And after you ditch the donut. . . the bling!

My Byzanbestie, Anna of Anna’s New Rome, just made a post about how anachronistic and frankly, terrible, the fabric donut is with Byzantine clothing.  You can read about it here, with this another part of our collaboration.  (TAG TEAM GO!)

Of course, this led down the rabbit hole of what to do to further ornament oneself, especially in the Society, which follows a pretty Anglo-Normative use of regalia (e.g. strawberry leaves for ducal coronets, etc.).  For those of us who are a bit more Eastern in our outlook (I see you, Byzanbabes), I bring you this.

Theodora with her attendants, Ravenna, Italy. 

It may be hard to make out, but if you look at the lines right at the start of the forehead, and even with the lady at the end of the line on the right, they’re wearing diadems.  This dates from a late Roman use, presumably by priestesses, moving along to women of high rank as Christianity swept through after Constantine.

Crown of Theodolina, 7th century Langobardic, Monza, Italy

The best part is that we have surviving diadems in this sort of style.  Check out this gorgeous diadem that’s currently at the Walters.  There are a couple of ways to wear this – on a leather strap, much like the above linked Late Roman example, or perhaps even pinned into the turban/fakiolion itself.  Again, the only exception to this appears to be the lady on the end of the line on the right and Theodora on the left.  The lady at the end appears to be wearing a gemmed band, similar to some of the crown of Theodolina, queen of the Lombards in the 7th c.  So, I think what we can extrapolate here is that the cultural exchange that was already in place by the 5th c CE between the Byzantines and the Lombards.  (there’s even protracted sort of conflict, too!  Check out the Byzantine–Lombard Wars.  Downside is that the Lombards ended up with Ravenna.)

The point, here, is that wearing bling over a turban, especially for  (early!) Byzantine use, is period.  Wear it.  Look fabulous.  And keep adding!  (Check this out.  I need a new project like a need another hole in my head, but I’m thinking I need a set of these to replace the pearl pendilla that I have.  I suspect this was suspended from hooks or pins that were attached to the turban or to the diadem itself.)

NB: I am a herald in the Society.  Please, please, please check your local kingdom sumptuary laws before you go putting a coronet/circlet on your head.  I will not be held responsible for the response you may get by wearing something outside of your station.  Otherwise, go bling yourself out.

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Posted in Byzantine, clothing, hair, herald, heraldry, jewellery, jewelry, ornamentation, persona, persona development, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I live. . .

IMG_1543I know, I know.  I haven’t posted in a while.  I promise I still live.  I’ve been eaten alive by my modern work life and haven’t really posted a lot of the projects I’ve been working on.  I did finish the painting that’s on the left for the Mews (it’s the cover art for the November Mews), and while the art is a bit more modern than medieval, I enjoyed working with watercolour and gouache.

I’ve also been participating in Inktober.  I know, when I started on this whole “NO NEW PROJECTS,” I promised myself no new projects until the old ones were done.  But Inktober has really helped shock the creative juices back into work.  I’ve been participating in two lists: one that’s SCA themed, and one that’s a bit more modern.  You can see the art on my instagram account.

One of the cool things I’ve tried in the last month was working with Lord Jon Chesey on sighting stars with his quadrant.  It’s a lot of fun, and it was a cool way to connect my modern love of the heavens with a counterpart who existed within SCA period.

This is a super quick post to let you know that I’m still here, and that I’m still plugging away.

Posted in #MedievalMonday, calontir, illumination, project management, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Updates

Updates have been hard for me lately.  I’ve been dealing with some things to work through as of lately.  I am pleased that the finished pile is getting larger, but the six items have been there for a while and I just need to do them.  DO THE THINGS.  (but also, reminding myself to be gentle with myself, because holy hell, it’s been a rough month already.)

Things still to accomplish.

