Wednesday, May 30, 2018

It's Clear: My New Way To Secure And Line Your Scroll

Previously I wrote about drawing calligraphy guidelines with a ruler and pencil. It's one of the two simplest ways you can rule up a scroll page. 

The other easy way is the one I'll tell you today. Use's free plain graph paper generator and print off the size grid you want. 

When using the graph generator you have many options. Unless you want to do something different you want a plain graph pdf probably done in "inches" with the number of squares to the inch you choose. I select a 0.5 minimum border for my page and a grid line weight size of 0.50 points, but you can change those if you want.

Pergamenata over graph printed on
 2 transfer sheets all taped to plexiglass.
On higher quality paper you can use your printed graph for calligraphy practice, pen trials, or scroll layout plans. I print mine on two inkjet friendly transparency sheets. I tape them together to use with my light pad under my 11" x 14" pergamenata.

I have my double vinyl grids under my perg taped all around to plexiglass, an acrylic sheet often used in picture frames. I use light tack painters tape to adhere my scroll to the plastic "board". And I use plexiglass rather than masonite board so the light passes through and still keeps the perg stretched reducing cockling. I now have calligraphy gridlines I didn't have to draw and don't have to erase.

A few important tips, if you want your generated squares to print out accurately do not select "shrink to fit" on your printer program. Turn that off. If you don't you still get a grid but it won't be sized the as you plugged into Incompetech's generator. 

And if you print your grid onto plastic it is delicate until it is well and completely dry. It may even smudge coming out of the shoot.

This is one method. I know scribes who do this differently with great success. This works if the spacing between calligraphy lines is the same as the lines of writing or with one extra line for the letters' ascenders and descenders. If your interlinear space is different than those you will still need to draw calligraphy guidelines. 

Also using plexiglass rather than masonite lets you use your light pad to see your graph or designs. However, I am careful to limit large areas of very wet paint, because the plexiglass doesn't allow air to pass through.

The first time you print out your graph(s) may not be the quickest, but you only do that once for that size grid. You can reuse that one printed transparency pair many times if you don't damage it. So here's to no lines and no waiting.

Prior Related Post:

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts

"Banquet With Courtesans In A Hostel"
 ca. 1455 - BNF, Paris
Does this fun picture remind you of an SCA post revel? Music, food, and merry-making, but in Medieval clothing. 

Look again. What's really going on?

You see the musician, but one guy's up-chucking and another's getting handsy with a woman. The title divulges they're cavorting with courtesans. 

I have a friend with a courtesan persona. Even so, I've never seen her act like this. Or any of my other SCA friends. At least not publicly.

The SCA is a fun way to observe, learn, and recreate the Middle Ages honorable ideals.  It's perplexing when you find pictures showing it otherwise.

When you find a manuscript picture like this be careful if you recreate it. What you do with it makes a difference. Consider who will see it and the format in which you place it. 

It might be a fun stand-alone picture for the right person, but I wouldn't recreate it for a competition. If I saw it in an event flier it would turn me off toward the event. And the negative things this miniature implies are definitely not appropriate for an SCA Monarch's legal document, a scroll. 

If you find a perplexing picture in a manuscript others will see it that way too. Let that be your cue to be cautious with how you use its recreation. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

10 Ways To Use Silica Gel Packets In Your SCA Stuff

Silica Gel Packets
You know those silica gel packets that you find in everything from new shoes to vitamins? They're there to suck up moisture and combat mold, corrosion, and product deterioration. Well, you can use them for SCA stuff too.

Ideally, we would keep our SCA stuff dry in a moisture-free tub, bag, closet or basement. But camping events get rained on, basements are damp, or
 we're in a rush when caring for things.

There are many uses for those little packets besides common razor blade saving. They're good for keeping SCA things rust or moisture free.

Although not unique, here's my ten ways you can use silica gel packets in the SCA. 


1. If you use cast iron pans or have period tools put silica packets in their storage container to prevent oxidation and rusting, especially when they're weather vulnerable. It’s disappointing to grab your favorite skillet or handmade tool and find it rusted. 

2. Put packets in your armor bag to retard rust and keep softer gear and leather dry. 

Packing with
silica gel packets.

