I almost got scammed

well, it was not that close, but I invested time and energy on it, and I still feel stupid for hoping to believe it was true.

So I was contacted on my private instagram by a person who said they saw my stuff and loved it and asked if I sold things and if I shipped to the states. I said yes, and refered to my “buisness” instagram and they said thet would write to me there.She sent me pictures from my instagram to the chat, alot of different hats, and asked what they cost. I said its different prices, specified for the ones I could tell directly and some of the more advanced ones I said, I mostly do on comission and price depend on material and look. The women said, as close as possible to the ones in the pictures, what was the price.

So I gave a prices for them as well, and she said okay, what is the total. And again stressed that some of these are made from vintage fabric and will be different fabrics if remade.I asked for which hats, and she said for all the she sent and asked if I took paypal.

The total order was for over 800 USD!I was like, this seems to good to be true. Although the profile seemed to be for a older middle age women, and I mean I could see someone like my mum fall in love with someones things and just want to buy alot.

So I proceeded with caution and specified, when I could ship and that I needed prepayment, that would not be refundable, and needed the rest when the orders where ready to be shipped and gave my paypal. Ihave this as standard, usually just so I have funds to buy the material, not because I dont trust the customer, which was the case now. And I thought never she will pay this, but then she wrote I am paying now.

This was early morning and I was on my way to work, but saw the notification on my email:

and I was like what? She paid the full amount??!?! I could not believe it!

But then I opened my pay pal, and there was no money… and then she wrote and said she got an email from paypal the money was held due to that I did not have a buisness account.

i opened the paypal email and saw that it said the same thing,but it also stated that the customer needed to pay 300 USD more and that would open my account and then I would recieve all the money.This I though was very strange, but I also knew I didnt have a buisness account, and having a limit would absolutly be possible.She said she had recieved the same email and she could pay the extra 300 USD, but I said I will see if I can upgrade my account on my part.

Which I could, I could just change the settings in paypal, which I told her. But she said what if it wont work as I upgraded before she sent the money and she will send me the 300 USD that I can pay back.And I got a new email:

However, I still had not received any money, and reading this one it said I needed to pay 300 USD to the customer THEN I could receieve the 850 and 300 back, and I also double checked the email, which was an gmail adress… Iö

I was like, okay yes, this is a scam. I would never have paid 300 USD out of pocket to recieve payment, that is not how things work ever. Still I can see people falling for it, that is not well versed in how things work, and getting really excited for a big order, and also wanting to keep customers happy and have a smootg transaction.

I just feel annoyed, disappointed, dumb for having a hope it could be legit order, even though there where so many red flags. Like not caring about the material or fabrics, having such a random selection of hats. But at the same time I dont want to pre-judge people, and dismiss customer just because they seem a bit odd.

I also feel angry on behalf of actual customers, because it is people like this that makes you need to take payment in advance and be extra careful, and have your guard really high. And on top of that all my orders are very dear to me, and alot of thought goes into it. As soon as she started talking to me about what she wanted to order I started to think about fabrics, colours, execution, and so one. So even though I didnt start actually doing anything I still put thought and energy towards it.

Oh well, these things happen, and will most likely continue to happen. I must say I am really happy about the (real) customers I have, who all are very intrested in discussion their order, and have, so far, never been issues with payments and all been so very lovely, and I am so grateful for everyone and anyone who purchase my stuff.

Preparing for the vacation

I am back to my ordinary job for a week and a half which means office work, today it was kind of okay as the rain was pouring down. And in two weeks its Gotland time, I have been thinking of maybe sewing a new pair of hoses, to have a mans dress as well.

The big project at the moment is finding a dog sitter, unfortunatley the cabin on Gotland doesnt allow dogs, which is such a shame, because as everything is out doors, it wouldnt be an issue of bringing her in any other aspect. It is a bit of stress right now, even though I now it will be solved some way or another. One aspect is that I feel as such a bother to others, even though I know Speja is a very easy to have and is really a little delight to be around.

I was very sceptical the first year of Gotland medieval week, 2021, and to be honest it wasnt very fun in aspect of the medieval week, as everyone I was around just spent their time complaining on how much more fun it was before and how lame it was now. An yes, it was lame, because everyone spent the energy complaining instead of hanging out and actually having fun. But I just loved Visby. I dont know how to explain it, I just loved it. I been to Visby when I was younger, and knew it was charming and cute, but it was amazing. All the old buildings, the stone walls, so much rustic energy.
Last year was better, I had more fun, but I also took more responsibility of my own experience, I went to a kulning work shop (herding call), met up with friends. And I have a good feeling of this year, I also kind of, not lowered, but changed my expectation. I just want to embrace the atmosphere and just BE in it, if that makes sense. So I have a really good feeling about 2023…. Just need to solve my Speja issue

Can you change your stars

A qoute from one of my favourite movies, and a fitting theme for my life at the moment. One year into my millinery studies, one year to go. Trying to change my life into something that is sustainable, not only economically, but maybe even more important, both mentally and physically.