  1. Lined Skjoldehamn hood (Have cut out the wool and am working on getting it lined and assembled.)
  2. Cutting out several Byzantine bone box blanks in preparation for turning into Byzantine box icons.  (It’s been. . . warm.  It means that I don’t want to be outside cutting bone with a Dremel because it’s uncomfortably warm outside.  And stagnant summer air is awful.)
  3. Sewing up Byzantine boy garb (PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS!  I have wool, but I really want something a wee bit lighter for the summer, so . . . waiting to get more linen.  Also just purchased a bit of wool for pants because pants and it was a screaming good deal on wool.)
  4. Thaddeus’ Achievement of Arms (purchased more perg and some Tresser’s Pink Stuff from John Neal Books.  Have started work on layout.  I just need to be disciplined and get this done.)
  5. Creating four Byzantine peerage ceremonies (I’m picking through rather slowly.  There’s a lot of information.  De Ceremoniis is a doorstop of a book!)
  6. Found a second Skjoldehamn hood in my projects that just needs to be hemmed.  Not sure what will happen to it, but argh, craft stash.

Things I’ve gotten accomplished!

  1. Painting Aed’s shield.
  2. Secret project scroll #1 (known now as Sir Gawayne’s Augmentation scroll)
  3. Nobelese Largesse Secret Project (blogged about here)
  4. Mar’s Quilt block (which has been presented and photos can be found on facebook)
  5. Wrote Pelican scroll text for Jaida de Leon
  6. New Baronial A&S Champions traveling trophy. (I do want to do some clean-up work on this particular piece so that it’s more comfortable to wear.)
  7. A whole slew of Facebook frames for at least five kingdoms and one principality.(while not a period art, it is a service and probably something I should post.)
  8. Baronial preprints.  (I’ve honestly lost track of how many I’ve done for the barony.  It’s also a blast to work with others on this, too.)
  9. A bunch of preprints for TRM Ashir and Ashland to use.  And the preprint workshop at Valor helped Their Majesties out, too.  I may have to hold more of these in the future.
  10. Baronial roll of arms project. (this is honestly an ongoing project, but it’s fun to see how far it’s come in the years we’ve worked on it.  We’re up to 86 completed banners.)
  11. Camp banners for Valor.
  12. Creating handouts for Valor’s classes.
  13. Banner for KWHSS.
  14. Nikolai’s Herald Extraordinary Scroll (formerly known as Secret Project Scroll #2)
  15. Imperial Roman clothes and jewellery (I just need actual full-length photos of it)
  16. A bunch of preprints for TRM Xerxis and BelAnna (OMG, SO SHINY.)
  17. YouTube video (which was from a FB live session) on shading.
  18. Painted Dirik von Rosswald’s shield for his upcoming knighting.
  19. Making more casual Byzantine clothing (Finished with the Imperial Roman garb part of it.  It’s starting life as Imperial Roman, and then will be cannibalized for something 4th c. as a part of Operation Cooler Summers.)  It’s going here because it actually got finished as part of the process.
  20. Eynon’s Boga Hirth Scroll, formerly known as Secret Project scroll #3 (text, calligraphy, and art)
Posted in project management, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, writing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heraldic Mythbusting – I got the Armorial azures; or, why does my heraldry not match the Armorial?

Let’s play a game!  What happens when you give some heraldic artists a few words describing a heraldic device and ask them to draw it?  Read below to see what happened!

This particular blog post will serve to do some heraldic mythbusting, and to give a peek behind the curtain of the Society College of Arms.  It will also go into a discussion about heraldic art, and why heraldic art can sometimes be a bit, well, squidgy.

A couple of weeks ago, I put out a request of a few heraldic artists, especially those who could do heraldic art from blazon (which is the shorthand that heralds use to describe a heraldic devices).  The blazon I gave them to draw was “<Fieldless>, a seraph proper.”  Society heraldry defines “a seraph proper” as having “Caucasian skin, red hair, multicolored wings.”  I gave no further direction other than to have the artists draw the given design in whatever medium they wanted (digital, traditional, etc.) and to make sure that they followed the Society heraldic default.

