Friday, August 31, 2007

Calling all Phoenix Gladians

Do you have your name and/or arms passed through the college of heralds? Want to show off your arms in a cool and spiffy way? Then send your name and arms to me and let's begin a Shire Roll of Arms! Want to be part of that spiffiness but don't have names and arms yet? Then see me and let's get your name and arms registered!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lots of Viking Eye Candy!

Greet had this website posted on her blog. She was (of course) ogling the fiber stuffs and I love all the Viking stuff. Parts of Helene's blog are in Norwegian and parts are in English, but pictures are universal and there are enough free translators around that you can get the gist of what she is talking about. Be sure to scroll down about 3/4 of the way and see the Viking ship. And check out her other pages as well. Oh, this is just too rich. Maybe I should learn to speak Norwegian and move to Norway.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Last name

I've put up a poll for my new last name. As I said, I'm not giving up Melbrigda. Been her for too long (plus I think that Lavena will kill me now that she can actually pronounce it!) The choices I'm looking at are "i skolhamri" (there are some missing accents in most of these names) meaning "of Skolum," "i granby" meaning "of Granbyr," Borgby meaning "from Borgby" or Englandsfari which means "traveller to England." I'm leaning towards either Granby (since it is a well known Viking ruins in Sweden or Englandsfari which lends itself to why I can do scribal arts in English styles :) Leave me a comment as to why you picked the one you did.

I have Arms!

Heraldic ones that is! But my name was returned as being a masculine name. Never fear, I will not give up on registering Melbrigda as my name. I just can't be Leifsdottir anymore (Doesn't anyone in these current middle ages understand transgender issues? LOL!) I'm thinking of just being something like Melbrigda Borgby or i granby or stillingr (which means "chap with the stylus" LOL!) I've just used Melbrigda far too long and everyone knows me as Mel, so I'm willing to drop Leifsdottir.

These are my arms. I have yet to read the full LOAR so I don't know if Cato's arms passed or not. But you can be sure to read it here as soon as I know.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Luttrell Psalter in Action!

This came from my scribes list, but I just had to share it to a wider market! Luttrell Psalter in Action! You all know how much I love this psalter and it is one of my favorites to copy for scroll work. It is fun to see it acted out. Be sure to follow the link on their pages to the YouTube videos. There are quite a few others than the ones directly linked.

Have fun!

Daggers and Hemlock Feast Thank you

Since I have no idea where to even begin with talking about how well the feast went I thought I would just copy my thank you notes here. I'll probably ramble on later about what I thought went really well and where I can improve. Hopefully I'll get some pictures to share soon.

Gracias, merci beaucoup, basimta, dekuji, Tak, dank u, mamoon, paljon kiitoksia, danksche, go raibh maith agaibh, arigato gozaimashita, dziekuje, in other words, THANK YOU!!!

I can't ever thank you all enough for allowing me the opportunity to come and work the kitchen for Daggers and Hemlock! It was a blast and there are a LOT of people that I need to thank. Despite a few limitations that we had (an itty bitty refrigerator, cooling issues, a small tea maker, and not nearly enough platters and bowls) the feast went off without a hitch! YOU helped make that possible!

First to the servers: Lord Gunnar, Lord Antonio, Lady Isabella, Lady Gefn, Lady Jacqueline, Lord Lorchan, Lady Erinmach, and the dear lady whose name I did not get, but who was so invaluable in helping get feast to table (if someone knows who this lady is please let me know!). Thank you also to His Lordship Jose Leodefridz for being my hall steward, even though you don't know how to count!

To my drink servers: Tristan, Yazmin, Katie (Rolando, is that your daughter's name?), Keon, and Leil. Boys, I'm sorry you got stuck with the unsweetened tea again. Thank you so much for being champs, not complaining and doing your job as best you could despite not doing what you wanted. I got high praises from many people for all of your kind, courteous and efficient service during the feast. It makes my heart so glad when the youth of our kingdom work so willingly. You are an inspiration to youth (and adults) everywhere!

On that note, a special thank you to Freya, Theodoric's daughter, for coming to the kitchen to beg to assist during the feast. Thank you so much for offering your assistance and being so patient in waiting for the fourth course.

To all those that assisted in setting up the hall for feast, thank you thank you thank you! You did a great job and it looked splendid! I have no idea who did it, I just know it was done and done beautifully!

To Sulva Ottarsdottir for being such a willing food taster and for dying to gracefully! You were adorable and brought wonderful humor to the theme of the event!

