What the heck am I babbling about anyway? What is an apres? Does it have something to do with skiing? Its a strange and mythical creature from heraldry. Very, very exotic. Well, not really. It is a mythical creature, though, at least in heraldry. An apres is a bull with the tail of a bear. Its the left hand supporter in the full arms of the Muscovy Company. So what's the Muscovy Company? It's the short and transformed name for a join stock company originally named, "'Mystery and Company of Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands, and Places Unknown." I love that name. Its a group founded in 1551 to look for a trade route to China via the Northwest passage. Sort of the same concept as the Hudson Bay Company, but the Muscovy Company did it first.
They succeeded in getting to Moscow via the Barents straits and the Tsar invited them to open up trade. In 1555 the Company was renamed. I like the original name myself. It makes them sound so much more exciting. They were at one point asked to help work out a marriage between Ivan the Terrible and Elizabeth I. The concept of that makes me squee. Can you imagine the ornament of Russia mixed with Elizabethan style? That would be some serious, serious bling. One day I'll finish my Elizabethan loose gown project and then it might need some pearls. Sort of my own homage to an alternate timeline.
Speaking of projects (is that a smooth enough segue?) the Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge is now officially closed with 27 participants. Three of them are from my Kingdom, Artemisia. One each from the three large groups in the Wasatch; Province of Arrow's Flight (me,) )Barony of Loch Salaan (Andrea/Maysun,) and Barony of Gryphon's Lair (Jennie/Fiametta.) There's a bit of talk about doing an in kingdom competition to supplement the official competition for those that weren't able to officially join the Realm of Venus competition so we can all play along together. I think that would be fabulous. Being one of 27 with the competition closed just put a little more pressure on me to not waste my spot. I've really got to do this and make a serious attempt at doing something beautiful, rather than getting overwhelmed by it and quitting. I'm sort of glad for that. And sort of not. I'm already falling asleep plotting the dress and dreaming of the projects. I guess that's a good sign.