The Amazing Mirvana

Travels, and makes stuff.

Travelog: Austin, TX

So, I explored Rainey Street in Austin last night, and it is a unique and interesting place. It’s a couple blocks of old bungalow-type houses that have been converted into bars and restaurants. Many of them have huge outdoor patio seating area that suggests backyard BBQ. There are also a bunch food trucks that appear to be permanently stationed there. Meanwhile, high-rise construction of expensive-looking condos is happening in the adjacent lots.
Some of the places are only 1-2 years old, but it has caught on with natives and tourists alike. This is where young Austinites take their friends from out of town. My favorite place on the street was The Blackheart. It has a very cool ambience – oldtimey risque saloon. I would definitely go back.


18th c. Fancy mens shirt

I’ve been playing in the land of 18th c. Menswear again. This is for a friend, for a fancy dress party that we are attending next week.
Here is the shirt with the cravat:

Knot buttons

I made knot buttons for the Turkish coat.

Turkish coat

Turkish coat (anteri) that I made for myself, based on Reconstructing History pattern #407, out of shot silk – a teal blue and brown cross weave. Looks like olive green. I’m going to let it hang on the toile for a bit before hemming and buttons. Lined in scraps of linen. 

Making garb for a Pennsic newbie

My friend Paul is attending Pennsic first time this year so I’m making garb for him.

Viking hoodies

Travelog: New England Aquarium

I was in Boston a week ago. I got to check some things off my “to do” list like go to the New England Aquarium and I discovered some new and cool places to eat/drink in Boston and Salem. Otherwise, it was a chill weekend. I binge-watched the first season of Banshee (Cinemax) – 10 episodes – with my friends in Salem, and that was enjoyable. 

New England AquariumThe New England Aquarium is quite a bit larger than the one at the Pittsburgh Zoo. They have a very large penguin pool, segregated into three different types of penguins: African, rockhoppers, and little blue penguins. They are all so adorable. 

They have several different kinds of sea turtles, and they do sea turtle rescue.

The neat thing about the big ocean tank – it is several stories tall and surrounded by a winding ramp. The tank is open at the top and there are a couple of big projection screens where they do an interactive Q&A with the audience and human divers in the tank. That was very interesting. I learned that predators are lazy. They keep all the predators in the big ocean tank very well-fed, so the predators don’t go after the prey animals. 

No sharks. I am told that they had sharks in the big tank, but I didn’t see any while I was there. 

I also got to pet the rays in the touch tank. They were so soft and smooth!

Happy Halloween

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Please help: Donations needed for sick rescue puppy

I am posting this on behalf of a dear friend of mine who is foster-caring for a very sick puppy, and they are facing a very high vet bill as a result. The dog has every chance of getting through this illness, and then finding his “forever” home. I would like to see that happen, so I’m asking that you read this story and consider making a donation, however small, because every little bit helps. Thanks!

“Max” is an adorable Corgi-Shepard mix
Poor Max at the vet: they sewed an oxygen tube to his snout!

 Read Max’s story:

“As many of you may know, one of my volunteer activities is with an animal rescue group called Animals Against The Odds. The organization was started by a then 10-year old girl (she’s 13 now) who wanted to make a difference in the lives of shelter animals, but wasn’t permitted to work with any of the local groups due to her age (you must be 18). She and several friends started their own rescue group, and have helped hundreds of animals in the 2.5 years they’ve been in existence. One example of the types of projects they work on is the Annual Winter Warm-UP: every winter they provide straw, insulated dog houses and cat houses as well as other supplies to animals left out in the cold.
Recently we had a puppy come in to foster (and that Mike and I are fostering) who became very ill. He was fine, then all of a sudden he was deathly ill with pneumonia, a temperature of 104.3 and needed to be rushed to the emergency vet hospital, put on oxygen, antibiotics and fluids. The estimate the vet hospital gave us was a minimum of $2700 (see attached). He’s doing a bit better today, but I am helping to fundraise and cover the cost of this bill. To that end, if you can help us at all, it would be GREATLY appreciated. You can call donations in directly to PVSEC (the emergency vet hospital) at 412-366-3400 and ask that they put a credit on our (AATO) account or you can give via our You Caring fundraiser link below. If you would prefer to mail a check, that information is below as well. If you could also forward this on to any of your animal loving friends, we’d really appreciate it. These kids make a heck of a difference in the lives of so many animals, I love supporting them.
Thanks !

For Checks:

Make payable to Animals Against the Odds
PO Box 97890
Pittsburgh, PA 15227

Donating Online (You Caring)

Some memorable garb moments from Pennsic 42

Standing in front of Shauna's medieval mobile home.
An old Italian Ren dress – still a favorite and so easy to wear.
Turkish coats
Turkish garb
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Elizabethan cross-dressing
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Here’s that lovely long-sleeved Turkish Kaftan
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Spotted at Vlad’s “Drag Races” – this gown was impressive.

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Once again, I had a wonderfully relaxing and fun Pennsic, because my camp is awesome. I took some photos and videos to try and capture the beauty I see at Pennsic and some of the experiences that I would have difficulty describing otherwise. 

Here’s my flickr set –

And, here’s a playlist of videos on Youtube –

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