Monday, November 12, 2007

An adventure in Scoggers

I've been doing some research on scoggers since they were knit to go with my later period kirtles. The descriptions I've read have said they were plain knit from "just above the elbow to the wrist." So, using those measurements, I composed a "quick and dirty formula for making scoggers." The important part in this project is the gauge of your knitting. So be sure to do a true 4"x4" swatch to get your rows and stitches per inch. If this gauge isn't on, then your scoggers will either be too tight or too loose.

Measurements needed:
Upper arm measurement:
(I used about 3" from my elbow, which I found to be good so that the scogger doesn't slip off your elbow)
Measurement of wrist:
(make it a tad loose if you tend to cast off tightly like I do)
Measurement from upper arm to wrist with elbow bent at a 90° angle:

Then calculate how many stitches per inch you get. Multiply this by the measurement for your upper measurement and for your wrist measurement.

Then calculate how many rows per inch you get and multiply this by your "arm to wrist" measurement. This will be how many rows long your scogger will be.

Now subtract the lower stitches from your upper stitches. This will be the number of stitches that you need to decrease throughout your scogger. Divide this number into your rows to know how many rows to decrease your stitches. For my scoggers I found 1 decrase per every 2 rows was perfect, but I have very small wrists (6") and, um, curvacious upper arms.

My measurements:
Upper arm: 14"
Wrist: 6"
Length: 15"
Gauge: 4"x4" = 20 rows x 16 stitches on size 10 (6mm) needles
So I cast on: 57 stitches (I'll explain that in a minute)
Needed to cast off to 25 stitches
Need to cast off a total of: 32 stitches over 75 rows, so almost 1 stitch every other row.

I also added 3 rows of moss stitch (seed stitch) at the top and bottom. The only thing I would do differently would be to make the top measurement an inch or so smaller so that it isn't as loose. I will do that when I make the ones out of the Merino wool I just got in.

I'll try to get photos posted this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cuhelyn's Pelican Scroll

This is the scroll that I finished and delivered to the King and Queen for Cuhelyn's Pelican elevation. I believe I have 32 hours in this scroll including layout and prewriting the hand. The words were composed by Cuhelyn's Peer, Master Hywel ap Iauen and is absolutely beautiful! I wish more Peers would take the time to compose the words on their student's scrolls when they are elevated. This is based after the Aberdeen Bestiary's entry for Pelican. However, I moved the right hand panel to the center and left to two outer panels blank. There is just something about including Pelicans trying to kill their young (and each other) that sits uneasy with me :) The King agreed that maybe it isn't the image we want to portray to the Peerage.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


This weekend was Gatalop. Gatalop is an annual event hosted by the Barony of Osprey at Fort Gaines, Alabama. Ft. Gaines was built in the 1820's as part of the much needed coastal defense system. Despite the many hurricanes and other hardships this fort has seen it still remains one of the best preserved pre-Civil War forts in the US. Each year in October, the Fort allows the SCA to use the facility to host Gatalop. This is the closest that most SCAdians can get to having a real castle battle and people have been known to come from all over the world (truly, the furthest recieved pre-reserve came from the Katar this year!) to play castle battle.

Some of the other highlights of the event was getting to sit with Viscountess Marion and learning all kinds of things about research of costuming, fiber, and sewing techniques. Much of it was repeat, but it is nice to hear again, especially to make yourself go,"Oh yea,I knew that. duh." All the scrolls handed out were original and made by members of Phoenix Glade. Yay Phoenix Glade. And I got to do court as Master Alexander was not in attendance. Elaine, you will be proud that I didn't screw up and say, "The Stellar kingdom of An Tir." I think the pole ax bearers would have beheaded me on the spot!!

Aside from it being as windy as can be, it was a pleasant day (not too hot, not too cold) and it was enjoyable having conversations with the Queen as well as other people. Very relaxed and laid back. I'll post pictures when I can find some. (Once again the camera with new batteries was left at home!)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Some recent scrolls

I haven't had the time to upload any scrolls for a while between work, preparing for events and those three little things called children. Hate when life gets in the way of my fun! So without further ado here are the scrolls with my own self-criticism.

OK, worst for first. I'm not happy with this scroll and have decided I am going to add some gold work on it. I have seen two scans of this scroll online and one looks almost identical to this one and the other one I beleive was either "cleaned up" or taken before it was "cleaned up" and you can see faint gold and red flowers on the lighter green. I think I am going to go back and add those. This is for the Order of the Meridian Cross. I have made a personal commitment to making sure that this order (which I'm a companion of) has both regalia and original scrolls. C&I is, afterall, why I recieved this award.

