Archive for January 2013

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-29-13

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift


Alchemist Gift
– The women had their hands tied in front of them. They all wore the same dull colored, coarse garments that looked to be no more than old blankets which were slit to allow it to be worn over ones head like a loose shift. The women’s hair was mussed and matted, faces and feet filthy and they were pale and underfed. One’s legs and arms were covered with sores; another was wracked by a deep rasping cough.

The bishop stood and looked out over the crowd.  When he raised his hand the people became quiet and gave him their full attention. Only the faint whoops and laughter of the little children who were still playing could be heard. This was silenced as the children were snatched up or given a stern look. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-27-13

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

Chapter 3 Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

Excerpt 3
wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift – Feeling very alone because of the count’s absence, Rosalba let her mind drift to Casa Bella, her ancestral home. It was a beautiful world unto itself. As her dowry was more than ample, and so demanded by her father, Casa Bella was kept in her name when she wed. That is where she and the count lived. The estate and lands covered a small valley. Over the years, from the work of many hands the hillsides were terraced and planted with grapes, olive, fig, lemon, almond, pear and hazelnut trees. A wide stream and two springs produced plenty of water. Where the hills met level ground golden meadows rolled forth and eventually transformed into a smaller line of hills, a natural border that ended the valley as well as the estate. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy – 01-24-13

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

Chapter 3 Alchemist Gift and Alchemy

Renaissance footwear - Alchemist Gift

Renaissance footwear – Alchemist Gift

Excerpt 2

Alchemist Gift – The gentlemen were dressed in dark satins or rich brocades. They wore fine leather boots; each carried a walking stick surmounted with a heavy gold handle in the shape of an eagle or lion. Their serene wives and beautiful daughters draped themselves in silks and satins the colors of apricot or creamy lemon, cinnamon or dusty rose. They wore fine white stockings and the most fashionable shoes of the French design. Their dresses shimmered at the slightest turn or bow or curtsy.  The ladies made a wonderful sight in their ribbons and lace. As they twirled their parasols or flicked their fans, they chit-chatted and bestowed catty compliments on each other. Read more

Alchemist Gift – Alchemy 01-20-13

Alchemist Gift – Alchemy

Alchemist Gift – Join in the fun with the writer of the Alchemist Gift, a first draft novel written online, and let Mark know how you are enjoying the book. Make suggestions. He may incorporate them into the book. Ask questions. He will do research to answer your question. Let him know if you see some history or culture of the Renaissance that is mistaken. He will research it and let the readers know of the correction here in the blog. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-18-13

Alchemist Gift

Chapter 3 Alchemist Gift

Excerpt 4

 

wwitch burning Alchemist Gift

witch burning Alchemist Gift

Alchemist Gift continued: The following Sunday, the day of the burning, was crisp and cloudy. The clouds were bilious and silver-gray and filled the heavens; small patches of blue sky and rays of golden sunlight occasioned shown through. Unseen in the distance, veils of rain gently trailed from the clouds. In some places the first of the rain drops were big and scattered and they pocked the tawny dust. In other places a fine mist barely wetted the pathways leaving behind a fragile crust.

Father Eduardo Silva said mass that morning.  The church, Our Lady of Divine Mercy, was completed in 1146. Its high vaulted ceiling seemed to be gently held on high by the delicate gilded tracery that knotted into itself forming the capitals of the smooth marble columns. The tracery exploded into a fantasy of sweeping arcs and impossible curves that lead to the next column and to the next, from the front of the church all the way to the altar.  High narrow windows, each a station of the cross, told of the sad and painful journey our savior took his last day on earth. The stain glass artists crudely captured the grotesque and the sublime. At a certain time of the morning the sun shone through these brilliant shards and fell upon the faithful in colors of amber, scarlet and cerulean. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-17-13

Alchemist Gift Renaissance History

Wattle wall Alchemist Gift

Wattle wall Alchemist Gift

A reader asked what a wattle wall is. Wattle and daub is a composite building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. Wattle and daub has been used for at least 6000 years, and is still an important construction material in many parts of the world. Many historic buildings include wattle and daub construction, and the technique is becoming popular again in more developed areas as a low-impact sustainable building technique. – Wikipedia

