I will be taking part in two SCA Twelfth Night events this year. The first one is at Flaming Gryphon, a different barony than my own Middle Marches barony, although Flaming Gryphon is only about an hour away or so, to the west. Then the second one is the celebration hosted by my own Baron Talymar and Baroness Melisande at a summer campgrounds also about an hour away, but to the north.

I’m working feverishly on finishing my costumes, which we call “garb” in the SCA, for each event. For Flaming Gryphon, which is indoors, I’ll be wearing an elaborate Slav garb, complete with a gold brocade caftan, a kind of robe that goes over my embroidered linen underdress. For Middle Marches, at the campground, the major factor is WARMTH, and I am trying feverishly, with my friend Janet VanMeter’s help, to alter my wool apron dress on time, so that it fits over a wool kirtle plus a linen chemise, with a lined wool full-length cloak on top.

It is bitterly cold here, way below freezing. An Arctic air mass has settled over us for at least a week, with no apparent end in sight! Ugh! 😦

I’ll be teaching my Amazing Princess Ol’ga class at both events. See the link to my post about her here: My article on Princess Ol’ga is published!

To teach the class, I’ll be taking along my new whiteboard, which measures 2 feet by 3 feet and is magnetic and reversible and comes with a shaky, tall easel. 😉 On one side of the board I’ll have multiple images of Ol’ga as she has been imagined through the ages. Must you ask what is on the other side? Maps, of course!

I’m a mapaholic! (A bookaholic, too.)

Here are some of my favorite images of Ol’ga, as well as maps. I’m afraid that I don’t have their attributions handy at the moment, but once I locate them, I’ll come back and edit the post:


Plus some images from the seminal Primary Chronicle, written by the Kievan Caves monk Nestor in the early 12th century, which established some of the most famous legends about Ol’ga. The illustrations were added in the 14th century. The first one shows Ol’ga’s Second Vengeance, when she burned the Derevlian delegation in the sauna. The second one shows her conversation with and then her baptism beside Constantine VII in Constantinople:

Месть_княгини_Ольги olga burning delegationRadzivill_Olga_in_Konstantinopol baptism Radzivil

Finally, of course, there are maps!

This first one is from a little bit before Ol’ga’s time:



And this one is from the century after Ol’ga lived in Kiev.


Here is the map from my article:

Rus' Principalities

I think it is rather comical that none of them places Constantinople on the map! 🙂

Then there is this map that shows the river system of the Rus’ area (modern-day western Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine). I like it because it so clearly shows the Dneipr River, which was, and is, so important to Kiev and points north and south:


russian_river_map (1)

Many images of Princess Ol’ga show her holding a miniature city, which represents Kiev, which she saved from would-be conquerors.  Many wanted to usurp the fledgling Rurikid Dynasty once Ol’ga was widowed after the murder of her husband Prince Igor, who was the second-generation Viking Rus’ ruler of that dynasty.

Here is a modern representation of her holding Kiev, which I use at the top of both sides of my whiteboard. It is called “Olganator,” by artist Lisa Graves; accessed on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. https://historywitch.com/page/4.


images olga title page

Please wish me luck driving safely to these events in this frigid weather and finding the campground, which is way out in the middle of nowhere. I hope my old car makes it. And that my classes go well, and I stay warm at the campground and, most of all, that I have fun. Because fun is what Twelfth Night is all about! 🙂

Tonight, at our weekly SCA Marche of Tirnewydd meeting, I gave our Majesties, King Cellach and Queen Vukasin, their Twelfth Night gifts, since I won’t see them at either of the upcoming events. I made each of them a beaded necklace, a long devotional one for the King, plus a box of chocolates for the Queen, who has a sweet tooth.

And most significantly for me (and hopefully for them and their enjoyment), because playing the harp was one of the reasons that Their Majesties elevated me to the Award of Arms recently, I made for them a five-minute recording in my living room of an anonymous 13th century French trouvere chanson, or song, . The trouveres were the northern French (including Paris) equivalent of the better-known southern French troubadours.

Towards the end of the month, I’ve been invited to play that chanson, and others, on my harp, in addition to giving a mini-class about the trouveres during Bardic Circle at a big annual event called “A Regular Event in Cleftlands.” I feel quite honored, and I’m practicing!

Please wish me luck in all these endeavors!