Monday, June 25, 2012


My husband is a scholar, and as such goes through quite a few bookmarks.  He likes to leave them in various books to reference later.  His favorite bookmarks are these woven rug bookmarks (also commonly found at Barnes and Noble and other local bookstores).

He likes the soft ones not just because they're beautiful, but they also never cause damage to the books from being too thick or having sharp edges.  He tends to go through a lot of them, however, and it can get expensive.

I got the idea in my head that I could use pieces of leftover trim that are too short to do anything with to make him some soft bookmarks.

It worked quite well.  I cut bookmark length pieces of scrap trim that I was hanging on to for some unknown reason (honestly, 18" of trim isn't enough to do much with!).  I then sealed the edges with a few drops of Dritz fray check.  This was especially important for the woven trim on top.  That one is a much more complicated weave and is a thicker trim.  Once the fray check dried, I had several nice, soft bookmarks for him, and felt accomplished to have found a use for that useless trim.

I thought I'd share this here because costumers and scribal artists tend to have a reference library, and this is much prettier than using torn pieces of paper to mark your pages; we're all about spreading the pretty!

In retrospect I should probably have pressed the trim first (they were wrapped around cardboard squares for storage), so now they like to curl a bit, but this isn't a problem when pressed inside a book, and you can learn from my mistake.  You're welcome.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Baronial Charter

Monday I went to a scribal scribble night at HE Bianca's home to help give pointers on calligraphy.  I was thrilled when Bianca pulled this out of her scroll collection.  It is the Baronial Charter that Bethany and I collaborated on back when Gryphon's Lair made the jump from Shire to Barony in 2005.  I'm amused that Thorvald and Bianca have still yet to sign it.

Calligraphy by me, Illumination by Bethany of Windermere.  Sorry for the poor quality picture - I took a photo with my sad phone.  We're hoping to take a nice high quality scan so we can share this piece of history on the Baronial website.

Find where Titivillus slapped me.  It's a fun game!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pelican Promissory

Four days prior to Uprising War, I received a phone call asking me to do a peerage scroll for someone I've always admired.  Gwynnyth verch Morgan was my Seneschal during my exchequer years, and we've gone through quite a bit together.  Of course I was delighted, but knew the time frame was impossible, particularly since I hadn't finished Jane's Golden Maple Leaf quite yet.

Master Azir felt confident that it would mean the most coming from me, and insisted that I be the one to do the scroll despite the time frame problems.  I agreed to do a promissory note, and then to do a fully illuminated piece later.

Due to the rush I was in, I'm sad to say this is far from my best calligraphy.  It's done on a half sheet of pergamenata with Higgins Eternal ink.  Also, even though I treated the page with pounce prior to inking, there were quite a few places the ink refused to lay down.  I'm going to have to be more cautious about laying my arm on the page when wearing short sleeves.  I was wearing gloves, but forgot to put down a paper towel like I usually do.

2012-06-13190029, Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I'm excited about doing her full manuscript page as she is as crazy about dragonflies as I am, so I can litter the piece with bugs.  This probably means I'll do a Flemish style page... We shall see!

Would you be interested in following said scroll in a project diary of sorts, seeing progress shots and the like?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Golden Maple Leaf

For those not Artemisian (or even not players in the SCA), The Order of the Golden Maple Leaf is an award given to those who have shown prowess in the arts and sciences of pre-17th Century. It bears an Award of Arms, if the recipient doesn't already carry one, and is held dear to my heart.

I have been watching Jane Fox grow as an artist since I met her a few short years ago, sporting an amazing Elizabethan made of delicious red silk damask.  She eagerly dove into the world of 16th Century costuming to great effect.  After she won the Novice seamstress category in the Artemisian Costuming Challenge, I knew their Majesties would surely see what I did and I submitted a letter of recommendation for her to receive admittance into the Order of the Golden Maple Leaf, and offered to do the scroll should they see fit to do so.

Clearly they are both wise and gracious.  This piece is done with gouache on pergamenata, based on the Hours of Bonaparte Ghislieri, Use of Rome c. 1500ish below:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I chose this piece because of the bright red which reminded me of that silk gown, and because of the jewels and pearls, and what appear to be auches which are often used to decorate late period dress.

I had to tape the bugger down to my art stand because the perg kept curling (anyone have tips on this annoyance?), but I use architects tape, which does not damage the paper and can be easily pealed off.  I do wish I'd had a little more time to fuss with this as I'd have liked to shade down the gold even more, but alas deadlines cannot be avoided.

Doing this piece also reminded me how much fun pearls are to paint.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Those who do not Craft, Shop.

Quest has come and gone, and was a most excellently fun event, despite the seriously craptastic weather.  Between wind and torrential rain, we were cold and wet all weekend.  But we had awesome company, great conversation, and a fire pit to ward off the chills a bit.

My goal was to get a photograph of Sven in his red and black tunic that I made last year (but yet to have a picture of), but alas it was not meant to happen.

I am partly done with one scroll that has been in my queue since April (shame).  It is to be given out at Uprising, so this weekend is slated to do a lot of painting.  Pictures will follow after it has been awarded.  This is my first experience working on pergamenata, and it has been interesting.  A full review to follow later.

I am super excited to share with you my latest shopping haul.

I have been massively in love with early Tudor styles for years, so The Queen's Servants was a must-have.  I expect it will take me quite some time to actually make something from it, but now I have the book in order to do so.

I'm so stoked about scoring a copy of Old Italian Patterns for Linen Embroidery.  This is a rare piece.  I struggle calling it a book since really it's a book shaped folder full of loose-leaf patterns that are tied into place. with this really cool bound envelope dealio.  Really, I should have taken photos of the inside...

I drooled upon Noelle's copy (and even made copies of a few of my favorite patterns, but they were destroyed in the craft studio flood a year and a half ago (the photocopies, not Noelle's original - I'd just die!).  It's a difficult "book" to find, and when you can find it, it's usually quite expensive.  That was my experience, anyway.  After a year or so of looking (and only finding it in the $100 + range), I found one for $30.  It took about 0.35 seconds to click BUY.  I believe there are a few more copies out there on Amazon if anyone's interested.