Sunday, December 27, 2015

Phrase of the Month

alenda lux ubi orta libertas

Light [is] to be nourished where liberty [has] arisen. Or "let learning be cherished..."

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cardweaving, beginner class.

Cardweaving, beginner class.

Card woven finds as early as the 3rd century. Edging fabric in the 6th century. Bands have been found woven of wool, linen, silk, cotton, and combinations of these. Cards have been found made of wood, ivory, bone, leather and other substances with 4-8 holes.

The only thing you need for card weaving are cards and thread. Other aids include shuttle, beater, comb and loom.

Warping pattern and the turning pattern control the final result. The weft will only show a bit on the edges and diagonally. The kits are warped for this pattern with 16 blue, 10 red and 14 tan:
From Card Weaving by Candace Crockett. Isbn 0-934026-61-0

A common turning pattern is four turns forward and four turns back. Mix it up by turning in sets of six. You could turn all in one direction but ultimately you will either end up twisting the warp threads so much there will be no room to turn the cards or reversing the direction so they unravel.

Formula for warp length = 1.2 x final length + 50 cm

Weaving the kit
Thread the cards in your pattern from front to back. Tie the four threads from each card in a knot and move on to the next card until they're all threaded in a stack spaced several inches from the knots. In your next project you can experiment with threading some of the cards from the back to the front (S vs Z threading) alternately or half of your pattern.
When you have threaded all the cards tie them all together at one end. Comb the threads with your fingers as you hold your cards, smooth them out as much as you can (a wide toothed comb can be helpful here) and trim and tie the other end in a knot as well.
Fasten your weaving so that it's under tension. One end tied to a doorknob or stationary object, the other end tied to your waist is one option.

Make sure all the cards are aligned with A-D on the top and you can put your hand in the space in the middle (the shed). Put your weft thread through this space and let it dangle about 4” out the other side. Turn your cards ¼ turn away from you. Slide your cards a little forward and back if you need to to clear space for the beater or your hand in the new shed and beat down the threads. Pass the weft back through the new shed and repeat until A-D is on the top again (you will have completed 4 turns. Now do 4 turns toward you. Repeat this 4 away and 4 toward once more and check to see if you like the pattern.
Happy Weaving! ~Adrienne d'Evreus 207-651-5837

Monday, October 12, 2015

SCA Scroll Layout, Introduction and References

Scroll Layout for SCA Awards
By: Adrienne d'Evreus

In the East Kingdom, awards are often accompanied by scrolls. Scrolls are made by volunteers given assignments by the East Kingdom Signet. I am one of those volunteers and I hope someday soon you will be too!

When planning a scroll, the first place I start is with the assignment itself, the recipient's name and title, the award being given and any information about the reason for the award if it's available. I reach out to the contact I have been given and research the information I have received about the recipient including the nationality and time period of their persona.

Cennino Cennini, a 14th century artist says, "Strive and delight always to copy the best things you can find, made by the hand of great masters." (Broecke 47) This medieval craftsman teaches us to make tracing paper (Broecke 46). I delight in the fact that copying was traditional and tracing paper was used by some medieval scribes. Remember, you are a volunteer, this should be fun! We're here to learn about history and re-create it. These scrolls should enrich your life as well as the life and home of the recipient.

So, in books and online, find sources that fit your recipient's persona and modify them with information from the Scribe's Handbook and information from Ygraine'shandout to lay out your design.

Based on frame sizes at Michaels, Alexandre Saint Pierre put together this table, which I find very helpful.
Mat Opening Size Maximum Artwork Size
3.5x5" 3x4.5"
4x6" 3.5x5.5"
5x7" 4.5x6.5"
6x8" 5.5x7.5"
8x10" 7.5x9.5"
8.5x11" 8x10.5"
10x13" 9.5x12.5"
11x14" 10.5x13.5"

From the Scribe's Handbook we can see some common frame sizes:
4x6", 5x7", 8x10", 8.5x11", 10x20", 11x14", 12x16", 16x20"

Thank you for your time and interest in re-creating medieval and renaissance pieces of art. Have fun and feel free to contact me with questions or for help.

Broecke, Lara. Cennino Cennini's Il Libro Dell'Arte, A new English traslation and commentary with Italian trascription. 2015.
Brown, Jamin. Personal communication with Alexandre Saint Pierre
Kell, Susan. Scroll Layout for SCA Awards by Mistress Ygraine of Kellswood. 2002, 2007.

