callistotoni: (Chloe)
Chloe! Or, as Maria has dubbed her, PandaCowDog. ;-) I met Chloe last weekend when a Big Dawgs Rescu had a meet and greet in downtown Livermore, and I knew she needed to live with us. Chloe was found in the back of a grocery store in Stockton a few weeks ago. She'd obviously recently had puppies. Chloe's estimated to be about a year or so old.

Chloe is the most affectionate dog I've ever met, and that includes Thorvald of Blessed Memory. All she wants to do is be snuggled up with you. She's calm, too.

So far so good with the kitties. Chloe has shown an interest, but no aggression towards them. We will be very careful about Madeline/Chloe interaction.

Yes, indeed, Chloe is a pit mix. She weighs 43 lbs right now and it's all muscle. She was living with 8 other dogs in her foster home and all was well. We will be working with Chloe to make sure she stays good with other dogs. On the trail by our house this morning we ran into 8 other dogs and 6 of those she ignored, but we did get a small grr on two. She was great at the meet and greet last and this weekend, though. Definitely will continue to train. She really is a good girl!

Who knows what her live was like. J/S thinks that someone docked her ears with a knife because the edge is rough. :-( She's been through a lot and the rescue folks think she's been a champ throughout. She's certainly been a love muffin with us these last 24+ hours. :-)

Oh, and there's a Cone of Shame in her future: her spaying appointment is Dec. 1. ;-)

Pictures: Read more... )
callistotoni: (small but mighty)
I thought this was a good article. I don't agree with everything, but as a fan I thought is was a good read. Note it was written in 2002, so I think only the FotR movie had come out.
callistotoni: (Default)
Mists Coronet was a good event, despite having to pack down in the rain. Friday set up was edging towards hot and was windy and the site was super dusty. :-/ Saturday was a success all around -- yay! The day was cooler. The lists turned out well -- looking forward to our next P&P. :-) And my period dinner party for Gianetta turned out super well. Special added bonus was Vyncent unexpectedly stepping in to serve, which turned what would have been a good dinner into a fabulous experiance.

Dinner details: Read more... )

Today I was home sick. I must have what some of you out there have -- sore throat, achy-painy, feeling wrung out. Poosers. Made J/S go to the barn today to take care of Brandee.

In other news, my car is failing its smog check. Read more... )

One the sewing front, it's time to start working with my recent investments. Several people at Coronet were open to the idea of paying for shifts/smocks/chemises. I now have 12 yds of hankerchief wieght linen from Grayline. I'll be doing a test camica (using my ruffler, serging seams, and my stich-in-the-ditch foot for binding, for Marguerite. I'm also making a square-necked smock for Cin. I want to test how much more time it takes to do flat-felled seams with my new FF foot over the time it takes for serging.

Recent acquisitions: Read more... )
callistotoni: (Tailor of Gloucester 2)
Back in August over on FB I floated the idea of having a fur tippet-making workshop up in Cynagua (since the people who were interested in such things were Cynaguans. ;-) ). I know me, and I know that if I don't pen an event in on my calander it will never happen. So, is there any interest still ([ profile] back40joules and [ profile] hunrvogt I'm looking at you)? How would January or February (after Estella) sound? Any suggestions for location?
callistotoni: (Default)
We daytripped Crown. A different event for me because I spent most of the day working the Morgan/J/S/Klaus booth on merchant row. Not many sales I'm sad to say, nor was there much foot traffic. Some jewelry got sold, and a tunic and some of Klaus' caps sold, but none of J/S' armor sold. Not good. J/S did get some people to take his info and inquire about some custom work; I really really hope that comes through. And a big thank you and hug to all of you that came and hung out with us for a while!

Other than being a Booth Babe I ventured out to Jocelyn's 1st Birthday Party and wore a silly party hat and ate too much cake (like you do...) In the evening J/S took Mari the Younger as a man-at-arms. Double wedding, in that Leohtulf took Andrew (Gianetta's son) as a squire. It was very nice of Uther and Jade to come over and witness both. Then we toddled off to Sigurtata to witness Leohtulf become Leticia's apprentice for embroidery. I wish them all luck. :-)

I had wanted J/S to stay and party, 'cause he hasn't gotten to do that for a long time, but he chose to drive home for the night.

Sunday Ula (J/S' squire visiting from an Tir) came over to visit. We inflicted a barn visit on her, had a nice dinner out, and then watched The Hurt Locker, which none of us had seen. Very good and intense film. I'm going to watch it again with the commentary on before sending it back to Netflix. Felt very real.

