Saturday, June 30, 2018

a simple transformation

in which our plucky heroine creates shade...

any who know me know that I mislike the glare of a sunny day, never worse than when the only respite is inside a baking hot tent. There may well be some additional SCA camping this summer, and so I decided to replace my long lost merchant shade. Harbor Freight has cotton canvas drop cloths, and after several trips through the washer, interspersed with hanging outdoors in the sunlight, the peculiar odor common to most of what they sell was finally dispersed enough that I was willing to bring it indoors. (My poor Washing Machine needed to have a special "EXTRA DEEP CLEAN" cycle, which I've never needed in the last ten years in order to get the odor out afterwards as well?!)

The drop cloth, which should prove a good sunshade, is still not sturdy enough to support grommets, so each corner, and the middle in between, all needed reinforced. I cut pieces of much heavier canvas to go on either side, stitched those in place, and then also cut leather washers for each side. Finally, heavy brass two-piece grommets were hammered into place, to provide a good anchor for the ends of wooden pavilion poles.
It has always served me well to acquire Useful Tools... the grommet setting jig makes quick and easy work of what would otherwise be a very troublesome if not impossible task. I have made stitched grommets in canvas, indeed, my Viking tent has two such on the edges of the ridge, as the needed diameter was much larger than a metal grommet could encompass. But for this simple project, the brass ones will more than suffice, I hope, since they only take a few minutes to set, and handstitching a grommet takes at least an hour.

This tarp to dayshade is only nine feet by twelve feet, so not very large, but will hopefully serve as a patch of shade for daytime projects, as well as a place not in the kitchen zone where we can all sit together and eat. I've at least four poles six feet long for the corners, and will cobble together two more a bit taller, for the central edge grommets, giving the dayshade a bit of a peaked roof. Some sturdy ropes and some of my forged iron tent stakes will be all the rest of what is needed...
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3  undergown Genievievepruned sage yard waste bin
4 undergown for Isabel
pruned forsythia -
5 Norse apron dress Aesacontinued pruning apple -
6 Aelflaed pinafore "brooches" for Aesa -
7 blue curtains tarp to dayshade -
8 Drusa wool coat x -
9 Drusa apron dress
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday fragments

in which our plucky heroine is almost done with the current spate of sewing...

For the last month or so, I've been sewing like a madwoman, to make sure that my friends have the clothes that they need for SCA eventing. It has been rather a case of the shoemakers children go barefoot, as I've put off any sewing for my own clothing... so... along with a new apron dress for Drusa, (from some lovely black/indigo textured linen), I decided to also start on some new garb for me, since much of my SCA clothing is almost or at least twenty years old, and getting pretty worn, patched, and threadbare.

I had set aside, until I was sure what I wanted to make from it, this amazing tropical weight Pendelton worsted wool. (purchased last year off one of the flat folds remnant tables at their outlet store, for $5/yd. Listed at $40/yd.) Dark indigo blue with light blue and madder red stripes, so the colors are plausibly historic.

I decided that a new apron dress for me would be a good use, and with careful cutting, I was able to eke out the pieces needed and leave enough of the fabric that I will be able to make a modern tunic top from the rest of the remaining remnants (original purchase was three approximately 1 yd pieces, and one 2/3 yard piece, all 55 inches wide)

The tropical worsted wool is so very light and smooth that I first thought it was NOT wool, as it feels almost like silk, but more resilient. As you can see, it is almost translucent it is so finely woven!

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Much to my surprise, I just noticed that the Other Plum Tree, the one outside the bedroom window, has young plum fruit for the first time ever... it is a much younger tree than the Feral Plum Thicket, and was a sapling gift to me from my pal Wanda

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This spider is actually very very tiny, about the size of two sesame seeds. It is a Zebra Jumping Spider, and that group of spiders is common throughout the northern hemisphere. Probably bedcause it is so small, I have never seen one before, but this little guy was hanging out on my shingles near the mailbox

Several of my friends think these similar to the sweet YouTube spider Lucas -



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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tuesday tidbits

in which our plucky heroine is grateful for her neighborhood

The days are long, and often sunny, moreso every year... Recently found out that it is still possible to order metal window awnings*, in a wide variety of styles and prices, and the expense might be balanced out by the ease of assembly and installation, compared to figuring out how to DIY something to shade the west facing window. I have tried several times to grow plant life to shade the window, but am limited by the fact that the window faces the driveway, so plants must be in pots, which are shaded all morning, and in the afternoon, the sun blazes down on them. Not ideal growing conditions for plants, my potted figs survive there, but not happily...

