aryanhwy: (widget)
It occurred to me it might be interesting to keep a running log of things I've made over the course of this year. So this entry is going to be post-dated (sorry for those of you who read this journal via the main page, rather than through a feeder, since it will always show up on top).

Jewelry and metalwork )
Scribal stuff )
Sewing and embroidery )
Other )
aryanhwy: (Default)
I discovered while working on Efridis's sigillum scroll that while Gwen gets really unhappy if I try to sit at the desk and work at my computer while she's home on the weekends, she's much more willing to let me sit at my desk and paint, and play happily with little intervention. I took advantage of that today to work on my contribution to the Gulf Wars gift basket, some scroll blanks. I went from 0 to 1 + .25 + .75 + .1 (roughly) over the course of the day, so quite satisfying! I might be able to finish another 2 tomorrow, maybe even all three.

At one point though, Gwen asked if she could sit on my lap. I figured, it can't be any worse than having a cat sit on my lap while I paint, and that I've become a master at. So I pulled her on my lap and continued to work. Let me tell you, it's really good for your self-esteem to have someone go "Ooooh, pretty!" every stroke you paint.


We went outside and blew bubbles for a bit this afternoon. I'd never blown bubbles in the rain before, and discovered that when bubbles land on wet cobblestones, they'll sit, iridescent semi-circles, for a long time before they pop.
aryanhwy: (Default)
Since I started my scribal blog, I haven't posted about my C&I here much. However, I spent the last two months working on a single scroll, which I completed on New Year's Day and which was given out at coronation this weekend, and I'm so very pleased and proud of it that it's worth posting here:


You can read the saga of its making here.
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In 2010, it ended up that no one entered the year-long kingdom A&S competition, which means there was, for the first time in a long time, no kingdom artisan for 2011.

In 2011, I decided to enter the competition, despite never having entered an A&S competition of any sort before. However, given the large number of entrants the previous year, I figured if I met all the qualifications (which at that time were entries in four (maybe it was three) different categories and at three different events), I had a good shot. Unfortunately, I fell at the last hurdle. I didn't time things right and so was unable to complete my final entry sufficiently -- I entered it at Kingdom University, which was the weekend Gwen was born. I was the only person who entered, so again, there was no kingdom artisan for 2012.

In 2012, I figured I'd try entering again...then in March Paul won Crown and I figured it would be a bit much to try to be queen AND try to enter the competition, so I didn't. Even though the requirements had been reduced to items in three categories at two different events. No one else entered that year either, so there was no kingdom artisan for 2013.

In 2013, I determined to enter yet again:

At 12th Night coronation, I entered Catalan nougat in the culinary arts category. Here is the documentation. I don't have a picture of this.

I didn't get anything together for Spring Crown, time just got away from me.

At Midsummer coronation, I entered:

  • In the textile arts category, I entered a 16th C men's shirt, here modeled by Joel:


    And here is the documentation.

  • In the research paper category, I entered a paper on Welsh household names

  • In the sciences category, a hoard of Anglo-Saxon and Viking wire rings, of which these were two:


    Here is the documentation, though I have not yet written up the "how-to" that I have promised some people.

  • In the fine arts category, I entered a calligraphed and illuminated scroll:


    The documentation for this is here.

I did not manage to put together a performing arts piece, otherwise I could've hit all six possible categories!

Having entered this many at 20 Year meant I didn't have to scramble to enter something at Fall Crown, which was nice. The winner was to be announced at Kingdom University, but a few days before that I got an email from Jahanara, kingdom MoAS, directed also to [ profile] hobbitomm, letting us know that we were the only two who'd met all the qualifications for entering the competition, and since neither of us where going to be there she wanted to know if we minded if the winner was announced in absentia. Therein followed a few days speculation wherein both of us were sure that the other person had won...which meant [ profile] hobbitomm was smug and complacent when he was proven right, and it was announced that I had won, and will be invested as kingdom artisan for 2014 at 12th Night Coronation.


It also later transpired that I also won the category-competitions for fine arts and research papers -- the latter I believe by default since I don't think anyone else entered one, but I think mine wasn't the only C&I entry, which means mine must've had some more merit. :)

Anyway, I promised people that while I was in the US I'd put together all my documentation to share, so now I have done so.

31 / 1000

Apr. 22nd, 2013 09:08 pm
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I feel like I should have something to say about my 31st birthday, but I don't really. Gwen slept until 7:00 (which is what we always are aiming for, but which she's missed by half an hour -- or more -- most of the last week), so at least the day didn't start off on the wrong foot. But I was still tired from the weekend and so spent most of the day at work in a bit of a fog, slogging through my translation rather than getting to work on anything new as I'd been planning.

