other people’s work

•January 19, 2020 • 4 Comments

THis one belongs to Liz, who did the three day course at the AShmolean last year.

Liz has done the opus course previously, so her dragon, Wenualt, and the rider St Hilda, are done in a mixture of laid and couched work and opus techniques, using both silk and wool. Her face is opus style but in heavier silk, as Liz felt her eyes weren’t up to the fine stuff, with underside couched silk for the Halo, as seen on the Syon cope.

I’m loving the colour scheme, blue and green is always one of my favourites. Plus you can’t go wrong with a dopey grin on a dragon.

And this is Alice’s first go at laid and couched work, a Freya kit bought at TORM last Autumn

and a jolly good job she did too.


And link in case you fancy coming to a one day class next weekend



useful things and splurges

•January 10, 2020 • 9 Comments

I bought these clip on lights for lighting the stand at harrogate, they work off USB battteries, but You can also stick some AAA batteries in which is very handy to clip to embroidery.

but as you can see it’s lightweight enough to clip steadily to tight fabric.

The light is pretty bright, so I had to take the pic with it switched off. They were only about four quid on ebay, and I’m thinking of getting a few more so everyone at class can use one, as they’re brilliant for opus work. I’m wondering how I ever managed without one.

I also ordered some handcream because I was curious about the solid format

And as you can see I’ve ended up keeping it in my sewing box. I find working with silk really strips my hands of thier natural oils quite quickly, but my usual l’occitane shea cream is to wet to use anywhere near sewing. This is beeswax based, and it goes on a little greasy but drys fast, so I can use at the start of a session to protect my hands. It’s ideal for me for sewing as you don’t overdo it like you easily can with liquid versions, if you rub it round your hands like you would a bar of soap you only get a tiny bit – just enough.

It smells nice too, I just ordered  two other fragrances to try.

Oh, and I might have just accidentally slipped off the fabricaholics anonymous wagon a teensy bit and bought three metres of this from sartor

It’s one of the gold plated (not lame/plastic ) more expensive cloth of golds they’ve been doing. I hadn’t ordered it before because it was one of the options I gave gareth for christmas presents. It’s supposed to be blue, but gareth and I both think it looks more purpley. The plan is to use the red cloth of gold for a kirtle, with a c15th style sideless surcote of this over the top, with ermine, to create and understated bit of medieval casualwear – you know, to wear with one of my less formal crowns.

But it will be going to stash for now, as this will be next year’s costume project – later this year I’m going to use some lovely black wool satin (which tbh was almost the same price per metre as this, it’s gorgeous quality and I can’t wait to play with it)for an elizabeth woodville dress to match the jewels I made last year (which I haven’t worn yet because they go with a dress I haven’t made yet)

It’s very stiff, though, so when I finally get to it it’s going to be an interesting sew, and it’s bloody heavy – three metres wieghs nearly two kilos.

new coat

•January 5, 2020 • 4 Comments

but not for me. I am officially banned from bringing more wool blankets into the house.

but you see there was a sale…

So I got round it by converting one of the blankets into a coat for Gareth’s sister, Caz.

It’s the same basic cut as the one I made for myself last year, except that being a second attempt I made a much better job of putting it together.

It’s lined with nice grey wool cloth, and seems nice and warm, which Caz will find handy as she lives in the LAkes and it’s cold there.


•December 27, 2019 • 12 Comments

I got three metres of this for christmas

Now I just have to decide what to do with it.

Other than stroke it and drool, obvs

doodle deccies

•December 24, 2019 • 2 Comments

I would say I found these two little bits of embroidery, but inall honesty they just appeared on my desk the other day, as if transported from the ether.

I think they’re needle doodles for a magazine article a wrote years ago, which never got used.

Anyway, I mounted them on boards, sewed them back to back, added a tassel, and made a tree decoration

merry christmas everyone

skinny dipping

•December 17, 2019 • 9 Comments

or having a bath, if you’re a medieval peasant

What you see here is an approximation of a medieval farmer’s tan, because men wore nothing but their braies/underpants when working in the fields in summer, so I reckon the only pinks bits would be the arse area.

He’s all split stitch.

roman necklaces

•December 9, 2019 • 2 Comments

On Saturday I trundled down to oxford for a one day Roman necklace workshop in conjunction with the “last supper in POmpeii” exhibition. (Go if you haven’t been already, it’s very good).

We made herakles knot necklaces in sterling silver. I’m not allowed a blowtorch in case I set fire to the Ashmolean (for some reason they don’t trust me, it’s like they’ve met me or something), so I made all the rings in advance so that students just had to bend, interlock and hammer them before interspersing them with beads.

The first thing I did was sucessfully demonstrate how not to use the hammer and small anvil by delicately hammering my thumb and giving myself a small blood blister. Obviously this was intentional because I’m such a good tutor and make great sacrifices for my art *cough*

I didn’t get a picture of quite everyone’s necklace, because as usual I forgot to start taking pictures until people had already started leaving, but I got most. Everyone made a pair of earrings as well , which are in the style of rather than being properly roman. I’d taken a choice of Lapis lazuli, carnelian and agate beads – I really like the ones with mixed stones.

%d bloggers like this: