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By Invitation Only

By Invitation Only

This past weekend was Kingdom Arts and Sciences. Ansteorra has a yearly (although the did do an extra one this year; I’m not sure if that will be the norm, or if they’ll scrap the idea of twice-yearly) competition to determine the premiere artisan of the kingdom. In addition, the top ten scoring entries (with a couple alternates) are asked to bring their work to Gulf War as pilgrims to compete against the opposing kingdom, Trimaris.

When I was first thinking about what I wanted to make for KAS, I thought about the knitted Sion reliquary that I had been planning on FOREVER. I wound off all the silk, dyed it, and knitted a test swatch… and realized that I’d have to knit ~1850 stitches A DAY for 30 days to get it finished. In addition to writing the documentation, moving, throwing the Poppet’s birthday party, and prepping for War. So, that was out. 12510387_10103170279800868_7133231928161933845_n

Then Alden reminded me that we’d really already done all the research for his Achievement of Arms scroll (for which a blog post is in the works, I SWEAR) and that I could tweak the existing documentation that I’d written for a baronial A&S competition to suit Kingdom-level standards. I ended up re-writing it a few times, and entering the revamped docs into our local A&S competition, which is a week before KAS. That gives me time for last minute changes based on my scores.

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Photo by Martha Schreffler
The nerve wracking thing about KAS is that you get there in the morning, and you set up your display, and then you wait. And wait. And WAIT. I passed some of the time working on my gold work cuffs (I’ll get them done sooner or later!) and some of it shadow judging a lovely piece of stained glass with my Laurel.

 

Once that was done, it was just about time for court. They called my Laurel Amata in and recognized the service she’s done our Kingdom with a Sable Crane (the service equivalent of a Thistle). And then they announced the Gulf War pilgrims, of which I was one, along with several member of Bryn Gwlad. So proud of my Barony!

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Photo by Mariana Garcia
They asked us to check in and verify if we were going to War, and I was standing in line to do that when the Crown called up the Order of the Laurel. And then they called me.

Yeah.

To say that I was stunned is an understatement. I was glad to have Master Alden there to escort me into court because I was too shocked to move. I am so honored, and proud, and humbled, and surprised to be asked to join, that all my words desert me. Amata and I have started to talk about plans for vigils and elevations, and it all still feel like i’m planning it for someone else, because it hasn’t sunk in viscerally yet.

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Photo by Martha Schreffler

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Photo by Simona della Luna
I’m pretty sure I’ll spend the next year or so trying to catch up to my own expectations of where I need to be to consider myself a Laurel. My first thought when they called my name was “…but, but I’m not DONE yet!” I have all of these plans, and projects, and skill refinements that I want to pursue, and I still want to work until I’ve reached those goals I set for myself. But until then, I’ll be doing my best to be worthy of the wreath.

Elen verch Phelip, Laurel Vigilant

Laurel’s Prize Tourney

Laurel’s Prize Tourney

A week ago, I had the opportunity to attend what is probably my favorite event, Laurel’s Prize Tourney. It’s an Arts and Sciences event, but not a competition. Rather, it’s a body of work event, where artisans bring what they’ve been working on for the last year or so, and Laurels sign up to sit down with them and give advice or direction. It’s amazingly fun. I wish I had two of me, one to walk around and see what my fellow artisans are doing, and one to sit down and geek out with the people who come visit my table.  I didn’t even make it all the way around the room I was in, let alone get out and take more pictures. I didn’t even get any photos of my own display.

Laurel's Prize 2013 Laurel's Prize 2013 Laurel's Prize 2013 Laurel's Prize 2013 Laurel's Prize 2013 Laurel's Prize 2013 Laurel's Prize 2013 Laurel's Prize 2013

Queen’s Champion, May 2013

Queen’s Champion, May 2013

I’m getting better. I actually brought my camera this time. I’m trying to get better about actually taking pictures. Especially because my Mother’s Day present was a new 16 gig memory card for my camera. I’m heading out to a Scribal Symposium in June, and I wanted to make sure I had enough space for three days worth of pictures. Anyway, yeah, I took some pictures. Of friends:

Champion Trouney

And of Edmund and I (recognize the apron?):

Champion Trouney

And us and Poppet. I love how urchin-like she looks in this picture:

Champion Trouney

 

Some of our friends:

Champion Trouney

The babies even played nicely together:

Champion Trouney

Champion Trouney

The big kids didn’t hurt each other too badly:

Champion Trouney

There was jousting. The Knight of Flowers (any George RR Martin fans out there?) took the field:

Champion Trouney

Champion Trouney

I think most of the kids had this expression on their faces when I tried taking pictures:

Champion Trouney

Feast was delicious:

Champion Trouney

Even though my husband is incapable of making a serious face for the camera.

Champion Trouney

Tell you what, though. His doublet looked damn fine.

Champion Trouney

 

In which, the unexpected happens.

In which, the unexpected happens.

So, Candlemas happened. Those pretty patterned socks I was knitting? I entered them in our local Baronial Arts and Sciences Champion on Saturday. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the SCA, it’s similar to a county fair crafts competition. Sort of. There are judges who have a rubric for “grading” your project. Each project was judged by two judges (well, mine was judged by three; one alone and two in tandem) and given a score from 1-50.

Candlemas 2013

I tried not to eavesdrop, but they were there forever! I was trying to get a shot of my display.

Candlemas 2013

Oh, there. That’s better. And below, some of my samples. I thought it would be beneficial to share my swatches and my mistakes, as well as the second stocking in progress.

Candlemas 2013 Candlemas 2013

So, after the judging happens, all the points are tallied, and averaged, and the winner is the one with the most points.

Candlemas 2013

Which, incidentally, was me.  Here I am, with my Award scroll (which is beautiful, and I’ll post pictures later), and my gift basket (full of period games), and Poppet is holding my lantern (is was Candlemas, after all). The medallion is my signifier of Championship, and the unbelievably huge grin on my face is the result of utter shock. (Picture by Amata)

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Non-Event

Non-Event

The popovers were indeed a hit.  And I did take pictures.  However, in my attempt to delete every photo on my camera in anticipation of an upcoming event… I merely succeeded in erasing every photo on my camera.  So popover-pictures will have to wait until next time I make them.  Which could be sooner than you’d imagine; those buggers were good!

The event for which I unhappily erased all my scrumptious popovers for was our Shire’s “Getting to know the SCA” Non-Event Event.  It was a nice way to get the people newer to the group acquainted with things like persona, heraldry, chivalry, and (most especially!) dance.  I have pictures up on the Flickr account, but I thought I’d post a couple favorites here.

2010 Non-Event Event

2010 Non-Event Event

2010 Non-Event Event

2010 Non-Event Event

2010 Non-Event Event