Elspeth's 50 by 50

Making The Knowne World More Beautiful, One A & S Project At A Time

Welcome to My 50 by AS 50 Blog!
Well met, friends! In an effort to stop collecting UFOs (UnFinished Objects), I have decided to jump on the 50 by AS 50 bandwagon. I have a nasty habit of getting excited about a project, getting the materials together, starting it, then running out of steam. I'm tired of having all of these partially finished things cluttering up my house, so I am hoping that this will be the motivation I need to get stuff done. So, without further ado, here is my list:

Key: Not started - pale orange; In progress - orange; Finished - red

1. Finish the velvet Tudor swete bag and enter it into competition.
2. Stitch and finish a blackwork belt favour for myself with something representing my principality and shire offices, as well as my interests and emblem.
3. Submit my name, device and badge to the College of Heralds

4. Make a book to use as a "prayer book" for my Tudor persona
5. Embroider a velvet book cover for my prayer book
6. Take the velvet swete bag apart, finish embroidering all sides and re-finish

7. Design and make the champions' scrolls for Lionsdale's rapier and bardic champions (awarded at Winter Tourney, 2010)
8. Embroider a blackwork needlecase for my persona (slight change of plans - the one I started will now be for mirth_matter , as she has given me madder-dyed silk to make my own!)
9. Make a new smock for Wulfstan
10. Embroider the neckline and cuffs of Wulfstan's new smock

Wow, she's really crazy...Collapse )ETA: I gave the trim to Viscountess Kenna, as she had a greater need.  I'll do something else to embellish it.Wow, she's really crazy...Collapse )

So, there you have it.  My five year plan for utter insanity.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!
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#33 - Make 50 Largesse Items: Blackwork Needle Books
So, I took a bit of a hiatus.

Not just from this blog, but the SCA in general. I got *SO* burned out that I was totally crispy. Now that I've had a good year away, I'm ready to get my feet wet again. To that end, I'm doing SCA-specific A&S projects again, and taking a good look at my 50 by AS 50 list here.

So, here's what I've been working on:

1  Blackwork Daffodils Needle Book. If I still have it when we next go to Daffodil Tourney in Seagirt, I can see entering it in the A&S competition and then donating it to largesse.

2. Tir Righ Stars Needle Book. Obviously, this will be donated to Tir Righ largesse.

3. Thistles Needle Book. Another one for Tir Righ largesse.

So, I've picked up a new hobby...and many thanks to ravnsdaughter for letting me try lampworking.  22 beads and a burnt index finger later, I can safely say that I am addicted.  So is wulfstan50by50 .  In fact, I just finished 4 beads and he's making more as I type.  I really should get back to weaving, as it's a Christmas gift.  But here's a peek at my first 18 beads...
My first attempts
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#1 - Velvet Tudor Swete Bag, Parte the Seconde
As promised, I am posting the documentation I wrote to support my single entry in October 2009.  Due to the limitations of cut-and-paste technology, my footnotes have diappeared, so if you are interested in the full document, including appendices, get in touch with me and I'll send it to you.

So without further ado, here it is...
"Don We Now Our Gay Apparel"
An Embroidered Velvet Swete Bag and Tudor Sumptuary Law

THL Elspeth Selwode

(mka Mellissa Kimberley)

Single Entry Documentation for

Tir Righ A&S Championship,

24 October 2009

     In my desire to create persona-specific clothing and accessories appropriate to my time period, I decided to start small and ease my way into constructing Tudor clothing. I began to gather materials to make a proper Tudor court gown suitable for a lady in the court of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. But the gown construction process has been daunting, and my waistline has been all over the map due to two pregnancies, so the thought of cutting the expensive fabric I had purchased seemed foolhardy until I finally settle into the shape I wish to be for such an elaborate gown. As such, I elected to begin with some of the accessories a Tudor woman would be in possession of. Tooling around on some graph paper a few years ago, I came up with a design for a prayer book cover, for any woman of proper breeding, pious or not, would carry a small holy book. I liked the design I came up with but hadn’t considered investigating whether it was period-appropriate at the time. I then tucked my paper away and started playing Norse, which has been much easier on both the sewing and the pocketbook.

