Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vigil Planning for Matthias - Part 3

In this post, I give credit where credit is due as I talk about the AMAZING banners that were made for the vigil and the awesome people who contributed.

Research - Countess Marguerite
We reached out to Meggie as our local "person who knows stuff about silk painting stuff" and she put together a fantastic Pintrest board of information of how silk dyeing works, what to use, etc.  The coolest thing though was she did the research for period Austrian/German banners!

I want to call attention to this manuscript since this was the main source we used for the banner:

Manuscript ONB Han. Cod. 2915 Historia belli Troiani soluto sermone scripta Folio 47r Dating 1390-1400 From South, Germany Holding Institution Österreichische Nationalbibliothek:

Kind of weird nerdy fact - the middle orange banner has a Moor's head on there. Apparently that was a common "thing" to find in Germany on various coats of arms. See also Pope Benedict XVI's papal coat of arms as well which contains the "Moor of Freising" which is specific to Archdioses of Munich and Freising. I found out that nugget when I was going down a rabbit hole of researching the Holy See and papal coats of arms a while ago.

The "Oklahoma" shape of the banners is smack dab in the correct time period for Matthias' persona and is something we hadn't seen done with other banners. Meggie's idea of the motto banner to go with it is from the unicorn illumination in the same Pintrest board. She told us of her research about how unicorns were a very appropriate for the time period and for Germany in general. It's too much to share here, but ask her the next time you see her!

Latin phrase - Lady Tullia Tranquilla
Darostur's resident Latin expert (and mundanely a Latin teacher), Tullia very patiently listened to my ideas for mottos and translated/conjugated the various forms of how that would be expressed in proper Latin.  We settles on trying to capture the essence of "It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for" and went from there in translations.  She settled on her favorite being "Necesse est ut silentes spectes"

Unicorn Banner - Don Llewellyn Walsh
This section needs to first be prefaced with terrible unicorn sketches that I did for Thyra in coming up with what the banner sets should look like. Behold!
Graze upon their grace and splendor! (and goat toes)
Llewellyn was talented enough to turn that up there into this beautiful banner below.
Llewellyn and his lady posing with their awesome banner creation.

Motto Banner - Lady Fortune St. Keyne
Fortune came through in perhaps the hottest span of days possible leading up to GNEW to produce the motto banner.  Thyra provided the font for the motto and Fortune wrangled unruly silk, braved WTF humidity, and came through with a lovely piece of work.

Final piece is below, tied onto a borrowed spear in honor of the source document. (Yes that's me carrying the spear).

Photo courtesy of Astrid Sigrun Ulfkelsdottir (mka Jamie Driggers).

Seriously, I cannot thank this team of people enough.  They took some crazy ideas.  Made them appropriate to period, got things done on time, and rocked the hell out of this project.  You are all awesome.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Vigil Planning for Matthias - Part 2

Now that we had decided on the vigil garb, it was time to look for inspiration for the detail pieces - particularly the embroidery portion of the outfit.

Thyra and I sat down and looked for inspiration.  Off the bat, we decided that a group of people learning how to do German Brickwork stitch was not going to happen (because we like our friends and want to stay friends with them).

We stumbled upon this lady's blog in searching for inspiration:  There are lovely examples of her inspiration of polychrome tiles from a church in Burgendy.  More google searching led to information of this being a thing in various portions of Europe.

In Slovinia -

In France -  We also liked this from Kathy's blog -

In Germany (out of period restoration) - You need a subscription for the article, but a google search of the church will yield some nice pictures.

In Vienna - St Stephan's Cathedral roof is wonderful.

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
St Stephan's Cathedral.  Vienna, Austria
We did some initial sketching before deciding on a modified version of Kathy Storm's blog and embroidery pattern especially since we found examples of tiny M's in some of the brick work roofs.

Feilinn and Thyra get sketchy and toy with different ideas for trim!  You can see we started off with a comet theme since no one wanted to embroider unicorns.
With the planning done, it was off to the Worshipful Company for figuring out how to do this and get it sewn.  Marieta worked with Thyra to do the layout of the design with a pattern website I found (,  There was much hand waving and magic (and swearing and throwing things I imagine) and *poof* we had silk, a pattern traced out, thread from Akaterine, and it was off to the races with our embroidery kits.  14 kits in all done by 13 people. It was decided to do a backstitch for the embroidery since there were so many pieces.  Three strings of silk floss were used.

Here is my work for one of the sleeves of the purple silk over tunic.

One done.  You can see the pattern traced out on the plastic medium as a guide.

Two of four done for the sleeve.

All four done.  My husband's truck keys inadvertently provided for scale.

Vigil Planning for Matthias - Part 1

It's been a good year for Darostur (my household) so far.  One peer elevation, and two elevations for members of Edward's personal household in which Darostur helped with.  Well, let's not stop there! I had gotten word this was on the horizon like eight months or so ago.  As as Vice President of the Matthias Fan Club, I may have done a dance when I got the official confirmation he was going to be elevated to the Chivalry.

The big trick with organizing this thing was timing.  First it was Pennsic, then OMG NOT PENNSIC, the maybe GNEW, then sometime "hand wave"....nope definitely GNEW.  Since we had gotten the heads up well in advance, my personal mission start working early and not get sucked into the false sense of security that we had so much time...we'll get to it.  (like most people do every year for Pennsic prep)

I have the benefit of working with Thyra so we could chat during lunch about evil plans and logistics.  The first order of business was working out vigil garb.  Since Thyra knows everyone, she put out some feelers for suggestions on garb in the 14th C time frame for German/Austrian clothing.

Thyra's thoughts on the matter were discussed on our seeeecret Facebook page entitled "Dance Garb" because no one would think Thyra talking about dance garb would be anything other than what it was.. Oh ho!  Not the case!  See below for her thoughts on garbing Matthias.

-Targeting early 14th C Austrian
-From one source: "To a large extent 14thC is pan European so sources like fashion in the age of the black prince or woven into the earth are great."
-Related to that, fitted cotes are lovely, but we have to work off of measurements and I don't want it to look ill-fitted.
-Contrary to that, 14th C German/Austrian pictures show either plate armor + cloak (not an option) or loose tunics. Plus side, we know he likes wearing loose tunics.
- Here's a source that looks promising:

We decided that the kneeling guy was going to be our go-to inspiration for the garb portion of "Dance Garb".  And so it begins.....

Silver Wheel - Katherine

Well, I thought I took a picture of this phone disagrees with me. *sigh*

Scroll assignment:Order of the Silver Wheel
Recipient: Katherine Murray
Hand: Early Gothic (still practicing this one)
Specs: Gouache on pergamenata

I only did the left hand border of the manuscript and did some pen sprays/leaf motifs instead of the knotwork toward the bottom left.  The center of the letter was replaced with a red background with some whitework and the Silver Wheel symbol. I was quite happy with the white work overall.

Biggest feedback, I have to learn how to do capital letters now. Boooooooooo.