Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Gifts

I hope you all had a great Christmas with family and friends. Mine was wonderful, and I was spoiled with many lovely gifts. I got some great books, including these:

I am looking forward to having the chance to do a bit of embroidery and practice some calligraphy over the break.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all and wishing you the best for the New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Virgin Mary with Embroidery Sampler

The Virgin Mary with her classmates showing needlework samplers to their teacher, detail from the Altarpiece of the Virgin and St. George, c.1390-1400 (tempera on panel)

I found this image of the Virgin Mary learning embroidery and thought it was beautiful. I love the dagged sleeves of the older lady's overgown.

Image from:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Onyx pendant and pearl necklace

Here is the second pendant made up into a necklace. It is onyx, and the beads are malachite and freshwater baroque pearls strung onto tiger tail.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pearl Pendant Necklace

I have really been looking forward to making up necklaces to go with my birthday pendants, and today I finally got the chance. After quite a bit of playing around with different types of bead, I used some natural gemstone beads which have been dyed to look like coral, and some small baroque freshwater pearls. The necklace is strung on tiger tail for extra durability.

The beautiful pendants that I got as a birthday gift

Some freshwater baroque pearls that I ordered to go with the pendants (2 sizes of pearls)

The bead options for the necklaces- turquoise, amethyst, dyed coral and malachite

The completed pearl and ''coral'' necklace

Many thanks to Lord Gabriel Ziegler for arranging the mail order purchase that supplied the lovely beads, and to the Harrys for the beautiful gifts!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Subtletie Plates

After another trawl through the thrift shops, I scored some (slightly dented and tarnished) subtletie plates-

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Compleatly Dressed Anachronist Post

I had planned to post about something different today, but I just had to share this blog post with you all. I thought it was really beautiful, and gives some insight to those magical moments you find sometimes within the SCA game:
from: The Compleatly Dressed Anachronist

Monday, December 15, 2014

Starch find

Look what I found at my local Foodland/IGA! Starch for ruffs can be hard to find- and this one was only $3.43!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Renaissance Bling

An awesome gift from a very generous friend who knows how much I love Renaissance 'bling'!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Marzipan Fruits

I made some marzipan fruits for a friend this week. They are fun to make; a bit like playing with Play-Doh when you were a kid. Just shape them with your fingers. I have several handy little tools to create details, but a toothpick can be used if you don't have fancy tools. Use the side to put the ridges in the leaves, and break off the sharp point to make a blunt probe to put the indents in the strawberries (for the 'seeds'). Use food colouring to paint the fruits. I have special brushes that are only kept in the kitchen, so that they are never mixed up with my illumination brushes- I don't want to accidentally poison my friends!

I use a clove for the oranges and peaches. Cloves were often used in the Renaissance as breath fresheners. Flick off the little bud at the end and snap the stem in half. Use the top half as the stalk of the fruit, and the little cross shaped piece on the bottom. Warn the recipient- not everyone likes cloves!

The unpainted fruits drying off a little bit

Partially painted fruits waiting for details and leaves to be added

Painted fruits drying in castor sugar

Finished fruits ready to eat