I took this one from a book of accounts. There were actually more pillars, but I took it down to just two. This is one of those "mistake scrolls that worked out in the end." I wasn't paying attention to the wording when I started on the illumination and drew a Meridian Cross. Fortunately I was able to fix it by painting the egg for the correct badge for the Order of the Guiding Hand, which is what this award is for.

Winnifred says this is her favorite scroll of all I've ever done. She asked me if I would put a note on it for the king and queen to save it for when she is old enough to recieve her arms. What a kid. I told her by the time she is "of age" and if I have any control over it I will make sure that she has as nice of a scroll if not better.

This is for the Order of the Argent Comet. It is one of my more favorite scrolls. I love the simplicity and elegance of this scroll. (And the fact that there is no shading - which is the bane of my illuminatory existance.) This is where I am going to throw a little pitty party, so you can quit reading now or you can read and chastise (or empathise, your choice!) It truly SUCKS that we have NO active peers in the Panhandle of Florida, especially Laurels. I feel that I am at this "dulldrums" point in my abilities. I've studied the works, I've read all I can on period style but I have no one to SHOW me. I am such a visual learner and do SO much better when I have an instructor. I've thought about taking some "hobbyist" art classes to try to learn something about painting, but I'm not sure how well that will lend over into period painting styles. The last time I tried to take a mundane class to learn technique it didn't do very well. So I've decided to actively pursue a teacher. Any teacher. Heck, I don't even care if the person is a Peer if s/he can and is willing to teach me something. I'm going to be entering one of my scrolls (don't ask which yet, haven't decided) into Magna Faire in December hoping I can lure someone out from under what seems a rock. I don't know where all the C&I Laurels are in this kingdom, because I sure can't find them and it isn't like I've been sitting in a dark corner.

OK, that's enough ranting and raving and boo-hooing.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Crown List

This weekend was Lord Gunnar snaebjorn's first venture into Crown List and he fought for THL Lavena Knappe. While he wasn't victorious, we did have a grand time. Firstly, he was the lowest order of precedence to enter the field, which meant he was FIRST (saving the highest for last). He had a nice little Viking horde assembled with him, including a herald (that would be me), banner bearers and a few others. He and Lavena were dressed in matching blue and white.

Lady Lyonet had a small polar bear fleece (born in captivity and died of cancer, so no bear killing involved) that he wore as a head dress during the presentation. It went very well when I announced that he was "As fierce as the bear that dares inhabit the northern climates" He looks fierce, right?

This is the whole group and I think you can see everyone. It was truly fun to lead the day off and Gunnar was the only one that actually had a Herald who said something more than "This is Lord Stickjock fighting for Lady Garbidahl with these arms." I'm hoping to encourage more list participants by the other Heralds.

And if matching outfits and cultures, banners, heraldry, and cool gifties for the Crown wasn't enough Lavena had to go and create this lovely ladies' viewing pavillion with lots of yummy treats on the table (mostly cookies, which I think was my payment LOL!)

Gunnar made it through two rounds, but he learned a lot and had many knights come and talk to him about how well he did and give him some constructive criticism as well as pointing out the weak spots in the other fighters. Not bad for one's first Crown List.

I missed the Herald's Social, but we kept having problems with what time zone we were in. The site was just across the Al/Ga border and our phones were feeding off two competing cell towers. One would make our clocks reset to Central time and 10 minutes later they would get switched over to Eastern. Very frustrating. I did get a chance to talk to many of the Heralds in attendance, though. I spoke with Meistres Bronwen about Lambent position and we have a tentative date scheduled for me to take over at Magna Fair the first weekend in December. I'm hoping I don't need a trailer to get everything home. LOL!

Feast was fair. I've had better. I've definitely had worse. But no one at the table went hungry and there seemed to be enough for everyone to eat to be full. I wore my new sabots that Greet found for me to court and to feast. I know I shouldn't have worn them in the feast hall, but I was too tired to tromp back to our cabin and get my slippers and the sabot's don't quite fit over those. I'm hoping to make a nice pair of turn soles that might fit better inside them. I definitely need to do some carving/sanding on the inside to make them less uncomfortable. I doubt my feet will ever declare wooden shoes comfortable. It was fun clomping around on the wooden floors serving feast, though. Everyone agrees that the Dutch would never make very good stealth ninjas.

