katherine kerr of the Hermitage, her site

A&S Challenges: Introduction and Menu

Southron Gaard has had a number of clever and inspiring A&S Challenges, which have certainly encouraged and challenged me to try different things, further develop existing skills and enrichen my SCA life. My thanks go out to Lady Cecily Montgomery, for her Variety Pentathalon Challenge; the Gubbins A&S Challenge team of Meisterin Christian Baier, Baroness Isabel Maria del Aguila, and Lady Amabilia Thexton, under the gracious patronage of Her Excellency Ginevra, Baroness of Southron Gaard; and Their Excellencies Ginevra and Richard for the Baronial Heraldic Challenge.

I admit it, I get a bit OCD about these things, but in a Good Way! I usually start off by pasting the topic list into my A&S notebook and then jotting ideas down, some relating to long-standing intended projects, others brand new. Some I identified straight away, others had half-a-dozen ideas before I settled on something. The latter will keep me going for some time.

One of the things I appreciated about the formats was the very relaxed nature of the documentation required, generally a couple of paras or a photo caption. As a result, many of the items on these pages have far less wordage or references than is my usual wont. I have added some, but most have lots more archived in my offline files. So if you feel short-changed or would like to know more detail about a particular topic, email me. I'm always happy to help.

Variety Pentathalon Challenge

This was modelled along the lines of the Caidan Pentathalon of old, with the idea that you'd select five different things to do, prompted by a witty and challenging topic list of thirty. By the time the Challenge period ended, I'd completed around 25 and had plans for the others. I won a lovely length of chemise-weight linen for being an over-achiever; much of it went on to be used in the Gubbins Challenge.

Gubbins Challenge

According to the managing team, "gubbins" means small items, easily picked up and carried about (mid-16th century word, from the obsolete gobbon "piece, slice, gob", from Old French; probably related to gobbet). Not to be used in connection with live small animals.

This Challenge used phrases from Shakespeare and others to encourage persona development across 15 topics. I managed to complete all 15.

Heraldic Challenge

This Challenge set 8 topics relating to applied heraldry in some fashion: standards and banners, garb, adornment, housewares, protection and display, baronially related. And, yes, I did more than eight.


Trying to figure out a natural intuitive navigation to cover the items produced for these Challenges has proved somewhat daunting -- specially as many cross-over to other activities, so I hope you'll forgive me if these links bounce you around! It might help to know that I've tried to group the various challenge projects together into general subject areas, as I figure that's likely to be the best schema for site visitors to find the thing they are interested in.

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