20 December, 2008

Pet abuse?

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

What is the impulse that humans have to do cutesy things to their pets around the holidays? And the things they put on themselves are even worse! lol

We followed the trend this year. I couldn't help it, there was an evil genius at work.

I thought my 13 year old cat would be the grumpiest about this, because she likes NOTHING! Instead, she was very sedate about it and just gave me the long suffering look. :)

My daughter's beast Leon however wasn't pleased, but he was tolerant and actually didn't run away. lol

The dog, Shadow, who is normally long suffering and willing to do just about anything, didn't much like dressing up as Santa. I couldn't keep the coat on him. ;)

And last, and the littlest, Mystique, thoroughly hated every minute of the ordeal and let us know it! We actually bought the suit for her!

Merry Yule from a puzzled goddess

18 December, 2008

Snow is good, right?

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

It's snowing; it's been snowing; it is supposed to keep snowing. Unlike my daughter, I like snow. I just feel so rushed this holiday that I feel like it is cutting into my already short supply of time. It doesn't help that I'm trying to actually SLEEP for, like, 8 or so hours a day, even if it's in snatches.

The pain induced insomnia is a bitch, and it's not like I get anything productive done while I'm waiting to sleep. I'd love to be able to say I'm Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker when my head's exploding, but such is not the case. I'm lucky month to month if I can keep up with the grocery shopping and meal planning, some laundry, helping with some homework and riding the kids to do their chores. We try to go to all the home games at least for all the sports our kids are involved with as well. Whew! I understand why people get so depressed this time of year.

Add debt that's piled up when the oil companies raped us all and necessities I've put off buying for the kids and ourselves and I'm feeling the pinch.

We finally broke down and got new cell phones. Yes, even for our kids. We got the best models that come free with our plan (free, hah!) but I also got the program that t-mobile has that will allow me to give everyone allowances of our plan minutes, and I can change it depending on if they have completed their responsibilities or not. (*evil laugh*) THIS I can get into!

What sucks is that now I have to learn chat speak...ugh!

from a frazzled puzzled goddess

16 December, 2008

I promised a look at how it went...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

For those not interested in Medieval Illumination, ignore this post.

I started this scroll months ago, when I knew we'd have to make some kind of quasi-official request of Three Mountains of their patronage. I asked on Known Worlde Scribal lists about wording, and got no good answer so I proceeded to deal with it myself.

"Unto the Most Noble Alfric and Jill, Baron and Baroness Three Mountains do the peoples on your eastern borders send you greetings on this 13th day of December, Anno Societatus XLIII, being 2008 in the common era.

We seek the boon of your kind patronage as we attempt to strengthen our great kingdom, An Tir, by building a canton on your eastern border in the counties of Hood River and Wasco.

In support of this we do make our marks as the people of the incipient Canton of Haukesgaard, do the heralds deem it meet.

HL Kerryk Wolfram, Rebecca C. Graham, HL Sannan Cairgnorn, Ashayet, Meredith Elizabeth Walter, Juliet duBlunt, Elfwyn, Hayley Graham, Steven Graham, Matt palmer, Cedryk Farskyes, Meg Lethel, Connor Cameron Hawk, Epona of Vanir-Law, Casandra O'Dell, James Douglas O'Dell, Elfwyn

I took inspiration from 3M's website where they were using the Grand Heures of the Duc de Burgundy (if I remember correctly. It's either the grand or the Belle. He commissioned MANY books of hours.) So I knew I wanted to place it somewhere in the Gothic time period. (Well beyond my own personna's time!) So...I looked through my scribal books and came across a discontinued library copy of a facsimilie production of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves (c. 1440) I won't bore you with the background of how they dated the manuscript, etc. You can read the book or ask me, if I remember beyond yesterday. *grin*I knew that I wanted the elements of a hawk (heraldically an eagle with jesses it seems like), 3 mountains (for the representative barony), a deep valley or gorge and a keep. All of these elements are part of our heraldry for our group, and I wanted to represent the group.