Winnifred wore her new red kirtle (still looking for that picture). Looked lovely. I was outbid in the silent auction on a nice coif for her, but I did manage to get a good look at it and will be making her one similar. She had a small coif that looks "blackworkish" that her godmother, Dona Elaine, made for her when she was a tiny baby. It still fits (sort of) although it does need to be desperately re-bound on the edges. The girls wore the coif for so many years. I was surprised the bias tape wore out before the fabric.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A name for Em's

Emily has been working on names for her persona. She's Henry Tudor era English. She has narrowed it down to three choices and would like some input. They are:

Alyne Follywolle
Winnifred Keckilpenny
Winnifred Strangeways

Now mom of course is leaning towards Winnifred Keckilpenny, but don't let that influence you any! Just for reference she is into cooking and scribal arts and likes hats (aren't you happy about that Auntie Elaine?)

Monday, October 1, 2007

OOooo, I want!

Someone sent this to my scribal list. I think we really need to pool our money and buy one of these. Or this one. I mean it is for sale and who would take care of it properly? Wedding planners? Resort entrepreneurs? Oh, yeah, medievalists!

Monestary for sale! Be sure to look at the pictures. I've already claimed my bedroom! Ciao!

Friday Night Project Night and Wooden Shoes

Totally unrelated, of course. These are some pictures from our Friday project night this past week which was held at our house for a change. Lavena and Saxa were both out of town and, well, we just had to do something!

This is the stove top casting. Apparently the single burner that I had bought a while back just doesn't heat hot enough to melt the pewter. It makes a great stir fry, but is lacking in the casting department. Poor little inefficient burner.

A closer view. You can see the mold for the buttons here. We did have to make a run to Home Depot for more pewter. One pound wasn't deep enough for us to ladle and the pan is too awkward to use to pour. I think we ended up with three pounds before we could actually ladle it. Cato's ladle is a bit bigger than Lavena's and he tends to get a better pour.

This is Nicholas drinking some of the Chocolate Stout that we bought Cato, Nicholas and I declared it sweet and yummy. Melisande said it wasn't sweet enough and was too bitter. Nicholas always complains that he is always seen from the back drinking, so I decided to honor his front side as well.

Wooden shoes!!

These are the wooden shoes that my friend Greet found for me at a thrift store! They are SO pretty. She wore her pair all over the event she went to this weekend and I'm presuming they did her well as she didn't complain (or change shoes). I'm still thinking of wood burning daisies onto the heels.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I finally got the pictures of the buttons we are casting uploaded to the computer. They are so pretty and shiny!! They are made from pewter using a three -part mold. The design is a snowflake for Lord Gunnarr who is fighting for THL Lavena in Crown List in a few weeks. I'll post pics of the Meridian Cross medallion that we got cast last week. Project night is at my house this week as our normal hosts are out of town. So we've got the casting stuff here.

This is the completed button. Isn't it shiny? I put this picture in to show the size of the button. They will be used for sleeves and down the front of cotes.

This is the button again:

The back of the button showing the shank:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cool news

Jay Rubenstein has won a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award. That is just so cool! He's medieval scholar at the University of Tennessee! Too cool. Now if we could just get his genius into the SCA. Although he may be, I have no idea, but I like his writings and have followed him for some time.

In other medieval news, the Magna Carta is for sale. Hmmm, I seem to be a few million short to bid on it. NYT has a really cool interactive thingy. I'm trying to figure out the hand. It seems to be a combination of Carolingian miniscule along with a bit of early gothic and maybe something else. I can't make the font bigger to really look at it. I find it interesting that 500+ years ago this was "just a document" and was folded and probably stuffed under other papers for a while and today it is considered one of the most amazing and affirmative documentations we have on human rights. It's the foundation for even our own Declaration of Independence. All for a cool $20-$30 Million.

And this wouldn't be complete without a link to the trailer for Beowulf, Robert Zemeckis' film due out November 16th. Looks quasi fantasy, but then so is the story. It looks interesting and the cast seems well made up. Although I did find this humorous blog on the "fight scene" (You who have read Beowulf know what I'm talking about, you who haven't may need to shield your eyes.) Quod She Blog.

OK, that's all the medieval news that I have for today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fabric Acquisition Supreme Team

Well, we were at it again. Lavena and I headed to JoAnn Sunday for another round of FASTing (has nothing to do with going without food and all about shopping for fabric.) JoAnn is having one of their 50% off their clearance fabric, including upholstery. Ooo la la did we have fun. We got there at 9am sharp only to realize that JoAnn doesn't open until 10am on Sundays. That meant we had to go to Books-a-Million and have a cup of tea and a pastry while looking through this week's sales ads (and aquire some more coupons for JoAnn- Lavena's paper had FOUR in it!)

