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