Parable of Miles and the Knight

The parable of Miles and the Knight:

This is as applicable to the Laurel/Apprentice/artisan relationship as it is to the Knight/Squire/fighter. Some people aren’t willing to ask for help and would rather hack at the trees themselves. This isn’t wrong but is the hardest path.

Some Laurels rest on their laurels.. this isn’t wrong.. but it’s not the only possible action.

The forest is deep and dark.. and overhelmingly huge.. and the center is impossibly far away. Sadly I believe the closer you come to the center (and to “Perfect Master”) the more convinced you become that it doesn’t exist.. and it’s still impossibly far away.

Apprenticing Treásach Þjóðhagi

On the 22nd day of July Anno Societatis LII, 2017 in the common reckoning, which is the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene, patroness of penitent sinners and women, at the Investiture of Gwain and Meisha as the undoubted Prince and Princess of Cynagua, I took to indenture Treásach Þjóðhagi as my apprentice. It is my undoubted pleasure to guide and mentor her.

As part of the ceremony we signed a chirograph. This is a medieval document, which has been written in duplicate, (or triplicate or very occasionally quadruplicate) on a single piece of parchment and then cut through to separate the parts.

Calligraphy and Illumination done by Mistress Danaë FitzRoberts (my grand-Laurel).

The text of the contract:

Þ is a thorne. Pronounced “th”
ʃ is a sometimes called sigma. Pronounced “s”

Þis indenture made þe twenty-second day of July, yn þe raene of our Soverand lorde King Miles the iijrd and his fair Queen Ariela ijnd, wyttneʃs þat Treásach Þjóðhagi, a Lady of the West Kingdom, doʃʃe in goode feyth and free will bynd hyr ʃelf apprentice to Sylvie la chardonnière, Mistress of the Laurel, for a terme of no leʃs þan i complete and continuous yaere from þis date or until the rightful Soverand may call to Treásach serve as Mistress in her own right. Þis indenture made ʃo þat Sylvie may teach, conʃyll and inʃtruct her such matters aʃ þe ʃeid Sylvie has deems fit. During which term þe ʃeid Treásach þe ʃeid Sylvie as hyr miʃtress yn all þynges well and faiþfully ʃhall ʃerue, hyr conʃyll kepe, and hyr lawfull and honest commaundements euerywhere gladly do. She ʃchall not do damage to hyr ʃeid miʃtress wyþin þe ʃeid terme to þe value of xii pence or more per annum. She ʃchall not waste þe godes of hyr ʃeid miʃtress nor lend þem wyþout hyr order or ʃpecial commaundement. She ʃchall not play any unlawful or unʃeemly gamys whereby hyr ʃeid miʃtress may have any loʃs. She ʃchall not frequent a tavern ʃave to do þe buʃneʃs of hyr ʃeid miʃtress. She ʃchall not wyþdraw unlawfully from þe ʃeruice of hyr ʃeid miʃtress during þe ʃeid terme nor flee nor depart for any reaʃon, until ʃhe haʃ completed hyr indenture or she ʃchall releaʃe hyr. And yf ʃhe ʃchall wyʃh to purchaʃe hyr freedom during þe ʃeid terme ʃhe may do ʃo for xxxiij ʃolidi. And þe ʃeid Sylvie þe ʃeid Treásach hys indentured yn hyr art which she uʃes by þe beʃt and moʃt excellent means þat she knows ʃchall diligently teach and nʃtruch or cauʃe to be inʃtructed by oþers, puniʃhing in due manner, and noþyng to be hyd frome hyr þerof. And alʃo ʃchall find for þe ʃame indenture ʃufficient victuals and apparel lynyn and ʃhoys and all oþer neceʃʃaries during all þe ʃeid terme as ys fitting to be found for ʃuch an apprentice of þat art. In wyttines whereof þe aforeʃaid parties to þeʃe indentures interchangeably have put þeir ʃeals. Done at þe Summer Investiture of Cynagua on þe feaʃt day of St Mary Magdalene, patroness of penitent sinners and women, Hereford yn þe liiʃt yaere socitatus.

Mistress Sylvie la chardonnière

Research – the three-legged stool

At the Tudor Tailor workshop in LA last year (or was that the year before? yesh, time flies) they mentioned that good research is a three-legged stool.

It’s based on extant item, paintings/drawings/illuminations of the items from the time period and writing about the item (wills, letters, etc).

I learned a lot that weekend (and if you get a chance to attend one of their workshops I highly recommend it) but this is the pithy statement that has stuck with me the most.

Lord and Lady of the Swan

heirsWell ok. So I’m having a busy year.

This past weekend, at Cynaguan Coronet, Fearghus, my husband, won a tournament fighting for my honor. This means that at our Investiture on July 9th he and I will become the next Prince and Princess of the Principality of Cynagua (geographically northern California inner valley areas and northern Nevada). We will preside over this until our heirs are chosen at the next Cynaguan Coronet (another tournament occurring October 28-30) and we will then hand the Principality over to them at their Investiture on January 28, 2017.

