Monday, February 12, 2018

Maunche - Thorfinr

The idea for this scroll came to me pretty quickly as soon as I read the write up for the recipient.  The curveball with this one was the recipient is a Norse persona studying Chinese brewing among other things.

My research into finding a runestone that had any type of brewing, led me to the Stora Hammars stones in Gotland, Sweden.  Two of the four stones are still legible and the third stone (Stira Hammars III) has an image of Odin stealing mead in the form of an eagle.  Through the creative process, I ended up only going with images from the Stora Hammar I since the images from Stora Hammar III weren't as clear.  The Norsemen on boats sailing around I thought were a good nod to the variety of talents the recipient had as well as the study of brewing in a far off local.

The big creative departure from the original stone to my piece was the addition of runes.  The Stora Hammars do not have any runes themselves.  I provided with some amazing words that deserved a place to shine on the finished piece, so I took some creative license and ran with it

Stora Hammars I

I went back to my old familiar friend Liquitex acrylic for the paints and found a lovely few pieces of slate at Home Depot which became the canvas for this.  What I likes about these patio tiles vs the slate square tile I'd previously used was the irregular shape of the stone itself.  It made it feel more like a mini-runestone.  A mock-up of the actual stone was made to figure out the rune/words spacing.  After I have already committed to using this particular stone, I realized how uneven it was in sections.  Lines for the runes were made with my drafting ruler and Ames lettering guide.  I tried a bulk transfer of the images using graphite paper (which did a terrible job, btw) and ended up faking it/free-handing WAAAAAY more than I actually planned to.  Much of the detail in the top panel was lost and much arting had to be done to make it look like the original.  The bottom panel was slightly better, but that's not saying much all things considered.

After some peer opinions from my scribal group, I went with the consensus to do this monochrome and fill in the background pieces with red.  There are some obvious mistakes made, but I think at this point I might be the only one who can pick them out.

Here are some progress pics:

Scissors included for scale.  The rock is ~9.5 inches tall, 6 or 7 inches wide.

The original sacrifice in the top panel has a blank space where there is a valknut in the original.  I had originally put the Maunche symbol here, but it was too small and almost unrecognizable. 

Tiny Maunche was not doing itself any favors here.  

I filled in the space and moved the Mauche to one of the shields of the warriors on the bottom panel.
The Maunche circle is the size of a dime. Also good to know I can still free-hand a Maunche symbol
I credit my free Ikea pencil (the one you get to write you item # and bin location) for being the toughest leaded pencil I own to show up nice and dark on the stone.  Both of my nice mechanical pencils failed for hard core editing of sketches in the rough sections.

I asked for and received permission from TRM to sign for them.  It turned out to be a good thing too, because the only space really left was the most uneven and terrible spot let on the whole stone (bottom right corner).  My pics were taken before I had received permission to sign for them, hence the lack of signatures.

Painting was done with one of my "loaner" size 0 round brushes, TRM signature (not shown) and credits on back were done with a 30/0 liner brush.  Yes, you can tell I used to paint a lot of miniatures. :)

Recipient: Thorfinr Hróðgeirsson
Award: Order of the Maunche
Materials: acrylic on slate (Cadmium Red Deep Hue Liquitex)
Words by Vika Grigina z Prahy
Rune translation by Magnus hvalmagi
C&I by me

Finished pic, minus TRM signatures.

Back of stone, credits given to the wordsmith and translator.  I added my artist mark and the date...oh and wrote my name because it's a thing I have been forgetting to do recently.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Vigil Planning - Thyra

I'm pretty good at keeping secrets.  Keeping a secret from someone you see multiple times a week while also trying to prep for said secret...yeah  Now that's a challenge.

Disclaimer:  I met Thyra in college and have been lucky enough to have her put up with my terrible sense of humor and shenanigans for YEARS.  That includes Household, wedding, and general life shenanigans as well.  I am unashamed in how much I'm a fan of her and my ridiculous desire for her to have nice things.

For those of you who may not know, I spent 15 years working on and throwing LARP feasts, being kitchen help, and generally cooking for large groups of people.  I've been in only one SCA kitchen since I've been an active member.  When I was asked if I wanted to be "food boss" for the vigil, I was very excited.

Some food was farmed out to some amazing people whom I'm very grateful for.  The rest was either bought or made by myself and my husband Sergei.  I wanted to do a mix of medieval and modern food to appeal to more people.  I have a limited amount of medieval cook books so I flipped through and tried to pick out some favorites.  I'm going to talk about the medieval recipes below:

Elizabethan Lemon Cookies ( A Feast of Ice and Fire-, p166; adapted from Lucanyos Cookbook 1690)

Yes these are out of period.  Yes this is from a Game of Thrones cookbook.  No, I don't care since these are always delicious.  I have a tremendous respect for the ladies that worked on this book (who I hear rumor are local to Carolingia) and it's a personal favorite book.  It's enough of a favorite that I made an entire LARP feast using recipes from this book (including the rattlesnake recipe).

Another reason for using this recipe is it fits my idea of Thyra in a proper tea party.  Moire was already making scones so I thought this would fit.  Bonus, the naked lemons I had left over were used to make lemon curd for her scones.  Win-win!

This cookie is a weird one to work with as it doesn't really form a dough so much as a sugar lemon crumble,  Milk was added to the dough so it hold together a bit better.  They are light, lemony, and have just enough crisp at the edge to play nicely with the soft center.

Norwegian Pasties:(Pleyn Delit, 4)
Pre-made pie crust was used due to time constraints.  These hand pies were beef with pine nuts and Jack cheese.  I omitted the currant due to their use in the Ember Day Tarts and the ginger due to an allergy.  The pasties got an egg white wash on the crust to give them a more golden appearance.

My thoughts - the beef could have seen seasoned more and would have benefited from the homemade dough.  They were still tasty and I might have the leftovers for dinner on Monday. :)

Hirchones: (Pleyn Delit, 138)

Sausage hedgehogs!  The translation of this recipe went in a different direction than the original text in a variety of ways that I didn't feel bad throwing their seasoning "suggestion"  o just using ginger out the window.  Pork, especially ground pork, is very mild.  In the immortal words of my grandmother : "No one likes stingy cookies" (referring to underfilled/underspiced cookies).  Well the same goes for meat.  The spices should enhance and complement the flavor of the meat.  I used a bit of pepper, salt, more ginger than the recipe called for, a bit of garlic powder, and pinch of parsley mixed with the garlic powder.  The flavor of the meat was still mild, but you could tell there was some depth in there.

Sliced almonds were lightly toasted in a pan with sugar before being stuck into the oblong "hedgies".

Totally hedgehogs....

Tarts in Ymber Day: (Pleyn Delit, 3)

Also know as Ember Day Tarts.  This food is a bit of an inside joke.  I've made these tarts at least twice for LARPing for about 60-100 people each time.  Yes they are tasty, but they are pain to make.   Thyra made a huge grin right at me when I groaned when that got added to her "in Case of Peerage" letter.  *shakes fist in culinary rage*

Both Sergei and I leave out the saffron when making these because 1) we never have it in the house and 2) it's expensive for LARP food.  Due to time constraints, a pre-made pie crust was used.  I also substituted the individual spices listed her for my pre-mix stash of Pouder Douce that I had prepared from a variant of this recipe.  Just a pinch or two is more than enough.  In true Italian cooking fashion, the eyeball test was used to increase parsley and currants as necessary for the batches.  I also use sweet onions vs white onions as I think they play better with the savory aspects of the other ingredients.

As much as I might complain about these tarts, they're really delicious.

Ember Day Tarts:  my sworn nemesis.