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Tips To Using A Cartridge Pen

I remember when I started learning calligraphy. I wondered whether I should learn using a pen that already had the ink inside it or one you dip into ink. As far as I knew they were the same. They both made letters. Cartridge pens just seemed more convenient. So that’s where I began calligraphy using a cartridge pen. If you’re like me, you’ll read about them, maybe feeling lost. Eventually, you’ll decide to jump in. You buy a cartridge pen to see what happens. Like me you make mistakes but eventually your adventure shows you what these pens offer. Or, you give up because of a few hassles perhaps giving up totally on calligraphy. I don’t want anyone giving up. That’s why I decided to write this. To give you info and tips to using cartridge pens. Whether you’re new to calligraphy or have used them for a time you’ll find help with them here. To make sure every one is on the same page here, a cartridge is the ink reservoir you swap out to refill the pen’s ink. Their advantage is they’re easy. When you’re out of ink you pop in a new cartridge and you’re good to go. You can find cartridge pens and their inks easily at art stores or online. If you prefer – although a bit messy – you can buy ink in bottles and inject it into empty cartridges. But remember you need […]

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Best Renaissance Faire of Nebraska – 2019

I hadn’t planned to attend the Renaissance Faire this year. I’d planned to visit my brother in Minneapolis for his birthday. That didn’t happen for several reasons. But it meant I was able to help out with Lonely Tower‘s demo at the Renaissance Faire of Nebraska. I’m not going to give a lengthy tale about it. I’ll just share with you a few of the pictures I took. You can tell by the pictures how much fun a RenFaire is. If you haven’t attended one you should. So on to the pictures. So there are two parts to my pictures. First are pictures of Lonely Tower folk enjoying the day and telling RenFaire guests the fun we have all year long recreating things from before 1600. Of course we show off our arts and crafts. And visit with our friends and members from our neighboring Barony of Mag Mor, Lincoln, NE. This RenFaire is to awesome to keep to ourselves. And of course their are martial arts demonstrations. And some things like a Russian caring for a guest’s Chihuahua. You just never know what you’ll find. But there’s more to this wonderful Nebraska RenFaire than what we in the SCA do for it. So the following pictures are a few I took as I walked through out the faire. As I told you at first I hadn’t planned to attend this fascinating whimsical event. I wish I’d had more time […]

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Why Declutter Your Craftspace?

Ahem. It’s that time of year. The time for decluttering. That itch hits me every spring. Do you get that feeling too? Spring is a time I feel compelled to purge and organize my craft supplies, SCA hobby materials, and tools. If I don’t act on it soon enough it gets lost in Lilies Prep time. Then each messes up the other and neither goes well. There are people who have a minimalist storage style like my friend Grace. Any closet or drawer of hers you open is neat, simple and systematically organized. That’s not me. I’m an unruly craft supply collector. But, this time I really did it. I switched my sewing station and a cube-shelf to the room’s other side and added a another cube thing near my painting station. The new one took only an hour or so to make. And I did it all by myself. After the cube was done and my sewing table was under the open-curtained window. I moved a few smaller items and began sorting my materials and supplies.  I know there are benefits to organizing your creative space, whatever its size or use. The obvious is it’s easier to find what you seek. Over time I’ve learned there are other benies too. Going through your materials and tools cache unearths forgotten projects. Supply residuals remind me of forgotten finished projects. Things I since gave away or threw away. Unfinished projects call […]

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SCA Apprentice Scouting

My first published novel, ‘American Rust,’ took three and a half years of full-time work to write. But I wrote two apprentice novels before that. Philipp Meyer You probably know an apprentice is someone learning a trade. For Meyer it was writing novels. In the SCA it can be any pre-17th century craft. Or multiple crafts based on a theme you choose. In the Middle Ages apprentices were legally bound to a master craftsman. In the SCA there’s a sorta similar relationship. For laurel’s their student is called an apprentice. So, how do you become a laurel’s apprentice? Are there specific steps you follow? It’s a process. It begins when you have an affinity with an SCA Laurel. That affinity doesn’t have to be based on a shared skill, persona, or even similar Kingdoms. If you’re not already their friend and sometimes if you are, you send out feelers. You say something that lets the peer know you’d like to be more than hangout-friends. You’re scouting. Ok, but what’s the typical way you do that? Sorry folks I don’t have an answer for you. There’s no set person that must ask. Either the Laurel or the interested friend can do it. The tough part is some peers have a preference. If you think that’s case you might ask an intermediate friend to help. To act as your matchmaker. Once you both agree the next step is also fuzzy. Together you […]

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