* Acorn Cottage came equipped with metal awnings over the two south facing windows, and they are a wonderful way to block excess sunlight.
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Still sewing an SCA Norse apron dress in dark indigo paterned linen for Drusa, (and another one in micro striped tropical weight Pendelton wool for myself) Neither one will have any embellishment, but that can be added later as desired. Drusa is going to make me a wooden three legged stool, which can be taken apart for easy transport, which will be a huge improvement from the broken-down bottom half of a directors chair that has been my SCA camp seating for years now...
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Setting up for a new wool tablet weaving, in dark blue and pale green, with accent dark and light chocolate brown. Will be trim for Thora's 12 Night outfit, and also for me, possibly on my new apron dress... It has been a while since I did any of the Finnish style irregular turning, but hopefully it will come back to me, and thankfully, Applesies and Fox Noses has really good tutorials

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Progress laying out the design for the large border fabric printing block. Using a compass makes tidy circles a lot easier. This block is 8" in diameter. I have already carved a 5" block with confronted horses that will fit neatly in the center, and plan on making several other designs to use the same way...

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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3  undergown Genievievepruned sage yard waste bin
4 undergown for Isabel
pruned forsythia -
5 Norse apron dress Aesacontinued pruning apple -
6 Aelflaed pinafore "brooches" for Aesa -
7 blue curtains x -
8 Drusa wool coat x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Sunday, June 24, 2018

preparing for calming handwork

in which our plucky heroine sets things up...

It was beastly hot today. Well above 90.

The Tree Crew came early in the AM to check on the adopted trees, and gave me a few Very Useful hints about staking the wee new apple so it will grow nice and straight of trunk, and about how I ought to move the watering bucket to various stations around the quincelings trunk so the roots will get water from various sides instead of only in one place. And that the apple while okay, would probably like a bit of extra nitrogen. And mulch. I am most impressed with our local neighborhood association Tree Crew, and pleased to know that my baby trees are doing okay.
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This middle of the day I mostly hid indoors, and as Tullia came over for studio time, this suited us both. She has been making good progress on her apotropaic rings and pendants, and is ever more fearless and thoughtful in her soldering. I have started repairing the Birka enamel brooch which broke years ago and has been sitting in my studio to do pile ever since. A number of small tools seem to have gone into hiding in the workroom, including my two small bench pins and my plastic tweezers. Bah! I shall continue to look for them...
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Decided that preparing an assortment of lino blocks and carving sheets to be worked on is a good idea. Having a variety of small handwork, both portable and not, means that small chunks of time between other tasks can be used to further other personal projects long desired but perhaps somewhat "frivolous", by doing activity that I find as soothing and calming as others find meditation to be...

Preparing a new lino block, to use as a border for various central motifs, circular joining blocks, and interstitial designs of assorted small designs. The whole is inspired by 8th-9thC silk samite.
The larger (as yet uncarved) block, is 8" in diameter, the smaller block, already carved with a design of confronted horses beneath a stylised tree, is 5" across. My intention is to create an group of blocks that may be interchanged to create an assortment of polychrome printed fabric suitable for trimming both SCA and modern clothing.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3  undergown Genievievepruned sage yard waste bin
4 undergown for Isabel
pruned forsythia -
5 Norse apron dress Aesacontinued pruning apple -
6 Aelflaed pinafore "brooches" for Aesa -
7 blue curtains x -
8 Drusa wool coat x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday fragments


in which our plucky heroine shares some of the news from the little urban homestead