For Joel's birthday, I went to the little cupcake shop near our grocery store and bought half a dozen. He was very surprised and pleased, and ever since then I'd been hoping he'd do the same for me. I'm not really a huge birthday person, but a birthday isn't a birthday without cake of some sort, and it had bothered me over the years that I was making my own birthday cake more often than not. That just didn't seem right. And here we have easy access to these phenomenal carrot cake cupcakes with heavenly buttercream frosting...

Still, while I cherished a hope he would, I didn't actually have an expectation. Which means that when he showed up at my office a little past 4:30 with the excuse that he'd gotten more grocery shopping than he'd planned and he was hoping I'd be able to lighten the load, I simply grabbed my schoolbag and told him I wasn't sure how much I could take and still bike home with Gwen, but I could probably take something. And then he pulled out a box of cupcakes. :) We each had one, and then he headed home while I worked for another half an hour before getting Gwen. We then headed to Scheffel's Kulturbrauerei, a few blocks from where we live, for supper. I wasn't terribly hungry (darned cupcake :)), and actually wasn't in the mood for traditional German food, which can be kind of heavy, so was surprised to see that the style here is a little bit non-traditional, and that one of the vegetarian specials -- baked feta with rice and ratatouille -- sounded excellent, and it was. Joel got beef with horseradish two ways, and potatoes. I thought Gwen would happily share my dish (normally she's as cheese-loving as the granddaughter of a Wisconsin cheese-maker should be), but she ended up turning up her nose at all of it, and instead ate probably 1/3 of Joel's potatoes with horseradish sauce. She's definitely not my daughter! On the way home, we passed a little puppy out on a walk, and he ran straight for her and she for him, and he licked her hands while she patted him, and I swear, if she were a little bigger she would've picked him up like her stuffed animals and carried him home with us. She loves dogs so much, and it's so sweet how people will let her say hello to them. I thought she'd throw a fit when we finally had to take her away and let the puppy continue on her walk, but instead when I told her she needed to tell the puppy good-bye, she allowed herself to be picked up and waved to him as we left. So cute. :)

The three of us split another two cupcakes when we got home, and then I asked Joel to try getting a picture of the two of us, since I don't have many, and figured it would be a nice thing to have from my birthday:



When I joined the SCA some 17 years ago (geez!), I knew I wanted Aryanhwy (who was, at the time, Aeronwy, and then Creirwy, and then Euronui, and then finally Aryanhwy) to be Welsh and "early-ish". I flipped through the Timetables of History, and settled on the early 11th C as a period where things happened but it wasn't overwhelming, and then I picked 1013 as my birthyear since that was a neat number. I've always said that I hope my persona lives long enough to see William invade England. :) Seeing as I've survived through childbirth (twins, Ysfael and Yslani, and a son, Bran, with my husband, Briafael, who died soon after leaving me a young widow), the biggest cause of mortality amongst women, I've got a good chance of making it to 1066, I think! But what I didn't realize at the time I chose that date, nor even until just quite recently, was that I'd also live to see the 1000th anniversary of the birth of Aryanhwy. That's quite a neat milestone, and one many SCAdians don't get, and one I certainly won't live to see again.

I wanted to do something to mark this, but for some reason I didn't really care to do something medieval, perhaps because even though it's about the SCA, it's actually quite a modern thing to be celebrating. So I decided to make cookies and bring them along to the event this weekend, and hope that people would join me in eating them to mark the occasion after feast. I found myself really wanting chocolate cookies, something which I don't normally go for, preferring either oatmeal or molasses. I have them so infrequently, I don't even have a recipe for them. Google to the rescue, and I ended up with something quite tasty. They were well received at the event, with plenty of people happily eating them as we lingered around the tables after feast talking and exchanging stories. I didn't want it to be a big deal, but I did want people to do something that made them happy and made them mark the moment, and this worked well.

The event itself was lots of fun, almost exactly what I look for in an event -- small, and with classes. Perhaps the most interesting was Lord Aaron's class on cantillation in Hebrew, something I knew absolutely nothing about before attending. My class, on "how to make your C&I look more medieval", went well, with more than just the one other scribe there attending, and Joel ended up doing an impromptu class on pewtering, showing off his mould, the shields he's cast for me, and the two books he's acquired, and speaking of technique, materials, etc. There was fantastic food, and enough flex time in the schedule that I got a nap in before feast -- a nap which was, unfortunately, necessary due to some less-than-preferable travel arrangements. We were going to ride with Stefano and Judith, with Stefano coming to pick us up after he got off work, and then we'd get Judith and head to the site. As the minutes and then hours crept forward Friday night, I eventually came to the reluctant conclusion that if he wasn't on the road to us by 23:30, we were going to have to bow out; I didn't really relish the idea of waking Gwen up (she'd been sleeping since 19:00) in the middle of the night for a ~3 hour car ride. I got an IM from Judith at 23:20 that he was on the way, and would be there by midnight. We made the decision to give it a whirl, and things weren't that bad; Gwen didn't fall back asleep in the car for about 1.5 hours, but she didn't wake up when we arrive and I was able to get her from carseat into bed without waking either, around 3:30am. Unfortunately, she then woke up at 6:30, per usual. aaaaaaarrrrrggghhh. She compensated with a 2 hour nap in the morning, of which I was able to sleep myself for half of it (having to get up in order to go teach my class!), but the result was that we were all pretty tired by the end of the weekend! Still, the event was great, even if the travel to and from wasn't optimal.

