Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Introducing the Badon Hill Blog!

I started this blog, Annales Historiae, over four years ago, in April of 2011. I was in college and headed on a study abroad trip to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel that summer, and I wanted to blog about the cool stuff I would learn and see along the way. I didn't really have a clear goal or audience in mind, but I knew I wanted to tell stories of history in an exciting and interesting way.

Similarly, I started my handmade business, Badon Hill, six years ago in June of 2009. I had no idea what I was doing when it came to selling things online, but I knew that I liked making leather journals and that I wanted to share them with others. That business has grown and changed a whole lot in those six years, and the biggest change has been in the past 6 or 8 months, in that I am raising up Badon Hill from being a hobby into being a fully fledged business.

I have a lot of even bigger plans yet in the books for 2015, and I do mean big. This means that it is time for change here at Annales Historiae. After this post, I will no longer be updating the Annales Historiae Blog. I'm still blogging, but my posts have a new home, and it's called the Badon Hill Blog. It is still run solely by me, but I wanted to have a more professional site, so it is hosted with Squarespace, and I am loving it!

I'm so glad you've come here, and I hope you've enjoyed the journey along with me here on Annales Historiae! I hope that you'll continue the adventure and head over to the Badon Hill Blog to follow all the new fun there, too! A great place to start is the first post, where I explained what led me to starting the blog, and what I have planned for it.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Se Gere Twegen Þúsend ond Fiften

(photo by me, @badonhill on instagram)
So this is the year two-thousand and fifteen.

Or, se gere twegen þúsend ond fiften, as the Anglo-Saxons might have said it.

I don't personally believe in new years resolutions, per se, but I do think that a calendar year can be a useful tool for setting goals for growth and change. 2014 was a year of many big changes for me: I graduated from college, and I married a wonderful man in August (more about that in a later post). As soon as classes ended in May, my life was consumed with wedding planning, and though that kind of craziness changed into a different kind after the wedding (in a good way), things have settled down just enough that I can spend a little bit of time on blogging again. (Yay!)

So what are my goals for 2015? Good question. I want this to be the year in which I take Badon Hill (my creative business) from the I-sell-on-Etsy.com/part-time/hobby level to the I-own-a-small-business level. This is huge. Reaching my goals will require many, many changes, and has already been very challenging, and I have a long way yet to go. This also means that there are some changes in store for this blog; I haven't completely fleshed those out yet, but I know you can expect more tutorials and more about my handmade ventures, as well as the usual historical-fun.

So here is a peek at some of my goals for 2015:

 Develop and stick with a consistent blogging schedule.
 Transition Badon Hill primarily to an independent website.
 Have an area of my home set up as my dedicated studio space.
 Pitch and complete at least 6 wholesale orders.
 Always be reading a new book.

There are a few other goals, but those are the big ones. Follow along with me through the year, as I post updates on how I'm doing with these goals (among lots of other new content)! What goals do you have for 2015?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wyruld-Cyninga (I'm a Double BA!)

I graduated from college!

I finished Bachelors of Arts degrees in both Medieval Studies and English (British Literature), with a minor in Art History (because I'm not hardcore enough for the Art History major - seriously, it's a super tough major at Truman). To celebrate this achievement, I decided to paint an applicable portion of the Old English epic, Beowulf, onto my graduation cap. I chose Beowulf because it not only represents my English degree, but also the Northern European focus of my Medieval Studies degree, plus, I had just finished a course where we spent the entire semester translating the 3182-line poem from the original Anglo-Saxon. What I didn't expect, was that this project would take about 10 hours, keeping me up until 3 A.M. on the morning of my graduation.

I chose the very last sentence of the poem, its last three lines:

cwæðon þæt he wære   wyruld-cyninga,
manna mildust   ond mon-ðwærust,
leodum liðost   ond loft-geornost.

They said that of  all the kings in the world,
of men he [Beowulf] was the mildest and most beloved,
to his kin the kindest, and most eager for praise.

I painted these lines, and several preceding lines, on my cap based on a high resolution scan of the original manuscript page, available for free online, published by the British Library. This part of the Nowell Codex (the manuscript in which Beowulf covers folios 132r - 201v, dated to roughly 1000 AD) is heavily damaged, but it was still incredibly valuable and fascinating to get to work with a scan of the actual manuscript so that my finished product might be a more accurate representation of the original. For instance, the manuscript is not divided into metered lines, as in most translations and transcriptions, so I reflected this aspect with my painting. The orthography is also significantly different from Modern English.

This sentence gives a good picture into the contemporary culture of Anglo-Saxon England, especially with the phrase "most eager for praise." Today, living with the goal of earning other people's praise may sound self-righteous or arrogant, but in a highly community-focused culture (such as Beowulf's) where reputation was everything, it makes perfect sense. In general, decent people will praise that which is decent and good, so by being "most eager for praise," Beowulf would have been striving to live honorably and nobly.

This sentence means a lot to me because it is not only a highly honoring eulogy for the legendary monster and dragon-slaying king, Beowulf son of Ecgtheow, but it is also a standard worth striving for even today. Though the poem was not a Christian poem, this sentence exudes qualities I want to display in my own life. I strive to live such that the love that Christ showed to me by paying a debt I owed but could never pay would overflow from me in the form of a love and kindness for all people. I can't earn this redemption, but I want to glorify God with my life, thereby living such that I'll earn His praise and one day He'll say to me "well done, my good and faithful servant."