Posts Tagged ‘aethelmearc’

Summer Aecademy

Summer Aecademy was spectacular. It really was. It was all the nerdy bits of the SCA brought together in one place. I only went to one class – Fredeburg’s woodblock printing class, in which I carved and printed with a wood block. I went to Saskia’s keynote, too, and bounced with glee as bits of the background of my dissertation wound their way into her presentation on women artists and the education of women in the Netherlands. Other than that, I sat and chatted at the Ask a Laurel table, I sat and chatted at other tables, I put together most of an undershirt for Matatias. The “hearty all day sideboard” was indeed hearty and all day, with an impressive variety of foods that changed throughout the day.

So good work Odrianna, Elss, and all of the teachers!



Tired Girl by the LakeYes, that is Shoshanna you see by the lake at Cooper’s Lake. No, she’s not going to Pennsic this year. But she and I did day-trip to Aethelemearc War Practice a couple of weeks ago. (I can’t believe we used to routinely day-trip events that were 3 hours from home, but we did.)

We had a pretty darn good day, too. Doing an event solo with the kid is always challenging, and even more so when the reason you’re going is that you’ve got Official Commitments. So Shoshanna helped Irene set up her A&S display while I went to my first-ever Laurel meeting and then she and I hung out in the barn at Artisans Playtime, which was Katla’s very brilliant brainchild instead of a traditional A&S display or even an Artisans’ Forum. Both Katla and I thought it was a smashing success so Aethelmearc should look for similar activities in the future. Teaching Labyrinth CreationShoshanna even participated, doing some weaving with Mahin, trying her hand at kumihimo, playing with Dagonell’s puppets, and learning to draw a labyrinth.

Since Shoshanna was pretty darn patient all morning, I let her pick what we did all afternoon. So we played on the playground, went to family activities, walked down to the lake so she could see it and watched some folks doing ironwork on the way back up. I was reminded that I am so glad that we camp at the top of the hill rather than the bottom… Shoshanna whined a LOT on the way back up and we stopped off at Runestone Hill to pester Broom and have a rest under a tree. And during court Shoshanna started on a new embroidery. I’ll have to scan it; the change in her skill from the first project to this one is astounding.

And here is another gratuitously cute picture.


A couple of months ago Countess Ilish asked me if I’d be willing to teach something about 13th century clothes at really low-key event she was putting together.  I said yes, of course, and used it as the motivation to finally finish my handout on how to make braies, which you can now see here.

The event was a whole lot of fun… very low-key with a nice list of classes.  I went to Marsi’s class on setting center gores, which was interesting because she does it slightly differently than Marcele does; I’ll have to try her method sometime, too, to see which way I like better.  Then I went to Orianna’s class on the Greenland gown, and was reminded of how really dead simple they are to make and that I should do it more often (but not ’til after the A&S 50 challenge is over!).  Sat around and chatted until my class, which was SHOCKINGLY well-attended.  I’d brought a whole slew of handouts and they descended on them LIKE VULTURES.  And then I prattled happily, with lots of back and forth (thankfully) about 13th century clothes for a good 45 minutes.

And you know the Kid had fun because she passed out in the car on the way home.  It was also our first event taking a dedicated sitter with us – which I didn’t really have much choice about since Matatias was out of town.  Too bad it’s very expensive to hire a teenager for the day because that was awesome.

We went out to Aethelmearc 12th Night on Saturday.  The big excitement was twofold: First, that Shoshanna was going to her first feast.  (Thanks, Fridrikr, for making feast early so that the kid could stay – she loved it!)  Second, that Connor and his new lady Margaret were going to be there.  Shoshanna adores Connor.

We had a lovely pleasant afternoon chatting with lots and lots of people, Shoshanna playing with the other kids who were there, and having an extremely plentiful dinner that included two fish subtleties (because not everyone likes fish).  Shoshanna (and Matatias!) sat happily through an hour and a half of court which included some lovely schtick and well-deserved awards.  And afterwards, there was dancing, in which Shoshanna and I both participated.  Heralds in Love, though, is not a great dance for five year olds – too complicated!

For the second year in a row, the Canton of Beau Fleuve has hosted spring Coronation – this year, though, the new Royals are from our own Barony!  So we went, of course, because I love Coronations – almost as much as I love Crown Tournaments.

It was a very fun day.  I entered the Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship – the theme was largesse and entries were to be donated to the Crown for distribution during the reign.  I entered the two award medallions that I had finished recently and the pelican cushion – rather than it languishing in the closet like it has been for the last six years.  At one point during the day it really dawned on me that I would not be taking it home with me.  I really am fine with it, but it was such a labor of love that I would be lying if I said it was easy to part with it.  In addition to the Crown’s choice (which was John Michael Thorpe, who does beautiful meatalwork), they recognized the Laurels’ choice, populace choice, and outgoing champion’s choice.

As it turns out, the middle weekend of April is a pretty good weekend for me to go to an event.  Six years ago, I was apprenticed to Eilis and got my Maunche at Balfar’s Challenge (which was today, too).  My Husband is a Sneaky BastardToday, I was the outgoing champion’s choice of the folks entered in the A&S championships (prize: a lovely buff-colored kidney pouch).  I received a token as a seamstress to the Crown, and I received my Sycamore.  (For the non-Ae folks, that’s the A0A level A&S award.)  I had suspected that something was up because I’d been getting a lot of weird questions from various folks.  Obviously I didn’t know WHAT they were up to or when anything might be happening, but I was not completely shocked.  What I didn’t expect was that Matatias had written the scroll text!  I love that – each of my Kingdom A&S awards comes from him, since he made my Maunche medallion as well.  Sadly, he had to be at work this afternoon so he couldn’t be there for court, but Irene says that she got good pictures.

