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Order of the Golden Poppy

West Kingdom Arts West Kingdom SciencesWest Kingdom Arts & Sciences

Admitted January 7, AS XL (2006) by HRM Fabian & HRM Eliska   Sabrina de la Bere

What was the most difficult thing you encountered in your run? --
Time management. When you add in doing the research, the writing of the documentation and the making of the item, times 8 into a "normal" life, time management becomes key to meeting the deadlines and mental/physical well being.

What was the most surprising thing about your run? --
How much fun it was.

How did you handle doing the research? Did you use libraries? The Internet? Where did you find your primary resources? --
I usually started with the internet and then obtained the key books; usually through purchase. With the time constraints, Inter-Library Loan (ILL) was usually impractical. For the 3 prior years I had been Principality and then Kingdom Arts Minister. As such, I had created information resource sheets for the competitions offered those prior years. This gave me a starting plan for research. However, I owe a nod to my graduate school training for doing effective and insightful research, as well as, how to write a tight piece of documentation.

What was the average length of your documentation? --
Most were 4-6 pages with pictures, footnotes, and bibliography.

About how long did it take for you to do an entry, including the research and documentation? --
While this varied, the shortest was about 100 hours and the longest 1000 hours.

If you remember, what were the competitions and what were your entries? Sabrina's Run --
For my run the year's entries were as follows with eight competitions, 11 entries, and 6 wins (*).

  • March Crown - Tinctures - Tannic Acid Dye: Walnut*, Tannic Acid Dye: Berry Vine, Ink: Black Walnut
  • June Crown - Underpinings - 16th C. Embroidered Women's Hose*
  • A & S - Poem - Sestina*, Heraldic Banner - Painted 15th C Banner*, Horse Barding - barding for a Rocking Horse, Preserved Foods - Elizabethan Brined Artichokes, Roman Pickled Cheese
  • Purgatorio - Broaches - 4 wire Broaches*
  • October Crown - Bone or Antler - set of cloak pin, sewing needle, naalbinding needle, seam smoother, and 2 needlecases*
I also won for most points for an individual at the A&S Tournament.

Did you start out planning to do the run or did it just happen? If it was planned, how did you handle the psychological side? --
The run was planned. While I had nothing to do with the choice of competitions, I was intrigued by the choices. I was looking to spend some time and energy testing myself in new creative ways within the organization and the run looked like a good option. Psychologically, it was hard sometimes to just get going on an entry. Having a wonderful supportive husband and partner made the run much easier. Of course it probably didn't help that I also taught 16 classes during 2005; over half of which were new.

What advice would you give someone who wants to make the run? --
Be inspired by the challenge and the competitions. Pace yourself. Take a good look at the competitions and choose what you will enter. Begin entering as early in the year as possible in case you don't have qualifying entries or life intervenes. View each entry as a "win" because it mean you have challenged yourself to do something and you have completed it. Lastly, but not least, be sure your family understands and supports your commitment to the run.

Would you do it again? --
Maybe. It made me stretch and that was a good thing.

Anything else you would like to add about the experience? --
Personal growth is never comfortable, but this was fun.

Thinking back to the following year, did you do anything special as Kingdom Artisan? --
As Kingdom Arts I had revised the judging sheets to give guidance to the judges, which had been a major objective when I took the office, so the main objective of my year was to be a general support to the Arts and Sciences. I made myself available to judge whenever needed at every event I attended and at whatever level. I offered classes on entering competitions and taught 3 classes at the A&S Tournament event.