Oh, one other lovely part from the weekend was that the scroll I did for court was my very first attempt at gilding:


I am so pleased with how it turned out -- not just the gilding but the entire layout of the scroll (except for the one rather glaring wording mistake, but even that was work-around-able), the long text, the two-columns, the painting in the initials, the entire thing just makes me happy. And it also made the recipient happy, all the same things. Not everyone likes long texts and scrolls that are mostly calligraphy, even though that's my preference, so I was extra glad to hear Aaron saying that this was his preference too! I can't remember when I've last been so glad and proud to see a scroll of mine given out in court. I'm pretty much always satisfied with the work I produce, but this one will always be special to me.

So there's a hodgepodge from the last few days. Time to close up the computer and veg out on the couch with a book and a cat for awhile.
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I actually got a little over an hour out at the office today in which I was able to get work done, including finishing up reading/writing notes on a paper I need to write a referee report on (finally! It was very interesting, but long). It's amazing how much better I feel about how things are going, job-wise, when I get something tangible done.

Gwen's day was up and down. There was no vomiting (yay!) but things were clearly not right this morning since all she wanted to do was sit and cuddle and if she wasn't doing that with one of us, she was crying. Joel said at daycare for the first 40 minutes or so all she did was sort of stand there looking vacant, or sit on his lap. But occasionally she'd go and play with Doreen, and towards the end the kids went into another room to play, and she went with and didn't mind that Joel didn't, which is progress. When they got home, she was smiling and happy, and once again able to play by herself, either in the same room with us or in her room. However, she didn't go down for a nap when she got home around 3:30, but instead waited to be tired until about 4:45. I only let her sleep 45 minutes because I didn't want to mess up our 7:00pm bedtime, so she was rather cranky when she woke up. I decided to address this, and the fact that all we had on the slate for supper was soup and I wanted something more than that, by making coffee cake, and by making it on the floor rather than on the counter, so that she could help:


I also decided I'm finally sick of having all of my calligraphy and illumination on a static, not easily searchable webpage, so I created a blog where I can tag things and thus be able to search for scroll texts by language and award. I'm in the process now of moving all my C&I pages over to Scriptura et Pictura as individual posts.
aryanhwy: (Default)
Monday morning I sat down with my leave calendar and my commitments calendar, and logged leave for every single day from now until the end of the year that I don't have all-day commitments (e.g., when I go to St. Andrews in two weeks) or have already scheduled leave (South Africa and Christmas in the US); I took off mornings for days that I had stuff to do out on campus, e.g., seminar meetings, and full days on days I didn't. I still have ~20 hours of leave left!

Yesterday I had a full day off, and I used it to complete a scroll I'd started last month. At Crown Tourney, we received so many verbal recommendations for Dunstan von Wilster that we decided that afternoon to make him a member of the Panache, and so of course there was no scroll ready. I've been bound and determined to make sure there is no backlog from our reign by the time we step down, so I decided that any last minute award like this it would be my responsibility to ensure the scroll was completed. About a week after the event I did all the prep work -- composed the text, picked an initial, drew out the layout and lined it -- and then managed to get the calligraphy done right away. The illumination I'd picked was something relatively simple, but flashy, but it took me awhile to get time and right motivation to leap into it, in part because Ælfwynn's scroll back in June is the last illumination I've done, making this the second piece I've painted in about a year.


I definitely felt rusty doing the whitework, and it shows, given the unevenness of the lines, and my inability to copy my exemplar nicely. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find this morning that separated from my exemplar, I was actually quite happy with it -- it isn't often that my estimation of a scroll improves with time. So, by no means by best work, but I'm definitely happy with it for a first piece after such a long time away. (Except for the smeared calligraphy. Not happy about that. :( Oh, and for some reason, even though I measured and scaled the initial carefully, when I drew it out, it ended up fully filling the rectangle rather than spilling over into the margin as the one in my exemplar did. Not sure what happened there.)

Raglan T-5

Aug. 10th, 2012 08:19 pm
aryanhwy: (Default)
That number is getting awfully low...

I painted a panache, and hence scroll #1 is done; I still haven't decided about whether to do the two sets of arms on scroll #2. For scroll #3, I ruled all the lines, and then lost all steam coming up with a good text opener starting with "N", the initial I have to work with. So I punted to Dragonscribes on FB, and have enjoyed the suggestions coming in. But by the time they started showing up, I'd already lost motivation and switched to sewing. The bottom hem of the shirt is pinned, and about 1/4 sewn.

