I’ve delivered the last largess parcels for this reign (basically, through Pennsic), and I made a bunch of little things to fill out the boxes. See, Their Royal Majesties commissioned a series of beautiful, historically accurate, hinged wood boxes to fill with gifts and give to the royalty they would be visiting or who would be visiting them. Each box was filled with a variety of period items handmade by the populace of the West Kingdom. As their largess coordinator, I collected things to fill the boxes with.
When I received the stockpile of Kingdom largess, I noticed we had a lot of stereotypically “feminine” items, such as needlebooks, pincushions, hand-woven dress trims, and tons of jewelery. Usually, we were giving largess to male / female pairs, so I made it my mission to collect and create more masculine or gender-neutral gift items. I had a lot more ideas than I ended up with time to make items, of course. But at least I got to a few, and they were all new kinds of projects so while they didn’t necessarily come out as planned, I definitely learned some skills 🙂
One project was seals for stamping wax, based on this Offbeat Bride tutorial. I used blank wood gaming pegs from Michael’s, which I painted in the heraldic colors of the recipient’s SCA territory (so blue and white for Oertha, yellow & black for Cynagua). The buttons I used came from an Etsy seller, & I think the rose button is the best one (there’s also a ‘pelican in its piety’ button, perfect for your OP friends!). The trick to finding the right button is it has to be metal, flat (not domed), and the design must be cut deeply but not *too* deeply. The demi-sun button I used (ideal for the West Kingdom populace badge) is cut a little too deep, so it works best if you don’t press the stamp too hard (which I wrote on the tag), otherwise, wax will get caught inside the button. I snipped the button shank off with wire clippers and filed the back smooth with a Dremel tool, then used E-6000 glue to affix the button to the wood.
The other new project was painting leather knife sheaths. I freehanded the swan from Cynagua’s poplace badge, and it looks OK, but not great. I muddied up the details around the head a little bit, even though I was using a very fine brush. The An Tir checkerboard worked out better, though that did require multiple days to dry in between taping off the squares. Would be sassier with the black lion in the center, but I think this still carries the idea well.
I also made dice game kits by printing out instructions for several period dice games on parchment paper and packing that up with some clay dice I bought from WK merchant Reannag Teine. We also had some lovely bottles of wine donated for largess, so I made bags out of scrap brocade fabric to both dress them up and help pad the bottles when packed in the wood boxes. I think the last bit I contributed was pairing some metal aglets donated by my friend Francis with some fingerloop braid cord that was in the largess stash — he showed me how to put the aglets on the cord tips. This made the shorter cord lengths more useful for lacing.
That’s it for largess for now, but not bad, because I’ve created 18 items out of the 27 I need to repay what I was given.