2015 Wrap Up

It’s a new year! While I am usually overwhelmed by possibility and eager to start the new year’s projects, this past year has ended on a difficult note for me, personally. I am having a hard time being excited about 2016 and what it will bring. I want to take a minute or two to look back at my finished projects for 2015.

Head CLoth

Embroidered Head Cloth for Dena:  A quick and sweet little embroidery/handsewing project for a friend, with elements of her heraldry on the back.

Sabina's Court Barony Scroll

Court Barony Scroll for Sabina: A tongue in cheek, fun scroll for a friend’s Court Barony. My first real scribal commission. The first time I’ve ever deliberately defaced my scribal work.

Prick and pounce tutorial, for Opuselenae.com

Prick and Pounce Tutorial: I’m counting this as a project because I feel strongly about the roll of tutorials and sharing knowledge in educating people. Still my favorite way to transfer patterns.

Rabbit's Lion Scroll

Rabbit’s Lion Scroll: First time really experimenting with pigments treated in a period manner, first (semi-successful) gilding on a scroll.

Red Crow Cup Cover

Badge Cup Cover: My heraldry passed, and now I want to put my badge on ALL THE THINGS. Starting with this cup cover, that attaches to my goblet stem so I don’t lose it.

Dragon Pouch

Dragon Pouch Collaboration: A fun little thing I did with my friend Lia to sponsor a fighter in a tournament where the buy-in was an item made by an artisan (or two!).


Queen’s Champion Invitations: Last minute call to make pretty invites for an event.

The embroidered pouches are all finished!

Cantigas de Santa Maria Pouches (and part two): An artisan trade with a friend, based on two pouches from a medieval manuscript.


Cut and Thrust Championship Scroll: A kingdom-level award scroll based on a renaissance fencing manual plate.

These aren’t all the projects I’ve don’t this year, but they are all the ones I’ve blogged about.

Sewing Red Hose

I blogged about these red hose in progress, but I need to do a completed project post for them and the ginger version.


I made myself a beautiful Roman outfit.

achievement The write up for this ridiculous scroll is coming. I promise. It may be two or three entries long. It was a monster.

My maiolica plate, finally fired. Only a year after I painted it! Fingers crossed that this one won't break; third times the charm, right?

Finally managed to fire this plate (third time’s the charm, right?) It lives on a shelf high up and away from danger.


Calligraphed a poem for a very dear friend.


Worked hard on learning to be a proper heraldic artist.


Wrote out the calligraphy for the invitations to our Baronial fall event.


Finished this monstrous endeavor. It ended up being shorter than I thought it needed to be initially, which made me cry, but it turned out okay in the end. Write up coming.


Made a 14th century frilled veil. That I kind of hate and want to remake.


Practiced the Japanese art of Kintsugi.


Made a pair of garters for my friend Cecilie.


Calligraphed this award, which is not for the SCA (but still looks amaze!)

All in all, it’s been a productive year. I think I’ve missed a couple things, actually. Next up will be discussion of some projects I’m hoping to accomplish this coming year, and some changes I’ll be making to the site. Happy New Year, everyone!

Completed: Cut and Thrust Scroll

One of the things I believe in is the concept of noblesse oblige as it relates to the SCA and what I perceive to be my duties in it. With my awards and titles comes a responsibility to support my royalty, my kingdom, and my society, and to live up to those accolades. Which is a really self-important way to say that every reign (so about every six months), I try to volunteer my services to make at least one scroll for the kingdom. This time around, it was the Cut and Thrust Championship scroll.

A friend suggested I look at the fencing manual of Achille Marozzo, the Opera Nova. Marozzo was an Italian Master who lived in the latter half of the 1400s, and into the first half of the 1500s. I liked the stark, graphic nature of the copperplate engravings; they’re so different from the illuminations I normally do. I found one plate that caught my eye and decided to run with it.

MarozzoCircle-1 I penciled in the page ditches and figures, with general areas of shadow delineated, and then made the guidelines for the text.
. The hand is a fancied-up humanist script. It’s pretty and legible, even if my letterforms aren’t terribly consistent. I obviously need some more practice with it. Look at those Bs! . I reproduced the effect of the copperplate engraving with the much simpler technique of pen and ink drawing. It’s been a while since I’fe done any sort of hatching in my drawings, and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it came back to me.