To Margareta Geijsbert called Greet, thank you for the wonderful inspiration to create the gorgeous stained glass window designs and orchestrating that whole project. They are truly awe-inspiring and absolutely GORGEOUS! They take my breath away every time I see them! They added so much to the ambiance of the feast. There were many many hands that went into their creation. Thank you all for helping see Greet's vision through!

To those that popped into the kitchen at various times during the day to lend a hand, cut some veggies, figure out how to make tea, wash some dishes, relay a message, make me take a drink and eat something, and just pass by with a smile and a wave and a "It smells good." Thank you!

Thank you to Lady Alicia de Nice who helped to form the hedgehogs and organized all the helpers for that. Thank you also for taking over the refreshment table for the day. You did it so well and I know it was truly appreciated by SO many people given the heat and the early problem with the air conditioner. People complimented us on providing that table and you did it so beautifully! I'm not sure how many times you were in and out of the kitchen with pitchers for refilling, buckets of ice to go out and all the other little things that you did. Thank you also for lending your voice to entertain during the feast. I wish I could have been in there to hear you, but I am told it was lovely and you assisted in allowing me extra time to create platters!

To Lord Saxa and Her Ladyship Lavena for making breakfast and cleaning up afterwards. Thank you both for all that you did in coming through periodically to see if I was doing ok and washing a pan or two or adjusting fans and creating open spaces for us to work. Breakfast was a huge hit and I appreciate you taking charge of that so that I could organize my day and for my class.

To Lord Refr, thank you for making me stay in the kitchen during the day and for kicking me out after the feast. Your team of fighter dishwashers were amazing and you whipped that kitchen into shape in no time flat! Please let me know who all was in there scrubbing away so I didn't have to!

To Lady Lyonet for entertaining Keon and Sulva so I didn't have to worry about them through the day. Lady you were amazing with all you did yesterday! Thank you thank you thank you!

To the crew of the Belladonna thank you for all your assistance, for loaning me much needed things for the kitchen, and for setting up lunch. I hope things went well with that. The burgers and cobbler and corn were delicious and satisfying for this busy cook! Your ship is gorgeous!

To Angel, who truly is an angel! You were amazing getting trays set up, washing TONS of dishes, arranging food, cutting, chopping, peeling, and reminding me to breathe! You can come in my kitchen anytime!

To Lord Mychael, who came from to our event from a place afar and worked all day in the kitchen. I can't wait until I can return the favor. I truly enjoyed your presence and your skills. You make some awesome bread, too and you made the atmosphere light and airy even when the heat was thick and exhausting. Thank you also for saving my life from the mean, horrid and gigantic beast.

To His Lordship Cato, I thank you SO much for all your encouragement through this whole process. For putting up with my panic attacks, shopping ventures, storing of an entire kitchen in our music room, my obsessive compulsive list making, and rantings when things weren't quite going right. Your support for my "small" projects is immeasurable! Thank you for checking on me during the day and for packing the car after the feast. Thank you for bringing me a taste of Lord Gunnar's mead and for calming my nerves.

Thank you to Gefroi and Lady Gabrielle for allowing me this wonderful opportunity. I love working in the kitchen and appreciate the trust you had in me to be able to pull this off.

To my dear daughter Emily (who still hasn't settled on a name, but it doesn't make her any less my daughter) THANK YOU!!! I can't even begin to know where to start. You helped with the shopping, the packing, the loading and unloading, the keeping me awake while driving to and from the site on Friday. You peeled, sliced, stirred, washed, chopped, mixed, weighed, minced, and rolled all that feathery fillo all without complaining, even though there was a lot to complain about. You were on your feet all day and kept me on task always asking what you could do next. You were truly my assistant cook and your canisiones were well received (for those that may not know Emily made all the canisiones!) I'm glad you have found your place in this Knowne World!

And lastly to all those that ate feast. To those who have been in the SCA for decades to those who were at their first feast, thank you for coming and eating and enjoying this feast. If it wasn't for you eating, there would be no reason to cook! Thank you for giving me a reason to cook!

I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. There were a lot of hands that went into making this feast happen and know that I appreciate all that you did to make this little event and feast a reality!

To Phoenix Glade! Vivat!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Tomorrow is the day that I get to run around like a headless chicken (as if I'm not today with the home inspection at 4:00) That's right. The same week as our
Big Event I have a home inspection for a refi!! Half my music room is filled with non-perishables, cooking and serving "things" and big rubbermaid totes filled with more cooking and serving "things." (Oh for the inspector to be a SCAdian!) I've been so busy getting the house ready that there are still things I have to do for the event. I finally got all the scrolls done yesterday when I took a 10 minute break. The feast menu sheets are nearly done (need another proof-reading and printing). And if life wasn't stressful enough we sold out and upped the feast from 50 to 75! (Which if I recall is the number I originally proposed.) So now I'm having to refigure all the ingredients to accomodate these extra people. It isn't too bad because some of the ingredients I have excess of anyway (you can't buy half a bag of flour or a quarter of a roast), but other things I'm a bit stumped on. It will all work in the end. I'm calm.

Yeah right.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Scroll Pictures (FINALLY!)

After months of teasing you about getting pictures of my latest scrolls (that I actually got pics of before TRM's got ahold of them) I finally managed to get the camera, the correct memory card, the cord to connect said camera to the computer and time to do it all in one place at one time! Woot! So without further ado, here they are with notes and notations as best I can remember them!

This is from a 9th Century Swiss Missal. I have fallen in love with this style and it's beautiful blue caps:

Another from that same style:

Detail of the side artwork. The men were barefoot in the original, but I felt for an AoA scroll, that a Lord should at least have shoes! There were also three people in the picture and one of the men (I believe the one in blue) was originally drawn with that saintly halo around his head. We may be making someone a Lord, but I don't think we can elevate him to sainthood!

Yep, same style, same era.
And some detail of the cock.

This was for the Order of the Cygnet, our youth's primary award. It is based on the acanthus leaves from the French from a tutorial that I found online. I'll post the link in a separate post.

More Detail. Sorry it is blury. One day I'll actually get the scanner set back up and can get better pics!

And this is for the Order of the Rising Swan, the secondary youth award. Usually given to teens or mature tweens. Just something simple. French style.
And the detail:

I hope no one is offended, I called this one my phallus scroll because, well, hmm, er, it just had too much of "that" shape on it. I'll spare you the detail photo!

Back to that Swiss Missal.

Detail of the B.

And the side:
This is a baroness' scroll that I was honored to be in attendance when it was awarded. It is from a Dutch book of hours. It's fairly simple and I need to learn how to do the shading around them like in the original manuscript.

And the detail:

Well, hopefully that will hold you for a while. I've got scrolls to work on for Daggers and Hemlock, but after that should be pretty free to do more scrolls.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I found these online from RUM court. The first is the pic of me in court in my Flemish working woman's outfit.

The next picture if Lavena in her Busy Bee Dress. The Queen requested that she stand and show herself as well. So glad she did! Lavena has been working hard the past two weeks doing things for TRM at Pennsic!

OK, that's all for now. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ok so it's been a month

Or more since I last posted. Sorry, just been busy and this is the blog that gets neglected. This month I have managed to make about a dozen original scrolls for the Crown of Meridies, a new kirtle, apron, kerchief and chemise, helped make peach mead, went to RUM (Royal University of Meridies) where I taught a class called An Overview of Hats, and recieved our kingdom's A&S award, which was really cool.

Aside from that most of what I have been doing is getting ready for a new homeschooling year (see our homeschool blog , knitting (check my knitting blog Knit Stuffs), and trying to stay out of the miserable heat (we have been having record temperatures well over 100°F with heat indeces at over 110°F!) I envy the 68°F that Portland was having yesterday while we were sweltering. It doesn't help the electric bill either when it is this hot. It's triple what we pay in the winter as we don't run the heater then.

Things are wrapping up nicely for the event. And I will begin shopping soon (probably next weekend as there weren't any great sales for what I need.) I'm glad that I budgeted using non-sale prices. Hopefully next week there will be some good prices on meats which will greatly help with my budget. I keep remembering things I need for the feast that aren't food related like dish detergent, bleach, paper towels, garbage bags, food storage bags for leftovers, etc. I still need to make the hats for the kitchen staff, so I may make myself sit down and whip out about a dozen of those tomorrow. They don't take long. OH wait, my sewing machine is crapping out on me. Hmmm. OK, maybe I'll make myself sit down and figure out what is wrong with the sewing machine tomorrow and then whip out a dozen of those. My staff looks well put together (no there will not be a dozen people in the kitchen at one time!) and things are shaping up nicely for the class. The Crown won't be coming (darn it) but that will probably be a good thing seeing as we have lots of fairly new people who might freak if royalty was present "What do we do? What do we do?" :)