Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wrapping paper! Is there anything it can't do?

Our apartment was restored by some lovely people who care about their work, and old buildings, and their tenants, and they did quite a lovely job of picking color schemes and fixtures and in the hot, hot summer it is cool and restful and I quite like it. But at Christmas? BORING!

So when I was wandering through Joanne fabrics in early November I was looking for some nice red wrapping paper to add feature walls on either side of our fireplace. I didn't find it (sigh) but I did find...


Or rather, Santa's Beard. In fact, I found about a bajillion Santa's beards! Suddenly, I had a vision!

Wainscoting in the hallway!

Wallpaper in the dining room!

Hmmm, an entire wall in the living room might be overdoing it. Perhaps just a touch around the fireplace?

We still haven't gotten our tree, or wrapped all the presents, or baked many cookies...or, hey, CLEANED...but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Things I learned from looking at Tents!

I really did come back from Turkey (sigh) and if you've been waiting for pictures your patience is about to begin to be rewarded!

I didn't spend as much time in the Military museum as I had hoped, but I was there long enough to learn some very important things:


The main support poles of the tents really are tree trunks. Easily 14" or more in diameter and TALL!

This example is only a portion, possibly half, of the eventual height of the structure. I love that you can see the broken end which would go into a connector piece (up at the top) and that they had a connector and final on display also.

Look at the size of the hole the pole would insert into.

And to give some idea of the scale of that finial...

I also found it interesting that some of the double polled tent that I expected to be huge were quite moderate in scale, maybe 7-9 feet high, while some of the viewing pavilions were easily 18-20' or more! (Talk about making a person feel,insignificant.)


This example was fully appliqued over every inch of the interior, but only on the edges of the exterior, lovely! Most interesting, the exterior was assembled from a great many strips of fabric, probably about 7-8" wide running from top to bottom. I also love the patching!

And then there is the visible stitching. I think I could relax a bit about my work. :)


I noticed that the red tent had side poles. And that they ran in a channel in the walls and thus didn't show either inside or out. I didn't notice side poles on any other tent, so I can't claim it is common, but it is such a nice idea!

And then there were the netting windows with large decorative knots worked in another material (I think it was leather)

and the lovely grille work on the opaque window on the Sultan's bath tent

And the worked cord loops for stakes

Monday, October 14, 2013

Quiver Photos!

I know it is silly, but I am ridiculously proud of my two quivers, 100% made from stuff I had laying around the house!

I covered them in black linen and used some of my vast stash of 5" metal rings to make really strong supports for the straps.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

All A Quiver!

(Couldn't resist. Now you know that I am Just NOT That Strong. ;) )

I like my first attempt at making a quiver from stuff I had at home but the best thing it did for me was let me experiment enough to realize that a) a stiffer form would be a lot easier to use, and b) I'm not really a belt quiver kind of girl.

So, on to quiver #2!

(Actually twin quivers, which allowed me to take lots of pictures after I figured out that the first one was going to work.)

This time I want to make something stiffer. Prefferably something that can be used as either a back OR a standing quiver, and if I can figure out a way to make a protective cover for the feathered ends of my arrows when not in use, so much the better.

Based on the idea of expandable cardboard shipping tubes I'm trying for a cylinder about 2/3's of the length of my arrows which can be fit inside another larger tube to cover the fletching when not in use.

I was thinking about buying PVC pipe in two sizes to make the forms, but since I didn't get to the store before my patience wore out I went with stuff I had in the house instead. You know what we have a lot of? Seltzer bottles! And cardboard!

It takes three per quiver, one with the original bottom left intact, and two cut to retain only the straight-sided sections.

Since I am trying for a blow-by-blow rendition, I'll mention that I found my kitchen shears worked well on both the cardboard and plastic parts. I pinched the bottle to make a place to start my cut

then hacked the top off above the label

and after the top was off I cut an even top line by using the bottle label as a guide. Note that I'm cutting while looking at the inside of the bottle. I found it was much easier to manage the scissors on this inside curve and I got a straighter line as a result.

After I evened out the tops I took off the lables and discovered that at the bottom of the label my bottle already had a nifty guideline so I pinched and cut again on two of my set of three bottles.

Then I connected the three sections together with clear packing tape (it's been 'send wedding present' season at my house so we had it) inside and out.

That makes a nice tube at a good height for my arrows and back so the next step was to weight the bottom a bit to help it hang straight when empty and stand up if set on the ground. i used a leftover bottom piece to make a false bottom with pennies sandwiched inside for weight. I put two pennies in each of the little foot ridges at the bottoms tacked the tube on top and taped the whole thing together. (Note: that's not really heavy enough to keep it standing upright on an uneven surface or in a wind so i made a later adjustment.)

Then I stiffened it with cardboard around the outside. (Note: I later added a layer of cardboard on the inside of the tube also. It makes it heavier, stiffens it a bit more and keeps the arrow tips from pulling the tape off of the inside of the bottle.)

I finished it up by adding a bottom of cardboard and the plastic lid from a to-go order of soup (it was the perfect size!) and stuffing the inside bottom with a bit of the packing foam which came with my arrows to protect the tips.

I had to add a chunk of fallen branch to weight the quiver down at practice since the wind has been pretty frisky, but other than that It works!

