The art of artiness

It’s been a busy month for art for me. I have a quite a list of things to do so I started by doing stuff I don’t do all that often and that is the acrylics in the Re-Cycled series. The Re-Cycled series is straight forward. How do we reuse old computer bits in a productive way? It began before recycling the junk for its hoard of precious metals was a thing, when the US was sending it’s electronic garbage to any country that would accept it. I thought this was wrong and sort of stupid way back when and lucky for me because of that way of thinking I was able to stock up on a ton of computery bits and bobs…to make art from.

The Re-Cycled project is fun because I don’t much care what other people think of it really it’s for me. I get to play with colour and computer bits and experiment and have fun which is why nine time out of ten the painting titles are puns.

This leads me to the “I have a singular sense of humour” portion of the blog… nine times out of ten no one gets the puns so I guess that’s a big fat fail on my side but I don’t much care about that either. 

You’re reading the words of a woman who thinks the funniest joke in the universe is “Where does napoleon keep his armies?”

“Where?” you ask already knowing the answer will make you wish you hadn’t.

“Why, up his sleevies of course!”

So you see …I tell a lot of visual puns through the Re-Cycled series.


Well mainly because it’s fun.

This piece was inspired by a kid’s joke I read on facebook a while back.
The title is “Where do astronauts go to drink?” I’ll let you guys figure it out.

I’m a big fan of colour and combining colour with the right computer piece. I like to use gold leaf as accents because there is a significant amount of gold in computer components and before someone got smart, we threw that shit away…seriously.

This particular piece is a statement about the ever changing universe of tech and computers. It’s called “Windows Obsolete” everything I used ( except for the canvas and paint)  is a part that is now scrap, considered obsolete and useless, as is the programme the image was based on. (Win 95)

Computer tech and geeks like the art because they identify the bits and they sometimes identify with the bits too, “I remember when I had to fix so and so’s computer because that blasted chip broke…” There are stories within the stories and every time someone tells me a story that my art made them remember it’s a gift.

I personally think computer innards are gorgeous and someone somewhere sat down and designed each and every piece which is also a form of art. I like to think that, all puns aside, I place their art on a pretty platform and make it my art too. making something that was once expensive and used that became obsolete and scrap to something unique and maybe even beautiful. Of all the art I create this series is the one most people like the least and I get that. It’s abstract and sometimes a bit childish but for me it’s an important statement that just because one set of users discard the materials as junk someone else somewhere will find it to be magnificent. That someone in this case is me. And if I am the only person who gets my silly puns then that’s okay too.

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn 1 Comment

The Money Pit

the week off was productive.

- trees felled and shrubbery pulled up
-log-holder made and space for the logs to stack cleared
-sandbox / dumping area for garden refuse GONE!!!!
-porch cleaned, old coat rack mirror thing removed, bookshelf removed, and the walls repainted ( the new show cupboard now must wait for a replacement door)
- Hall closet gutted and repainted , new hook rack mounted and unused coats removed to be sorted out.

many many trips to the Baumarket were made, many viewings at furniture shops were also done. I’m all shopped out.

but January so far has been productive which is a good thing since we have a LOT to do.

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn No Comments

2013 so far

It’s been busy. Last year we bought this house which meant we inherited a jungle of a garden that no one has really taken care of for the 10 years before we moved in and our attempts have been mainly scratching the surface.

so far…
We missed going to coronation because work is insane this time of year for M. Heard there were a few interesting things that happened and it looked fun. We almost never get to go to 12th night because of work unless it’s near by. Am looking forward to this year. Some changes coming up and ThorvaldR and his GF Tofa are a lot of fun. Crown tourney will be big since the couple coming in will be crowned at 20 years, though it’s this king and queen who will get all the organizational stuff to deal with. So am happy we have an experienced king in place.

the goal will be to make some new garb and overhaul the Signet office big time. It’s in dire need of some serious changes to streamline the process better.

501st events will be insane this year. We already have lego land DK and CEII booked, we’re thinking about Legland DE as well as Bayern park( tho that remains to be seen) Plus what ever small events come up. We definitely need new costumes.

CEII is going to be fraking huge but then again so is Fedcon and we’re booked for that as well which means no double wars again this year since now both events happen at the same time. I don’t miss medieval camping much and given that the Sheraton is very nice and just over the walkway from the con hotel I guess I can safely say I’m getting old(er) because I like my bathrooms private and my showers hot and my bed without insects and cold.

Dirk has added a new con this year Galaxy con which we are thinking about seriously…James Edward Olmos is the star guest and I’d really like to hear him speak but we’ll have to see.

The house ( better known as The Money Pit) needs new windows upstairs and the bathroom renovations need to GET STARTED ALREADY. We also as mentioned above have begun work on the le jungle. Saturday saw a mass action of tree felling and wood chopping and underbrush and shrubbery clearing. Good that we ordered a dumpster to get rid of it all. Of course I’m not as fit as I once was and a day of physically hard labour does me in so today I spent much of it on the couch dozing.

so far…

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn No Comments

Art and peer pressure

So I succumbed to peer pressure and now have a facebook page for my art. I post pictures and talk about it. Feel free to look / join.

