Friday, October 26, 2012

From the Archive...

Once upon a time there was this splendidly awesome woman whom we all lovingly call Beth-a-Val.  Valerie, known as Bethany in the SCA, who was asked to sit vigil for admittance into the Order of the Laurel.

For those not in the SCA, when one goes on vigil, it's similar in theory to a period knight's vigil, but without all the religious connotations and the kneeling all night part...  Ok, it's not at all like a period vigil.  But the intent is to prepare the individual mentally for the step they're about to take.  This includes being sequestered, and people come to visit you one at a time to give advice, ask questions, and occasionally provide gifts.

Part of the visitation is that people sign a book with their well-wishes while they wait their turn.  I was asked to draw artwork for the cover of Bethany's vigil book, which was intended to be tooled into a leather book cover.  The book never came to fruition, but I did complete the artwork request.

For those who know the Beth-a-Val, you already know her love of foxes.  She is also an accomplished musician, particularly on the recorder.  So of course I did a whimsical musician fox within the laurel wreath.  I'm sad this book never came to light, but here's a sketch for your enjoyment.  Because sharing is caring, of course. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Versatile Blogger


My beautiful Noelle-friend from Adventures of a Wanna-Be Seamstress nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Such a sweet thing, especially considering my activity here has been very slow ever since my basement flood.  Thank you, Noelle.  You have totally made my day.

Now we're in the process of buying a home, and will be moving in two weeks!  Eek!  But once things are settled there, I'm planning to be much more active here.

The rules are:

1) Thank and link back to the person who nominated you
2) Paste the award to your blog
3) Tell 7 things about yourself
4) Nominate up to 15 other blogs

Seven things about me!

1) I'm a member of the SCA, and have been for about 16 years. I became a member of the order of the Laurel for my calligraphy and illumination, but since about 2004 I've been obsessed with costuming (but not so quick with the learning and applying my education to making things).

2) I'm a newlywed, and my hubby is very supportive of my insanity.

3) I have a dangerous addiction to buying fabric. I'm going to have to put a moratorium on buying anything until I've used up stuff from the stash.

4) My mother taught me some basic embroidery skills when I was about 10; something I have built on a bit but have goals to use more in my costuming. Like my mother, however, I have a large unfinished cross-stitch project that stares me in the face.

5) My sewing skills are largely self-taught... I'm not sure I can count that 7th Grade home economics class too much. I remember sewing a "C" shaped pillow in that class, that most thought was a neck pillow.

6) I would love to start doing calligraphy on a professional basis. Not sure how to get to that point, but it's a goal.

7) I have recovered from Graves' Disease. One of my most prominent symptoms was hand tremors, which for someone who loves being creative with my hands, was most devastating. I feel very blessed that this appears to have passed without surgery or drastically killing my thyroid.

Nominate other Blogs

  • Opusanglicanum - Aside from being delightfully charming, her embroidery knocks my socks off.
  • Mistress of Disguise - Entertaining and ridiculously skilled at both costuming and prosthetic makeup. Quite the repertoire!
  • Eulalia Hath a Blog - Her research is detailed, and she makes me want to do earlier period dress. Not many can do that!
  • Romantic History - She does a wide variety of periods in her dressmaking, and her finishing work is impeccable, all while caring for a house full of children. Amazing!
  • Dragon's Scriptorium - A place for the SCA Scribes of Drachenwald to post their works. I wish Artemisia would do this.
  • Caravan of Elephants - Hannah's work never fails to impress me. I hope to meet her soon; we live in the same Kingdom, after all!
  • See Jane Sew - Jane is a total riot, and ambitious as hell. Love this lady.
  • TrulyHatBlog - Truly's skills as a hatmaker blow my mind. She has invested so much into her craft, I am in awe.
  • HollyIggyMom - Holly's zibillino are THE standard to meet (except you don't have to, because she'll sell you one).  Her jewelry is seriously the bomb.  She makes me feel pretty.  If I manage to get myself together to do what I want for Solstice Court, I totally want her to make me one of her new bird guys.  Work on a bluebird, Holly!

I follow about eleventy-gazillion other blogs, and they all deserve some kudos, but this time, I'm hanging my hat up here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

When Costuming and Scribal Arts Collide

A while back I was asked to do a scroll in a "16th Century Dutch Style," which led me to doing some research to see if such a thing is feasible in the timeline desired. Most peeps in the scribal community are familiar with the Flemish style aka "squashed bug" style of illumination. The technical term is trompe l'eoile. So I had a vague clue, but didn't know a solid time frame on this style. The thing I found interesting is that this style is known as the Ghent-Bruges school. Many students of said school were from Southern Flanders and decided to wander further south, making a living in the fabulosity that is Italy.

The most notable Ghent-Bruges piece I've run across is the Grimani Breviary (yes, Italy, you soak up all that is awesome). (By the way, if any of you have a rich benefactor, please get them to send me a facsimile copy of the Grimani Breviary!)

So, here's the interesting part, for those interested in costuming. Check out fol 228 v. The clothing seems to be an interesting mix of Flemish and Italian... but what is up with the lady on the third row up, on the left? What is that on her head?

Details of fol. 228 v. from the Grimani Breviary