Quick Soft Cheese Class Handout

The production of cheese for food is ancient. The definite origins are unknown though there are many theories.

It is a versatile and tasty byproduct of 'too much milk'. Many factors govern the final product including the kind of milk used, what you use to set the curd (Rennet or other acid), cultures and other flavoring additions and further processing including bacteria and mold introduced or just in local conditions.

Quick Farmer's Cheese

1 quart of whole goat milk
2-4 Tbsp lemon juice
cheese cloth
salt and herbs

Heat your milk slowly in a non-reactive pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to 175 F (about 80 C). It will look 'foamy' around the edges.
Stir in the lemon juice and let the curds 'set' 10-15 minutes.
Pour into a colander lined with cheese cloth and let drain an hour to an hour and a half.
If you're in a hurry you can pick up the bundle and squeeze out the whey out with gloved hands.  Careful, it's hot!
Add salt and herbs. Form into a button.
Serve it forth or chill to use in the next week.

Farm fresh milk is best. You may use cow, sheep, goat, buffalo, reindeer, camel, yak, etc.
Store bought pasteurized milk is acceptable as long as it's not 'ultra pasteurized'.
To set the curds you may also use other citrus juices or acids like vinegar or rennet.

If you soak it in cold water for a few hours then press it under a slab you have made Paneer.
Paneer (also Panir or Paner) is an acid set, non-melting farmer's cheese.

What to do with the whey (other than converting it to bacon by feeding it to the pigs)? The whey is the liquid strained away from the button.
Original recipe from Platina: De Recocta. We heat the whey which was left from the cheese in a cauldron over a slow fire until all the fat rises to the top; this is what the country-folk call recocta, because it is made from leftover milk which is heated up. It is very white and mild. It is less healthful than new or medium-aged cheese, but it is considered better than that which is aged or too salty. Whether one is pleased to call it cocta or recocta, cooks use it in many pottages, especially in those made of herbs.
- Andrews, E. B. trans. Platina. De Honesta Voluptatae. L. de Aguila. Venice, 1475. St. Louis: Mallinckrodt, 1967.

Redaction: Save the whey, slowly heat to over 185F to precipitate the milk solids. You will see it happen! Strain through cheese cloth, salt and use in other recipes or eat plain!

Or... some recipes use more acid (vinegar or citrus) to make ricotta and other products.

Adrienne d'Evreus. 207-651-5837 2014

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Alexandre Saint Pierre's Calligraphy with Yellow ink from Buckthorn.

Yellow ink from green buckthorn berries:

Buckthorn Yellow from green buckthorn berries. a Paduan MS recipe.

Most students of the history of medieval and renaissance paint are familiar with Sap Green, often produced from ripe buckthorn berries. Fewer have experimented with a yellow pigment that can be made using the unripe green buckthorn berries. In Mary Merrifield's book Original Treatises a recipe from the Paduan Manuscript (662) explains how it's done!  Merrifield thinks that the Paduan Manuscript dates from the late 16th or more probably the mid or late 17th century (643).

Friday, September 11, 2015

blue pigment from woad

Woad (Isatis tinctoria) seeds were purchased from Sand Mountain Herbs.  Having read that this plant is a heavy feeder, classified as an invasive weed in certain states and that the water shed off the leaves may be a germination inhibitor for other seeds, I planted the seeds in shallow drills in two giant plastic plant pots on a gravel covered patio separated from any other gardens by a paved driveway.

Economically frugal as always I planted the seeds in the soil that was on sale, Miracle-Gro.  And fertilized it every month with liquid miracle grow.  Next year, in hopes to yield more blue I will plant the seeds in an organic, rich mix, fertilize organically and harvest the leaves earlier.

Extracted from the leaves, indican and isatan B can be converted into indigo!
Jenny Dean's Wild Color explains four methods to dye using a woad vat.  I decided for the first year I would try Method 1. It involves washing soda and sodium hydrosulfite (Sodium dithionite/Na2S2O4).  Had I known how bad the hydrosulfite smelled I would not have ordered any.  Hindsight is 20/20, right?  It came in two layers of plastic and two of cardboard too.  Not sure where to store it, it's wrapped in four layers of plastic in plastic storage drawers.

