The Media and You

We seem to have a complex relationship with the media. We appreciate the stories and attention, but we’re also frequently nervous that something will be misunderstood and that communication and expectations won’t be clear.

This is the paperwork for the class at Marketplace at Birka. This will be conducted at other events as well as online. This document is best used in concert with information from the workshop.

— Aneleda

Snail Husbandry Stinks (Fail Blog)

The horrible reality of snail husbandry going horribly wrong.

So I went out in the late summer and got about 1 gallon of wild, invasive aquatic snails for this Snail Water.

I happily raised them and they were doing ok. I tossed in some older greens, they’d eat, all was well.

Then I put in The Gourd.

I figured they’d all be fine, they had this gourd to eat, they seemed to like it, and there we are.

Well, the gourd molded, and the filter clogged with red weird algae mold and …the tank just didn’t recover.

So I’ve had a tank of mostly dead snails in the basement for…well, lets not discuss the exact chronology, but I’ll just say that my husband is the most patient of men. That tank smells bad. Like bog of eternal stench bad. So I did what anyone would do — ignored it totally until I coudn’t any more.

I didn’t want to admit defeat. I didn’t want to admit that — even though I successfully managed to breed mosquitoes in our house all the way through December — I had not managed to keep a gallon of snails alive, even after they had babies.

I am not good at this.

So, today, January 17, 2018, I bleached the tank after investigating it and acknowledging that there might be three living snails and there were absolutely certainly over a hundred very, very dead snails in various states of…um…gelatinousness.

Because they are invasive, I have to bleach everything that the water touches and the tank itself. It smells like a nightmare. I had to use my hand to get something I dropped. My hand smells like a nightmare. I’ve washed it. Twice.

I’m going to take a shower and see if I can rid myself of this putridness.

It’s probably the most medieval part of the experiment, actually, this smell.

Here’s a terribly miserable video for you about how I’m gunna have to start over this experiment….again.

Yours in failure,

The Gross Things Laurel

Check out the album including a pathetic video here:

Scroll text for Gnaea Celera – Silver Brooch & Award of Arms

Handmade calligraphy of words for Gnaea Celera.
Mari’s beautiful cadel and script elevate the words!

Scroll text for Gnaea Celera

Vīsiō ad orbam per gratia artis.*
Audite verbis Ivan et Matilde que regis regineque regnum orientalis.
Scite quotd his litteris agnoscimus virtutem dignitatemque subjecti nostrorum  Gnaea Celera.
Celear ultro meretur quam ob rem ametur; ita dapsiliter suos amicos alit.*
Vitriarius artificium  suum supremum optumum adpellat. Creare pulchras creterras, vitrum lepistas. Nulla dies sine artēs.*
Ergo Celera consocias cum consortium fibula argentum. Extollimus  et assignamus ei ordonis domina et beneficium armis [____blazon________]. Fit manibus nostris in IX die Decembris anno societatis LLI epulāribus baronia Bhakailia festum adventi.


She sees the world through love of art.*
Pay heed to the words of Ivan and Matilde, Tsar and Tsaritsa of the East Kingdom.
Know that by these letters we recognize the worth and dignity of our subject Gnaea Celera.
Celera earns of herself the merit of being loved; so abundantly does she nourish her friends.*
The glassmaker calls on her art, the all-highest and good. She creates  beautiful bowls and glass goblets. She has not a day without art.*
Therefore, we join Celera with the Order of the Silver Brooch.
We extole her and commit her to the rank of lady and grant to [him/her] all rights to the arms [______blazon________]. Done by our hands on the 9 day of December, in the year of the society 52 at the Yule Feast in the Barony of Bhakail.

*adapted from fragments of poems by Gnaeus Naevius

This was written to be presented in either long-paragraph or short paragraph style in the scroll. Calligraphy and Illumination was done by by Mari Clock.  It has 86 words in Latin and138 in the English translation.

This work includes Latin text from the Drachenwald AOA text contributed by contributed by Lady Aryanhwy merch Catmael. It also contains adapted fragments of poems by Gnaeus Naevius, Roman epic poet and dramatist. Any errors in the Latin are mine. (I had to do a lot of looking up in the conjugation dictionary!) If you want to see what it looks like when I try to write this stuff, here’s the link to the hairy, messy document where I take notes and figure out what I’m doing.


When We Were Young

I wrote this song for myself and for other friends who have become parents, seeing our lives — and our adventures — change.

It’s not always easy. But there it is.


When we were young

our swords were steel

and we fought dragons

We’d oil the moat

and stand to watch it burn.

We climbed mountains

as the snow lay crisp around us.

We bragged of love

and mighty sacrifice.

When we were young

Our arms were strong

our heads were more so

We’d oil our faces

and cavort around the fire.

We’d stumble, falling

as the flowers bloomed around us.

We sang of love

and mighty sacrifice.

When we were young

Our hearts were light

And we were noble.

We’d oil the lamps

and laugh ‘till they were gone.

We left taverns

as the dawn would blush around us.

We dreamed of love

and mighty sacrifice.

When we were young

our cloaks were thick

and we would wander.

We’d oil the cart

and push ‘till she would go.

We picked apples

as the leaves fell all around us.

We talked of love

and mighty sacrifice.

Now we have young

our swords are wood

and we are dragons.

We oil the pans

And pray that nothing burns.

We watch in silence,

as the stars grow bright around us.

We learned of love

and mighty sacrifice.

We watch in silence,

as the stars grow bright around us.

We know of love

and mighty sacrifice.

By Aneleda for Jean, Sorcia, and Gui-Andre

Icelandic Snail Cross

It’s typical for a consort to give their fighter a token with their arms on it to wear into battle. Often, this is done with a belt favor embroidered by the consort. I’m getting more and more into Viking garb and study, and Culann is a northern Celt, so a belt favor didn’t make sense to me. So I pondered, “what might a Norse woman give a northern Celt?”

I consulted with Master Freidrikr about what would be an appropriate gift and he suggested that an amulet, like a Thor’s Hammer, would have been a noble gift. My inspiration piece was an Icelandic 10th-century artifact known as the “Wolf Cross” or vargkors”  found in Foss.*

This is the final result:

bronze-cast winged snail version of Icelandic wolf-head cross


Wolf cross from Foss, Iceland, 10th-century
Wolf cross from Foss, Iceland, 10th-century

Out of beeswax I created a Thor’s Hammer as a gift for Sir Culann MacCiannon, my favor, for him to wear when he fought for me in the East Kingdom Spring Crown Tournament AS52.  It was cast in bronze by Mark Frasier (Izzo) and let’s be clear that Izzo did the lion’s share of the work!

My original one was really huge and would have been totally inappropriate for the work, I discovered, even if it had been successful. (And way, way too heavy.) The original was very tiny, mine is much bigger but still reasonable.**

Here’s a shot of the wax which was cast. A mold was poured around it and then when dry the mold (plaster and/or sand) is put in a kiln to harden, and the wax melts, leaving the empty cavity. (The first such mold exploded in the kiln because it still had moisture in it, losing the mold and the first wax item.) Then hot metal is poured into the mold and when cooled the mold is broken. Every piece is as unique as the wax because of this process.

Winged snail sculpted in beeswax


Winged snail sculpted in beeswax, top view


Here’s a whole photo process document, if you’re interested:


* (öllnir#/media/File:Vargkors_kopia.jpg)