A sister scroll to the last gothic one..

Oh Luttrell Psalter, you are so sneaky, with your pretty pretty pictures and your nice clean calligraphy – you make it all look so easy… like anyone could do that… But no, don’t be fooled, this manuscript lies to new scribes. It whispers “oh don’t worry, it’ll be fine, look at my nice crisp lines and my pretty little s’s, this won’t be hard” when really it’s a deceptively difficult manuscript to copy. Talking to various other scribes, this is a common trap that new scribes fall into, particularly ones who are more comfortable in illumination since it has such pretty pictures, but it is possible to do, particularly once you accept that yours is not going to look quite as perfect as the original.

This is the second scroll I’ve done from this manuscript in the last few weeks, and I figured the first one’s calligraphy was hard because I just hadn’t had enough time to properly learn it, so I figured the second one would go better since I had already put in so much practice time on the first. The second one did go better, but I think I need a few more years worth of practice before I can do this hand justice.

For this scroll I used folio 13 reverso (the back side of page 13) :

I chose this particular page as the person the scroll was for is a thirteenth century harper, and King David and his harp leaped to mind, plus I love this page.

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Here’s my version, a bit simplified:my_work 2016_3_4

Now look back at the previous post, that’s supposed to be the same hand – so yes, I’m making definite progress, but man is this hand hard… I’m going to set this manuscript aside for a little while and go back to my good friends in the proto-gothic world where I can actually feel a little bit of confidence.. But! My spacing and vertical lines look much better. They still need work, but way better than last time.

I try my hand at a gothic calligraphy style

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Silver Wheel for A&S Champs, yes, I spelled Championship wrong… And I got carried away on my s’s – I really enjoy doing gothic short s’s now that Karen taught me a trick to them (don’t think of them as s’s, which is basically what to do with long s’s as well..)

It’s based on the Luttrell Psalter folio 53r, Here’s the whole thing online at the British library – http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Add_MS_42130 and here’s the book opened to the page I did – http://blancefleur.tumblr.com/image/84238302229

I mostly traced this one (the vines and leaves are all free hand, along with the diapering and whitework), but I’m doing a second that is entirely free hand since the images are really easy to free hand and then I can work them into the design I want more easily. I chose to trace in this particular case because I had procrastinated too long and needed to get the shapes on quickly so I’d have time to do all the layers I wanted to do.

Part of the reason I was rushed with this one was that it’s my first with metal leaf, and that took quite a bit longer than I had expected. I used Mona Lisa’s Silver Leaf from their gilding kit, which I highly DO NOT recommend. Firstly the directions are terrible, and secondly, the ‘silver’ is tin, which is fine, except that it doesn’t cut nicely so it’s really hard to brush away the extra that’s not supposed to be there as when you brush it, it rips across the part you do want. I now have plenty of the much better quality stuff to try, but I thought it might be a good idea to start with the cheaper option to see how it went, and as usual, it was miserable.

The calligraphy was all done Thursday night before it went to the event Friday afternoon, which wasn’t my original plan, but as said, the timeline got pretty compressed due to the silver, and then not realizing quite how much illumination I had bitten off until I was well into the process. (Yes, I do the illumination first, Yes, I know this is crazy, Yes, I sort of regret it for this one due to how the lines worked out, but that was also somewhat due to the compressed timeline for the calligraphy as I didn’t have time to do extensive drafts of how I wanted the calligraphy to fit into the scroll.)

It’s not terrible. Ok, it’s pretty terrible, but given how much Gothic and I do not get along, it’s pretty good. The three things I struggle with the most in scribal are 1) word spacing, 2) Verticals being vertical, 3) Getting my feets correctly on the baseline. (Yes, I’m sure there are lots of other things wrong as well, but these are the ones I’m most working on right now). So the big difference with this scroll was that I used Vertical guidelines for the first time, and it’s something.

1) Word Spacing. Within the word, and between words, it’s still not great, but this is probably the best I’ve done so far in terms of my words all being appropriate distances from each other, and the internal spacing in words is pretty decent. I think the vertical guidelines helped the most with this aspect, mostly as they created a grid that I could use to see how far the letters were from each other, and I could count on them to be regular.

2) Verticals being Vertical. This was the reason I used vertical guidelines for the first time with this scroll, and I suspect they helped, but I’m kinda amazingly oblivious to the guide lines, it’s like my hand just desperately wants to slant all my letters every which way and is revolting against the guidelines. They aren’t terrible, but being gothic it’s really obvious when they are slightly wrong. I really need to practice this ALL THE TIME.

