Teasing Out Progress

I’ll be honest, I don’t feel like I’ve gotten much accomplished this week. I know I did a lot, but… I helped a friend everyday for more than a week which ate a good chunk of time, and I’m working on a special project that has eaten up quite a bit more. Eventually I’ll be able to share that project, but it will be a couple of months. I’ll say it again, I need to buckle down, do more, and make my projects even more of a priority. I have a lot to do, and I want to get as many things done as possible while I still have the “free time” of being unemployed. I make no apologies for the sarcasm. I would much rather be making theater happen than trying to figure out how to pivot to a different career.

The end is coming And I try to be prepared To do more with less

My industry still slumbers And I’m left empty handed

Travelling Outfit 2.0 – The to-be asetori is now sleeveless. It’s taking longer than expected to pick out all the stitching as I was sewing with much higher stitches per inch than necessary. It also took several days of courage gathering before I was willing to start. This garment was my very first fully hand-sewn one, and it was hard to start ripping out seams I worked so hard on. Of course, I realize this now, days later. Hindsight. It should be easier to “fix” garments moving forward. The good news is one of the sleeves was cut on the selvage edge so I won’t have to hem the cuffs.

Saishi Class – Trying to wrap my head around these notes. I feel the need to reread the paper on historic hairstyles, I may have missed something, and I definitely didn’t take good enough notes as I can’t find any in my main document.

Language – Japanese lessons continue apace. I’ve almost gotten all of the hiragana down, just a handful more cards in my flash-card deck to learn. My pronunciation is getting better, and I think I’m ready to start watching television programs in Japanese. I was also given a link to a resource that provides Nara era poetry, line by line in the original and transliterated into romaji. I’m looking forward to digging into that.

Training – This is frustrating. My hip seemed to improve, but that may have been a result of halting the high intensity workout. I was able to walk just over 2 miles yesterday. Tomorrow I get to line up physical therapy. Fun.

1000 Tanka – I’ve started writing 4 or more tanka each day again as I’m sharing poems in 4 places daily. Current count is 473.

It is not a choice,  With sunlight comes the shadows Yin balanced by Yang

The trick is in maintaining A delicate harmony

Champion – My Poetry Month Challenge is going very well. I’ve had 34 participant poets and they’ve written a combined 149 poems as of yesterday. I’m thrilled with it. There are a handful of poets who have posted each day of the challenge so far. I’m quite tempted to make up some small tokens of appreciation for them, but I don’t know what. A special thank you message will have to suffice unless I come up with something I can make 6 or so copies of. I’ve also been sitting in on the recognition recordings for court. It’s lovely to see people get recognized for their hard work and contributions. And I’ve been able to wear a gifted set of robes. They were given to me almost 3 years ago, so it’s really nice to be able to wear them for the first time, even if no one other than myself and my partner get to see them. (I don’t know if I’ll be visible at all when the recording sessions are edited for court as I am just in the “gallery”). I intend to do a photo shoot wearing them at some point. The difference in weight between these airy silk robes and the linen and cotton of my war robes (the robes I wear at SCA War events that I can drag in the mud) is astonishing. The silk feels like nothing, and the others just feel SO heavy.

Wearing silk robes and having made historically accurate robes along with refolding a number of my war robes has gotten me thinking about how I want to proceed in what I wear to events. I’m not happy with my old war robes, most of which are well over 10 years old at this point. The cut is slightly wrong, the fabric is absolutely wrong…and I don’t know quite how I feel about wearing them again. I do need robes to wear to wars, but it feels so awful to wear things that are wrong and then have to explain that while very pretty, my outfit isn’t right/historically accurate. I need advice. I think I’ll ask my Laurel. Lots to think about while I continue working on other projects.

I’ve added a page to this website for my scribal projects and I’m working on a page dedicated to the Travelling Outfit that I hope to finish by the end of the month, we’ll see as I have a number of things I’d like to finish by the end of this month…

Progress on Projects

I’m enjoying this format of posting on a project by project basis.

Travelling Outfit 2.0 – I’ve hesitated in this. I’m finding it a little difficult to begin taking the sleeves off the to be asetori.

Champion – The poetry challenge for April has begun! And it’s going really well. People are posting poems and I’ve received a lot of positive feedback. It’s lovely. I also started attending the recording sessions for court. It was fun and I look forward to attending as many as are available!

Saishi Class – I’ve started to organize the notes into an outline. The structure of the class is starting to shape up, and I’m happy with what I have for an opening.

1000 Tanka – Current count 423.

Sometimes I wonder What I’ve gotten myself in And if I’ll get out

Sometimes projects feel too big It takes courage to finish

Training – Still recuperating. The PT seems to be working and I’m hoping to ease back into it soon.

Japanese Lessons – I’m learning more everyday. I can reliably count to 12 and I can read close to 100 hiragana characters.

Project by Project

Travelling Outfit 2.0 – Finished reading the 45 page paper. Wow. This was an amazing resource to find. Here’s a nugget, the kake-obi, that’s the red sash worn across the shoulders (I had used green in the first version) is used as an indicator that the woman was essentially warding off taboos. It says to everyone, this person has gone through the appropriate purification rituals. So I’ll need to make a red one to be accurate.

A bright red sash tied At the back to guard against Loss of purity

A powerful talisman For the travelling pilgrim

Also, there is an upcoming (virtual) inter-kingdom war, Bardic War. I have volunteered myself for the A&S warpoint. I don’t know that I’ll be chosen, only 12 are, and this is from the East and her allies, so there’s no guarantee I’ll make the team, but it definitely felt like the proper thing to do as Consort’s A&S Champion. This means it’s time to get moving on the physical part of the project. What is now the kosode will be altered with different sleeves and a shortened hem to make it a proper asetori. I have exactly the right amount of barely cream coloured silk taffeta to make the actual kosode. The hitoe needs it’s sleeves altered to remove the extra half panel as I can not back that up with research. I’ll need to make the red kake-obi and possibly a few himo (narrow ties) so that I’m not using scraps of fabric to hold my garments closed. I’ll use linen to make the kyohan (shin protectors). The last thing will be to take a new set of pictures. I intend to finish all of this by May 1. May 8 is the deadline.

And the great news from a trip to the fabric store, I was able to purchase the red silk I need for the kake-obi and also managed to get 7 yards of a light silk taffeta in white for my summer hitoe.

Saishi Class- I think the next step for this class is to organize my notes and see what I actually have. I’ll probably be able to hone a second round of research after that assessment.

Kumihimo – I’ve finished the second cord! I kept a 3 inch piece for my weaving journal.

Two bundles of maroon and light grey cord, tied around the middle, sitting on a small light grey drawstring bag

Japanese Lessons – I’ve finished the first of four sections.

Training – I’m off training for a little while. I injured myself, or aggravated an old injury. It will take a bit of time to recover properly, and then I’ll be back at it.

Injury feels like Having one’s wings clipped after Just learning to fly

Failure is part of success Sometimes you have to be still

1000 Tanka – Current count at 396.

Champion – And in other poetry news, I’ve announced the challenge to the kingdom to encourage everyone to try their hand at some poetry for the month of April. I’m looking forward to the lovely things people will write.

Petals fall like snow Littering the ground in shades Of bright pink and white

Oh plum, the first to blossom, Could you stay a while longer?

And the Meet the Champions Panel is now available on YouTube!

Playing Catch Up

3/10

The tama for the second round of cord for my Laurel have been wound.

Took my first Japanese lesson today.

3/20

And then I stopped keeping track. And I didn’t post at the one week mark. Sigh. I am still working on things. Let’s try a project based approach for the rest of this post so we can get caught up.

Kumihimo – I now have half of the second cord for my Laurel complete. I hope to have it finished by the end of the month so I can send it off in time for the anniversary of my belting in April. Explanation of belting: the day that I became an apprentice. Apprentices wear green belts. I was presented with a fan, not a belt, because belts aren’t very visible with what I usually wear. Unfortunately, my apprentice fan was lost during Gulfnado. That still makes me very sad. And I still need to make a new green fan. I draw some comfort knowing that my proposed device (which has been sent off for approval and registration) honors my apprentice fan and my Laurel. On a fan vert a escallop argent, or a white scallop shell on a green fan. My Laurel has a white scallop shell on her device.

Saishi Class – I’ve read through a paper comparing Korean and Japanese hairstyles and have been able to glean a bit of information from it. I still need to transfer the notes to my class notes document. The paper made some interesting points on the magical beliefs concerning hair and delineated the influence of China on both the Korean peninsula and the Japanese islands.

Language – I’m studying Japanese every day. I’ve learned some hiragana, and my vocabulary is growing. I’m delighted that I’ve started to develop an ear for the language, and my pronunciation is improving.

Training – I’m also exercising every day with an eye toward fighting in the SCA. There’s a quote from Miyamoto Musashi that helps me focus, “You can only fight the way you practice.” Now. I will be quite honest that training to fight is not at all something a respectable kuge (court noble) woman would do. But it’s an element of the SCA that I have always been drawn to, and if we’re being brutally honest, I want to do ALL THE THINGS.

1000 Tanka – This project brings me so much joy. I’ve been writing poetry, specifically tanka every day for almost 5 months. Current count is 374. I’m still on track to finish on time.

There is no shame in Small steps along the journey The path is the same

Whether the footfalls are fast Or not is of no matter

A&S Champion – Oh, yes, this is it’s own project now. I have a deep desire to do the best job I possibly can (in all things, but especially this public facing position). I see part of my job as inspiring the people of the East Kingdom to explore the arts and sciences. To that end, I have devised a challenge. April is poetry month. I am inviting the East to try writing poems. I will post a prompt each day, and people can respond to that prompt with a poem that may or may not be inspired by the provided word if they feel so inclined. It ties in nicely to two events that are upcoming, the Laurel Challenge and Exhibition (at least one of the challenges is for poetry) and Bardic War. I’m already receiving support/encouragement from the MOAS office. It is my hope that people will use the opportunity to explore poetry appropriate to their persona.

The video of the panel I was part of has not yet been uploaded to the East Kingdom YouTube Channel. Once it is, I’ll share the link.

Travelling Outfit 2.0 – I’m slowly taking in the paper I found. Fascinating information. Once I finish it and then read it again, I’ll have quite a bit to say about it. I just want to absorb it and then figure out how it can improve my documentation and deepen my understanding of what it was like to be a Heian noblewoman. It’s also exciting to learn new things about this outfit without the pressure of perfection and a deadline. Ok, so maybe there’s a little pressure, but just a touch.