SCA

West Kingdom Arts & Sciences Tournament Results

Posted by on Jun 8, 2014 in SCA | 0 comments

For the past couple of months, I have been working my butt off to get ready to enter four Kingdom A&S competitions at our Kingdom A&S Tournament, which took place yesterday. I have never entered so many in one go, so it was a lot more work than I have done in a while, but it was still a lot of fun because I got to learn a bunch of stuff.

I want to make a separate post for each of my entries to tell you more about them. I use blogs a lot as jumping off points for my own projects, so I hope it will help someone else out there in the future. But for now, I will go ahead and share my scores. The entries are judged by three judges out of 50 possible points and then all three are added up to get a total.

1. Instrumental: Hoboekentanz on Recorder

  • 36 + 33 + 34.5 = 103.5/150

2. Calligraphy: Recreation of a 13th century English quitclaim

  • 31 + 38 + 39 = 108/150

3. Cosmetics: Galenus Cold Cream

  • 45 + 39 + 44 = 128/150

4. Fermented Foods: Brazzatelle of Milk & Sugar

  • 34 + 32 + 45.5 = 111.5/150

I did not win any of the categories, and that’s ok. I totally wasn’t expecting to because I’ve only been doing the SCA for a year and a half, and I only started doing competitions this year (though I did do 1 in my old kingdom). Many of my competitors have been doing SCA for 5, 10, 20+ years, and I am always blown away by the other entries. There are some seriously talented people around here! And usually they are happy to share what they know, which is AWESOME.

The tournament also featured 61 classes(!), and I was able to attend five , which is the most I’ve ever done at one event. My step kids are here for the summer so they kept Lex occupied for the most part. :) I learned about the Elizabethan plaited braid stitch (complicated!), Viking wire weaving, how to plan a period feast, sculpting the human head (yay clay!) and another type of Viking wire weaving used for trim and fabric decoration (also complicated!). Vincent got to go to a few classes as well including shoemaking (where he learned how to make thread and needle using boar bristle), pewter casting and making leather bags. Even Ophelia, the youngest of my step kids, went to some classes including a cooking class or two and to a demonstration of a foot peddle powered lathe. Arts & Sciences are one of my favorite parts of the SCA, so I was very happy to be surrounded by other historical makers this weekend. It was very inspiring. It was also great to get to sit around the fire with our friends and getting to meet new folks from all over the kingdom. The kids got to chase geese, feed ducks, roast marshmallows and run around with other children. It was just a great time for all.

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My First Scroll in the West

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Blog, Feature, SCA | 2 comments

In the SCA, when someone receives an important award, they are usually given a scroll. What we call a scroll is usually a piece of paper with a description of the award written in medieval calligraphy by hand and decorated with medieval illumination. Just Google “SCA scroll” and you’ll see what I mean. I started learning how to do calligraphy and illumination back in Arkansas, and I did one scroll that I turned in to be handed out. It was pretty simple, but the Celtic knots were fun to do.

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I’d been wanting to do something more ornate, but I wasn’t sure where to start. Our new group, Southern Shores, has a monthly Art & Shop Night, which we started attending. At one of those nights, I didn’t have a project, and the lady who hosts the Art & Shop Night, Eliska, asked if I’d like to help with a scroll on whose illumination she was about to start on. I gladly agreed. She chose the motif and began tracing it out, and I finished the tracing and then painted it with liquid watercolors and gouache. The calligraphy was already there and is not mine. I was really nervous that I would ruin it or the recipient would hate it, but I’m really happy with the end result (and hope the recipient is, too!).

First West Scroll

 

Detail Illuminated Letter

 

Detail Flower Illumination

 

Detail Coat of Arms

Eliska is a Laurel in calligraphy, and she gave me advice on choosing colors and how to do the whitework details. Almost all the art was traced using a light box with a few free handed details added, specifically under the coat of arms.

Eliska was very encouraging and said I did a great job. She also got me added to the College of Scribes, so I can start getting scroll assignments. Then she helped me find a medieval example of something I’d like to do for my next one and even got me set up with some supplies. Thanks, Eliska! :)

I have always enjoyed doing art– painting, drawing, etc.– but I couldn’t always think of things to draw or paint. Or I’d be frustrated that I couldn’t draw as well as I’d like to, so I just wouldn’t do it. With illumination, there’s no shame in tracing (it was commonly done in the Middle Ages), and there are plenty of historical examples and a wide variety of subject matter to choose from. I’m looking forward to improving my workmanship and hopefully, eventually, getting to level of the amazing scribes whose work I’ve seen in the SCA so far.