young fruit is coming along in the backyard "orchard"... there are young apples; these have several more months on the tree to go, as they are usually ripe sometime in September. (I really should have thinned to one of these, but they both had such lovely red blush that I was weak and left the two best looking ones... the original cluster had six apples) In addition, there are young feral Italian prune plums, actually looking more colorful in the photo than in the actual tree, where they still look very green indeed. I need to find someone taller than me to do some pruning on the upper parts of the plum thicket.
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The garlic planted late last autumn is almost ready to pull from the ground, as the green leaves are turning browned on the ends. This coming autumn I will do my best to get garlic into the ground earlier, as this batch didn't go in till November, and the extra time really makes a difference in the size of the harvested bulbs. I pulled one to see how it was doing and it looked good, if small... Still, some homegrown is much better than not!
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The custom curtain commission (say that one three times fast) is done, and I have dived right into putting together the wool SCA coat for Drusa, which is well underway. Indeed, I am now at the stage of stitching the binding on all the edges - using some more of the very beautiful striped handwoven wool...

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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3  undergown Genievievepruned sage yard waste bin
4 undergown for Isabel
pruned forsythia -
5 Norse apron dress Aesacontinued pruning apple -
6 Aelflaed pinafore "brooches" for Aesa -
7 blue curtains x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

wishful Wednesday - MOAR fan arrays

in which our plucky heroine laments ignorance...

This is a vertical fan array, built by Godwyn, which I designed to fit the sliding windows here at Acorn Cottage, to bring in cool night air all night long whilst also keeping home security unimpaired.

Since he doesn't want to build more of these, I need to learn how to DIY the fans/switch/plug combination to make more of them; if I had three more, I could run fans in all the vertical windows all night long, which would significantly help keep the house just a little cooler in the beastly heat of summertime. The lacy wooden framework, while pretty, is not part of my design specs, and would not be necessary. I just need to figure out HOW to assemble the actual fan guts, and where to acquire the necessary parts/tools/supplies.

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Going to make sure that no more of my physical therapy appointments are in the middle of the day (today was at noon-fifteen) but instead early mornings. The difficulty of dealing with transit crowded with workers on the way to morning jobs, and getting up at 530 AM would be less debilitating than riding the bus in the deep heat, and either waiting for transfer in no shade, or walking 10 blocks in the same deep heat. And then doing it again an hour later in reverse. I was foolish, and forgot to take the weather into consideration, and paid for it by losing most of today once I got home again
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3  undergown Genievievepruned sage yard waste bin
4 undergown for Isabel
pruned forsythia -
5 Norse apron dress Aesacontinued pruning apple -
6 Aelflaed pinafore "brooches" for Aesa -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tuesday tidbits


in which our plucky heroine keeps beavering away...

with all good hope of getting the curtains sewing project finished soon. HomeDec is my second least favorite kind of commission sewing, and I only rarely take them on.

Finished pruning the apple tree, and concerned about the plum thicket which is still far too tall for me to reach. Managing to keep all the baby trees watered in the newly extra-hot weather.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3  undergown Genievievepruned sage yard waste bin
4 undergown for Isabel
pruned forsythia -
5 Norse apron dress Aesacontinued pruning apple -
6 Aelflaed pinafore "brooches" for Aesa -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine is slightly tired of sewing...

I've been sewing like a madwoman, completing projects for other folks both commissioned and for friends. One of the most fun projects recently was the aforementioned "baprons" for little Kestrel, who is discovering the joys of solid food. I'm well aware that seven are nowhere near enough to get through a week, but I had a lot of fun delving into the stash of small fragments from former projects and gifted bits. Each one of these has a story attached, whether or not the stories get passed along, for certain the little garments will be of use, which is all I ever desire.
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My dear pal Drusa, the skilled and talented woodworker*, will be teaching a workshop later this summer on making a Norse style 6 board chest, starting from riven wood boards all the way to completion.

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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3  undergown Genievievepruned sage -
4 undergown for Isabel
pruned forsythia -
5 Norse apron dress Aesacontinued pruning apple -
6 Aelflaed pinafore "brooches" for Aesa -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

* Drusa is the very same who made my lovely bentwood Norse sewing box -

Thursday, June 14, 2018

scraps and tidbits

In which our plucky heroine remembers the past, and reminds self that getting older is a privilege not granted to all...