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn No Comments

just pinch me…


I must admit, extremist statements like “Ban all modern things” really bother me. The SCA started as a backyard BBQ for friends to celebrate a graduation and people enjoyed it so much it continued and spread. It was fun based not accurazi based.
The no
t so accurate issue the SCA had has changed quite a bit because in order to survive and grow it had to. The level of “periodness” we have in this kingdom is very high when compared to others and there are a whole lot less modern things than there could be but let’s examine that statement for a bit. “Ban all modern things”

This would mean I could not wear my glasses because they are in their current form very modern. There would also be no hearing aides. Or pretty well anything made with an industrial machine ( so most of the cloth many of us use because that too is modern. Most people don’t have hand made period style foot wear so we’d be running around barefoot.

Our current bathrooms and facilities are also VERY modern so we’d have to do away with those, as are the kitchen equipment. And let’s not forget about electricity – very modern.

No clocks or watches ( and heaven forbid anyone have anything digital near by)

No coffee. No chocolate on site either. No toothpaste, no nice smelling shampoo out of a convenient plastic bottle or deo, and no telephones in case of emergencies. Not hot running water for showers and dishes….

The list goes on.

The statement “Ban all modern things” is extreme and not very helpful. The SCA is a mixture as Annika has said and quite frankly Drachenwald is probably the most period kingdom out there but the SCA is not a die hard re-enactment group. There are plenty around, the Company of Saynt George comes to mind.

These folks are incredible at “getting it right” and if this is the sort of no modern things a person is looking for then I would suggest that groups such as this are perhaps more suitable.

One of the great things about the SCA was the nice mix of accuracy mingled with the modern, Anachronism. That which doesn’t belong in the place and the time. The middle Ages as they SHOULD have been.

Making vast sweeping and extreme statements like ban all modern things needs to be carefully examined because really that encompasses A LOT of things.

It’s nice when an event strives to get it right but I think it is also important to remember that one person’s version of fun is not the same for another. That for some people the SCA is a hobby and a social thing not a museum exersize in living in the middle ages. Most people do their best to not be too glaringly modern but since we don’t actually live in the middle ages but rather the 21st century the modern will intrude anyway.

As for “living the Dream”. I certainly do not Dream the SCA, I go to get away from my modern life, to relax, to see my friends, have a nice time and if I’m really lucky learn some cool stuff. I would ask that people remember this and it’s not a Dream for everyone it’s a hobby with many people doing many things one of which is taking pictures to remember the good times by and given the number of times I get asked to share my photos of events I’m thinking many other people are also happy with this too.

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn No Comments

a curious discussion

on going on facebook concerning art. Time vs value. The underlying statement being that the more time spent on a work of art the more value placed on said piece. I find this a rather odd way of thinking I guess because my own styles mean I work very fast, this includes the medieval stuff too. So does the fact that I spent less time on a work of art than someone else lessen the value of my art vs theirs simply because I A: work faster or B. have a style that doesn’t take as much time?

I find that while adding time into the art value equation is valid and necessary for determining monetary value )( ie. for sale) in the end it should not be the only factor and simply because one person spends less time on a work of art than another does not lessen the actual value of the art in any way shape of form especially as art is subjective anyway. I went to art college and have that piece of paper, I went to college and have a degree in Art history too, I put my time into the school system to work through the academic side of this, I also work at being an artist pretty much on a daily basis with various techniques and materials. In essence I’ve done my time so why is my art less valuable than another person’s simple because of the number of hours spent on it?

I find I get rather ticked off with the whole discussion. I’m lucky in that I don’t have to live off my art but that doesn’t mean I am any less of an artist. I’ve been selling work since I was 15 but I chose to go a different route in terms of actually making a living. Does this choice devalue my art? Is what I produce less than what someone else produces because I don’t live off it or spend as much time making it? I also choose to give a lot of art away ( not including the sca stuff) because in doing so I am giving gifts of my talent, my art and above all else my time. Giving art away doesn’t lessen the value either, it’s a gift from me to said person.

I have to walk away from this particular conversation because I get tired of my art being devalued simply because I didn’t spend a magical number of hours on it.  If hours spent is the only factor we will use to place a figure value on art then I will always be on the low end of the list. I rarely sell my art because trying to put a monetary figure on it is impossible, giving it to people as a gift is priceless and it makes people happy which for me is far more important than money.

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn No Comments

ja ja move along…

I have not posted in ages this is because I am insanely busy, even though I feel like I accomplish nothing and what I really want to write I shall have to think long and hard about how to word.

in the mean time…

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn No Comments

Party like it’s 1999

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to an SCA event with that silly, party feeling mixed with a sense of magic that seems to show up only now and then but this Crown Tourney in Knight’s Crossing was definitely one of those.

I knew it was going to be a huge event a while back when I was commissioned to do two scrolls, a chivalry and a Laurel. The chiv scroll came with the tag…make it a Star wars scroll and the laurel one was to be a period as possible for a late period persona. I know both individuals and we’ve spoken at length many times about scrolls and wishes and silliness. So I was mostly prepared. I asked more knowledgeable friends than me about texts for each scroll and

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn No Comments


Everyone who has ever been into space and seen the world from that high up says the same thing, how small we are, how fragile the world looks. Precarious is always the word that comes to my mind when I read or hear comments like these.