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Our Journey into the Shire of Lagerdamm

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Blog, Feature, SCA | 2 comments

So sorry for my months (!) of silence! You’ll soon see why. We’ve adopted a new hobby, which I’m excited to share with you…

When Vincent and I first started dating (back in 2006), I revealed to him that one thing that I’d always wanted to do was go to a Renaissance Faire. I’ve always loved history and fairy tales and knights and princesses and all that fun stuff. When I was in high school at our local Hastings, I found a great magazine called Renaissance that was full of photos of people at Renaissance Faires and articles about life during the Middle Ages. I found it all absolutely fascinating and fantasized about one day dressing up as a fair maiden and perusing the wares of medieval shopkeeps, perhaps watching a joust…you get the picture.

So when I told Vincent about my love of the Renaissance and Middle Ages, he told me that some friends of his were involved in a local group called the SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism. I’d never heard of them. He told me that they were sort of like a Ren Faire group, but they liked to be a little more historically accurate. They were having an event soon in Little Rock, and he suggested we go check it out. Honestly I don’t remember a whole lot about that particular event. I do remember being disappointed because it didn’t look like any of the Renaissance Faires in the magazine. I also remember it was cold and raining and that no one in the group was particularly welcoming so we just sort of wandered around. I mean, it was kind of cool, and we bought a few things and got to see an archery demonstration so that was fun, but overall, we didn’t get the best first impression. Because of that sort of “meh” impression, we never went back to another event.

Fast forward to 2012. We went to dinner with a bunch of Vincent’s old friends because one was visiting from Canada, and I finally met his friend, Brad. I’d heard about Brad a lot before, but never happened to meet him until then. He is very active in the local SCA group in Conway, called Shire Lagerdamm, and they just so happened to be having their annual Newbie Collegium soon. Brad and I talked about our different crafting interests– he likes to make clothing and I showed him my knit and crochet projects. Vincent suggested that we go to the next event and see if we liked it. We both thought it sounded like something we could have fun doing together, and since we already knew Brad we felt pretty comfortable going.

It was much different from our first experience. We were enthusiastically greeted when we arrived and scuttled off by the chatelaine to find some suitable garb for us to wear.

There were various classes going on and a lists set up (where sword fighting takes place) with an on-going tournament. There were also a few vendors and a silent auction. We decided to split up on the classes so we could get as much experience as possible. I took a class on making lampwork beads, which was really cool. I even got to make a bead using a torch and everything. I took another class on drafting period clothing using modern patterns. I also took an introductory class to herbalism, something I’ve always found intriguing. Vincent learned about heraldry, developing a persona, making leather armor, and rapier fighting.

After the classes, they had a Newbie Round Table where we could ask any questions about SCA in general. It was very informative, the hosts were great, and we decided that we definitely wanted to join up.

Since the Newbie Collegium, we have been to one business meeting, one Arts & Sciences (A&S) meeting, one event and several rapier practices. We also decided on the kinds of garb we wanted to wear and got patterns for them:

Garb Patterns

I’ve already finished Vincent’s garb, though I’m sure it will be embellished in the future. Mine is going to have to wait because the amount of fabric I need gets really pricey! Besides, I have some garb that I bought long, long ago. Here we are at our first real event, the Investiture of the Baron and Baroness of the Barony of the Small Gray Bear.

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We had a great time! It was really cool to see the court and feast, which we missed at our newbie event. We also learned what all goes into putting an event on since our shire hosted this event for the Barony of the Small Gray Bear. As thanks, we were all awarded The Bear’s Heart by the new Baron and Baroness and received a little token. I was tickled to get an award. :)

Here’s a photo of the feast taken by the talented Kenneth Eden:

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You can see Vincent and me (or my hair anyway) on the right. It was a potluck, and everything was very tasty. It was kind of magical to see everyone whip out their feast gear from various trunks and baskets, complete with period-looking table cloths and make the plain utilitarian tables look like proper feast tables. I only wish I’d thought to bring some things. Live and learn.

The event took place at the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Conway. They have a lovely little chapel that they also allow us to use for our Arts & Sciences meetings each month.

Speaking of Arts & Sciences (or A&S), here are a couple pics from the last one we went to.

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Vincent learned how to make Celtic knots from the talented Signy.

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Then, Lady Arianna showed us how to make Roman fibulae (Roman safety pins, basically, but pretty).

We’ve also been learning how to fence with rapiers. With our tax refund, we bought swords. Admire the shiny:

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Here’s Vincent in some borrowed gear, ready to take on a foe!

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That’s him fighting one of our instructors, Victoria, who also happens to be an old college friend of ours. She’s an amazing fighter.

We even got the kids involved.

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There they are with Binn, our other instructor, who is also amazing and very patient with us newbies.

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Start ’em young, we say!

So far, joining SCA has been a wonderful experience. We have never met a friendlier, more welcoming group of people. I haven’t met anyone who’s been snobby (Yes, I was worried about garb snobs. It’s totally a thing!) or stand-offish or anything negative. Everyone (seriously, everyone) is eager to help with anything and everything. It’s really amazing. We love it!  I can’t wait to share all the things I learn with all of you, too.

 

 

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