December 30, 2008

Cant wait for 2009

Just a quick check in, I havent been around here in a while.

The Astronomia dress is on hold while I do the preparations for TGS 12th night. I have projects out the wazoo to finsh in 2 weeks! And my real job, an accountant, is jammy packed with tax returns, new tax rates, PR deductions, etc to get loaded up.

See you in February!


November 9, 2008

Newberry Library Visit 3

Yesterday I again met Meistarin Katarina and her apprentice Trini, at the Newberry Library here in Chicago again. She had arranged a behind the scenes tour of the bookstacks and vaults for us with one of the curators.
Before our tour, I had imagined the vaults to look either like an ordinary college library, or the secret library tower in The Name of the Rose. Well, it was both! Ha Ha. It was dark and very chilly. Metal shelves hold all sorts of things, from file boxes of paper records, 20th century book collections from benefactors, all the way back to the medieval books still laying on their sides because the metal cover bosses are still intact. We saw minature books the size of postage stamp, up to HUGE antiphonals, like 20x30 inches. Oh to have taken a notebook to pencil in the call numbers of these things so we can look at them later.
Before our tour, we ordered up a few manuscripts to look at. The Library allows you to take non-flash photos now, but I cant show you these treats on the web because of copyright rules.
This time we ordered an Italian roll of Prayers to St Jerome, c.1350-1400, a c.1173 German Missal, a girdle book, a 1459 book of hours I forgot to take notes on origin, and a 1559 item that was catalogued a roll, but turned out to be a letter on paper. I had to leave after the tour, so I dont know what other treasures the ladies requested after I left.
There is book out there, that I think is THE GREATEST general book on medieval manuscripts EVER. It is "Introduction to Manuscript Studies: by Raymond Clemens and Tinothy Graham. Most of the photo examples in the book are from the Newberry, so before we go, we flip through the book and select the things we want to see.
I havent become a member of the Library yet, although it is not that expensive, but whenever I go, I make sure to hit their bookstore. Off I go, for I have 4 new books to read...

November 6, 2008

Astronomia's Dress

The theme for Twefth Night this year is a 16th c Roman Masque. Because I need some new clothes for my 12th c. persona, I will be making an outfit to depict Astronomia, the allegorical personification of Astronomy--one of the 7 original Liberal Arts.

Cod Lat 2599

Notice the ruffly sleeve lining peeking out from her pendant sleeve. I belive this to be the sleeve of a second layer. This is not the interpretation those on the 12th c Garb Yahoo list, or the folks I have been showing the picture to agree. But I have somone else to back me up.

Check out Teffania's research here:
This woman's research rocks!

I have a copy of the Stammheim Missal, (also contemporary to time and place as the MSS Teffania shows) again is an image of a ruffly sleeve lining.

I think this is definitely a regional style. We are talking southern Germany, Austria, and the Alps. I think layering 3 dresses is the way to go in an Alpine winter.

October 23, 2008

Here is my inaugural post. I moved over here from AOL Journals, because AOL is shutting down their web page and journal hosting, and deleting all the old member pages. Sure, cut us loose and watch us thrash around in the great web sea. Phoo on you AOL.

I figured out you can play with the posting dates here at Blogspot. I might try copying over my best posts from AOL over to here, then back dating them. Let us experiment...

September 10, 2008


I had to say goodbye to 2 very good friends that comforted and supported me since Pennsic 24.

CHAIR: 13 good long years *sniff* of soft coziness after a long day, a place to rest my head when weary.
SHOES: *sob* You have carried me over many miles, up hills and down, in mud ,filth and dust, through water over their tops, and always ready to snap back into action after a sit in the drying sun or a good laundering.

You have borne the brunt of this toil, been mended many a time, yet your bodies have simply worn out and broke again, never to carry on anew.

I say adeiu, thank you, RIP my friends, Pennsic 37.

I have sewn the soles to the tops 3 times each, and again they tore. 13 years of outdoor SCA events not bad for Kmart sneakers.

On the chair, Dad welded the frame again, and reinforced where the frame kept bending. The reinforcement bent too. That is why the arms are bowed and the chair tries to fold you up too.

