Archive for the ‘A&S50 Challenge’ Category

Caid Pentathlon 2013

With my usual ironclad grasp of detail, I thought that the next Caid Pentathlon was in 2012. I grant you that I usually do my Pentathlon entries at the last possible moment but I’m trying to do better. Therefore I was thrilled to realize that Pentathlon is in fact 2013. Much better!

I am entering. I entered 3 Pents in a row and took a break last year to judge. I needed the break and judging experience but I really missed being a contestant. I know there is a question in some quarters as to whether Laurels should enter. This is not due to some theoretical universal expertise; everyone enters at least 4 categories and no one is an expert at everything. It’s more due to judging needs. Frankly Performance and Composition seem to be covered as I was only a judge in a single section last time. I don’t need to skip Pent so I can judge one section. If I were an expert in a bunch of period arts with a heavy number of entries this might be different, but I’m not. So there.

I’ll get smart and align my Pent entries with my A&S 50 Personal Challenge, and I always try to create things that I can use or that entertain others. Win-win (-win?)

Creative Displays

The A&S 50 Yahoo group was discussing various ways to present research results in addition to straight writing. The lady Anitra made the following suggestions, which I loved:

  • Teach a class
  • Write a book
  • Do a re-enactment
  • Produce a video for YouTube.
  • Write a solo performer play. (Doesn’t have to be long. A Day in the Life?) (Think ‘Harry Truman’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Vincent van Gogh’.) (Did you know that James Whitmore won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Harry Truman in the one-man play of that name – the only actor ever to do so?) Write a multiple performer play.
  • Do a demo for a school.
  • Live an entire day – or an entire Event – completely in character (including speech) – and write about your experiences afterwards.
  • Set up a blog.
  • Build a model of the town – then and now.

I love these ideas and my thanks to Anitra for allowing me to share them.

Unfinished

I titled this post “unfinished” because that is so often the story of my life! I plan projects well and start them well, but it takes me forever to finish. I just don’t like the process, I am so easily bored. It really affects me both in the SCA and mundanely. I knew this anyway, but really noticed it this morning when I went to update my list of A&S 50 persona projects. I’ve been working steadily on several projects so I assumed I could put in updates, but no — the new projects were all in process! Ack!

Some of this is unavoidable since several projects are slated for Caid’s Pentathlon. Two projects are done (one poem, one prose piece) but I won’t post them until Pentathlon is over. And the rest of the projects will be done by the April deadline and Iwill post them then. But still.

What I want and need to do — both in the SCA and mundanely — is pick a project and finish it. I can’t work on more than one project at once anyway, so why not target its completion and just do it? And with a longer project, plan it in stages and milestones and do that. It’s completely obvious and I get that, but I still struggle to do it.

So. Here is my public plan for my SCA projects: pick one project (or portion thereof) and get it done. Then start the next one. I believe it will look like this:

  1. Finish my research paper on late Anglo Saxon burial practices (I’m weird like that).
  2. Write a poem in the Anglo Saxon style and provide documentation.
  3. Finish my red checked wool by March 7.

O.K. — here I go. Wish me good hunting, because if I can learn to take projects to completion than my life will be much, much improved.

Dress Diary, Blue Norman #2

Since today is just 2 weeks before 12th Night, of course this is the time to actually start sewing the garb. *rolls eyes at self*

The plan today is to cut out the bliaut pieces. A reminder that I’m using “bliaut” in its sense of a court gown that was probably made of silk. The side-laced versions existed and are termed “bliauts,” but so did a looser version of the gown without lacing. It is still relatively form-fitting.

I have cut out the pieces. I now remember why I vastly prefer to work with wool over silk. Silk is a slippery little devil! The pieces are quite simple: front and back panels with slightly rounded neckline, 2 full gores, 4 half-gores that will turn into seamed full gores, and 4 underarm gussets. I like full skirts so place gores front, back, and sides. I also set-in my sleeves, a technique that really belongs more to the 13th century than the 12th. Along with the gussets, I much prefer the more shaped fit that this cut gives. I will also be cutting in the main panel sides a bit at the waist, and using underarm gussets gives additional shaping. As I am not side lacing this dress won’t be painted on me, but it will be nicely fitted.

I made a mistake with the sleeves but they will turn out fine. I’m experimenting with cutting the shape of the maunch or bell sleeve and didn’t pattern it correctly, so ended up cutting straight sleeves instead. Straight sleeves appear to be a more common choice for England anyway, and I cut them long so they’ll bunch up at the wrist. I’ll experiment more with long sleeves in the next iteration of this dress type for Pentathlon.

Dress Diary, Blue Norman #3

I did not sew the seams today like I planned, but I did cut and pin the ceinture and worked out the beading pattern. As soon as I have some beads down I’ll take a picture. I am uncertain about using the fabric for straight trim as I might cut out the diamonds in the fabric for applique instead. I’d add simple beading (this is not a German gown, more’s the pity) and applique them to the hem, sleeve hem, and neck. The beauty of this plan is that I can decorate the neck this way when I really can’t with the fabric strip. It’s possible to adjust a stretchier fabric to fit a curve, but this trim is fairly stiff and not cut on the bias. So applique would be cool.  With wimples and headrails you can’t see the neck anyway, but I would like the option of wearing an open veil and still show a decorated neckline.