Happy Holidays to All - Hope this annual holiday missive finds you all well and happy.

2008 has been a very full year. We started off the year intending to do a lot of our medieval group (Society for Creative Anachronism - SCA) events. It became more than we knew.

January was 12th Night for our organization. Robin (aka Sabrina) had been asked to join the first set of Queen's Artisans. A lovely honor indeed. Her role was to assist the arts through furthering her own studies, teaching, and displaying her work. The project chosen was a beaded gollar (mantle). Sabrina taught at March Crown and displayed her work. The project was started but not completed by the end of the reign at Beltane.

Meanwhile Will and Sabrina participated in the SCA demo at Dundracon. Then Sabrina organized 2 panels at Costume Con on Livery and using such concepts for costuming. Will reluctantly participated on the panels. We also attended several smaller events including Mists Investiture (Spring) where Sabrina won the dance award and Will acted in his squire capacity for his Knight's (Brion) Pelican ceremony. Many of the old timers came; including Brion's mother, brother and his wife and kids. It was good to see old friends! At Mists Investiture (Fall) Will won the dance award.

It also was the 2nd La Prova Dura in April -- a special fighting event focusing on honor, chivalry and display. There were fighters from 8 different kingdoms and 4 kings. SCA rank meant nothing in terms of who was eligible to fight. There were 6 fields over which the 104 fighters were arraigned on the first day. It was a round robin - you fight everyone on your field (17 fights). Will acquited himself well. Sabrina ran the lists on one of the fields. The day ended in feasting and entertainment.

The 2nd week in June, Robin was at Asilomar; a conference center in Monterey. Her local EGA Region was holding its seminar. 5 days of classes - hurrah. 6 nights away from Will booooo! It was a lovely location and fun classes.

In June we boiled in Sacramento for June Crown. In July we went up to Gold Beach Oregon - just over the California border for a 5 day event - the West An Tir War. Sabrina coordinated 2 days of class tracks and taught. Will and his war unit went to fight. Sabrina was able to endulge her arts bent with workshop with one of the top natural dye experts - Bjo Griffin of Griffin Dye Works. Sabrina has known Bjo for 35+ years and had never before been able to attend on of her classes. Lots of silk and wool yarn was prepared for dyeing including some that Sabrina had spun from wool roving.

The big news from the event was that Sabrina was asked to join the Order of the Pelican (life time service award) at about 2:30 am Friday morning. A very grumpy Sabrina was pulled from bed in order that Their Majesties could ask. The whole story can be found here.

The ceremony was set for Purgatorio - the last weekend in August. As with any special event, it would not have been complete without Robin (Anne) from Alaska and Maeva from Oregon coming down for the event. Unfortunately the visit was rushed as the following Tue (6 am) Robin/Sabrina was off to Louisville for 12 days.

Louisville is the location of the Headquarters for the Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA). As Robin was preparing to step up as Region Director she needed to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors and an annual seminar first. As chance would have it, this year included a 3 day International Embroidery Conference (IEC) between the 2 events. Robin was able to visit with her mentor and friend Linn Skinner which was a very nice added bonus. EGA believes in roommates and Melinda Rolfe from our local region thankfully agreed to be roommate. Robin took full advantage and took 3 classes as well as the IEC. Full details of the trip can be found here. The hardest part was the 12 days away from each other :(

September went fast with the first week in Louisville. Did manage to catch the Chihuly exhibit at the DeYoung. OH - MY - G--D. A true feast for the eyes. Snagged his 365 days book -- full of eye candy and thoughts about creativity.

Then off to the first Inter-Kingdom Intensive Needlework Symposium (IKINS) in Los Angeles. Sabrina was asked to teach raised Elizabethan stitches. Will went along for the ride and to visit his family. Friday was a visit to Hedgehog Hand Works. After lightening the pocket book, the group went off to the Getty and we went to visit the last of Mom's friends from work - Kay. It has been 10 years since Mom passed away and Lois, who was one of the ladies from this special group. Kay was 85 and doing poorly. We took her to a doctors appointment and lunch. She passed away 6 weeks later. I am glad we were able to make a least one day of her last ones a bit special. We also were able to link up with Robin's cousins Harold and Bob for dinner. The rest of the family were unable to connect on this trip.

The first weekend in October, Robin was invested as Region Director for the Greater Pacific Region of EGA. It is a 2 year position and includes being on the national board of directors. Lots of administrative work. As a balance, Robin is the faciliator for a Crazy Quilt drop in workshop on every 2nd friday afternoon. Set time for stitching is a good thing.

Through out the year Will has been working hard at work and his medieval martial arts. Monday and Thursday are yoga classes. On Monday evening Will and Robin do a private pilates class. Will does the gym Tueday and fighter practice Wednesday. Friday nights are "date" nights for us. At work Will has been getting more and more into being a team leader, designing systems, and unfortunately attending lots of meetings. At present his job is secure (crossing fingers). His treat this year was to purchase a new red Cooper Mini. He got the JCW (John Cooper Works) model. Lots of fun to drive.

Robin has been teaching less this year, but did teach at West An Tir, IKINS, and designed a goldwork butterfly to teach at her local chapter. She has developed a traveling slide show for EGA chapters when she visits. In addition, she will be leading a coupld of workshops for her local chapter in 2009. She continues as head of the SCA lace guild and will be teaching Reticella at the 2009 IKINS seminar.

We still have our 2 lovable felines. Pete is around 13 and Pickwick 3. Pete still has the moves to keep the youngster inline.

Will's parents and siblings are doing well. We got to see everyone over the xmas holidays. Late last year Dorothy Shipman, Robin's family historian passed away. The mantle has truly been passed to her now. Time again to face sorting the boxes and making it into a cohesive thread for the next generation.

Hope this missive finds you well. Hope your 2009 is both healthy and happy. We certainly live in interesting times and look forward to the changes 2009 will bring in the US. We can only hope for peace and stability in the rest of the world.


Robin and Will

(click on links for a few pictures of 2008, or our personal page )