Sunday, February 28, 2016

Scribe Song sung by Master Dolan.

Scribe Song sung by the Barony of the Lonely Tower's own Master Dolan. Unfortunately there is a lot of background noise in the video, but you can still hear the song and M. Dolan's wonderful bardic voice.

Words by HL Ingeborg bildsbriotr Ulfsdottir; music by Master Dolan Madoc of Harlech.

YouTube Published on Feb 21, 2013

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why Write Documentation For SCA Projects?

Over my 26 years in the SCA I've heard many people lament writing documentation. They want to show off their authentic medieval re-creation. 

They excitedly show me the well-done "what's it" they made from start to finish. It's a real medieval-style treasure! 

They ask me, "What can I do to show it off, without writing documentation?" 

I have a few tricks to share here. Ways that don't require a detailed write-up.

Share your re-creation in a group discussion. In Calontir it's called an "artisan show-and-tell". 

It's being back in school. The maker talks about their creation, usually passing it around. Others ask questions. Sometimes a lively discussion gets going about your process. Simple, easy, friendly.

I enjoy these. Sometimes there's a "work-in-progress" shared that lets you really see the methods used. 

If you can't find an artisans' show and tell to enter, lead one yourself. Coach everyone in the circle to share their work before you do. Encourage comments on each item. You finish by sharing your creation and thank everyone for participating.

Show your work in a display with others at an event.

display of multiple hand painted medieval-style pictures, embroidery, and glass
Artisan's Display 
There are no judges or prizes. Some ask you to list basic information about your entry on a small card. Your name, the century and place of your item. You may  want to tell what it is, if your creation is off beat. Easy labels.

Displays may be for a specific purpose. (Make sure it isn't for items to be given away unless you want to give it as a gift.)  Displays may show off largess donated to Their Majesties, or creations by a guild, or items to be sold at a later auction. They may be entries by people who didn't make the things themselves but received them as gifts. A cool "rat-on-your-friends" showing work by people that don't enter competitions.

Enter a populace choice competition.

4 entries of hand made medieval style drinking vessels
Populace Choice Competition
These are similar to displays, but with a winner. The event attendees pick the entry they prefer. At the closing, the entry with the most tokens wins. 

Populace choice competitions usually ask for a card label for your entry, similar to a display. They may want more. The event notice will tell you. It will also tell you if there is a theme for the competition, like "a tree in any medium", "hand embroidery" or "drinking vessel".

Give your creation to Their Majesties in court.

Everyone in court that day will see you give your special creation to The King and Queen. You can present your work as a gift for Their Majesties themselves, for use by the Royal office, or for their use as largess.

Give your item, or similar ones, as 12th Night or birthday presents.

If your main goal is for your work to be seen, consider the recipient. How would they display or use you work? Is it an item they can keep with them most of the time?

2 women merchants behind their handmade pottery items
Handmade Pottery Merchant Display

Sell multiple creations as an event merchant.

It takes dedication and effort but selling personal creations at events is a display that may pay for itself. This takes organization, planning, storage and hauling. It takes having tables, chairs and display items. Still, many turn their hobby craft into income, sometimes on-line, too. 

Enter a novice competition like Calontir's Queen's Prize Tourney.

This is my favorite competition, even though I'm no longer a novice. Sadly I can't enter, but I can sponsor entrants. I love sponsoring almost as much as when I entered.

This amazing event displays many artisans' works and a huge craft variety. 

To enter, you find a sponsor. The sponsor will help you with anything you want, except the hands-on making of the entry. They can help you with registration and the limited documentation asked, a  3"x5" card with the basic stuff. 

Calontir Queen's Prize entry descriptions only need:
  • Description of entry including some of the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period.
  • Lists materials and skills used to complete the project.
  • Lists methods and tools used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: cites at least one source and one visual or descriptive reference, or two of either.

Judging is gentle and depends on your wishes. It is more like artisan coaching or guiding you to possible future efforts. 

Those are the tricks I know to show off SCA recreations without writing detailed documentation. There may be others. (If you know of more, tell me in the comment section below this post.) Take advantage of one, or all of them. Show your period re-creations to the Knowne World. 

I promise you the populace want to see your work!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Barony of the Lonely Tower Arts and Sciences' Revel

The Barony of the Lonely Tower held their annual Arts and Sciences Championship competition and revel yesterday. These pictures highlight the painting, socializing, court and dining. 

