I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a bit of a bug going around right now. While people are either stuck in their homes (for the most part) due to this pandemic, or considered “Essential Employees” (like myself), and forced to brave the elements to continue working, you know what neither of these groups are doing right now?
Attending Renaissance Faires.
The problem with this… actually, there are a lot of problems this causes… but the primary one I can think of is that the vendors, performers, and artists who count on RenFaires for their main livelihood are very literally well and truly screwed at the moment. They have no faires to work, and as such, they have little to no way of earning a living.
Well, My Lovely Bride™ and I decided to help out as best we can, and order some custom pieces from friends of ours on the Pacific Northwest faire circuit. Now while most of these pieces have been for me (because I’m a Garb-Whore), Tenknife is getting something really nice, too.
First of all, I ordered another custom piece of usable art from The Clay Goddess. She makes beautiful drinkware and other nifty things, that you really need to see. My Lovely Bride™ and I have a shelf full of her mugs, tankards, goblets, and bottles, and wear one each on our belts to every Faire we attend.
In this case, though, I ordered a custom 32oz insulated tankard, with artwork and colors of a red panda, to fit my persona. It is amazing, and I will be spending many long nights drinking tea or diet soda out of it, for years to come.
Speaking of useful gear aside from at Faire, I noticed that Fawnridge Arts has some very spiffy masks. They are dragonscale print, some made of silk, and others are all cotton. Regardless, since I have to wear masks as a part of my daily routine, I might as well look awesome while I do it, so we ordered six of these bad-boys! Five for myself, so I have one for every workday, and one more in purple for Ten, because she wanted one, too. I would have bought her a full set, as well, but she only wanted one.
Okay, this isn’t as useful on an everyday basis as the others, perhaps, but it is still awesome, nonetheless! I contacted The Flying Skwirl and asked them to put together a custom set of Steampunk goggles, for Ten’s garb. She’s slowly building a respectable Steampunk set, and this will go a long way towards finishing it off! Anyway, it’s got all manner of gears and doo-dads, and I can’t wait until Ten gets to wear them to Faire!
Finally, I ordered a leather kilt from Wylde Phoenix Leather. Yes, you read that right: Leather. Kilt. Anyway, I have a ton of leather garb from Wylde Phoenix, as does Ten, but this will be the crowning piece I’ve ever gotten from them. Much like the tankard I got from Gypsy at The Clay Goddess, or the masks from Fawnridge, this will be much more than a piece of garb. This will be something I wear out… once we’re allowed to go out again, that is… and really enjoy year-round. Well, maybe not so much in the coldest depths of winter. My father was part-Scottish, and I was raised that if you wear a kilt, you wear it Regimental-style, so…
Anyway, Ten and I are doing our part to support our friends in the Faire community, while they are unable to work due to this Novel Coronavirus, but let’s be frank here: It isn’t enough. No, we all need to support vendors, artists, and performers from all over, as they are all suffering to one degree or another. To that end, I know that there are many groups helping Patrons connect with Faire folk, but one I have mentioned on the “Pixels & Dice” podcast is Fae Productions on YouTube. Fairy Princess Lolly and the gang run livestreams featuring various vendors and performers, helping them display their talents for all to see. Please do give them a look, and the usual “Like & Subscribe” would certainly be helpful, as well, I’m sure!
Regardless of where you go to help out, or whom you choose to patronize, please do your part, if you can.