Long story short: this is very cool for us.. and we’re about to get very very busy.

Vigil at Golden Beltane

Be it known to all who should read this missive that Baroness Sylvie la chardonnière, a matron of the West Kingdom, woman-at-arts to Master Leo Diogenese, having been invited to become a Laurel of the realm by the late King Miles and Queen Ariela will sit vigil on Friday night, April 29, the feast day of Saint Catherine of Siena. With all humility she begs a boon of all that they should come and visit with her during this Vigil with private words of wisdom and well wishes for her to contemplate before her ceremony on Saturday during the court of King Marc and Queen Patricia.

Laurel offer

At West Kingdom October Crown, on October 3, 2015 directly after my apprenticing to Master Leo Diogenese, while the ink was still wet on our fealty contract, Their Majesties of the West, Miles Fitzraulf and Ariela Bar Leila invited me to join the Order of the Laurel. By the gracious permission of Their Majesties and Their Highnesses I will be having my Laurel ceremony at West Kingdom Golden Beltane at Their Highnesses, Mark and Patricia’s stepping down, April 30/May 1, 2016.

I would have mentioned it sooner.. but we also bought a house that weekend and I got busy busy busy with packing, moving, unpacking, Thanksgiving, Christmas and finally 12th night.

Now that that’s over with.. back to the sewing.

Largess ideas for men

Duct tape, athletic wrapping tape (Ie for tennis racket handles, good for swords), rattan, roll of the good closed cell foam, haversacks/pilgrim scripts, jewelery (thorshammers, rings, etc), belt tips/buckles/mounts, pilgrim badges, coifs, pillbox hats, fuzzy hats, knives, knife/fork eating sets, napkins, dice, rules for games and game pieces(fox and hen, hafnl, etc), flint and steel, whet stone, pennanular, yards of fabric (wool/linen), hood, …

Queen’s Champion Tabard and Shield

A while back her Majesty, Patricia, asked Fearghus to be her Queen’s Champion. For this position Fearghus asked me to make him a tabard and to help paint his war shield. He wanted both of these marked with a personal symbol for the Queen’s Champion. That is, he is not the Queen so I advised that he could not rightly wear the arms of the Queen and at this time (AFAIK) there is no “official” symbol for the Queen’s Champion. After discussing this with Fearghus and Their Majesties we decided to use a pair of crossed axes behind a Tudor rose and to arrange these items on the green portion of a quarterly green and gold field.

The axes are modeled after the Ax Fearghus received at his knighting named “Blue’s Song”. The Tudor rose is modeled after a Tudor Rose that Her Majesty has tattooed on her forearm. I painted these on the fabric and the shield using artist’s acrylic paints.

Yes, I’m aware that the quarterly between the shield and the tabard don’t match. This unhappy accident brought to you by having one person sew a tabard while the other person paints the quarters on a shield. By the time we noticed there wasn’t enough time to re-do either before they’d be used.




Beltane IL post-mortem

Boob hatThis last weekend was West Kingdom Beltane. This is the beginning of the 49th year of the SCA and the West Kingdom.

We camped. This is the first time we have camped at an event since our son was born. He’s now 5 1/2 months old.

The good:
– We camped! The whole weekend! We didn’t chicken out and run home even though home was only 1 hr away!
– Bob used his new propane powered coffee maker. I was having much love for coffee on Saturday and especially on Sunday morning.
– Scotch eggs are yummy. These are a GREAT option for Sunday morning breakfast. Easy and filling. I plan to make a bunch and freeze them.
– Babies in medieval garb are stunningly cute. Friday afternoon, just before I left the house, I whipped up a wool hood for The Monster. OMG SO CUTE!
– Two friends gave us hats for Erik. Maat gave us another boob hat (I accidentally shrank the last one) and Sæunn gave us a lovely blue/white knitted cap. Unfortunately I only have pictures of the boob hat.

Continue reading Beltane IL post-mortem

Fearghus MacAirt Vigil and Meadhall


Be it known to all who should read this missive that Fearghus MacAirt, my right and worthy Lord, having been invited to become a knight of the realm by the late King Obidiah will sit Vigil on this Friday night, June 21 the first day of Summer. With all humility he begs a boon of all that they should come and visit with him during this Vigil with private words of wisdom and well wishes for him to contemplate before his knighting on Saturday during the morning court of King Thorfinn and Queen Etaine.

He does further wish it to be known that after his knighting, on Saturday evening, he will host a mead hall and will further ask all to come partake in food and drink and to offer public words of wisdom and well wishes in the form of a toast so that all may learn from the words offered and celebrate the fellowship found in a rousing mead hall.

Yours in service,
Sylvie la chardonniere