"They followed him quickly up a flight of stairs which couldn't be seen, and through a door which didn't exist. In a moment, they had left Reality, which is sometimes a hard thing to tell, and stood in a completely different part of the forest..."

recently have been listening to an audiobook version of "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster, which was a favorite of mine back in the days of my young adulthood. I think I first read it in middle school. Am fairly impressed with the meta-content implied in the story, and how it relates even now to my values and ethics. I guess we all are children of the times we came to awareness within, and there was a lot of a modicum of hopefulness back then, which seems lost now, for eversomany reasons alas...
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tis the season of pruning, and the beginning of the season of watering. As the sage is all done flowering, ditto the lovage, they have been pruned and cut back. Also every morning I've been going out and thinning the apple clusters, and trimming back the new growth, to keep the fruiting branches within reach. If all goes well there will be at least some apples this autumn
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Finished sewing the linen undergowns for Genivieve, and for Isabel. Sewed a linen Norse apron dress for Aesa. Now at this point pretty much my entire Casta Fabri/Blue Cedar House group has enough clothing to get through ATWW in July. Still need to sew a wool coat for Drusa, and then if there is time, I myself could use some new SCA clothing as well
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40% off sale of both Speedball printmaking supplies and all Jacquard fabric dyes and paints - Artist and Craftsman Supply all June and July... I love my local art store, and am considering what of my textile surface design supplies to replenish
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3  undergown Genievievepruned sage -
4 undergown for Isabel
pruned forsythia -
5 Norse apron dress Aesacontinued pruning apple -
6 x - -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Monday, June 11, 2018

music Monday


in which our plucky heroine needed some cheering up...

These younglings never fail to lift my spirits



Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday snippets

In which our plucky heroine continues completing assorted projects....

Today I finished the seven baprons for little Kestrel. A "bapron" is sort of a baby bib/apron/pinafore hybrid, designed with the ties behind the childs neck to keep it in place. It is a treat to use some of my special small saved fabric bits, and samples from surface design, and turn them into child clothing. I may not have any children or grandchildren, but the children of my friends are an important part of my life
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bapron front and back, with block printed Çintamani trim
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Last year I made a "hat of manumission" for my friend Drusa, who at that time had an SCA persona of a Roman slave, who was being freed in a special ceremony. Now her persona alternates between Ancient Rome (in hot summer days), and the Viking Age (in cooler evening and colder weather), and the hat, designed for just this variation, was initially reversible. Since more needed as a wool hat to keep her warm, the green handwoven wool is taking precedence of use.

Drusa picked out one of my tablet weaving samples to use for trimming the hat, and it looked quite fetching once stitched in place between each of the five panels. The tablet woven bands both decorate the seams, and strengthen the joins between the panels. A circle of wool felt closes the top center of the hat, until we decide what further decoration will work best; I am thinking some kind of metal filigree/granulation... Still need to put a fur border around the lower edge, which is currently simply neatly hemmed in white wool felt. But, the hat is wearable now, and will only get more personal as we add another layer of embeliishment

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I just finished "The Slow Regard of Silent Things" by Patrick Rothfuss... well actually listening to an audiobook read by the author, and loved his vivid descriptions, clever pleasing language use, and the general "flavor" of his writing. It made me want to also get the book from the library and actually read it...

that said, given how he repeatedly states that this is not a good introduction to his works, and Not Typical, do those of my friends who are familiar with his writing think that I would enjoy his novels? It is exciting to me to discover a new-to-me writer with a style I enjoy. I still remember the first Bujold book I ever read, which was the most recent prior "how did I miss this writer"...
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it was a positive thing to go see Smith PDX where Bill has two of his spindles in the gallery... it is a new space being set up to be a kind of makerspace for metalwork, with a gallery space in the front and benches and tools in the back. Still very much a work in process. I met Garrett, the man who is making it happen, and his studio assistant Anastasia, and his mom, who was visiting. I am always terrified when I am going to meet new people, but it went quite well.
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I have enjoyed these wacky-looking flowers ever since I was a child... Apparently passion flower vines can grow here in Portland; I saw this one on a fence that was covered in vines and flowers, whilst walking back to the bus after a visit to SmithPDX

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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 seven baprons Drusa hat trimcracked iron pot
3 x- -
4 x
- -
5 x- -
6 x - -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x









Thursday, June 7, 2018

gone but not forgotten

in which our plucky heroine looks back at a challenge...

