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

Pennsic War XLI Post-Mortem

OMG Pennsic!

Pennsic XLI. La Familia’s temple across the lake with morning mists.

It rained and it was hot and it was humid and it was dirty and it was fantastic and humbling and over-the-top and I wish I had done so much more and I’m so sore I can barely move and I can hardly wait to do it again. *gasp*

Most important lessons:

  • Glide and Braies continue to make me happy.
  • It is exceedingly cool to get a Pilgrim token from visiting something cool at Pennsic. I picked up both the general “Pennsic Pilgrim Badge” and a pilgrim badge for touring Casa Barducci. I’d love to be able to do something like this for our camp.. but we don’t have anything cool like that to visit. Must consider. WK party tokens?
  • Never go to the battle field without a parasol and water
  • The best and healthiest lunch on site is in the Pennsic Produce refrigerator: tomato and mozzerella balls in balsamic vinegar with a mini-loaf of Asiago bread
  • Flidais (in red) and Sylvie (in black) under a parasol at Pennsic opening ceremonies. (Picture taken by Alys Sheffield)

    It is possible to wear short-sleeved linen kirtles at Pennsic and you can survive the war with only two of them provided you have enough laundry days.. or wash your chemise(s) between wearings. That said, I’m sad there are no pictures of me in my kirtles. OH! and one pair of socks is NOT enough. [Edited to add: A friend just sent me a picture from opening ceremonies. Me, in a kirtle.. cowering under a parasol during the monsoon which was opening ceremonies 🙂 Still, it’s me in a kirtle at Pennsic. Yeah! ]
  • Teaching a class with a kit fee is a nice way to get some cash at Pennsic without having to hit up an ATM. The kit fee really did pay for the kit materials.. but it was nice to get that cash back in the middle of my Pennsic visit.
  • It’s not necessary to be drunk to have fun at a party, but it feels weird to set out to visit parties at Pennsic with the goal of not drinking. I think I need to figure this out.
  • Costco has a travel site where you can get cheap car rentals.
  • La Quinta hotel in Corapolis is just as nice as the Doubletree (and right across the street) and has a shuttle to the airport.
  • will sometimes have rooms available even when the hotels show as being sold out.

Continue reading Pennsic War XLI Post-Mortem

Pennsic War XL Post-Mortem


Ok. It was hot and horrible and fantastic and humbling and over-the-top and I wish I had done so much more and I’m so sore I can barely move and I can hardly wait to do it again. *gasp*

Most important lessons:

  • Glide and Braies make me happy.
  • Make sure you have more than one pair of comfortable shoes
  • When you are unhappy with someone in your camp, a cup of water, a sit in the shade and the mental image of a stray meteor landing directly on their head will immediately improve your mood.
  • If the class you’re attending isn’t good.. move to the next classroom… There’s too many class choices at Pennsic to sit through a bad class.
  • One of the best things about Pennsic.. was being able to sit in the shade in front of my pavilion, people watching and sewing and listen to Wolgemut performing on the stage just up the street. Everyday. Several times a day. Heavenly.
  • After Pennsic party at the Doubletree (with a hot shower and a hot tub) should be required.

My pictures from Pennsic.
Continue reading Pennsic War XL Post-Mortem