Excellent Byzantine/Russian/Viking source

This was posted to me on the Booke of Faces, and it’s dreamy. Obviously I can’t read Russian, so I’m not sure if they are displaying Byzantine OR Russian in the earlier images, but the cultures do have a very heavy overlap when it comes to clothing. The shot of the superhumeral and cuffs are worth it alone, and gives you a good idea of how such accessories would have been closed and worn.


The Viking images are also REALLY worth it. I really like that apron dress style and I think that will be my next attempt. I love my heavily embroidered dress, but something a bit more…casual will be nice. And, oh look! Embroidery. Take that you fantasy Viking dress haters! 😉

Spring break, spring stress, oh look, new shiny!

I just got back from a few days down in the lush green tropical homeland of Florida to return to the cloudy, 30* maritime climate of the Arctic. Okay, so RI isn’t the Arctic, but that gosh darn groundhog LIED.

Hit the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in my new totally inaccurate but blasty-blast to wear Gahwazee outfit, complete with tassel bra goodness. Hey, it’s a fair! I can wear what I want! Next on the hit list is my mom.

The family that garbs together, stays together.

The outfit was pretty easy, I used a Simplicity pattern and just sorta…zoomed it up myself. The gomlek (undertunic) I whipped up with my imagination, using the funky selvages to my advantage, the bra is one of my old ones I bled all over trying to glue and handsew trim onto, and the skirt is just your run of the mill tiered broomstick or belly dance skirt. I believe it’s an 8 yard. I went with this look because Florida is hot when Rhode Island is not, therefore, I can have some fun. If it was going to be a cooler weekend, my actual SCA period Turkish would have been in order, but at least I got compliments on my…rack. The underbust Turkish coat is documentable to the 18th Century, when fashionable Turkish women were attempting to emulate the shapes of the Western women, notably the garish French. The tassels and the way I did the gomlek? Erm…not so much. That’s just for boogying at the festival. This will get some Pennsic wear, but probably with the neckline of the gomlek close.

Pre-Renaissance Festival filth. Kinda cursing myself over using the antique sari on the bottom.

Aside from that, I got to hit a couple of spring training baseball games, and sat at the kitchen table working on my undergrad thesis. The fun, let me tell you…No, I’ll tell you it’s most definitely not fun and I’m regretting going back to school at 28 (now 30) to get my bachelors when it should have been done 10 years ago. Life has a way of getting in the way. The thesis is The Varangian Guard, and their recruitment and downfall due to the First through Fourth Crusades. It sounds cooler than it is. In the immortal words of the old knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: “You chose…poorly.”

The Varangian Guard don’t get a lot of press, surprisingly, so it’s been a bit of a witchhunt. I’ve done some preliminary research for my book, Of Summer and Winter (shameless, I know) but I wanted to further myself as an academic, and at least have some really real for real research knowledge to back up my fiction.

In other news, I received my East Kingdom Artisanal Exchange Swap III gift this week! I was so excited when I opened this, aside from feeling like a total slacker for not having mine done yet.

It’s a lovely red coral and bronze necklace and fibulae set, using both Byzantine and Western Roman design features in the necklace. I CAN NOT wait to wear this. I feel like I need new garb just to do it! (I’ve been wanting a dark blue peplos…;) )

No cell phone pic can do this justice.

In Vino Veritas Part III, and Artisanal Swapage.

Racked the wine to the secondary today. It’s fermenting like a madwoman. I probably could have let it go longer, but the boy needed the larger carboy for his beer that he’s working on today. Either way, I plan to leave it in this carboy now for at least a month before the clarifying process. I picked up another 1 gallon jug today as well, now I have 2, which will be important for when I do my separate infusions of the rose and resin. As of this point, I’m not thinking they will be ready for paneling at War of the Roses (Memorial Day weekend) so at the earliest I should have a drinkable product by Pennsic, and especially good next year, as I intend to age as much as possible. It is wine after all. Though the Romans did drink a lot of young wine. Mostly because it was the primary beverage of choice, and though there were period winos (Pliny most certainly one of them) that did enjoy ages wines, there is no harm in younger beverages.

I also signed up for the Nobelese Largesse swap today via Facebook. It’s a Knowne-World wide artisanal swap that requires documentation. I cannot post what I am doing or who I have or pictures until the gift is sent for obvious reasons, but I am looking forward to participating in this one. 🙂

I am also involved in the East Kingdom Artisanal Swap for my second round. That gift has been finalized, and I am working on getting everything together to complete it. My previous swap gift went to Konstantia Kaloethina in Calontir, the founder of the NL swap, and I made for her a Byzantine Superhumeral out of shot purple silk, with some amethyst and pearl beadwork. I left it plain since we had discussed prior to me even having her as a swap recipient that she wanted one to adorn with her award medallions, but did not know how to sew one for herself.

Konstantia's Superhumeral

I received in the swap a lovely wooden chest with my arms on it, and a couple of brass and bronze medallions from Sir Yessunge Altan, I was blown away.

Wooden Chest from Sir Yessunge.Medallions that came in the box.

You can see the type of work that goes into these swaps, this is why I’m so excited for NL, being limited to 40 participants, and worldwide. I do love a challenge!

Another day of brewing…

I just knocked out my 2nd annual gallon of espresso cordial. It won big at the Bridge Birthday drinking, I mean, Brewing Contest, also known as “Pickle the Baron.” The recipe is proprietary, sorry, folks. 😉

The original name of it was “Dark, Dirty, and Whipped,” but I think I’m changing it to “Auntie Anna’s Award-Winning Marriage Proposal Juice” or something along those lines, as I have never been offered hands in marriage by so many people at once.

I also tried a new sekanjabin recipe today, and this is a Pomegranate Balsamic variant. The redaction is below:

2 cups of POM juice
1 cup water
1 cup balsamic vinegar (NOT vinaigrette! That’s dressing. LOL.)
4 cups of sugar

boil together for a half hour, cool, and bottle. Easy, peasy, tasty. The color is a dark burgundy/brown, and the flavor is very caramely and almost tea in nature from the balsamic, plus the juice. It’s very sweet, but I can see it being VERY nice on a hot day in ice cold water. So this will be popular at Pennsic.

So I now have 4 full sekanjabin recipes I can easily produce.  However, the boyfriend does not enjoy it that much, so I can’t take over my kitchen with bottles of syrup, lol. I guess I’ll have to take my time with them, though I STILL want to try cinnamon with apple cider vinegar. 😉