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!

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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:

Collage 2017-09-02 17_13_15

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?

IMG_20170902_180019631

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.

Squirrel!

What to do, what to do? I want to draw; I want to practice calligraphy/illumination; I want to sew; I want to embroider; I want to write … Making up my mind should be a simple enough thing, but this morning it’s just not happening.

I woke up early with a rumbling stomach. Guess I didn’t have enough for dinner. I ate a snack and drank some hot chocolate to try to calm my restless mind, but the longer I was up, the more I wanted to get done…and the less I actually accomplished. I started one sewing project by cutting the pattern pieces, then decided I should put that aside for another sewing project. Then I decided I wanted to try drawing some illumination designs. Then I decided I didn’t want to do either of those. Then I tooled around the Internet for a while. Got hungry again. Made more food. Printed out some designs to try to embroider (those are still on the printer, because I then decided I wanted to write).

Guess my Creative Attention Deficit Disorder has kicked in again. As soon as I set my mind to one task I’m flying off to another, and it’s terribly nonproductive. I’ve gotten my hands dipped into too many creative ventures/projects, and now I’m in creative overload.

Maybe I’ll skip creativity for more practical activities. I have a couple of articles to write–maybe by the time I get those done I’ll be better able to decide what the heck I want to do.

A Friend in Need

Sometimes it takes a friend in crisis (no matter how minor) to make you realize you have more talent that you thought.

calligraphy magic

I have a friend who needed some calligraphy and art for several scrolls. She was on a major deadline, and since I have some semblance of artistic talent (and since I was allowed to trace on the calligraphy) I offered to help. A couple of hours later, I had completed my first two scrolls. Granted, I’ve never really used a fountain pen much, and I’d never done calligraphy, but overall I think the people receiving the scrolls will like them. No, it’s not going to look like the gif above, but they look…decent. Acceptable.

I also did some art–very small, simple art–for each of the scrolls. Imagine a hand-drawn, watercolor version of clip art. Yeah, that.

It was kind of cool to do. I had been avoiding it because I am always afraid that my art won’t be “good enough,” but since my friend needed help I was there. Turns out, it’s not that bad. It’ll take some getting used to for the fountain pen and I’ll definitely need more practice, but it’s something I might consider getting into in the future…as needed. Lol

In other news, it’s two days until my birthday! (A day and a half technically, since I was born in a German time zone.) I’m looking forward to this year’s birthday. I’m hoping to get my own sword for rapier fighting, but beyond that I have no clue what people have planned for me. Guess I won’t have to worry about faking my surprised face 😉

Counting down

It’s getting closer–another birthday, another step closer to 40. I wasn’t worried about 30 until a month before I turned 29, and so far 40 is not causing undue stress, but it makes me wonder about my life and where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.

As far as major life events, my 30s brought me a husband and the ability to call myself a published author. Granted, I self published, but it was published nonetheless. Before I’m 40 I’ll be a homeowner, and I’ll be inducted into a HEMA rapier/swordfighting group. I’ve gone to pop culture conventions and cosplayed, and I’ve learned how to sew. I’ve gotten a great job that keeps me engaged and is almost never boring. Life’s pretty good.

So what will 40 bring? We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but here are a few of my hopes for it:

  • Become traditionally published
  • Learn enough swordfighting techniques to be able to teach as well as train
  • Become adept enough at sewing to be able to make more things and sell the things I make (while making some semblance of a profit)
  • Lean some elements of clothing design to where I can devise my own patterns from measurements that I take

That’s not all, but I think those are reasonable goals. Not quite bucket-list-worthy (except for the publication) but still things to shoot for and work on. I’d have to sit and think about what I’d want on my bucket list. What activities or life events do I want to tick off before I clock out? Maybe I’ll do that one day soon…