August 20, 2008

A Quote to Keep in Mind

I was killing time one morning this week waiting for the first caffiene rush to hit and I found this on a business blog I have begun following:

"When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt."
- Henry J. Kaiser

(Henry Kaiser was a 20th century American Industrialist and Shipbuilder)

The as soon as I read it I did not think of business, I thought of being an Apprentice. How often does our work get complements and then we reply "Thanks, but....and into an explanation of the nit picky faults we ourselves find in it.

August 18, 2008

A '12th century painted chest'

This is a project I finished this summer.

How to make a "12th century painted chest" for those folks who have no tools:
Take the Ikea APA toybox:

Start by staining the wooden rails. Then paint the panels with matte finish spray paints. Painters Touch Decorator colors work well. For the panels that are pre-assembled in the kit, mask the different areas with masking tape and paper.

This design is my interpretation of a Tree of Life pattern from the doorways of early medieval English churches.

Cut a stencil out of thin posterboard. Save the inner pieces to mask unpainted areas.
Paint the green vines first.

Pull the flower shapes away to then paint yellow.

Hold down the cardboard so mist does not get under the stencil.

When dry, pull stencils sway carefully. Your spray painting is done! Outline shapes with a black matte enamel paint (like Rust-o-leum). Assemble the rest of the chest according to directions.

I lined the inside with felt. The inner surface of the panels is a rough textured pulpwood, and I wanted to hide that.

Your chest is almost done!
Add handles to the sides.

I also added nail-in chair gliders to protect the bottom of the chest. The lid is left as a lift off type, hinges will not work because of the rail shape.

August 11, 2008

Embroidered Roses for Queen's Gift Baskets

A trio of embroidered roses contributed to the Queens Gift Baskets at this years Pennsic. They will be appliqued to handkerchiefs.

The first 2 have satin, stem, and seed stitch.

The last one is done in blackwork fill stiches outlined in stem stich. While I worked on the blackworked rose, I watched the first disk of the Tudors. Nicely appropriate.

June 1, 2008

6 Feet of Scroll Cases

Here is a picture from Crown Tourney back in May. Volunteers from Ayreton, Ravenslake, and Baile na Scolairi worked together during the winter and spring to donate supplies and assemble these scroll cases. The goal was to make a pile as tall as the thrones, and that day, we surpassed it! The cases were given to the Kingdom Signet.

Pictured are myself, Etienne des Roches from Grey Gargoyles, Philippa of Ottorbourne and Henry of Exeter of Rokkhealden.

May 5, 2008

Why Can't SCA Feasts Look Like This?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Why Cant SCA Feasts Look Like This?

God, I amost cried at these pictures. Look at what I found.
12th night at recreated Saxon longhouse--Wychurst by Regia Anglorum.

Now that is when the Dream comes alive. I have been complaining for years that they dont turn the lights off at feasts anymore. Yeah, I know candles arent allowed at sites much, but try and turn off the lights!!!! Sitting in a gymnasium going blind is no fun and not mood enhancing. Often, when the main lights in the room are off, there is still enough ambient light from exit signs, side halls, doorways etc to see and yet keep the mood.

I still reminisce about one feast from the early 90's down at Shattered Crystal. Even though it was at a school, we still got to use candles. The main lights in the caefteria were turned off, but the side lights and stage lights provided enough light for the minstrels and dancers to be seen and the servers not to kill themselves, but it was still dim enough for period ambience.
Also it didnt hurt trading goo goo eyes with a suitor.....ah memories.

Comment from aelfreda123 Email aelfreda1236/16/08 7:51 AM

I was there...and it was was a cold night, being January, but we had a huge fire all the way down our fire box, with cauldrons over it to keep food warm. Six or seven courses. Outside real wolves were howling (ok, they were in a cage in the wildlife park next door but it sounded great). Everything smelt of smoke for weeks afterwards (no chimney of course) - but the atmosphere is amazing.

February 17, 2008

AOA scroll, January 19, 2008

AOA scroll January 19, 2008

I was in the mood to try something different so I was pleased to get this assignment for an Eastern Eurooean persona. I know the translation is not accurate or period, but I had fun doing it and think it looks snazzy.
I used the above source a starting point for my "translation". I took liberties with what shape of letters I wanted to use, and what letters I thought were matching the phonetics or pronunciation. Wherever possible, I looked at the period text to copy letter shape. I used for the date numbers. At Pennsic, I bought a book copy of this. The K is pulled from the Mss, and I drew the lady in a style similar to the royal family portraits.