Lady Aleit de la Thomme won the honor to be Barony's Arts and Sciences Champion for the coming year. Her entry was three sleeves and the documentation that illustrates the way the sleeves broke their era's sumptuary laws. 

Medieval attired people talking.
First We Chat

Seated and standing medieval attired people, crafting and talking,
Crafting And Talking

Some medieval attired people assemble a wooden chair, others seated painting awards.
Award Painting And Puzzle Chair Assembly

Medieval attired people. A few placing table settings. Others talking before court.
Preparing For Court

Medieval attired people seated at a table watching several in a court.
Court Begins

4 medieval attired people sit on one table side waiting to select buffet food.
Waiting For The Pot Luck Buffet

View from the long end of a table with 25 medieval attired people eating.
Enjoying Our Shared Meal Together

Lady Aleit, the new Arts and Sciences Baronial Champion, absolutely deserved the honor she received. The competition was a well-fought effort as her challengers were also highly qualified. 

My many friends in the Barony of the Lonely Tower welcome and enjoy the mingling and crafting conversation.  It's our greatest learning and sharing excuse.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Retirement Dreams

I've been involved with the elderly for most of my life. 

I was born late in my parents' life and they both were born late in their parents' lives. So, many of my Aunts, Uncles and Greats were old, if not Victorian, when I was young.  

Then in Junior High, I volunteered weekly in the nursing home where my 90-something Grandfather lived. So I've been around Senior living homes for a long time.

Thankfully, things have definitely improved from what I viewed as a teen. 
Now there is great variety in Senior living options. Besides those relevant to your religious beliefs, some relate to life-long affiliations, such as the Masons or military service. 

With the graying of the SCA, I envision a Senior living community for SCAdians. A place where we would feel we belong and crafts are more than glue, pipe-cleaners, and construction paper. Where meals sometimes become “feasts”. And discussions are more than the weather, TV programs, or medical issues. Could this even be possible? 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

4 Calontir Blogs That Will Inspire You

Bloggers of Calontir have been busy presenting research and information about reenactment and history. Below I have a short list, sometimes called a blogroll. It's probably not complete, even though I searched many ways.

There must be more blogs written by Calontir citizens or former citizens. If you have a Calontir connected blog please, let me know in the comment section below.

I am interested in personal blogs, not commercial. It should post SCA relevant information, at least quarterly, and been active for at least a year.

These are the four excellent blogs I've found. You'll see even they display great variety in style, topic, and interests.

1. The Falcon Banneredited by HL Mathurin Kerbusso, is unique as it is a Calontir newsletter. While not an official publication of the SCA or the Kingdom of Calontir, it presents timely information relating to both. The Falcon Banner is my regular must read!

2. Konstantia KaloethinaJust Another Byzantine Blog is Rachel Ost's creation. In addition to things Byzantine, her interests are heraldry and English country dance. She received a Calon Cross for beginning the Noblesse Largesse Project and is recent past Gold Falcon Principal Herald.

3. Sarmatian in the SCA presents Jess Miller-Camp's persona research for Lady Arite gune Akasa. Along with research she enjoys heraldry, illumination, sewing, dance and fighting. She lives in Calontir's Shire of Shadowdale.

4. The Stillroom Book belongs to M. Aline Swynbroke (mka Rebecca von Groote). It records and comments on her research, teaching, and artistic endeavors. She focuses on cooking, High Medieval lifestyle, clothing construction, and other crafts. Although she currently lives in the Midrealm, as a former resident she often comments on Calontir.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Calontir's Clothiers Seminar XXXI

I went to Clothier's Seminar XXXI, yesterday. I always enjoy this event so much. 

Clothiers is a fun time, with varied clothing class subjects by a plethora of instructors. It's the perfect place for you to learn historical clothing history, design and construction. 

I found the perfect class for me. Burgundian dress history and construction. That's exactly my persona's time and place, and where I am known as Jehanne Bening.

Not interested in classes? There are other compelling things you can do. 

There are merchants selling wondrous wares and displays of other peoples' marvelous historical clothing. You might connect with someone that creates the culture's clothing and style you want to wear.

I have a few pictures to share with you. They  show some of the things I saw and my friends' activities. They're a tasty sampling.


Down this long hall, you see clothing displays to the left and merchants's to the right.

Fabric, yarn and fiber craft tools give siren calls to passing artisans.

This Clothier's Seminar included an exceptional memorial presentation of Master Sashatec's numerous gorgeous creations. The hall display featured many and the Walk Through History, after lunch, included many more.

