Unique Bibliocraft Book Find

Yesterday I went to my favorite bookstore, Half Price Books. It’s so close to home, I’ve walked to it. I always check out their $2 sale section.  This time I found something unique. BiblioCraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Jumpstart Creative Projects, by Jessica Pigza. I bought it just for giggles, without looking it over. Was I surprised. As a SCAdian and a scribe, I’m well aware there’s amazing wealth in libraries. I thought I’d become an expert in searching them and online. This book’s author is a librarian and she beats my ability hands down.  Pigza’s book tells how to develop projects based on library resources, just like we do in the SCA. It’s intended for all creatives whether hobbyist or professional, basicly anyone in the SCA.  For us Part I may be the most important. In it Pigza tells how to find and use what libraries’ have to offer, online or in person. From the library’s branch, research, or special collections; to how to find the right library for you; to how to plan a library visit the proper way; and how to search. There’s amazing information there. Part II includes 20 projects inspired by library resources. While these projects are not historic recreations, the resource information within them is relevant. I was excited to read Pigza even includes stuff on illuminated manuscripts, penmanship, the history of type design, bookplates, decorative book bindings and the art of heraldry. Topics a scribe might […]

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Finding Sexy Codicology

I’m a Medieval manuscript search addict. I’ll admit it. This time I found the sexy way to find inspiration and information on digitized manuscripts. It’s Sexy Codicology  I’m nuts about its enlightening blog posts and newsletters, which is how I first discovered Sexy.  SC is an independent project that dives into digitized manuscript collections to find beautiful or intriguing illuminated manuscripts to share on social media. SC has over a thousand followers on its Pinterest board, a Sexy Codicology Youtube channel, a Twitter account, and an SC Facebook page with over 11,000 likes. They are also on Google+ and Tumblr. Sexy was started in July of 2013, by  Giulio Menna and Marjolein de Vos. Their team is spreading interest and access to the world’s illuminated manuscripts. They are also working with the collectors to make high resolution viewing technology operate consistently between digital collections. This will improve remote research between sites and provide artists greater access. Giulio Menna is dedicated to western medieval manuscripts and the challenges of digital humanities to develop new ways to access digitized material. He began the handy searchable digitized manuscript map (DMMapp) linking over 300 digital libraries with 20,000+ medieval manuscripts that can be browsed for free. It can also be accessed via an app. If you love medieval manuscripts as I do and also have my passion for new technologies to access them you’ll love Sexy Codicology. It is spreading the illuminated manuscript word around the digital world and bringing the dusty old manuscripts into today’s light.  Prior Related Post: How to Google for Illuminated Manuscript Inspirations

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New English Translation of Cennini

New Broecke Translation There’s a new English translation of Cennino d’Andrea Cennini’s “Il libro dell’ Arte, by Lara Broecke, a professional paintings conservator and artist. Amozon’s webpage intriguingly describes it as establishing: more precisely what Cennino actually wrote, by correcting more than 400 errors in Thompson’s text…In addition, the author’s most informative introduction places Cennino in context and accounts for the genesis of the libro dell’arte by r eference to the society in which it was produced. With all those errors some may explain the problems some have recreating Cennini’s recipes and techniques. While Broecke’s book is lauded as a “landmark text” for art history students and professionals it is just the kind of book many SCA scribes will drool over. And maybe for a long time because $90 for 248, 6.9 x 9.7 inch, pages is steep. Especially since Thompson’s 80-year-old version is cheap on Amazon and free on the web, although it takes effort to access on Notebook. Before you buy it, you may be interested in the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work‘s extensive review.  With my retirement budget, my option to read this book will be interlibrary loan from my local library. 

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5 Most Popular Blog Posts 0f 2016

Today I am sharing my 2016 five most popular blog posts. Those that have been “clicked-on” the most. These aren’t my “best” posts. (You and I have our own opinions of those.)  They may not be my most useful posts either. In today’s world popular blog posts happen by your willingness to share, comment on, and talk about them. It’s also how they rank in much, much later internet searches, making them more popular. So here’s my current top 5 blog review. 12th Night 2016: Barony of Lonely Tower’s Midwinter SCA Festival This one has the longevity advantage, as it was posted January 3rd. It is also a photo collection and people love pictures. But its count has been stable for 6 months. What’s An Award Scroll’s Purpose? Posted August 2nd, it already has almost as many clicks as #1. TBTh: 1990s Barony of the Lonely Tower Fashion Show Only posted September 1st, today it is shy by 7 clicks of #2. Not bad for less than a week. TBTh: Warthaven’s Master William Blackfox Posted August 18th.  Lilies War XXX Photo Array Posted June 19th and has a few clicks less than #4. Please leave me a comment below. Let me know what you think about them. I’d love to know, for my future posting efforts.

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My Random Reads

I love reading. Back in the day, I carried a paperback everywhere, just in case I was called upon to wait. Now with an eReader and a smart-phone, I’m never without a book. And most of them are digital.  Unless I am reading to learn something, I now prefer casual-books that keep me laughing. The best books for this are Jana DeLeon‘s Miss Fortune Mystery series that begins with Louisiana Longshot. I found this series a year ago and have read all eight.  There are other’s who write about Miss Fortune, her friends and the town of Sinful, Louisana, but Jana DeLeon’s are by far the best. I’ve explored other humorous mystery writers as well, but none compare.  I’m apparently not the only reader that adores DeLeon’s Sinful tales. The books have been picked up by Sony for a future TV series. And DeLeon is now listed as a best-selling author by both the New York Times and USA Today.  I enjoy her writing so much I’m reading the Shaye Archer private investigator series that begins with Malevolent. While these are serious detective stories, DeLeon’s well developed, personable characters carry the book easily through its tortuous, twisting plot.  I will continue reading the Shaye Archer series, but I can’t wait for the next Miss Fortune mystery to come out. I hope the TV contract doesn’t signal the series end, but a new beginning for the author. 

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Bang Up Book: "The Art Of Teaching Craft, A Complete Handbook"

Wandering through my local 1/2 Price Books I came across  the The Art Of Teaching Craft: A Complete Handbook by Joyce Spencer and Deborah Kneen. Written in 1995 it is just what I’d been searching for to help me prepare for my calligraphy and illumination classes. It is a practical guide to teaching small to medium classes, in your own home, your studio or at another venue. It details how to set up your space, plan your class, provide teaching aids and keep records. The authors also include multiple check-lists to summarize each section. I find it’s very useful for lesson plans. Written in 1995 for those living in Australia, it still applies to teaching crafts in the U.S. today. Although if you are starting a business you would want to confer with a lawyer on legal things.  An easy to read book and well thought out. However, I would love to see it updated. One that would include the use of internet media such as Pinterest, Facebook, eVite and Google Doc, Sheets, Slides and Forms.  So much has changed in internet media that are useful for small group teaching, but may be unknown to some.

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Blog Experiment

I’m at my local mall doing my lunch and 2ish mile walk. I’m also test-driving this Blogger app. Taking a photo and writing a brief post away from home. See how it handles bumps and speed. Snapping unsuspecting models’ pictures is a sneaky fun. People seldom survey their surroundings and never think to look up for a photographer or other nefarious acts. I am also more observant because I am a photo-sleuth. Later… The app doesn’t update well and its posts don’t have the same “look” as I use at home. Using something that accesses the Blogger website directly creates better posts.Too bad. It would have been gaggles of fun to photo-sleuth-post.

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Article Review: Starting and Maintaining A Scribes Guild

As I am planning things for the coming scribal classes, I found an excellent handout about starting and maintaining a scribes’ guild. While my intent for our classes was to continue on from the information provided at the recent Barony’s scribal introduction class, not to form a guild, the information in Hillary Rose Greenslade’s article is relevant and helpful.  She includes topics that are organizational, financial, and resourceful. Written for use in the SCA, its concepts could apply to any start-up art group supported by a broader organization, such as a church or community center. Her article cheerfully guides you through all operational stages and could serve as an entry guild leader job description. If you are reading my blog and want to start a local scribal group, within or without the SCA, Hillary’s article is just what you want to read. Be sure to check my Scribal Resources Page for recent additions.

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Bang-up Book "On Writing Well"

I’m reading this book on writing well. It’s a guide to writing nonfiction. And that’s almost its title. I’ve written so many SCA handouts and competition documentations I forgot writing nonfiction was fun.  William Zinsser’s book, while on writing basics, is amusing and shrewd. I’ve changed my style because of it.   I’m throwing out adverbs (when I recognize them) and abridging things. I’m rewriting earlier posts for practice. It’s fun seeing the flow and feeling become graceful. Although my dogs think I’m crazy, I say out loud everything I write before I push the publish button. A journalist and teacher, Zinsser sometimes breaks rules. Like his thoughts on contractions,  Your style will be warmer and truer to your personality if you use contractions like “I’ll” and “won’t” and “can’t” when they fit comfortably into your writing…There’s no rule against such informality–trust your ear and instincts. And the on valued untouchable initial word “but” he writes, Many of us were taught that no sentence should begin with ‘but.’ If that is what you learned, unlearn it–there’s no stronger word at the start. It announces total contrast with what has gone before, and the reader is therefore primed for the change. I relish the humor he spreads on each page. Like when he describes the difference between “that” and “which”. Anybody who tries to explain “that” and “which” in less than an hour is asking for trouble.  Or his comment about […]

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