3. When SCA camping include them in your bag with emergency mundane clothes and papers you store in your car. At camp put them in ziplock bags with your emergency socks and underwear. 

4. If you're a gardener place the packets with stored or heritage seeds to avert mold. 

5. Put them with your spices and dried fruits for the same reason. But don't use the blue silica gel with food. Use food grade silica gel packets and you should be fine. If it's blue it's tainted with a moisture indicating solution that's unsafe for food and not FDA approved. 

6. While oxygen absorbers are often used with food, silica gel packets may be used for dried meats you make like jerky or dog chews. It keeps them from turning rancid. 

7. Silica packets help dry out electronic devices. If you've gotten your phone  drenched first remove the battery and memory card. Then put the device in a container with several silica packs and leave overnight or longer. If you have uncooked rice this may work too. 

8. They are good to pack with garb in enclosed containers, like tubs or plastic bags. For anything prone to mildew like satchels or chairs you can put them in those oversize plastic bags with silica gel you've purchased. It isn't expensive. 

9. If you camp with your dog and want the kibble to stay dry, put it in a plastic tub and tape silica packets to the lid's underside. 

10. Your favorite period videotapes or your dated SCA wedding will last longer if you put a silica packet in its box. 

Beware there are dangers too. Kids may mistake packets for candy and choke on them. Dogs may eat them. You'll want to know the differences. 

Granular silicic acid looks like sand and is a chemical used, among other things, to remove wartsSilica gel beads are non-toxic or poisonous if eaten. But they're not meant for that.

The blue silica gel has added chemicals that make them toxic. Don't use them around food; they aren't FDA approved.

Although silica gel is a stable non-toxic, non-flammable compound it reacts with strong acids, strong bases and oxidizers. That's only important you're if you are a period researcher. It's safe as we commonly use it.

Silica compounds irritate the respiratory tract if inhaled or in your digestive tract when swallowed. Bead-dust may cause skin or eye irritation. These are why it generally comes in packets not buckets. So don't open the packets.

While SCAdians are thrifty with non-period things and make do when they can, reusing old silica packets may not work. They may be unfunctional because of previously doing their moisture-removing best. They're saturated. 

You can reactivate them by heating 2 hours at a low temperature in an oven. But I'm lazy. It's easier to buy new.

While these ever present packets are bothersome and may seem useless, used safely they will extend the life of your SCA stuff. 

External Related Blog:
Silica Gel Dessicant Blog

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Why SCA Scrolls Are Important--Even When They're Not Yours

One distinguishing SCA feature you readily notice is our awards. Our Society puts immense time and effort into award creation and distribution. 

Each Kingdom has its award traditions, but to me, Calontir's are the best. Each scroll is given for an important deed by the person receiving it. Those giving them know their importance too. 

Scrolls are proudly presented by the King and Queen or their appointed Baronage. They are created and given for Peerages, Grants, and Arms, but also often for winners of a tourney, an Arts &Sciences competition, and to our youth.
HL Zaneta Baseggio's Calon Cross Scroll

Scrolls are important. They are personal. They have your name on it. Read in court they're displayed for all to see. Later most are proudly framed by the receiver and hung on their wall. 

One of the memorable things I did as Arts and Sciences Champion (2002) was standing behind Their Majesties Crystofer and Margarette in Court and seeing the people's faces receiving awards. Their surprise, awe, and joy when they were handed the award created for them are etched forever in my heart and mind. 

If you ever, for any reason, have the chance to serve a part in Court, do it. It is rewarding. And a learning experience because a lot goes on that the Populace does not see.

Scrolls are important also because of their creators. The text writers, scribes and cord makers. These artisans are in limited number whose service is precious in time and ability. 

But, why give a scroll? Why not a prize or other largess? 

I remember receiving each scroll I fortunately received. 

I received my first scroll at Lonely Tower's 1993 12th Night Event. I'd been playing for 2 years and recently took on the office of Baronial Minister of Arts, my first office. I was talking with Lady Shiela when my other neighbor poked me telling me my name was called. I remember nervously walking before Their Majesties Steffen and Lile and kneeling in front of the King. He briefly talked to me saying "Since you are now an officer We thought you should be made a Lady." I was so proud. I thought "If I never receive another award I couldn't be happier." I remember too stepping on my dress as I stood up to bow and leave. And 
I remember all this when I look at the artful scroll I have memorializing that milestone.