I soaked the fabrics overnight in a gallon of bottled water.  The water turned a little yellow/brown and tested between pH 5 and 6.  Possibly because I didn't clean it enough.  Cleaning the fabrics before dyeing is called scouring.  Next time the fibers will be scoured more thoroughly.  I've read online that uneven dyeing is a common problem for new dyers and perhaps why my colors came out unevenly.  The morning I harvested the woad leaves there was more plant material than I thought so I threw more fiber and fabric in to soak.

Harvested the woad leaves from the plants in the two pots.  Looks like there were only about seven plants but they yielded a surprising 428g of leaves.  I cut them up using scissors and poured nearly boiling (190F) water over them.

I let them steep for the recommended hour and got my sherry colored liquid!

Pouring the whole concoction through a strainer into a bucket, I reserved the leaves for a second dye bath.

Letting the dye vat cool to 120F seemed to take for ever!  Once it had, I sprinkled about two teaspoons of washing soda to turn it to the essential "greeny-brown" color. and introduced air with an electric mixer.  The bubbles changed from clear to blue quite quickly.  There was not an abundance of bubbles like I hoped but what bubbles there were I skimmed off and ladled in to a glass bowl.

In retrospect I should have saved some of this liquid and let the blue settle out to try to make my blue paint.

Daniel V. Thompson talks about the flower in The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting.  "In the course of dyeing a scum collects on the surface of the vat, and this was called in Latin the spuma or flos indici, and in English, "florey", or the flower of woad.  This foam or flower was skimmed off and dried and used, either alone or in more or less elaborate compounds, under the name of indigo in the Middle Ages." (Thompson 2: 138)

There was very little foam on the surface.  The foam dried quickly and was only enough to paint a tiny bit.  I think the leaves were harvested too late and the dyeing potential had decreased as we can see by the weak results on the fibers.

Almost everything on the linen got washed away when I rinsed and washed the fiber and fabric as recommended.  The cotton produced a pretty blue cloud effect.  The unevenness on those pieces can be attributed to incomplete scouring.  The wool wasn't scoured and soaked properly and picked up dye patchily so there's variegated wool yarn.  The silk was dipped twice and gave me the most even result.  The end shade of that piece was s soft baby blue.

Next time I'll dye at the peak plant health with hopefully more plant material and definitely with more effectively scoured fabric and wool.

And here is the 2017 trial.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Vine Charcoal

The thick woody part of some healthy grape vines denuded of leaves and side shoots

cut to length for the size of the container and cooked on the coleman stove like the willow but in a smaller container and not as precisely layered, came out as beautiful charcoal.

I didn't whittle or peel the bark off but let it burn with the rest and it made fine vine charcoal.  The bark just seemed to flake off as ash on the final product.  Not even too messy.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Making drawing charcoal from willow branches!

In the spring I collected the dropped willow branches under my weeping willow (Salix) tree.  They spent March - August in my non-climate-controlled garage.

The idea  to make charcoal from willow I read about first in The Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting (Thompson 87) and the medieval method explained in Il Libro Dell'Arte (Broecke 54, 55).  I watched this youtube video and read of a few other methods online.  I was complaining to Jack, a blacksmith from Kennebec River Forge at the Great Falls Ballon Fest Ravensbridge demo that I needed a friend who had a big yard who frequently made fires that I could use as my oven and he suggested I should 'do what the boyscouts do and make use of a camp stove'.  Encouraged by almost any suggestion of successful experiments these days, I went for it!
Follow my example AT YOUR OWN RISK.  Charcoal is possibly carcinogenic as is breathing smoke.  Use a well ventilated area and gloves.

On August 27, 2015 I whittled all the bark from the branches I had saved, cut them into pieces that would fit in a tin I got from Goodwill.  Punched two holes in the top of the tin lid with a hammer and small nail for the smoke to escape.  

I cut the whittled willow branches into pieces that would fit in the tin, one layer at a time, setting each layer perpendicular to the last until the tin was full.

Wiring it shut, I set it on my Coleman grill.  Safety, safety, folks!  I made sure my hose and fire extinguisher were ready.

After calling the Fire department to give them a heads up about the mysterious smoke I was going to create, I turned the stove on, with a fairly low flame.  In several minutes it began to smoke and continued to smoke for about an hour!

Around minute forty-five I turned the flame higher.  Not much changed after this modification.  I let it cook until I saw no more smoke come from the holes, shut off the stove and shoved two bamboo skewers in the holes in the lid to deprive the system of most of the oxygen.