     For the rest of the story...Collapse )

#33 - Make 50 pieces of largesse - Part Two of Felt Pincushions and Needle Books
Here are the rest of the items I made for the DDDD:

6) Basic Black

I wanted a set that would be appropriate for a man, so I figured that a black base was a good jumping-off point.  I had some commercial trim that I had bought precisely for making pincushions, so I dug in and found one that went well with the black.  The pincushion has a vitamin bottle lid base, commercial beaded trim and I added two rows of stem stitch and a row of chain stitch in rayon thread.  The needle book has the same trim and stitches and has two tan pages and two interior pockets.
Basic Black

7) Emerald Isle

Another unisex piece, this time inspired by the trim.  A very simple design with no other adornment.  THe needle book has one green page and two interior pockets.
Emerald Isle

8) Grape

Again, inspired by the trim.  The top has a ring of chain stitch.  The needle book has one lavendar page and two interior pockets.

9) Manly Man

A distinctly masculine set.  Once again, the trim set the colour scheme.  The pincushion uses a salad dressing lid base and has no adornment, other than the trim.  The needle book is tan with one navy page and two interior pockets and has blanket stitched detail.
Manly Man

10) Glorious Tir Righ

Inspired by our Principality's heraldry, I used elements on it on both pincushion and needle book.  The pincushion uses a 2L pop bottle lid base and is decorated withthe Tir Righ 8 pointed star in outline stitch.  The needle book has two white pages and two interior pockets and is decorated with the saltire ('X') from our heraldry.
Tir Righ

11) Study in Red

Another trim-inspired set.  Again, this is a unisex set and would be suitable for either men or women.  The pincushion has a vitamin bottle lid base and no adornment other than the trim.  The needle book uses a remnant piece of burgundy felt and the trim.  It has two burgundy pages and two interior pockets.
Study in Red

12) Seagirt Waves

Inspired by the Barony of Seagirt, the pincushion uses a vitamin bottle lid base covered in black felt.  I cute a band of navy felt and two lighter blue wavy bands for the base.  Tacked down with running stitch and whip stitch.  The needle book has one light blue page and two interior pockets and has the same wavy band, this time tacked down with white chain and blue running stitches.
Seagirt Waves

So, there you have it - my 12 submissions for the contest, which were actually 24 pieces of largesse.  I'm now sitting at 41 out of 50 on my list!

Another Non-List Item, but Important, In My Book
This weekend past, I had the opportunity to learn Baroness Glynis' method of rectangular construction.  She had originally intended for me to learn by making a garment for myself, but since I had just made myself a new undergown and two Norse aprons, I felt the lesson would be best directed at making Wulfstan a new tunic.  I had a chunk of navy blue linen that I had picked up at Value Village for $5 (for 3m, that's $1.66 a meter!), so I thought a summer-weight overtunic would be good.  Wulfstan agreed, so Glynis took the measurements and showed me how to cut the fabric, then we spent an enjoyable afternoon/evening hand-sewing the seams and doing herringbone stitch on them to seal the raw edges. 

By the time I left that night, all but one piece had been sewn together and she left some of the herringbone for me as she claimed that mine was tidier than hers, though I think she was just being kind.

Now, I have "make an outfit for Hrafn completely by hand" on my list, so while this item doesn't actually count towards my 50 items, I feel that it is an excellent learning piece and that in light of how easy this one was to make, Hrafn's will be a piece of cake!

As soon as I have photos, I'll post them here.

Not On The List, But Pretty, Nonetheless!
Just wanted to post photos of a few little somethings I made for our newcomer friends in Hartwood.  They were attending their very first SCA event, the Pas d'Armes in Hartwood on May 15.  So, to make them feel more comfortable, I lent Janna one of my Italian Ren gowns, Rick lent Graeme some tunics and I made overgowns for the two little girls out of some blue linen I found at Value Village for $5.
Isley's dress
This is Isley's dress, with the card-woven trim I made for her.  Her favourite colour is pink, so I found something that worked with the linen. I also taught myself how to fingerloop braid to make the ties.  I then made her a Jorvik cap to go with it. 

Isley's cap

I made an identical dress and hat for her younger sister, Lynnea, but she wouldn't hold still long enough to photograph her!  I got this action shot of the two of them, though:
Norse Isley & Lynnea
They had fun playing with Emily, Andrew and Geoffrey all day! 

Here's the trim that goes on Lynnea's gown:
Nnea's trim

And for their baby sister Fiona, I made this:
Fiona's dress

And because Graeme and Janna were putting us up for the weekend, we thanked them with a bottle of metheglyn (hope I spelled that right.  It's spiced mead) that our friend Jeff made and a pearl and Swarovski crystal necklace and earring set for Janna.
Janna jewelry

Here's a close-up of the pendant I created (not the metal, but I twisted all the wire and strung al the beads):

That's all for now.  I'll update the #33 - Make 50 Pieces of Largesse later today.

#33 - Make 50 pieces of largesse - PROGRESS UPDATE
Greetings, fearless readers!

I have been working on this project and have now gotten two sets of pin cushions and needle books complete, with three more half done.

So, I decided in the interest of actually completing 12 items, that felt was the best medium.  Here's what I've got done so far (photos forthcoming):

1) Keiko kirei - 'Splendid beauty'

This is a barrle-style pincushion of burgundy, rose and cream felt with running, blanket, feather and bullion knot stitches for decoration.  The needle book is burgundy and tan felt with chain, feather and bullion knot stitches for decoration.  I have sewn in a pocket in one side of the book to hold embroidery threads, scissors, etc.
Keiko Kirei pincushion set

2) Down the Garden Path

This is a pincushion using an instant coffee lid as the base.  Green felt with felt flowers and seed beads, long-and-short and blanket stitches for decoration.  The needle book is green felt with pale pink pages and two pockets inthe covers.  It is decorated using a felt flower and leaf, long-and-short and chain stitches and seed beads for decoration.
Down the Garden Path

3) Up in Flames

This is a large pincushion using an instant coffee lid for a base.  Made of black felt with red, orange and yellow felt appliqué, running, blanket, daisy and whipped stem stitch for decoration.  The needle book is cut to look like a flame with orange and yellow pages inside and decorated with running and stem stitch.
Up In Flames

4) Bold Lions Gate

This small pincushion uses a sald dressing lid as a base.  Made of black felt with black and white card woven trim around the base and chain stitch in white silk on the top in a spiral pattern.  The needle book has the same trim and a line of running stitch.  It also has pockets on the inside.
Bold Lions Gate

5) How Knotty!

This pincushion uses an instant coffee lid as a base.  Made of grey, navy blue and burgundy felt with blanket and chain stitches for decoration.  I have embroidered a knotwork triskellion design in chain stitch on the top and a band of chain stitch around the base.  The needle book is made of grey and burgundy felt with one pocket in the front cover.  I used burgundy crochet cotton to stitch a triskellion knot on the cover in two rows of stem stitch.
How Knotty


#33 - Make 50 Pieces of Largesse

The lovely and beautiful not_justagirl  posted an A&S challenge on the Northern mailing list, which just so happens to mesh well with one of my 50 items.

So, I am entering the fray in the Dirty Dozen Donation Derby!  We are to create 12 largesse items based on a theme of our choosing.  My theme is "On Pins & Needles" and I will be making needlebooks and pin cushions in a variety of materials, with woven trim, embroidery and what-have-you on them.  I'm trying to make matched sets, so we'll see how ambitious I get :)  I'll keep you posted and of course, will put pictures up as I can.

#24 - Finish the process of negotiating with a Laurel to become her student
This is the item I was most nervous about.

In August 2009, I approached Mistress Alicia le Wilfulle about becoming her student.  She asked me many thoughtful questions and put a challenge to me - submit a single entry in the Tir Righ A&S Championship event in October.  I did so and we spoke again briefly at that event, where she asked me to take at least a week to think about what I would expect from a Laurel-student relationship and to email it to her.  We corresponded several times over the intervening months and I finally felt ready to conclude our discussion at February Investiture.  Unfortunately, she was unable to attend and we had to postpone our talk until this past weekend, at the first Tir Righ Heraldic Symposium.  As usually happens, we were both busy much of the day, her teaching and taking classes, me taking care of Andrew, painting and judging the A&S contest.  By the time things were getting cleaned up for the night, we finally had a few minutes to speak.

Alicia asked me if I had read her email from February (the content of which I cannot for the life of me recall), and I apologised for my failure to do so.  She said that she would like for there to be regular reporting in and that she'd like to formally take me on as her student.  Needless to say, I was both happy and surprised, as I felt like I only had a 50-50 shot of being accepted.  So now I can add to my signature file "Student to Mistress Alicia le Wilfulle".

I has a happy.


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