Last month I completed a complicated dual Peerage medallion, with a central cloisonne enamel set in a circle of seed pearls.

First I created the cloisonne enamel, 1 1/2" in diameter, using silver, powdered glass and the 1500F heat of the kiln. Why I had to choose the one day in May that was well over 80F outside was pure luck (not!)

Because the design called for a border of seed pearls, I had to fabricate a set of wee bitty wire guides to hold the pearls in an even distance and spacing from the center medallion. I always forget how tricky this part is, and indeed everything about working with seed pearls is. They are so lovely though, it is worth all the trouble.

The wire guide loops, and a fine silver bezel, are soldered onto a heavy sterling silver base plate. This is a very tricky solder job, as I carefully control the torch to get all the parts properly attached and aligned without melting anything in the process. It is Much Easier to solder things together that are similar in size and mass.

The last part of the fabrication is to solder on the bail loop, that connects the pendant to the chain. Here I have a chance to stamp my tiny makers marks, the running horse from my heraldry, and the crown of my Royal Commission

With all the parts ready to assemble, the next step is to set the enamel in the central bezel, and string the pearls on silver wire, fitting them around the edge neatly...








Wednesday, June 6, 2018

incremental progress

in which our plucky heroine maintains some momentum despite setbacks...

Well, yesterday was pretty much a total loss. Woke up literally screaming in pain from a cramp in my calf muscle. After a phone call to the medical hotline, I had an appointment an hour later! From there I was sent on to the hospital for ultrasound and blood work. We have a saying "don't die of stupidity", which basically means things like remember to take your meds, stay hydrated, carry an epi-pen if needed, and if your body is doing something wierd, get it checked out... The good news is that in fact there is no blood clot in my leg, and my blood chemistry is entirely normal. (The bad is that I lost a whole day of ordinary work, and my leg still hurts).

Today was better. I finished stitching the tablet woven trim onto the wool apron dress I made for Isabel last month. Had a lovely visit with Drusa, (and her darling dog Mr Big) and chatted about projects in various media. I also finally managed to pickle the garlic scapes I harvested - four 8oz jars... they will need to sit in the pantry for at least a month or more, but will be a tasty addition to meals this autumn.
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 pickled garlic scapes Isabel apron dress trimsmall crock pot
2 x -cracked iron pot
3 x- -
4 x
- -
5 x- -
6 x - -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Monday, June 4, 2018

another original scroll

In which our plucky heroine spends hours with pen and paintbrush...

Last month I made a Friend of the Summits scroll for Michael Sinclair. I lost count of the hours I spent working on this project, as this sort of work is so delightfully absorbing. It is always a great honor to be asked to create an original scroll, and particularly when the recipient is someone I know!

Once I decided on what manuscript(s) I was going to use for my inspiration, I began by making a rough sketch, taking some notes about typical colors used, and also noting the particular pages that had Useful Initials to use as examples for the decorated versal letters

Some more hunting through the pages of the manuscript helped me sketch out likely leafy vines and to balance the design, aiming for a characteristic "look" but also allowing for our own SCA specific use, with room for signatures. Usually there needs to be space left for a seal, but in this case, there will be a pendant seal at the bottom

Pardon the odd lighting, I was working at night. Calligraphy is still very slow for me. I was using a 3/4mm Brause nib, and working for the first time on Pergamenata rather than on Bristol board. The text of the award was penciled in before I did the actual writing, to give me a better sense of the spacing, and to help me get the wording correct. As it turned out, I had to adjust the wording a bit, as my own printing is not as compact as the calligraphy.

The full text inked in, with room left for the large and smaller versal letters, and space for the actual date the award will be handed out.

Once the lettering was completed, I then inked in the surrounding decoration. Pergamenata is somewhat translucent, so I was able to line up my detailed sketch underneath to get the basic shapes and vines in place.