But I am quite pleased that I can finally show off this, done at the end of last month:


I'm not sure if the actual physical writ arrived to Niamh in time for her to deliver it to [ profile] liadethornegge, but I made sure that she at least had the text, so whether it was a spoken writ or the actual writ, I know it was served to her this evening, and I am looking forward to Kingdom University! (And, [ profile] liadethornegge, if the writ hadn't arrived in time for Niamh to deliver it, it'll hopefully be waiting in her mailbox when she gets home and I hope she can then get it to you!)

To paraphrase Mel Brooks, it's good to be the queen.

Raglan T-8

Aug. 7th, 2012 08:36 pm
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Short update, since I've just come off of about 2.25 hours of non-stop calligraphy. (At the rate of about 250 words per, about 4.16 per minute, nearly 30 times slower than my typing speed...)

Thanks to a tip from [ profile] nusbacher, I copied cadels from this source, and for the first time that I've attempted cadels, I'm happy with the result. I can't show off the whole thing, without giving away the surprise, but I can give a snippet:


I'm debating whether to paint to coats of arms below the text; if I do, then this is not quite finished, if I don't, then all I have to do is measure the bottom margin and trim the perg to the right size.

No sewing today.
aryanhwy: (widget)
I was shocked to recently look at my scribal page and realize that the last illumination I'd done was nearly a year ago, two combat scrolls done at Raglan (here and here). After about mid-July last year, sitting hunched over a table because just too uncomfortable, and then there was the lack of time, lack of sleep, lack of motivation which meant I was just calligraphing on already made blanks (I still can't believe that all three lacks didn't contribute to more errors than they did!).

But almost as soon as the final blow was struck during Crown Tourney, I knew I needed to change that, because there was a recipient and a scroll that I had to do.

Kingdom law concerning the Panache says that membership in this order is given to those "who have distinguished themselves by long and consistent excellence in the Arts and who have also constantly made their expertise available to the various members of the Kingdom." Ælfwynn pretty much single handedly got the Isengau scriptorium up and running, the scribes of which have produced many beautiful scrolls during my tenure as signet, often last-minute requests that I knew I could count on her to fulfil. I have been waiting for her to be at an event where royalty was at so that I could recommend her for membership in the Order of the Panache for more than two years! Eleanora attended Isengau's local event while Princess, but the group desired to keep things informal so I couldn't suggest a regency court. Then there was Garden of Earthly Delights at which point I was simply not enough on the ball to write my recommendation in time (and also I knew I was in no position to do the scroll if my recommendation was acted on, which would've disappointed me greatly). So when she said that she was attending Collegium of Defense, I knew what I was doing the weekend after coronation!

Since it had been so long since I'd done any painting, I wanted to pick something simple and yet still flashy. I wrote up a text (which I ended up having to cut down while calligraphing, even though I picked a small hand and a large piece of perg, I still didn't have enough space, which was disappointing), and then decided on this 'T' for the initial: Codex 163, f.185v (I can't figure out how to download a version of the image that has all of the T, and PrtScr isn't working for some reason; if I get an image of it later I'll update the post, for now you can just follow the link). I thought it looked fairly simple, and the calligraphy was close enough to my default Carolingian hand that I was going to give it a try copying it.


Unfortunately, this ended up being one of those scrolls where I'm unhappy with almost every aspect of it; the opacity of the green, the detail of the red, the shape of my curves, the calligraphy itself, the line spacing, the fact that I had to modify the text...pretty much the only things that turned out where the initial painted letters, which style I've tried many times now with disappointing results, and finally I like the way these look. And of course, there is one other fact that redeems the entire scroll: I got to sign my name to it and give it to a dear and deserving friend whose membership in this Order is now assured for all ages. It doesn't get much cooler than that.

Also, many, many people have told me they think it looks good, so I guess it passes the arm's length test, especially when it's not next to the exemplar, so I'm willing to accept it's not as bad as I feel it is and be happy with it.

Oh, and the text reads:
To alle true and honourable People thiese present Letters heryng or redying We, Aryanhwy, Queen of Drachenwald and Patroness of the Arts, and Paul, our King, due recomendation and greetings. For as moch as we the said King and Quene hauing of full Authority to all thyngs concernyng our office and station consideryng the noble estate of our loyalle and wellbeloved subject lady Ælfwynn Leoflæde dohtor who hath not only long pursued the craft of the scrivener but further hath long fostered this craft amongst others to the glory of owr kyngdome and is worthy that henceforward perpetually she be in all places admitted renomed accompted numbered and receyued amongst the company of the Order of the Panache and for this seing all thiese thinges also nobly done we hereby ordaine and assign to the same Ælfwynn the right to bear the blazon of the said order in the following manner: To wit issuant to chief from a torteau charged with a bezaunt peirced sable three feathers gules, Or, and sable, to haue and to hold for herself for euer. Therefore in witness of this We the Queen and King above named have drawen up this present charter signed by the queenes hand below and given in Turmstadt the twenty-third day of June the year of the society fourty-seven.