I have a large basket-full of tokens and pewter ones I've sewn on my pilgrim pouch. Only one of them do I remember receiving, but it also came with my name on a scroll, Calontir's Arts and Science Champion (2002). The others I've forgotten why I have them. 
M. Alianora Jehannette des Amandiers
scroll displayed in Court.

Scrolls are also important for the inspiration they give you. When they're raised in court they elicit a desire in some to hone their skills and experience more of history and the SCA. They elicit the aspiration to meet the beautiful, detailed, time-taking skills scribes freely give for the joy of others.

There's also the after-glow you have when you receive a scroll in Court; people telling you "Congratulations. It's well deserved", asking to see your beautiful reward and talking to you about your success.

I'm delighted with the scrolls I've received and don't yearn for other honors. But, I do look at my friend's scroll-art hanging on their walls and think, "I wish I had a scroll made by that scribe. Their work is so beautiful"

So, when you receive a scroll, thank the scribe who made it for you. And, if you are a scribe, create each scroll to be the best inspiration anyone sees.

Related Prior Post:

What's An Award Scroll's Purpose?  
Framed, HL Zaneta's Calon Cross Scroll

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Guide To Blank Border Scroll Creation

M. Rolf Hobart's blank border entries
at the Barony of Mag Mor's 2017 Cattle Raids.
At last falls Cattle Raids event in the Barony of Mag Mor, I was asked by a passing RUSH student, "What are those?" as he pointed to the blank scrolls' displayed. I admit they might look a bit lost to the scribal-less-aware. So, what are they?

The short answer is: Blank borders are the illumination only part of a scroll. The Royal Scribe uses them when Their Majesties want to give a spontaneous award that isn't done by a preprint. 

Blank Borders give us so much more. They are a good way to transition from preprints to original scroll creation, especially after you've received several compliments on your preprints. They are good for anyone that's concerned about deadlines. They are also good if you want to try a new illumination style or you just have the itch to paint. And blank borders are a low-stress way for a scribe to contribute to their Kingdom. 

If you are new to doing Blank Borders, there are a few things to be aware when you're doing one:
  • You don't have to use expensive animal skin vellum or pergamenata unless you want to. You can use heavyweight, acid-free paper such as smooth Bristol board you buy at a convenient craft store. 
  • Use a size that is close to a standard size frame. It saves the recipient money if they avoid a non-standard custom frame and instead use one that's stock.
  • Leave plenty of room for text and margins. Save at least an 8x10 inch general area for text if the paper is 11x14 inches. Margins should be at least 1/2 inch or more. Tip: If you keep your illumination to the top and left sides the calligrapher's efforts aren't limited and signatures and seals aren't constrained. 
  • If you are new to original scrolls, know that you can use the same gouache you use for preprints. Outlines can be inked over light pencil with either small tipped black Pigma Micron pens or pointed dip pens with black ink.
  • Since the blank border may be used for any award not done by preprint or SCA charter, keep the art generic and SCA proper. Don't include peerage-style art or gory miniatures because you don't know the context in which the blank border might be used.

Once you've completed your illumination give it to anyone serving as retinue at an event. Or if you aren't attending one soon, give it to a friend to hand-off for you. Retinue know what to do with it and take care it gets to the Royal Scribe.

In Calontir there are recurring event's that often have a Blank Border Competition, such as Lilies War and Coronation. These are fun because you get to see what other illuminators create. 

The specifics for the 2018  Lilies War Blank Border Competition were: 
  • Leave a space for text no smaller than 6”x 9”.
  • Include a space/circle for the award (if you would like it to go for a specific award, which might help you tailor your illuminations, you may paint the award in).
  • Include a space for the device of the person receiving the award, so it is more personalized (not a requirement, but it is a thoughtful touch). 
At the end of the competition all entries will be given to the Crown as largess, so make sure to take pictures/scan your Blank Borders before you go to war! These borders help TRMs out by being on hand when they want to award a Grant on short notice, which also keeps the pressure off the scribes. 
Judging will be based upon Kingdom Criteria for illumination (to be found on the A&S website), and basic documentation (3”x5” card) is required, but more documentation is always better! (If you cannot be at war on competition day, but would still like to enter, your border may be delivered by someone else in your stead.)  
Is there a Prize? Yes! A handmade period style blank book. 