Bit by bit I filled in the colors. About half the paints used were ones I had made myself in a workshop taught by Eulalia several years ago. I always try and improve or challenge myself a bit in each new scribal endeavor, and this one I used both a different substrate, and also handmade gouache paints. Some of the paint worked better than others, and I substituted commercial gouache for the green and some of the brighter reds.

Eventually my efforts on the scroll were completed. It was particularly fun to adapt the tiny marginal grotesques to an artistic theme, since Michael was being honored for his scribal work. The actual piece is quite small, being about 6 x 9 as I recall... Based on a manuscript from the Morgan Library, France, St Omer, Book of Hours, between 1320 and 1329. Special thanks to Marya who responded to my pitiful plaint of "I need an image man painting, from the 14th C" with a Very Useful Suggestion

Lastly, the scroll was signed, sealed, and delivered on site at Egils last weekend. I brought pen and ink to add in the date. The princes of the Summits signed it, and it was sealed with a pendant seal below the document.







Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine...

3/4 pound of garlic scapes, from the garlic planted last autumn. These will be pickled later this weekend, for some shelf-stable tangy garlicky goodness this coming autumn...
There are 22 garlic plants in the new raised bed in the backyard, not quite yet ready to harvest for garlic, but the scapes need removed and can either be cooked at once, or preserved for later. I am going to use the recipe from "Food In Jars" which is a small batch recipe, and hope to get at least 3 8oz jars full.
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Aaargh... the same gremlins that cause things to become lost here at Acorn Cottage have also accompanied me to Egils. My wee digital alarming clock, faithful and blessedly silent companion of many years, which normally lives on my bedside both at home and whilst eventing has disappeared. I know I had it at the event, and remember packing it for return home. Yesterday finished my unpacking, laundry etc, and no clock! Hopefully I can find a suitable replacement.
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Started on a very narrow tablet woven band to use as trimming on the wool apron dress I made for Isabel. She chose two shades of blue wool accented with silver metallic. This will be "pick up work" for when I am between steps on other projects.

The design is from this article about a fairly recent archaeological find in Finland. I did make one error in the weaving, since the selvedge threads are meant to be tubular woven and I did not do so, since I only had the draft and not the whole article handy when starting out. I plan on making another go at the pattern for my own use, and will then attempt the tubular selvedge, a technique I have not tried before. Am being quite pleased with using the loom weights on my small loom, by doubling them up on each cardset, am getting quite a strong pull, which allows for a nice snug tension.
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this is a fascinating view of one way that glass beads were made prior to modern torch lampwork... Viking age glass bead furnace, with bellows
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Little Kestrel, eight months old, wearing a wee linen SCA tunic that I made for her. (I expect it will only fit for a month or so before she grows too large for it, but not to worry, I can make her new ones as she continues to expand
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Today saw something quite unusual , sprouting underneath a big maple tree near where Larry's birthday party was held. This is Monotropa uniflora, commonly called Ghost Plant, or Indian Pipe. It is one of the few plants without any chlorophyll, and instead gets nutrition from a complex relationship with fungi; I'd never seen it in anything other than books on native plants, so seeing it in the "wild" was a treat!
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June SMART goals (x=extra)
# THINGS MADE THINGS FIXED THINGS GONE
1 x --
2 x --
3 x- -
4 x
- -
5 x- -
6 x - -
7 x x -
8 x x -
9 x
x -
10 x x -
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
15 x x x

Saturday, June 2, 2018

early harvest


in which our plucky heroine reaps what she sowed...

Last Autumn hardneck garlic (variety "Music" from the farmers market) was planted in the new raised bed next to Feral Grapevine. As they do, the garlic sprouted and grew, and once protected from the Gorram Squirrels of Doom, they grow well with minimal input and no additional water. Eventually, they send up scapes aka blossom shoots, which get removed as that allows all the efforts of the plant to create larger bulbs.
There are just about 3/4 pounds of garlic scapes from my 22 plants, and they will be pickled, for shelf-stable tangy garlicky goodness later on this year. The recipe from Food In Jars seems like a good small batch start on the process, and I hope for at least three 8oz jars to put in the pantry.