(In the Midrealm, it is not uncommon for scrolls for the A&S awards to have the queen's name first, as the patroness of A&S. I liked that idea and decided to adopt it for this text, especially since I was going to be giving it out alone.)
aryanhwy: (Default)
I did two Panaches for Pennsic, one of which I was really, really pleased with. Since I just received the court report for it, I can now post it here:


From start to finish it took me about three hours -- not much work for such an impressive output. This was my second time using oak gall ink, and I'm finding I like it very much.

The initial is taken from BL MS Egerton 286 f. 2:

BL MS Egerton 286, fol. 2

I just love purple penwork.
aryanhwy: (Default)
The official policy is that when a backlog scroll is assigned, it should be completed within 6 months. The actual policy is more like "if I haven't heard back from you with a status report after 9mo. - 1 year, I'll email to see if you want it reassign", and if I get back info that the scroll is in active progress, I won't reassign. There's two reasons for this -- one, a scroll that is actually in process is that much closer to being completed than one that is not started at all, and two, I don't really have enough scribes to be passing around assignments like that; if I have a scribe free for a backlog, there's probably some unassigned one available.

But still, I do try to keep up on things and get updates regularly so that if the recipient emails me I can give them some info, and I also try to complete the backlogs that I've assigned to myself in a relatively prompt fashion. Most of the time this works, because I take on ones that I either have a blank on hand for that I can use, or because it's for someone I know and I'm excited and motivated to do it. But even when that's the case, sometimes things go off the rails. There's a backlog panache that I started awhile back and got so very close to finishing; essentially, I had 8 flowers, 3 buds, and a handful of gold dots to do. And yet...I only completed it today. The last time I worked on this scroll was a year ago May. Ugh. It took me less than an hour to complete; this could have been done months ago. But sometimes, motivations, desire, and simple ability to look at my exemplar and see how to finish up the remaining bits don't all line up.

Anyway, it's finished, and so I no longer have that hanging over my head. This current reign has not been giving out awards anywhere near as prolifically as the last two, so I'm hoping that we can spend this period working on the backlog. I'm down to 115 on the backlog (it was over 175 a year and a half ago, so I'm very happy with this), and all upcoming awards have been assigned. Not too bad. Maybe next weekend I can try to finish up another one...maybe one a weekend every weekend I'm free? Wouldn't that be nice.
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Yesterday afternoon I hosted a scriptorium, attended by [ profile] racaire1, Livia, and Evelien. (Joel went out to the military history musuem, and Jesse, who'd been planning to come, ended up having a meeting instead so he missed most of it). It was very successful! People were over for about 6 hours total, we had two tables set up, and we completed 8 scrolls, 5 from scratch, 4 of which are for coronation this weekend. Whoo! I'm very pleased that I'll have a big package to mail to Eleanora tomorrow (today is a holiday so the post office is, I'm assuming, closed).

Saturday Joel, Jesse, and I went to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, which is immense and I don't think we could've gotten through it all even if we'd arrived right when they opened and stayed all day. As it was, we made it through the Greek and Roman section, and then we got split up and Joel and I went through the special exhibit on German portraiture in the 16th C (Dürer, Holbein, & Cranach), though we discovered afterwards that we missed a room, and then went to the Munzkabinetten upstairs (one of the three was closed for the preparation of a new exhibit), and spent about an hour looking at coins, and also at this fascinating collection of over 1000 miniature portraits of popes, saints, church figures, and a who's who of 16th C European and Asian nobility. I'd love to go back and spend all day just looking at the portraits.

We were there until closing and then Joel and I waited out front of the museum for Jesse but he never showed up, so just the two of us went to have supper at the fladenbrot place I had lunch at on Monday with [ profile] racaire1. The place also does their own beer, and Joel said it was really good. Afterwards we were still a bit hungry and we kept seeing people with icecream cones, and so we walked a bit and found where they were coming from. I got currant icecream and he poppyseed, and both were great.
aryanhwy: (Default)
Got confirmation from [ profile] merlyn_gabriel that all my DW scrolls were given out, so I can finally post them here.

The first was a sigillum regis for Whilja af Gothia:

WhiljaCodex Claustreoneoburgensis 389

The scroll was completed over two weekends; on the first day, I picked out design and wrote the text. On the second, I sketched the layout, painted the blue of initial, and calligraphed first sentence. On the third, I painted the green, finished calligraphy, did all rubrication outside main initial, and half of main initial rubrication; the final day I finished. The exemplar is Codex Claustroneoburgensis 389, fol. 99v (with extra inspiration from fol. 25v), a 15th C German MS.

The text reads:
We, Vitus, by right of arms King of Drachenwald, Sovereign of Nordmark and Insula Draconis, Lord of the far Reaches of Africa, Knight of the Order of the Chivalry, to our trusty and well-* servant Viscountess Whilja af Gothia, Companion of the Orders of the Panache and the Lindquistringes, fond greetings.