Here we have Malcolm (as I jokingly named him on the FB page; his hat looks a bit like a Scots bonnet to me) completely finished. I’m pleased with he depth of shading I got with the hatching. . And Malcolm’s friend Kenneth, who has a fantastically developed sartorial sensibility.  . All ready to head to the event and be given to a worthy fighter! Funny story: my friend Matteo actually won this; it was his first Kingdom-level championship. I’m so proud to have my work hanging on his wall. .

Fox Embroidery Pattern

Remember that fox embroidery I did, back in the day? The one, I uh, apparently never posted finished pictures of? Huh. I should do that. Only three years late…

This was for a Sable Swap a couple years ago. The recipient was an embroiderer and had a Kievan Rus persona. I know what it’s like to never have pretty things for oneself, after giving them all away. So I wanted to make a little kit that was relevant and useful and pretty. It consists of a pouch, a needle roll, and a scissors fob.


Rus Embroidery Project

The design for the pouch was taken from Kievan temple-brooches from the relevant period. Most of them show animals or saints mirrored. I went with foxes, since the recipient listed those as favorites. Embroidered in split and chain stitch with DMC cotton floss. Rus Embroidery Project The needle roll was embroidered with a dragonfly (also a favorite) and some Kievan motifs to tie them in together, with a blanket stitch in varying long and short lengths to be a decorative finish. Rus Embroidery Project The scissors fob echoes the shape of the temple brooches, and has a lucet cord loop to attach to the scissors.  Rus Embroidery Project So. Now that that’s done, even though I didn’t necessarily intend to do a project recap in this post, let me show you why I DID want to write today. I finally cleaned up the fox brooch motif. A few people have asked for it, and I’ve forgotten about it multiple times. So here it is! Enjoy! fox-embroidery-1

Veil Pins

I admit it, I’m a bit of a magpie. I love pretty, shiny things. Jewelry, goldwork embroidery, silk, you name it. Some of my favorite gifts and largesse have been veil pins, which feel my shiny addiction nicely.


A local bead store was going out of business recently, and had a ton of items on super-discount, including some 3″ long stick pins, and some of the ladies in my local clothier’s guild bought a bunch of them to make veil pins for largesse.

I picked up a bunch too, but decided to cut them down a bit, as I feel 3″ is too long. The brass and black pins above are about that long and they stick out too far past the curve of my head when I wear them (I keep meaning to cut them down but I haven’t yet). After an afternoon of picking through my bead collection (Poppet “helped” too) and supergluing my fingers to each other, this was the result:




Nine sets of veil pins (the first pair were gifts from the clothier’s guild), in various colors and shapes. I like my pins to be in sets of three, so I can pin on top of my head, as well as at either temple. Unfortunately, the bead store is closed now, which is a shame, since all I want to do is MAKE MORE! Luckily, I’ve sourced some more stickpins from Fire Mountain Gems at about $0.17 a pop, so I can indulge my new-found addiction. And make largesse. Sure. Largesse.

Tablut Game

Last year, I participated in the Sable Swap, a kingdom-wide secret gift exchange. You may remember that I made an embroiderer’s kit for my assigned giftee. It was easy to decide what to do because, as an embroiderer, I know what I would love to receive.

This time, though, I got a gentleman with an Icelandic persona, who is into medieval artillery and archery. Uh…
Super secret project.

So I decided to make him an embroidered game bag that folds up into a pouch for easy carrying. I did some research on variations of a game called Tafl, which was played ll over the Scandinavian world.

Super secret project: all the green is finished!

Despite it being a Laplandic variant, I chose to go with a version of the game called Tablut, since it was the best documented. Lapland and Iceland aren’t that far apart, in the grand scheme of the Viking reach.
Tablut Board

The board consists of a 9×9 grid, with the central cross being one color, and the Ts at the end of the arms in a different color. The squares are embroidered in chain stitch, and the lines are stem stitch. Everything is stitched in DMC cotton, because you never know when you’re going to have to wash out a spill. (As an aside, I’m not sure what prompted me to choose baby food or 70s appliance colors, but he did say he liked earth colors.)

Tablut Board The defending army starts off in the center blocks, with the king on the middle square. The attacking arms starts on the T shaped areas on the ends. The goal is to either get the king to a corner, or to capture him, depending on which side you’re playing. All pieces can only move orthogonally, or in straight lines.