M. Sashatec was prolific and creative in his historic constructions. His works will gratify their owners for years to come. But, his humor and warmth will be deeply missed by his numerous friends. 

Inside the commons hall people take their ease, share clothing chatter, and admire each other's handiwork. Many casually converse, making small-talk about their day's travels or, what else,  the snowy weather.


You see various distinctive clothing styles at every turn, such as this Roma Vestal Virgin's attire worn by Konstantia Kaloethina


                                    Others, like Aleit de la Thomme take time to work on projects.

This lovely outfit displays Gabbi's silly side enthusiasm. Just what you want, a medievalist tutu. I think I've seen it all, now.

And now, the Walk Through History fashion show to please Their Majesties, and all attending.  Unfortunately, my seat did not provide a front view, so this is the only photo I took. You can see more photos of the Walk on The Falcon Banner.

After The Walk Through History, I was in the Burgundian dress class and a meeting until Court.

Here you see Aleit de la Thomme receiving a Calon Swan art award from Their Majesties, Matsu and Elena.

Here you see my view as part of the court presentation for Victoria de Sauvignon, as she was admitted to Calontir's prestigious Order of the Calon Lily.

Thankfully the trip home, though late, was easy. Visiting all the way home my two riders and I shared our day's happenings. A grand finale to our fun day. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Pennsic War XXIII

Woman with a scooter. Handlebars covered with a paper-mache horse's head.
Me and someone's scooter disguised as a "horse".

This goes back 21 years to Pennsic War XXIII. My 13-year-old daughter and I had more fun than a passel of puppies! 

We'd been in the SCA about 4 years. Just enough time to acquire: 
  • enough period-style camp clothing
  • enough camp gear
  • tent camping experience
  • SCA background information
  • resources to care for our pets at home
Why so much preparation? What's the big deal?

Thousands of cars parked on a hill with many tents closer in front.
Camping  in front of cars parked on "Iron Hill "
Pennsic War is the SCA's largest single annual event. Over 10,000 people attend each year. It lasts way over a week, each August. It is phenomenal, really! 

The shopping and classes alone keep you busy for days. If you're a fighter you can take part in battles that truly compare to medieval-sized conflicts. (Sorry, no decent fighting photos.)

Many people in medieval clothing socializing under a huge purple and yellow tent.
Post-court mingling under the Calontir pavilion.
Besides watching battles, shopping and classes, I ate and drank amply at Calontir's Wednesday Cocktail Party and saw its Court on Friday. Here's a link I found to the huge activities list for Pennsic XXIII.

I have a few other photos, but the top is the only one of me. I'm usually who has the camera.  

Just Fun

Medieval pavilions along Cooper's Lake shore with a forest background
Enchanting treed view across Cooper's Lake

Monday, February 1, 2016

What I Learned Participating In World Hijab Day For The First Time

I am not a Muslim woman, but today, February 1st , for the first time, I wore a hijab. 

I participated in World Hijab Day, to support the world's women that have decided to wear one. 

What would I learn wearing a headscarf in public? Would people's reactions to me be different?
The hijab head covering has always seemed beautifully feminine and dignified to me. To do things properly, I wanted to know how to wear it. From internet research, I learned there are many options. The important thing is to cover the whole head with the scarf, leaving only the face visible. 
American woman in a hijab for World Hijab Day
Me In My Hijab

As I went about my day's errands, I was particularly interested in people's reactions, their verbal and nonverbal responses. If I smiled, most people eagerly smiled back. Otherwise, reactions seemed usual. Having occasionally worn SCA reenactment clothing in public  and gotten comments, I expected to feel more response.
I noticed two contrasting reactions. I respect the Muslim faith, but not living with it I forgot the Muslim food preparation code. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich at my regular Smashburger. The new young man taking my order nicely reviewed all my sandwich's ingredients. Asking me if I was okay with them. That taught me two things. I had worn the hijab convincingly. I needed to review the Muslim diet before next year. I intend to do this with respect. 

The last place I went was my new bookstore hangout, having lost my longtime favorite, as I previously posted. When I ordered my usual coffee and cookie, the barista recognized me. I gave her kudos for doing so. It's possible my order and phone number reminded her. Even so, she did not appear to reflect on my head scarf or comment on the change. 

I firmly believe people of all faiths are good, although each faith has misguided people. We must each take steps to understand each other better. 

Participation in World Hijab Day is a small step I took with women around the world to build a more cohesive future.