You, Me And Change

Dear Readers. I had a whole post written for you today. But after reading Jeremy Young’s summary of the 20 page Imperial College’s COVID-19 Report about the plague’s possible outcomes my post seems pointless. Being informed is always important. Sometimes new information is scary because it challenges everything you know. What you learn can change your life possibly forever. This is a time where living without information will affect your life dramatically. Knowing it will make your future more reasonable as things change. So I encourage you to at least read Young’s summary as I did. Because our lives will change dramatically, I’m take time off from here to rethink my blog’s path as my usual topics now seem irrelevant. Having you in my life means the world to me. Please do all you know and possibly can do to stay well during the Coronavirus Crises. May you and all who matter to you stay safe and well.

Read More →

Merry Christmas All

I’m fortunate my grandkids wanted this Grandma to stay overnight again this year. Waking up and watching them open their presents is my gift from them. There is no greater joy than seeing their dreams come true on Christmas. They won’t always be so eager for my sleepover with them, but for now I will enjoy it and be grateful. I […]

Read More →

Christmas Wishes From The 16th Century

With tomorrow being Christmas I thought you would enjoy this 16th-century poem describing what it meant at least to Thomas Musser – the poet of early Elizabethan farm life. Musser wrote about it in his book Fiue Hundreth Pints O Good Husbandry chapter 23.  Feast from the British Library’s 16th-c digitized Golf Book Add MS 24098  f. 19 Of Christ cōmeth Christmas, the name wt ye feast, a time […]

Read More →

Happy Friendversary – Almost

Detail from the British Library’s manuscript Burney 201  f. 90  Some of you have been reading this blog since I started it December 9, 2015. I am so pleased you are still with me. It’s an anniversary of sorts. A friendversary. It’s been an incredible journey for me. Seeing my numbers rise is inspiring. And the numbers keep going up. I started it as a hobby and a way to stay connected with people in the SCA and other scribes. I‘ve tried to give you meaty purposeful tips, tricks, and information about book arts and the SCA. I couldn’t have done it without you. A blog isn’t a blog without you the readers.  Especially this one because it isn’t my career. So as we celebrate a friendversary I want to say thank you for your support over the years. You’ve helped me make a dream come true. I hope what I’ve shared here has helped make your dreams realities, too.So here’s to our future together. With a new calendar year almost upon us, too. I hope you’re able to realize even more of your life’s dreams this year. Wishing you a Happy Friendversary. May we share many more.Related Prior Post:70 Years And Still CountingKris Kinder Absence–Family First My One Day Pageviews Shot Up Over 1000

Read More →

Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts 6

Jacques de Longuyon’s poem“Vows of the Peacock.”1350s Tooting butt trumpets, really? It’s amazing what you can find exploring Medieval illuminated manuscripts on the Internet. And this isn’t the only one. Medieval scribes worked long hours in cold rooms bent over their work. To entertain themselves bored and cranky Medieval scribes used the page’s margins to kvetch, adding ribald doodles that often commented on the text they were yet again copying.  If this perplexing marginalia entertains you I recommend Michael Camille’s enlightening book Images on the Edge: The Margins of Medieval Art. It teaches about their comments on Medieval life and gives you a rare look at their way of thinking. Surfing the Internet for weird marginalia is fun. But Camille’s very readable book takes that beyond exploring to learning about the perplexing border pictures and the people that doodled them. Prior Related Post: You can see others in my series Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Read More →

300 Posts And Counting

I want to say thank you to all my readers. You are the reason I continue writing. Your numbers are growing and that’s thrilling to me.If you had told me when I started this in December of 2015 that I’d still be doing this in late 2018 I would have doubted you, if not telling you straight out, “No way”. I doubted […]

Read More →

Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts 5.

British Library Additional 14761 f. 30v  c. 1340 Spain, N. E., Catalonia (Barcelona) I was surfing the British Library’s manuscript collection again for possible pictures to use on a scroll and noticed the cute bunnies in the manuscripts. Especially in the 14th century. So many, they weirdly multiplied like rabbits.  But another thing you’ll notice is how peculiarly violent some are. Beyond […]

Read More →

Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts 4

Cambrai Channsonier, MS. 126B fol. 132v,  Bruges 1542  Bibliothèque Municipale, When you look through this 16th-century songbook made for a Bruges aristocrat you see it’s filled with artistic, decorative daily life images. But it also includes many that are bluntly bizarre or crazy. It’s the Cambrai Chansonnier, MS 0128 dated 1543. Its fun pictures are delicately drawn in pen and ink then enhanced with color washes. I love the clever images you see worked through a music staff. And those useing the staff lines as a panorama picture frame. While it’s decorative versals may be creative floral combinations, many you see are just weird, like this anthropomorphic versal. I get the scribe created the unique posture to make a capital “A”. But why dream up the weird behavior? And this is one of the kinder weird images. Some are too inappropriate for even my blog. If you’re curious have a look. There are so many images to recreate you can be selective. Consider the intended recipient’s values and your pictures purpose. Above all have fun, because the original artist did. Or the perplexing images wouldn’t have been created. Related Prior Post:You can see others in my series Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts: 1, 2, 3.

Read More →

Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts 3

Link to image. When you look through this 13th-century manuscript made for the Pope you see it’s filled with giant killer bunnies, geese lynching wolves, and other crazy things. They are cute, silly, or a comment on Medieval daily life. But not all. This one pictures a dog hanging by its neck from a tree. The rabbit with his paw to his mouth casually shushes the dog. Even if the rabbit was a human why would ‘he” do that? Perplexing. And there’s more. The woman over the tree is looking into her mirror, a sign her looks are most important. The mirror shows she’s vane. Vanity is prideful and “Pride” was one of the 7 Deadly Sins.So not exactly things you want to put on a scroll. What would they tell the recipient? They’re mean or hate dogs. Lack respect. Think highly of their looks. There are cuter, sillier bas-de-page illuminations you can use in the Royal 10 E IV. There’s also weirder ones, too. You’ll find them in the manuscript’s perplexing details.  Related Prior Post:  Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts 1Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts  2

Read More →

Celebrating Our Nation’s Independence

Independence Day is a family day of barbeques and fireworks to celebrate the American freedom traditions. You’ll find watermelon and hot dog eating competitions, sporting events, three-legged races, and water activities. I display my American flag outside my door and listen to the neighbor’s fireworks go off with loud bangs scaring my dogs. I think the most impressive fireworks are […]

Read More →

Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts 2

14th century (1349-1351) Austria – Lilienfeld Cod. 151: Concordantiae caritatis fol. 244v  There is no reason you’d want to include a prejudicial illumination like this in SCA art. But why? What do you see? This 14th-century illumination shows a man wearing a Jews hat having sex, then being mortally stabbed for it.  But there’s more that’s perplexing. What’s up with his pointy hat? The tall unique hat […]

Read More →

Perplexing Pictures In Manuscripts

“Banquet With Courtesans In A Hostel” ca. 1455 – BNF, Paris Does this fun picture remind you of an SCA post revel? Music, food, and merry-making, but in Medieval clothing.  Look again. What’s really going on? You see the musician, but one guy’s up-chucking and another’s getting handsy with a woman. The title divulges they’re cavorting with courtesans.  I have a friend with a courtesan persona. Even so, I’ve never seen her act like this. Or any of my other SCA friends. At least not publicly. The SCA is a fun way to observe, learn, and recreate the Middle Ages honorable ideals.  It’s perplexing when you find pictures showing it otherwise.When you find a manuscript picture like this be careful if you recreate it. What you do with it makes a difference. Consider who will see it and the format in which you place it. It might be a fun stand-alone picture for the right person, but I wouldn’t recreate it for a competition. If I saw it in an event flier it would turn me off toward the event. And the negative things this miniature implies are definitely not appropriate for an SCA Monarch’s legal document, a scroll. If you find a perplexing picture in a manuscript others will see it that way too. Let that be your cue to be cautious with how you use its recreation. 

Read More →

Transforming Calontir Scribes

M. Aidan as the new KMOAS  at Kingdom Arts and Sciences event. If you went to the recent Calontir Arts and Sciences event you saw Aidan kennara Corcrinn become our new Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences (KMOAS). What you didn’t see there is what a fast worker she is. Already M. Aidan is reorganizing all things scribal for the Kingdom. She’s adding all book arts to the scribal fold and streamlining how we work together. She hasn’t even had the job one month. As the KMOAS, M. Adan is seeking a new Falcon Signet and leader for our expanded community. M. Elynor of Glastonbury more than served her tenure and deserves a break after her outstanding efforts. The incoming Signet will serve the whole book arts community-all pigmenters, parchmenters, paper-makers, text writers, and bookbinders. But what do you do as the Calontir Signet? The Falcon Signet is first a cheerleader for us all. Encouraging us by doing three main things: communicating, educating, and archiving. M. Aidan is asking the new Signet to create “how-to” guidelines describing the best, most accepted way to do book art things and update our 2004 Scribes’ Handbook to show how Calontir book artisans create awards today. The Falcon Signet also assists Their Majesties as needed. While most incoming Monarchs know what persona style awards they want, some need assistance finding the person to do the job or to design them. The Falcon Signet helps Their Highnesses find the right person for the Royal […]

Read More →