I know, I know, I suck at this regular blogging thing, so I thought I better have a sit down and think about what have I been up to. I have an event to write up, one piece of news that definitely gets its own post and this post will be a general round up.
My very kind, awesome and fantabulous friend Gytha did a wonderful thing and commissioned this amazingly talented lady https://chantellegerrard.wordpress.com/ to make me a dress out of blacker than black velvety fabric she had equally kindly bought me last year. The fabric was stashed in my room where I would occasionally stroke it like a Bond villain (“No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die”) but I was terrified to touch it with a scissors all year. I really haven’t progressed past blind terror when it comes to cutting fabric, and slinky fabric with a mind of its own, never mind napping, was definitely not on my radar. I am extremely grateful that Chantelle persevered with what must have been a very onerous sewing task (I believe she likened it to sewing water). All that work and then it was me who had the immensely satisfying experience of stepping out to meet people along a path in the dark in my little-pool-of-centre-of-the-Universe dress. I do feel a little guilty. But only a little. I don’t currently have photos of this dress, it was dark when I wore it and on a hanger shots don’t do it justice.
I commissioned a reversible underdress that I can wear as a separate day dress as well, and I am extremely pleased, I love it. Anyone aware of the phenomenal increase in a certain style of dress in Lough Devnaree, (affectionately referred to as the “Boobie dress”), can make a very educated guess as to the style. The colours in the photo are coming up a it yellower than they are in real life. I also have a lovely new apron, since I do tend to find myself in kitchens. .
I need to commission something that Art will find comfortable and to suit his rather more demanding fashion needs. I suck at garb making, I really do. I have decided what I want is someone to cut out my patterns in my size for me, leave them in separately labelled packages and I will cheerfully hand sew them up, (preferably along little guide lines in an absolutely ideal world)
Chantelle being something of a miracle worker I got to wear it all at ID Coronet and University in Crawfordsburn Scout Centre near Bangor. Gytha made the most fantastic lunch, Aodh the most fantastic feast with recipes from al-Warraq, Nessa fought fantastically in her first tourney and most of House of Green were awarded their AoAs. I was the Queen’s lady in waiting for the Tourney and for Court, which meant I had absolutely the best view for seeing everyone’s reactions to their awards, which I heartily recommend! I gave a class on music reading to Culainn of Dun in Mara which I thought went pretty well, he was a fast study, I was most impressed. It was strange for me because I had a little secret, I knew he was getting his AoA because I had been responsible for creating his AoA scroll.
I forgot to get a picture/scan before I brought it to Coronet with me, this is a picture Culainn himself took. I think myself I should probably stick to illumination, but I am pleased with the way the initials turned out. Culainn is an early Irish persona with a fondness for the tales of Cuchulain. So that made the Book of Kells seem a reasonable choice from one Irish persona to another. Hounds are a definite thing for him, so I looked for Book of Kells hounds, but he is also known as “The House Fevre Puppy” so I went for the vaguely puppy-faced initial m. I strongly considered adding the latin phrase for “How much is that doggy in the window” into the margins, but I decided to play it safe and safe with the text too since I didn’t really know what I was doing. He was pleased, I got many hugs, so I’m chalking it up as a success 🙂 What it did make me aware of is how much I need to learn, for example I used gilding on the initials because people like shiny on their scrolls, but it’s probably not appropriate for the style I was reproducing. I also considered using some homemade oakgall ink, but was afraid it might be too acid, or have potential lightfastness problems when I haven’t really done any serious testing with it yet. I also need books, because working from pinterest images doesn’t really do the job properly. I also need to start taking trips to look at real samples.
That afternoon I gave a class as a Beginner’s introduction to Medieval Dyeing, with some samples of the dye stuffs as a visual aid. I was a lot more anxious about that one, as I am very conscious of my beginner status, but it went okay I think, and I was careful to make sure I sold it as a class to introduce people to it rather than anything definitive. If you don’t try these things you never know I suppose.
Gytha and I chose to wear our reversible dresses gold side out, prompting many a joke about “oh no, someone is wearing the same dress as you!” and good twin/evil twin (apparently I’m the good one) This prompted some serious scheming on the long drive home…..