting material to create a shawl and a whole lot less work.

I wear mine all the time especially now that it is colder.

I stayed at my sister’s place this week – which is across the street from where we work – but didn’t have a hooded jacket, and, of course, it was raining. This scarf worked perfectly as a head covering that was large enough to cover my head and my overflowing purse on the walk and light enough that, after being laid out, it was dry enough to wear as a shawl on yard duty.

In fact, I love this slanket so much and have found so many uses that I bought my sister – a fellow SCAer – a matching scarf, and two others for us to share.

Even if you are just using a slanket as an everyday scarf, at these prices it is worth it to buy a few since they will keep you warm and can add some texture and color variety to any out fit you end up wearing.

So, yes, I am all about the slanket and you should get on this quick before they are gone!

  • Taylor Gallagher
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Miss Fisher and the Wide Leg Trouser.

As I’ve been running about throughout my winter break – prepping for trips, dealing with holidays, and photography trips – life has mainly been a topsy-turvy mess.

Throughout this mess, I’ve had one real constant: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. If you haven’t seen this gem (now available at least on US Netflix), I’ll give you a quick run down: set in the 1920s in Australia, an heiress with a sharp mind and a ‘better to ask forgiveness’ attitude, Miss Phryne Fisher, starts working as a private detective. Armed with a quick witted script, a pistol, the most beautiful wardrobe, a detective, constable, and riveting staff, Miss Fisher has completely stolen my heart.

Whether you love action, fashion, mysteries, romance, 1920s feminism, or just a group of great, beautiful people with pretty accents, this show has a lot to offer.

What really sealed it for me, of course, is the fashion.

I do not have the 1920s figure by any stretch of an imagination – they love sheath dresses and minimal curves while I am somewhere between an hourglass and a pear.

Still, what I love most about dear Phryne’s wardrobe is not the sparkled flapper gear, but her affinity for camisoles and wide leg trousers. This isn’t the first time I’ve fallen in love with this style; watching the cast of Anything Goes put on by the local theatre began my love affair.

These pants are all high waists and wide circumferences, so my only worry falls on unflattering pleats – not all pleats are created equal. My biggest issue right now is figuring out what will work when few walk-in stores  have these on hand. if you don’t mind online shopping, retailers such as Modcloth have quite a few options, I especially love their Haute Historian Pants.

So that’s up next on my new fashion obsessions and (hopefully) purchases, but until then, watch, love, and live stylishly.

  • Taylor Gallagher
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