Pot calling the kettle argent

So after finishing my first Arts & Sciences project (or at least the physical part–not the documentation yet), my husband decided he wanted a similar thing for himself, which means more embroidery. I’m cool with that and all, but I have to find a design for what he wants…and there aren’t too many period-esque cooking pot drawings.

My hubby is definitely the cook in the family. I can manage mac and cheese, ramen, and some salads/sandwiches. That’s the majority of my cooking “skill.” And I’m talking box mac and cheese, not scratch. So for his SCA device, he chose a couple fleshpots (an oldschool type of cooking pot) as part of it, and since I used part of my device (a swan) on my piece, he wants a cooking pot on his. I can do it, but we were hoping to find a Viking-type or knotwork design, and Google is not providing any such thing. So together we’re working on a compromise in the form of a period-style circle around whatever design of pot I choose. Or he chooses. I don’t know; as far as I know he hasn’t found what he wants yet.

I was going to start the embroidery this weekend, but unfortunately we didn’t have the pot design picked out before we left for our weekend trip. I could freehand something, but I want this to be neater and more precise than what I can sketch. I might have to wing it, though, if I want to start today. I might just read instead. I have a book that I’m reading for my research paper portion of my A&S entries, and I plan on bringing that to the SCA thing today as well. Give myself options. Or something.

Well, almost time to go. Gotta get my stuff together and get cracking. Embroidery or research…what will it be?

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A sword deferred

I had so been looking forward to getting my next tattoo yesterday…unfortunately, the artist I scheduled with had a change in plans, so I have to wait until next Friday. 😦

I’m still getting the tattoo, but the wait is a bit annoying. What tattoo am I getting? Why, I’m glad you asked. Let me show you my Photoshop masterpiece:

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You have no idea how difficult it was to get the sword and wings straight and even when the images I used were at angles that just would’t have worked. I spliced two different images, a geometric sword tattoo I found on Pinterest and a a geometric bird I found on Google.

Yay for Photoshop! Sword is no longer nearly as crooked, and the bird wings are nice and even.

Now, if the final image looks familiar, there’s a reason: in a few lazy Google searches, I found several winged images that said they were traditionally symbols of Valkyries. Here’s an example:

b608b0a5d71c9a6f8624d06452fddc0e--bat-tattoos-wing-tattoos Some of the images I found had a sword in place of the downward lines. Those weren’t necessarily actually related to Valkyries, but since I swordfight in the SCA and since my SCA persona is a Viking, well….yeah. A sword. With wings. The geometry isn’t too SCA-period-y, but I liked the style.

Next Friday. Perma-sword time. 🙂

The great debate

I want to branch out, but am I diving in too deep?

Let me explain:

There’s this thing in the medieval reenactment group that’s called “Arts and Sciences,” which is basically focusing on medieval and Renaissance period art and, well, science. As science-y as they got back then, anyway. There are also annual competitions on a baronial and kingdom level. I was considering entering my latest embroidery project as an arts project in the next competition (which is in July). The problem? I found out today that I have to enter in three different categories in order to compete.

Okay, there’s the embroidery, sure, but what else can I do? Garb? Yeah, I can probably make some garment(s) for a secondary entry, but the third thing? Maybe … illumination? I could try that, but my drawing/painting style isn’t really up to even medieval par yet. I can make pretty scrolls, but it’s nothing that could be considered a medieval style. And as far as calligraphy goes, I can trace the letters fine and mimic the strokes, but I’m not actually doing true calligraphy … yet. Can I get there by July? Eh, maybe. Maybe.

Decisions, decisions. I really want to enter. Like, really. I haven’t entered an art competition, seriously entered something, since I was a kid … and that was, like, when they kind of made the whole class enter. I just never had the confidence. Now I want to, though. I want to make myself break out of that comfort zone. It’s just–what will my third thing be?

I have a few months, but the clock is ticking. I know there’s some kind of deadline for entry, and there are research papers involved, not to mention the second and third projects to make.

As if I needed more on my plate lately. *Sigh*

EDIT: I have been told that the three-entry thing is for Champion, not just for regular entry. I have the option of entering one or two pieces as a novice, so that takes a little stress off…but now I want to try just to see if I can. Plus, I learned that there are other categories that I didn’t even know existed, like poetry/prose, drawing, painting (not illumination), and leatherwork. So I have options, and ones that I’m more comfortable with. So “the great debate” is still on, but it’s a slightly different debate now…

War paint

More war prep was done today, and I’m starting to get pretty excited about it.

First off, my husband and I taped and painted our dancing masks with Viking runes for warrior. That was a fun and interesting adventure (in which we learned that one of the smallest pieces of the airbrush is one of the most crucial in dispensing the paint), and it got me a little more revved up for the event. I did some fabric painting as well, adding symbols to represent both Kingdom and Barony on two of our tunics:

Are they perfect? No, but what is? I still think they look pretty snazzy considering the time constraints I’ve had (and the fact that I mostly eyeballed almost every measurement on these).

I feel much better about the war now that things are falling into place. We’re getting to the point where we can start packing early, which is leaps and bounds better than we usually do. I mean, most trips we take I end up packing for the morning of. We’re not leaving for another three days and I already plan on stuffing my bag as soon as we get home from visiting with friends.
I am still a little nervous, but that’s the socially-awkward introvert in me. There will be lots and lots of people there, 90+% of whom I won’t know. It’ll be a challenge for sure, but at least for now I have the prep work and my real job to distract me from that.

All that’s left is to get my creaky old joints to man up and quit whining. The past few days have had me in varying degrees of pain, which is not going to be conducive to a fun fake war experience. I’m hoping that the kinks work themselves out soon because I want to be able to take the field in top form (for me, that is).
Three days until we’re officially on the road to California!

To draw or not to draw

So for my first official totally-done-by-me scroll, I wanted to use my own design for the border. My own design kinda sucks compared to some scrolls that I’ve seen (okay, compared to most of the scrolls I’ve seen), so before I make it permanent with painting, I have to decide if I want to stick with “original” or go more “classic/medieval” in the design.

The first two scrolls I made (which were mostly done by me, with the Baronial device painted in by someone else) were quite simple and had no borders. The layout wasn’t quite designed for borders, so I suppose that part is okay, but I’d prefer to make it great, not “okay.” I want someone to be excited to get their scroll. I want them to want to display it, especially since this award is usually one of the first that people in our Barony receive.

So I have a dilemma. Do I stick with my original art, which is passable but not “period,” or do I find a suitable border online and print/trace (with maybe some alterations to the design)? I’m waffling.

Hopefully, with time, I’ll become “good enough” that I won’t have to worry about this. I will be able to mimic medieval style without having to research medieval designs. That would be cool. I’m pretty sure I can eventually do it–after all, I taught myself figure drawing by copying and altering comic book drawings.

Tomorrow night is our scribal night. There are going to be a bunch of us getting together, practicing and being assigned different scrolls to work on. Despite my insecurity on my own art, it should be fun.

Heralding in change

As I delve deeper into my “medieval” life, I have the urge to design some kind of heraldic crest for myself. Why? Partly because I’d like to play around with design, partly because I just want a cool symbol for me.

My persona is named after a valkyrie that is associated with swans, which may not sound very imposing, but swans can kick ass when they want to. So I searched The Google for Viking-esque images of swans. I found a cool one that I’d like to use, but I thought I would still *try* to come up with something on my own. I’m terrible at actual Viking/Celtic knotwork without copying, but I can make stylized stuff that’s somewhat decent. So these are what I’ve come up with so far:

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The top one is the copy design, with a sword behind it (because rapiers). The bottom one is my own design. I like my own design, but it’s not really a “Viking” style, and it doesn’t lend well to adding a sword or other item to it. I mean, I kind of can, but I’m not sure on it…Kinda dig it, kinda don’t. Still sketching on that one. What do you think?

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It looks better now that I’ve gotten the swords on there, I guess. So the next question is, do I want to even go for a heraldic crest at this point? I’ve only been playing about five or six months…is it too early for a crest? My “persona” might not be fully formed yet. I dig the idea of the swan because it’s both graceful and a bit aggressive. Though I’m not the most graceful person, I can, in rapier at least, be more than a bit aggressive. But is that who I want to “be”? I don’t know, but I think I might’ve kinda maybe sorta talked myself into it with this post.

What does everyone think? The not-quite-Viking-esque swan with swords or the copycatted-Google-image with a sword? I am digging the not-quite-Viking one more and more as I look at it, but I’m asking what you think….

As I ponder, bright and cheery

Yeah, despite the hour (it’s 4:15 in the morning where I’m at right now), I’m actually in a pretty good mood. I woke up during the night but went back to such a peaceful sleep that I almost feel like I don’t need the coffee I made. (I know better–the rush of a decent night’s sleep will fade once I get to work).

It helps that recent events have given me a boost to the ego. I did well in rapier tournaments at the last two events I went to–well for my experience level, at least–and I even got selected to fight in the finals of last weekend’s tournament despite being eliminated. It was a shock to hear my name called as one of the finalists, but it still felt damn good. No, I didn’t win–but considering I was up against fighters with years of experience compared to my five months and considering I was using a sword length that I’d never used before, I think it’s an accomplishment worth noting.

I’m also enjoying revisions on Book 1 of my series. I should have feedback on the last revision (yeah, I couldn’t resist–I revised before getting my feedback) soon, and it’s exciting to think I’m nearing the next round of edits before I move on to–you guessed it–more revisions. I want this as polished as possible before I work up that last bit of nerve necessary to brave the world of manuscript submission. (I’ll take a rapier fighter with twenty years of experience on me over a query letter any day of the week.)

My industrial piercing is angry at me but otherwise healing well. I often forget it’s there, and I’m super excited to get my sword barbell put in at the end of next month. Because c’mon, swords kick ass…quite literally, in the right hands.

I’ll also be doing more artwork in the coming weeks and months, which will be a boost to the spirits as well. I’d felt like I was in a rut artistically and almost kind of gave up on accomplishing anything worth looking at. I can’t show off the things I make here, but I know the recipients will love them and that’s what really matters.

So there you have it: a good morning. A rarity for sure, but welcome nonetheless.