Sunday, January 12, 2014

2013 at a glance, and looking ahead.

2013 was a bit of a wash, it seems, blog-wise. Making things did in fact happen in 2013 -- I did a Japanese feast back in March:
In the middle of planning this feast I ended up working two jobs and hardly ever sleeping, so it's probably the most seat-of-my-pants meal I've ever done. People seemed to like it all the same, though.I wasn't able to realize my dream of having the whole hall sit on pillows at low tables, we had a nod to that with our central show table (they paid a little extra and got their own feast gear in the deal).

I also finished a completely hand-sewn 14th century hood with a completely rediculous amount of hand-sewn buttons and button holes. It's red wool lined in plaid wool, sewn with silk thread. I really like how it turned out, though I don't think I was looking closely enough at the Museum of London patterns when I made it -- the gores are a little too shallow, they should be going right to the chin line. By the time I figured it out I'd already sewn all four of them so I just plowed ahead. I also learned some basic bookbinding at our kingdom's big summer event, which inspired me to make a velvet-bound sketch book for a swap back in December.


I used reclaimed book boards and some very polyester thrift-store velvet that turned out to be completely perfect for the application -- the poly backing let it stick to the glue without soaking it up, and the pile was nice enough that you couldn't tell once it was finished.

2013 doesn't seem quite so unproductive now that I think about it.

As for 2014, I'm finding myself with a little more hands-free time, so I've decided I need to do some blackwork again. I decided to go with the Jane Seymour cuffs, a pattern that I'd actually started on aida cloth way back in my earliest days of the SCA but never actually completed or used. Amanda Marksdottir has done a really great job creating an updated chart for the design.  I also have the benefit of some of the lighter-weight linen that Dharma Trading Company started carrying thanks to a dropoff from Santa (thanks Mom!).  I'm doing the embroidery in Guterman silk sewing thread -- it gives a good line for this kind of work and it's literally across the street from my apartment at the local Joann.

I'm more-or-less doing both cuffs at once, and after a week I've finished Row 1 and am now well into tackling Row 2.
It always amuses me how the half-done stuff looks just a little bit pixilated.

And the finished motifs all close-like.

Still a long ways off from this, I'll admit.

In other news, I've gotten word that our area's Arts and Sciences championship is moving from May to July this year. With that slightly extended deadline and all of the things that I've been working on over the last few years, I think I might actually be able to bring five objects worth competing with, but we'll see what happens.