For years I tried the conventional, academic way, I worked in an office for over 8 years, and more and more frequent my body just broke down, and my mental energy was always drained. Now days I feel more myself than I have done for years. I will not go so far to say I feel great, I still have a lot of struggles, but I am not in physical pain as much, and I dont go around in a grey daze all the time.

I spoke to a fellow artisan a couple of weeks ago* and he talked about this that to sell you need to put yourself out there which is really hard. You need to be that nagging person who shares your work constantly and pushes yourself with social media posts, even though you feel like the most annoying person ever. Because that is how you reach people now days, that is how people get information, online and you need be seen. Yes, some very lucky can get aroung by the word of mouth, but I know so many superskilled amazing talanted artists that still do not sell, and then people who is not as skilled grow due to their online precense.

*[and in parenthesis, I am a artisan now, which for me is such a strange thing to say. I guess for all my life I never thought that was a path for me, it was not sustainable, could not be my real job. But here I am, working with my hands, selling my craft, I literally made by my own hand, stitched every stiched, know ever inch of it]

Where am I going with this? Well, during my mini vacation, things felt like they started to fall into place in my head, I want a place to create, I love writing, photography, crafting, and it is, and has always been, all over the place, and I havent really had a place to collect it all. I also miss longer texts, instagram gets to crammed, so I thought lets start the blog again. In the spirit of putting one self out there. And I didnt want to create a new platform, I have so many, my hat, my horse, my dog, my own and so forth. So I thought why not on horses and swords, that is what my passion is, and if I have that as an umbrella maybe I have some sort of direction. Or maybe not, we will see.

Me and Talhoffer in our own forest- the dream goal
Photo by me

A New Chapter

I always been a little lost in what path I want to take in life, and these past years I starting to understand myself better and more what I need, and getting to know what my priorities in life are. A number of thing just made it clear that I needed changes and if Im going to do it, now is the time. Plans that fell through led up to that I choose to apply for 2 year long program in millinery, and the crazy thing is I got in!

For those who dont know, millinery is the craft of making ladies hats and accessories. It is a very hands on profession, and you get to learn how to craft in several different materials. Its also often smaller projects, which means you can put more time into it. Its doable to bead a smaller hat within reason, but it may not be possible in the same way to bead a whole dress as intriquate. For example.

The process of application

For those curious in how the application process was, it started with that you needed to apply with work sample. You had one A3 page to show whole garments you sewn, and one A3 to show details and a third you where to show a collection on a theme, and this years theme was “Breaking patterns”.

My collection was of course inspired by historic hats. I wanted to break the pattern of the minimalistic style of hats that is very modern today and bring back some of the flare of old fashion. Pressing the comfort zone but not so much that people just say no. I am for real so proud and excited by the hats in my little collection, and I do hope I can actually make them some day!

After the application with the work samples, it was a long wait to see if I was called for the test day. And I was! I was so nervous, as the only information was that it was a sewing test, a sketching test and an interview. And I have sewn, but I am not a seamstress, and I am totally self taught, so I am not very familiar with all the correct words. And sketching is not my best area…. I can manage, but Im not very good at it.

And then the day came, I could hardly sleep and hardly eat. But it wasnt too bad. We where given a pattern and fabric and instructions and where to show some stitching. And then we had too design a little thing with given material. Which I guess was to show creativity, and then sketch some hats. I mean it was tough because I really wanted to show of my best, and you dont know really what they want. But for my creativity thing I went with showing that I could think out side the box and different technics, rather than just making the most beautiful creation ever.

Apparently it worked, as last Friday I got the letter saying that I got in and Im welcome the 22 august for 2 years of millinery!

My dream is to have my own little studio where I make historical hats!

Battle of Lund 1676

In the year of 1676 Swedens most bloody battle took place on the plains outside the city of Lund, and my reenactment group has for several years been invited to reenact the battle for the public. Since it was just one day event, it turned into a bit of a mini vacation, taking a small roadtrip down to Lund on Saturday (its only three hours) and then doing shows on Sunday, and then Monday was the national day, so looked at the places of the battle around Lund and then stopping at both Bosjökloster (which is an amazing old nunnery and castle) and also my friend Kristian and Wendy who has their farm down in Skåne (Kristian is also a great saddlemaker and make both western and historical saddles, so is that is of any interest check out his WEBPAGE).

Anyhow, the event day was very nice. We had got reinforcement from Skånes Caroliner, and we were divided with the Swedes on one side with straw in their hats, and then infantry and a canon on the Danish side, with white armbands (which was the side I was on). The Swedish side also had cavalary, but they started behind our (the Danish line). Then we fired a couple of rounds on each others, then the cavalry broke trough and then they ran back a few times to fight us, and then we all met in the middle, and we the Danes surrended.
The smoke in the pictures are just gun powder smoke, that is from the muskeets and canon. Its not added for effect in anyway.