Know that for the love we bear you and in gratitude for all that you have rendered unto us and ours we are minded to favor you above others of the land by granting unto you the right to bear a black dragon's head ensigned with our sigil, so that all may know the high esteem and respect that we hold for you.

In witness of this act we have caused these present letters to be drawn up, which we have signed below with our own hand on the ____ day of ____, a.s. xlvi.

Yeah, big skipped-word error in there. Had to put it in as a footnote.

The second, the one that tickled me so much in design and composition, was [ profile] camele0pard's panache.


I recommended Elsa for the award with a design already in mind. I knew that I'd seen some great examples of giraffes in some medieval bestiaries, and wanted to do an image of one with some text that made it sound like the record of a naturalistic expedition. I found the giraffes the first day, and drew the layout on the second day. The text was composed on the third day, and then in May I started the actual work: first day the gold squares were painted and the text calligraphed; I sketched the design and painted all the base colors. Second day was black and white. Third day was some details on the grass, trees, and beastie; I'm not terribly happy with them and so stopped there before I made it worse.

The giraffe is based on the giraffes in two copies of Jacob van Maerlant's De natura bloemen in the Royal Library in the Hague, KB, 76 E 4, fol. 13rb1, and KB, KA 16, fol. 50vb. The digitized version of the MSs gives the images in about 1cm x 2cm blocks, so it was hard to see closely how the details were done. (Of course, I could've just gone to the library and looked at the MS in person, but I never managed to find the time.)

The text reads:
Cameleopard: Native to Juneborg in Nordmark, a lady of fine repute and noble rank. Noted for its skill and teaching in the scribal arts, and for this reason, recognized as a companion of the Order of the Panache by Vitus and Eleanora, king and queen of Drachenwald, during their Double Wars expedition, a.s. xlvi

Even with the slight unhappiness about the final details, I'm still very happy with this.

The third is the one that I am still SO PLEASED with, a GoA for [ profile] bend_gules. This one was a bit tricky, since she actually already has a GoA, which came with entrance into an Ealdormerean order. So I decided to this one as a confirmation of grant, rather than as a new one.

I'm going to ask Genevieve if she can bring it along to Coronation so that I can enter it into the kingdom A&S competition.

GenevieveBL MS

This is based on BL Arundel 68, f. 41. I picked out the design and drew the layout on the first day; composed the text, based primarily on the grant of arms to John Aleyn (1454), with a few phrases liberally stolen from the grant to John Alfrey, drew the O and side border, calligraphed incipit, painted all background pink, blue, and carmine, and gold; and on the final day finished the calligraphy (took about 2.5 hours), and the rest of the painting. (I got to do diapering on the shield! Yay!)

The text reads:
By Vitus and Eleanora the kyng and quene of Drachenwald to alle owre princes, dukes, barons, lords and nobles these present lettres seing or hering humble recomendacion.

Omnes boni remunerabuntur. It is soo that many persones been moeved of noble courage and gentile worth to exercise virtuous marks and condiciones by the which they shal come to the perfeccion of grete honour. Of which persones oone in especial whos name is Genevieve la flechiere of the shire of Thamesreach who has long borne herself valiantly and conducted herself honourably so that she is well worthy Where upon we the said sovorains of Drachenwald have made due serche and founde the right armes of the seid Genevieve as our dear cousins Sarnac and Jolicia, erstwhile souerayns of the raume of Ealdormere, haue assigned to her by grant, that is to say argent crusilly sable a bend gules, as depicted more pleynly above. The grant of which armes we conferme to the said Genevieve and witnesse here that no persone ought for to bere hem but her. In witnesse whereof to thise letres we have sette oure signes manuell the ____ day of ____, a.s. xlvi

The Latin phrase is translated: "All good men shall be rewarded".
aryanhwy: (Default)
I just completed what I think is my best scroll ever. I am SO HAPPY with it. My interpretation of the original (for those of you keeping score, I went with BL MS Arundel 68, f. 41) turned out great, I got to diaper a coat of arms for the first time, there's no spelling errors, and in fact the worst mistake was that a tiny bit of gold paint smeared before it dried, but if I didn't tell you where, you probably wouldn't find it. And now I have to wait until Double Wars is over before I can post pictures of it.

This weekend and last have been very productive, scribal-wise; I did the three scrolls I had assigned for DW, and also the calligraphy for a backlog (using a blank that Lady Agatha had done, so the result is gorgeous). One of the other DW scrolls has me absolutely tickled; I'm so happy with the "theme" of the scroll that I'm resigned to the execution of it, especially given that I was attempting realism beyond my comfort level, so with that taken into account, the execution isn't actually all that bad (I just know that people with more skill than I could've done it better). I'm also looking forward to being able to post that one here.

I've written here before about my usual lack-a-daisical approach to my scribal set-up -- sitting on the edge of the bed with a cutting board balanced on my knees, or at the table with a cat on my lap and a cup of tea to hand. This weekend I added two more things to my repertoire, things that I know would make some scribes recoil in horror. Usually while scribing I listen to music (which is not so good when I'm doing calligraphy, though only once have I actually started writing the lyrics to the song I was listening to instead of the text I was supposed to be using...) or watch bad movies. This weekend I found a different way to occupy myself, reading a blog online. It wasn't until half-way through yesterday afternoon that I realized how distinctly odd it is to be reading and painting at the same time. But it works quite well. Then tonight after supper, I was still hungry, so I dished up a bowl of snacky food to put next to my tea. Yeah, handling food with the same bare hands that hold my paintbrush. And yet, with the exception of the typo (would that be a "write-o"?) mentioned above, all of my taunting does not seem to have raised Titivillus's ire; I've never spilled tea or ink on a scroll, I've never had something ruined by Slinky bumping my hand or my elbow, I've never dropped a loaded paintbrush when I'm holding it in my mouth (I have dropped them from my hands, and have always miraculous managed to catch them without getting any paint anywhere), I haven't smeared salty greasy goodness over a scroll, and, as yet, I haven't thrown out my back with my horrible posture. *knock wood*.

EDITED: Fixed the link to the Arundel MS, thanks [ profile] bend_gules for the heads up.
aryanhwy: (Default)
Through the second half of March and all of April, I didn't really do any scribal stuff (filling in the names and dates on a few blanks doesn't count). First I was so darned tired, and then I was busy what with my mom visiting and all. A few days ago though I finally pulled things out, because Double Wars is getting close and I've committed myself to three assignments. I started one on the 1st, and finished it up this morning; Joel's comment on it was that my calligraphy is really getting good, and I'm willing to trust his judgment, because I, again, attempted a gothic hand, and still think it turned out poorly. But, what counts, the overall effect looks good, and it has a really flashy illuminated W based on this.

The other I'm working on tickles me. It's very personalized, both in the design and the text, and it's allowed me to do something a little bit out of the ordinary. Can't say anything more than that without giving away the secret, but I've had it planned out since early Feb. and it's making me very happy to be able to finally be working on it. Did part of the border and all of the calligraphy today, now I just need to screw up my courage and start sketching the main illumination. My exemplar are two tiny thumbnails which I've enlarged so that they're all pixellated, and still not nearly as big as the space I'm going to fill, so no tracing available here, it's going to have to be all freehand. Trepidation, here we come!

The third assignment I have I haven't even settled on an exemplar yet. I'm really partial to this V, but I don't think it quite fits the type of award it's for. Anyone got any favorite designs which are (a) relatively simple, (b) maybe have some floral borders, and (c) have a space for a coat of arms that they can share?
aryanhwy: (Default)
Well, [ profile] nusbacher is pleased with it, so whom am I to complain otherwise? This is the scroll I did on Saturday:

Queen's Order of Courtesy for Lyonet de Covenham
Lyonet BL Harley MS 2253 f. 131

The exemplar is BL MS Harley 2253, fol. 131, a late 13th/early 14th C manuscript. I still find this type of secretary hand perplexing.

This manuscript contains a number of secular and religious lyrics, and I adapted the lyrics from one, the song of "Annot and John", appearing at fol. 63 of the MS. The text reads:

Þese are the wordes of Caoimhe drachenwaldish quene
Ase saphyr in seluer semly on syht,
Ase iaspe þe gentil þat lemeþ wiþ the lyht,
Ase gernet in golde ant ruby wel rhyt
Ase onycle she ys on yholden on hyht,
Ase diamaund þe dere in day when she is dyht;
Ase all þese ys þe ladie lyonet of covenham,
pearle of grace and goodenesse and þus we
Caoimhe make her a member of oure Order of
Courteisie, on augst seventh, a.s. xlv, at raglan.

Lines two through six are copied from the song.
aryanhwy: (Default)
I submitted a Panache scroll from Ulfr & Caoimhe's final court to the A&S competition at 12th Night Coronation:


The recipient was being recognized for his skill in music, so I went with a music-score theme. Here's my documentation:

Documentation for scroll based on 13th C music manuscript
by Lady Aryanhwy merch Catmael

The scroll is modeled after two pages from Cod. S 384 (Universitätsbibliothek Bonn), f. 14r and f. 13v. This is a Latin manuscript dating to the 13th C. It is a gradual (a hymn in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist), by Johannes von Valkenburg. My access to these two pages was via the Vivarium website, specifically,20446 and,20447. The two pages are reproduced above. [[Ed.: In the actual documentation. Here I just put the hyperlinks.]] These are the full sized images from the website. Because I could not zoom in to see sufficient detail, I thus had to extrapolate the penwork details.

The scroll was done on 230g pergamenata; I used yellow rather than white because that was all that I had available. The score, the initials, and the left-hand border were painted using talens gouache vermillion and ultramarine light, and a 310-000 red sable paint brush. The calligraphy was done with a dip pen with a 3 1/2 metal nib (for the calligraphy) and C4 metal nib (for the musical notes), and Winsor & Newton calligraphy ink. The entire piece took two days; on the first day I drew out the margins, border, and score; calligraphed the text; painted and decorated the initials; and painted the score. The second day I added the musical notes and did the side border.

The calligraphy is my best attempt at copying the Gothic hand in the manuscript.

As can be seen, many of the capitals in my text do not appear in either of these pages (nor elsewhere in the MS), and thus I had to extrapolate. I focused on having straight, perpendicular lines on the insides of curves, and narrow centers of rounded letters (e.g., P, O, D). There was no way of telling what type of penwork filler was used in the original MS, given the lack of ability to zoom in, so I decided to fill large central areas with curliques, small central areas with dots, and then outline the entire initial in a solid line decorated with invections, with squiggles to fill in the spaces to the corners, so that each initial was roughly rectangular when finished.

The music is copied directly from f. 14v, with the exception that the music above "er of the Panache..." is taken from f. 13r. This is because when copying the music from f. 14v, I accidentally skipped over that line, and thus had to fill it in after the fact. I do not read music, medievally or modernly, so I have no idea if it makes any sense, but I wanted to stay as close to the original as possible rather than try to extrapolate, even though the result may look somewhat unbalanced to the modern eye.

Because of the available space, I was not able to write a period-style text, since these are generally extremely long and verbose. Instead, I stuck with something as simple as possible and with a large number of varied capitals to add extra interest to the design. Euterpe, the muse of music, was known to the medievals; she is mentioned in John Lydgate's Exposition of the Pater Noster (Cambridge, Jesus College 56 (Q.G.8); London, British Library, Harley 2255; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 683), dated to the 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th C.
aryanhwy: (Default)
This was a Lindquistringes for a friend, given out last weekend:

Lindquistringes for Kathryne Elizabeth Gordon

Kathryne BL Harley 2793 f.33

The design is based on British Library MS Harley 2793 f.33, from the first half of the 9th century. This was my first attempt at doing a zoomorphic initial. I didn't quite capture the look of despair on the fish's face, or the bored look on the duck, but I'm still pretty happy with how it turned out.

The text reads:
By these words let the will of Ulfr and Caoimhe, king and queen of Drachenwald be known. We have not only heard many testiments of the deeds of our subject Kathryne Elizabeth Gordon but also seen them with our own eyes. We wish to reward this service by making the said Kathryne a member of our Orden des Lindquistringes in witness of all she has rendered to us. This we do on the 4th day of December, a.s. xlv, at Yule Ball in our shire of Flintheath.
aryanhwy: (Default)
The whole point of coming to Copenhagen was to work with colleagues in the SAXO Institut (for Greek and Latin) learning how to do palaeography. I'm working on an MS from the mid 13th C, an anonymous text on sophismata, and I'm transcribing the one on Tantum verum opponitur falso. My training has essentially been to work through the manuscript during the day, making my stumbling transcription, and then meeting for an hour with someone who has been doing this longer than I've been alive to go through it all to correct all my errors and fill in my holes. Last week things went pretty slowly, as I started learning the idiosyncracies of the text I'm working with, and as I spent more time than planned going to and from, and sitting at, the police station. But, I've now done about three columns, which equals about four A4 LaTeX document class "article" pages.

I'm having a blast with the sleuthing aspect of paleography, but what has independently fascinated me is the information-conveyance aspect of it. The text is heavily abbreviated -- to the point where when I find a word that is written out in full, it often causes me to stumble, because I just don't expect it, especially if it's a short word (for example, I recently found hoc spelled out. I second-guessed myself on it because surely he wouldn't write that out, he'd abbreviate it!) -- which means that a lot of information can be compressed into a small amount of space. However, on the flip side, there's a lot of redundancies: Often the same sentiment is expressed two or three times over, in just minor variants of grammatical structure. You might wonder "what's the point in abbreviating everything and then saying it three times over", instead of just writing it out in full once -- it would probably take about the same amount of space, and hence about the same amount of effort to write -- but there's actually a good reason for repeating things in triplicate, and that is that it makes the text really quite robustly error-proof. If a scribe makes a mistake in copying, whether it's something minor like forgetting a word, or something more major like skipping over a line, if you've got the same information presented in two or three different ways, it's likely that one or more of the other presentations will still be correct, and so the reader can mentally amend the text and correct the scribe's mistake (and in fact this is often what an editor of a text will do). So what you've got is a system of information presentation which is extremely compressed, so you can fit a lot of information in a small amount of space, and yet is relatively error-proof, so that as it is copied, the content of the text is quite stable.

I find this fascinating.


aryanhwy: (Default)

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