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Birds of Prey at the Abbey

Birds of Prey and Knights go together don’t they?

Marie and Sabrina ready for the Birds of Prey presentation at the Abbey Medieval Festival/The medieval knight  of popular media is usually dressed in shining armour, upon a fiery steed, jousting and riding off into war and gallant adventure or committing wicked atrocities to the defenceless common folk but not often is he pictured with a hawk on his glove.

Yet this was more common than the knight in shining armour.  Birds of prey were an important part of medieval aristocratic life and both lords and ladies often went about their daily duties with a hawk or falcon within arms reach.  These birds played an important role in a triumvirate of animals which also included horses and hounds. Primarily used for hunting, these birds were used as a fashion statement as well as a functioning part of the noble household’s food supply.

Falconry with Flair and Finesse

One is always kitted out in authentic Medieval Costume at the Abbey TournamentBirds of prey were very special to the noble class of medieval Europe. These birds were treated very well, housed, kept, groomed, fed and handled on a daily basis. Some nobles kept their favourite bird with them at all times; by their bed, in church, at tournaments or at feasts and formal occasions.  They were not just enamoured of their ability to hunt, their majestic, proud appearance or aesthetically pleasing design but also of their place in the natural world. Raptors soared above the ground free of terrestrial restraints coming to ground only when to suit their own purpose or when wounded or killed. To the mind of the battle born warrior these birds were their idealistic equal, a mirror image of themselves among the common folks.

Something else they felt was parallel between themselves and birds of prey was that they were unequalled in the art of slaying. That is to say, in the natural world the raptor was greatly feared and respected by other animals, birds and land dwelling prey who understood that a conflict with these creatures would lead to wounding or death, temporary escape if you were lucky.

Respect for the Predator

I was fortunate enough one day to witness this in great example as the following tale recounts:
I was observing three crows, scavenging a space for food when suddenly without warning a small bird, what looked to me a pigeon, fell from the sky, a lifeless mass.The three crows immediately moved to set upon this bird and just as suddenly, with an elegance and grace that spoke of its skill and power, a falcon landed on top of the bird and mantled it, spreading it’s wings over it’s prey and adopting a threatening posture to challenge and ready to defend that which it considered to be rightfully its own.
The pigeon was obviously its kill and as soon as it made eye contact with the three crows, all three scattered to give the falcon space and seeing that none dared intrude on its authority, took to the sky again with its prey. The crows did not for one second dare to rise to the falcons challenge; they understood their place in the natural order of things.

This too is how the medieval noble viewed himself among his social inferiors; dominant and unquestionable, through his social position, and his skill as a warrior.

Birds of Prey in Medieval Times

Birds of prey can be found in medieval manuscripts, carvings, sculpture, paintings and heraldic achievements such as shields, badges and crests. Take for example the heraldry of Sir Justyn Webbe, fictional knight of the 14thC who uses his legitimate family arms today. Upon his shield he bears four peregrine falcons which denote swiftness and loyalty, their gold colour (represented by yellow) denotes faith and obedience.  The falcon was also seen by the church as a symbol of true conversion from pagan beliefs. King Edward III of 14thC England favoured the use of a falcon as one of his primary badges of livery and favour. So as you might deduce, the falcon used as a heraldic device can tell a lot about a man’s character and history.
In the Middle Ages hunting with birds of prey was divided into two groups based on the type of bird being used.
Falconry was the art of flying falcons to hunt for game and hawking was the same art when using hawks or eagles. A falconer was the name given one who engaged in falconry and an austringer was the name of one who went hawking.  Owls were not used at all and rarely kept because of superstition associated with them .
The often-quoted Book of St Albans or Boke of St Albans 1486, has a list of birds and who may fly them as according to social rank. It has been dismissed by many historians as being idealistic at best. Indeed there is much evidence from the Middle Ages to suggest that the proposed list of birds restricted by social rank never existed or was enforced at all.

Authors note: The art of falconry, that is hunting game with birds of prey, is illegal in Australia. The author does not participate or endorse this illegal activity within Australia. The birds of prey used by Sir Justyn are from Full Flight Conservation Centre and are flown not to hunt but for rehabilitation and educational purposes.

Guest Blogger: Sir Justyn
{ Sir Justyn is a professional medieval educator, performer and fight instructor who attends events, schools and clubs, Australia-wide and internationally, bringing history to life wherever he goes.   You can see Sir Justyn’s Birds of Prey from the Full Flight Conservation Centre in the encampment of Eslite d’ Corps, the 14thC Living History group and household of Sir Justyn at the Abbey Medieval Festival.  Sir Justyn, Eslite d’ Corps (EdC) and Full Flight Conservation Centre can also be found on Facebook.  For more information on falconry and hawking visit EdC Medieval Falconry.}

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A Dreadful Note of Preparation

 

Must Make a List!

There was a definite chill when as I set out for work on the last day of May. This was not caused by some Shakespearean Rough wind that shakes the darling buds of May, but the spine chilling realisation that tomorrow is winter and that means that it is Tournament season. For this medieval re enactor the first chill of winter does not herald cosy nights sipping mead in front of a warm fire; it bodes late nights making gear and fixing armour in a freezing workshop.

The Heroic Ideal

At some point last year I remember deciding that I would spread the workload so that I would not be trying to fit a new visor and padded liner to my helmet, make a new helmet crest and shield, replace my gauntlets, make a new coat and houppelande (high medieval robes utilising approx 10 m of wool), cast the fittings for two new belts, make a new heraldic surcoat to go over my armour ( Why did my ancestors choose such a complex heraldry?), a new hat and organise two full tournaments and five smaller Pas d’Armes combats in an impossible time frame.  Easy…..the Abbey Medieval Festival is at least five weeks and two days away! Not that I am counting the days in which I have to make fix and devise more things than I could poke a stick at (mental note: make poking stick).
Whilst working on my armour I may get a chance to ponder on why my breastplate appears to shrink between tournament seasons.  I might even have time to get in some extra training as the combats seem to be getting harder and faster every year.  I just need to prioritise and remember that we do this for fun- this tournament season should be Made glorious summer and not the winter of our discontent (mental note: fix tent).

The Unfortunate Reality

If you live near Toowong and hear hammering and swearing late into in the night I apologise just remember the prologue from Henry V:
Piercing the night’s dull ear, and  from the tents The armourers, accomplishing the knights, With busy hammers closing rivets up, Give dreadful note of preparation.

 

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The big App!

A big hello and welcome back all!

In my last blog post, I wrote about how technology has the ability to invaluably connect and reconnect us with our friends and family.  On another occasion, I wrote about other technology used for the festival this year; the Big Scan and our Interstate Competition.  Technology and gadgets have been around for a long time,  man has always been coming up with inventions to make his life easier.

Man has been coming up with inventions to make his life easier since the dawn of time.

Medieval Gadgetry

This is  as true in the medieval era as it is today, and nome more so than today!  Technology is giving the festival a whole new exciting dimension, and giving our visitors even more to experience.  And this week, when I queried the urgent communications to-ing and fro-ing across the office, the explanation I got was ‘the festival App ‘.  Again technology!

So being someone who is constantly in awe of technology, I can’t resist delving a little deeper into our new and amazing iPhone App.

For those of us who live quietly and happily, oblivious to i-technology, the app (or application) is a software programme which can be downloaded onto an iphone (or android) mobile phone, allowing us to have instant and relevant information about the festival at our fingertips , literally. Yes, it’s indulging the inner geek in us all, even those of us that are normally not really ‘geeky’.   So if it’s not for you, that’s ok.  But just this once, I want to engage our ‘Teckies’!

For those of us who simply can’t live without a iphone; if from the moment you wake, to way past bed time, you’re on Facebook, Twitter, online banking, online shopping,  e-bay, amazon,  online anything possible, well this is for you!  We give you the Abbey Medieval Festival App!

The Abbey Medieval Festival App!

Advancing gadgetry......the Abbey Medieval Festival App!

 

Features of app? Briefly…..programme of events, map of the festival, news updates, information on the exhibitors.

Biggest and best’est’ feature? …….Customisation!

I know you’ll like this.  Whatever festival programmes you want to attend, the app will give you the information you need; the location, the time, the duration, whatever you need to know while you are on the move!

And exhibitors – you’re going to love it too!  Push notifications!  You know those little texts telling people that there’s only twenty more toffee apples left or the jousting is running late because of a Knight getting stuck in his armour, or our VIP’s have arrived,   whatever you need to tell people; the App’s got it covered.

And for visitors sticking around our wonderful corner of the world for a little while after the festival is over, we have included information on some of the other great things to see and do around our region.

The festival App will be freely available through the Iphone and Android App Stores at the end of this month.

The Big App is here to stay…..and besides….it’s cool……… it’s another experience from the Abbey Medieval Festival that we know you’ll love……and we already know how even-cooler it’s going to be next year!

Till next time,

Caroline

 

 

Will My Medieval Dress Fit Me?

The Abbey Medieval Festival is pleased to offer you this Costuming post by our special guest blogger who has a wealth of experience with differing costume and dress styles and fittings when attending Medieval Events.

What Medieval Dress Style will suit me?

Jean de Liège, Tomb effigy of Philippa of Hainault, alabaster (London, Westminster Abbey)  Image from the website ‘Richard II’s Treasure, the riches of a Medieval King’ on a page about Richard II’s Grandmother.You may think that all medieval women were tall and slender but this is not the case. Look at the C14th Queen of King Edward III, the gentle yet clever Philippa of Hainault. Loved and worshipped by her Husband, loved and adored by the people even after her death, she was no stick insect and yet was the epitome of elegance and bringing her and her unique styles from Valenciennes, Belgium (Valenciennes can be found today in Northern France), influencing the fashion at court with her native ladies and throughout English Noble and Middle Class society.
Hopefully this short post will cover the basics and give you an idea of what would suit your body shape best for you to feel and look totally fabulous at the festival this year.

Slender, “Willowy” and Athletic Figure Styles

This is the lady immediately after the bride.If you are of a slender build ( or athletic), you can pretty much wear almost anything in the medieval era, from a well cut C13th garment that is loose fitting, to a C14th Cote-hardie as pictured here. along with a well cut sideless surcote,  a C15th French Burgundian Gown or Kirtle.
Lady Margaret de Bois from Ingtham Church, Norfolk, English c.1365.What to avoid?

Too much fabric for starters! Be aware of hanging sleeves over narrow ones if part of the fashion of the era you portray. These will swamp your slender frame unless cut with care and thought, should you choose to have them.

The neckline on a C14th gown can be higher above the bust and can be off the shoulder to add some sensuality.

For the C15th keep to a high waist and belt, as it will give you the illusion of curves for your derrière.

Keep the style simple and elegant without too much fuss and your whole look will be a success!

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The Voluptuous, Curvy and Hourglass Fashions

Image from Alison Weirs book ‘Isabella, She-wolf of France, Queen of England.If you are curvaceous and have an hourglass figure, get yourself a well fitting bra and hang the cost. Those girls need to be contained but also on show!  Not authentic in reality but you want then to be secure and comfy under your gown.
Any C13th loose fitting gown will look ok, but will drape heavily according to your bust size, so be aware they may not be flattering and if wearing a sideless surcote, cut it wide at the shoulders and wide across bust.
 From the book ‘Making of a Tudor Dynasty’ “Alabaster effigy of Lady Goronwy ap Tudur d.1382 in Penmynydd Church, Anglesey, probably bought from the dissolved friary church at Llanfaes, not far away.”

Any C14th gown in the English, French or Spanish styles would suit as gowns in the C14th were cut to the figure for both sexes due to the new invention of buttons, making garments close fitting. Sideless Surcotes look great on this shape figure too as the cut away sides are flattering to the waistline. Necklines can be lower to show upper parts of the breasts and off the shoulder as of the C1350’s at court. The Hips in these style gowns will be covered and hide a multitude of sins for the modern woman, but they did enhance their derrière with fox tails under their gowns, so show off your lower curves in your gown with pride! (Ankles and wrists were extremely sexy and never shown! So show off your upper breasts and backside and be totally authentic!)
Queen Joan of Navarre, Canterbury Cathedral  An image of an illustration by "Stothard" in 1817.

Any C15th Gown would also suit the hourglass figure enhancing your breasts as the V neckline for the larger busted lady is very flattering, also if the neckline skims the tops of the shoulders too showing more of the curve of the neck under the dancing veil from the Hennin headdress but again be modest and have a neckerchief of transparent material, silk organza for example, tucked in ( although most modern men would disagree with this!)
What to avoid?
 Marie of Brabant on her wedding day to Phillip III of France.  “Grande Chroniques de France, c.1400: British library, Royal MS 20 C VII, vol. 2. F.1or, detail”With an hourglass figure your breasts will be the main problem, so trick the eye and enhance your slender waist. Not much can be done with this body shape in the C13th clothing as it’s so loose fitting even if tucked into a belt and pulled out under the ribcage. It makes you look frumpy. Keep to silks or linens if you do wear c13th clothing, in a simple cut, as they will drape heavier and flatter more with more fabric in the skirts of the gown about the legs and ankles to balance the eye.
  “Collected works of Christine de Pisan, Paris,des dames master and shop, c.1415: British Library Harley MS 4431, f.100r, detail”For the C14th, wear your belt lower than your waist, more towards your hips, this will elongate you from your bust making you look slimmer. Also avoid large hanging or excessively dagged sleeves of the French Style as these near your bust will make you look larger than you are. If you do choose to have hanging sleeves, have then hanging long from the elbow, as seen right pictured here
Keep your tippets narrow and neat if you choose to wear them. Make your gowns very full in the skirts, if you have enough fabric to direct the eye down and to balance your frame. If wearing a sideless surcote, avoid narrow fronts on them. Keep the front of your surcote wide (nipple width is a good indication of what would flatter your body shape best) along with the back being wide, as seen left here.

 From a C15th image  “a Bride lead to her wedding feast” from Bibliothéque de l’Arsenal, Paris, Ms.5073 fol.117v  This is the lady immediately after the brideFor the C15th the only difference would be to keep the cut of the gown simple once again and not to have it high waisted. Cut the gown’s waist low on your narrowest point to flatter your figure best and also have your belt at this point too or have a very wide belt. It does not look flattering if your bust over hangs though!

 

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The luckiest of all of the Body Shapes – the Pears

Minnesanger Ms.,c.1300 Heidelberg University (PH Mansell)With a Pear shape figure, consider yourself to be one of the lucky ones, as this was the shape that most fits medieval depictions of the female medieval form.
It is hard to determine if a pear shape figure was under the long loose fitting gowns of the c13th, but one from the Mannesse Codex pictured here would look good on your frame with a smaller neckline, with the folds falling from either a set neckline or cut to incorporate the fullness required to achieve this look

Princess Joan, on King Edward III tomb effigy, Westminster Abbey, London, England.  As would a fashionable C14th gown pictured here on the right.
A larger than normal derrière and belly was considered the perfect figure for birthing and considering it was the sole purpose of medieval Noble women to provide heirs, it stands to reason many images were depicted thus. A C14th Gown cut with a full skirt is most flattering and can have either a square neckline or a rounded one, hanging sleeves, dagged sleeves, narrow sleeves, you get the idea. A sideless surcote will flatter this shape figure well too.
 From ‘Les Tres Riches Heures’ a personal book of Duc de Berry. May’s Lady in Green on horseback.

The C15th Houpplande as well as the Burgundian and Spanish Gowns look good on the pear shaped figure too with the tiny waist and ribcage able to take the high waist level and belt.

What to avoid?
Image from ‘A mixed party’ on one of the ‘Medieval Woman’ Calendar’s from the shop Past Times

No much to be honest, like I said above, you are one of the lucky ones. Keep your necklines fitted to your shoulders and torso and then let the fabric fall into full skirts and the gowns of the medieval period flatter your body shape best, so relish in it and enjoy your body in a stunning gown.

 

 

Guest Blogger:  Kat Woods

“Let me introduce myself.
My Name is Katrina Wood, I belong to a small C14th group here in the UK called ‘Age of Chivalry’ and I have re-enacted for 26 years.
I have been approached by The Abbey Medieval Festival, which has a reputation second to none in the UK, to do a small blog on Female Medieval Costumes suiting and flattering body shapes.” Note from Jo – Kat’s really modest bio really should include her website which is:  http://www.katshats.co.uk/

 

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Connecting and reconnecting

Hello everyone,
Today in my blog post I want to talk about connecting with the special people in your life and how important those experiences and memories are to us.

I had a great week this week! I re-found two special people in my life that due to geography and being neglectful, I had lost connection with. It’s only afterwards that you realise how much you have missed out. And as soon as you hear that person’s voice again, the connection is instant and the time lapse dissappears. And thanks to Facebook and technology, we are in touch again. What a special feeling.

Reconnecting with family and friends

Spend a little extra one-on-one time with your family and friends at the Abbey Medieval Festival

Very often people drop in and out of our lives and sometimes we are left wondering why this person appeared and dissappeared. Sometimes, it takes a special occasion to nurture those people that mean so much to you but you don’t see that often. 

You cannot wonder, then, why we are so happy here in the festival marketing team to learn that more and more of our visitors use the Abbey Medieval Festival  and the Kids’ Medieval Fun Day as their occasion to reconnect and spend time with the special people in their lives. Thank you to all of those fabulous ‘connectors’ who do a much better job than I do and proactively look after the special relationships in their lives.  We are so honoured that you are choosing the Abbey Medieval Festival as your  venue for reunion.  What a compliment!

And because we know how difficult it is to organise friends and relatives who are interstate, we wanted to try and help out!  Have you heard about our competition?

Just click here and complete your details and you are in the running for a great prize worth $3,000.  The prize consists of flights for a family of four from either Sydney or Melbourne, a car to get around, a week’s accommodation in the luxurious Novotel Twin Waters in the Sunshine Coast, VIP tickets for the Abbey Medieval Festival and to top it off – three more fantastic Queensland experiences – free family passes for Australia Zoo, Aussie World and Bellingham Maze.

This is our way of helping all those connectors out there because we know it takes a lot of time and effort to make these occasions happen.  So if you are in Queensland trying your best to get interstate family and friends together this July holidays, tell them about this competition!

Connection with Family

The Abbey Medieval Festival is the perfect occasion to reconnect with your loved ones.

Don’t miss out on those special memories and experiences.

Till next time, my friends,

Caroline

Shuvani-Dancing-on-the-Village-Green-AMF2011
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Medieval Carnivale – Gypsy Dancing Special

A Gypsy encampment - Another happy day at The Abbey Medieval Festival! The wheels of the Gypsy Wagon come to rest at Abbeystowe for the Abbey Medieval Festival  weekend. Word has been received far and wide that there is an annual gathering here to share the wealth and knowledge of kingdoms, tribes, encampments and fellow people alike. The day has been rewarding for all with the sharing of music, dance and crafts that the gypsy people have cultured for so many years.

Travelling across the land opens the opportunity to meet new and unique people. As the gypsy tribe settle down, something is lingering in the air… So many new faces and souls have come together to share the occasion. The Medieval Carnivale is beginning and a crowd is starting to surround the settling encampment. What scene will Shuvani Romani showcase on this night of celebration?

What Will The Gypsies Share On The Medieval Carnivale Night?

The scent of wood burning and the soft glow of a warm fire set the scene for a night not to be forgotten.

The Gypsies are waiting to dance one last time for the night and for the people who have come to gather around. Faces in the crowd wait with an anxious grin, some sipping on mugs of cider, waiting for the fanfare blast that will signal the start of the Medieval Carnivale. An air of mystery surround the Gypsy people as they tend to their campsite, the crowd have all eyes on the dresses embellished with bells and chains so beautifully pleasing to the eyes.

 

Fall In Love At The Medieval Carnivale

One thing is certain, the gypsies will dance  and perform a rare show only to be seen at The Medieval Carnivale! A Love Story is in the air and the gypsies will dance with happy hearts and pounding feet.  Come and see for yourself at the Abbey Medieval Festival.

Love Is In The Air at The Abbey Medieval Festival

Next week, read about the stunning horses that will perform and dazzle you at the Medieval Carnivale Spectacular.

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The Medieval Carnivale

 

A  balmy medieval winter’s evening settles
So what happens when the sun goes down on a medieval day full of markets, after picking up that great new wooden food bowl that has been carved so beautifully, and all the  furs and loom-woven pieces and the excitement of the tourney with its  elaborate  jousts and battles ?

 

The swords are sheathed.

The horses are groomed and fed after a day of jousting.

And the cannons are hushed.

 

Do the inhabitants sleep?  Oh noooo nooo nooo!
Party Time!

The Medieval Carnivale Begins!

The visitors have donned their best gear – dresses swishing, cloaks swirling, children  delightedly whisper to each other  – ‘the fire twirlers are here with the Burning Dragon!”!  Feet are tapping with the last strains of drums and strings still hanging in the air.
Our tummies already happily filled from the day’s feasting, and we can settle down on our benches and await with pleasure the scenes to come.

What happens at a Medieval Carnivale?

What do battle hardened horses do at night to play? How do the riders of war trained horses wind down after a day of action?
A gypsy tribe is settling down for the night, something is in the air… What is stirring away from the encampment that calls for a celebration?

Showcasing Medieval After-Dark Celebrations!

The stars are twinkling, the performers’ blazing  sticks are  twirling  seemingly magically –  intertwining  with dangerous dragon!  The rhythm, the beat and the tempo of a time where the music reflected a community’s way of life.

Next Tuesday’s post will be the first of a series highlighting the spectacle of our professional  Medieval Carnivale Entertainment Team who will delight you for two hours!   We trust you’ve got your tickets to the Festival!

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Abbey Medieval Festival and Channel 9’s The Voice: transformations of a kind!

Hello, my friends, again.

I have been asked to  ‘please explain’ and realise that I have been dropping a distinct word in my last few posts, without clarifying it.

That word is ‘Transformation’ – not one that we as adults use a lot, but ask any eight year old what a ‘Transformer’ is!

So, it’s kind of the same – kind of different! Let me explain!

Let me introduce Joe and Jim! (aka Joseph Pine and James Gillmore).  These two writers are my ture heros on the subject of experiences and transformations.  They will tell you a transformation is in fact an economic offering, just like goods or services – which as it turns out, are yesterday’s news.  Transformations are what consumers want and demand today.  Joe and Jim have further explained a transformation as: “Guiding customers to gaining a deeper understanding to some part of themselves“. (2011-The Experience Economy)

Interesting…… I’m hoping I dont’ lose you here, but actually, you know…it’s not that deep.  We experience transformations everyday.

Last week, I brought my son to his karate lesson. I sat watching.  The children were intense, serious and  focussed.  I remembered my son on those first few lessons; he was giddy and skittish; his attention everywhere.  I wondered if he would ever get it.  Now, as I sat and watched him, I was able to see something new; a strong gaze in his eyes, a serious face; he was absorbed.  He was actively engaged and I had just realised that before my eyes, he had escaped. Yes…..NAPLAN and all the stuff-of-the-week were left far behind.  He had undergone his own little transformation. And was I happy about that?

Channel 9’s ‘The Voice’ – why are we all so hooked? One word: Transformation.  Each of these wonderfully talented contestants are being guided through a transformation; it’s life changing, a personal journey. Let me even use the word ‘walkabout’  here.  There’s no going back.

Everyday, people fall in love, we experience grief, we have children born to us, or….. maybe no baby comes.  Each of these are every-day, life-transformations that we as human beings experience; each bringing us to a deeper and ongoing understanding of something inside us.

Ok, so what’s this got to do with the Abbey Medieval Festival, you ask?

We are here to guide you through a medieval transformation.

Nowadays our free time is so precious.  People are working so hard for their families and to achieve their ambitions.  How recreation time is spent is selective and valuable.   The Abbey Medieval Festival acknowledges this!

I examined what I really wanted for my own free time?

I wanted a little ‘escapism’ if that was possible.

Well it is!  Very possible.  You can escape absolutely and wonderfully so… to another era.  You can transform yourself to a different century and live it, for a short time, as it was.  A real medieval experience.  It only depends on you.  Let’s take the Kids’ Medieval Fun Day!  You as a parent can witness your kids’ transformation or even partake in your own.  Watch your kids as their attention towards the activities on offer changes.  First reluctance leading to curiosity, then mild amusement……a little more interest is piqued, then their attention is grabbed.  This leads to physical involvement and then…excitement and elation as they become totally and utterly engaged.

Guiding this transformation is our job.

And guess what! We are aware that some of our readers and followers are already there!  In our recent competition we asked people to tell us what type of experience they would like to have at the Abbey Medieval Festival this year.  Steve Springhall from Queensland said he wanted ‘the feeling of travelling back in time’…..Steve, thank you for this!  That feeling is yours to have and we really would be honoured to guide your transformation.  That’s all we can do.  The rest is up to you.  So who else wants to join in?

So next time you watch The Voice, think of your own transformation. 

Yours to have at the Abbey Medieval Festival!  So have it!

 

 Till next time readers….Caroline

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The transformation is starting….Project Gorgeous Garment!

Hello again readers.

Thank you, thank you, oh esteemed colleagues of the Medieval Festival, for the routine reminders that we have less than seven weeks to the Festival.  And more precisely, for me to get  project ‘Gorgeous Garment’ under control.  I now realise how much time I wasted last week,  forcing my poor, poor costume designer to chase me several times!

Look, it is what it is!  And I guess like many Mums out there juggling home, kids, schools, relationship, work,  and not to mention the elusive ‘me time’, I think last week was one for the books.  Take car trouble, take kid’s school drama, take a yucky chest cold and add a mouse in the house (think mouse and think the secret Mother’s Day stash of chocolates, yes lucky mouse!).  And what results?   Well, naturally, you forget to take your measurements and send them to the lovely and gracious Carolyn awaiting in NSW, needle in hand!  (So sorry, C!).

And you know, it wasn’t that I forgot, I just couldn’t put my hand on a tape measure anywhere.  At one stage I was thinking this is a ridiculous prank! I tried at least three places and even considered using my husband’s concrete-covered yellow trady Dewalt one, (Yes, it is true!) but I decided, this wasn’t how it should be.

Anyway, following rugby on Saturday morning……I finally did it! (And I’m fully allowing myself this moment of achievement, because as simple as sending measurements on, it just wasn’t that simple for me last week.)  Finally, I was successful in getting my hands on the right sort of tape-measure at Morayfield shops for the jolly price of $2.50.  Without any further undue waste of time, measurements were taken, on-site, in front of my confused kids and sent via text to the awaiting seamstress.(:

A few short hours later, Ladies and Gentlemen!….the transformation began to unfold.

This is what I received back!

 

I loved the pattern, I loved the colours, the buttons….. well, we can discuss.  But then,  I did a double take on the fabric which the lovely, gracious Carolyn had chosen.  And at once….. I became ‘Medievalised’! On closer examination, I saw something beautiful.  In fact, I don’t think I had ever before laid my eyes on seen such rich, gorgeous, luxurious fabric.  It slowly drew me in until I was almost able to feel the contours and profile of this superbly sensual fabric selection.

My experience was happening and I was having fun!

It was indeed and I was loving it!  And I began to wonder which of my readers out there were having similar experiences and got to imagine themselves in their creations.  Readers, I SO hope you have!  And because it was a personal and rich moment, a medieval magical moment, I wanted to share it with you.  For an exchange, but!  I would really love to hear about your Fashion projects and any resulting experiences.

Let me know, please.  Till next time, my fellow followers of fashion.  Stay safe!

Caroline

 

 

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Close experiences……of a medieval kind

Hello again readers,

Blog time again and what a busy week we have had! A bigger than expected response to our ads in New South Wales and Victoria, has left us in awe of our followers there.  How happy are we to know you are out there!  Thank you!

In the competition last week, we asked our followers to complete a sentence about an experience they wish to fulfill at the Medieval Festival this year.  It is always so interesting and sometimes unpredictable to hear what people say, and as the person whose job it is to look after those experiences…..it’s really my thing!!!

We have had some wonderful replies across the range: medieval food and drink, music and armour, to sword fighting and jousting and battling

(or how’s this one) and medieval religious ceremony! 

Or….. to simply just being there!  We know that each one is important and actually quite personal and by getting it right we are honoured to be part of creating lasting and enjoyable memories for you and your loved ones.  And we acknowledge that!

But let me just add, however, by part-creation of these personal memories, the other part is up to you!  And we SO want to present the right environment …the correct mix and match of medieval factors….that will inspire the exact level of engagement that you wish to contribute to this year’s festival and ultimately support your experiences.  (Shh! Secretly what we want is to help enable a little…. but very personal…. medieval transformation to go on in your head; for you to leave this century and go back in time…..but more about that in a later blog).

In other words, just get in there and see what happens!

(Hint!  If you are really after a deep engagement with the festival this year, consider volunteering! You won’t be disappointed! Be one of the first on-site, experience the medieval engine as it revs up, and don’t forget the food!)

So let me pick one!  The one experience that is proving extremely popular is the Fashion Trail!  Ok, so this one is probably more for the Gals! Anyway, we are in the process of inviting some guest bloggers (of fashionable interest) to tell us about their fashion journey, but in the mean-time, please, I want to know about yours!

I mentioned my own fashion story briefly in my first blog.  And I’m pleased to say the project is making steady progress.  A pattern has been agreed, and fabric and colours have been negotiated.  Measurements are being taken …(and re-taken, I think for my own sake I want to wait until my steak dinner has settled)…and it’s all happening.  Carolyn in Stanhope Gardens……let’s hear from you too!

So I’m thinking the fashion this year is going to ROCK!

Brisbane Fashion Festival and Teenvogue are you listening? I’d like to see some medieval gear on the cat walk…wouldn’t you readers??

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The big Scan…

Your experience …….we take it seriously at the Abbey Medieval Festival.

Today, an up-to-the-minute QR-code-scanning experience via a print ad in the national newspapers.  Cutting edge technology, perhaps!

In July, join the medieval transformation, where your sword displays the cutting edge!

Another kind of 'Cutting Edge'

 

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NSW and Victoria….Do you read me??

Hello again readers,

I left you hanging yesterday, sorry,  but literally, I was mid sentence when I got a call about….. I think I can say it out loud now…. our Competition!

Queenslanders! We love you of course, that goes without saying, but we want to share this love. Lets forget about rugby and forget about the weather.  Right now, we are so excited to be connecting in this fantastic way to NSW and VIC!

So NSW and VIC, how does a week in Queensland sound?  Fly the family up, lap up a little sunshine, drive around in a nice car, live it up at a luxury resort,  do the VIP thing at the Abbey Medieval Festival….and visit three other fantastic Queensland experiences.

You know you deserve this!!

Ok, here’s the how!

Sydney-siders! – get the Sun Herald this Sunday, find the travel section, you will find an Abbey Medieval Festival ad in the Destinations Magazine insert.

Likewise, Melbourne – Get the Age!

Here’s where it gets interesting.  You’ll find a QR code on the ad, get hold of your chatting device (aka mobile phone), and scan the code.  Now, if it all works ok, you’ll find yourself in our Facebook landing page, where you are asked to input your details to enter our fantastic competition!

And tell us more about the competition I hear you say.  Ok. will do…

We are offering one lucky family from either Sydney or Melbourne, return flights to Brisbane, a week’s accommodation in the luxurious Novotel Twin Waters, a family car for a week sponsored by the wonderful folk at Martin Jonkers Motors, Caboolture…..and let me see, what else??

Oh yes, be treated by a VIP at the Abbey Medieval Festival and enjoy free family passes to Australia ZooAussie World and the amazing Bellingham Maze!!!!

Why wouldn’t you?

Ok, I am now officially exhausted from excitement. Time out, and have a wonderful weekend.

Caroline

PS.  For God’s sake, get the Sunday papers!!!

 

 

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Caroline calls to New South Wales and Victoria!

 

Hello to readers of this Blog!
I am Caroline and I work as a member of the Abbey Medieval Festival Marketing team.  I’m a little new to blogging but I am hoping to get to know people out there and keep you updated on events as they progress with the Abbey Medieval Festival.

We are aware that we have a large number of followers from New South Wales and Victoria and we want to express our appreciation for your interest and loyalty.

 I would especially like to welcome my friend and old neighbour(less of the old…!) Carolyn Blunden from Stanhope Gardens in NSW. Carolyn is studying to be a Fashion Designer and guess what…..Carolyn’s inaugural art piece is going to be my Medieval Banquet gown!  Thank you so much Carolyn!  (Wait untill my five year old daughter Alice sees me in one of your numbers……No pressure C, I’m not expecting to look like someone straight out of the set of the Tudors!


I can’t wait to get this project moving.  Carolyn has a  fascination of all things Medieval, so I’m wondering how we can reach out to other Medieval Make Believers out there…………

Hang on…. I know exactly how!!!

 Let you know tomorrow, promise…I have final details to attend to….watch this blog…..

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The Abbey Medieval Festival Celebrates Today!

 

The Abbey Medieval Festival (Quietly) Celebrates Today.

Acting Premier Andrew Fraser visited us this morning to announce a bit of a funding boost for the Abbey Medieval Festival event over the next three years.

Well, allright then, it was a significant funding boost!

We are really happy to have this acknowledgement that we are a much-loved family and community event.

We love that we are significantly contributing  economically and culturally to the local community as well as nationally and internationally.

These funds will be used strategically over three years to gorw our visitation from interstate and international markets.  We are also looking forward to launching some fantastic on-line innovations as a result of this grant funding to ensure we continue for many years to come to be the biggest and the best Medieval Festival in the Southern hemisphere.

Thank you Events Queensland!

We were very proud last week to be noted as one of the Must-See QLD Events in 2012 too!

Our preparations are well under way for tne 2012 production of the Abbey Medieval Festival and our ticket sales are about to open on-line on 1st February.

Meanwhile today, in amongst the planning and preparations we took time to have a special cuppa and cake.

OUR VOLUNTEERS – Saviours of the Day

Every year the most amazing people come forward to volunteer as part the team for the Abbey Medieval Tournament and it is their involvement that makes this Festival the internationally-renowned event that it is today.

The numbers of volunteers required each year continues to grow with the 2012 event looking for over 200 helpers.  Many will be repeat helpers but we are always looking for fantastic people to come and join us, to be involved in an historic way of life for a weekend, to help our 25,000 visitors experience such an eye-opening weekend – to see how rope and furniture was made, to taste food and drinks of the day, to ‘oohh’ at the jousting and to ‘aahh’ at the Birds of Prey.

To volunteer, just complete our Online Volunteer Form and your information will come straight through to us, the Volunteer Co-ordinators,  and we’ll be in touch!!

Roles range from helping people at the gate, serving at the Banquet and being involved in the Kids Festival the week before.  You’ll even get a great costume to wear to help you feel like you’re really part of this ‘wiiiillld’ weekend experience.

Now that it is the New Year we are getting into the swing of things.  The logistics of sourcing 200+ people, allocating roles, finding food to feed the team (it might be a loaves & fishes type-meal!!  We’re hoping for the forever-filling baskets to come forward as budget is preeeeety tight!!) – all this seems pretty daunting at the moment but I’m sure Chrystle and I, as the volunteer co-ordinator team, will find ways and means to make this an unforgettable weekend (in the best possible way!!) for you all

AMF-Jousting Knight

A Knight in Shining Armour come to save the day!!

……

Wishing all our past volunteers a wonderful 2012 and the same to any future volunteers out there reading our new post!!

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