Thursday, September 22, 2016

TBTh: Me Receiving A Rose Window




Way back in February 1996, I was welcomed into the Barony's Order of the Rose Window. Then I was known as Siobhan le Blake.

The Rose Window is an honor for those showing talent in the arts and sciences. That's Baron Alexandr giving it to me, with Roise at his side. 

The back row left to right, if I remember the names, are Falon, Tatjana, ?, Peregrine, Juelda, and Lorenzo. 

Twenty years ago, already.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Our Omaha Children's Museum Adventure


The grandkids were out of school Friday, so we spent a long afternoon together. I hoped we'd have a fun filled adventure.

First we went to IHOP for brunch. Charlotte took her brother's picture under the table, because he doesn't like having his picture taken. Guess all the Grandparents have overdone picture-taking for him.



Ben suggested we go to the Omaha Children's Museum. I thought he might be getting "too old". But since it was his idea, I knew it would be fun for us all.

It's the museum's 40th birthday. This outdoor display has been added to the "O" that's been there for years, making it into a huge 4-oh. Giggling the number makes the brass bells tinkle and clang. It's easy to do, but Ben makes it look difficult, because he's hiding from my camera.







After paying the first stop was the giant animals for climbing. These two climb things everywhere, so why not here. 








Next I expected they would ride the indoor Merry-Go-Round. It's an extra charge, so I was surprised and thankful when they didn't want to ride. 





After all the climbing, they scurried down stairs to the new and improved Imagination Playground. While intended for those under 5, my older two gladly played with all the pretend store items. 

They climbed around an enclosed "house" and played tag with someone they befriended. 





I thought this Platte River water play area would be fun. It's the newest thing in this area. Children play in meandering water, make Lego dams or spray small wheels. Charlotte and Ben skipped it, but I took a picture any way. 




Next they were off to the science and technology hall. The whole room is a humongous ball machine, with pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical moving parts. Their cooperation and lever turning makes the balls rise, move and fall, intriguing them both. They spent the most time here.






Charlotte also found a place on the Super Gavitron for more climbing...











And loved experimenting with the air jet in her hair. 

The idea is to balance a ball in the air and see it float. Using your hair is way more fun.










Ben literally got a bang out of the huge pneumatic ball guns. 

And Charlotte tries anything her older brother does.







They skipped face painting because it was over crowded and opted to put on their own puppet show instead.






Next they wanted ice cream, but the snack bar was already closed. Instead we left the museum and stopped for ice cream on the way home.


Of course, Ben had to ring the bells again, on the way to the car.







Goodrich Ice Cream is the end of the perfect day, especially when it's bubble gum.

My perfect day was seeing them gleefully enjoy everything we did together. It didn't even feel like I was "baby sitting".













Sunday, September 18, 2016

Calontir's 2016 Queen's Prize Tournament

I was delighted this year's Queen's Prize Tournament finally happened. I had free dog sitters and it was only two hours away. I could easily and gladly attend.

Queen's Prize, as I've written about before, is an annual novice artisan event, with a massive number of handmade entries. 


There's oddles to do even if you don't have an entry. I take pictures, as you can see. 

I talk with many entrants about their work, especially scribes. 


Early in the day, Count Marius Lucian Fidelis and Honorable Lord Cathus the Curious were placed on vigil. Through out the day, they would receive friend's comments and contemplate their coming elevation by Their Majesties to the Order of the Laurel

The Laurel is a peerage honor within the Society for Creative Anachronism.


Both shared food and drink with all attending while waiting private time to speak with them.


Inside my friends were receiving comments on their entries. Or they were sharing their knowledge and skills to entrants.


I was lucky the artisans I sponsored were seated next to each other. While I'm sure they talked about me when I was away, I was easily able to be with them during their judging sessions. 


I particularly enjoyed the young entrants and their presentations.


Their spirit and joy shows on their face.


Of all the works, this Norse woman's outfit was the most stunning, attracting attention from all.


I also spent time at the preprint scribes table. In Calontir our novice level awards are designed and printed. Then similar individually painted like in a coloring book. The text and design are repeated, but the individual scroll is hand painted. Many events have a table with supplies for this.



At QPT there's always a meeting with Their Majesties at lunch.  It is one of two events where comments, artisans, order members and created works converge. 



After more judging periods court is held by Their Majesties. 

During court, each entrant receives a gift from a sponsor, but not their sponsor. Each sponsor, besides coaching their entrant, provides a gift. The number of their gifts equals the number of people they sponsored. I designed and illuminated two small Celtic falcon and knotwork pictures for my gifts.  

Half of the sponsors lined up to present their gifts to their selected entrant.
The court finale were the two Laureling ceremonies. 

HL Cathus' ceremony was conducted as if he were being questioned to be accepted as a Master scholar during the Middle Ages. The candles are one of his many areas of knowledge.




Sir Lucian's elevation ceremony, of course, displayed his Roman persona and interests.

I have a closer view for his pictures because I remembered to take my camera with me. As one of many Calontir Laurels, I sat at Their Majesties feet during the ceremonies.





I had gladly traveled and spent a day with friends talking about their creations and watching them receive recognition for their works. It's why I have this Calontir obsession.

Crocheted Sleeping Mats

I'm taking Tai Chi for Balance, as I've posted before. Now I'm also taking it at Faith Westwood United Methodist Church. The church has a Care Ministry that distributes sleeping mats to the homeless. 

The mats are made with strips cut from plastic shopping bags. 

They can be colorful when the bags are sorted creatively.

I found pdf directions online and a Youtube video

A cheap, caring, useful, social activity using repurposed materials. One person's trash really can be another person's treasure.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

TBTh: Bath, England, 2008

In 2008 Marie and I toured the British Isles. One of my favorite cities was Bath, England. Here are photos of our few hours there. I would love to go back someday.







Immediately off the bus, we toured the Roman baths. 

 


After exploring and a snack, I saw Bath Abbey.



A huge vertically decorated building, styling Perpendicular English Gothic architecture. Originally a Benedictine Abbey, built in the 7th century.

                                                                                                                                                                    Looking west, my picture shows Bath Abbey's nave, altar, and ceiling fan vaulting.






There I saw the stunning needlework and calligraphy of Sue Symons the Abbey owned. 

Inspired by Bach's St Matthew Passion Sue Symons' work told the story of Jesus Christ from the Annunciation to the Assumption by her textile and calligraphy work combos. One panel illuminated biblical verse calligraphy and the other richly embellished textile art. These show what amazing modern creations can be done with ancient Celtic art inspirations

Symons called this series One Mans Journey To Heaven. There's a book about them as well, which I of course bought. Cool Design Scrapbook archived blog has scanned images you may appreciate. 




 






Then Bath was displaying artistically decorated pigs throughout the city. So I have pictures that include them. Each pig is decorated in a different way, by a different artist. They added color and modern interest to the ancient feel.


And brightened the dreary, rainy afternoon.








Someday I hope to return to Bath for more...a weekend or a week. It's beautiful, relaxing, and has more to see than one old Roman bath.