Had a leisurely morning making waffles and bacon and hanging out with Ula and J/S Now it's back to work. And sweaters, I'm afraid, are the order of the day. I'll miss you summer.
callistotoni: (definegood)
Our travels north were wonderful (I (heart) AnTir :-) ) and the Emprise of the Black Lion was a fabulous event! But I will write about our adverntures later. Right now I want your opinions on the following:

I'd like to know if there is a market for machine-embroidered stuff that uses historic/period designs, including poly-chrome designs. Heraldic designs also. Examples I can think of are:

- Late Elizabethan
---- sleeves
---- stomachers
---- caps
---- jackets

- Various 18th C items (cuffs, waistcoats, lapels, etc.)

- Medieval/Heraldic/SCA
---- Hem garding with large-letter (of appropriate font) personal mottos, or Chivalic Virtues (might be useful for fighting surcotes)
---- undersleeves
---- badges
---- anything that fabric or leather that someone might want their device/arms on.

If you think there is an interest, what do you think the price points would have to be? Badges might be the cheapest, but long strips of large lettering might be much more, and an Elizabethan jacket covered in appropriate motifs might run into $$.

I'm researching to tools necessary to make this happen as a side business. But a key bit of data is to see if there's a market, and what prices the market would bear. Need to be able to pay off the required investment and start making money, obviously, so I'd like a sense of what timeframe that might be if the idea is at all feasible.

I, actually, think there would be a market. I know and love and appreciate real hand-done embroidery, but in period there were shops that worked on large peices. So I don't feel too guilty about giving people the option of machine-embroidered goods that use period designs and colors. (Of course, I'd do custom work for non-period designs if that's what a customer wanted. ;-) ).

What do y'all think?
callistotoni: (Tailor of Gloucester 1)
[ profile] trystbat got me curious about current sewing machines. The bottom line of my day of looking online for machine reviews is that my beloved Viking brand, along with the well loved Pfaff brand, as gone to hell in a hand basket. The reviews for the machines that are the sort I would be interested in are *horrible*. The Viking Sapphire line, which appears to have replaced the Platinum line (I have a Viking Platinum 735 that I picked up in Dec 07 or Jan 08) reportedly has given people no end of bobbin problems. The Pfaff Expression line has also given people much grief. Singer, Viking, and Pfaff are all now owned by the same umbrella company. Much complaining of bad customer support from the company, and the lack of support for machines (like they stop manufacturing the computer cards quickly, so that the machine you bought a year or two ago doesn't have a current supply).

After reading all this I'm quite worried about my Viking Platinum machine that I dropped off last week for repair. One day, after a lot of work had been done quilting J/S' gambason, it just wouldn't turn on. I suspect that I bent the needle one too many times working on the uber-thick pieces (using cotton upolstory padding to boot) that the alighnment got super screwed up and that hosed the computer somehow. I also drove a big gouge in the needle plate from repeated needle bending. There's not a lot out there on my specific machine, but someone else with a Platinum 770 loved thier machine until something happened and the touch front plate had to be replaced. Never ran the same way again, and getting the replacement parts were a trial. :-(

I'm currently using my Bernina 1008. It is slightly off center due to being knocked off a table by my old Newfie, Torvald of Blessed Memory. But I super dislike the fact that there's no pressure foot adjustement. Stitches are a very high quality, though. And it's not as fast as my Platinum (which has/had a *great* motor).

So now I think whatever I thought I knew about good brands is wrong. Times have apparently changed. Berninas are still getting good reviews, and as are machines that I used to think weren't as strong and reliable, such as Baby Lock straight needle machines. My personal jury is still out on the Janome brand, though. Marguerite has one and I don't like it. YMMV, of course.

My history with and current sewing machines -- boring, but I felt like reviewing it.: Read more... )
callistotoni: (splain)
Weekend: Saturday J/S and I and a bunch of The Usual South Bay Suspects helped [ profile] helblonde and [ profile] moriven move. J/S and I helped from about 9 AM to 3 PM, at which time J/S had tweaked his back to a state of unusability and I had to take him home. :-( Very sorry we couldn't help more. The rest of the crew, I'm told, worked until 8 PM. Oh, and I almost gave myself a shiner by dropping a craft drawer on my face. My face is a tiny bit puffy if you look hard, but it's nothing like I was afraid it was going to be.

