Kingdom A&S & Bardic 2017

Well, I didn’t take any pictures of the event–or not really any worth sharing–so I will just discuss a few thoughts.

The artisans blew me away again this year. There were five who did the full three entries for A&S Championship, and several more who did single entries. There were varieties of marzipan, metalwork, costuming, painting, glasswork, and so much more! I wasn’t able to see any of the presentations (until the finals) because I was working in the tally room with the Bardic scores. Sadly, there were only two contestants in Bardic this year–I hope that the word spreads and we have several more next year!

It brings up the topic between apprentices and Laurels… “So, dear apprentice, what are YOU going to enter?” Well, let me tell ya…I’m overwhelmed with intimidation. One entrant did a very specific topic…something about the use of squirrel pelts as currency in Novgorod and the use of birch bark as easy, disposable paper. Uh…. I will have to read up a lot more on Flanders to be able to narrow anything down like that.

**HOWEVER… when I picked up my kids after the event, I remembered that they have a paper birch in their front yard.  I walked over, ripped off a piece of bark, grabbed a pen and wrote a note to my son.  You could write on it very easily with pencil or pen.  I don’t know how it would work with ink and quill.  Maybe I’ll try that sometime.**

Ideas…just brainstorming here:
– Food in late period Flanders
– Partlet Styles of the Flemish women
– Baskets from the Dutch Painters

Of course all of these pale in comparison to something cool like “Women in Medieval Guilds in the 14th Century” or “Carved 15th Century Chair” or “Knitted Silk Prayer Pillow” (spinning the silk, dyeing the silk, knitting on 0000 needles at 40 stitches to the inch or whatever). More often than not, these people are single or childless…and have an ample amount of time (and money) to spend on their chosen craft, not to mention come across some obscure reference and fall into the perfect rabbit hole.

So while it’s *inspiring*, it’s also *depressing*.

I still have my short list of things to do this year:
* Making a jacket
* Making a couple partlets–white in lightweight linen, and black in gauze wool
* Making sleeves
* Building a basic mix-and-match wardrobe,
* Making repairs and embellishing existing clothing pieces

I did make a few repairs and replaced the lacing and the lacing rings–they worked GREAT! I found some long, white shoelaces (about 63″ each), sewed them together to make a long 125″ lace and finished the ends (cutting off the plastic aglets).

The shoes…sadly, those didn’t work out. They looked awesome, but the arches in the Birkenstocks were just wrong. The arch was in the middle of the ball of my foot. I even tried a smaller size with the same result…I had to return them. I’m going to see if I can find someone to build me a pair of late period shoes that I can add my orthotics in.

I also spoke with a couple of the lampworkers in the guild and we have come up with a plan to make a few extra sets of beads to have on hand in case one or more of our volunteers misses the deadline.  The sets we are making now are smaller, so it’s about half as much work for each set and I’m happy to make a few more for the guild.  They are also having issues with members not using cardstock to mark their bead sets, and the more fragile paper is tearing away; essentially, they need to order some business cards (VistaPrint) and mark them with modern name, SCA name and contact info.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue to work on building my wardrobe and doing the very best work to make it look fabulous.  I’m going to do some more weaving–maybe make a variety of woven bands from period patterns.  And do some more bead work for the guild.  I’ll be busy enough.