The weekend was upon us! kissycat1000 and I went to Greenbelt on Saturday on the bike.
We spent an age going around all the stalls (*yawn*) and finally met up with happygoff, Frances, Matt, Alex and Kat. We didn't really listen to any bands, but spent the time wandering around and looking at all the stalls and catching up with friends. I found a stall that taught you how to make a silver ring and then there were freestyle sessions later on and decided to try and make a silver pentacle of the sort that kissycat1000 has been after for a while. I was originally intending to get one on her birthday for her but I couldn't find one just right and it was too personal to just order online - I just didn't like the whole concept. So of course it was deeply fulfilling and fitting to be able to make one for her.
I made a ring in the masterclass first which was a good suggestion as it got me used to working with silver and included the tuition as well. I then used that ring as it was a thumb ring and about the right size for a pentacle:
Click for larger image
Not bad for a first attempt, I thought. About the size of a 10p coin. However, not quite perfect and the energy flow that the piece symbolises is the whole point of it so after some uhming and aahing I decided to make another piece the next day. More about that later.
I managed to show happygoff and then Matt my bike. happygoff seemed particularly impressed with my bike, which pleased me muchly ;)
Later on that evening we rode to get some food as kissycat1000 didn't much fancy the fare on offer at the festival. So we went to get KFC instead... um? I parked up my bike on a blocked off street opposite and sat to eat. kissycat1000 had been telling me just how much my bike gets admired by people in general - I'd never really appreciated it until that night. A couple of blokes, one Australian who'd obviously been out on the town came to sit opposite us at the end of the blocked off street and the Australian commented on the bike which lead to a brief conversation about it. Then a bloke and his kid passing by stopped and gawked at it, along with his (presumably) girlfriend. Turns out she was a biker and I put the bike on the centre stand so the kid could sit on it but he got an attack of shyness and declined in the end. More admiration was doled out to me and my bike :) Quite quite odd.
Aside: I'm actually feeling a little self-conscious as kissycat1000 sits here and reads this as I type it on her computer. Has anyone else had that slightly unsettling experience?
Anyway, back to the weekend.. just as we got back the Outdoor Polish Theatre had started - a very strange tale of ghosts and reckless abandon and symbolic drinks of temptation, all told by actors on stilts in weird costumes with fishing rods with rubber bats hanging off and sitting astride a two-headed horse with wheels and pedals and so forth. They danced around and flailed their fire sticks and performed some spectacular swordplay - very skilled as at one point they looked to be blindfolded (but I think they were really masks). Very entertaining even if we couldn't quite understand what the story was about.
After that we went back in and sat and drank tea and coffee with everyone. It was really nice to chill out in the Tiny Tea Tent, eating chocolate muffins and seeing old friends. The topic turned again to bikes and I mentioned the Reading Ride Out. Alex (an alternative vicar, now with undercut and a stripey goatee and earrings) mentioned he has a trike which started as a Virago (my first bike) so I told him the details. I'll have to give him a ring this week and point him in the right direction for the details and hope he can make it! Matt too might be able to make it (I'd cheekily forgotten happygoff had taught him to ride and that he now has a bike of his own) with any luck.
Anyway it was getting late and we were pretty shattered so we went home and crashed out. The great thing of course is that the festival is IN Cheltenham so it's literally a ten minute ride back.
The next day we waited for Tianna to come back from Rob's before we again set off to the festival, this time with Tianna in tow in the car. Not only that but kissycat1000's joking suggestion of taking one of the rats around with us became reality when I threw it back at her and asked why not? So I had the questionable duty of smuggling the rat into Greenbelt and stopping her from getting lost. This wasn't so much the problem as stopping her.. relieving herself in the sleeve of my jacket, which is where she seemed to prefer it. That and my armpit...
Later on she spent her time quietly nestled around either my or kissycat1000's neck bemusing the other festival goers. happygoff and Frances met Tianna and Rosey the rat, and seemed impressed (again) with Rosey :)
We again went around all the stalls (*double yawn*). We saw some 'field' theatre which was rather entertaining. A mad guy in some spangly super-hero costume throwing knives and boules at some poor unsuspecting member of the public:
Home for lunch and to drop the rat off - we bumped into Alex, Kat and Paul on the way to the gates.
When we came back Tianna and I paid a quid each to go on the inflatables, as captured on kissycat1000's fun sized digital camera.. she wimped out and didn't join us :p
I was very knackered after all that, especially negotiating the inflatable assault course.
Tianna and kissycat1000 spent HOURS literally deciding on beads and necklaces (*treble yawn*) which involved lots of maths and budgetting on Tianna's part, done mostly in good grace.
At my suggestion, Tianna decided she'd like to make herself a silver ring, which as all the classes were freeform ones I ended up teaching her how to do. I'm not sure a ten year old quite has the patience that's needed for silver working but she seemed to enjoy herself:
Annealing, or the process of heating and quenching
the silver to make it malleable
Cutting the loop of silver in preparation
for joining into a ring
I then made the second pentacle, making the star first and making the ring afterwards to fit, which I had learned from the first attempt would be the most sensible - do the detailed stuff first and the simple stuff to fit around it. Here is the result:
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It's smaller than the first one; about the size of a 20p coin as modelled by the delectable kissycat1000. I was a lot happier with this attempt and kissycat1000 was too, demonstrable by the fact she now wears it - yay!
I actually really enjoy creating silver jewelry so I'm semi-seriously considering taking it up as a hobby. I don't think the start-up costs are that bad - I just need a blow torch (apparently they're the same ones pastry chefs use to toast meringues), some silver and silver solder and a heat-resistant mat. What do you think?
We wondered around again trying to find happygoff before we left but didn't see her. We did wander close to the Tiny Tea Tent and the main stage where the BBC were finishing filming a performance where the audience sang some hymn or other and we watched two sets of firework displays.
Home time at last. Stayed up really late watching the League of Gentlemen on telly before finally crashing.
Wow this has been a long post. Time to get on with the rest of the day :)