I had a few takers (my thanks to Master Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme, Mistress Florlief in Haga, Lord Richard of Dunheved, Lord Mathghamhain Ua Ruadháin, and Lord Ragnar Leifsson for their permission to use their art on this post).  As you can see, I got some really cool, but really different art styles and even colours.  And the best part?  Heraldically, they’re all technically correct (the best kind of correct)!

 

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This is what I submitted!  Not too far off from the other artists!

Also, don’t try submitting this design; I’ve already done that (see right).  (sorry!  I know, it’s a neat idea, but the thought of having a seraph with macaw wings is awfully tempting to a Byzantine!)

Anyhow, so, how can these all be correct?  Why is something completely different stylistically still the correct emblazon?  Is what’s in my kingdom’s armorial really the official art?

Small coat of arms of the Czech Republic.svg

Lesser arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia.

In heraldry, provided that the elements are drawn according to the words of the blazon, it’s a correct emblazon.  Let’s take a look at a period example: the Kingdom of Bohemia.  (Gules, a lion rampant queue forchée argent armed, langued and crowned Or.)  If you’re not familiar with blazon, this translates to “a red background, a white lion with a forked tail facing the viewer’s left, standing on one leg with the other three in the air, wearing a gold/yellow crown.”  Got it in your mind’s eye?  Awesome.  (I’ve given the Wikipedia version of it on the left in the event it’s not coming up in your brain.  This is a modern rendition, so it may look completely different from the next few bits, which are from period texts such as Siebmachers Wappenbuch [1605] and the Zurich Roll [1340]).  They are all valid emblazons based on the blazon provided above.  They are in chronological order, starting with the Zurich Roll.

 

So, there are some minor differences in the positioning of the legs, and Siebmacher on the right hand side has it facing the wrong way (though, this shows up a lot in rolls of arms within period, where the arms face the middle of the book itself).  Some of the feet aren’t quite off the ground, and in others, it looks like the lion is a champion aerobics instructor.  But, the red background, white lion with the split tail wearing a gold crown are all there, even if they don’t look exactly the same.

In short, artists gonna art.

That being said, I do want to address the concept of “artistic license,” especially in reference to Society heraldry.  It is one thing to change how a lion might look.  You might change how the tail is curled or how open a wing is.  You can add diapering or shading.  There are a multitude of things that a person can do to really make their heraldry stand out.  If someone has a background with ermine spots, provided there’s more than 5, it’s an ermine background.  Countervair could have more than two “columns” of vair bells and still be correct.

It is a completely different thing, however, to change an item to something completely different.  That is not artistic license: that’s creating a brand new piece of heraldry, and should be discouraged (unless it’s a relative creating a similar piece of heraldry to show a family tie, but that’s neither here nor there).  Painting a standing seraph to look like a Byzantine icon is okay provided it looks like a standing seraph, as is painting in knotwork animals.  Substituting an animal for another, or changing a line of division, well, that isn’t artistic license.

What’s in your kingdom’s armorial is not your officially registered device, which may seem surprising to people.  Remember how I said “artists are gonna art?”  Same goes for the person doing the armorial.  What is official is what someone submitted to the Society College of Arms through your College of Heralds – and the Society Archivist has copies of all of these forms (as should your own College of Heralds).  Anything else is up to heraldic artistic license.  The official blazon (the words, remember) can be found in the Society Ordinary and Armorial.

Onto the mythbusting part of this post – changes to heraldry.  In Society heraldry, we register the emblazon, that is, the picture.  Laurel staff (Wreath Sovereign of Arms) might change a blazon (that is, the words describing the picture) without a submitter’s permission, because the College of Arms wants the best way to describe the picture using heraldic language.  (If the picture submission is changed without your permission, please discuss this with your Principal Herald.)  Sometimes, the College will go through old submissions, and will reblazon (that is, changing the words to describe the picture) based on newer research on what something was called in period, or even to better describe the items on the device.  The picture remains the same.