And Voila!  Charcoal to draw with!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Word of the Week amanuensis

noun: amanuensis; plural noun: amanuenses
  1. a literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.
    Google says it's use began in the early 17th century.  Not a period word but still an awesome one!

Brought to us by June Russell.  Thanks June!
And from OED:

amanuensis, n.

Pronunciation:  /əˌmænjuːˈɛnsɪs/
Forms:  Pl. -es /iːz/ .
Etymology:  Latin (in Suetonius) adj. used subst., < a manu a secretary, short for servus a manu + -ensis belonging to.(Show Less)

  One who copies or writes from the dictation of another.

1619   W. Sclater Expos. Thess. (1627) I. To Reader 6   An Amanuensis to take my Dictates.
1632   R. Burton Anat. Melancholy (ed. 4) Democritus to Rdr. 12   Allowing him sixe or seuen Amanuenses to write out his dictats.
1714   Spectator No. 617. ⁋4   Our the help of his Amanuensis, took down all their Names.
1765   A. Tucker Light of Nature II. 446   Cæsar could dictate to three amanuenses together.
1860   S. Smiles Self-help ii. 38   For many years after their marriage, she acted as his amanuensis.

Word of the Week inspissated

past tense: inspissated; past participle: inspissated
  1. thicken or congeal.

    "inspissated secretions"
            Found in De Art Illuminandi as translated by Thompson in a note on pg 43.  The OED says it's first use was in 1655.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Iris Paint Results

These are the painting results from the first set of iris juice experiment.  I used a 20/0 liner brush to paint on Strathmore Series 300 Bristol vellum finish paper. 

Some would say using this brush the way I do is the hard way but it works for me!

The first three 1/2" circles showed green with the iris juice that had been treated with alum in various ways,
dried and reconstituted with distilled water and gum arabic.

After sitting for a month the iris juice with no alum has all produced only brown shades of paint.

Elderberry juice Part 2: Painting

On Strathmore 300 series Bristol board with a vellum finish I drew 1/2" circles with a pencil and painted circles with a 20/0 liner brush from the resulting pigments as described next to each circle.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Elderberry Blue - Part 1

Found out elderberries were growing in Gray and asked my mother to save me some.  Not only did she save me some but brought me a bagful on Thursday, August 6th, 2015!

These medieval recipes concerning elderberry interested me: 

 Above:  From an ILLed copy of the Mappae Clavicula (probably 12thC) translated and published by Transactions of the American Philosophical Society held at Philidelphia for Promtoing Useful Knowledge
New Series Vol 64 part 4, 1974.

A Booke of Secrets, 1596

My Redaction or interpretation:  Grind chalk with the juice of elderberries, strain it through a cloth, put a little alum water into it, let it dry and keep it until you need it.

Safety first, everyone! Through the entire process I wore gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask.  Elderberries are not toxic but you don't want to breathe or touch alum or alum water.

On Friday I stripped the berries from the branches and rinsed them yielding 174g berries.  Giving up on the "distilled water only" plan I had had when I realized I'd rinsed them with tap water already, I added 100g tap water and brought them to a simmer in a glass sauce pan, simmering 15minutes on low.  The berries weren't the freshest but a little dehydrated.  I hoped simmering with water would reconstitute any moisture loss and provide an efficient way to extract the juice.  During the simmering and at the end I squished the berries using a potato masher to crush them and allow the water to get into the berries.  After 15min, I shut off the heat and proceeded to prepare my calcium sources.

Following A Booke of Secrets:
I chose the whitest pieces of clam and egg shells in my possession, not considering that I'd be straining the liquid away from the shells as end product pigment.  Better safe than sorry?  One at a time I ground them as fine as I could with a big mortar and pestle and ended up with about 6.5g each, set aside in plastic containers until I was ready for them.

Above: Clam shells, pulverized with the marble pestle and then ground to a fine powder.

 Egg shells, pulverized to break them up and then ground to a fine powder.

By now my elderberry sauce has cooled enough to work with so smash the berries again with a potato masher. I poured it into cheesecloth resting in a canning funnel over a jar.  With gloved hands I scraped all of the berries and juice out of the sauce pan and into the cheesecloth.

I proceeded to squeeze all of the liquid I could from the mass by picking up the four corners of the cheesecloth and squeezing with a gloved hand.  This yeilded about 110g liquid.  I portioned it into four quantities: three thirty gram and one fifteen gram portions all in clean glass jars.