Tafl Game

Traditionally, the king is a taller piece, but I only had these glass pebbles and no time to make a different marker for the king, so I just included a different color instead. I love the way they look all lined up and ready to go. Tafl Game And when you’re done, the strings pull tight…
Tafl Game …and make a neat little pouch for carrying. Tafl Game I made the strings long enough to stay in the eyelets when the game is laid out flat, and that means that they wrap around the pouch neck a few times to insure that none of the pebbles fall out. It would tie onto a belt quite nicely, too. I am always glad of diversions during the longest bit of an event, which seems to be between the end of fighting and the beginning of feast or court. I hope Karl likes playing his Tablut game as much as I enjoyed making it! Tafl Game

Pelican Gift

A friend of mine, Alden Drake, received his (very well deserved) Pelican at Laurel’s Prize Tourney. I had been planning on making him a gift of a cup cover with his badge on it, but since his badge is a half-white, half-black dragon (with teeth and claws and spines and wings) on a half-black, half-white background… Yeah, that didn’t end well.

Laurel's Prize 2013

I decided instead to make a cup cover with a pelican in her piety (ie: feeding her chicks with blood from her pierced breast), and a dedication around the outside.

Laurel's Prize 2013

The cover is a linen-rayon blend, embroidered with silk. The pelican and the outside of the nest are stitched in stem stitch, and the chicks and nest details are stitched in Holbein stitch. The blood is satin stitch, and the letters are a combination of straight and lazy-daisy stitches.

Here he is in his vigil tent, when I gave it to him. I think he liked it. These pictures were taken by my friend Liz.

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Celtic Snake Cup Cover

As promised, here’s the other cup cover I’ve been working on. It wasn’t for the largess competition, so I wanted to post it separately. I had a cup cover that I was using, and two of the Queens (well the Queen and a former Queen) started play- fighting over it. So I gave it to one of them, and promised to make another for the ‘loser,’ too. And since then, I’ve tried to make pretty cup covers for all the Queens that have come. So this is the most recent. Her colors are gold, purple, and green, and her persona is something Celtic. Ish.

Queen's Champion prep Queen's Champion prep Queen's Champion prep Celtic knotwork cup cover

Monogrammed Favor


Starting a new project for the next A&S tournament that’s coming up. The theme is Love and Lust, and you can enter something for either or both sides. I’m electing to do just the Love side of things, and am embroidering a handkerchief favor that can also double as a cup-cover. I have it in mind to give it to one of the recent Queens who has admired my work in the past.

New embroidery project for Smitten Heart.

I started with a gothic blackletter ‘E’ monogram. The inspiration for this was the favor that Elaine gave to Lancelot, that he carried so nobody watching the tournament would know it was him. I think it was another ‘defend Guenevere’s honor’ kind of story. I’ll save my diatribe on the evils of the Lancelot-Guenevere story for another day, though.

The rest of the favor design, based on the Gesta Hungarorum. I may possibly have some one in mind for this, eventually...

This is the design for the rest of the favor, although I ended up rotating the swirls around the E, so it looks a little more balanced. It’s inspired by the capital from this page of the Gesta Hungarorum, written sometime around 1200AD.

Monogram finished.

Above is the monogram nearly complete (it lacks only the finishing lines at the ends of the strokes, so they don’t look so ragged. The red thread is DMC Cotton Floche, bought from my local embroidery shop, The Needle Works.

 Below is a pounce kit I made for myself, based on Mary Corbett’s wonderful instructions.

Made myself a pounce kit today.

And, the results of the grey pounce. The top two are the pounce alone, the bottom left is pounced and inked, and the bottom right is the inked line with the pounce brushed away. It was remarkably effective. Now I rather regret buying that exorbitantly overpriced pounce bag on the left of the above picture.

Pounce results: top are both grey pounce, bottom left is pounced and inked, bottom right is after the pounce is brushed off.

Fox Embroidery

A quick update on the fox embroidery project:

Fox embroidery.

The second picture is truer to color, with a penny included for size comparison. This will be another pouch like the Double Eagle one (a project completion post is in the works). I’ve actually just finished all the red on the right fox, so I’m nearing the home stretch. Just the brown and white to go on him, and then the yellow ochre background. Chain stitch, I think.

Fox embroidery