You may wonder why I don’t do silver progress pics…

•July 3, 2015 • 7 Comments

Well, it’s mainly because whilst embroidery can look really interesting in progress, silver mostly looks like dirty scrap metal, see…


Also, these crown panels look a bit empty with a big gap waiting for an enamelled flower each. ( yes, I know, some of the hinges don’t quite line up – there’s still tweaking to do)

I had two full days to work on this this week, but ended up doing this lot today, since I felt so poorly Wednesday the only sensible thing to do was give up. Hence I’ve only done three panels rather than the five I’d been aiming for, sigh.

Branston helped by knocking things off the bench so he could park his fat arse and watch birdies.


lutrell fantasy panel

•July 2, 2015 • 13 Comments

I’m told his name is Weckauf, which sounds like something he would not so politely request you to do…


I was a bit dubious about him for a while, mainly because I varied the colours slightly from those in the manuscript, but in the end I’m really pleased with him. I’m especially pleased with his face, I normally would use only one colour for a face, but two works well for a grotesque like this.

This roll of the frame is done now, so it’s ready to cover up and move on.

weckauf lutrell panel

The next roll of the frame is a bit niether nowt nor summat. It contains the body of the long leg beast but not the head, and one very small creature, but the rest of it is mainly tops and tails – the top few leaves from humbert’s tail and the lower foliage from creatures above, a pair of feet, etc – but that’s just the way these big pieces pan out sometimes. I must admit I’ll be quite excited to unroll it and take the covers off once it’s complete!

One thing this has made me aware of if the necessity of writing something about splicing and troubleshooting with this technique.

I’ve been thinking…

•June 30, 2015 • 27 Comments

which is never a good sign…  

Everyone knows that unicorns poop rainbows – but did you know that dragons poo diamonds?  
It makes perfectly logical sense if you think about it. 
-If memory serves correctly, diamonds are created by immense heat combined with pressure upon carbon.
– We all know that dragons breathe fire, therefore it’s logical that it’s pretty damned hot inside a dragon.
– Dragons eat people. I think it’s fair to say that most people would give me indigestion, especially the kinds of sweaty knights and unwashed peasantry that form the average dragon’s diet (see note #1). Indigestion creates pressure in the guts.
– Anyone who’s ever watched Star Trek knows that humans are a carbon based lifeform.
Therefore. Heat(dragon breath)+ pressure(killer indigestion)+ carbon(based lifeform)= diamond turds
It’s just physics, innit?
Aha! I hear you cry! But if dragons excrete diamonds why did medeival types go to such great lengths to hunt them down?
Well, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the history of personal adornment will tell you that diamonds were not much valued until the rennaisance due to human lack of the correct technology to facet them – rough diamonds are just that (see note #2). In fact as I type Godric the pioneering dragon farmer is merrily spinning in his grave because when he declared backruptcy in 657ad (due to the exorbitant price of public liability insurance for dragon farmers and the complete lack of sales of his avant garde dragon turd jewelery range), everyone in the pub said, “Honestly, Godric, what did you think was going to happen? It’s not like the Queen of England is ever going to wear dragon turd earrings, now, is it?”
#1 Yes, I know it’s commonly held knowledge that dragons prefer to eat virgins, but why do you think this is? It’s becuase they don’t make indigestion pills for dragons, so the dragons (very sensibly, I might add) try to regulate thier diet by eating nice bland virgins. Obviously it’s far easier to find a dragon than it is to find a virgin, so the poor dragons have no choice but to eat sweaty knights (suits of armour do not have internal air conditioning systems) and assorted unwashed peasants, thus ending up with terrible indigestion. This, by the way, explains why dragons are so grumpy, becuase who wouldn’t be? Mmmmm, virgin, tastes like chicken…
#2. You didn’t think dragons could poo faceted diamonds, did you? Because, and I quote the great Tiamat, “OW!OW! OW! OWIE!!!! OOOOH ME JACKSIE THE PAIN!!!! OOOOOWWW!”
In completely unrelated news I would very much like a pet dragon. I have an endless supply of chavs it can eat, and I promise to clear up after it when it gets diahorrea.
(btw, original writing by me, not some meme gacked from the internet, so please don’t reproduce without permission)
(And yes, I know this is my sewing blog, and I usually post my ramblings elsewhere, but you all seem to like dragons so I thought I’d post this here as well. I promise sewing tomorrow, honest)

I think we need a bigger tunnel…

•June 28, 2015 • 10 Comments


draconem domina

•June 24, 2015 • 5 Comments

draconem domina

Brenda sent me a pic yesterday of her finished piece from the class at the Ashmolean, her name is now draconem domina. I’m especially lovin the last minute addition of little bluebirds.

The bluebird of happiness fears nothing, especially not dragons!

princess crown planning

•June 22, 2015 • 8 Comments

After some consideration I decided to slightly tone down my plans for the princess crown, parlty because the deadline to finish it has moved up from October to mid-August, but mainly because I was worried the tall spikes on the first crown would be too prone to damage with the intended use.

Instead I’m going with this c13th hungarian one, which is not only shorter and hopefully sturdier, but it’s a panel and hinge construction so it can’t really get bent out of shape horizontally either.


I’m going to enamel the flowers, four white and four sky blue. I’m not certain if the original flowers were enamel or not – some pics look like they have traces of enamel but I can’t find any decent documentation. It’s a period thing to do though, and I want this crown to be as deliberately girly as possible.

I’ve been studying the photos, and from what I can see of the back, some of the stones are rivet mounted and some aren’t, which leads me to think maybe a lot of the rivets are repairs. I’ve decided to direct solder where possible, but make a couple of extra rivet mounts, maybe half a dozen, and have then gilded at the same time as the crown – that way when I inevitably end up having to repair it after some brat throws it to the ground I can repair it easily.

I got my silver today, and did a scale drawing of the panels to use as template for cutting (I just doodled a flower over the top) and spent time playing with my gem stash to see what I had. It would be nice to go shopping for extra stones but I really don’t have time to drive to huddersfield any time soon.

DSC_1102 DSC_1103 DSC_1104

I’m going to go with the pink tourmaline beads for the flower centres, they’ll go well with both enamel colours. Many medeival gems were indian imports and were originally beads, so I love when I find a bead I can cabachon set as it adds that extra touch.

for the fleurs four will be three pearls with a central amethyst, and four three amethyts with a central pearl, then lower down I’ve got some corals, citrine beads, and triangular garnets that ought to be suitably girly.

I am bit miffed with myself though, because when I was stash rootling I somehow managed to send a pair of rather nice, rather expensive peridots flying across the room, and I haven’t yet tracked them down. sweary words were said…


sunday stripeypants

•June 21, 2015 • 9 Comments

stripey pants

Subtle stripes, with some very awkward couching, but at least they’re a change from all the little white circles.

I’m sure there’s a name of these wheeled beasts with cannon-mouths, but I can’t remember it at all, so if anyone feels like showing off what a smarty-pants they are, feel free.

And I remembered to ring my dad and wish him happy father’s day, with the traditional greeting, “happy father’s day you forgot my birthday again you useless bugger” (anything else would just be wrong, I would worry that my dad had been replaced by a pod person if he actaully remembered my birthday)


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