Sunday, December 31, 2017

That New Year's Eve Thing

New Year's Eve is here and where do you go in 2018?

Pour a glass of your favorite taste. Think about what you did well or not. Set a few goals or make resolutions.

I've been blogging about things scribal and the SCA for two years. With this being  New Year's Eve I thought it a good time to examine the results. Join me.

What have I accomplished? Where can I improve? How does the SCA fit with the rest of life?

There are two other frequent SCA scribal bloggers. Alexandre Saint Pierre's Pensive Pen and Ian the Green's Scribescribbling. Both excellent, frequent writers about calligraphy and ink topics. 

There's Adrienne d'Evreus' The Scientist's Scroll. She emphasizes medieval pigments. 

And there are a few online scroll portfolio blogs. 

But when I began there weren't any bloggers focusing on scroll production. That became my niche. Teaching virtual scribal students who want to learn at their own pace. How have I done for you? 

My control panel says I've had 30,000 page views for all time. 

Interestingly my most popular posts are my photo arrays. But they are suited to everyone in Calontir, so I tell people on Facebook after they go up. That inflates their numbers compared to my other posts. 

The most popular non-photo posts were: Using A Scratch Nib For Corrections10 Ways To Practice Calligraphy and What's An Award Scroll's Purpose?. And the most popular blog page is my Scribal Resources.

The most common topic I post about after the SCA, in general, is Calligraphy and Illumination. But my C and I label includes everything from books to scripts and scrolls. My next common labels are How-toPhilosophy, and Review.

What can I improve? What would you like me to change?

This blog is for you as much as it is mine. I want what I write to help or be interesting for you. 

I post regularly on a Sunday, Wednesday schedule. I hope this attracts more of you. I welcome feedback and requests. I'd love to see more.
What is in the future? Who knows, but I can plan or set goals.
I want to improve my own scribal skills. But many in the SCA say that because it's what we do. My calligraphy is my weakest link, so for personal improvement, I will focus on it starting with Calligraphy Boot Camp

As a blogger, I want to plan my schedule better. Perhaps use a scribal content calendar.

Now that the scribal community knows me again after the break I took, I want to do more original scrolls. They are what inspire and keep me enthused. They provide you photos and scribal topics.

I enjoy working with scribes. The Lonely Tower class will take a new direction. In January it becomes a monthly scribal gathering. Classes won't be scheduled unless requested. But my door will be open to anyone interested the last Sunday afternoon of most months. 

As I finish my New Year's Merlot, which didn't take long, I'm thankful for the past year and all its opportunities. I have renewed focus and spirit for 2018.

If you haven't taken stock of your SCA scribal niche, I recommend it. A brief look to see where you want to go with it the New Year. 

Prior Related Post: 
New Years, New Opportunities

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The 6 Best Scribal Facebook Groups

Lonely Tower's Scribes
I'm not the Scribal-Answer-Lady, and I don't care to be. However, discussing things scribal with others is important to build skills, knowledge, connections, and fun. Where do you go for that? 

As a 35-year SCAdian, it pains me to answer...Facebook.  

Facebook provides you comfort, hope, purpose, and validation as a member of a community. It's a place to share interests and concerns. But it's huge.

I find discussing things is better in smaller groups, even on Facebook. Perhaps you do too. 

To help you connect, if you haven't already, here is my scribal Facebook Group collection. 
  1. Calligraphy For The Left Handed is a public, small-membered public non-SCA group dedicated to "sinister" (left-sided) letterers. 
  2. Falcon Scribes is a "closed", Calontir focused, small-membered scribal arts discussion group. A place for advice, inspiration, and Kingdom scribal coordination.
  3. SCA Calligraphy Boot Camp is a "closed", medium-membered calligraphers' group, encouraging skill development through monthly projects and active posts. They also have a separate website
  4. SCA Scribes is a public, large-membered, general discussion group dedicated to SCA scribal arts, advice, and inspiration. 
  5. SCA Scribes and Illumination is a public, medium-membered group discussing SCA scribal arts.
  6. SCA Scroll Gallery is a medium-membered, "closed" group sharing SCA scroll images and information for recipients and artists.
I know there are other groups, especially specific Kingdom-focused 
groups similar to the Falcon Scribes. There are probably some on other social platforms, as well. So don't stop with these. 

If you don't find what you want, keep looking. Or, you can form your own group

Don't be shy like I was before the Internet. Connect with a scribal group and make friends. 

And if you know of an online scribal group I missed please share it in the comments section below. 

Related Prior Post:
Better Together, Calontir's Scribal Community

External Related Information:
Scribes Guild: Starting and Maintaining  pdf by Hillary Rose Greenslade from Ansteorra

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Hope Your Christmas Rocks

Christmas Eve. A joyous night in the year. 

