ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
I felt like having a go at working with polymer clay, so here are my first three efforts. I've got a long way to go. I really haven't mastered the art of rolling out regular sausages, rather than sausages that vary in thickness in a pattern that bears a suspicious resemblance to the shape of my fingers and the gaps between them. I need to get much better at creating an environment free from dust and fluff, since the clay appears to have a magnetic effect on such things, and they all go swoooosh and land on whatever I'm trying to work on. But here's a start. I'm actually fairly pleased with them, given that they're first efforts.

Pictures of first efforts )

Many years ago, I made a few things out of DAS air-drying clay, and it's interesting to compare the two. Polymer clay is easier, I think. If you lightly press two pieces together, they instantly stick, and fuse together when baked. With the DAS, it look a lot of effort to get two separate pieces to stick together firmly without falling apart. Also, the polymer clay stays soft for as long as you need it to be soft. The DAS was forever drying while I was working on it, when I was doing things like hands and noses and the pointy bits of dragons and lions. It's much easier to do fine, small work with the polymer clay. However, the DAS was a lot more tolerant of fingerprints and errors, which could easily be smoothed over. If you go wrong with the polymer clay, it seems much harder to repair it, short of peeling the bit off and trying it again.

Mice!

Feb. 7th, 2014 10:13 pm
ladyofastolat: (sneezing lion)
In the past, I think, I've posted pictures of my Morris mice and my Song of Mice and Fire, so I think readers are prepared for the latest manifestation of the mouse-making art.

The Mouse of Sauron )
ladyofastolat: (We do not sew)
I've been sewing non-stop all day, while Pellinor thumped and bumped and bustled, bringing the entire contents of the loft downstairs. The costume I've worn to Summerfest for the last two years was no longer suitable, since I'd grown out of the bodice (or grown away from? It had grown out of me? It had become too big for me, anyway) and thanks to last year's drench, the skirt was solidly encrusted with mud for the entire bottom 12 inches.

This is the result )
ladyofastolat: (Vectis)
On Sunday, over 10,000 people will set out to Walk the Wight. This has inspired creativity.

Walking the Wight:

Photobucket

Two songs, and the above picture, bigger )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Firstly, thanks to everyone who left messages of sympathy about my cat; they were much appreciated. Here are some of the entirely trivial things that have been cheering me up since then:

- There exists a creature called a Sarcastic Fringehead. Unfortunately, they aren't so called because of their habit of making cutting remarks, but because the word "sarcastic" literally means "cutting flesh." According to Wikipedia, "When two fringeheads have a territorial battle, they wrestle by pressing their distended mouths against each other, as if they were kissing. This allows them to determine which is the larger fish, which establishes dominance."

- The artist Turner showed very little concern about the longevity of his paintings, frequently using dodgy paint, or leaving the finished canvases stacked in inappropriate places. One particular picture was used to cover a broken window, and had a cat flap cut into it, for the use of his 6 Manx cats, or his 7 Manx cats, or his housekeeper's 30 Manx cats, depending on which bit of the internet you believe.

- Japanese folklore has a whole class of beings which are ordinary household objects which have come to life on their 100th birthday. These all have special names, and include animated umbrellas and the spirits of ill-treated sandals. Many more interesting legendary creatures can be found here.

- I put up the Christmas tree yesterday, a week earlier than I would normally aim to do it, since I wanted some cheer and colour in the house. Unfortunately, it went all gloomy when I tried to photograph the hand-made decorations, so the end result is not at all great, but here they are, anyway:

A tree of mice and fire )
ladyofastolat: (Default)
My big toes have been numb ever since Summerfest. I mentioned this to Pellinor on Friday, and he said that his big toes had been numb ever since Summerfest, too. Now, as Knight Commander, Pellinor was off bustling throughout Summerfest, doing important Knight Commanderly things and killing important monsters, so there were plenty of opportunities for him to be exposed to sinister numbtoe-causing spells. I, on the other hand, was just serving in the bar, and most of the important monsters never came within sight of me. However, at one point a white and scary lich was rampaging around the stone circle, which wasn't that far from the bar, so I'm guessing that he's the guilty party.

Last night, just before bedtime, I commented, amid much ow!ing, that one of my formerly numb toes had suddenly started to hurt, as if a needle was being driven repeatedly into it. Pellinor said that he had been on the point of complaining about sudden, recent pain in one of his formerly numb toes, too, although his was more like someone scouring the toe with a rough brush. It guess it's possible that this was a just time-influenced effect of the lich's spell, but I'm also looking for new causes. What did Pellinor and I both do yesterday evening, before the pain started? We played the Dreamcatcher module of Neverwinter Nights, and we intervened to pluck a deadiemouse from the cats' paws.

In the case of Pellinor, I suspect feline vengeance. After all, one cat has already been caught on camera attempting to eat Pellinor's effigy:

Photographic evidence )

Today my left big toe is tingling as if with pins and needles, but Pellinor's still asleep, so I can't compare these latest spell effects.

Cider puns

Jun. 21st, 2011 08:55 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I need resolution to some terminal dithering. Which cider pun should I use for my next Booze Banner? The aim of the banners is to make people chuckle, but the slogans also need to be easily illustratable in felt. Simple stylised images in only one or two colours are easy; realistic-looking human figures are very hard indeed. (See examples here, out of which the knight and the tiger were a complex "never again!" experiences, whereas the tart was lovely and quick and easy.) The reference should ideally be understood by both of the banner's target audiences: folk festival attendees, and a horde of live role-players.

