Saturday, July 30, 2011


I asked Serafina to spread the word (werd, yo) about Bangkok Thai Silks, whom you can now buy directly from (used to be via e-bay only), and their prices are pretty darn good for silk taffeta. But I neglected to mention it myself. Until now. Their same silk is going for $19.99/yd on e-bay, but there are significant discounts buying directly ($9.99-$16.99). Note that you will need a paypal account to buy from them.

This is, by the way, the vendor I used to purchase the "cobalt-green" shot silk for my elevation gown:

The silk hoarder in me would love to keep it a secret, but I love you all too much not to share.

Enjoy! (and I'm sorry)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Laurel/Apprentice Relationships

My lovely and dear friend Mistress Bethany took a new apprentice on Saturday at Baron's War. You can click here to view an album of pics which includes this event.

I was standing next to the lovely and talented Fiametta da Trastavere, who was explaining to someone standing nearby what an important step this is for an artist, and what a memorable moment it is for those involved. I remember turning and nodding in complete agreement and noting that I often feel jealous because I never got that. Fia pointed at my laurel medallion saying, "but you got that." Have I mentioned that I sometimes have a tendency to be socially awkward?

This got me thinking about the journey I chose and how I can help other artists more than I have been. I chose not to ask for apprenticeship of a laurel, so if I feel jealous that I didn't have "that" relationship, it's my own fault. I made this choice for very personal reasons including my mundane situation, and my own goals. I wanted to work on my craft for my own personal satisfaction, and if it led to something bigger, then so be it. Another reason, though small when added to the hat of reasons, was that I'm obscenely shy (no, really), and asking someone would likely have given me a heart attack.

I fully support and admire Laurel/Apprentice relationships, and would love to nurture them now that I'm in different circumstances. That said, I have some thoughts on the matter.

  1. I will teach anyone who wishes to learn; an official relationship is a personal choice and something to consider on a case-by-case basis. One does not have to be an apprentice to ask me questions and learn.
  2. I will probably not seek out apprentices; I will not make broad presumptions and ask others. That said, I am open to those approaching me - consider this an invitation to ask me.
  3. Being an apprentice does not mean you will become a Laurel. That is a personal journey to which I can help guide and advise, but there are no guarantees.
  4. I am a scribal arts Laurel, who does some dabbling in costuming and embroidery.  How much I can teach you will be very limited unless your areas of interest somewhat match my own. (Though I am willing to help match you to those who are masters of their craft in your area of interest.)
  5. In the SCA, you will get out of it what you put into it.  
  6. If you're not enjoying yourself, you're doing it wrong.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Serafina's Laurel Scroll

Serafina's Scroll was a collaboration between Duchess Caryn von Katzenberg, Mistress Bethany of Windermere, and myself, at the request of Serafina. Bethany was Serafina's Laurel, and Caryn was Bethany's Laurel, so it was sort of a family affair... except I'm just a crazy fangirl, not family. Needless to say I was surprised and thrilled to be asked to be a part of this process.

The three of us conversed via e-mail, and I uploaded some very poor quality images of inspiration ideas for us to consider. We then met to discuss things in person at Quest and decided on this beauty.

Codices Illustres, Pg. 333
Biblia di Borso d'Este c. 1455-1461
Codices Illustres, page 333

Duchess Caryn did the calligraphy and Mistress Bethany sketched the basic layout and her section of acanthus and passed it on to me. I sketched in my portions of acanthus and spent what seems like forever mixing the perfect shade of lavender to replace the pink from the original piece. Purple/lavender is one of Serafina's favorite colors, which is why we decided to do this. I then began to lay paint.

I quickly discovered that to get the soft shading needed to replicate the look of the original piece, a lot of blending was needed. This became a time-consuming process of laying more and more paint, and I began to worry about the time-frame for completion. I knew that Bethany had a ton of work to do after I was done, so I needed to finish my portion as quickly as possible to give her the time she would need.

Below you can see the scroll as it progresses over the course of one week.

More images can be seen over here in my album:
From Serafina's Scroll

Once my portions were complete, I passed it on to Bethany who did all the miniatures, gold leaf (the gold you see on my portions are a fabulous gold gouache), and the rest of the acanthus. I do not have closeups of the final "done" version, but you can see a picture over at Serafina's Blog (scroll down to the bottom to see the award scroll, but pause to look at the other parts of her vigil and ceremony stuff).

I am deeply honored to have been able to be a part of this process - to have my work on the same paper as these two phenomenal women, to award yet another amazing woman.

Baron's War

Baron's War was pretty awesome. I spent a chunk of the day working as exchequer, but escaped for a bit to visit Serafina at her vigil and sample some of the amazing food she had there. I wore the chocolate kirtle and newly completed sleeves - pictoral evidence!

From Baron's War 2011

My beautiful coral bead jewelery was made by the lovely and talented Aine, whose jewelery and zibillino are gaining world-renown. You can even buy one at her Sable Greyhound site!

From Baron's War 2011

Yes, it was incredibly bright outside. You can click through and see more pictures from the event. I do not have pictures of Serafina's laurel ceremony as I was part of it. Sadness. :( But you can take my word that it was lovely - so many people shared so many beautiful truths about her. She also looked amazing (as usual).

Sunday, July 24, 2011


This is a very quick post - images of some of the supplies for the ACC.

Silk organza, black swarovski pearls, and brass spangles for the parlet, and large pearls for the long dangling necklace.

The red linen beneath these supplies is the linen for Sven's new Norse tunic, that he's patiently waited a year for. I've promised to have it done for Midge Marsh Melee, so that will be my focus for the next few weeks.

I also owe you a post about Serafina's laurel scroll, and you shall have it soon. It was a fabulous day, but more on that later.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chocolate Kirtle - Sleeves

Guess who now has two completed fully reversible black/chocolate sleeves?

My green silk ribbons arrived in a timely manner, but I was stalled on the project while I painted. I'm pleased to now declare them done. I still have to add lacing rings in the chocolate kirtle itself, but this shouldn't take much time. If I manage that in time, pictures at Baron's War will ensue.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Partlet Documentation

As I said in my previous post about the ACC Partlet, There are portraits indicating Florentine high necked partlets without an overgown.

For example,
Italian, Florentine - Portrait of a Lady (1555-60)
Image Source Link

Portait of a Florentine Noblewoman, 1540
Image Source Link

Therefore, I'm using these as precedent to turn my inspiration partlet into something that is wearable with and without an overdress/zimarra.

The Scroll

My portion of Serafina's scroll is complete. I tore through it this week, despite frustrations with it not manifesting itself the way scrolls in this style often do. Squirly darn thing. Bethany has her work cut out for her, bless her. I'm not sharing images just yet, but will do so in a few weeks after it has been presented.

I will be celebrating Theresa/Astrid's nuptials this weekend, and I'm super excited for her. She seems deliriously happy, and this is AWESOME. So this week is full of planning and prepping for that. I'd like to pick up some hot rollers (mine appear to have mysteriously disappeared, but then they were from the 1980's so it was probably time for them to go). Does anyone have any recommendations?

After the wedding, I'll be back to finishing the chocolate linen sleeves, and hopefully a quickie linen partlet for Baron's War. Then, I'm on to the ACC.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

This Week's Loot

I can now proceed with my chocolate/black sleeves, as my ribbon has arrived. But who buys just one yard of ribbon? I bought an extra yard of the other two colors I purchased alongside the green, as I would have the same issue with a shortage if I didn't, and also got some pale pink and blue - all silk. Color me happy. This ribbon feels so luxurious. *loves*

I also got a couple new books to augment my costuming library.

And now, back to painting...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

ACC - The Partlet

The partlet I want to make for the ACC is this beauty, thought to be Maria de Medici, painted by Alessandro Allori, 1555-57, Florence (Moda a Firenze). Eleonora di Toledo is painted quite often with high-necked partlets, and there are numerous paintings of this period with ladies wearing high necked partlets with and without overgowns.

I fell in love with this partlet when researching ideas for my elevation gown, but opted for a collarless partlet at that time in order to not feel silly wearing a Florentine partlet with a Venetian gown. It was a painful choice (but the right one! Serafina and Janeanne did an AMAZING job on it). But now, I get to make my partlet.

I have ordered some adornment items such as black pearls and spangles; I have some gold cord which will hopefully service as couching cord. The original gems may have been jet (or something else altogether), not black pearl, but for the sake of cost that was my choice. It should have the right luster to feel right. I am a little concerned about the goldwork, but I'll do some tests to see if I can make it look right. There's also some gold needle-lace at the edge of the ruffle that makes me nervous.

I have the silk organza I want to use, but it looks like the embroidered part is backed by something, presumably to help the weight and stiffness - I have some buckram that might do the trick. I'll have to test how it looks under the silk and see how it reacts to embroidery to know for sure.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I acquired this awe-sum fabric for a steal. Oh yes, be jelly. 2.75 yards of Jacobean crewel embroidered fabric. This will look great against my chocolate linen, no? Possibly the green too, but I was thinking of doing a Venetian out of that. Hmmmm...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Silk Ribbons, or Why Crystal Fails at Math

Remember the green silk ribbons I bought to use as sleeve ties?

I'm eight inches short. I miscalculated how long to cut them, and now have to order more. Learn to count, noob. :(

I can't finish the linen sleeves (or rather, one of them), until I get more ribbon. Because I'm making these to be fully reversible, I sewed the ribbons down inside the sleeve when they were right-sides together, rather than tacking them on afterward. I took some steps to ensure that they won't pull out from strain (I hope).

The good news is that I got the scroll from Bethany and can spend my time painting until the ribbon arrives in the mail.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sleeve Updates & Lists

Despite the break in blog etiquette, I'm posting without pictures.

Last night I worked on my sleeves, and I now have four sleeve-shaped tubeish things that need to be assembled into sleeves with linings. That shouldn't take too long, provided I am careful and don't sew the wrong pieces together/inside out. Been there, done that.

Last night Bethany also delivered a certain scroll-in-progress to me for me to do my contributions. This particular piece is super special to my heart, and already has the brilliant work of one amazing Duchess on it. So no messing up for me! I must work quickly in order to get it back to Bethany for her to finish.

So, my projects that are currently a priority are:
1. Scroll
2. Finish sleeves
3. Partlet for chocolate kirtle
4. Sew lacing rings into chocolate kirtle for sleeves
5. Finalize plan for ACC

Other, less projecty, but equally important tasks are:
1. Find dress to wear to Astrid's wedding
2. Beg/borrow/steal garb for Mark to wear to Baron's War (Sven's garb is going to be too large, and he doesn't have many tunics to spare anyway)
3. Decide whether to camp at Baron's War or not