Sunday J/S and I watched a lot of South Park and I got 14 button holes done. 35 total still to go. We also dropped by FP at [ profile] leohtulf's and dropped off some stuff J/S had been working on. We didn't stay more than an hour or so, but it was nice to chat with folks. I got to talk to ?Bjarni?'s (he's in Sigurgata) wife and I'm hoping to get to know her better. They both seem very nice, and she has a grey parrot to boot. ;-)

Sewing: I swear I've had to do almost every seam twice on this cotehardie (Old School!) that I've been making for me. :-/ At least I'm down to buttonholes now.

(Side note observation: In my continuing efforts to educate myself about 14th C stuff and costume I've been looking at effigies. One of my Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince take-aways is that there is a lot of embroidery going on in the royal wardrobe, even though that's not something one sees in a lot (not all, but a lot) of the costume depictions in illuminations. However, now that I'm looking for it, you do see costumes in effigies that could have depictions of embroidery.)

After finishing this it's on to making up the sideless surcote I've posted previously about. Then I think I'll try my had at making some hats like the one I made for Leohtulf's condottieri outfit to sell. As I've written before, Klaus thinks that if I can get the making time down to 3 hours I could sell them for a realistic price. This effort I hope will be facilitated by...

The Investment: I bought a serger. I was able to get a floor model/demo machine -- a Baby Lock Eclipse DX -- for half off. Even at half off it was a chunk of change on my credit card. But it's a very nice machine, and has the jet-air threading feature. As part of the deal I picked up a package of extra feet for blindheming, ruffling, cording, and beading. Gianetta has one and highly recommends it. This model also got good reviews online.

I'd been doing some serger research because my experiance doing the few commisions I've had highlighted my need for a serger if I want to cut down on completion times. In addition to regular costume commissions and the aforementioned hats, I'm going to experiment and see if I can put together decent looking goffered veils (using the rolled hem and the ruffler foot options) for an acceptable price. I'm also looking forward to experimenting with the blind hem option which, in theory, will allow me to finish and hem edges at the same time.

Really hoping I can make this serger pay for itself. :-)

And, finally, some Brandee-stuff: We're doing well. Last Friday I got the saddle re-stuffed and my stirrup leathers fixed. Saddle feels much better now. Had really good rides last week. Like I said, we've gotten to another level. And for whatever reason Brandee was super lovey-dovey with me. So cute! She's not always this eager for head rubs and general hugging. Hard to describe 'cause she's not a super demonstrative horse.

Brandee had a day off and a turn out Saturday, and Marguerite had a somewhat exciting trail ride with her yesterday. Brandee took a leap from a bridge to the trail to avoid some oncoming bicycles. M said it was a good thing she had some jump lessons under her belt. ;-)

I'll get to ride tomorrow and Wednsday, the we leave for An Tir on Thursday. Plan is to be back Monday night. I'll miss my Paint Princess. :-( But it will be good to see folks up north and (hopefully) meet [ profile] ornerie's gelding Raj. :-)

Oh, and Happy Birthday to all you September babies out there! Hope you all have (or had) great days and great years ahead! :-)
callistotoni: (Default)
First PG&E spends $5 million trying to trick voters into killing local power competitors, now it tries this:

Must write state legislator now!
ETA: I just did. :-)
callistotoni: (definegood)
I thought this story was cool. It alway amazing how modern old stuff can look -- a good design spans the ages. :-)
callistotoni: (Tailor of Gloucester 2)
On the sideless surcote problem: Read more... )

My cotehardie (look, I'm old school! ;-) ) is coming together. Laina helped fit it Sunday, and I've got it mostly together and the sleeves on. Had Jen tweek the surcote over this last night, so I have a working pattern for that. But, jeeze, this is going to be a warm outfit! I'm thinking that this will be an Estrella/March Crown/An Tir outfit. :-/

Musing on the different ways cotehardies can be made and fitted. I have a six-piece pattern that Etaine made me already. That pattern I, I believe, more flattering to my figure than this 4-peice-with-skirt-gore approach. But I'm enjoying exploring this latter approach for now. Hard to explain why, bu I think the attraction for me is that it's closer to the way things are cut in the WITTE book.

Furthermore, This RH pattern seems to place the skirt gores closer to the waist, so that it's not as fitted down through the hips. This bothers me on my figure, but I'd have to rip them out to fix it and I'm not sure it's worth the trouble this go-around. I've seen the Italian cotehardies have that sort of flare, higher and more under the bust. But I plan to put buttons down the front, and that's more a French/English/fittedthroughthehips style. I'm setting the issue aside for today and figure out what is going to make me happiest. I also think I'll tweak the sleave the next go-around, although this one is quite servicable

Also thinking about what a Viconti-hours-type-cotehardie pattern would look like. The most sailent feature of these are sleeves that are bunched up at the top and tight on the forarm.