Remember the award medallions that I was embroidering on and displayed at Pennsic?  I finally got around to starting to make them into actual medallions last night.  

I was taught how to make award medallions aeons ago, one evening sitting around in the barn with a bunch of people at Great Northeastern War.  I actually haven’t seen any made this way here in Aethelmearc, so hey – mine will be very identifiable!  The basic method is:

  1. Cut 2 cardboard circles the size you want the medallion to be
  2. Cut a circle just under 2x the size of the final medallion around the embroidery, and cut a second circle of the same size to make the back.
  3. Stitch around the outside of each fabric circle using running stitch; leave a long tail on the starting end.
  4. Place the cardboard circles in the center of the front & back and use the running stitches to gather the fabric around the cardboard.
  5. Attach the front and back together and edge them in some way.


Step 5 is where things get kind hairy. In the past, I always made a fingerloop braid and sewed it on, stitching the front & back together at the same time.  I tucked the raw ends in and sewed a jump ring on to run a cord through.

This time, though, I decided to get creative… I wanted to try the edge finishing technique described in the Museum of London book, and used on period aumonieres.  I took a class on how to do this technique a 3 ravens a couple of years ago, using fingerloop braid.  I THOUGHT I remembered how to do it, but I was wrong.  So I backed up and decided to try a woven edging.  The basic technique is to put your weft on a needle and use it both to sew the pieces together and as the weft.  This is probably reasonably easy on something biggish like a purse, but it was a major pain on something as small as this (large) medallion.  It was very hard to keep the band even, it pulled the tension of the fabric stretched over the cardboard all out of whack, and balancing the warp tension so that it could wrap around the medallion and yet still have enough to weave effectively.


All of these would have been problems I could have dealt with, though. Where it all went down the tubes was when I got to the end and tried to figure out what to do with the beginning and end of the weaving.  I wanted to lap one end over the other and create a loop with the top one.  But… I just couldn’t get it to work out.  

So… fall back position.  I made a quick six-strand square fingerloop braid and stitched it around the two pieces.  Instead of using a jump ring, I did go with the idea of making a loop from the edging, which was really easy to do and looks a lot nicer, I think.


I’m on the “reserve list” to teach my hosen class at C3R on the 28th… if you’re interested, even if I don’t end up stepping into a slot, find me and I’ll be happy to let you have a handout!

I keep mentioning the award medallions I’m working on, so I went ahead and scanned the two that are done.  For the non-AEthelmeartians, that’s a Keystone (AoA-level service) and a Millrind (Grant-level service).  The Millstone is the one that was getting all the attention at the Pennsic A&S display; the spirally background was kind of an experiment in giving the background (it’s a fieldless badge) more visual interest.

Right now I’m working on a Millrind on a red background, where the background “pattern” is more in line with what you find in extant Opus Anglicanum pieces. At some point I’ll bite the bullet and start doing OA medallions – an OA Keystone would be stunning, since that’s on a gold field anyway (it’s one of the few AE badges that aren’t fieldless).

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Back in late August or early September, Joe approached Irene and me about commissioning a set of new banners for the Barony from the textile guild. We said “sure!” and eventually settled on a design for 4’x5′ banners with a 2’x3′ dragon (we originally wanted to do 4’x6′ with a 2’x4′ dragon, but the beastie got too distorted at that size). We never even considered NOT doing them in silk – we settled on 19.5 mm crepe-back satin because it was the heaviest we could get without having to dye our own black.

We dyed the silk with acid dyes. Learned a lot in the process – wish the green had come out less blotchy but we’ve managed to work around the imperfections. We didn’t have the dyebath warm enough when we put it in. The yellow went much better (and I remembered to wear gloves when we rinsed it, so I didn’t even end up looking like a ghoul after that one!).

Once the silk was dyed and dried, I did flat-felled seams to assemble the backgrounds.

Pinning (by sarahmichelef)More Pinning (by sarahmichelef)Finished Seam (by sarahmichelef)

It took me 2 hours to do one seam – made me crazy. CRAZY. After that I passed it off to Wendy for the applique.  If the seams made me crazy, the applique just about put her over the edge.  I picked the one she had gotten finished up from her on Thursday and on Friday I hemmed it and put the hang tabs on it.

Joe and I presented it in second court on Saturday afternoon, to great acclaim.

Done! (by sarahmichelef)

There’s still going to be a bit of applique work added – detail work on the toenails and another rib in the wings, I think.  And then we do it all over again two more times, and for a big ol’ war banner (to use up as much of the silk as we can).

Baronial Investiture was today.  Will and Kiersey are FREE!  and Caleb didn’t follow my advice (I told him he should say “dear lord what have I done?” as soon as his butt hit the chair) but has been properly installed as Baron Rhydderich Hael.

The event was possibly the most relaxing I’ve been to in a really, really long time, I realized in the car on the way home.  Morning court consisted of W&K doing last awards and stepping down.  Their morning awards included a Golden Bee (Baronial A&S) for me for costuming (to my, and Matatias’, surprise).  My scroll is lovely and extra-special because it was calligraphed and illuminated by my friends Robert and Cat.  Other than that, mostly just hung out, kid-wrangled, and chatted all day.

I had business in afternoon court – Joe had commissioned the textile guild to make four silk banners as his gift to the Barony.  We have one done so far, and it looks like we’re going to be making only 2 more banners and one excessively large pennon.  (The current Baronial war banner is something like 25 feet long – it’s pretty obscene.)  We’re hoping to get the rest done for Ice Dragon – they take a LONG time – I spent something like 7 1/2 hours doing the EASY part of it (i.e., not the applique).  There will be a post dedicated to the project with pictures forthcoming.