Cider pun poll )

I quite probably won't end up going along with whatever answer this poll suggests, but instead will use it as a tool to reveal my own preference. If I find myself reacting with disappointment to one particular answer's low score, then it will reveal what my preferred choice was all along.

Madness

May. 12th, 2011 06:42 pm
ladyofastolat: (Winter is coming)
Okay. Making Victorian mouse versions of all the local Morris dance sides is crazy enough. Making Victorian mouse version of all the main characters of A Song of Ice and Fire - including mouse versions of the direwolves and dragons... Please could someone tell me to step away from this madness NOW, before I get the needle out.

EDIT: Or if you think I should continue, how do you think I should convey hair? I'm thinking that I shouldn't try to convey hairstyles, since mice don't have 'em, but should just make the entire mouse in the right hair colour. Not sure yet whether to give them beards...
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Pellinor has now set off to the wilds of Up North, with his hired van packed full of marquees, armour, alcohol, hops, plates, pint glasses and the like. I won't see him now until next Wednesday. And I won't have any more banners to make! I've been making these for the last two weeks, and last night rather foolishly started a sixth one - foolishly, since I ended up staying up until 1 a.m., and then getting up at 6.30 to finish it.

In the end, I didn't use several of the slogans I'd intended to use, since making the first two banners showed me that they worked better when the slogans were fairly short, done in large letters, than when they were long and wordy. I do regret the loss of "Sell me pies, sell me sweet little pies," though. Maybe next year.

Year they are, in all their punning glory. (If glory is the right word for this.)

Pie banners )
ladyofastolat: (scribe)
It could have been a scene from centuries gone by. Upon a couch, the lady reposed, embroidering a banner, while beside her sat her goodman, Knight Pellinor, repairing his tarnished armour. No sound there was in the background save the soft snoring of a domestic cat, curled upon a cushion close beside the patio window fire. Quiet conversation happened of a domestic nature, such as the difference between baking and roasting, which the wise sage yclept The Internet confidently resolved in about a dozen different ways. Then Pellinor did lay down his armour and don tabard and breeches and go abroad to indulge in some ritual dance, and the lady did wrestle awhile with the serpent of temptation, before succumbing to the siren call of chocolate ice cream.

Earlier, after Pellinor had finished buying 600 pies, we went for walk, from Freshwater Bay to the Needles Battery and back again, by way of Tennyson Down. (I've got today off work in return for working last Saturday. Although last week's one day weekend wasn't so nice, it's been lovely to have today off, knowing that another weekend is starting tomorrow.) When we arrived at the Battery, we showed our National Trust cards, and got the usual speil about whether we'd been before, whether we wanted a guide book etc. "We're only here for a cup of tea," Pellinor said loudly. "Um, yes," I had to admit, "but I had intended to pretend that we were here for the history and culture."

Well, back to my banners.

Crafts

Mar. 19th, 2010 03:34 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
Observations from a day making figureheads:

- 15 year old poster paint is as good as the day it was bought
- 30 year old watercolours are pretty good, too
- 15 year old varnish is capable of solidifying into interesting shapes
- DAS modelling clay has a smell that makes me instantly 8 years old again. Instead time travel; just add aroma.
- It is, however, quite dismaying to find that said modelling clay is apparently no longer made by Adica Pongo. I liked Adica Pongo. My Mum even had a song about them, which I have been merrily - and defiantly - singing to myself all day.
- Any easy handicraft can be rendered challenging by the addition of cats
- Plain tap water in a bowl is not nice for cats and they reject it, preferring the delights of stagnant puddles in the garden. However, in the following situations, tap water suddenly becomes as sought-after as ambrosia:
- It is in a bowl on a tray on a person's lap, nice and easy to knock over
- The person is question keeps saying, "No, cat, leave it alone!"
- The water is nicely infused with bright red paint, or murky and grey with modelling clay.

Aaaargh!

Jan. 17th, 2010 08:06 pm
ladyofastolat: (Default)
I've been doing a cross-stitch on and off since the end of August. It's a big design, likely to take a couple of years to finish, but I've been proceeding nicely. Since it's a big design, the pattern is spread over four sheets (or, rather, two sheets printed on both sides, which makes it even harder to see the overall look of the thing), and when sewing, I'm focused only on the small part of the design visible within my embroidery ring. I've never really spread it out to see what it looks like overall.

Until today.

As soon as I looked at it, I could see that the design was badly off-centre. It's normal to start a cross-stitch in the centre, so most patterns I've used helpfully mark the centre with two bold lines. My latest pattern had two such lines, so I assumed that where they crossed was the centre, and started there.

What I realise now is that the lines merely marked the overlap - the part of the pattern that was repeated on another sheet. I was stupid, stupid, stupid to take it as marking the centre. But I did, and for five months I've been working from there, and the result is that my pattern won't fit on the fabric. (Well, actually, I think it probably will fit, but with such a tiny margin that I don't think it will be possible to frame it.) Nearly five months' of work wasted. Waaah!
ladyofastolat: (Squashed Honey)
I spent the whole evening cross-stitching, for the first time in months. It was all going so well... until I discovered that the whole evening's work was one square to the left of where it ought to have been, so the entire lot needs to be unpicked. Grr!

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