Reappear!

Hey everybody!

I know I’ve really fallen off the face of the earth lately, or at least tripped very near the edge.  I haven’t had much time for myself, but I have tried to follow along with some of you silently.

Work is work, and overtime seems to be a never-ending condition these days.  Still, that makes it easier to pay bills so I won’t complain too much.

Part of my ‘me’ time has been going to volunteering for the local branch of the SCA, a medieval re-enactment group.  I’m my branch’s chronicler which means I take the meeting minutes (once a month) and produce the branch newsletter (4 times per year.)

I’ve also just finished making a youth activity book (y’know, coloring pages, word finds, picture matching, etc) so I haven’t been creatively dormant, just redirected for a bit.  I did warn you all that my focus can shift 😉

 

Okay!  So here are some of the pages from the book I made!  Feel free to print them and color them (or, y’know, have your kids do it).  It was an activity book that focused on kids in the Middle Ages, or focused kids on how it was different from modern life.

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

©2014 Eliza Murdock

Advertisements

I MADE A THING!

I’m so excited right now!  (not to mention my neck is sore and my hand is cramped) but LOOK!  I MADE A THING!  I’m so proud of myself!  *dances around, pointing enthusiastically*

This is a post-card sized gouache painting in medieval illumination style. All original artwork. The figures are Odin and Frigga. The runes are transliterated English, and are a paraphrasing of a verse in the Norse Edda (the saga myths) which says "Hail the Gods and Goddesses, and all the generous earth."

This is a post-card sized gouache painting in medieval illumination style. Original artwork. © Eliza Murdock 2013

This is my first attempt to do a picture after the fashion of medieval illuminations, such as these.  I gotta admit, I’m hooked!

The figures are Odin with his two ravens, and Frigga shown spinning. The runes are transliterated English, and are a paraphrasing of a verse in the Norse Edda (the saga myths). It says “Hail the Gods and Goddesses, and all the generous earth.”

Odin, Frigga, and the overall layout are entirely original, but I did base the ship on this carving:

Found here: http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/norse_ships.htm

Except for the border lines, I did this all free-hand.    Here are my ‘in work’ sketches

Pencil sketch of Odin

Pencil sketch of Odin

Pencil sketch of Frigga

Pencil sketch of Frigga

Finished sketch

Finished sketch

And when I went to ink in the lines, I realized I didn’t have a fin enough tipped pen to do it!  This is post-card scale, remember, it’s very small.  Though hey, I’ve finally found a USE for my insanely small doddle skills!  Anyway, so I had to get out the finest liner brush I had and painted the outlines in.

painted outline

painted outline

As you may be able to see, some of the details were added after the sketch, such as the extra detail in the waves, or even while I was painting, with the carvings on the ship prow and stern.

 

And now… I’m going to go take a nap!

When I wake up, I’ll make apple soda!  Seriously.

Norse Runes

I want to learn Norse. The precursor to such languages as Danish, Icelandic, and Swedish.  The two main dialects had diverged by around 1300AD or so into two main groups,  East Norse and West Norse.  East is the Danish/Swedish version and West is the Icelandic/Norwegian.

No matter which way you slice it, I’m pretty much Norse.  My mother’s side is Swedish, my Dad’s side is Scottish, but further back is Dutch, and all those came ultimately from the Norse, so I suppose if I’m going to decide to get obsessive about anything, Norse would be the most logical.

I’m hardly being obsessive for its own sake, though.  I’m trying to develop my Norse personae for the SCA, and in doing that I decided I wanted a better understanding of the language.  There are pages all over the internet where you can find the Norse “alphabet”, called the Futhark (so named after the first six letters of the language.)  This is further split into Elder Futhark and Younger Futhark, and I’m going for the Elder as it has more letters/sounds available.

Anyway, so while I can find the Runic alphabet plastered far and wide, that does nothing to understand the language itself.  So I went looking to see if there was any place to actually learn *Norse* on the internet.  Turns out, there is!  Very basic, of course.  I won’t be composing scientific dissertations in it anytime soon, but as a very rudimentary yet eloquent introduction to the language, I could hardly ask for better.

