Monday, April 11, 2016

A&S Competitions

Sitting at coronation this weekend, I got into a conversation with a friend about A&S stuff that has been going on in my world. They brought up that they have not seen me enter a competition or challenge in a very long time. They asked why that was.  Its not the first time that I have had someone ask me this. I figured, probably best to put it out there, face the music so to speak. So, here goes.

 Sometime ago, like probably about ten years ago (as my youngest was under a year of age) I entered the Kings & Queens A&S champs.  I was a nervous wreck. I entered an outfit I'd sewn entirely by hand from underwear out. I tablet wove a head band and attached pearls and pewter findings on and braided false braids and attached them to it. The outfit even had handmade self stuffed buttons. Again, i was very nervous. I borrowed a dress form from a friend and set it up with my documentation and then the judging began.

Well, to make a long story short, when I was given the judges sheets back with their comments and there was one critique I got back that was particularly harsh.  Very harsh actually. Now, I can take constructive criticism. Give me honest to goodness suggestions on areas to improve or a source to look up to help in an area I need work on and I am fine with that. This was anything but. It brought me to tears.  To this day, i have not entered a competition again. I have displayed some of my items but I have not competed since that day. I have no intention of competing in the future either. I have been told this would seriously hamper my journey to an A&S peerage but honestly, I do not want to put myself through that again.  I am content to post what I do here and on occasion display at local events. If this means that a peerage wont happen because of it, I can accept that. My comfort level is what is most important. I will do what I love and post my research into it here. I have come to the point that I want to do what brings me the most enjoyment.  Currently that is knitting (SOCKS FOR EVERYONE!!), viking embroidery on garb for myself and my family and someday down the road Id love to learn to do tablet weaving to make trim for the garb for the family.

This is not to say that I wont continue to work towards the peerage as I am a protege and an apprentice to two wonderful peers who I love as they are my family. I will just not put myself into a chance to have that same situation happen again.  Ive been told I need to grow tougher skin. Ive never been able to adopt that mindset. I wear my heart on my sleeve and its been punched a time or two.

So, for those that ever wondered why I dont compete in A&S competitions...this is why.

Now..back to knitting socks. I swore to Ryan id lighten my load by October when the next Sheep N Wool Festival happens....and there is a cozy fire begging me to sit besides it. :D

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pelican Embroidery

A friend was elevated to the Order of the Pelican yesterday. Now that it has been given, I can post the images of the embroidery.  I was asked to embroider the medallion for her coat and was given a drawing to go off of.  I am told it was adapted it from a painting inspired by "Conference of the Birds" by Mantiq-ut-Tayr.  

I embroidered using silk threads on the ground fabric of teal silk dupioni. I was very pleased with how it turned out. 
When I have a picture of the recipient wearing it, I will post that as well.

Edit:  This is a picture of "Conference of the Birds" where the design inspiration came from for her Pelican cloak and medallion.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Well it took some time but I completed another 40+ inches of this trim for my friends gown.
Just wanted to post a picture of it completed.

Currently blackwork embroidering cuffs and collar for a friends chemise (here is a pic of that).

I am also knitting a pair of socks for a friend. Ill post a pic of that later when the first one is finished.

Im keeping busy.  Always do!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Hands are not Idle...

I am currently working on trim for a friends gown. I have about 15 inches left to go.  It is a Celtic design and I am using a yellow silk embroidery thread with a strand of gold blending filament in it so that it has a little bit of sparkle..just a hint.  Here is a picture of it.

When this is done I have black work cuffs and collar to finish for another friend.  These are the last two things on my "To Do For Others" list.  Then its just me and mine for projects for the remainder of the year. 

I made a promise to myself at the end of 2015 that I would make 2016 a year to concentrate on myself and my family in regards to creative endeavors.  I have a tunic for my fiance that is sewn together but not embellished. My children only have one tunic that fits them and nothing else.  That needs to be rectified. I also want to make some more viking clothing for myself. I am woefully lacking in garb and almost nothing is embellished.  I want to knit socks for myself and my fiance (who stated the other day that his feet don't sweat and then get cold in the handmade socks). 

Now, I hope to be strong enough to hold to this.  That isn't to say that if a good friend or family member is getting some type of award that needs regalia or just a fancy piece of garb that I wont step up and help..come on! But primarily I want to make things for us.  The old saying "The cobbler's children have no shoes" is so very fitting for me.  Mine also don't have pants or shirts! ;)

Well, thankfully its slow at work and I can embroider during those slow times. In two weeks the boss goes to Florida on vacation for 10 days and it will be a lovely quiet week of work and crafting combination. 

Oh and oh yes...we have bought a house and hope to close on it in the next couple weeks. That will mean making things for the new home as well as fixing it up. I will be busy.

But stay tuned...I will post all that I do. One thing I plan is an embroidered book for myself. Ive made at least half a dozen and given them all away.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Socky Goodness

Made another pair of socks to complete a barter exchange.  These were over the knee thigh high socks she could wear with her garb.  Though a commercial yarn that is quite colorful (four skeins of it) she is quite happy to wear them with her viking.

They look decidedly weird when just sitting on the table but when worn, they are perfect.
If I ever make another pair of these again they will be for me. They took a looooonng time. But i love them.

Friday, January 22, 2016


A short post because while parusing through Pinterest, I found this embroidered book and I am all about recreating it in the very near future...FOR ME!! HAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Book Porn - Very Safe for Work!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

My "Resolution"...of sorts

2016 is going to be about me. I want it to be the year of creativity and new experiences. I am going to make a list for myself of things I would like to try, learn and do (yes, a bucket list of sorts). I will actively seek teachers if I have difficulty learning it on my own through self study. This will be an active on going list. I will accept any suggestions or help offered.

1. Sign up for an overnight security shift at Pennsic (I've mentioned this one before)
2. Learn to make lamp-work beads for my viking. (i have the set up thanks to the menfolk's Christmas gift)
3. Tablet weaving
4. Learn how to make mead with the 10 pounds of raw honey I have
5. Become competent in the last categories I am not ranked in within Athena's Thimble (Lacis, Needlelace, Openwork & Smocking).
6. Give fencing a try (heavy list i think is too much for my back) and also Archery (I need better arrows, have bow and quiver already)
7. Do more heralding (apparently, I know how to project...who knew!!!)
8. Make more garb for myself that is embroidered (I currently only own 1 thing with my embroidery)
9. More socks..of course. (They're like potato chips, ya know?!)
10. Make more embroidered hand made books. Especially one for myself. That will happen first.
11. Take at least one picture every day and try to always learn a little more about my camera and a better way to take a photo.

I can come up with more and I will as the year progresses, but primarily this will be focused around me as I have been sorely neglecting myself for a long time. I will complete the couple projects for others I have promised but, I need to make things for on me. I will post creations and such here and on my blog (which may be switching to WordPress at some point).

Anyway...that's as close to a resolution as I will make. Hope everyone has had a grand New Years so far! Cheers!