Monday, February 27, 2012

Cocktails and dreams

limon The limoncello project started on December 30th 2011 has reached it’s end tonight.
My friend Brian and I  cooked up a simple syrup using some of the lemon juice that we reserved from the zested lemon, strained out the zest and added the syrup.
The final product is still cooling but the first taste was quite good- all sweetness and lemons. So here is the yield for the limoncello project.
  • 6 liters vodka base Limoncello
  • 1 liter grain alcohol based Limoncello
  • 1 liter white overproof rum base limncello
In addition, I put up several pints of vodka to infuse with herbs and flower flavors.
  • 1 pint hibiscus flower vodkavodkas
  • 1 pint lavender infused vodka
  • 1 pint orange blossom infused vodka
  • 1 pint ginger, lemongrass, lemon balm and lemon verbena infused vodka
  • 1/4 pint ginger infused vodka
I hoping to use these infused vodkas to make some very delicious old time feel cocktails. I’ll be acquiring or making some lavender, ginger, orange and lemon sugars to pair with these infused vodkas.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


PICT1466This incredibly pink page was inspired by a leaf from the Hours of Engelbert of Nassau, executed by the Master of Mary of Burgundy.

This manuscript is fascinating having originally been owned and likely commissioned by Engelbert II of Nassau whose heraldry and motto appear throughout the manuscript. The book later came into possession of Phillip the Fair and his heraldry was painted over the coat of arms on Engelbert.

I have to admit, this is a LOT of pink. After the shadows on the vines and flowers it gained some depth and the small hatching in pale pink and pale grey helped to tone down the blaring nature of the all pink background. It may be kind of girly, but it turned out fairly pretty in the end.

This page measures 5 inches in width by 7 inches in height and will be turned in to the Chart Signet for general kingdom use.

Inspired by Folio 79v- Hours of the Cross: None

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Catherine of Cleves Folio

photo (7) Based upon folio 157 of the hours of Catherine of Cleves, this border surrounded a miniature of St Elizabeth.

Produced circa 1440 in Utrecht by an anonymous Dutch artist known as the Master of Catherine of Cleves, this book includes beautiful tromp l’oeil borders and miniatures of increasing intricacy. This border is unique among design elements in the book.

Again, this piece was mainly done to get myself back into the design and styling needed for Kingdom use scrolls rather than intricate and elaborate commission pieces. Drawing, inking and illumination probably came to about 5-6 hours of work. I produced this page at Hoggetowne Medieval Faire while talking to guests so nailing down the time spent is really difficult. I turned the page in to the Chart Signet of Trimaris for general Kingdom use.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Painted Love

My Valentine’s Day present from John:


Inside the capitals are included elements of our SCA heraldry: his cross fleury and my compass star and butterfly. He had a small folder of research which included historical designs for the capitals and the heart which was inspired by a portion of a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign. John also showed me a whitework design that he had intended for inside the heart of a pendant tulip hanging from the inverted point of the heart and lovebirds with overlapping tails turned away from each other but each glancing back to regard the other. I hope some day to see that in paint and not just pencil.

Not surprisingly, there were tears.

Thank you my darling. I <3 you too.

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2012

Hogge3  A few weeks ago I spent a weekend doing a demo of illumination at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville FL. The SCA demo area looked fantastic and we had a great range of arts and crafts on display including spinning, weaving, embroidery, dying, blacksmithing, metal casting, cooking, illumination and more.

While painting I easily talked to a hundred people over the weekend who were specifically interested in the scribal arts of the middle ages. One of my favorites was a girl of about seven who brought every member of her family over to see me and later told me “I think you are amazing at painting and also a very nice lady”. Precious. Shockingly, I managed to entirely finish one new piece and make it 80% of the way through a second even though I was constantly stopping to talk to guests.

I’m going to try to do a few days of Hogge1illumination demo at the Bay Area Ren Faire over the next few months. Hopefully the experience will be just as great as Hoggetowne.

Thanks again to the Barony of An Crosaire for being so welcoming and accommodating. Special thanks to Thalassia for the bed and to Finnguala, Thalassia and Ryan for the great company!