Passion Explained

Parlay 8's Not So Secret Diary


2/16/20200 min read

If you been around the Parlay 8 universe, I.e. our website, Etsy, or even Facebook, you probably have heard by now this how thing started off as a hobby. It slowly then turned into an obsession and finally a way of life.

Let’s be real. In 2010 we just finished with the third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, which was At World’s End. They were promoting the next one, On Stranger Tides, which wouldn’t include Will or Elizabeth. The multiple Jack’s in Davey Jones locker for At World’s End was just….. odd. But in all honesty, pirates were still a draw and allure to the best of us.

It was our first year in a home that was in a tight neighborhood and not in an apartment building on the top floor. So, we were expecting kids for Halloween and boy did we ever want to make an impression. Out of all the typical Halloween ghouls and goblins, Pirates were right up the alley for us, and we could have a mix of cool and whimsical. It was something to bring the kids in, and not scare the pants off of them.

Great, the theme was established. Now costumes had to be figured. One problem, everything at the Halloween store looked obviously as costume. Worse yet, all the “female pirates” were the overly sexy version, or a wench. Obviously, if you know me, this was not going to fly.

I hadn’t really touched my sewing machine in years. I mean years. I forgot I even had one as it was a Christmas gift right before I graduated college. So, just like deciding to go for two degrees in college, or that we had to move two weeks after I graduated and start my new job in a new state only a week or so after that, I decided I needed to make full costumes for his and her. Clearly, I had no clue what I was getting myself into.

As the story goes, it was a week solid of sewing to get those pieces done. Every night at the table sewing. Torturing myself. I never finished hemming my frock coat before the first trick or treater knocked on the door. At the sound of the bell, I ran up to the bedroom and threw on my newly made costume. With an unhemmed coat and all, I ran down to greet the kids with my husband.

We became the new cool house in the neighborhood. Now known as the Pirate House of Flag Harbor, it was a destination. Much like the home we are in now. People let us know they make a point to come see the house first before they go around. Each year it was a new piece to the clothing, and a new pirate themed decoration for our home.

Of course, the fun wasn’t only reserved for Halloween. We spread it out to Renaissance festivals, then hunting down all the pirate festivals.

In 2018 we finally went and talked to one of the pirate crews we had been admiring from the years of making our way around the pirate circuit. They sent us a schedule, and we dove in head first. Instead of taking the back seat and watching, we wanted to be involved. New pieces of kit were made to help us fit in with the reenactment atmosphere.

We borrowed a tent for our first event and decided that would not do going forward. We had to be self-sufficient, so we decided to make our own (brand new were a little out of our wallet’s reach). Thrifting took on a new meaning with an eye to make it look 18th century period. So what may seem to be an obsession to others, truly has become a way of life for us.

That one Halloween created the sewing bug for me. That one Halloween created a building bug for my husband. And in that one moment where we introduced ourselves into the pirate community, we were welcome and became family.

You must start somewhere on this journey. Your journey may take you in a different direction then ours, but we understand the most basic things. It all comes from the same place. A desire to be this character you have in your mind, an extension of yourself.

That’s what Parlay 8 is here for. To help you build that extension of yourself. It may take some time for the right look, the right fabric, or the right piece to be found, but patience rewards. In the meantime there is nothing saying you can’t have fun right now, or until you find the right treasure.