But, Konstantia, what if I want the tongues on my animal to be an exact colour?  Do you blazon those?

It’s a good question.  Some things in Society heraldry are not explicitly blazoned, even if they’re explicitly so in the emblazon.  Details like tongues, toenails, and yes, pizzles (yes, the genitalia of heraldic animals) are usually considered “unblazonable” – in other words, they are unspecified by the College of Arms.  If you really want them to be a particular colour, work closely with your kingdom’s College of Heralds to make sure that your desired blazon ends up in your kingdom’s armorial, but do be aware that because we don’t typically blazon them because they are pretty small details and with blazon in the Society having a certain economy of language.  (Other places, like the Canadian Heraldic Authority and the English College of Arms may make blazons quite a bit longer.)

So, in wrapping up: heraldic art is much like other forms of art.  Changes to heraldry refer to the blazon to make it easier on heraldic artists, and sometimes the small details are ignored.  Artistic license (to a point) is a good thing!  What’s in your kingdom’s armorial is not officially your emblazon.

I hope this helps when it comes to heraldic art, and I can’t wait to see your own personal twists on your heraldic art!

Posted in herald, heraldry, SCA, service, Society for Creative Anachronism | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Eynon’s Boga Hirth Scroll

When I got the assignment for this particular scroll, I already had an idea for the art.  Eynon’s persona is a 13th c Welsh archer (which is great for an archery award), but writing the text was going to present some challenges.  Part of the reason for the challenge was that I really wanted to pull into a law text, not a poetry text.  In period,  grants and patents of arms were legal documents, allowing rights and privileges to an individual.  Now, that’s only one of the many ways to write an award text (poetry can be another), but I definitely wanted law on this one.  (Also, Welsh poetry is looooooong and I was also doing the calligraphy, so, there were some purely selfish reasons here.)

So, I started my research on Welsh law, starting with the Laws of Hywel Dda, which were written in 950 CE, but were in use until the supersession by the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 and then Henry VII’s Laws in Wales Acts in the early-sixteenth century.  The problem with using the Laws of Hywel Dda, though, was that it was largely civil codes, not rewarding people for good behaviour (though there’s some incredibly interesting things that I discovered elsewhere, like how a serf would swear fealty).  Since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I went back to English law of the time period.  (And since there are some fantastic sources on English texts from this point and later, I’m not going to rehash them, so onto the scroll text!)

This is what I wrote for the text.

Xerxis the Glorious, by the inspiration of Belanna his queen, the king of Calontir, send greetings.

At the request of the Royal Archers, it is ordained and by our Lord the King and our Lady the Queen commanded, that from henceforth that one Eynon Llangenydd shall be given, endowed and made member of the Order of the Boga-Hirth. He is to be granted use of the badge of the order, to wit: Per chevron embattled sable and argent, in pale two strung bows in saltire argent and a cross of Calatrava purpure. He is also to be granted two hides of forested land and one hide for which to raise geese, and is so ordered, should time come, to ensure protection of our Royal lands.

And so that this our gift may continue firm and unimpaired in future times, we have reinforced it with the protection of our seal and the subscription of witnesses.

Given at King’s Companie of Archers in the Barony of Forgotten Sea on the eighth day of September in the fifty-third year of the Society.

The calligraphy was a medium gothic textura, inspired by this piece, and appropriate for the time period.  Being a lefty, calligraphy can be difficult, but I also wanted to expand out a bit.  I’m rather fond of the ascenders in the exemplar piece, and I particularly love the capital letters that resemble Lombardic capitals, which is what I used in this piece.  The black ink is a pretty standard black fountain pen ink, which I like for flow, and the red ink is Liquitex’s Ink! in transparent red.  (which I think has been renamed as Pyrrole Red, but don’t quote me.)  I used one of my favourite nibs, which I got in a pack of nibs from Blick.  I unfortunately don’t remember the kind it is, though, but it’s a trooper and is wonderful for this style of calligraphy.

