Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stitches Con't....

Muahahahaha.....I finally found the Wikipedia page the stitches came from! The Plaited Braid stitch is not listed with the others.

realm_of_venus got me thinking. (I know, scary, huh?)

Here's a break-down of some extant coifs collected from Elizabethan Costume --

I think this is the coif that is in PoF4 that has the funky vines.

(Click pic for larger web pic)

I do not know what stitch is used to make the vines, but it's not gold, and it's not plaited braid.....

(My crop and blow-up....Looks like it should be worn while viewing the Bayoux Tapestry, no?)

Blackworked coif, with the vines outlined, and the insides packed with spangles....(I can't seem to find the blackwork example that had buttonhole stitch filling the vines. bah.)

(Click pic for larger web pic)

I can't tell for absolutely sure, (I'm no embroidery expert) but it looks to me like these vines were done in a chain stitch with gold....(So maybe chain stitching w/gold is an option after all? still might be cost prohibitive, and I am not sure my quality of work would stand up next to gold.)

(Click pic for larger web pic)

I do not know what the stitch is (anyone have any ideas??), but it's worked with gold.....

(Click pic for larger web pic)

But now onto the actual coif that is (mostly) the pattern I used.....They used chain stitch for filling (as I did) and used plaited braid for the vines. (Which I am probably not going to attempt) The stitching is very dense and fine. Mine is not so. ;) The original also uses silk, where I used wool.

(Click pic for larger web pic)

There are other techniques that were used on the original, such as detached needlelace (buttonhole??) for the textural and structural qualities of the pea pods, tudor roses, and butterflies. Some flowers were padded, I padded nothing. There are also lots and lots of spangles, which I fully intend to distribute liberally all over mine.

(My crop and blow-up....Spangles, chain stitch, and plaited braid stitch)

Depending on how sick I am with this project when I am finally done with it, I may go back and do the veins on the leaves like on the original...

(My crop and blow-up)

All in all, I'm still completely wiffle-waffled about the whole vine stitch/thread issue.

Okie Dokie....Upcoming (SCA-centric) Projects!!

For me, it's kind of tied between the following three: (I want ALL of them at some point, just I have to decide what I want first) Actually, I think the order the picture is in might be the order that I want 'em. Mebbe.

I am going to try to have a new outfit for 12th Night, so I think it might be down to the first inspiration portrait or a simple Elizabethan jacket.

Considering the time constraints, I might go with the jacket. I think it just depends on how I'm feeling when I start. (Which will probably be tomorrow)

I think next up to bat for Holly (who now has an LJ profile, as of today! w00t!) is an earlier-period Italian. (But I still need to finish the shirt and false front for the silver and black venetian from last time. d'oh!)

Inspiration pics:

Holly likes the second one best, and I agree, I love the sleeves on it....Green turnback, and gold stripey something (cuff??) underneath. Holly, I hate to break it to you, but the more I look at these pictures, the more I'm thinking that fake-o ties won't really work. We'll test it and see, but it seems to me like the ties are part of the structural integrity of the garment. Mebbe. We'll see.

I don't think that there is any supporting garments underneath....look at the horizontal wrinkles under the bust on the portrait on the left...I think that either the dress itself is providing the support, or maybe some sort of corded bodies/kirtle underneath the camacia?? I'm leaning towards the dress-only side. Any opinions? Has anyone seen any ideas/reasearch either way??

Other portraits I'm diggin' at the moment for one reason or another....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One teeny-tiny section down, dozens more to go....

Here is a hoop-size "finished" section. I'm counting "finished" as everything other than the yellow, since I still have not decided what to do about the vines. I'm trying to keep balanced by moving to opposite sides every "finished" section, as I am quickly running out of colors. Yikes!

The leaves are nice and easy and are going fairly quickly, so that is encouraging. the fabric is getting noticeably heavier with all the wools starting to bulk it up. I have not quite decided if I'm going to go back over the leaves and flowers and such with veins, I'll have to see how it all turns out when finished and check if it 'needs' them. I am kind of dissapointed in myself that I didn't trust my skills to shading. Everything is turning out totally cute, but it's much more cartoon-ish than I had originally pictured. I was kind of hoping for a more naturalistic look, but I thought that would be far too difficult. I am fairly confident that if I started over now, I would be able to pull it off semi-proficiently, but there is NO WAY IN HECK I'm going to stop this project only to start it all over again now.

I need to do some testing with the wool and silk to see what kind I'm going to use for the scrolls, and in what stitch. **ANY INPUT AND IDEAS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED** Ahem.

I also need to do a tester coif to work out the construction, since the last thing I want to do is go into cutting and sewing without a clue. I have enough linen and lace to make a nice plain coif, so if it all works out the way I'm hoping it will, I'll have a fairly decent plainer one as well.

I've been on the lookout for gold lace, specifically the kind of lace that Val used on her smock. I don't know what it's called, or where to get it, but I want it....BAD! It's a fairly tightly-woven metallic lace (it's definately metal, it's cold to the touch, and warms up in your hand), and to my eye, it looks 'right'. I don't know if it is or not, but it surely 'looks' the part. I ordered two sizes of paillettes from Reconstructing History yesterday, and once the coif is totally completed, I'll figure out if I want to use paillettes, boullion, both, or nothing at all.

In other news:
I cannot describe the enormous amount of love and adoration I have for this ensemble......*drool!* I wants it so bad, but there is no way I'd ever do it! My work looks so amateur and childish next to this! (Well, my work *IS* amateur, and definitely beginner, and I have been accused of being childish)

Possible stitches for the vines

Couching, or one of the below (in the event I don't find the *perfect* braid or cord to use).....none of which I have tested yet, I need to see if my fingers will cooperate with any of them!

Apparantly, this is the "Van Dyke" stitch. Looks fairly easy, and I think I could do it.

This is the "Interlaced Braid" stitch. There is 3x the stitching involved, but I think it might be the easiest for me to comprehend.

This is the "Braid" stitch. I recognize components of this stitch in the plaited braid stitch, so if I do end up going that route, I'll practice this one to death first, then attack the plaited braid.

This is the "Basket Weave" stitch. Another one that looks kinda fancy, but I might be able to force my fingers into submission and do it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Belated holiday greetings, and some catching up...

I hope everyone has had a fantastic holiday! Only one more to go....I am pretty dang excited about the New Years party. 'Twill be fun.

For christmas, Husband tried so hard to make it wonderful....and it was. There were a couple of things that *ahem* didn't work.

I've been saying how I would really like a small tv in my sewing room to listen to movies as I work. Right before christmas, Husband came home with a 40" tv, and said "Merry Christmas! Where do you want it?" I sat there dumbfounded and said "um, well....where do *you* want it?". Husband was all crestfallen and told me that it was the TV for my sewing room. I just had to laugh. Poor guy. There was no way in all of creation that thing was going to fit ANYWHERE in my sewing room. I had to explain to him that all I needed was something that played movies so I could listen, I don't really *watch* anything while sewing. So, the TV became the joint present, and it now lives in our bedroom. (Kind of big for a bedroom TV, but oh well.)

Shortly after the TV debacle, Husband comes home with shelves for my sewing room to put all my fabric on. (oh the joy!) But in the end, they were 1/2" too big to fit into my closet, so they became garage shelves. (Which is a good thing, anyway!)

The one thing that worked out perfectly was PoF4. I am SO excited!! I've drooled all over the pictures, and now I need to go back through and actually read everything!

After christmas, Husband took me shopping, and we got shelves that fit my closet. I also went to an embroidery shop and got some embroidery toys. I got a GIANT hank of yellow wool (really, it is huge...I wrapped the card to bursting, and the original hank looks like I've barely touched it!), and a few skeins of embroidery silk. I also ended up with black and white sewing silk, and four packages of boullion. (w00t!)

I think I've given up on the whole gold embroidery with plaited braid stitch. (Especially being a beginner and all.) I'm going to test out the new silk and wool to see what I like better. I have not quite decided what stitch I want to do, that needs to be tested out as well. I'll probably post about that later!

I will probably need to go back and get some more green wool, I'm quickly running out of green, and there are still a lot of leaves to be done!

I had a nice christmas eve get-together with Husband's family. Quite the eclectic bunch! Husbands brother and his wife have been staying with us for the past couple of weeks, and are here until the end of this week. It's been interesting having people in the house. Cozmo is very wary of their large dog, and Demitri doesn't quite know what to think of their birds. He gets quite worried when they start making a ruckous.

On Christmas, I really wanted to make cinnamon rolls, and I had pies to make for the dinner that night. I had planned to go grocery shopping after the in-law's dinner, but by the time we left, all the stores were closed! On Christmas morning, I got up early and started hunting around for anything that was open. It was *NOT* fun at all. Of the stores that were open, it took going to 2 Walgreens, a 7-11, and a Maverick to gather enough supplies. I still had to call my sister and beg for brown sugar. (THANK YOU, SIS!!)

The cinnamon rolls turned out OK, even though there was a butter tragedy half-way through. The pies turned out DELISH. Yum yum. Cranberry-apple pie is my new favorite dessert of all-time. I think I may have gotten the recipe worked out, although next time, I'm going to try dried cranberries instead of fresh, and see if that makes any difference in the runny-ness.

Christmas day, (after the shopping fiasco) was very pleasant. The cinnamon rolls worked out great, and I found enough milk (4 1/2 gallons....much more expensive than whole gallons!) to make Abuelita hot chocolate for everyone. Mom, dad, and youngest brother came over to exchange gifts, watch a movie, and eat cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate. Oldest brother was able to stop by with his wife long enough to snarf some rolls and chocolate before heading over to her family for dinner. The rest of us piled over to Sis' house for a yummy yummy dinner of smoked cornish game hens, potatoes, and goat cheese. (I think I'm the only one that ate the goat cheese.) Oh my, was that dinner GOOD!

I'm now back at work today....isn't it weird that the only time I seem to find to blog is at work?? Wrong, I tells ya!

Coif-y Update

My goodness, I've been slacking once again! Instead of a one-picture post update, it's a multiple-picture update! I'm sorry.

(2 purple carnations...that's the last of the carnations!)

(2 red roses...there are 2 more roses to be done, but they took *forever*, and I'm not sure what color I want to do, so I'm holding off on them for a little while)

(A little green worm, and a small something....the beginning of all the filling-in!)

(Continuation of the filling-in stuff. Some leaves, a butterfly, and the stems of a couple of flowers...not done with this section yet, but I wanted to show ya anyway...)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pincushion = Finished!

I think I needed a small project that could be finished in a couple of days. The coif is getting kind of depressing. The pincushion is finished, and kinda cute, if I do say so myself! (Looking at it now, it would be a cool way to make xmas tree decorations. I think I might work on some through the next year to give away. Nice little personalized prezzie for peeps.)

But on to the finihed project:

Inside of the cushion, five seams sewn together (My is that messy! Thankfully, my coif is no where near that messy on the insides.)

Outside of the cushion, five seams sewn. (I ended up doing the scrolly vines that courtierka suggested on the long ends. I left the second short end blank. Oh well.)

Finished sides

Finished top. (I need to find a design that lends itself more easily to's really hard to get a fleur symmetrical!)

I'm going to be picking up the coif again later today, but I'm giving my hands a much-needed break. My tendons are stiff and sore, and my fingertips are growing callous!

Monday, December 22, 2008

More coif-y updates

Here is the general color scheme for the rest of the coif. (Mostly so I remember what goes where!) Oh yeah, the purples at the top? Those are the supre-cute wooden thread winders from the event!

And now onto what is actually done......
(4 blue carnations)

(1 giant yellow carnation)

(1 mutant something....a thistle? It didn't turn out very thistle-y if that is what it is...)

That leaves only 4 'major' flowers to be done. Then comes all the tedious filling-in work. All the leaves and teeny flowers and such. I'm ignoring the scroll work for as long as possible since I have no idea where to even start on that. I need to find out what the best gold to use is, and how to actually *do* a plaited braid stitch. *dies*

I may end up doing something else for the scrolls, but I really want the gold! :(

Dropping the coif project for a moment....(but only for a moment)

(This is the shortest side of the rectangle)

While perusing Attack Laurel's site looking for coif-y information, I happened across *teh cuteste* pincushion on the planet! I decided I *NEED* a similar pincushion, so the coif if resting for a little while. Last night I cut out the pieces and I'm working on the blanket stitch edges. I probably should have figured out the embroidery design before hacking away at the fabric, but oh well. Worst case scenario, it doesn't work, and I go back to my coif.

I have not quite figured out what I'm going to do for the decoration, but it will probably end up having fleurs or something like that. (Since, ya know, I'm fleur-obsessed) She did couching, but I think I'm going to do a double running (?) stitch, or the ever-present chain stitch. I'll probably also put my persona's initials (S.B.) somewhere on there. I guess if I was a good girl, I would go research some Italian motifs, but I'm not gonna. I think this is more of a "just 'cause I wanna" project more than anything else.

I'm using dark green wool felt and goldenrod-colored wool embroidery thread. Next time I see someone spinning I'll try to con them out of some wool for stuffing. Or buy some at Hancock Fabrics.

Oh yeah, did you know that Hancock Fabrics sells little packages of wool?? I think it's for ummm....I can't remember what it's called right now, but you use a stiletto and make sculpted/raised thingabobs? (Yeah, really, I'm awake......)

Pincushion Conundrum

I am terribly un-original when it comes to graphic design. So far, this is what I've come up with, and I'm not very extatic about it. The top (largest) part is the fleur, which I may or may not keep. The two shorter sides are my mundane initials and my persona's initials. (Too cheesy?)

If I end up keeping everything so far, I still need to do something for the longer sides. Hmmmmm......I'm outta ideas. I'm not even liking the ideas I have in the first place. I think I need to go dig though some of my books at home and see if there is anything that catches my eye. I'm down to the last piece with the blanket stitch, so next up is the embroidery. I better figure it out soon or I'll have yet another project that goes in the 'forever unfinished' pile.

ETA: I was originally inspired by Attach Laurel and her beautiful pincushion:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Embroidery Project Update (sort of)

I think I'm going to start posting each set of flowers as they finish. Some flowers only have one or two sets, some a ton, so I will post when I've finished an entire set. I need to catch up on some, though! (Don't worry, the set I'm working on right now (carnations) actually has6 7 of them, so it will be a while before I post those! The damage so far......(close ups of what I posted earlier)

I did the daffodils first because there were only two of them! I think they're super cute!
(2 daffodills)

The pea-pods came next, because their uber-cuteness was calling to me. I did chain stitch everywhere but the peas themselves...those I did in satin stitch, because they're soooo tineh!
(4 sets of two pea pods)

Next up were the gilly flowers (or what I *think* are gilly flowers!) I love these little guys too...they're cute! The pointy yellow bits are satin stitch, the rest is chain.
(2 gilly flowers)

I finished the two orange-y red flowers last night. Not sure what these guys are supposed to be, since there are other flowers that I'm sure are tudor roses, so what are these dudes? Anyway, mostly chain stitch, with the pointy bits satin stitch.
(2 orange flowers)

Next up, carnations! I just recounted, and there are acutally 7 of these! I think I'm going to do half in blue, and half in yellow. Mebbe. I have to see how the color palette is looking after I finish the matching set of blues.

I'm still being a wuss about the plaited braid stitch. It's stressin' me out, man!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thrifty McThrifty!

Business cards make awesome thread winders! I bought three of them (nice ones, that is) at the event last weekend, and while they are beautiful and wooden and everything, I can't buy 65 of them. So.....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Enormous Beth-a-Val Laurelling Post

During morning court, TRM Timmur and Tianna put Bethany on vigil.

Bethany's husband, Vilhelm (Robert) had a unique view of the proceedings, as he is herald for TRM.

Bethany's wonderful laurel, Duchess Caryn escorted Bethany to the vigil room. During the entirety of Bethany's vigil, Caryn manned (womanned?) the guest book. There were many munchies and delicious snacks set out. The vigil room was lush with beautiful pillows and rugs, and it was a very wonderful experience.

I frantically got Bethany ready in time for evening court. Doesn't she just look BEAUTIFUL?!?!

Bethany returns the green Apprentices belt to her Laurel....

And Caryn receives the belt with gracious words....

Baron Thorvald reads words from Sir Tryggvar (Jeff-ay)....

Words are read for Royal Peers....

The amazing Dame Thea(dora) says very inspiring things about Bethany....

Jaquellinne had me crying with her kind words which rang so true, Bethany is so very generous and kind...

Duchess Caryn stands up for her Apprentice, and says very kind and beautiful things...

Bethany is given not one, not two, but THREE Laurel medallions. They are passed around and 'blessed' by the Laurels of the Kingdom...

Bethany swears her oath to the Kingdom, and TRMs swear in return....

And here is our newest Laurel!!!!!

I am so very thankful that I was able to finish her dress in the short time allotted. I wish I had more time, but it turned out OK, I think! The hat was the last to be completed, and it is pretty cute. Of course the wonderful and talented Holly made all the jewelry and belt.