3) Feets. Thankfully this hand has mostly flat feets, I’m especially terrible at getting pointy feets to end up in the right place.. but even with flat feets it’s really hard to remember what I am doing – mostly from a serif perspective, I really love adding little serifs, and this hand has very few serifs. But these feets were also supposed to be square, and that was very hard to do without having practiced enough. I suspect my feets would have been considerably better if I had given myself enough time to actually properly learn the hand and not been rushed.

I kinda want to animate my letters as they have definite personalities.. my Ys are so often drunkenly sliding under the table, while my V’s have too much confidence and my As are desperately trying to hold everything together but failing since their mates dislike them for thinking they are perfect.

You can also definitely see me getting more tired and sliding back into prot0-gothic, but it looks okay. ish.

Two scrolls for 12th Night

A scroll blank for Caera Fitzpatrick, calligraphy and words by Nest. Based on __ To be filled in later…

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And then we have an AoA that I did all by myself. The calligraphy looks kinda awful, but it looks exactly like the source. Source :http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8423829s/f13.item.zoom It’s a weird transitional hand.
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2016 Goals

Crafting/Art – Continue doing something creative every day. Learn a new thing each month. Update the blog regularly!!

SCA – Teach more classes on different subjects. Get one period competency with Athena’s Thimble. Enter at least 2 A&S competitions. Do a high merit award scroll.

Social – Step away from internet arguments instead of continuing them. Continue to invite people over the house once a month. Hangout with someone new at least quarterly. Consciously practice deliberate speaking and writing. Ask more questions about what other people are doing and listen to their answers. Don’t give unsolicited advice.

Cooking – Have at least 1 fruit every day. Have at least 2 veggies every day. Eat at least one meal every day that could be claimed as home cooked (toast does not count).

Cleaning –  Get my room to a manageable amount of stuff

Fitness – Endurance: be able to run a mile without stopping in 10 minutes. Strength: get upper and lower body to 150 lb weight resistance. (Currently I’m at about 70) Go to gym 12+ times a month, ideally get 250 minutes of cardio a week.

Health – Weight – I suppose a better goal would be shape based, apparently hip to waist ratios for women should be lower than .85, and ideally around .7 (I am currently .9) I would also like a bust measurement of less than 44 inches.

2015 Goals Revisited

Crafting/Art – Document all projects as I start them. Try to do something creative at least 250 minutes a week. Draw something every day. Also write every day, preferably in a journal. Post to my blog at least once a week with my updates.

Well, I have documented more projects this year than usual? That’s got to count for something. And I think I’ve been pretty good at the do something creative every day/draw every day. Writing has fallen down a long dark hole, I’m not sure if I even care that I failed at that one though. My blog really ought to get posted to more often though, particularly given how many projects I have completed lately. Which brings us to:

SCA – Have “respectable” feast gear. Have at least 1 outfit to wear in court that I am not ashamed of. Make a scribal portfolio. Enter at least 1 A&S competition. Teach 3 classes at various locations. Learn more metal working skills. Document what I make on my blog. Get to Craftsman status with Athena’s Thimble, try to become a senior member. Perhaps become an apprentice?

This one I nailed. Though it did take me basically all year. I have respectable feast gear. I have 1 outfit, and soon a few more (they just need some handwork) that I feel comfortable wearing to court. I not only made a scribal portfolio, I am a real scribe now, doing live scrolls, finally. I entered 1 A&S competition, which was pretty fun/miserable, I still am somewhat on the fence about K&Q in a month, but if I can manage to scrape together a portfolio of viking spoons.. I’ve taught at least three classes at various locations, some even weren’t intro to embroidery! I’m still working on remembering to blog about the projects though, but I’m working on it. I did finally attain Craftsman status with Athena’s Thimble at yule. I need a few more Ps&Qs before I get to try to be a senior member. AND, best of all, I did apprentice myself to Rozi. Hopefully next year I’ll have some time for more metal working.

Cooking – Have fruit every day. Have veggies every day. Bring my lunch to work at least 4 days a week. Eat out no more than twice a week during normal situations.

Ha ha.. nope. I think I might have even gotten worse about this this year than last. Though I have at least been eating at restaurants less, but I’ve mostly done that through intelligent snacking.

