So last Saturday, after a very stressful month, John and I went to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. It was my third time in the past six years and it has only gotten better over time. I consider it one of the best in the country out of pride of having a castle on the grounds and knowing that it really is spectacular. Doesn't hurt that most of it is in the trees, keeping me out of direct sunlight most of the time. I thought this was the best year yet although it might have helped that we also had some enthusiastic friends along to enjoy it with us.
My shopping heart was also satisfied to discover the Uncommon Adornments booth. I have bought from them several times over the years after receiving my first pendant by them--Celtic Creature--as a gift from a friend in California who found them at the Ren Faire there.
I'm always very reluctant to buy much faerie related stuff since it is more readily available and I don't want a deluge of gifts from loved ones buying faerie for me--because, hey! it's faerie--cluttering my life to be too honest. I am very picky and can count my faerie items on one hand--not including books of course. I have a Puck who watches me cook from atop the cabinets in my kitchen with a Faerie Crossing garden stone hanging on the wall. I have a stained glass faerie hanging in my office window made by a local artisan. I also have a little silver faerie I found at Portobello Rd Market who sits on my computer monitor and a pendant I found in Segovia, Spain. Yes, exotic locations make the items more special especially since I am picky about souvenirs these days, too. The same restrictions go for dragons, too.
This year I noticed the faerie at the Uncommon Adornments booth and had to have her. I have the one pictured at the top of this blog entry but with a peridot stone instead. I don't know exactly why she appealed to me so much right away--perhaps because her stance reminds me of my beloved Winged Victory.* To be blunt, it also helps that she is modest. I live in the South and I work with kids. It's just easier to avoid the lesser dressed faeries as a whole.
Needless to say, I also enjoyed some dragons, especially the sleeping one above. I walked away with a few new items but with a wishlist, too. I am now the owner of the dragon above wrapped around a mother of pearl. Yes, you can often choose from several different stones when there is a stone in the design.
Anyway, you can order from Uncommon Adornments online if they aren't appearing at a Ren Faire near you. For once, the pictures don't do the jewelry justice overall. These are blown up and show every flaw which isn't visible when you see them in person. The designs are unique and appeal to me. The Tree of Life just above reminds me of the Arthur Rackham illustration for The Old Woman in the Wood I have used for the blog's banner this year. Completely different stories, since the Greenman is the character in the pendant, but I am partially a dryad at heart and love my trees.
This is the last weekend for the faire here in TN. I do highly recommend it although I'm late for this year. I enjoyed walking around, seeing the costumes and all sorts of people walking around enjoying the food, shows, games and shops. John managed a bullseye in archery and ax throwing. This time I considered how fairs and festivals are traditions that are centuries old in cultures around the world. I also love seeing the children looking and wondering and learning. Yes, much of it is anachronistic (Ye Olde Sheldon and Big Bang Theory references come to mind) but it is fun and brings past times closer to our minds today. Never a bad thing.
Finally, although I've been picturing pendants and didn't take pictures of the faire itself or any of the costumes--I'm horrible at picture taking, preferring to experience without the distraction--I must share a picture of Castle Gwynn by Lynn Roebuck. Yep, our Ren Faire has a castle! Click on the image to see a bigger version.
Finally, I am not associated with Uncommon Adornments, but am simply a consumer past, present and future as well as a fan. The women working the booths are always wonderful and the jewelry is high quality in a great price range. They also offer information sheets about the different symbols and meanings of the pendants when you approach the booth, but not in a pushy way. I was actually happy at just how unpushy everyone was at the Faire. We spent a lot of time looking at swords and the artisans and apprentices were enthusiastic in educating us because they loved their work. I am rather shocked John didn't leave with a sword, but value his self-restraint.
* There are some popular things of which I am an unabashed fan despite their almost cliche status. Winged Victory and the Unicorn Tapestries are on the short list. I originally approached both not expecting to be emotionally engaged, but I am every time I see them.