We inhabit a small space, really the Earth is small, and we’re protected by this thin layer of atmosphere, when you look at pictures from space it’s like a veil of gauzy pale blue. Dandelion fluff. Fragile, precious. And we human beings who like to think we rule the universe with our money, politics and our important lives are really blips on the map. Momentary fragments that vanish in a cosmic blink.

Someone once told me, when I got all bent out of shape over something trivial though it felt huge at the time to think; Will anyone care about this in a hundred years? If the answer is no, then let it go.

Sound advice that’s incredibly hard to follow some days.

We live our lives. Good days and bad and we forget that there is just so much more than us. So. Much. More.

When I was very young I remember thinking I had to go outside to watch things happen because if I saw it from behind a window it wasn’t real. The glass changed my reality and at 8 years old that was quite some perception. Open windows and open space. I was a strange little Scottish girl with weird ideas on how the world worked.  I have not really changed all that much.

When I was ten and we moved to northern Newfoundland I remember one night staring up at the brilliantly clear sky in awe at planets and stars wishing that whatever it was that made me see all of this magic never left me. I never wanted to change. Of course I did, but that ability to see magic in everything stayed and I am very grateful. I never wanted to be one of those frowney faced grownups I saw all the time, I never wanted to be like the two women I once shared a class with who were so old and so stuck in their ways even though they were not really much older that I was at the time that not only were they unhappy but they managed to infect everyone else with their unhappy as well. I, who am descended from gypsies, never ever wanted to be like that. I wore crazy clothes, wrote mad poetry, stuck my tongue out in every photo and drank beer with my mad, fab prof never ever wanted to be like that. It didn’t win my any popularity contests but I didn’t much care.

When my dad died it was earth shattering in so many ways there are not enough words to describe them all. People die every day but when you stand and watch someone’s last breath leave their body there’s no coming back from that. Gone. forever. And the lesson I took away from this was that life is fragile. In the blink of an eye everything changes. There is no going back. Ever.

Lesson learned. Every single day things change. People I love will die, will be hurt, will know pain. It sounds very drama llama I know but this is the state of me. I am aware everything changes all the time and even in the happiest of moments there will be sorrow. You cannot have one without the other. Change, as much as I hate it, flail against it, dig my heels, fight, curse and swear will happen anyway. It’s given me a low tolerance threshold for bullshit, rudeness, jealousy and all the other garbage that feeds our demented egos into doing really ugly things. I don’t put up with crap, I speak my mind though mostly I try to be polite about it( not always) and I don’t really care too much about what other people think, especially about me. No really I don’t. Like me, hate me or ignore me I do not care. I am a tiny blip on a tiny planet hanging precariously in space. In a hundred years no one will even know who I was. Only right here right now matters.

After my father’s death before his memorial service when I was away from home, back at school and feeling very very alone I remember lying in bed crushed by the depth of loss. I learned, in the dark, to breathe and let the sorrow wash through me, to allow it to be and accept it for what it is. This is a moment, accept it and move on because you can only go forward. I still experience these odd points in time where an unbelievable, overwhelming sadness takes my breath away but I close my eyes and let it journey through me until I can breathe again and walk on. One step at a time. Suck it up buttercup. Push through the pain and go forward.

Now 4 years shy of 50 I know my journey on this planet is pretty much half over if you calculate that most people live to around 90 ( give or take). I’m on the down side of the hill and I’m okay with this. I don’t regret a thing. Not one. Every single step I have taken, every single hard lesson learned, kindness given and received, loves lost and found have led me to this moment, right here right now and it is a good place. It won’t stay that way, nothing ever does, but in this moment, in the sunlight and the morning quiet I know that every second, good or bad, is precious and that I am lucky. Incredibly lucky. And I am grateful for all of it.

They tell you to cherish each day, to live each moment as though it would be your last. I don’t take this to mean be manic and go around doing amazing things etc… I take this to mean be aware. Life is short. Words have lasting power. Stop for a moment and breathe, watch birds fly, smile at a stranger, be kind, mind your manners and remember to say thank you. In the end I think we all want the same things, to be loved, to be noticed, to matter.

You only get one shot. Make it count, you know.

Posted in: Uncategorized by Merlyn No Comments


In the midst of all the angst, wars, brutality, bullying and hate I guess I find some joy, some excitement in watching a man do something no one else has quite done before. Maybe it was just a stunt to some but I think it was more. We don’t see too many amazing, good things on TV anymore, we don’t see too much about exploration, or testing our limits in a good positive way. I watched this with bated breath and I cheered for him when he reached every goal safely and when he landed, perfectly on the ground I cried because this was fucking cool. No one died, no one got shot for heresy and we learned new things. So it doesn’t matter to me one bit if this was just “another stunt” because even if it was it was amazing to see, to be part of the world who were watching ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I am willing to bet that aside from me I could name a few others who cheered like crazy when Felix landed safely. He did the impossible and that makes him mighty.