Monday, June 27, 2016

Ragnarok Recap

Last week was spent chilling with *most* of our favorite people at Ragnarok. My brother even surprised me with a trip up to join us. It was really fabulous to see him!

Camping went much smoother this year than in the previous several years. The weather was cooperative, albeit quite warm and humid, but we had very little rain and didn't have to spend every day cleaning up from the natural disasters. I didn't take very many pictures this year but here was our camp entrance.

Here is our new tent all set up. The shade pavilion next to it was lowered due to the storms we were expecting that night. I LOVE MY NEW TENT. My only complaint is that it takes a while to set up and tear down.

Jack and I went down to Wargar's Third Annual Swine and Wine, which was a first for us and it was fun. It's a pig roast. Next year, I'm hoping to spread the word in time to get more people from Akron attending.

We also made it out to the Living Treasure Animal Park again, which is becoming annual tradition in Akron.

Plus we had the smallest member of Akron in camp for a couple days. His favorite past time was picking up whichever weapon was closest at hand and running around with it. He's currently holding a very light spear that is two to three times his height.

I even had time to get a fair amount of cross stitch in. I took both Library Kittens and Tribal Otter but I only spent time on the otter project. It is small and there is only one color of thread, making it a great travel/camping project.

Now its back to mundania, and a couple weeks worth of Ragnarok Recovery. I'm a little socialized out for the week, so I'm going to keep my head down and relax over the next few days, as well as start the post-Rag clean up process.

Linking up to Keep Calm and Craft On

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

I will not have much time for slow stitching over the next two or so weeks but I did take my traditional quiet Saturday morning yesterday and put a few stitches in Waiting for the Victoria Frances SAL weekend.

The blues are blending so beautifully. I would like to do a little bit more on this today if I can squeeze it in somehow. I'm feeling a little under the weather today, so I'm going to take it as easy as I can with Ragnarok coming up fast. 

The non-slow stitching I am doing right now is a linen underdress. This is made from the "natural" linen, i.e. a soft off-white. 

I'll have better pictures when its finished, but in the meantime, the pattern can be found here: Underdress. And my advice is to be generous, especially with the under arm measurement. If you want a gathered neckline, you'll have to add lots of extra inches to the across the shoulders measurement.

Yesterday while working on the under dress with my friends, I picked up some fruit, crackers, and cheese. My niece and I got all artsy as I was cutting up the fruit and this is the result. It was too pretty not to take a picture.

May your Sunday be a blessed one. Linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching @ Kathy's Quilts.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Patches Patches and More Patches

My poor embroidery machine has been working overtime stitching out the dragon patches. There was significantly more interest than I expected and I'm attempting to make twenty to twenty five by tomorrow afternoon.

I have thirteen done, so just over halfway there.

I suspect that I'll be sick and tired of looking at these by the time they are done, but it is significantly easier than trying to stitch them directly on everyone's garb.

In other news, I still haven't gotten my package of hand dyed fabrics from Silkweaver, even though they told me it was shipping this week. I have just emailed them again asking for an update, as no shipping notification has been sent out either. I'm very disappointed in the customer service so far and found that on Facebook several people have complained about it taking months to get their fabrics. I was hoping that it would be faster seeing as how I was ordering from a business based in the U.S. instead of the U.K. If anyone knows a reliable source for hand dyed cross stitch fabrics, I would most interested.

The other project for today was setting up our new tent to see how it works.

It's great! Loken and Terence helped us set it up. Terence promises to help us make it hurricane proof. The bugs get in pretty easily but I've never had a bug free tent. I'm making bug spray that I plan to use liberally. We're leaving it up overnight to see how it will hold up under the thunderstorms we are supposed to see tomorrow.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Project Mish-Mash

Okay, not much cohesion to today's post but a lot of various things that I have been working on.

Library Kittens is probably at about 75 percent complete.

The new patches for our Dagorhir group. I'm going to try to stitch out about twenty of these in the next five days.

A pair of garb pants with POCKETS! A first! Its really easy to do, just look up any tutorial on adding pockets. My only advice is to make them bigger than you think they need to be.

A new crochet project - a shopping/tote bag! Pattern is by Red Heart yarns and can be found here: Lacy Crochet Market Bag

A new recipe for salad dressing - this is a copy cat of a Maggiano's white balsamic salad dressing. Its not quite as good but both Jack and I liked it. I think Maggiano's version has parmesan cheese so I added some of that to our salads.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic puree
1/3 teaspoon Worcestershire
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil

Place balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic (I used minced), and Worcestershire sauce in blender or food processor and puree until fully emulsified. Slowly add the oil and continue to  mix until all of the oil is fully incorporated.

That seems to be all for now! What is going on in your life?

Linking up to Keep Calm Craft On

Friday, June 3, 2016

A Bearskin Cape

I was asked to make a bearskin cape for our Dagorhir event coming up tomorrow. It came out decent enough that I thought I'd throw together a quick tutorial for those interested. 

I started with a length of faux fur. This is approximately one yard by two yards. 

From it, I cut three pieces. The small pieces are roughly 6-8 inches by the width. The large piece is the Everything Else. I didn't worry about straightening the bottom edge - this is a barbarian cloak after all.

Stitch the small pieces to the top of the large one so that it looks like a long sleeved shirt. 

Next, I fitted the shoulders a bit.

How it looks without fitting
Just create a fold (right side) and stitch the dart
When both sides have darts, it looks something like this.

Note that the neck is still too tall in the back. Just take a pair of scissors and trim off the excess.

With neck line trimmed
The last step is to add the ties. I did this with criss-crossing straps for the chest. I used a very soft faux leather that I had in my stash. No idea where it came from but I could easily tie it in a knot. I cut two inch strips and sewed them together until I had a length that was about 120 inches. Keep in mind that I made it really extra long on purpose, to fit a couple football player sized friends.

Stitch it to the inside of the collar with the right side of the strap against the wrong side of the collar. You want the stitching to go until just below the collar bone.

Inside out cape with strap showing on collar.
The last step is to fold the strap so that it crosses the chest at about a 45 degree angle and stitch it down at the correct height. It should cross the chest comfortably, not digging into the neck and not too low.

In the following photo, the left side is angled and the right side isn't. You can tell that the right side does not lay correctly.

With both sides of the strap done, you are finished!

The straps wrap around the back and tie in a knot underneath the cape. The sides are completely open to allow for freedom of movement.

Now I put this together in about half an hour just because we needed something fast. A little more time and care and you can probably get a really nice bearskin cape made. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Weekend Away

This past Memorial Day weekend, Jack and I made a trip out to Chicago for our half-yearversary. We usually do a weekend in February or early March but we couldn't fit it in this year with everything that was going on. I finally just decided that we were going to get away this past weekend, come hell or high water, (fortunately we had neither) and so away we went.

Of course I took all my crafty things with me and was able to finish the basketweave scarf on the way out there. The hat was finished a few days before our trip and the set is now complete.

The first stop on the trip was the mall. Now I know that doesn't seem like much of a vacation to most people but I used to love bumming around a mall raiding clearance racks and I no longer have time. I ended up replacing my shoes and finding a pair of sandals with arch support. Complete win.

Then it was off to Medieval Times. We were rooting for the Green Knight.

And on Sunday, a trip out to Navy Pier and a ride on the lake.

On the way back I had a chance to fill in some of the gaps on Library Kittens. I'm slowing chipping away at this!

All in all it was a pretty relaxing weekend and I was most disappointed to have to return to work yesterday.

We have another Dagorhir event coming up this weekend, so I'm busy working on those items. I have to make a couple bear skin cloaks and then its Rag prep for a couple weeks.