I had the drawing of the winner of the 'best representation of a hawk,' from May Revel last year (yes, we've been working on getting this together for almost 2 years!) and I wanted to use that so that Meredith(Missa) would still feel included in spirit though she's travelled afar from us in body! This also pushed the era beyond mine, into one of more realistic looking miniatures.

So, materials choice. I can't currently afford true vellum, so hot press art paper of 90-120 lbs is considered an appropriate substitute. I think mine was Arches 110lb press. I used a quarter of a sheet to get the scroll to be a good size for matting and framing without special orders.

Gold choice. Gold is a large part of this piece, but I can't afford patent or leaf gold currently to do gilding or shell gold for painting so I had to be satisfied with the use of Sumi Gold Watercolor Ink.
I used Winsor-Newton designer goache paints and one or two colors of M.Graham designer goache.

I first created a cartoon on an 11"X17" piece of graph paper, cut down to 11"X15". I drafted out the margins, the calligraphy and letter blocks, the vine margin area and the central picture area. The margins on the left in the original are larger, since it was meant to be bound into a manuscript, I tried to keep that look. Also, the upper margin was smaller than the bottom, again I tried to keep the look.

I didn't want human figures in the border of this so I replaced the seated monk with some additional acanthus leaves and a bird in the border. My scroll isn't an exact match on purpose, just, "done in the style of."

The picture was sketched in on the cartoon and the text spaced. I did forget to draw in a frame around that actual picture, which I would correct if attempting this style again. I would also allow more spacing in the calligraphy. But this was the first time I'd tried this hand, so the results were acceptable, if not great. ;)

Since we had people showing up at many different times to sign this thing, I had the signatures placed on the scroll before the wording was calligraphied. They were shown the cartoon with the final wording and design so they knew what they were signing.

I also proceded backwards from most in that I did the calligraphy before the illumination, since I was much more comfortable with my illumination skills than with my calligraphy skills on a brand new hand. :)

I had a delay in the middle of this process when I lost the majority of the sight in my left eye due to the liquid separating from the cornea, supposed to get better sometime soon, but I got to the point where I couldn't wait for that. So, this was finished by a one-eyed scribe. :)

I transfered the design from the cartoon to the actual scroll via lightbox. Then I worked the calligraphy. I didn't feel up to the challenge of breaking down the form of gothic used in these hours and coming up with my own ductus, so I went to Marc Grogin's book and used the Gothic Textura from the period involved. My paleography is not quite up to doing it myself yet. :)

I kept my color pallet small and bright and close to the colors in the original. Spectrum Red and Grenadine red highlighting, Pale cadmium yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green, Burnt Umber, zinc white and titanium white.

This is how the final scroll turned out. I won't point out any more of my mistakes, but gee it was a learning experience!

from a puzzled goddess who went medieval all over a scroll :)

15 December, 2008

SCA Events and Wow! What wordy people we all are . ..

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

But then I have friends with such insightful things to say! I am finally caught up on all the blogs I try to follow...I think.

I have to apologize for being out of it for the last few weeks. My eyesight is pretty well shot and my cold is still lingering.

We did manage to get to an SCA event this last weekend. It's been one we've looked forward to, Yule Feast, hosted by the Baronies of Stromgard and 3 Mountains. One more step closer to becoming a real group out here on the Oregon side of the Gorge. We got to petition their excellencies Alfric and Jill to support our efforts. We now look to having our efforts published and proclaimed in the Portland area for a few months, and if people don't object we'll be able to submit our name and device and file our paperwork. Then it will be the turn of Kingdom and Crown to see if we will be real. ("Oh, if only we could be a real group!" lol)

We gave gifts and had fun. I tried my hand at period cookies for their excellencies Stromgard. Her Excellency Reginleif was amazingly sweet for trying the cookies immediately. I doubt she could have been at all hungry considering the excellent feast that was there, but I finally got my chance to make truly period cookies. (For those who are wondering, "Jumbals" and it was either from, "To the King's Taste" or, "To the Queen's Taste." I think the latter based on the time period of the reference, but I'm too lazy to go look it up again right now.) Kerryk gave their Excellencies Three Mountains some of his fine blackberry liquor, and we had handmade glass beads, a beaded necklace, a period game board, some apple brandy(? I think) and more of the cookies. Alfric is a diabetic, as are Kerryk and I, so the food items will probably get passed on, heck it's largess, it will all probably get passed on.

