Last weekend I got the wood conditioner applied to my tent poles and this weekend I got them stained (using Minwax China Red stain) and I got the stenciling laid down on the first side of the uprights. I am exceedingly happy with the results though I would not again choose to use the water based stain, it dries far too fast for my taste and can get streaks that you can usually rub out with oil based products.
The stencil is one I purchased last summer as a custom design from Stencil Planet. I used Craft Smart Outdoor Acrylic paint from Michael's and applied it with a Martha Stewart spouncer. The key, when painting this using the spouncing sponge, is to make sure that there is not too much paint on the applicator or it will bleed under the stencil. My first row was a bit rough, but I am very please with the overall results.
After I get the other side of the poles painted, I will be applying several coats of a spray polyurethane coating to help protect the poles. After that I have to do the same for the poles for our other wedge and then I need to sand and stain the new furniture we purchased last year from the Basketman. Not as exciting as research and weaving, but it will definitely keep my gear in good shape for years to come.