Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So many arts and crafts, so little time...

Since I have so many things that I do in the SCA -- plus things that I want to do, plus some that I used to do -- I thought I'd list them all. This list is in no particular order, and it will include activities that I did once or twice. At least I will have this as a reference if anyone asks.

Costuming/sewing. This is probably the most fundamental A&S activity within the SCA, as Corpora (our Society-wide governing document) specifies that the only requirement to attend an SCA event is "an attempt at pre-17th-century clothing." (Well, that and a few bucks.)

Granted, many perfectly good SCAdians, even some Peers, don't make their costumes. Either they have a family member or close friend make them, or they buy them from a merchant, or they barter something else for clothing. Or a combination thereof. Still, unless your body perfectly matches a standard clothing size and/or you have a huge pot of disposable income, eventually you need to apply needle and thread to cloth.

Still, I find garb sewing to be a time-consuming and somewhat tedious task. Maybe my feeling has to do with my late mother's enthusiasm for sewing clothes for herself and for me (at least until she got into her late 60s or maybe age 70 -- I can't recall exactly when she stopped sewing). The construction of a garment, at least in my view, is not something that you can do for a short while, then put down and pick up again later. If you're using a sewing machine, you are using a rather large tool tethered to a table and an electrical outlet, and if you're hand-stitching, the garment is still usually too large to lug around on public transportation. Remember how I wrote back on July 15 that I was making myself a light blue linen dress? Well, I still haven't finished that dress. At the 30th-Year event I wore another light blue dress, but that one was of indeterminate fiber content, and it was something I'd bought for $2 and then stashed away for several years before digging it out of storage.

I've also heard (or read somewhere online, can't remember exactly where, though) that, in order to be considered for a Peerage (any Peerage) someday, you really ought to wear something with more thought in it than a T-tunic. Good point. Most of us are visual people, and first impressions count. It was one thing to be new in the Society and to have the need to build up a simple wardrobe that could take me through Pennsic and a few other events. Now, if I want to be taken seriously as a Lithuanian lady persona, perhaps it's time to start dressing like one. (If only the clothing evidence weren't so sketchy....)

I am starting to make a list of sewing projects I'd like to do, but since this entry is supposed to be an overview of my status with all the various A&S activities, I think I'd better move on.

Instrumental music. Besides the Lithuanian studies, this is probably what I'm best known for among the SCA A&S activities. (Indeed, it's what I got the Storvik Order of the Owl for.) I am certainly not professional/Laurel caliber in this area, but I can keep a beat on a drum or tambourine, and I have learned how to play some simple dance tunes on a soprano recorder. I've come to realize that my bowed psaltery is not any more period than a 20th-century guitar, but I still enjoy playing what I call a "rhythmic harmony" on it. See, I don't think that the bowed psaltery (or BP) is well suited for the quick, intricate tunes of bransles, English country dances and some other dances -- or at least I have trouble playing those notes as fast as required -- the bow catches on the upper pegs. Thank goodness I've got enough knowledge of chords to be able to fill in with harmonious notes (most of the time).

To be continued, of course....

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