Gardening/Farming – Harvest foods before they go to seed. Dry herbs for the winter. Can food for the winter. Keep the weeds down around the garden. Compost the chicken litter.

Nope. I planted two planters, nearly everything died. There was nothing to can. I gave up on the garden because I was too busy in the spring.

Building –  Organize all the tools and put up a peg board system.

Well, I did at least get the work bench out into the garage and now there’s a place to work on projects. No peg board system though. But we do have drawers…

Cleaning – Re-organize the pantry twice a year (once already done today), get my room to a manageable amount of stuff.

Yay it’s time for the annual pantry cleaning! Which means, yeah, no, I didn’t do it twice a year, though I did a quick sort sometime in the summer.

Fitness – Endurance: be able to run a mile without stopping in 10 minutes. Strength: get upper and lower body to 150 lb weight resistance. (Currently I’m at about 70) Go to gym 12+ times a month, ideally get 250 minutes of cardio a week.

I have managed to go to the gym about twice since 2014. That said, I don’t think I’m in considerably worse shape, but I certainly did not meet these goals and will probably use them again.

Health – Weight – I suppose a better goal would be shape based, apparently hip to waist ratios for women should be lower than .85, and ideally around .7 (I am currently .9) I would also like a bust measurement of less than 44 inches.

I am the same size and shape I was in 2014. Which while better than being worse, is still not reaching the goal. Goal will remain the same. Priority will be on me in 2016, not everyone else.

Fun little AoA based on an 1100s manuscript

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This AoA was for Kathryn Tighe’s son, Clark wrote the words. This is my first live scroll assignment.

The source is here:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8530185k/f11.item

I am most proud that I managed to not have to do the scroll twice as I didn’t screw it up. My goals are small. Only having to do the scroll once is a big deal:)

Windsor Newton cake watercolors on Fluid 100 hot press watercolor paper. Sumi green bottle ink.

I chose this source due to the information I had on the persona, I had asked around about him but my usual sources didn’t know who he was. So I picked an awesome manuscript page that had calligraphy that I liked the look of and decided to copy that. I particularly like the drawn capitals. I didn’t mean to make it yule themed (red and green) and didn’t pick up on that until the day of the Yule event. But regardless, it was how the original was done and I really like the simplistic design.

Takeaway – I need to make myself use vertical guidelines, even if it doesn’t seem worth it, it totally is.

St. Eligius Arts and Sciences competition in The Barony of Dragonship Haven

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So despite being woefully unprepared before the event, I managed to come up with a reasonable display and documentation on a subject that I could talk to intelligently.

Oh fine, I’ll learn calligraphy..

IMG_20151008_201206341Firstly, a scroll for Donovan’s Provost’s Company, words by Alys. (Oh god, why is my first court presented calligraphy, a calligraphy only scroll, what was I thinking?!)

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Then we have a backlog AOA, that I did twice. Once big, (on the right), and then a second time smaller, but with better calligraphy and fewer spelling errors. They both have redeeming features, which is why I’m posting both. I’ve thankfully learned a lot since then.

Little maple box

So we were brainstorming things for a viking persona award, since paper scrolls don’t really fit well, and I had been contemplating making a little box using viking era techniques and suddenly it all fit nicely together…

Maple craft board, made using finger joints and a tongue and groove lid. Glue used to hold it in place.
Man, having a band saw in my garage is awesome! But I couldn’t have done the groove without Troy and Lisa’s help. They had a router and the ability to control it.

I’m planning on making a box for myself next, this time using poplar and doing all the joining by hand. I’ve learned my lesson about carving maple craft board, it’s harder than it looks. This box was a fun little proof of concept piece that gets to live an adventurous life. I’m a little sad it’s getting painted as the maple is so pretty to scrape to a mirror finish and then oil, but I have more maple for later.

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Redrawn queen for a month pictures – now in more accurate colors

Check back to the previous post for the underlayers.

Here’s the main garment, with the two different over-layer options.

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And here are two more things I’m contemplating making to go with this project:

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I have some pretty purple wool that might be fun to make a coat like that, also some dark blue, though I think they might both be too heavy for something with sleeves.

The gray lacing overdress is an interesting experiment that will dress up the reversible dress, and can be decorated with trim. I’ll also need an apron. Or two.

Here is the reversible dress I already have made (for the consideration of color matching) and one that I plan to make as I have the fabric for it. It has a neat twill pattern in the cloth, I tried to draw that into the sketch, but it’s not as hideous as my sketch makes it look.

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