When we finished tea, we headed back to JoAnn. Lavena picked up a few random pieces for her hubby and son. We fussed over whether the lightweight striped fabric was period, hemming and hawing about it for a while and finally decided that it wasn't as nice even as bleached muslin which we could get for less than $2 a yard. There were probably 4 bolts of this which made us go, "uh, maybe?" but decided we would stick with what we got. Lavena also picked up a nice piece of "Cody blue" linen blend for Gunnarr a new outfit for Crown List in a few weeks.

I was on a mission as I needed fabric to do some false sleeves for Emily's tudor. I snagged 5 yards of some lucious brown velveteen. This will go lovely with the burgundy kirtle and gold gown. Now to get all this going. I also picked up some gold flat braid and some cream colored pearls to do some sort of decoration on the false sleeves and head dress. I picked up another 4 yard piece of some very soft cotton for Keon a new tunic or two as well as a few miscellaneous pieces that were too good to pass up. My Big Find was some blue linen that I had my eye on last year that is embroidered with daisies. Can you say cote-har-deeeeee!! Oh baby! And at $2.50 a yard versus the $16.99 a yard it was this past spring! I need to carve out some soapstone for buttons for the cote and get Cato and Solva to cast them for me.

There was some lovely lozengy fabric that I thought would be truly awesome for Italian Ren, but passed up on it. Anyone in this area of Meridies who needs assistance shopping for fabric let me know. I'm good at spending other people's money on fabric! And I'm just 5 minutes from JoAnn (which has its faults as well as its advantages.)

In other news of the medieval, the kids and I are working on a "box project" for the Crown. They need largess to give at Gulf Wars and other inter-kingdom meetings. Phoenix Glade is working on providing them with some of this largess. We've got leather bottle and pouch making, bead making, veil pin making, and box making. The kids and I are doing the boxes. We took boxes that we bought for 66¢ a piece at Michael's and took the hardware off of them. We sanded them and stained them yesterday and today we put the first coat of poly on it. We will sand them again tonight and put the second coat of poly on them so that tomorrow we can reassemble the lids and bottoms and put them back together. Trust me, they are NOT going to look like 66¢ boxes when we are done. Amazing what a little cherry stain can do for a cheap wood box.

And speaking of wood, I have wood shoes!! Greet found 2 pair at her local thrift store and bought both pairs. One pair fit her and the other pair fit me with some thick socks on. Woot! I'm going to make a quick pair of thin leather turnsole shoes to wear with them as well and need to sand down one spot that rubs wrong on my right foot. I'm thinking seriously about woodburning my daisy into the back of the shoe. What do you think? I haven't found any documentation into doing such, but I haven't looked very hard either. I think this will be just the thing for my working women's kirtles.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Emily's First Scroll

I just had to share. I did the calligraphy and Emily did the illumination. I'm so proud of her. She's a total night owl and I woke up one morning to find the illumination on my work desk. I kept looking at it going, "I didn't do this. Where did this come from?" It was Emily!! Cooking. Scribing. Fabric. Seems to be taking after mom right fine!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Nalbinding Tutorial

I greatly owe this to Mistress Maire from Artemisia. I promised her December of last year that I would throw one up on my blog. Hmmm. All good things?

Step 1: Assemble needed supplies: yarn, needles, scissors. In regards to the yarn, it can truly be of any weight. I've used everything from fingering weight to nice heavy lopi that came from Iceland. The difference is going to be how quickly it takes to do up. The finer the yarn the more stitches per inch (just like in knitting). The only drawback to using the lopi for socks was that it is a tad pebbly on your feet until the wool felts a bit (from being walked on). I have two needles shown. One is a simple wide eyed tapestry needle which is just fine. The other is made for me by my friend "Spoon" (his real name is TC Lowery, but his website is down.) Spoon makes hand carved wood spoons at Ren Fairs around the country and made me my lovely wooden needle from Ironwood. You don't need a lovely wooden needle made from Ironwood, but it does look more authentic when you are doing nalbinding at SCA events.

Step 2: Cut a piece of yarn that is about 18 inches long and thread your needle with one end. With the other end make a slip knot. If you don't know how to make a slip knot, Google it. It's easy.

The finished slip knot. See, that was easy.

Step 3: The general rule is "down through the working hole, up through the last two loops." For most of what you do is based on this rule. To start making nalbinding in the round take your needle down through the center of the slip not you just made. You can adjust the size easily. making it smaller as you go around. For now, leave it this size.

Step 4: Go up through the loop that was created by going down through the center hole, but don't pull it tight. Leave a bit of a loop left and hold this with your thumb and a finger (it doesn't matter which finger, just use a finger to keep it from closing all the way up). It should look something like this:

See, I'm holding the loop with my fourth (or ring) finger. You could use your index or your tall man or even your pinky if you so desired. Whatever is comfortable for you.

Step 5: Take your needle again and go down through the center of your slip knot. then come up through the loop you just made and the loop prior to that. It's hard to see in this picture, but hopefully it will help (clicking on the picture will make it bigger).

Yep, kid of hard to see, but trust me. Keep doing this (down through the center hole up through the last two working loops) until you have around 8-10 stitches on the loop. Then you can adjust the size of your slip knot. This makes your first round.

Which looks something like this.

Or this.

The second round.

Step 6: Now you are going to make your next round. There are a couple of things to remember. If you want to make a skinny tube (which I don't know why you would want to unless you wanted to make a cigar warmer or a woolen finger cot, again, not sure why you would want to) you would "sew" (for lack of a better word, since knit isn't right either) in each space. But we don't' want to make a willy warmer so we are going to "sew" about 2 in every previous row's stitch. I have found that if you do 2 in every previous row's stitch that it will be too much, so this is where you just have to eyeball it and see if you are creating a smooth increase. If you are not even with the previous round's hole then add another "stitch" in your working hole. If you are too far ahead, then decrease the number of stitches you are putting in each hole. You will get the hang of it.

This is a picture of the needle coming back up through the two previous loops.

Step 7: When you run out of yarn run the tail through a few stitches on the row previous to where you are working. You will want to go through about 3 or 4 stitches. Then to start your next row, simply run your needle through 3 or 4 stitches in the row you are currently working on, but don't pull tight. You don't need to worry about securing it with a knot or anything. It will eventually get "sewn" into what you are currently working on. Another way of starting a new yarn is to "unspin" the ends of both yarns and then respin them together. I've done it both ways and they both work. Personally I find threading it back through more time saving. Historically we are in a quandry as to actually take apart extent pieces would be a blasphemy to some and we can't tell easily which way was done.

This is how two complete rows should look.

To create a garment, such as a sock. you essentially just keep making rounds adding and decreasing stitches until you get the shape you are looking for. For a sock, you would want to go out until the circle is about as round as your foot and then you want to start making a tube by doing a stitch in every loop. The nice thing about this sort of sock construction is that you can try it on as you go (sort of like when you make toe up socks on two circular needles). When you have the tube as long as your foot (or at least up to where your ankle starts on the top, you then stop working on that piece and start a second piece (from step 2 - as you should already have your supplies assembled) and make a small cup that will fit your heel and is about as wide so that it will meet the tube you made for your foot. These pieces are simply worked together creating another tube that works it's way up to make the leg of your sock. This website has some drawings of learning nalbinding as well as sock part construction. You can leave a slit open in the front if you like. I did this to my socks, but the next pair I make I probably won't do this as it tends to flop open if you don't make a tie for it. Kind of annoying, but it isn't uncomfortable. It's just easier to get your sock on this way. Nalbinding doesn't have a lot of give to it. Although I think there is enough to put a sock on.

I love my wool socks. I like that when I wear my viking underdress and apron that I have socks that match. My friend Gunnar is sewing my viking shoes. I have them cut out, but just don't have the manual strength to be able to actually sew leather anymore. Darn old hands. I'm going to trade him some antler that I have for payment as he won't take cash.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Newest Works

These are some scrolls that I have made most recently. Oh and if you can't tell, I have a new scanner! Most of these are from bestiaries, most from the Aberdeen Bestiary. The cock is from a different bestiary, but of the same time period. I guess that was the style then, do bestiaries with boxed in pictures of animals with descriptions of them.

This is NOT a unicorn. It is called a Monocephalus. (one head with a phallus thing?)

This is from the other bestiary, the Meermanno Bestiary. I still like it. I have several others from this bestiary as well as an Icelandic bestiary that I want to do.

Back to the Aberdeen Bestiary.

You can't really tell in this one, but the white really isn't white, it is silver using Pearl Ex Powders and gum arabic. It looks much nicer in person. This one was done in the style of a 14th century Mongolian manuscript. The center actually had some sort of seal or emblem on it (half of it was obscured). This is very similar in style to Cato and my Goutte's from An Tir.

Yep Aberdeen. Uh, no it's actually Salisbury. This is for the Order of the Rising Swan. It's sort of the "teen award" which I felt very deserving of a pretty scroll. (And I know that my friend Jarrin recieved this which makes it really cool!)

The one thing that I have noticed about my work is that I am becoming braver with color and my hand is becoming much more consistant and the kerning is much better.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Nostepinde Experience

I've been looking lately into what tools a medieval woman would need in her collection to effectively run a household. Obviously pots to cook in, bowls to mix in, boards or tables to knead on, and a spindle to spin with. But then what to do with the wool once spun but not ready to weave or knit yet? While there is always your thumb that you can wrap a ball around, what I have found is the nostepinde (which is spelled a billion different ways) I wrote about my experience wrapping on a "homemade" (soprano recorder with the bell taken off) nostepinde on my Knitting blog. So as not to have to repeat it, you can just follow the link. It did work well and I can see it becoming much easier to use as I get used to the new exercise.

Monday, September 10, 2007

And even more Viking News

Seems like the Vikings are all in the news today. This one should be especially of interest to you fiber hounds.

Viking Queen Exhumed

More Viking stuff

Because, well, you know, Viking! (Must be said like Johnny Depp if he were a Viking instead of a Pirate).

Viking Ship found under British Pub!

Ooooo, New books

Ox Bow Books has several new books coming out that are on my definite wish list. The first is The Wooden Bowl by Robin wood which dates the turned wooden bowl back 4000 years through the Tudor period from the Mary Rose. The cost is $40.

The second is Purses in Pieces: archaeological Finds of Late Medieval and 16th Century Leather Purses, Pouches, Bags and Cases in the Netherlands (now that's a mouthful) by Olaf Goubitz. The cost is $35.

The final is Stepping Through Time: Archaeological Footwear from Prehistoric Times until 1800 by Olaf Goubitz. The cost is $65, but I understand that this is a paperback reprint of the hardback original that was much more costly.

Be sure to check out this website's other offerings as well. There are quite a few nice books in their discounted books including the Isabella Breviary for $9.98!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My first Peerage Scroll

Here's the scroll as promised. It was matted in black and had a simple black frame aorund it. It was for The Order of the Pelican.

One down 3 to go!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!

I finally finished my first peerage scroll. I've got it scanned, but won't post it until after Coronation this weekend. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. It's a Celtic theme with lots of knotwork. I incorporated the pelicans into the knotwork as I felt the late period looking pelican seal looked odd on a much earlier Celtic knotwork illumination. I do have a nice achievement of arms on it, which does look a bit out of place, but it was the elevatee's request.

In other scribal news I finished a Legion of the Bear and a Rising Swan scroll and hopefully can get those scanned or at least photographed in the next day or so.

Just an update so I can remember what all I'm doing!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

i Granbý wins

OK, so between the people who responded here and responded privately, I've decided that i Granbý is what I like best. I just want this in and through. And no, Elaine, I'm not out to assimilate people (at least not openly).

Friday, August 31, 2007

Calling all Phoenix Gladians

Do you have your name and/or arms passed through the college of heralds? Want to show off your arms in a cool and spiffy way? Then send your name and arms to me and let's begin a Shire Roll of Arms! Want to be part of that spiffiness but don't have names and arms yet? Then see me and let's get your name and arms registered!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lots of Viking Eye Candy!

Greet had this website posted on her blog. She was (of course) ogling the fiber stuffs and I love all the Viking stuff. Parts of Helene's blog are in Norwegian and parts are in English, but pictures are universal and there are enough free translators around that you can get the gist of what she is talking about. Be sure to scroll down about 3/4 of the way and see the Viking ship. And check out her other pages as well. Oh, this is just too rich. Maybe I should learn to speak Norwegian and move to Norway.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Last name

I've put up a poll for my new last name. As I said, I'm not giving up Melbrigda. Been her for too long (plus I think that Lavena will kill me now that she can actually pronounce it!) The choices I'm looking at are "i skolhamri" (there are some missing accents in most of these names) meaning "of Skolum," "i granby" meaning "of Granbyr," Borgby meaning "from Borgby" or Englandsfari which means "traveller to England." I'm leaning towards either Granby (since it is a well known Viking ruins in Sweden or Englandsfari which lends itself to why I can do scribal arts in English styles :) Leave me a comment as to why you picked the one you did.

I have Arms!

Heraldic ones that is! But my name was returned as being a masculine name. Never fear, I will not give up on registering Melbrigda as my name. I just can't be Leifsdottir anymore (Doesn't anyone in these current middle ages understand transgender issues? LOL!) I'm thinking of just being something like Melbrigda Borgby or i granby or stillingr (which means "chap with the stylus" LOL!) I've just used Melbrigda far too long and everyone knows me as Mel, so I'm willing to drop Leifsdottir.

These are my arms. I have yet to read the full LOAR so I don't know if Cato's arms passed or not. But you can be sure to read it here as soon as I know.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Luttrell Psalter in Action!

This came from my scribes list, but I just had to share it to a wider market! Luttrell Psalter in Action! You all know how much I love this psalter and it is one of my favorites to copy for scroll work. It is fun to see it acted out. Be sure to follow the link on their pages to the YouTube videos. There are quite a few others than the ones directly linked.

Have fun!

Daggers and Hemlock Feast Thank you

Since I have no idea where to even begin with talking about how well the feast went I thought I would just copy my thank you notes here. I'll probably ramble on later about what I thought went really well and where I can improve. Hopefully I'll get some pictures to share soon.

Gracias, merci beaucoup, basimta, dekuji, Tak, dank u, mamoon, paljon kiitoksia, danksche, go raibh maith agaibh, arigato gozaimashita, dziekuje, in other words, THANK YOU!!!

I can't ever thank you all enough for allowing me the opportunity to come and work the kitchen for Daggers and Hemlock! It was a blast and there are a LOT of people that I need to thank. Despite a few limitations that we had (an itty bitty refrigerator, cooling issues, a small tea maker, and not nearly enough platters and bowls) the feast went off without a hitch! YOU helped make that possible!

First to the servers: Lord Gunnar, Lord Antonio, Lady Isabella, Lady Gefn, Lady Jacqueline, Lord Lorchan, Lady Erinmach, and the dear lady whose name I did not get, but who was so invaluable in helping get feast to table (if someone knows who this lady is please let me know!). Thank you also to His Lordship Jose Leodefridz for being my hall steward, even though you don't know how to count!

To my drink servers: Tristan, Yazmin, Katie (Rolando, is that your daughter's name?), Keon, and Leil. Boys, I'm sorry you got stuck with the unsweetened tea again. Thank you so much for being champs, not complaining and doing your job as best you could despite not doing what you wanted. I got high praises from many people for all of your kind, courteous and efficient service during the feast. It makes my heart so glad when the youth of our kingdom work so willingly. You are an inspiration to youth (and adults) everywhere!

On that note, a special thank you to Freya, Theodoric's daughter, for coming to the kitchen to beg to assist during the feast. Thank you so much for offering your assistance and being so patient in waiting for the fourth course.

To all those that assisted in setting up the hall for feast, thank you thank you thank you! You did a great job and it looked splendid! I have no idea who did it, I just know it was done and done beautifully!

To Sulva Ottarsdottir for being such a willing food taster and for dying to gracefully! You were adorable and brought wonderful humor to the theme of the event!

To Margareta Geijsbert called Greet, thank you for the wonderful inspiration to create the gorgeous stained glass window designs and orchestrating that whole project. They are truly awe-inspiring and absolutely GORGEOUS! They take my breath away every time I see them! They added so much to the ambiance of the feast. There were many many hands that went into their creation. Thank you all for helping see Greet's vision through!

To those that popped into the kitchen at various times during the day to lend a hand, cut some veggies, figure out how to make tea, wash some dishes, relay a message, make me take a drink and eat something, and just pass by with a smile and a wave and a "It smells good." Thank you!

Thank you to Lady Alicia de Nice who helped to form the hedgehogs and organized all the helpers for that. Thank you also for taking over the refreshment table for the day. You did it so well and I know it was truly appreciated by SO many people given the heat and the early problem with the air conditioner. People complimented us on providing that table and you did it so beautifully! I'm not sure how many times you were in and out of the kitchen with pitchers for refilling, buckets of ice to go out and all the other little things that you did. Thank you also for lending your voice to entertain during the feast. I wish I could have been in there to hear you, but I am told it was lovely and you assisted in allowing me extra time to create platters!

To Lord Saxa and Her Ladyship Lavena for making breakfast and cleaning up afterwards. Thank you both for all that you did in coming through periodically to see if I was doing ok and washing a pan or two or adjusting fans and creating open spaces for us to work. Breakfast was a huge hit and I appreciate you taking charge of that so that I could organize my day and for my class.

To Lord Refr, thank you for making me stay in the kitchen during the day and for kicking me out after the feast. Your team of fighter dishwashers were amazing and you whipped that kitchen into shape in no time flat! Please let me know who all was in there scrubbing away so I didn't have to!

To Lady Lyonet for entertaining Keon and Sulva so I didn't have to worry about them through the day. Lady you were amazing with all you did yesterday! Thank you thank you thank you!

To the crew of the Belladonna thank you for all your assistance, for loaning me much needed things for the kitchen, and for setting up lunch. I hope things went well with that. The burgers and cobbler and corn were delicious and satisfying for this busy cook! Your ship is gorgeous!

To Angel, who truly is an angel! You were amazing getting trays set up, washing TONS of dishes, arranging food, cutting, chopping, peeling, and reminding me to breathe! You can come in my kitchen anytime!

To Lord Mychael, who came from to our event from a place afar and worked all day in the kitchen. I can't wait until I can return the favor. I truly enjoyed your presence and your skills. You make some awesome bread, too and you made the atmosphere light and airy even when the heat was thick and exhausting. Thank you also for saving my life from the mean, horrid and gigantic beast.

To His Lordship Cato, I thank you SO much for all your encouragement through this whole process. For putting up with my panic attacks, shopping ventures, storing of an entire kitchen in our music room, my obsessive compulsive list making, and rantings when things weren't quite going right. Your support for my "small" projects is immeasurable! Thank you for checking on me during the day and for packing the car after the feast. Thank you for bringing me a taste of Lord Gunnar's mead and for calming my nerves.

Thank you to Gefroi and Lady Gabrielle for allowing me this wonderful opportunity. I love working in the kitchen and appreciate the trust you had in me to be able to pull this off.

To my dear daughter Emily (who still hasn't settled on a name, but it doesn't make her any less my daughter) THANK YOU!!! I can't even begin to know where to start. You helped with the shopping, the packing, the loading and unloading, the keeping me awake while driving to and from the site on Friday. You peeled, sliced, stirred, washed, chopped, mixed, weighed, minced, and rolled all that feathery fillo all without complaining, even though there was a lot to complain about. You were on your feet all day and kept me on task always asking what you could do next. You were truly my assistant cook and your canisiones were well received (for those that may not know Emily made all the canisiones!) I'm glad you have found your place in this Knowne World!

And lastly to all those that ate feast. To those who have been in the SCA for decades to those who were at their first feast, thank you for coming and eating and enjoying this feast. If it wasn't for you eating, there would be no reason to cook! Thank you for giving me a reason to cook!

I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. There were a lot of hands that went into making this feast happen and know that I appreciate all that you did to make this little event and feast a reality!

To Phoenix Glade! Vivat!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Tomorrow is the day that I get to run around like a headless chicken (as if I'm not today with the home inspection at 4:00) That's right. The same week as our
Big Event I have a home inspection for a refi!! Half my music room is filled with non-perishables, cooking and serving "things" and big rubbermaid totes filled with more cooking and serving "things." (Oh for the inspector to be a SCAdian!) I've been so busy getting the house ready that there are still things I have to do for the event. I finally got all the scrolls done yesterday when I took a 10 minute break. The feast menu sheets are nearly done (need another proof-reading and printing). And if life wasn't stressful enough we sold out and upped the feast from 50 to 75! (Which if I recall is the number I originally proposed.) So now I'm having to refigure all the ingredients to accomodate these extra people. It isn't too bad because some of the ingredients I have excess of anyway (you can't buy half a bag of flour or a quarter of a roast), but other things I'm a bit stumped on. It will all work in the end. I'm calm.

Yeah right.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Scroll Pictures (FINALLY!)

After months of teasing you about getting pictures of my latest scrolls (that I actually got pics of before TRM's got ahold of them) I finally managed to get the camera, the correct memory card, the cord to connect said camera to the computer and time to do it all in one place at one time! Woot! So without further ado, here they are with notes and notations as best I can remember them!

This is from a 9th Century Swiss Missal. I have fallen in love with this style and it's beautiful blue caps:

Another from that same style:

Detail of the side artwork. The men were barefoot in the original, but I felt for an AoA scroll, that a Lord should at least have shoes! There were also three people in the picture and one of the men (I believe the one in blue) was originally drawn with that saintly halo around his head. We may be making someone a Lord, but I don't think we can elevate him to sainthood!

Yep, same style, same era.
And some detail of the cock.

This was for the Order of the Cygnet, our youth's primary award. It is based on the acanthus leaves from the French from a tutorial that I found online. I'll post the link in a separate post.

More Detail. Sorry it is blury. One day I'll actually get the scanner set back up and can get better pics!

And this is for the Order of the Rising Swan, the secondary youth award. Usually given to teens or mature tweens. Just something simple. French style.
And the detail:

I hope no one is offended, I called this one my phallus scroll because, well, hmm, er, it just had too much of "that" shape on it. I'll spare you the detail photo!

Back to that Swiss Missal.

Detail of the B.

And the side:
This is a baroness' scroll that I was honored to be in attendance when it was awarded. It is from a Dutch book of hours. It's fairly simple and I need to learn how to do the shading around them like in the original manuscript.

And the detail:

Well, hopefully that will hold you for a while. I've got scrolls to work on for Daggers and Hemlock, but after that should be pretty free to do more scrolls.