Posts tagged ‘bag’

Story Stones

I’ve just made two sets of Story Stones. One set I will gift to Stegby at the up and coming Feast of Friendship, the other set is for me, as part of my bardic bag of tricks.

So what are Story Stones?

Story Stones

Every stone has a word, and every word is the seed for a new story

Put simply, they are a creative lubricant. Basically, it’s any number of stones in an appropriately sized bag. On each stone, there is a word. Most of these words are nouns… places, people, animals, things. I’ve added some colours in too, just in case.

The idea is to draw out two stones at random, then to ad-lib a story featuring those two things.

I tested them out on myself this afternoon. I picked out “Eagle” and “Lizard”. There, in front of my husband and my step-daughter, I created the following short story:

The Tale of the Eagle and the Lizard

Once upon a time, there was an eagle. He was flying along on a nice day, feeling the wind ruffle through his feathers, thinking how good it was to be an eagle.

At the same time, a lizard was out having a bask. He was enjoying his life, lying there on his favourite rock, feeling the sun on his back, thinking how good it was to be a lizard.

The eagle happened to look down and see the lizard, lying there on a nice, exposed rock. “Hmm, I’m a bit peckish,” he thought, and decided that the lizard would make a fantastic lunch. So he swooped down and grabbed the lizard.

The lizard, who had been nodding off, woke suddenly and saw the ground slipping away underneath him. “Wha…. What’s going on? Where am I?” He looked up to see the eagle. “Who are you?”

The eagle looked at the lizard briefly. “I’m going to take you back to my nest and eat you for lunch,” he explained.

The lizard didn’t like the sound of that. “Wait, wait, wait,” he said, “You don’t want to eat me. Look, I’m scrawny, I’m bony, I really don’t taste that good. But what if I said I could get you something that was a lot tastier, and would fill you up more?”

The eagle thought about it, and realised he really was quite hungry, and the lizard would probably only do for a quick snack. “What do you have in mind?” he asked.

“Look, see that bush down there?” The lizard pointed at a large bush hemmed in by some trees. “That’s where we need to go.”

The eagle looked down where the lizard was pointing. “I’m not to sure about that, I’m really too big to go into a space that’s got lots of trees like that. They get caught up in my wings.”

“Don’t worry. I can get you something much larger than me, but it’s there. You just have to drop me off there and I’ll go get it for you.”

The eagle greedily imagined plump rabbits and other yummy things to eat as he swooped down to the clear spot next to the bush.

“Stay here, I’ll be just a second,” the lizard called as he scampered into the bushes.

The eagle waited. And waited. And waited. After about ten minutes, he called out “What’s the hold up?”

But there was no reply.

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Checking back in…

It’s been quite some time since I blogged here, and I haven’t been going to many events due (mostly) to time constraints, but that doesn’t mean that all has been silent on the A&S front. This being AS 49, I decided I need to get up and moving on my 50 things project, and to do this, I need to get up to date with my list. I previously was at Breadth challenge #27, so here’s my list continuing on:

28. My songbook has now expanded to include 55 songs, some of which are period and some not. This has been a depth challenge for me (and will continue to be ongoing… there are a lot of songs available  and a lot of pages in my songbook which are yet to be filled in.) I’ve got a YouTube channel where I’m gradually adding content. Due in part to bad speakers, another part to poor microphones, and a third part to the fallibility of my vocal cords, the sound is not always the best, but I believe it’s probably sufficient for other bards to pick up a tune from what I’ve posted. You can listen to me on this channel:   https://www.youtube.com/user/RevKristine

29. My wedding dress. You’ve already seen the fabric, here and here… the final product was entirely hand stitched to my own design. It didn’t entirely work the way I wanted, due majorly to my weight (and size) jumping all over the place while I was making the dress. However, I’m (mostly) satisfied with what I made, and apart from some minor freakouts on the day and the groom having a broken leg (that’s a story unto itself), the wedding went well. I’ve since used the dress at an event, and now that I am fatter, it fits me a lot better.

My wedding dress, from my own design.

My wedding dress, from my own design.

30. My wedding cake. This was made entirely of gingerbrede with marzipan icing. I will admit to buying the pink flowers on the cake, but am particularly proud of my own marzipan roses.

Wedding cake made on gingerbrede and marzipan

Wedding Cake

31. A painted buckler. I carried it into the wedding. For those who are curious, the text on the buckler is not period. It is, instead, made of Tengwar and written in Sindarin (one of the Elvish languages from J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle Earth stories). The text reads “loving twin souls” and “eternity”. Note: I did not make the buckler (which was rehomed to us from a heavy fighter who could no longer fight due to chronic shoulder injury), I simply painted it.

 

 

A painted buckler

A painted buckler

32. My wedding jewellery. Namely a strand of  black pearls, strung on silk, using a  toggle clasp.

A photo of me which displays my wedding jewellery

A photo of me which displays my wedding jewellery

 

 

 

33. A naalbinded phone pouch.

Naalbinded pouch

Naalbinded pouch for my love’s phone

34. Turks-head knot balls. I gifted these to Stegby a while back so the canton can build a children’s play box. I don’t currently have a photo.

35. Naalbinded bag. I make a lot of bags and pouches, it seems. This one became my token display area.

36. Bone pendant. This was a wedding gift for a couple of friends. This pendant was quite challenging due to the intricacy of the design.

Bone pendant featuring knotwork

37. Cider. My dear husband has taken to brewing his own cider, and so I have dabbled alongside him. Chief among my accomplishments is a dry pomegranate cider (yum).

38. Mead. I managed to find a period recipe for “weak mead”, which I have used, drank, then used further as a base for…

39. I am unsure what to name this drink. It may be considered a melomel, or it may be considered an ale: I used a weak mead recipe as a base and added barley. The result was dry, with a lemony flavour and a lingering but not unpleasant aftertaste in the back of the throat. I may try it again sometime.

40. Sekanjabin. This is a period Middle Eastern drink of  vinegar and sugar, heated until it becomes syrupy, and used as a cordial. I use red wine vinegar, but my father tells me it’s quite nice using apple cider vineger.

41. Embroidered handkerchiefs. Carrying tissues around at an event is (while convenient) something that detracts from authenticity. To this end, I have embroidered some handkerchiefs so that I’m not dropping tissues whenever I happen to have a runny nose at an event.

42. Illumination.  This was the product of an A&S class at this year’s Great Northern War.

Illumination

Illumination

43. Pilgrim bag for my father. Having at some stage read about Elizabethan era stitching techniques, and having a father who is about ready to entrust himself to the SCA and who accompanied me to Great Northern War, I decided he needed a pilgrim bag to put his feasting gear into. You can see the bag in the background of the below image. All fabric edges have been folded into a hem and secured with a running stitch, then seams have been whipstitched. I decided that, as the fabric I was using was unbleached calico and the stitches would be visible anyway, I would make the stitches become a feature of the bag. All stitching has been done in blue. I also followed this pattern with the strap, making the strap a long tube and placing the seam for the strap uppermost and in the middle rather than on one of the edges. I think this will probably add long term strength to the strap also.

Dad

My father. Note the bag on the table next to him.

That’s it for the moment. I’m so close to my 50! I do have a few projects on the go at the moment… one crewel work embroidery, a splitstitch embroidery, a blackwork collar, a girdlebook, and a carved spoon, which means that once they’re done, I have only two more items to manage for my list.

 

Breadth Challenge #25: A wee little baggie!

It’s some sort of strange thing, I always seem to end up making pouches/bags/other things-to-contain-stuff-in, etc., as my first piece of anything textile related.  And so it is in this case.

I’m not sure what the technique I used is called.  I came upon it in a dream, as many of my varied ideas do.  At first I was convinced it was a type of naalbinding.  Then, after reading up some more on naalbinding, my certainty wavered, even though it shares many hallmarks of said technique.  Having only attempted naalbinding once, and remembering only a mass of tangles from the attempt, all I can do is show what I have done and let other, more knowledgeable people work out what I’ve accomplished.

Starting position

Start by taking your piece of wool and wrapping it around your finger.  Add a half twist as shown.

Second step

Next, you want to run your long end under the loop on your finger, but over the long trailing end of your wool, as shown.

Pull the loop snug

This should make a single loop, which you should pull nice and snug.

A run of loops

Continue a run of loops, going under the finger loop and over the long length of wool, roughly 7 or 8 times.

Making your starting circle

Slip the loop off your finger.  Pulling on the short piece of wool that you originally started with will pull the loops into a circle.  From here on in, you will be forming a spiral.

Stitch into each progressive loop

Instead of stitching directly onto the finger loop, you’ll now be stitching into each of the loops you’ve already made.  To expand in a circle, add a second stitch to each second loop.  To make a tube, make only one stitch for each loop.

My stripes were made simply by alternating the colour of the wool I used, as this is a technique that requires you use short lengths.  I found any length longer than my arm span was too difficult to manage.

A quick eye will notice that I’ve added eyelets.  I thought for quite some time on how to do this.  In the end, I worked each one by skipping 4 loops, then stitching 4, then skipping four, etc., whilst only pulling the running thread tight enough to span the length of the four skipped loops.  When the spiral reached the skipped parts, I continued to loop onto the straight piece of thread as if it were the original finger loop, for four loops, then stitching normally for four loops, etc.

The drawstring is a simple four strand braid, as I covered here.

The resulting fabric is thick, springy and stiff.  It feels fabulously durable.  Note in the first picture that the bag (which is empty) is standing unaided, which should give an indication how stiff this fabric is.

If anyone knows if this is naalbinding or some other form of textile, please let me know, as I’d like to be able to put a name to what I’m doing.

Item #3: Drawstring bag

Drawstring Bag

Figuring that now I’ve made a pretty dress, I should also make some fitting accessories to match.  Hence this bag.  It’s a simple thing to make these.  Just a doubled over piece of fabric, sewn at the edges, with a drawstring at the top.  I found some pretty gold string, added a tassel, which is admittedly somewhat scrawny as tassels go, and finished the piece with a very nice trim that I’d picked up from Festival.  It’s sturdy whilst at the same time being ornate enough to be dressy, which is what I was wanting.

Item #2: Felt bag

Felt Bag

Having bought a large amount of wool at Festival, mainly for the purposes of learning how to use a drop spindle (I’m still working on that one, give me time), and seeing it cluttering the lounge room in a way that would make my beloved eventually start grumbling loudly and banging things together, I decided to use some of it in felting.

I would like to point out that I have never felted before, I have never even seen it done, and only have a vague idea about it taking hot water and detergent.

What can I say?  I’m a reinvent-the-wheel type of person.

Anyway, I decided I didn’t just want a piece of felt.  That would be useless to me.  It would sit around the house until my beloved started grumbling loudly and banging things together, then it would get either tossed out or hidden somewhere that I wouldn’t see for the next decade.  So I decided to make a bag, all of one piece, no seams, much like the Scarborough Fair verse about the shirt.

Let me just say that wool binds to cotton.  Either that, or through it.  I’m not exactly certain which.  I read a couple of online instruction things on felting, and it never mentioned that part.  So after all the dipping into hot water, and the kneading, and the sudsing, and the dipping into cold water, and the rolling, and pounding, and scrunching, I found that I managed to have felt bound to two sides of the one piece of cotton (which was meant to keep the felt separated).  I tell you this so that you know, just in case you ever want to felt a bag.  Either double the fabric over, so that it forms a lining, or use a piece of plastic.  I’m very glad I discovered my error while the bag was still wet.  I think if I had waited for it to dry, I would never have got the cotton cut out.

Then I hung it, open, and ensured that it stayed open by shoving it on the mop handle AND the broom handle, in the hopes that it would dry overnight.

It didn’t.  Due, I think, to the rain we had overnight, but the bag is sitting here, all nice and pretty, even though it is still slightly damp.  It’s got some lumps and bumps, and some thin spots, but overall I am pleased with the result.  I think if I try this again, I will possibly use twice the amount of wool to avoid the spots where I can see through it, and I will definitely recall the issues I had with the cotton.

The bag obviously has some work still to be done on it.  A shoulder-strap, for starters, and eventually I believe I will be embroidering my device upon it.  But I am proud of my accomplishment, and think there are a number of other uses for felting in this fashion.  Gloves.  Socks.  Hats.  I will put my brain to it.

For those of you who would like detailed instructions on felting, I think this looks like a good place to go:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A633052
There are plenty of other sources online also, including Youtube videos galore.

Happy felting!

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