(Originally posted on LJ.)
I was shocked to recently look at my scribal page and realize that the last illumination I'd done was nearly a year ago, two combat scrolls done at Raglan (here and here). After about mid-July last year, sitting hunched over a table because just too uncomfortable, and then there was the lack of time, lack of sleep, lack of motivation which meant I was just calligraphing on already made blanks (I still can't believe that all three lacks didn't contribute to more errors than they did!).
But almost as soon as the final blow was struck during Crown Tourney, I knew I needed to change that, because there was a recipient and a scroll that I had to do.
Kingdom law concerning the Panache says that membership in this order is given to those "who have distinguished themselves by long and consistent excellence in the Arts and who have also constantly made their expertise available to the various members of the Kingdom." Ælfwynn pretty much single handedly got the Isengau scriptorium up and running, the scribes of which have produced many beautiful scrolls during my tenure as signet, often last-minute requests that I knew I could count on her to fulfil. I have been waiting for her to be at an event where royalty was at so that I could recommend her for membership in the Order of the Panache for more than two years! Eleanora attended Isengau's local event while Princess, but the group desired to keep things informal so I couldn't suggest a regency court. Then there was Garden of Earthly Delights at which point I was simply not enough on the ball to write my recommendation in time (and also I knew I was in no position to do the scroll if my recommendation was acted on, which would've disappointed me greatly). So when she said that she was attending Collegium of Defense, I knew what I was doing the weekend after coronation!
Since it had been so long since I'd done any painting, I wanted to pick something simple and yet still flashy. I wrote up a text (which I ended up having to cut down while calligraphing, even though I picked a small hand and a large piece of perg, I still didn't have enough space, which was disappointing), and then decided on this 'T' for the initial: Codex 163, f.185v (I can't figure out how to download a version of the image that has all of the T, and PrtScr isn't working for some reason; if I get an image of it later I'll update the post, for now you can just follow the link). I thought it looked fairly simple, and the calligraphy was close enough to my default Carolingian hand that I was going to give it a try copying it.
Unfortunately, this ended up being one of those scrolls where I'm unhappy with almost every aspect of it; the opacity of the green, the detail of the red, the shape of my curves, the calligraphy itself, the line spacing, the fact that I had to modify the text...pretty much the only things that turned out where the initial painted letters, which style I've tried many times now with disappointing results, and finally I like the way these look. And of course, there is one other fact that redeems the entire scroll: I got to sign my name to it and give it to a dear and deserving friend whose membership in this Order is now assured for all ages. It doesn't get much cooler than that.
Also, many, many people have told me they think it looks good, so I guess it passes the arm's length test, especially when it's not next to the exemplar, so I'm willing to accept it's not as bad as I feel it is and be happy with it.
Oh, and the text reads:
To alle true and honourable People thiese present Letters heryng or redying We, Aryanhwy, Queen of Drachenwald and Patroness of the Arts, and Paul, our King, due recomendation and greetings. For as moch as we the said King and Quene hauing of full Authority to all thyngs concernyng our office and station consideryng the noble estate of our loyalle and wellbeloved subject lady Ælfwynn Leoflæde dohtor who hath not only long pursued the craft of the scrivener but further hath long fostered this craft amongst others to the glory of owr kyngdome and is worthy that henceforward perpetually she be in all places admitted renomed accompted numbered and receyued amongst the company of the Order of the Panache and for this seing all thiese thinges also nobly done we hereby ordaine and assign to the same Ælfwynn the right to bear the blazon of the said order in the following manner: To wit issuant to chief from a torteau charged with a bezaunt peirced sable three feathers gules, Or, and sable, to haue and to hold for herself for euer. Therefore in witness of this We the Queen and King above named have drawen up this present charter signed by the queenes hand below and given in Turmstadt the twenty-third day of June the year of the society fourty-seven.
(In the Midrealm, it is not uncommon for scrolls for the A&S awards to have the queen's name first, as the patroness of A&S. I liked that idea and decided to adopt it for this text, especially since I was going to be giving it out alone.)