Of course, I’ve also been trying to memorize the Elder Futhark as well, which isn’t too difficult.  Many of the letters are similar enough to roman letters that it’s easy to make the association.  And I’m finding that reading them in a transliterative style isn’t all that difficult.  In fact, today during a meeting I was trying not to fall asleep in, I ended up making the following doodle:

 

list

…that’s my shopping list.

It says…

Shopping list
_____________
toothpaste
(v)inegar  [there’s actually no ‘v’ in Norse, so I used the ‘w’ instead]
dishsoap
bleach
===========
fabric dye
mustard
deep blue

It doesn’t say these things in actual Norse, of course, merely transliterating English into Norse runes.   But they say the best way to learn a new language is to make it as immersive as possible, and while I can’t exactly pack up and head to Sweden to find someone to chat Norse with me, I can practice reading and writing the letters. 🙂

I’m also doing more hand sewing again, and have sewn a populace badge for my local shire to wear on my belt.  (The SCA branches are split into several types of “chapters”, the smallest ( or one of the smallest) is called a shire. Populace badges are basically heraldry that says “I’m from here”.  Think of it as traveling to another state or country and displaying your home state/country flag as an indication of where you’re from, and that’s the general use of a populace badge in the SCA.)

It so happens that the Shire of Midhaven falls within the mundane county of Skagit in Washington State.  Among other things, we are quite well known for our tulips.  Like, we rival Holland.  Our populace badge for the Shire is, therefore, a tulip.  The tulip itself is white, on a blue background, and bordered on both sides by a white stripe then a black stripe.   I dusted off my applique skills and decided to sew up my badge.

I’m extremely proud to say that every last stitch was done by hand, and the back has a loop for passing my belt through.

Shire of Midhaven populace badge

Shire of Midhaven populace badge

Now that I’ve finished mine, I’m making two more for two of my friends who live here as well.  The second tulip looks much better than this one (it isn’t leaning) so getting better with even the small amount of practice.  The third should be just about perfect at this rate 😀

And in the grand tradition of collecting hobbies, I’m also going to be attempting scribal and illumination arts soon.  I want to take some of my more ‘medievally flavored’ poems and songs and put them onto illuminated scrolls, so more artwork and painting will be in my future, as well as learning calligraphy.  I already have a pen and ink set, so I just need to practice drawing the shapes of the letters.

For those who can’t quite picture what I’m talking about…

This was an award given me by the Baron and Baroness of Dragons Laire (a somewhat larger branch than a shire, and located not too far away.)  The date of AS 41 equates to 2006.  AS stands for ‘anno societatis’ or ‘Year of the Society’ and counts from the beginning of the SCA.

Yep.  I certainly do like collecting hobbies. 😀

The Farmer’s Wife

A farmer left his widowed wife
With many years yet in her life.
He left her tracts of fallow land
At which she meant to set her hand.

She dug her furrow deep and true,
She irrigated through and through,
She worked her field all night and day,
Yet still her valley barren lay.

When then a young man happened by
She asked him if he’d like to try.

Now he was knight of noble birth,
And had he quite substantial girth;
But though his sword with steel was made,
It wasn’t quite so long in the blade.

Though valiant brought his tool to wield,
Yet barren still remained her field.
He ploughed her valley night and day
And then she sent him on his way.

When next a young man happened by,
She asked him if he’d like to try.

He was a bowman straight and tall,
And many maids had held enthrall.
But though his bow was hardwood strong,
He couldn’t weild it very long.

Though valiant brought his tool to wield,
Yet barren still remained her field.
He ploughed her valley night and day
And then she sent him on his way.

When next a young man happened by,
She asked him if he’d like to try.

The don was a flamboyant man
And with a flourish he began,
But though his foil was sharp as wit
Twasn’t broad enough to benefit.

Though valiant brought his tool to wield,
Yet barren still remained her field.
He ploughed her valley night and day
And then she sent him on his way.

When next a young man happened by,
She asked him if he’d like to try.

Now the bard, he had a set of lungs,
As skilled with hands as with his tongue.
To plough he brought out all his toys,
And bade her make a joyous noise!

So valiant brought his tool to wield,
He ploughed and ploughed, he would not yield
Until he counted daughters, three,
Two sons, and one babe yet to be!

The farmer’s widow’s now a wife,
And happy in her married life.
She tends her duties in the day,
But nightly in her fields they play!

A Willing Man

A Willing Man

Oh fair Ofira, seeketh she
A man to tread her soft valley.
Where is, under the moon so bright,
A willing man to bed tonight?

The Baker’s in a drunken state,
He’s face first down upon his plate!
He can’t be roused and set to rise
To be a willing man tonight.

The Carpenter instead she tries;
His wife’s away, but oh, surprise!
He pegs a maid so fair and bright,
A willing man to her tonight!

Oh fair Ofira, seeketh she
A willing man to bed tonight!

Inspired by: we drink because we’re poets Thursday Poetry Prompt #14

Love. That is your prompt people. Remember when I said that we would do the form of doom this week? he he he Let’s see if you are up to the challenge. Here is your form for the prompt.

Kyrielle Sonnet. Here is a link describing what this is. Link here.

“..A Kyrielle Sonnet consists of 14 lines (three rhyming quatrain stanzas and a non-rhyming couplet). Just like the traditional Kyrielle poem, the Kyrielle Sonnet also has a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the Kyrielle Sonnet consists of only eight syllables. French poetry forms have a tendency to link back to the beginning of the poem, so common practice is to use the first and last line of the first quatrain as the ending couplet. This would also re-enforce the refrain within the poem. Therefore, a good rhyming scheme for a Kyrielle Sonnet would be: 

AabB, ccbB, ddbB, AB -or- AbaB, cbcB, dbdB, AB. …”

I’ve decided to get back into the SCA (a world-wide medieval reenactment group) after a not entirely willing absence of a few years, and part of that has me in a mind of bawdy old songs that are so deliciously dirty without being foul.   And this definitely plays with the general perception that it’s the men who are out carousing to find a willing woman… So I sort of missed the mark on “love”, depending on exactly how you want to define it.  To keep with the format requested, here is my Kyrielle Sonnet, but I think this “song” will actually have many more stanzas in it by the time I’m finished!

I played with the refrain to make it make sense.  I’m not sure if that’s technically allowed, but it still gives the same feel, I think…

Here’s a quick longer version that would work well as a song:

Oh fair Ofira, seeketh she
A man to tread her soft valley.
Where is, under the moon so bright,
A willing man to bed tonight?

The Baker’s in a drunken state,
He’s face first down upon his plate!
He can’t be roused and set to rise
To be a willing man tonight.

The Carpenter instead she tries;
His wife’s away, but oh, surprise!
He pegs a maid so fair and bright,
A willing man to her tonight!

Oh fair Ofira, seeketh she
A man to tread her soft valley.
Where is, under the moon so bright,
A willing man to bed tonight?

To yonder side of town she goes,
Across the stream which swiftly flows,
Where lives the woodcutter, who might
Yet be a willing man tonight.

A rap upon his door gives she
Eager to fell his hardwood tree,
But he puts out the candle light
He’s not a willing man tonight!

Oh fair Ofira, seeketh she
A man to tread her soft valley.
Where is, under the moon so bright,
A willing man to bed tonight?

Two traders then she passes by,
One gives a smile, one gives the eye.
Can she decide, the left or right,
Which willing man to bed tonight?

She takes the hand of each in tow
To play between them, to and fro;
There’s no need for to be a fight
When there’s two willing men tonight!

Oh fair Ofira, seeketh she
A man to tread her soft valley.
Where is, under the moon so bright,
A willing man to bed tonight?

Oh fair Ofira, seeketh she
A willing man to bed tonight!