41368508_10155997839897569_5578149261704429568_nThe illumination had a few inspiration pieces, too.  Their Majesties’ seated together and the subject of the scroll were more or less ideas from Matthew Paris or his contemporaries (Cotton MS Claudius D VI, f. 9v and the Westminster Psalter), firmly 1250s English styling.  I did go a bit heavier on the paint, instead of tinting, but I also wanted to do more gilding, as well, and tinted drawings didn’t stand well next to it.  I will note my amusement at Eynon wearing close to the same outfit in the scroll the day it was given to him, but that, I promise, was not planned.  The column was a last minute addition, and the rabbit being chased by the cat was a take on marginalia.  I also wanted to make sure his arms were put on the scroll – Eynon is Calontir’s Clerk of the Precedence, so he’s one of our heralds.

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The cat, of course, is based on one of Eynon and his wife’s cats.  (See also why social media is great for getting portraits of people on the sly.)

As a challenge, doing the entire scroll myself was definitely that.  There’s no waiting on another person for text (except on approval), and motivation is purely in the hands of the person doing the scroll.  On the other hand, being able to give to someone who has given so much of his time, talents, and who he is as a person to others is truly rewarding.

Congratulations, Eynon!

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Posted in calligraphy, court, herald, heraldry, illumination, influences, later period, SCA, scroll text, Society for Creative Anachronism, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Update on Projects

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this.  And August has been full of stuff, but not a whole lot of work on projects.  I’ve honestly needed a break from projects (and instead, added some SCA-related things to my modern Zazzle store), and I’m glad I took it, but I really do need to get back on the ball and finish things up.

Things still to accomplish.

  1. Lined Skjoldehamn hood (Have cut out the wool and am working on getting it lined and assembled.)
  2. Cutting out several Byzantine bone box blanks in preparation for turning into Byzantine box icons.  (It’s been. . . warm.  It means that I don’t want to be outside cutting bone with a Dremel because it’s uncomfortably warm outside.  And stagnant summer air is awful.)
  3. Sewing up Byzantine boy garb (PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS!  I have wool, but I really want something a wee bit lighter for the summer, so . . . waiting to get more linen)
  4. Thaddeus’ Achievement of Arms (purchased more perg and some Tresser’s Pink Stuff from John Neal Books.  Have started work on layout.  I just need to be disciplined and get this done.)
  5. Heraldic banner for my significant other. (purchased canvas and just need to do sewing and layout for this.)
  6. Creating four Byzantine peerage ceremonies (I’m picking through rather slowly.  There’s a lot of information.  De Ceremoniis is a doorstop of a book!)
  7. Secret Project scroll #3
  8. Found a second Skjoldehamn hood in my projects that just needs to be hemmed.  Not sure what will happen to it, but argh, craft stash.

Things I’ve gotten accomplished!

  1. Painting Aed’s shield.
  2. Secret project scroll #1 (known now as Sir Gawayne’s Augmentation scroll)
  3. Nobelese Largesse Secret Project (blogged about here)
  4. Mar’s Quilt block (which has been presented and photos can be found on facebook)
  5. Wrote Pelican scroll text for Jaida de Leon
  6. New Baronial A&S Champions traveling trophy. (I do want to do some clean-up work on this particular piece so that it’s comfortable to wear.)
  7. A whole slew of Facebook frames for at least five kingdoms and one principality.(while not a period art, it is a service and probably something I should post.)
  8. Baronial preprints.  (I’ve honestly lost track of how many I’ve done for the barony.  It’s also a blast to work with others on this, too.)
  9. A bunch of preprints for TRM Ashir and Ashland to use.  And the preprint workshop at Valor helped Their Majesties out, too.  I may have to hold more of these in the future.
  10. Baronial roll of arms project. (this is honestly an ongoing project, but it’s fun to see how far it’s come in the years we’ve worked on it.)
  11. Camp banners for Valor.
  12. Creating handouts for Valor’s classes.
  13. Banner for KWHSS.
  14. Nikolai’s Herald Extraordinary Scroll (formerly known as Secret Project Scroll #2)
  15. Imperial Roman clothes and jewellery (I just need actual full-length photos of it)
  16. A bunch of preprints for TRM Xerxis and BelAnna (OMG, SO SHINY.)
  17. YouTube video (which was from a FB live session) on shading.
  18. Painted Dirik von Rosswald’s shield for his upcoming knighting.
  19. Making more casual Byzantine clothing (Finished with the Imperial Roman garb part of it.  It’s starting life as Imperial Roman, and then will be cannibalized for something 4th c. as a part of Operation Cooler Summers.)  It’s going here because it actually got finished as part of the process
Posted in musings, project management, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Omphaloskepsis: Making Magic Moments for Others

In my last post about making magic moments in the SCA, it was all about what an individual can do to help make their own magic moments.  This, though, is what we can do as a collective group, though this also relies on individuals.

The thing is, the SCA does not exist in a bubble.  Art supplies are expensive.  Scrolls and medallions, coronets and thrones – the very trappings of our public medieval experience – cost money.  We expect much from our artisans to produce, produce, produce, and often on their own dime.  And while many of them do this for the love of the game and with a bit of a disposable income, quite a few others do this just for the love of the game only.

Unfortunately, (and this is especially true for much of the US portions of the SCA), incomes are not stretching as far as we’d like.  Supplies to create cost money.  SCA artisans are often asked to donate their work (or get compensated with some raw materials).  Combining this with time being a nonrenewable resource, it is easy to see how this model can get unsustainable quickly for players who are not so financially secure.  Many artists are not also merchants, so the model really doesn’t become self-sustainable.

So, I think this is a super time to also remind people that largesse is a good thing, and it doesn’t always have to go to the Crown, either. Generosity is a good thing.  Help other SCAdians out.  If y’all see someone who needs something, and you know they don’t have the skills or interest in building those skills, and you have something just laying around. . . . just do it. Make their day.  If you have disposable income, or spare supplies that you’re not going to use – give them to someone.  Now, I am certainly not saying to give all of your possessions to someone, but do share when you can.  Our game is richer for the people in it.

Thank scribes, potters, metalworkers and all others who make the things that the Crown literally gives away.  Write award recommendations.  Make it easier for them to get supplies.  Advocate for people.  Wordfame does a lot to boosting retention, but it’s also important to note when not to push people.  Yes, this is a volunteer organization, but we have got to be better about expressing boundaries, and then respecting those boundaries.  (for more details on this, check out Volunteer Management in the SCA)  Instead of pushing people, let us learn to truly support people.  We will set ourselves up for burn-out if we as a group are not aware of how others in our shires, baronies, principalities, and kingdoms are functioning as people and not just personae (radical thought, I know).

The SCA is a place where we can escape from some of the world’s issues for a bit and we can be around people of similar minds.  If we are so focused on our arts and creating it for our group that we neglect what gets us coming to events, our work is for naught.

Posted in musings, philosophy, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, volunteer management | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Creating Preprints/Charters

I live in a kingdom that does preprinted award blanks (that are then painted and the details about the recipients filled in later) for our Award of Arms level (and children’s awards).  This allows our king and queen to give out awards with their persona involved in the process, and it also allows those who are new to scribal arts to try things out without having to buy a whole lot of supplies at one go.  I know that this is anathema in other kingdoms, but it works well for Calontir.

I’ve had the great privilege to create preprints for a couple of reigns.  (I got to do a simple AoA for Matsu and Elena, and a Swan and Mallet for Ashir II and Ashland II.)

The preprint art.  Note that there’s no calligraphy – that was added later.

So, in creating a preprint master, get a few details, the process is similar to any other scroll in the Society: asking questions. Will there be text?  Who is doing the text?  Is someone else doing the calligraphy?  What time period are your royals going to be portraying?  Will you need to do just the art, or will you have to do the entire thing?  This will 1) help you figure out your next steps and 2) will help figure out where to research next.

The main process starts with line art.  I’ve done both by traditional methods (pencil, tracing parchment, copious amounts of swearing, and art markers), but also digital methods.  The Leather Mallet (see left) was done using Adobe Illustrator.  Do note that if you’re creating digital artwork that it needs to be print-ready resolution (300 dpi or higher) so that it can be printed without too many digital artifacts.  Nothing is worse than illustrations with blocky outlines.

Things you can do with preprint masters: tracing.  Tracing is period.  In Illustrator, you can place the artwork with the piece you want to use directly into the file (on a locked layer).  In a more traditional method, you can directly trace out of a book.  Now, if you want to create art, nothing is stopping you from that, but tracing is okay, and it is period.

It is important to note that preprints are usually printed on 8.5″x11″ cardstock (the colour of the paper could change slightly, depending on reigns, but it’s usually a parchment- or stone-look 65-80lb cardstock), so making sure to leave margins helps immensely for framing later.

I usually go with simple line work that allows for more details to be added by the scribe actually doing the painting – things like shading, background details, or diapering, but would look good even as swaths of colour blocks for newer painters.  Your mileage, of course, may vary, but that worked well for this particular preprint.

Once all of the bits (calligraphy, etc.) have come together, it is ready to be printed and distributed.  The Royal Scribe (in Calontir, at least) will handle getting things printed on a kingdom level, but if you’re in a barony or a similarly smaller group, ask your baronage about where to get things printed.

And lest anyone think that preprints are terrible, I give you some of the ones I’ve painted over the past few years.

Posted in how-to, paint, SCA, scroll text, Society for Creative Anachronism, tutorial | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Project updates.

Things still to accomplish.

  1. Lined Skjoldehamn hood (Have cut out the wool and am working on getting it lined and assembled.)
  2. Cutting out several Byzantine bone box blanks in preparation for turning into Byzantine box icons.  (It’s been. . . warm.  It means that I don’t want to be outside cutting bone with a Dremel because it’s uncomfortably warm outside.  And stagnant summer air is awful.)
  3. Sewing up Byzantine boy garb (PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS!  I have wool, but I really want something a wee bit lighter for the summer, so . . . waiting to get more linen)
  4. Thaddeus’ Achievement of Arms (purchased more perg and some Tresser’s Pink Stuff from John Neal Books.  Have started work on layout.  I just need to be disciplined and get this done.)
  5. Making more casual Byzantine clothing (Started this.  It’s starting life as Imperial Roman, and then will be cannibalized for something 4th c. as a part of Operation Cooler Summers.)
  6. Heraldic banner for my significant other. (purchased canvas and just need to do sewing and layout for this.)
  7. Creating four Byzantine peerage ceremonies (I’m picking through rather slowly.  There’s a lot of information.  De Ceremoniis is a doorstop of a book!)
  8. Secret Project scroll #3
  9. Found a second Skjoldehamn hood in my projects that just needs to be hemmed.  Not sure what will happen to it, but argh, craft stash.

Things I’ve gotten accomplished!

  1. Painting Aed’s shield.
  2. Secret project scroll #1 (known now as Sir Gawayne’s Augmentation scroll)
  3. Nobelese Largesse Secret Project (blogged about here)
  4. Mar’s Quilt block (which has been presented and photos can be found on facebook)
  5. Written Pelican scroll text for Jaida de Leon
  6. New Baronial A&S Champions traveling trophy. (I do want to do some clean-up work on this particular piece so that it’s comfortable to wear.)
  7. A whole slew of Facebook frames for at least five kingdoms and one principality.(while not a period art, it is a service and probably something I should post.)
  8. Baronial preprints.  (I’ve honestly lost track of how many I’ve done for the barony.  It’s also a blast to work with others on this, too.)
  9. A bunch of preprints for TRM Ashir and Ashland to use.  And the preprint workshop at Valor helped Their Majesties out, too.  I may have to hold more of these in the future.
  10. Baronial roll of arms project. (this is honestly an ongoing project, but it’s fun to see how far it’s come in the years we’ve worked on it.)
  11. Camp banners for Valor.
  12. Creating handouts for Valor’s classes.
  13. Banner for KWHSS.
  14. Nikolai’s Herald Extraordinary Scroll (formerly known as Secret Project Scroll #2)
  15. Imperial Roman clothes and jewellery (I just need actual full-length photos of it)
  16. A bunch of preprints for TRM Xerxis and BelAnna (OMG, SO SHINY.)
  17. A YouTube video (which was from a FB live session) on shading.
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Omphaloskepsis: Making Magic Moments in the SCA