One 30g part went first outside "in the sun" but I thought better of leaving it open for the ants and bees and brought it in to go on top of the fridge under a lamp and fan.  The liquid is a beautiful berry red.

I poured the contents of one of the 30g jars into the clean and dry mortar and poured in the prepared egg shell powder, mixing and grinding it together with the pestle.  At this point I decided I needed something else important and ran away for several minutes.  When I returned the liquid was clearly a different color than the red of plain elderberry juice!

I dutifully poured it through a new piece of cheese cloth resting over the canning funnel back into the original jar which I had prepared with 2g of 1:10 alum water (100g water: 10g alum, mixed thoroughly). *THIS IS THE WRONG ALUM, NEXT TIME I SHOULD TRY THE 'CORRECT' ALUM, ALUMINUM POTASSIUM SULFATE*

When the elderberry/calcium water hit the alum water it reacted!  It changed color from the red to a pretty greenish blue and bubbled up!

I stirred it with a wooden stick and set it up under the fan on the fridge.

Washed and dried the mortar and pestle and walked away to let it finish drying.

Excited to see if the clam shell would cause the same reaction I raced back after a few minutes to combine the last 30g of juice and ground shells.  I poured the powder into the juice and ground them together.  Wanting to simulate the same amount of time it took to ignore the first Calcium Carbonate reaction I walked away in search of labels for my jars.  Again when I returned, the color had finished changing and was definitely more blue than before. 

 I tried to decant as I had before into a piece of cheese cloth in the canning funnel.  I had chosen the size of my cloth poorly and the whole piece, clam shell bits and pigment liquid proceeded to fall into the jar.  I squeezed out the bit of liquid and material into that jar and prepared a new, clean jar with a bigger piece of cheese cloth over the top.  I may have lost a little bit but not a lot.  I had not prepped the jar with alum water for fear that the cloth would fall in so at least it was only elderberry and shell.

Wiping each wooden mixing stick on a paper towel we can see the two chalk substitutes next to one another:

Egg shell is on the left and clam shell on the right.

I added alum water in proportion to the others to the smallest jar (1g alum water to 15g juice) as a control.  I expect the color in that jar not to change.

To see pictures of paints from these experiments go here.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Samuel Peter Bump's OBT

Samuel Peter Bump's backlog OBT project was fun and interesting.

Colluding with his fiancee and now wife, Wynefred, Alexandre and I decided to make a crossbow stand.  I first saw Godric Sprague's crossbow stands at Endewearde's Baronial Investiture and then at the East Kingdom University.  Though we have no evidence that they were used in the middle ages there's something to be said for not putting your bow on the ground at SCAdian practices and wars.

I had never done a 'non-scroll award' so it was a good challenge.  And by challenge I must admit that Alexandre Saint Pierre bought all of the materials and did much of the woodwork.

I helped round the edges with a router and traced and painted his arms, the Burdened Tiger badge and painted in the letters that Alexandre outlined for me with a nifty double pencil apparatus of his design.

Using "outdoor" acrylic paint made by FolkArt we hope it will protect the colors from sun damage.  I spoke to several different artists, woodworkers and hardware store personnel about what to use as a finish.  Each one recommended something different.  As a theater person, all around handy guy and experienced woodworker I decided to let Speedbump decide what to finish the oak stand with, if anything.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Iris experiments 2015

Today (3/26/16) I taught my period pigments class again and we played with some of the pigments I made in 2015.  Re-reading this post today I realized that I have learned a lot since then and need to update you all with a new post.  I promise this will happen soon after Easter, aka tomorrow.

In the meantime you can explore my page of references, here.

Collecting the blue iris blossoms as they bloomed, May 30th, 2015 for over a week, I ended up with several hundred flower heads in two gallon sized zip-lock bags.  Taking the advice of Wendy Feldberg, I froze them for later use.  Though there were not freezers in medieval Europe, this seemed like a reasonable compromise with modern obligations.

The chemicals and linen I ordered from Dharma Trading Co. arrived!  I used the wrong alum in these recipes, aluminum sulfate.  It should be 'rock alum' which is evidently potassium aluminum sulfate.  In 2016 I used the correct alum with pretty much the same results.  Blue clothlets when they were wet changing to green the more they dried and painting out green.

I washed all of the linen with modern washing machine soap (Free and Clear Tide) and a 1/4 cup of white vinegar.
Not sure of the weights of medieval linen I ordered a yard of each of the three weights available from Dharma Trading Co. 3.5oz, 5oz and 8oz for making clothlets.

In the Materials and Techniques of Medieval Painting by Daniel V. Thompson, iris green is described (171).  Clothlets are mentioned but not well defined and the process is never described.

Courtesy of Clair Turner I learned that the Glossary of the British Library describes it in depth:


A piece of cloth impregnated with PIGMENT (generally a vegetable dye). A portion of such cloth, when soaked in a little BINDING MEDIUM, releases its colorant and produces an artist's pigment. Clothlets are called petiae in Latin and pezze or pezzette in Italian; bisetus folii refers to clothlets dyed with folium, or turnsole, extract. Clothlets were a convenient way of carrying or shipping vegetal pigments, and they were especially popular from the fourteenth century on, with the growth of the textile trade. Glazes of vegetal dyes were often used to enhance other colours in book ILLUMINATION, since they created a rich, glowing, and transparent effect.

Randy Asplund then clued me in to Mary Merrifield's Original Treatices and there I found my recipes. 

Based somewhat on the recipe translations in her book I made clothlets and prepared egg shells and clam shells with iris juice and a pinch of alum.
I was excited to get started and in a hurry to get something accomplished so I did what all of my friends and family would tell you I do with all of the recipes I work with:  combine techniques from several sources and hope for the best, modifying behavior for the next round based on results!
Also found references in the anonymous treatise  De Arte Illuminandi (translated by Varney pgs 7, 15).

And the paint results from August can be found here:

MOD scroll, Caine Ramsey

Caine's scroll was fun.  This would be my first peerage level scroll.  We began with the inspiration, and awesome words from Alys Mackyntoich:

Darius, King of the Eest, and Etheldreda the Quene, to our right trustie and right weellbeloved Caine Ramsey, greetings.  Wheras by our royall wisdome and princelie cair for the peace and happines of our dominiones, we have caussit the Ordore of Defens to be constituited in this realme; and wheras diveris of our subjectis have by ther severall petitiones humbly besought us that you should be indewit with the beforesaid Ordore; and wheras you have manifested maniefauld skill and excellence in the practeis of defens, and have shewin noblesse, wisedome and faith in your dedis, we do therefore, by these our presents lettiris, insese, indow and indote you as a Master of Defense, ordeaneing the said indewment and dotatione in all tymecomeing to have the full force and strenth of perfyte securitie.  And we do fwrthir giwe and convey wnto you for all the dayes of his lyftyme all honoures, dignities, proffites, liberties and priviledges which are possest and brookit by Peers of the realmme, and decrie and ordeane that you shall possess and enjoye fully and frely Armes by Lettiris Patentes in the forme herein stated: Per pall inverted sable, argent, and azure, two dogs combatant counterchanged and a tower argent.  And, lykeas, for ourselfes and our successoures, we promeiseth in verbo principis to hold the abounvrettin gyft, indewment and dotatione firme and stable, and to cause it to be trewlie observed by all our leiges according to the tennour and intent therof for now and evir.  In witness wherof, we have caussit these our lettiris to be mad patentes, witness ourselfes at Glen Linn, 4 Jullay in the fiftieth year of the Society.

There was a request for 'pretty illumination' with a Scotty dog.  We played with the idea of a ram crest or a garlic scape since "The wild garlics of England... were called ramsons." (Fischer 54), then there was a rumor of 'horrible pants'.  But, always, I came back to the scotty.  So I researched scotty dogs.  Turns out most of them do this cute little head tilt so I somehow had to do that!  
I printed out a version of the inspiration, ripped off the stag crest and made up a sketch of a scotty dog based on pictures of Caine's dog, Kringle and random tilted Scotty dog heads from the internet.

Alexandre wanted to do the gold MOD swords and calligraphy so that was his job.  I researched all of the flowers on the inspiration to make sure they were appropriate for the recipient and try to make sure I was drawing/painting/highlighting them appropriately.  Clockwise from the top border I saw borage (Borago officinalis), roses (Rosa spp.), strawberries (Fragaria spp), daisy (Bellis perennis), pinks (Dianthus spp.), forget me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) and violets (Viola tricolor).  Mostly I copied the original but the Dianthus may not have been so I went to my plant books and took artistic liberties with their drawings/pictures and general shape/size from the original piece.

And here's the finished scroll: 

 Here's a picture or two in process.