The coming Coronation has a Largess Display. This isn't a competition, but anyone that has made things for the coming reign to give to others will have their work shown for all to see. Blank Borders fit nicely in that display too. I hope you do a blank border soon. Your Kingdom appreciates your service.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Transforming Calontir Scribes

M. Aidan as the new KMOAS
 at Kingdom Arts and Sciences event.

If you went to the recent Calontir Arts and Sciences event you saw Aidan kennara Corcrinn become our new Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences (KMOAS). What you didn't see there is what a fast worker she is.

Already M. Aidan is reorganizing all things scribal for the Kingdom. She's adding all book arts to the scribal fold and streamlining how we work together. She hasn't even had the job one month.

As the KMOAS, M. Adan is seeking a new Falcon Signet and leader for our expanded community. M. Elynor of Glastonbury more than served her tenure and deserves a break after her outstanding efforts.

The incoming Signet will serve the whole book arts community-all pigmenters, parchmenters, paper-makers, text writers, and bookbinders. But what do you do as the Calontir Signet?

The Falcon Signet is first a cheerleader for us all. Encouraging us by doing three main things: communicating, educating, and archiving.

M. Aidan is asking the new Signet to create "how-to" guidelines describing the best, most accepted way to do book art things and update our 2004 Scribes' Handbook to show how Calontir book artisans create awards today.

The Falcon Signet also assists Their Majesties as needed. While most incoming Monarchs know what persona style awards they want, some need assistance finding the person to do the job or to design them. The Falcon Signet helps Their Highnesses find the right person for the Royal Scribe job or inspiring manuscripts and texts for their use. 

The Signet also keeps a record of each reign's award designs. In the future, these will be recorded digitally and possibly combined with the Falcon Banner's existing Scroll Archive Project. The Falcon Signet also oversees the Backlog Scrolls Clerk and the Guild's activities. 
Me teaching a RUSH class
on paint production.

As your cheerleader, the Falcon Signate is constantly seeking new talent, encouraging skill development and fostering enthusiasm for book arts. To be sure you have the opportunity to learn more the Signet, with the RUSH Chancellor, seeks out teachers for a full range of classes to be offered throughout the Kingdom. 

As Signet it's also enjoyable, whenever possible, to meet with signets from other Kingdoms and share ideas. The best ideas may be gleaned and tweaked for use in the Calontir Way and ours shared with others.

There is no rank requirement to hold the Falcon Signet office. What you need is to have overflowing joy in the book arts done the Calontir Way and a huge desire to contribute to your community and Kingdom. 

I've been a Falcon Signet, as has M. Aidan. We both felt great pride serving Calontir and its scribes. You will too. Transform the Falcon Signet's traditional role.

KMOAS Email:
To email M. Aidan click -->

More information about how to apply is found on the Calontir Kingdom webpage.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Beginning SCA AoA Award Painting

Baronial Preprint
Looking back over my posts I realize I haven't told you about painting AOA award scrolls. 


Whether your Kingdom calls them "preprints" or "charters" they are a great way to learn illumination. And as you're learning you're doing a priceless service for your Kingdom or Barony. 

Monarchs of any SCA kingdom need hordes of preprint scrolls to present during their reign. Way more than one scribe can do by themselves. 

So, what do you need to get started? 
  • Brushes
  • Paint 
  • AOA scrolls, distributed by your Royal Scribe
  • palette, water cup, paper towels, maybe an eye dropper
  • decent lighting

Brushes: Everyone has a favorite size and brand of brush. I use Winsor and Newton Sceptre Gold II watercolor round brushes. (Round brushes come to a point.) I like the way they feel on the paper, their spring. They are a less pricey artist grade brush because they blend red sable and golden synthetic fibers. I have them in the smallest 101 series round size 00 up to a 4. Use whatever brush feels comfortable to you. 

Brushes come in numbered sizes; the larger the number, the smaller the brush point. The more zeros, the smaller the brush. 0 is small, but 20×0 is extremely small. 

You can buy brushes in a variety of animal hairs, Sabel being the most expensive. They are wonderful to work with, but synthetic or student brushes work well too. Start with something serviceable. In brushes, more expensive is not necessarily better. 

Paint: I recommend you use non-acrylic Gouache, a watercolor-type paint made from a mix of pigment, water, and gum-Arabic binder. Watercolor paints can be used, but gouache is more opaque and covers better. You don't want to use acrylics, crayons, markers, oil paint, pastels, or colored pencils. 

Most beginning scribes start with a Reeves or Daler Rowney paint tube set. They add single colors of artist quality Windsor and Newton gouache as they use up what came in their starter kit.  Better paint is worth the money, each paint tube lasting years. 

Preparing Paint: Squeeze a pea-size paint dab out of the tube onto a palette or small plate that isn't metal. As the paint comes from the tube it is ready to use with only a drop or two of water to thin it. You want the paint to have a heavy cream consistency. If you paint for hours you will want to add water as it drys to keep it creamy. I use tap water, but many scribes use distilled water, to avoid impurities. 

Your paint filled palette is reusable. When your paints dry, you can reconstitute them by adding water. I use an eyedropper or large clean brush to add water a drop at a time, one color at a time. 

What colors do you want? That depends on the current Monarch’s style. A 10th-century Celtic scroll design series is intended for a different color set than a 15th-century French style. You can get by with a basic color set. 

If you begin with Windsor & Newton gouache paints I suggest:
  • Ultramarine blue 
  • Spectrum red 
  • Spectrum yellow 
  • Permanent white 
  • Ivory black  
You can mix other colors from these few.

If you want to afford more colors I would add: 
  • Windsor green 
  • Spectrum violet 
  • Burnt umber 
Not all scribes work with these colors. As you progress you will explore and add your own choices. It's difficult to refrain from buying more. But I have no control when paint shopping.

Before I tell you about paint application, you should know something about color mixing with watercolor paints. 

Mixing colors: Eventually you will want several palettes to have enough wells for all the paints plus color you mix yourself. When you mix a color note that it's very difficult to mix the same color a second time. Make more than enough the first time. 

Start by mixing a tint and a shade from your colors by adding small amounts of black to darken and white to lighten. In some colors, you won't get the color you want, such as when you add white to red. As you know you don't get a lighter red. Instead, you get pink. Depending on the kind of black you use, adding it to yellow won't give you a darker yellow. Unbelievably, you get a green or brown, because blacks aren't truly black.

Red Yellow Blue Color Wheel

To mix colors and make a lighter red you add a bit of yellow. It will be orangier, but it's a lighter red that isn't pink. To darken red add a bit of blue. You will get a darker red that has a purple tinge. The trick is to not overcorrect and mix a real orange or purple. To darken yellow add purple. It's the one directly across the modern color wheel from yellow and the most contrasting.

Paint application: When you put color on the paper in one layer the effect remains flat and two dimensional. When you stroke paint colors in several layers over the flat first layer you produce a three-dimensional effect. It gives your illumination depth and dimension. 

To paint a flat beginning layer, load your brush with paint and gently touch its tip to the paper, so the paint makes contact with it. Make strokes with the brush, pulling the paint across the paper filling your intended space with color. Continue this over the area you want to cover, loading the brush with more paint as you need. You use the brush loaded with paint to avoid "dry brushing" and give the appearance of one even, continuous color area. 

To be sure your highlights and shades don't mix with your base paint layer let it dry completely before going further. It should dry several hours if not overnight.

M. Rolf's red palette.
He has a palette like this

 for each color.

Add depth to your work by shading with dark colors and highlighting with light, giving the appearance of receding and advancing shapes. Becoming aware of these details in period manuscripts is important.

To work with dimension, start by placing your single chosen color in three palette wells. One well of your chosen color you leave as is. Using a method appropriate to your chosen hue darken paint in one well and lighten it in the third one. Experienced scribes may take this a step further having two or more shaded colors and a lighter one as in my photo. You will usually use white to highlight as well.

Next, imagine a light source for your picture, your "sun". Where is it coming from?  What direction does it flow? You want it to come from the same place and direction for your whole work. I commonly have my imaginary sun's rays come from the upper left corner and head toward the lower right. 
Acanthus Painting for HO6.jpg
Pretend the sunrays come from the
upper left corner to the lower right.

Knowing your light source, add many tiny strokes of the darker color shade to areas away from your "sun" or any that you want to seem hidden from it. Use thicker strokes or more of them in the most shaded places like the deeper clothing folds or more hidden leaves. Let this layer dry. 

Last, add your lighter color tone to highlight parts you think are closest to your sun or that seem curved toward the light. Your lightest color usually is white, but on Medieval greens you often see yellow. Use thicker strokes or more of them in the lighter places like the more revealed tree leaves. Let this layer dry, too.

Tip: Be careful you don't overwork brushing as the paint's moisture may buckle the paper. 

White Work Examples
Details:  You can add details with a tiny brush. One easy, common type is "White Work", fine white lines, curves, and dots stroked on a fully dry paint layer. You find these as borders or text line-fillers. 

Tip: When doing white work on a red or red-purple base layer the red may bleed through the white turning your fine lines pink. Be sure your detailing is done with "Permanent White" gouache and the base layer has dried overnight.

There are other detail types. In Celtic manuscripts, you find red dots around a painted area's outlined edge. And you often see diapered repeating background patterns. These are groups of small, repeated geometrical motifs set adjacent to one another within a grid.

Viewing period manuscripts is the best teacher. Online you can zoom in to see the fine details and numerous strokes. They're so inspiring and give you a reason to want to do more.

Scrolls sometimes have the award's or kingdom's heraldry in the design. For your scroll to possibly be used you want to paint any heraldry on your preprint in the official colors of the award's’ device. In Calontir you find the Kingdom's devices on the Kingdom's heraldry webpage and the awards here

Final outlining is your last step and usually done in black. In preprints this neatens the previously printed lines making the edges crisp and clean. Using a small brush and black paint or black ink such as a 01 size, black Sakura Pigma Micron pen you want to go over major design lines. 

Tip: If you use the Micron pen over dried paint it may clog. To unclog it stroke it over scrap paper. If that fails, you can briefly soak the tip in water and try it again.

Now all you need are blank awards. For AoA scrolls to paint contact your Kingdom's Royal Scribe. The Royal Scribe changes each reign, but you can connect him or her through your Monarch's retinue when you're at an event. 

Because each reign creates its own scroll set, more completed awards are needed within its first two months. The last two months enough accumulate to easily finish out the reign. Get your blank scrolls early and complete them in a timely manner. If something comes up and you can't finish them early, hand them off to another scribe who will. 

When you're done with your scroll sign the back. You volunteered your time and effort, let others know you did. Write your SCA name lightly in pencil at the top or middle of each scroll. Give your completed works to retinue at the next event or to someone in your local group who can. 

There's no better way to begin award painting than doing preprint AoA level scrolls. While every journey begins with your first step, improving takes lots and lots more. Remember "Constant repetition carries conviction." -Robert Collier

Related Prior Posts:
Brush Basics and Buying
Nuturing Your Scribal Visual Awareness

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Bardic Bedlam's Telling Photos

What do you do when you feel blah? When you want to do something different or challenging?  I go to a different SCA event. This time I went to Bardic Bedlam. 

Bardic Bedlam is a long day, bardic sharing event held each year. It is named after the book series with a similar name. Entertainers from all over the kingdom came to the Lonely Tower for this event. For its classes, challenges, and late night bardic circle. 

View at the Gate

This event welcomed everyone: talented, shy, entertainer, patron or student. All performing artists attended. Bards, Minstrels, Jesters, Jongleurs, Troubadours, Poets and Patrons. Yes, patrons. Patrons are important because you aren't an entertainer without an audience.

M. Dorcas sharing her expertise.

At Bedlam, there were new things you could do. You could attend classes and roundtables to learn how songs were composed or medieval music notated.  

There was also Cristina's food to eat.

HL Cristina la Ambeler and her cooks' team provided food throughout the whole day, from start to late night's end. No matter your taste Cristina had something tasty for you to eat. Meat or no meat, and gluten-free. If you had allergies or questions she replied to your email before the event. Cristina loves to cook and serve Calontir's people.

You could pick from the following menu.

  • Saffron Rice – rice, saffron, salt
  • Dal Nirvana – lentils tomatoes, garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne, butter, salt, pepper, milk, cilantro/parsley
  • Chicken Tikka Masala – tomato, carrot, onion, chicken, coriander, red pepper, cinnamon, clove, bay, cumin, cardamom, coconut milk
  • Tomato, Cucumber salad –tomato, cucumber, onion, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, lime juice, olive oil
  • Lombardy tarts – greens, cheese, egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, pastry dough
  • Spinach, quinoa, chickpea salad – spinach, quinoa, chickpea, feta, tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic, salt
  • Meat hand pies – meat, red wine, cinnamon, bay, flour, butter, salt, water
  • Pottage – turnips, parsnips, carrots, brown rice, onion, cabbage, dried peas 

My lunch table mates.
There were so many options. I ate the Chicken Tikka Masala. With that Cristina hit the sweet spot blend of spicy and flavorful. Its savory moist chicken chunks were scrumptious bites to slowly devour. I ate it with her saffron rice. Together they were the best. 

Well worth my free-will donation and more.

At the noon hour flytes were held. Since I'm not a bard but a patron I learned something new. A flyte is a challenge set by a bard for others to try something new. Something you might not otherwise have tried. It may be made to be done off-the-cuff or with prior composition. After the bard performs the challenger gives them a small gift, a thank you for entering. There's no judging, no winners, or need for something presented to be "good enough". And if you enter you receive a token of appreciation.

This year's Bardic Bedlam flytes and their sponsors were:
  • Worth Your Salt—Mistress Dorcas Whitecap
  • Bring Out Your Bagpipes—Lady Elaisse de Garrigues
  • Calontir History—Mistress Katriana op den Dijk
If you aren't a teaching or bardic type and want to encourage the bardic growth of others consider sponsoring a Flyte yourself. 

M. Dolan Madoc

The Outlands Bard

Lonely Tower's Excellencies

Lady Zafara Baabur playing her pan flute

A jester dressed in motely

HL Ingibiorg teaching us choruses.

After the flytes there were more classes. As a newbie, I enjoyed HL Volu-Ingibiorg's Chorus Class. In it she taught you the chorus to several popular songs sung a Calontir post revels, campfires or walk to the battlefield. Knowing a songs verse lets you join in the fun, plus they're easier to learn than verses.

Thank you, Jim Janicki,
for the use of your photo.

For another bit of silliness, the Baron and Baroness, Augustin and Aleit, walked us a block to Springfield Drug to have our pictures taken with their oversized Simpsons characters. 

The Lonely Tower gang at Springfield Drug

The drugstore also has an old fashion working soda fountain, so we each bought our favorite ice cream treat. Mine was a chocolate fudge sundae. Made me feel like a kid again.

Lady Zafara cheering all that attended

After ice cream, we returned to the event. It was time for Baron Augustin and Baroness Aleit to hold their court.

First business was Ly Zafara Baabur thanking all that participated or helped. Zafara became the site steward when M. Dolan was hospitalized unexpectedly. M. Dorcas Whitecap stepped up and finished organizing the classes and flytes. 

M. Dorcus White Cap
 acting as court herald

After court activities continued, but I, unfortunately, could not stay. Like Cinderella I returned home, picking up my dogs from the Petsmart Hotel on the way.

Dinner was food you ate with others while more flytes challenges were held. Those flytes and sponsors were:
  • Response Songs, Retort Songs, or Songs from the Other Side—Lady Ximena Echeberria
  • Dulcibella’s Favorite Things—Lady Dulcibella de Chateaurien
  • Haiku Toasts—Augustin le Blinde and Aleit de la Thomme, Baron and Baroness of the Barony of the Lonely Tower
After the challenges, songs and stories continued in post-revel style. They ended as is common with bardic circles when the last Bard standing had no more voice to sing.

External Related Websites: 
Songbook page on Calontir's Website