 

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Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 01-13-13

Alchemist Gift 01-13-13

Coming this week. FREE Alchemist Gift bookmarks for referring your friends to follow the Alchemist Gift blog. Click here to see the bookmark.bookmark Alchemist Gift

Chapter 2

Excerpt 3

Alchemist Sunburst Sideboard paintings inside the drawers

Alchemist Sunburst Sideboard paintings inside the drawers

A smug competition grew among this dishonest brotherhood. They agreed not to sell any apple for under a half silver piece.  The high mark to beat was six gold pieces for a single apple bought by a merchant from Padua hoping to regain his youth and virility. If a customer complained, he or she was told that one apple may not be enough to affect a cure or a change, and a cure depended on the faith the pilgrim had in the fruit and in God.

One fine morning La Signora Mezzi along with her youngest daughter of seven years, Nina, was cutting roses for the house. The rose garden was a compact diamond-shaped area in the center of the courtyard a few paces in from the front gates. Nina was a happy little girl. She had on a light blue apron over her dress and her brand new green slippers just like her mama’s. A hummingbird flitted between mother and daughter and hovered so close each could feel the subtle stir of air made by the bejeweled bird’s wings. It delighted them both. Nina took great care and pride in her task. She smiled at her mother as she held the basket up for the next rose. There were already six or seven beautiful and fragrant roses nestled in the basket. Read more

Alchemist Gift 01-11-13

Alchemist Gift – History

monks Alchemist Gift

monks Alchemist Gift

Monks were not well liked

During the time of Alchemist Gift, monks of the 15thand 16th centuries were not known for their good behavior. By the 16th century many of the religious houses had long since lost their sense of purpose. Some, as landlords, oppressed the local population with exorbitant rents. Heavy debts encumbered others that had been poorly managed.

A priory “became a stopping point for Oxford students whose behaviour and ‘slovenly dress’ created complaints and gained the priory a dubious reputation. An Episcopal visitation in the 15th century reported monks missing holy service and visiting the public house instead, and the Prior having absconded.”*

Beer was drunk in some quantity by monks. In fact, those in Abingdon were rationed to twenty pints per day.* Read more

Alchemist Gift 01-09-13

Alchemist Gift 01-09-13

Excerpt 4 Alchemist Gift
1497
OUTSKIRTS OF TERRA SANCTUS, REPUBLIC OF VENICE

 

Sun Tree- Alchemist Art

Sun Tree- Alchemist Art

 

On the crisp morning of the autumnal equinox Adamo Lucci was instructed by the Patrona Mezzi to clear away the ragged  and decaying trunk of a tree that some say was as old as time itself. The tree of the apple variety, some fifty feet tall, grew outside the vine-covered walls of her courtyard just beyond a broad footpath that passed by the front gates.  The tree was already mature when the villa was built.

Some one hundred and seventy years before, a stranger returning from the East carried with him a sack of apples to sustain himself on his journey. He absently spat out a seed from the apple he ate. The seed fell onto the wet and warm soil on that particular spring day. In time the seed split and sent out a cautious root that deliberately pushed its way down and found solace as it entwined itself around a heart-shaped stone. The seed also sent out a hopeful leaf upward, then another and another and another. Time passed and the apple tree grew to be the largest and fullest apple tree from any of its ancestors. The tree held within its rings the knowledge of rains both gentle and harsh, soft breezes, scorching summer days and crystal winter nights. Read more

Alchemist Gift and Alchemy 010713

Alchemist Gift 010713

History – The Slouch Hat
slouch hat from Alchemist Gift

slouch hat from Alchemist Gift

 

A question was asked about the slouch hat. Wikipedia describes the slouch hat as “The name “Slouch Hat” refers to the fact that one side droops down as opposed to the other which is pinned against the side of the crown.[1] This style of hat has been worn for many hundreds of years.” It was made to protect one’s face from the sun. We found a picture of it for you. It is mentioned in the first chapter of The Alchemist Gift.

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