I'm fortunate my grandkids want this Grandma to stay overnight with them, to wake up and watch them open their presents. There is no greater joy than seeing their dreams come true on Christmas. They won't always be so eager for my sleep over with them, but for now I will enjoy it and be grateful.

I hope you can share your holiday with people you love. And may you all be blessed with joy.

Related Prior Post: 
More Merry Christmas December, 2015

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Genius Way To Help Paint Dry

I've told you about my studio in the past and mentioned my dual swing-arm lamps. The double lamps that keep shadows away from my work. 

Showing the Reveal bulbs
But the 65 watt Reveal light-bulbs serve another purpose. They speed-dry the gouache. Placing them over the work and leaving them for a time dries the paint layer so well I can work the next step without waiting overnight. 

I have not timed how long I leave them. All I know is this works for me. 

I've done this for years, even with large paint areas. The paint doesn't crack and the pergamenata doesn't curl any more than it already was. (Perg isn't known to be truly flat.) The lights are warm, so if you do something like this be careful with any plastics near by such as grided rulers and LED light-pads.
Lamps in the drying position

This is my unique adaptation to scroll creation. It speeds my work while I still paint in the fun details. 

Prior Related Post:
My Scribal Work Space
My 10 Favorite Scribal Materials and Tools

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Art and History of Calligraphy, Book Review

Do you have Patricia Lovett's book Calligraphy and Illumination...?  often refer to it. 

When I learned she published another book I went online cyber-Monday and bought myself a Christmas present. Her recent book The Art and History of Calligraphy, published last year by the British Library.

Since the author is a British professional calligrapher and illuminator you won't be surprised the book emphasized historic manuscripts' lettering. 

Her first chapter shows the high-value of calligraphy shown in her book. There's a chapter on historic manuscript production including quills, vellum brushes, pigments, and gold. And a section on how the letters are made.  

The last, most beautiful section traces writing through the ages. It features 50ish detailed pictures of lettering and manuscripts from the British Library's outstanding collection. 

You'll like the pictures of enlarged few lines showing the letters' tiny elements. There are many photos without illumination, one of writing in shell gold ink on black dyed vellum. 

The book's historic manuscripts include information or pictures on
  • the Bosworth Psalter, the earliest surviving manuscript of the 'New Hymnal' from England
  • the Lacock Cartulary with its wonderfully flourished letters
  • a two-page spread picturing one page of the Luttrell Psalter. 
Lovett's book doesn't stop with the Italian Renaissance but continues modernly including
  • recent renaissance-style calligraphic art by William Morris
  • Shiela Waters "Roundel of the Seasons"
  • a present-day work by Stephen Raw of Carol Ann Duffy's poem "Light By Sunlights Glance"

Lovett's book clearly describes and photographs the artistic skill creating medieval manuscripts. 

I am very pleased with my cyber-Monday purchase. If you're interested, be aware it is not an instruction book. If you want that you'll want her Calligraphy and Illumination... This one is a beautifully photographed and written book about calligraphy art and materials.

Related Prior Post:  
Beginning Illumination, Book Review
8 Scribal Books For Cyber-Monday Ordering

  • ISBN-10: 0712356681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712356688

Here is a sneaky peak inside the book.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Golden Day: Shopping At Calontir's Kris Kinder Market

Shoppers' Paradise  
It's Kris Kinder time again. That wonderful Calontir shopping event put on by the Barony of Forgotten Sea. While it's always jam-packed with merchants and their things for you to buy, there are also meetings for you to attend. 

This year Their Majesties Damien and Issabell also packed it with Laurel ceremonies. Four of them.

Processing in to court.

Peerage ceremonies, whether for Laurels, Pelican's, Knights or others are colorful, personalized ceremonies. They can be lengthy. So kindly Their Majesties took pity on us. They held a morning court and an evening court, with two Laurel ceremonies in each, along with other things they chose to include.

My friend HL Giraude Benet was welcomed into the Order of the Laurel in the morning court. I took many photos and have a few for you here.

Honorable Lady Giraude Benet
 called into court and seated before Their Majesties.

Giraude listening to those coaching her
on what it means to be a Laurel.

Giraude outfitted with Laurel's accouterment.

Giraude receiving a Laurel wreath.

M. Alan of Darkdale speaking for Giraude.

Mistress Giraude swearing fealty to Their Majesties' Calontir.

The scroll displayed and its words read into court.

Then followed a few details. The first was the presentation of YAFA tokens to Kainen Brynjolfss by Lady Adelaide Sarsfield, the Kingdom of Calontir's Minister of Youth.

Kainen Brynjolfss in court to receive 
 YAFA tokens from Lady Adelaide.

Ayisha seated in front of TRM Damien and Issabell.

Then Lady Ayisha bint Asad was called into court for her extensive work as Their Majesties' Royal Scribe. For her over-and-above efforts, they made her a Court Baroness.

L. Ayish receiving a coronet from Their Majesties.

The second Laurel presented that morning was to HL Kajsa Nikulasdottir. You might know her as one of Calontir's best costumers.

Honorable Lady Kajsa Nikulasdottir
 called into court and seated before Their Majesties.

Kajsa listening to the speaker.

Kajsa being clothed as befitting a Laurel.

Kjasa officially made a member
 of the Order of the Laurel.

A few in the audience, including Kainan.

With morning court over you can go on to other fun things such as ...


I  rushed out of court to buy two things from Painted Sky PotteryI was concerned all their wonderful works for presents would be gone already. I bought a mug you might receive as a prize at Lonely Tower's coming 12th Night. The other I saved for a Laurel present for M. Giraude. 

But there's so much more you could do during the day.

Taking a selfie.

Talking with people  wanting to visit 
with Giraude during her vigil.

There's sharing stories, socializing, and other happenings. A party within a party. Similar activities go on outside each vigil room while you wait your turn to visit with the new peer. 

Same hall, other direction.

The vigil food and through the window
 you can see the tent for Lillian Bowyer's vigil.

In Calontir along with the court ceremony, peer candidates spend time contemplating the new direction their life will take. To do that they "sit vigil". A time you visit with them sharing insight, stories or anything that you care to share. Each conversation is in private so each candidate has a separate vigil chamber.

You could be outside waiting to speak
with Honorable Lady Lillian Bowyer.

There are more Calontiri you can talk with throughout the day than those near a vigil. If you aren't someone's friend you can become one.

You can talk with even more friends.

You could paint predesigned awards for the coming reign.

Besides vigils and shopping, you can visit with those who sell what they make.

M. Thora and her handembroidered bags.

M. Thora Sigurdsdottir is Calontir's R.U.S.H. Chancellor. But she has an SCA tailoring and hand sewing business. Thora's Threads

M. Rhodri with his books.

M. Rhodri ap Hywel is a fantasy fiction writer writing under the name Rob Howell. You can find him online through his blog too.

M. Conna and her merry recorder band.

You might buy lunch and listen to M. Conna ingen Ui Chearbhaill's musicians' jam with their recorders while you eat. That big thing she's holding is a bass recorder.

All too soon there's evening courtWith two center aisles in the auditorium, I switched to sit on the hall's other side. You never know which way people will process in. Unfortunately, where I sat this time kept me from snapping as many quality pictures for you as I wanted. 

Everyone in place for evening court.

First Forgotten Sea's Baron Soren atte' Raven and Baroness Rowan Del Wich held their short court. They presented the Baronial Colors to Solveig Melrakki and Ivarr fotviss. They also gave Ivarr the Barony's Order of Gallantry.

Ivarr and Solveig in court with Baroness Rowan.

Next HL Tamar bat Avraham was welcomed into court through Isis temple pillars. She was challenged and lauded at each ceremonial step.

Tamar was challenged and approved.

M. Conna vouching for Tamar.

Several AoA level awards were presented. And you saw a few Grant awards too. Eight first time attendees also received mugs. 

A large number of people came forward and were recognized for forming the new Shire of Moonstone. Lord Oswyn of Moonstone, its Senechal, received a Torse for accomplishing the required oxcart load of paperwork to form the shire.

In the pink dress, you see Teresa Rose fillia Quiteria
receiving a Queen's Chalice award.

You heard other announcements too, such as 654 people attended this huge one-day event. But my favorite was learning HL Augustin le Blinde and his wife Lady Aleit de la Thomme will become the Barony of the Lonely Tower's next Baronage at our coming 12th Night event. Hazzah!

I might be wrong, but I think this is Sir Snorri Bjornsson
belatedly becoming a member of the 

Order of the Silver Hammer.

And the fourth peerage ceremony for the day was HL Lillian Bowyer being welcomed into the Order of the Laurel. Here are the few pictures I took of her elevation.

Lillian kneeling before Their Majesties,
still dressed in the white vigil tabard

Lillian receiving a present from her peer.

Lillian kneeling again, wearing a Renaissance-style coat.

And the grand finale...  Their Graces Hirsch and Magdalena called into court. 

Hirsch and Magda kneel before Their Majesties.

Listening to over 30 speakers tell
"what they learned" from Hirsch and Magda.


Their Majesties Damien and Issabell presented them with marks of favor for their abundant teaching and caring of the many people in Calontir. Hirsch Ross Eichmann and Magdalena van der Meere were each presented an Augmentation of Arms.  Now you see their new banners have a cross of Calatrava enhancing their heraldic arms.

M. Rhianwen waiting to bring in a new banner.
Receiving their new banners.

I missed Kris Kinder last year so I am jolly glad and thankful I could attend this year. I'm grateful I arrived safe and early enough to get Giraude's scroll here before the morning court so Their Majesties could calmly sign it. 

I enjoyed the event as I always do. And hope you enjoy the photos too. 

External Related Web Page: