Thursday, June 30, 2016

Silver Wheel Medallion

This medallion was commissioned by Countess Marguerite to go to Magdelena Carminante at SCA 50 Year.

It's done in the same setting as the Maunche medallion I previously made using Splendor silks on linen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

50th Year Tapestry

Going on right now is the celebration of the 50th year of our Society. Sadly, I'm not able to attend, but by all accounts there's an amazing collection of history at the event.

One thing that's stuck out at me is that Lady Jadwiga Wlodzislawska of the Middle Kingdom accomplished an absolutely stunning piece of embroidery for the event.

Year III of the Tapestry depicts the creation of the East Kingdom

She took inspiration from the Bayeux Tapestry and created a 50 panel tapestry of her own, depicting events from each year of the Society's existence. The idea is amazing, the worksmanship and research that she put into it is unfathomable to me. I highly suggest that you go visit her website and see all the panels, and her writeups for them. All images in this post are from that website.

Year L of the tapestry was finished before the year began, but depicts the creation of Avacal and the Masters of Defense.
Lady Jadwiga is truly an inspiration. Thank you for this art!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Vigil Book for Heather Rose

I was asked to create a girdle book cover for a vigil book. It was my first request for a vigil book, and I was very excited!
Christina Jenevra de Carvalhal created the book itself, and very kindly gave me very detailed directions on how to make a girdle book. Up to this point I had only made your more generic book cover.

The linen that Jenevra chose was very nice to embroider on, although the positioning required by a girdle book was a little bit of a pain. It needed to be right near the bottom to make use of the selvage edge.

I was in a rush for this one, so progress pictures didn't happen with any regularity.

The border is whipped chain stitch with satin stitch hearts. This was very difficult to keep straight in the hoop, but I mostly succeeded. The laurel wreath is also satin stitch. The device is done in split stitch with satin stitch rabbits. I then outlined the hearts and outside lines in gold passing thread. With that done it still looked like something was missing, so I added some very non period flourishes with gold purl. The pieces are a little long, so I'm not entirely sure how some of them will hold up to hard use.
I had measured the the front of the book before starting the embroidery, but it still ended up just a smidge taller than the book. Luckily, on a girdle book that's less of a problem. If this were a normal book cover with the top and bottom folded down, I would have had to do some reworking.

One thing that I didn't think about until it was almost too late was that the book needed a closure of some sort. Jenevra's directions were very clear about designing the embroidery to take a closure into account, but of course I didn't look at those until the embroidery was all done. I ended up braiding some matching floss and attaching it at the spine. It's not the fanciest closure, but it does do the job.
The actual covering of the book could certainly have gone smoother, despite the excellent directions. Part of my trouble was just time crunch, but the rest was a learning experience.

Congratulations, Heather!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fencing Catchup

I went down to the Southern Region Fencing Practice and much melee was had, as well as a qualifying tournament for champs.

In the tournament I was out in three, but my two losses were the first and second placers. I fought Antonio first, and didn't get as warmed up as I might have wanted to. I was using buckler, which may or may not have been a good choice. He got me under my right arm, which as we'll see is a pattern that I need to work on.
We fought again later (I kept buckler, because I wanted to experiment some) and things went ok.
I did other pickups that were also a lot of fun.
Melee was mostly me, Sorcha, and Urraka working together on the far edge. We did a couple of really good things, and a couple of times where we pushed too hard or not enough.

All in all, it was a great time and even though it was very far away, I'm glad we made the trip. Thanks for hosting, Southern Region!

I had a good practice the next Monday. I fought case with a dagger, which I usually try to avoid, and I actually did quite well. I always knew that buckler vs case was a crutch, I just wasn't too worried about getting rid of it. But I won't argue if I've managed to by accident.

Then Roses happened. I showed up very briefly (it was a busy weekend!) but I got to fight in the champs qualifier again, as well as the melee tryouts. This time I fought four fights before I was out, but both of my losses were again under my right arm - and only one of those was a lefty. I again fought the first and second place finishers. This time while I lost to the first place, I won against the second, and I am very excited about that. I had surprise on my side, but I made use of it.

Melees this time we were split up based on our units, so I was with Urraka and Katsu (for the event was very Handsome Boy light, and out Southern folks are going to fight with the South this year). The teams seemed pretty evenly matched - we would go back and forth on who won. We started near an end, and the other side steamrolled everyone during the first fight. They were extremely aggressive and we weren't remotely ready for it. After that we were in the middle, and had to make choices about whether to push or not. There was one time we should have pushed but instead did the stop and fence thing that is always awful, but we fixed that in future times. All in all, I was quite happy with how things went.

One thing that I noticed between the two tournaments was that my between fights time was very different. At the regional practice I tried to be all calm and not be distracted by anyone around me - which was helped by the fact that most of the people who might distract me were running the tournament. And by the third fight I was shaky and having adrenaline problems. At Roses there were a whole bunch of people that I was talking to and we would communally rest between the bouts. And even though it was ridiculously hot out, I didn't end up shaky or anything. Although I was definitely tired by the fourth fight.
I'm not entirely certain there's a causal relationship here. I also had much longer fights at the regional. But it's something I want to keep an eye on.