In the medieval and Renaissance periods, the idea of a “favor” was not specifically something you did for someone else, but more often a physical token of your esteem, your affection, or your commitment to your lover. In the SCA, we keep the tradition alive, and it is not uncommon to spy favors or tokens in the form of beads, belt tokens, scarves, necklaces, or more. With the prevalence of members’ registered heraldry, favors typically carry the heraldry (or heraldic colors) of the giver.

favors 001For example, this is the favor I made for the arm of J’s fencing outfit. My device’s colors are blue, white, gold, and black. Rather than embroider my device, however, I decided to pick a verse that had significant meaning for our relationship and the nature of the favor (which he wears for every tournament):

Set me as a seal upon your arm,

And as a seal upon your heart,

For love is as powerful as death.

(from Songs, chapter 8 verse 6)

This week, the base for my favor from J arrived in the mail, begging for embellishment: a cute little soprano ukulele with a shark-shaped bridge.

Given that J’s device is a silver shark on a black background, under silver waves (an “engrailed chief”), the uke was incredibly easy to customize to bear his colors:

ElwicUkeAfter that was finished, we added a small selection of prose:

My heart is stirred by a noble theme,

As I recite my verses for the king;

My tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.

(from Psalm 45, verse 1)

The uke (a nearly-indestructible, inexpensive Makala) was embellished with a Sharpie paint pen. I’ve never used a paint pen before; the packaging touted its “abrasion resistance,” so I figured it was worth a shot (seeing as I occasionally have to re-ink my other instruments that I’ve embellished with a plain Sharpie).

After noodling around here for a few days, I can definitely see the appeal of the soprano size of ukulele: uber-portable, and so cute you just can’t keep your hands off ’em! 🙂

A good tool for a Bard to ply their trade with. 😉

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