Kerryk DID try to give away Cedryk during the ceremony, over his strenuous objections, but the Baron wasn't taking. :) {I don't think anyone but Francessca noticed me trying to give her away. ;D} I finished the scroll with time to spare and we got to bring it home! Now I get to look at all the things I did wrong until we have a new seneschal for the group and we can pass it on! :) I'll blog later about the scroll and how it turned out.

We had a wonderful time talking to old friends and making new ones. Kerryk and Cedryk were glued to the fighting (I have 60 pictures of one fighter's armor so that I can make a gambeson like his for Cedryk. *grin*) Francesca was helping out and enjoying seeing friends from past events. She even got to sit on St. Nicholas' lap! I, being a creature of habit, painted on charters, ate, talked, and ate. :)

Mom Elfwyn made sure to share the period porn she found with my family LOL and got her grandson to cringe. (Notice the fingers are SPREAD over the eyes though!)

Wirawen danced divinely and it was like poetry. There was live music most of the day and even some dancing. Sven One Eye won the cooking contest. The marzipan was shaped and some spiced and placed on 2 big trays and disappeared! lol Chrodek and his family were there and we got to sit close enough together that we could share conversation. So, all in all, it was a great event.

And for those who let the weather forecast frighten them...since when have the weathermen been accurate? lol We didn't have any bad weather or snow until 3 or 4 hours after we got home! (Though you wouldn't know it by the number of times my big sister called me to check on me. *grin* She's inherited my mom's worrying tendencies, ouch!)

until next time from a very medieval feeling puzzled goddess

I have been flogged back to the keyboard...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

even though the Goddess of Everything is a very nice lady, she is a strict taskmistress. (NO, not in any BD/S&M way! get your minds back up in the gutter with the rest of us...where it's crowded!)

She actually reminded me that it's been almost a month/over a month since I posted. I'm still sick, the kids are still around and Rick hasn't left me yet. All good! LOL

I will say that we had a good visit with an old friend who was home from Iraq for a few days. Have been following his book, it's doing very well. (Thanks for giving the boy advice on his future. He's so intense it's scary sometimes.)
But I blush to say I haven't kept up on the blogs that he and his wife write in the last few weeks. (Sorry guys!) I seem to have been doing my level best to cough a lung up or lose an eye.

My girl is taking a break from sports for herself and has taken a job as the scorekeeper for the basketball team. So she gets to see more of the games than we do!

The boy is playing basketball (or not playing this last week because I don't want his ankle permanently injured!) Currently he's very irritated with mom, cuz mom won't let him play or practice on his sprained ankle...cuz the boy has NO concept of when to quit and give it a rest, and his coach won't make him sit out when the drills are rough on an ankle that has been permanently injured since October Football season. We discovered the kid is a bit flat footed and pronates his foot when he's running. Orthodics correct some of it, but the start and stop drills are hard on ankles that aren't totally used to running in the correct position yet. :) So mom is the bad guy.

I'll just have to deal. I'd rather he and his teammates were irritated with me now, than find out when he's 18 that his ankle isn't up to the career he wants to follow. He's got the typical sports mentality of ice it, tape it, bandage it, if the pain is tolerable keep playing....hmmm wonder where he got that (speaks the woman with a leg scarred from a legiment repair and who spent part of every season in an ankle brace or nursing broken toes or fingers. Playing through pain is one thing, but continuing to injure a joint and keeping it too weak to heal is something else entirely.

This picture is unusual for a game in that he is standing almost still while his teammate is zipping by.

This second one is much more indicative of the shots I normally get. :)

He's lost about 20 lbs between football and basketball...and he has muskcles! He's almost not my baby anymore! (*whine*) I think all the weight is being redistributed in his arms and shoulders!

Sorry, I wasn't going to make this whole post about the boy, but it's what I'm thinking about right now.

from a sneezy puzzled goddess