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It’s 2016 – What’s the Plan?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? It’s the beginning of January, so it’s time to make some plans and start getting things done. If you’re in the SCA like us, you probably got some cool new Society-themed toys for Christmas. Now that it’s 2016, you’re making plans to finally get that weaving done, or learn how to sew. Perhaps you’ve got your eye on a top combat spot, and you’re eager for your local practices to start up again.

I know it’s early, but Gulf Wars isn’t that far off. If you meet weekly, you’ve got only 8 or so more meetups until it’s time to hit the field! With that in mind:

What do you need to make your persona complete?

I do metalwork, and I know literally dozens of professional artists and craftspeople. I can help you get your look together in more ways than one! Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to get you in touch with people who either sell what you’re looking for, or who can make it happen. My commission schedule is wide open now that the holiday orders are finished, so if you need metalwork, we’ll get it done.

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Procrastinator’s Ball and Sale

As you can see, the 12th Night Sale is going strong! I just want to remind you that it ends soon and most of the items are One of a Kind. When they’re gone, they’re gone. We have a few days left, so you can still share them with your friends and family as a “subtle” hint.

I’d also like to remind you that the Procrastinator’s Ball is in two days, and the 12th Night Sale prices will apply. We’re going to be in the Ballroom at Spirit, in Lawrenceville, and there’s some amazing music lined up, along with a host of wonderful local artists. Just look for our “castle walls” – We shouldn’t be hard to spot!

See You Soon!
Bran

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12th Night Sale!

12th Night Celebrations. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Starting today, I’m having a special sale where I discount a different piece of jewelry every evening for 12 nights!

I will post the discounted items on the home page and in my Featured Items on the storefront here. I will also put posts on Instagram, which will automatically go to Facebook and Twitter, so however you like to follow me, keep your eyes peeled! Oh, and they will STAY discounted throughout the sale, so you’ll have plenty of time for the first item, but not so much the last.

“But Brandy,” you ask, “why am you calling it a 12th Night Sale? Isn’t it the 12 Days of Christmas? And why are you starting on the 8th?”

Well, here’s some history for you. In Medieval times,12th night was a special celebration for Epiphany, which falls 12 days after Christmas. In some places it was celebrated right on or before the holiday, but the Coucil of Tours in the 6th century officially extended it to include all 12 days after Christmas. That’s where we get the song we can’t remember the last half of. Here in America, we have our “Days of Christmas” before Christmas, but the old tradition still stands in parts of Europe today.

“Oh, that explains it,” you say, “But why start on the 8th and not the 12th?”

That one’s simple: Shipping. I know items ordered on the last days won’t make it to California or Alaska from here in Pittsburgh in time for the holiday, but if you live on the East Coast there’s a good chance they will. I also wanted to offer some items left from the Sweetwater Holiday mART (Thank you very much, by the way!) and I get them back tomorrow.

I also have a show in Lawrenceville coming up on the 19th, whcih you’ll hear more about later in the week. So, please share the sale pieces with your friends, and make me the busiest elf in Aethelmearc!

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Coming Soon: New Parent Charm Collection

Finally! Charms for us who want sentimental jewelry that’s classy and nerdy!

What you’re looking at are the castings for my new line of charms, which debuted at Pennsic. We’ll be casting another run of them in sterling silver this weekend or early next week.

So what are they, exactly? These charms are meant for parents to wear in honor of their children. You’ve probably seen similar ones; charms that are shaped like people, usually with birthstones. While the idea is wonderful, the current selection in stores is pretty limited in terms of style.

My new line or parent charms was inspired by heraldry and cadency marks indicating birth order. Diamond shapes are for your daughters, while shields are for sons. The symbols on them show which order they were born in. The bridge-like shape, called a label, is for firstborns, the crecent moon for second, and so on. I’ve been able to find records of marks up to the double-digits, but I’ve decided to go up to five for now.

Once the second run is finished, we’ll be able to photograph them and put them up on the site for sale! There will also be an option to add birthstones or other personalization options for later runs.

I have an organizational question for you: Should I add the charms to the Pendant section, or make a new one specifically for Charms? Let me know in the comments!

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Engraving, War Practice and More

So, yeah – WOW.

Things have been a whirlwind for us here, on many different levels. I finished my Basic Engraving class, and it was AMAZING! Oh my goodness, engraving is fantastic. If you follow my Instagram feed, you know I love to draw, and this just combines drawing, jewelry and metal into one form. I can’t wait to combine it with things like gemstones and enamels. If you want to drool over some epic engraving, check out Sam Alfano’s Instagram feed – @master_engraver. Beautiful stuff!

After engaving class, we drove back from Kansas and clelbrated Lemony’s SIXTH BIRTHDAY! Whoo hoo! Then it was time to prep for our first solo SCA event, War Practice at Cooper’s Lake, which was this past weekend.

First off, Cooper’s Lake is beautiful. I’ve heard about it, but as you know, hearing about something and getting to experience it are two entirely different things. My one regret is that I didn’t get to go down and see the lake, but I’ll make sure to go see it and wander about for a bit next time.

Everyone there made us feel so welcome! It meant a lot to us SCA newbies, and Lemony had a wonderful time playing and making new friends. She even tried Youth Combat and loved it! I appreciate all of the suggestions I got for ways to get medieval on my displays. I think I’ll use them for mundane art shows as well, because why not? And I’ll be sure to get my documentation together. I don’t really make direct replicas, but my work is often inspired by specific pieces.

What now? Well, I’m waiting for my engraving tools to come in the mail and I’m planning for next month’s shows. I’m also thinking about circlet designs…

Did you go to War Practice? Is there anything we should look up or do at our next SCA event? Leave a comment and tell us.

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Jewelry Photos Before and After

We’ve been hard at work lately, what with the new site and gearing up for show season, but things are coming along nicely. The big focus lately has been updating our photos and getting the backlog of finished jewelry up.

I have to say that photographing my work has always been a huge task for me. I’ve always resisted it, and always thought of it as a huge chore. I mean, who wants to take a million pictures of things sittong on a plain background and then sit at the computer and edit them for hours on end, right?

That’s why I decided to have fun with it! Gathering cool props wasn’t a problem. I mean, we’re history nerds and geeks in general, so I’m more than a bit spoiled for choice. The weather’s getting nicer, so I have plenty of great ambient light on top of my lighting rig, and my mom got me my favorite documentary on DVD for my birthday, so I have something cool to play in the background while I work! It’s like the stars are aligning.

Check it out!

Necklace Before and after photo

Before and After shot of our Ruby-in-Zoisite Necklace. It’s amazing what a little creativity can do!
I’m loving the new look, and more importantly, I’m actually having FUN taking these pictures! It’s amazing what a little shift in mindset and perspective can do, right? I still have a ways to go with this, but keep checking back. Slowly but surely, the pictures will all get updated and the jewelry will look more like something you’d want to wear instead of something out of an inventory logbook.

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