The Real Battle

At the peace treaty of Roskilde Denmark lost alot of their provinces that is in nowday Sweden, and was aiming to take them back the Summer of 1676, and they started to work they way south up trough Skåne. When the winter came take took winter camp just south of the river Kävlinge, just out side the town of Lund. There where over 15000 people in the camp, which can compare to te city of Lund, which had 3000 people living there. The Danes horses alone ate 50 ton of hay a day. So in December, the Swedes had enough and decided to make a suprise attack on the Danish camp, so at 2:30 at night, they crossed the iced river and started to march on the camp. But the Danes discovered them and the Swedish army changed direction towards Lund instead.
The king Karl XI managed, with his cavalry forces, to drive a portion of the Danes back several kilometers, while the main part of the forces where still fighting just outside the city walls.
Several hours past, and the Swedish side where getting exhausted. But in the mean time Karl XI returned with 1000 cavalry, but they where now behind the Danish lines, and by some sort of miracle the king and 2 of his men managed to just ride straight trough the Danish forces and when the King broke trough. I can only imagine it must have been like Gandalf arrived at Helms deep. The exhausted Swedish men got there breath back and with the help of the cavalary that now was also attacking in the rear, the Swedes finally managed to win the day.

But the number of losses had been huge, its hard to know exactly but several thousand where dead. Some number say 4000, but many says that it was 8000 men dead of about 18000 soldiers a total. This is a huge number, even for this era. The ground was frozen solid and the dead had to be put in piles in the church yards and could only be buried later in february in massgraves where Danes and Swedes where put side by side.

In is said that if Sweden had lost Lund, the Danes would probably been able to later take back all of Skåne. As Sweden winning, the borders remained the same as before.

I visited the place where the Danes had there camp, its marked out, and also the stretch of river the Swedes crossed. Its very humbling to think how 300 years ago they marched the icy land to defend there country in the middle of the night.

Show Costume Making

I love upcycling clothes, it’s feels both good for the environment but also it’s nice to not needing to do things from scratch. Make use of what you have, so when I got the opportunity to create a costume for the show artist LuQas I was very excited.

As a base an Armani jacket was found at a thrift storem it had a very nice fit and a nice blue colour with gold buttons, and pair of Brothers trousers in a similar blue and a shirt.

The jacket was then remodelled to get a more tail-coat feel. He wanted the costume have a Cirque du solei kind of feel, but not be to circusy. So it was lined with gold trim, but only the edges, and in the back it was split and sewn two buttons. The trim was then also used to make a string to be able to get the jacket more slim fitted.

As the jacket got shortened in the front I would have wanted high wanted pants, but since they are hard to come by a cummerbund was instead sewn to tie the suit together. The pants got the trim sewn on them for that uniform look.

Rossfechten Symposium 2022

After three years it was finally time, the yearly Rossfechten Symposium in Germany. It is a fantastisk event that gather great riders and fencer from all over the world. Last time we had a horse bus, but since this time we travelled with a trailer we made an over-night stay in Denmark. Benina that has the over-night stable is just such a gem, she is always so happy and accomodating, and upon arrival the horses got their own outdoor pasture and then indoor stalls for the night.

We arrived at our destination Thursday evening and it was such a blast to meet everyone again, and also to meet new people! As many already arrived we did some pre-symposium training with some formations training in the morning with the horses. Very calmly, just to get the horses used to each other. Then in the afternoon we took a very quite hack up to the castle up the hill. It is such a beautiful place.

Saturday it was to be an early bird, managing all the horsy chores before a nice breakfast at the inn next door and then after breadkfast we had a workshop on horseback with Jeff Sanders. Looking at how to use shoulder in to create space and draw in the other person. Very intresting, and something I actually used in sparring later! Then after lunch it was workshop on foot with basic sword drills. Then we had formations on horseback and the people not on horses got to do a pike formations that we rode through. Talhoffer did really well until we made the final big think, which involved all horses and the foot people moved and so one, then he thought it was a bit much.

Afterwards we did some sparring and I focused very much on keeping calm and letting Talhoffer have a good time. And I thought it went well, even though I could feel he was pretty tired, so I didnt push him to much.

In the evening later we had a very intresting lecture from Marcin Ruda regarding the medieval saddle and it was very intresting.

Sunday it was again, up early and then we had a very facinating workshop with Malmluk lance by Jennifer Jobst. It was like a combination of garrocha and lance, two of my favourie things! Really great!
In the afternoon we did some sparring and then in the evening, again, a very intresting lecute by Dr Fredrich Kirsch regarding the ancient and medieval bit and their development and finds. Just mind blowing.

All in all it was a great weekend and Im so proud of my horse, so much inspiration and motivation! Cant wait until next time!

Photo cred and big thank you to Amanda Melchior