Sigh. Very much in a mood to sew right now.
callistotoni: (good grief bear)
This morning the chandalier in the dining/sewing room was on. Note this light fixture dates from the '70s. I accidently hit it, and it shorted in a Spectacular Fashion. There were flames. Quickly turned the wall switch off and J/S ran and grabbed the fire extinguisher. All was OK; it went out by itself.

We have the original chandalier from the 1920s, that matched the one in the living room. J/S now has the task of making that work and installing it (after taking the destroyed one down, of course.)

Certainly woke me up this morning. :-0
callistotoni: (Tailor of Gloucester 1)
Months ago I bought the Reconstructing History 14th C Women's costume package, plus the Bath House Babe pattern. As I have said in the past, although I feel kinda guilty as an old costume laurel for buying patterns for stuff I could figure out for myself, Time Is Money, and I'm all about not reinventing the wheel. And, hey, if I can support small patterners that are putting out a good product than that's a good thing, right? :-)

The cotehardie pattern was pretty darn close to fitting and gave me a great starting point. The smock from the accessories pattern and the Bath House Babe shift were kinda big, but that was no big deal and I'd still recommend them. And the hood from the accessories package came out quite well. So far so good.

But something was quite wrong with the sideless surcote. Maybe I didn't get a full pattern. The pattern package came with 2 pattern pieces. The front and back was the same piece with different necklines, which is of course fine. The other piece was a triangular side gore. There were no instructions, other than a sheet on handsewing techniques. No biggie, I thought, this is a very straightforeward pattern/garment and most people could figure it out.

When I measured the pattern piece for my size at the hip point I would have to be 28" at the hip point for the pattern to fit. Clearly this is incorrect. (The gore doesn't add anything at that point, of course.)

So I thought, hey, maybe you're supposed to play with it and make a trapazoid. Even so, I'd have to chop A Lot off the top of the triangle to make it work, so the pattern can't be that. Furthermore, one of the options on the cover clearly shows a straight-sided-at-the-hip-point option, so there'd have to be a trapazoidal side skirt piece.

Now, maybe I'm misreading the pattern. Months ago I had cut out a cotehardie from muslin and determined that I could cut real fabric for a final fit (which I did -- it's been aging until now). I was so confident about how these patterns were fitting I went ahead and cut some wool I had in the stash for 2 sideless surcotes. I pin based one last night/this morning and saw the obvious problem. Luckily I had a lot of this wool and it was free anyway (a donation from nightbocce ;-) ) so I just cut some trapazoidal side pieces and I'm good to go. Maybe I'm not reading the lines right on the Front/Back pattern? I will double check tonight.

I did write a note on the RH history site asking about this.
callistotoni: (Tailor of Gloucester 1)
-- I just found out that the Amazon's ship date for Medieval Garments Reconstructed, which I've had on pre-order for months, is now November 4th. This book is supposed to be a companion to the Woven into the Earth book, with layouts/patterns for garments in WITTE. I searched the Internets for the reason for the delay, and it may be a translation issue. The book apparently was written in Danish. Poosers.

-- Because I'm apparently the least well informed costumer ever, I just learned about Bocksten Man, who was a bog body they found in Sweden -- probably dating to the 14th C -- and who had an entire outfit preserved. Cloak, hood, tunic, under and over hose, shoes, belt, knives and sheaths -- the whole shebang. For line drawing layouts see

For photos see . The site is in Swedish. Scroll down and click on the "BOCKSTENSMANNEN" link, and then click on Kladerna and then play with the links on the left.

Now *that* would be a project! Too bad we have weather in the 80s-90s for most of our events in the WK, making wool outfits of limited use. But it is tempting...

-- Has anyone seen and/or reviewed the new Viking Clothing book I posted about a while back? Seyele, don't you have a copy? What's the verdict? Inquiring minds want to know. :-)

-- Ian's tunic is done! Huzzah! And we're closing in on finishing Leohtulf's outfit for this Saturday. I'll be working on the hat tonight.

-- Yesterday I picked up the Grand Aissette pattern again. Made a trade for some hemp canvas. My enthusiasm for making another gambason at this moment is limited, I'm afraid (hey, the last one broke 2 of my sewing machines and I can't afford to fix them any time soon). But it will be a challenge and, since I'm mostly going to hand sew the thing, it will be an accomplishment to make the thing into a reality.

-- Ysuelt has been dealing with a death in her family, so her linen rapier shirt has been on hold. Looks like we'll be getting back to that soon.

-- I still have projects that have been cut out for me sitting around and aging. I might get back to them in the near future. We'll have to see what else is in the sewing queue looks like. I do feel guilty about most of my SCA clothes being purchased from HE these days.
callistotoni: (Default)
Just got back from Esfenn Ulyimate Sword. The overwhelmiming vote was to split, basically along the 680 / 880 corridors. So Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin will go to Teufulberg, and Fremont, Neqark, and Hayward will go to Westemark.

This means J/S and I and Robert and Isuelt are in Teufulberg, and everyone ekse will be grouped with Westemark.
callistotoni: (gromit book love)
This one on The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England.

Pretty short, as is fitting for this book.

Well, that was one goal I can check off for today. I had wanted to get those 2 reviews posted on the WK Wiki for a long time now. Next up in Review Land will be the Greenwood Press's Daily Life books for Chaucers Engalnd and for Elizabethan England. But those will have to wait for another day.
callistotoni: (Default)
I finally got around to posting a book review on Peter Brear's Cooking & Dining in Medieval England up on the West Kingdom Wiki. You can see it here:

Since it is a Wiki post it needed to be objective, so I stripped out all of the personal musings I had in my original review that I posted here on LJ (
callistotoni: (small but mighty)
A quick update while I tank up on coffee (which is necessary because I didn't get a solid night sleep last night :-P ).

On Wednesday Brandee has a chiroparctic appointment. It turned out she was out in her pelvic area, especially on the left. That and she was in heat. She's been fine to ride now, but Marguerite did say that Brandee tucked her tail yesterday and M could hear things go PopPopPop. Need to be consistant with Brandee's tail tractions and such.

Also on Wednesday J/S and I and [ profile] goldenstag, [ profile] aastg, [ profile] misagillian, and [ profile] leohtulf had dinner and saw Toy Story 3. It's always great to hang out with those folks. :-) But oh my, did TS3 make me cry... I think I need a little Bullseye figurine/talisman ;-) .

Friday evening I did something that I've never done before. I joined in on The Usual South Bay Suspect's (plus, now, J/S's) long-running D&D game. Part of me thinks I need a T-shirt that says Dares To Be Geeky ;-) . No offense meant to my long-time player friends!!!) The system is rather intimidating with all the numbers, but L and his daughter made it as easy for me as they could, and sent me home with reading material. I had a good time! It was a good way to have fun thinking strategically without being competitive. Looks like L will be setting up a very small additional game for me and J/S and G so that me and the man can get a better handle on the system. Playing as a rogue character, which is fitting for me, I think, given the options.

Saturday it was SewSewSew! accompanied by a South Park marathon (most of Season 4). I got [ profile] ianhess's tunic together (french seamed), and tonight I'll be putting it on him to finalize hems and neckline. Also took care of a mountain of laundry.

Sunday it was more sewing in the morning, then off to [ profile] helblonde and [ profile] moriven's son's 1st Birthday Party. The ice cream sunday and the cake I ate and the resultant sugar high *probably* contributed to my insomnia last nighit. But it was sure tasty! And just what is in the water around here? There were 8 little boys running around (between 6 months and about 4 years) and only one little girl (M and B's baby girl). Random sample, I know, but it sure seemed odd. Baby Bear slept through the end of his party, which was pretty cute. Afterwords a subset of TUSBS's retired to M&B's for burgers and general smoozing. L&J/S ended the evening with a man date and saw The Expendables, while I went home and crashed (after having some bed time reading with the D&D stuff. I am such a geek...) ;-)

This coming Saturday is Esfenn Ultimate Sword! where we as a group vote to dissolve and who we want to be absorbed by. My money is on Teufulberg, which makes the most sense to this Livermore girl. To my mind our Esfenn's dissolution is totally OK -- I've certainly never played at that local level. But it does bring to mind what I've observed about the West Kingdom (or at least the Principality of the Mists), that we don't generally play at the local level. Between playing at the principality and Kingdom level our buffers and/or calanders are full. We're all so close geography wise that we don't *have* to play with the local group, we can just hang out with our own friends/crowds/households/groupofyourchoice. Now I'm more aware of the problems with this, especially with the need for demos and more recruitment of new SCA/WK members. It's local groups that are doing these sorts of outreach events.
Teufulberg is a pretty big group with a bunch of active people. Maybe with that group we can do something positive. Of course, I'm having Life (TM) right now, but there's always tomorrow. :-)

Gotta go!
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 05:42 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios