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It’s Hardest To See Your Progress Through a Mask

I know sometimes my sword-friends get frustrated with their skill development. Been there. Still there some days.

So here’s a little reminder. It’s hardest to see your progress through a mask.

When you get better the people around you get better. You make them better and, in turn, they make you better. It’s a leap-frogging cycle that makes measuring your progress frustrating at best and disheartening at worst.

But it’s so worth it for when things click. It’s worth it to prove to yourself that you can.

So when you feel that frustration build to a boil, take off your mask. Step away from the lists. Get feedback from people you trust. Tell the self-doubt to fuck off. And keep grinding away at those XPs.

Pennsic XLV Pictorial

Just a few pics from Pennsic XLV this year. Mostly of me from EK Melee Champs, where I was last man standing for my team and fending off three Midrealm fighters.

It’ll irk me for a long while that I didn’t win that fight for us. I know 3-on-1 is legit crazy odds, but I’ve done it before, so unable to do it when it really counted sucks. C’est la vie.

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In which the author becomes art

This is pretty awesome. Don Malocchio needed to practice using a new art program, so did a sweet painting-like portrait of me.

Don Remy Delamontagne de GascogneThe original image was a photograph taken by Bifrost Studios (also SCA) — you can find it here.

I wish I had a sweet mantle and fire place to hang the image over.

Malocchio also did the book cover for Honor Among Thieves for me.

EK Provost Collar/17th Century ‘Chain of Office’

As noted in a previous post, I became Master Donovan’s provost (see: fencing squire). He gave me a sweet blue leather collar with pewter hardware — similar to what some of the EK MoD’s have but in white.

Because of the hardware, I didn’t want to be wearing that at K&Q Rapier Champs or other fencing events. I’m afraid it’ll take a hit and break. Of course, the simple solution is “just don’t get hit” but simple =/= easy. So I wanted to make a “fighting collar.” It also gave me an excuse to whip up something that’s more in line with my 17th Century persona.

Very late in SCA period and beyond, the chains of offices slowly lost their chains and were replaced by fancy silk bands. This was my basis for the design. Super simple and easy. And like with my fancier provost collar, we put an EK Populace badge on it. The silk came by way of my fencing sister Alesone via Master Donovan.

East Kingdom Provost Collar
Right: Portrait of Robert Devereux (1565-1601), Earl of Essex; Left: my provost collar version

Replicating 17th Century Cavalry (Cavalier) Spurs

Finally completed my 17th Century-esque spurs!

17th Century replica spurs

I’ve been looking into spurs for a few years now, but I haven’t been able to find 17th Century accurate spurs anywhere. Not even UK-based English Civil War reenacting shops have them. I did find some nice 15th Century spurs from Raymond’s Quiet Press while at Pennsic this year, so I picked those up and some sweet 1/2″ buckles that match pretty well.

Fifteenth Century spurs are different than 17th Century spurs in a few ways. Continue reading Replicating 17th Century Cavalry (Cavalier) Spurs