Next up, adding a fabric cover and strap.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kill the napkin. Kill the napkin. KILL that napkin!

Ok. Thursday night? I was very luck to shoot an arrow into the back board of the target. The grass of our local archery range and I got very well aquainted. But today? All but 5 of my arrows hit the back board and four of them hit the target!


Four of those holes are MINE!

Of course, I can't quite remember which four of those holes are mine but I know I had a nice triangular grouping, not on the edge, in the last round of shooting. Woohoo!

Oh. And by the way, the quiver worked very well and I'm pretty sure it helped. The said it was important to leave your feet in place and approach the shot the same way each time so I could figure out what to adjust to improve my aim. The quiver means I don't have to scramble around on the ground for my arrows and lets me stay focused. :)

And Clarence used the bow Jessi lent me and it works! I'll have to build up some muscle before it will work well for me, but it is so nice to have at least one bow to bring to the local shoot. Now I just need to get my arrows tipped...

Yep. Hooked. They even have us talking about getting war points at Pennsic!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

What will that girl do next? Archery!

After a couple of years of thinking about it and saying I was *going* to do it I finally got myself off to an archery practice this week. So much fun! Seriously, even with my complete inability to hit the target. (I did hit the back board a few times. :) ) I loved it! I think both Boen and I may be hooked.

We are at least interested enough to be going to our Barony's archery practice tomorrow and in the last hour or so I have suddenly developed an intention to make a hip quiver! I confess I was inspired by a photo set I found through the good offices of Pinterest. Evrard Archer has posted a wonderful set of photos on Flicker at http://www.flickr.com/photos/23516362@N00/sets/72157625860081799/with/5980908926/ and they contained enough information--including a pattern-- to get me thinking that it was something we could do. Thank you, Evrard Archer! I hope I am someday lucky enough to take your class!

Since I hope to have a useable quiver tomorrow and no leather in the house I am throwing something together from stuff I do have, fabric, metal rings, and a cream cheese container.

Here goes!

The container is approximately the size of the finished size of the bottom from his pattern and will keep the arrow tips from puncturing the fabric. At least that is the plan.

I cut off the bottom of the container about an inch up the side, cut a disk from the lid the right size to make a double thickness of plastic at the bottom, and cut the remainder of the side at an angle to make a support for the top of the quiver.

Some rather random cutting and stitching later and I have this

We'll be adding straps tomorrow when we try it out to see if it helps. Believe me, I need all the help I can get!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

IRCC3 - Whew! It's over and I am TIRED!

I'm also not done, as my bodice has yet to be started and the camicia embroidery project may well outlive me, but I finished my final report and can now rest and speak to my husband for a few days before recommencing. I think he will like that :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

IRCC3 - All hemmed! Hmm...Now I guess I need a bodice...

Moving on with my hem, I ran another row of prick stitch through the all the layers about 1/2" from the edge of the hem on the fashion fabric thereby encasing the original cut edge and reducing the chances that my clipped hem finish will cause the main body of my doppia to fray. (Essentially, it's for seam allowance!)

I then flipped the facing fabric back toward the outer edge and ran a row of running stitch through the inner layers over the original seam securing the skirt and facing together.

Flipping the facing back again I have the look want, a separate tiny band of facing fabric sandwiched into the seam, and also enough stiffening from the build-up of the successive folded layers that I decided I didn't need to add any cording.

I double folded the remaining facing fabric and positioned it so the leading edge of the four thicknesses buts into the edge of the encased hem. Stitched in place, clipped, ironed, Voila!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fear, I'm facing you!

Well, I finally gathered up my courage and started on the hem of my skirt. First step, rounding out the train

I just folded the fabric in half and cut a freehand curve to round out the corner. This is still too square, but with the seam allowance turned under and the back panel gathered into the waistband I think it will be just right.

Second step, turn under the hemline of the skirt about 3/8" and baste in place. Third and fourth steps, cut 5" wide bias strips of bias hem facing, sew together, turn under about 1 1/2" on long edge, pin in place on skirt hem, wrong sides together and with the hem facing extending past the fashion fabric of the skirt about 1/4".

Fifth step, stitch hem facing in place. I used a running stitched worked thru the hem facing and the turn back of the hem on the fashion fabric. The stitches don't show on the right side of the skirt.

I'm trying out a doppia(padded hem) but I can't find the wool felt I purchased for the purpose so I think I'll make do with the linen facing and a row or two of hemp cord. And a heck or a lot of stitching!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

IRCC3 - Sottana skirt is assembled!

I finally finished all the stiching and my skirt pieces are together. As you can see, I still need to figure out the shape of the train (and possibly piece in some more triangles to soften the curve, but I am happy to say that I like the look, there will still be enough at the waitline for gathering, and I think there is enough sweep at the bottom that I won't feel like I am wearing a column dress even though I only used 2 1/2 lengths of fabric. (OK> Techcnically it is 3 lengths and 2 1/2 breadths. I hope I didn't confuse you. :) )

The view from inside - You can see all the pieces, front panel, two triangles from the 1/4 width piece, one triangle which was removed from the back panel and flipped, back panel

A close up of the inside seams

The view from outside - Once again you can see all the pieces

A close up of the outside seams