One of the things that I’ve seen over and over again in the SCA Social Mediaverse is that people want to see more magic moments.  A magic moment in the SCA is where time seems to stand still and where it seems that one has gone back into time.

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Many of us want to have that totally immersive historical thing happen.

I think it’s awesome.

But people need to realize that it takes work.

Whether it’s by upping your soft or hard kit piece by piece, replacing or covering things like shoes or using period-style glasses, or even upping their camp game, creating that magic immersive moment takes time and money.

So, what do you do when you’re low on time and money?  (which, yes, I have a shortage of both, so I feel this pretty hard-core.)

One: don’t complain or whine about it.  It is possible to do the SCA on a budget, but it means that one has to be more creative about how one spends their resources.  For example – I take the city bus, so I have a good hour or so to do sewing on small projects or even work on sharpening pins with a file.  Sure, gets me weird looks, but it also gets me conversation starters.  (or, sometimes conversation enders because I apparently look half-crazed sharpening things on a city bus.  Oh well.)

Two: bartering.  If you’re good at something that people need or want, and you have things on hand, it’s a great way to get things going.  I’ve bartered jewellery and scribal items for new clothes.  It’s period, too!  And, there’s a bonus of creating community.  (So, remember those names.  Create and spread wordfame.  It’s critical!)

Three: Do things by little bits.  Yes, I know, it’s sometimes unsatisfying when you know what you want, and you might not have the skills or even the time or room to move forward.  My friend Aline introduced me to the concept of the 10% Challenge, where one upgrades 10% of their SCA life.  Things as simple as making veil pins or using leather or wool thread instead of silicone hair ties are both achievable and easy to start.  Add a heraldic banner.  Use fabric that is dyed colours that would have been used in period.  The barrier to entry isn’t high, and shouldn’t be.  But the little pushes do show up in the long run.  Instead of flashlights, use LED tea-lights.  A friend of mine has really cool solar powered lights that look like little torches.

By no means am I the best example of the 10% Challenge, since I kind of do what I want when the spirit leads me.  On the other hand, in places where I have applied it, it has helped bring me greater understanding of my persona, so that’s a thing.  It has helped.

Four: serve.  Sometimes, creating the magic is less looking good, and more doing good.  When the event runs smoothly, the magic moments seem to abound.  Time seems to stand still.  Serve feasts – I’ve eaten well and have had a lot of fun in serving food to my friends.

Five: give someone a hand up.  Some of the best moments of warm fuzzies I’ve gotten were times where I got a major hand up from others noticing that I needed something and they’ve surprised me.  I’ve watched a scribe being given a scribal deck to save their back.  And I know of others, through things like Noblesse Largesse, who have gotten a major upgrade to their wardrobe.  I love watching the legitimate joy in these situations happen, and it’s another easy thing to do.  If the SCA is family, we do much to improve it by treating others in the group as family members.  (It’s like getting my grandmother the Snuggie she coveted for a random present.  Best squee of joy, and even better was watching her use it.)

As a culture, we might focus on the good old days or the things that we thought were cool back then – and that’s fine to reminisce.  On the other hand, though, by putting in the effort to create those moments now, we make our own magic.  We have to be proactive as a Society if we want it to flourish and grow.

Posted in musings, philosophy, SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment